Digital marketing is a rapidly changing field: an algorithm update from Google, for example, can turn a carefully thought-out digital marketing strategy on its head, forcing a speedy rethink of the strategies designed to bring visitors to your website. Ensuring your company performs well online means not only staying up to date with the latest Google developments, but also keeping pace with broader trends surrounding the way in which people find and interact with websites. Here are seven key digital marketing trends to look out for in 2021.
The rise of chatbots
Chatbots have been bubbling under for a few years, but 2020 looks set to be the year where they really come into their own, because the technology is now at a level that means the user experience is far easier, smoother and human-like than it was with earlier chatbots. Some 47 percent of businesses are expected to introduce customer support chatbots this year.
More video content
There can be no ignoring the power of video in 2021. From social media to sales platforms such as Groupon and Wowcher, video content has been shown to increase customer engagement and sales. If you haven’t started creating video content yet, this is the year to do it.
A focus on mobile-friendly web pages
With 70 percent of web traffic now coming from mobile phones, it’s essential your website is mobile friendly. This means you need Mobile First Design. Key elements of this include responsive web design which automatically fits your website to different size screens, and adaptive design that creates a relatively simple website for viewing on smartphones, and a more sophisticated version with additional functions for use on a tablet or PC.
Increased focus on privacy issues
You may be enjoying the insights that cookies give you into your customers and their browsing habits – but sadly, increasing concerns about privacy mean this is changing. Google has said it aims to banish cookies by 2022, while Apple launched Intelligent Tracking Prevention in 2017, and this continues to be updated. It looks likely that the loss of the information companies used to get from cookies will lead to an increased focus on pay per click (PPC) advertising and content marketing.
A focus on Core Web Vitals
In 2020 Google decided that it was going to incorporate Core Web Vitals in its search ranking decision-making. Core Web Vitals are: loading, interactivity and visual stability. These factors are now considered alongside mobile friendliness, security (HTTPS), safe browsing and “no intrusive interstitials” (essentially, no pop up ads) when evaluating the overall page experience.
The ongoing rise of voice search
Research in 2020 found that half of smartphone users were using voice search, while Google reported that 27 percent of users are using voice search globally. This article will give you some useful tips to help make sure your website performs well in voice search results.
A focus on Google E-A-T in the face of fake news
With increased concerns about fake news, the more you can do to build your site’s E-A-T qualities, the better. E-A-T stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness, and refers to key criteria used by Google when assessing the quality of websites. Keeping a clear focus on your core topic, creating fresh, quality content, displaying details about the content authors and building trust through certificates such as Trusted Shops or SSL, can all help to increase your site’s E-A-T performance. Confidence-building activities such as the publication of whitepapers can also help.