The world of digital marketing is growing and changing every day. This is due, in large part, to the changing ways that consumers hunt for information along with the rapid advance of technology. For the business owner, this evolution means that knowing a bit more about certain online search trends can help your digital marketing strategy—especially if you are using this information to stay ahead of the game.
We’ve selected six paid search trends that we think you should know about which could help to improve your ability to reach your potential customers.
There are certainly more than 6 trends to be aware of, but these are the trends that will help you the most when it comes to adapting your marketing strategy to ever-advancing technology.
1. SERP Marketing
SERP refers to the Search Engine Results Page, where the user will see everything from Google Local Service ads, to Paid Search Ads, to organic search results, to Google Reviews and more. One of the goals of your marketing strategy should be to dominate page one of the SERP, because this will make you optimally visible to your ideal customer.
When you are looking for methods to do this, one thing to remember is that Google is now changing how it analyzes a search term. Now, instead of simply looking at the term typed into the search box, Google is looking at the context behind a search to analyze the user’s intent. This means it can now provide personalized results.
In translation: thinking like your customers, and thinking like Google, will help you make the most of the SERP page. And that is exactly what you want. The other trends we are discussing in this post all tie back to this.
2. Digital Marketing Personalization
When we say that personalization is vital to your marketing strategy, we really mean it. Previously, search results and ads were sales-focused, essentially the online equivalent to an ad showing up in your mailbox whether you were interested in a product or not. In contrast, now content need to be personalized to the consumer to ensure it reaches the right person at the right time.
Why is this so important? Because 80% of people surveyed have said they are more likely to do business with a company that personalizes their experience based on that consumers’ wants and needs. It isn’t surprising that you are more likely to get business from someone who is on the hunt for HVAC or Plumbing services than you are from someone who isn’t and who simply came across your ad or organic SERP result by mistake.
3. Google Local Service Ads
The days of hunting through a Yellow Pages book or scanning the newspaper for service technicians are long gone. So are the days of doing a generic search on Google and hoping that you find a business somewhat nearby. Google Local Service Ads are geared to meet consumers where they are at. When you incorporate Google Local Service Ads into your marketing strategy, you are saving time and money.
This is because you are paying per lead rather than per click, which ends up being much cheaper. Additionally, your business will be included in any voice search results done via a Google Assistant. Add to that the fact there are no keywords to manage, and Google Local Service Ads can end up being a huge boost to your marketing plan. Google Local Services Ads should never replace paid search ads, however they’re a powerful way to work with your already existing paid search methods.
4. Voice Search & Home Assistants
Now that we’ve mentioned voice search and home assistant, it’s important to understand that home assistants like Alexa, Google Home, Amazon Echo or voice search assistant on your phone are becoming more helpful and commonly used than ever. And we want you to remember them in your marketing strategy because your customers are using them to find you.
By 2020, at least 50% of all searches are expected to be done via voice search, whether through a home assistant or a smart phone. This, of course, will make an impact on the wording used for the search results. What you want to remember as voice searches become more the norm is that by using a more conversational tone on your site and gearing your content towards providing answers to questions you are more likely to be the one that comes up as a result to their search.
5. Zero-Click Search Results
A zero-click search result refers to when an individual gets the information they want without ever needing to leave a search results page. Up to 61.8% of search results are now zero-click results and are largely common with mobile and voice search results. This is why we were talking about that search engine results page so much at the beginning; most of your customers will stop here!
So, if they don’t click through to anything, how do you reach out to a potential customer with this trend? The key here is to be that featured snippet or quick answer that is featured at the top of the page. Your content, whether via a blog or webpage, should be geared to answer the question that brings up this SERP. This makes you a resource and a name they know…and are more likely to click on after they get their answer.
6. Search Marketing & Social Media
These two trends are a unique and important pair. Search marketing is marketing that is geared to answer the question your customer is asking in order to reach them. However, you earn their trust with your social media. A growing number of people are using social media to decide whether they want to work with a company.
Being visible isn’t enough at this stage; your social media is vital to earning the trust of your customers so they feel comfortable with that first click. Combining these trends together helps you drive both leads and awareness at once.
Remember Your Content
When it comes to search engine marketing for contractors, making sure that you stay up-to-date on these trends will help you immensely in allowing your business to grow and thrive. Within these trends though, one major point to remember is this: your content plays a huge role in who will notice you and when.
Content that is geared the right way (i.e. personalized, answering a question or providing important information) will help you reach the right people at the right time. When you start to meet your customers where they are you’ll see that difference.
Looking for help with your search engine marketing? That’s what we are here for. iMarket Solutions helps contractors thrive in their digital marketing. Discover how we can help boost your paid search results by contacting us today.