While everything feels unusual right now, one thing can be certain in life – the world of digital marketing will continue to move fast. Given that the pandemic has increased people’s focus on online tools and virtual interactions, it has arguably never been more important for brands to ensure that digital marketing strategies are kept in check. Digital can move so fast that only an algorithm update from Google can improve a brand’s careful planning. With that in mind, here are our predictions and recommendations for items that marketers should closely monitor in 2021 to ensure that their best plans not only stay relevant, but also deliver worthwhile results.
One of the big trends that we will undoubtedly see in 2021 is an increased focus on privacy issues. As digital marketing evolves with a much more targeted approach, consumers are becoming more aware and more concerned about privacy. As a result, we see top brands responding very quickly. In March 2020, Safari blocked all third-party cookies. Apple introduces intelligence tracking prevention for mobile apps. Google plans to remove third-party cookies by 2022 as well. With many government agencies embracing the idea of passing laws to protect personal data, it cannot be denied. The privacy landscape will change immensely – and digital marketers will have to adapt. The impending loss of cookies is potentially a big problem as so many companies have gotten used to using them as the primary source of insight into who their customers are, how they move around, and how to find others like them. If your company is not yet seriously considering how to get more firsthand data about your customers, then you need to start preparing now.
About the author
Olga Andrienko is Head of Global Marketing at Semrush
A recent study suggests that contextual targeting is one of the best ways to make the transition. Given the tumultuous nature of the new landscape caused by privacy changes, the best next step for many will be to stick to best practices – PPC advertising and content marketing. A rush on these channels could make them less effective as so many others are using the same tactic. Careful planning is therefore also required here.
The main reason for PPC advertising – search engine queries – is that it is unlikely to be affected by the privacy changes, and this will allow brands to continue their paid search efforts. This would be a good marketing channel that would produce positive results in turbulent times. Another classic step is creating high quality content. The importance of informative, educational, and targeted content positions a brand as a leader in this field and appeals to audiences, customers, consumers, and customers.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that for many, funds are on the leash and business cuts are inevitable. According to our analysis, digital advertisers of all sizes have reduced their online ad budget by an average of 20%. As businesses have gotten used to the new normal, they have made online visibility, presence, and presence a priority. This priority is unlikely to wane until the pandemic is better under control globally. Digital advertising spending will recover and grow exponentially, and the main growth driver here will be small and medium-sized businesses.
In practice, mobile friendly websites will be a bigger problem in 2021 – 70% of all website traffic comes from mobile phones, and the average adult spends around 5 hours a day on their device. Optimizing websites for usability will be a key topic in 2021. Especially if businesses don’t think of mobile devices first, users are likely to leave the site for others who are better optimized.
The problem of optimizing for Core Web Vitals is also related to ease of use. Core Web Vitals are factors that Google deems necessary to improve the general user experience on a website. When a website has poor web vitals, it leads to poor UX and affects user interaction and conversion on your website. Digital marketers need to make sure they think in terms of Google EAT – expertise, authority, trustworthiness. With the rise of fake news and misinformation on the internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find trustworthy content written by experts with authority in their respective fields. Google has already taken steps to improve content backed up with statistics and details in the visibility ratings to address this issue.
Finally, when we think of the bigger search image, we can assume that AI and voice search will have a bigger impact on how rankings work. In fact, the percentage of households expected to have a smart speaker by 2022 is 55%. Carefully consider keywords to optimize voice search. Try to compare how people ask these questions in normal conversation. Voice searches are better for longer, natural-sounding phrases. When people type, they tend to abbreviate. For example, a person could do a voice search: “What are the new SEO trends for 2021?” However, enter the words “New SEO Trends 2021”. When it comes to the impact of AI, you need to keep your performance factors in mind. Google’s AI algorithm is going to be an important factor – but in typical Google fashion, they didn’t say much about the specifics of how it worked. The algorithm called RankBrain, introduced a few years ago, plays an important role in Google’s ranking factors for results from search engine results pages (SERPs). Experts have suggested that user experience signals are the main determinant of their application. In this case, the best advice is to go back to the basics of good UX. Captivate and engage readers with useful, well-organized content. An on-page SEO checker can help you evaluate page strength based on points like readability, backlinks, and more.
One of the reasons digital marketing is so exciting, dynamic and effective is because it is constantly expanding and evolving. Those who have experience keeping up with changing environments just need to keep their ears to the ground and keep an eye on their stats to keep up with new developments. Those who may be less used to evolving outside of the Internet, or who are less experienced in being flexible about their plans, need to realize that 2021 is likely to bring a number of significant changes that can easily be disrupted. Everyone has to prepare accordingly. Online visibility management not only helps companies stay afloat, but also sets them apart from their competitors in this highly competitive market.