It’s hard to plan for the evolution of the web over the next few years. However, despite the technological innovations yet to be announced, developed and embraced, the trends are all heading in the following directions:
We get tired of saying this, but mobile is outpacing desktop search. It’s one thing to have your website show up on a mobile device, but is your website truly mobile? Does it look and function in a way that is convenient and easy to use on a mobile device? Is your website truly responsive? Tablets, phones, laptops and desktop computers are all different devices. They work differently and interact with the web differently. Your website (your web designer actually), needs to know how to do this to provide a truly great user experience no matter what device is being used to interact with the web.
While Google rules Internet searches, social media is now beginning to be another option for search. Based on the nature of your business or organization this option might need to be strategized for. Social sites like Facebook are adding search and even buying features. Pinterest, Yelp and others are already used by local and national businesses as sales tools. Search engines will still drive traffic to websites, but social search will also be doing that as well as driving traffic to your social media sites. Are you ready for the coming Social Search Storm?
If my mobile rant didn’t scare you, let’s look at what is being referred to as IoT, or the Internet of Things. We are not only interacting with the web via mobile devices, but now we have smart watches, fitness bands and other “things” accessing the internet. Remember Google Glass? It may not have been a big hit, but it has paved the way for more wearable technology that can be used to interact with the web. It is definitely a trend worth watching.
Our phones are not just for talking to people any more. We are talking to the phones themselves and using Voice Search. Apple’s Siri and Google now allow you to search the web by talking. Instead of typing in key words, we are asking our mobile devices, “Where is the nearest…,” “How can I get…,” and so on. This is having a major impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), especially for local business. If your business is locally focused, doing things like optimizing for local key words, claiming your business on Google Maps, getting reviews online and more, are going to help you get found whether a person is typing or speaking to search the web.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a new technology will help merge the web and print. AR uses smart phone apps to scan a photograph on a printed piece and make the photograph come alive as a video plays in place of the photograph. This can be used to provide content in an interactive, entertaining and engaging way. Augmented reality is still in its infancy; however it will be a new way to use print ads, brochures, catalogs, postcards and more to connect directly to expanded web content.
Marketing is definitely not a static pursuit. You need to pay attention to the trends and keep up with them. What worked yesterday may not work today and definitely will need to change in 2016 and beyond. Don’t worry though, we are keeping up with what’s going one and following the experts and the technology trends. We’ll report it here. If you are website client, you can count on us to make the suggestions you need to keep up.