The only journey more life-altering than the journey of finding yourself is the journey of allowing others to find you...when they’re ready. So many brands walk through life understanding the value they have to offer the world but being unsure of how to open up and allow consumers to see who they really are. Luckily, search engine marketing (SEM) is always developing new tools and strategies in pursuit of answering the question: how do I reveal myself to others online?
As with anything on the internet, SEM trends move fast. In order to stay relevant and not become buried on the tenth page of Google’s search results, you have to keep your thumb on the pulse of the SEM industry.
Allow us to give your thumb a break for a few minutes. As of 2020, here’s what’s gaining traction in SEM.
Allow Yourself to be Found From Anywhere
We’ve all seen this shift coming for years now: more people are searching online using their smartphones than their desktops. In fact, mobile traffic now makes up over 50% of all internet traffic. This can be attributed to a lot of things - smartphones are more affordable, data speeds are always getting faster, mobile user experiences on the internet continue to improve, and so on. At this point, it should be a top priority of yours to understand how mobile users use search engines.
If you haven’t done so already, you need to make sure your online content is mobile-friendly. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means that it primarily uses the mobile version of a page’s content when evaluating its relevance to someone’s search query.
There’s also a strong correlation between mobile search and local search. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. When people want to search for something nearby, they’re probably on the move and not sitting in front of a computer. Keep this in mind when you’re thinking about the mobile users visiting your website. They’re probably close by and wondering if you have what they’re interested in.
Invest in Yourself
SEM professionals have noticed a trend away from organic search to paid search, and the numbers support this. A new survey from Oribi shows that Google’s paid search ads convert at a rate of 2.7% while Google’s organic search converts at a rate of 2.1%. This is by design, too. Google has been diversifying their search engine results pages (SERPs) for a while now. For any given query, Google may include a featured snippet, images, videos, paid ads, sponsored products and more within the organic search results. All of this is intended to keep consumers on the SERP as long as possible. This is causing many companies to invest more in paid search, which in turn raises pay-per-click (PPC) costs.
This is not to say that organic search is dead by any means. It just means that paid search is quickly becoming a necessary evil that businesses must invest in along with their organic marketing strategies.
Learn to Speak Their Language
In 2020, online search is also becoming more intuitive. According to ComScore, this year 50% of all searches will be voice searches. That sounds like a huge number, but once you consider all the smart speaker devices and AI assistants we use in our daily lives, it’s easy to see how voice search is becoming so popular. Whether it’s Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Home, people spend more time talking to computers than ever.
To adapt your SEM strategies to voice search queries, you first need to consider how they’re different from regular text-based queries. These queries tend to be longer, and they tend to ask an explicit question. Think about how you can incorporate the conversational, natural language of a voice search query into your online content.
No Journey Should Be Made Alone
No matter the paths you take on the web, The Ward Group is here to support and offer guidance. Whether you’re looking for paid search, display advertising, Facebook marketing or good old fashioned email marketing, our media stewards are ready to apply their dedication and passion to your needs. Call The Ward Group today to start planning your journey to being found online.