COVID-19 may not have delivered a business boost to most industries, but it’s caused many more consumers to rely on digital shopping. The trend had been steadily growing but accelerated after the pandemic was declared. Yet, according to Smart Insights, digital PR and social media research they conducted earlier this year before the pandemic showed that many companies had no strategy in implementing, much less leveraging it.
Smart Insights’ fifth annual survey results indicated that now is definitely the time for brands to build strategic and agile digital marketing programs to achieve success in the future, especially in SME (small to mid-size enterprises) markets. And while major digital marketing trends haven’t changed much in the past few years, there have been a few shifts, improvements, and other things to consider.
Google, the most popular search engine, announces changes aimed at further improving searches almost daily. Some are more noticeable than others, but all are aimed to improve the consumer experience. Google refers to the major ones as “core updates” that are usually accompanied by advance notices. Smaller improvements aren’t publicized, but brand webmasters nevertheless need to be on the lookout for both and use this checklist to improve content.
Good content is one of the key drivers of sales. It should include original information, research, reporting, or analysis. It must also provide comprehensive descriptions of the topic and, when possible, interesting or unique information beyond the obvious. The headline or title on a page is usually the first thing a visitor sees. Ensure that it depicts an explanatory useful summary of the content. The information must be presented, so it fosters trust and credibility. Citing sources of discoveries or data is a big help. If the content can deliver significant value compared to other page search results and satisfy visitor needs, it will help the brand’s search engine ranking. Another end goal is to see this content referenced or published in other media or the brand’s page shared or recommended by visitors.
Besides the meaning of chomping down on food, E-A-T also stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Like brands that rely on consumer reviews, Google uses search quality raters who provide insights into whether their algorithms deliver the intended results. That feedback helps Google know if system changes are working and helps them formulate new ones. One might say establishing good E-A-Ting habits can improve a brand’s rankings and traffic.
Changes in structured data will continue, and brands need to monitor, keep up with, and adapt to them. Google had delayed implementing Schema in the JSON-LD format. Still, brand webmasters should begin removing any data-vocabulary-structured data now along with updating their sites to the JSON-LD format. Google had earlier disclosed that a brand’s chances of showing up in Search are enhanced by how comprehensive a site’s Schema is.
Remain on the lookout
Recent changes over TikTok and Reels make it necessary to keep tabs on both platforms. Both have seen heightened popularity since the pandemic, but TikTok’s recent sale requires monitoring its popularity going forward.
Monitor micro-communities to see and hear the latest on changes and improvements from peers. Also, continue to conduct A/B testing to determine where and how improvements may be made in better connecting with the brand’s target audience.