What Google’s search results page looks like is constantly changing. Google also made many changes in 2019. A trend that has become increasingly apparent in recent years is that less than half of Google searches result in a click. And that has consequences for your website.
In 2020, Google is no longer a search engine, but an answering machine. More and more often, Google gives the answer to a search question directly on the search results page, without having to click through to an external website. Just look up “Groningen again.”
The search results pages are getting more crowded with things like featured snippets, local packs, knowledge panels, et cetera. In this way, Google is increasingly able to keep its users with them. A good example of this is the integration of Google Hotels in the search results pages. With this you can already compare prices of hotels without having to leave Google.
How do you ensure that as a company you do not fall victim to these developments? This can be done in several ways. For example, bet on achieving featured snippets and ensure that your company is easy to find in Google Maps.
In 2019, Google rolled out the BERT update, which it says is the largest algorithm update of the past five years. BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Thanks to this update, Google has become better at truly understanding language. The search engine now also understands the context of a search query, which means it can offer much more relevant search results. BERT will probably also be introduced in the Netherlands this year.
Google gives a good example of this: the search query “2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa.” The word “to” makes the difference here and shows that it is a Brazilian traveler to the US and not the other way around. Thanks to BERT, the Google algorithms now also understand this.
What should you do with this in practice? Actually very little; no need to proactively optimize for BERT. If you always make sure that your content is as clear as possible.
The arrival of Amazon
Online marketing trend / tip 3: The arrival of Amazon
In 2020, the time will have come in the Netherlands: the arrival of the American internet giant Amazon. The multibillion-dollar company will also conquer the Dutch market this year and wants to compete with bol.com, among others. This can be an opportunity for Dutch shops, but it can also be a threat. After all, you will get a competitor, but you can also use this competitor by selling your stuff on it.
But should you do this or not? If you want to compete on Amazon, you have to compromise on your margin on the one hand. In addition, you will have to pay a cost payment to the company. On the other hand, however, there are countless options in terms of branding and visibility. So it is always worth considering.
Personalization is becoming increasingly important
The trend for personalization will continue in 2020. More and more companies will offer their content to people based on (user) data. For example, if you often buy sneakers, you will also see more advertisements of sneakers. Bol.com is a good example of a company that is already busy with this. If you buy many items from a certain product category at Bol, for example sneakers, you will also see more sneakers when you visit Bol.com.
The big advantage of personalization is that you can serve your (potential) customers even better. People only see messages that really suit them. This ensures more loyalty and higher customer satisfaction.
Voice search in 2020
We already mentioned voice search in our online marketing trends from last year, but we cannot escape it in 2020 either. It is estimated that some 50% of all searches will soon be done by voice. And thanks to the BERT update, the voice search search results become even more relevant.
How do you optimize for voice search? First, it’s important to focus on getting featured snippets, as these are often the results that come out of your device in voice search. In addition, write in natural spoken language and give your content a question-and-answer structure.
Think carefully before you bet on voice search. It is not equally relevant for every company. Ask yourself if people use voice search to search for the services you offer. For example, voice search is less important for B2B companies than for B2C companies. However, it is very interesting for local SEO.
It’s going to be mobile first
Online marketing trend / tip 6: It’s going to be mobile first
In 2019, Google rolled out the mobile first update. This meant that nowadays the mobile version of a website is always used to determine the ranking of a page. If your website is not in order on mobile, this can have major consequences. So always prioritize the mobile version of your website.
In 2020, websites are increasingly visited on mobile devices than on desktop, so it makes sense that Google has chosen this. However, the importance also differs per sector in this trend. B2B companies, for example, usually attract less mobile traffic than B2C companies.
Social media is changing very fast
The world of social media never stands still and there are currently some trends in it. For example, Facebook users are increasingly moving to Instagram. Snapchat and Reddit are also becoming increasingly popular. And what about TikTok? This platform is growing enormously, especially under generation Z, which means it offers many opportunities for this target group.
Another trend: thanks to the popularity of Snapchat, so-called “ephemeral content” has become increasingly important. This is content that is only temporarily visible. You probably know this from Instagram and Facebook, who have also introduced this functionality in recent years. Definitely worth it to adjust your strategy.
Finally, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of live streaming in 2020. Live videos are already viewed three times more than regular videos on Facebook and Instagram. So think carefully about how you can use live streaming in your social campaigns this year.
The emergence of micro influencers
In the field of influencer marketing, we anticipate several important developments in 2020. The most important is that large influencers are increasingly being exchanged for smaller so-called micro-influencers. These are influencers with “only” 10,000 to 50,000 followers, where the big influencers sometimes have millions.
The reason? Big influencers are starting to lose the confidence of internet users. Companies are increasingly opting for smaller influencers because they are more authentic and closer to their followers. As a result, they generate more involvement and are also cheaper.
If you also want to use influencer marketing in 2020, remember that bigger is not always better. The most important thing is that you choose someone who really suits your brand and can become an ambassador of your brand. This way you get the optimal result from influencer marketing.