Search marketing trends 2021, by Prism Digital’s Lovetto Nazareth

By Lovetto Nazareth, managing director, Prism Digital.

Search marketing, one of the most successful digital marketing techniques using paid and unpaid ways, is a dynamic skill and it is continuously evolving with newer features being introduced every now and then. Marketing managers must be aware of all the upcoming updates and techniques so that they can stay ahead of their competitors.

Here are some of the top search marketing trends that marketing agencies are looking out for in 2021.

Automation and AI

AI is pretty much the future of everything and when it comes to marketing. Many brands have already incorporated AI and the results have been fantastic. So good that it can safely be said that AI was made to lead digital marketing.

A very good example is the use of chatbots, an AI-based tech, that is available to respond 24/7. It has made instant communication possible like never before. This tech alone has powered 85 per cent customer service in 2020. The algorithm is constantly being updated to make them sound more intelligent and human-like. Just imagine the ease of communication!

AI is also helping brands with product recommendations suited to a particular shopper, personalized emails, content creation and, e-commerce transactions. The possibilities of AI are still being explored but the way it can help market businesses shows that the use of AI is only going to grow.

Core web vitals

The term Core Web vitals was introduced by Google last year as being a significant component in SEO. Google defines it as “a set of real-world, user-centred metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. [Core Web Vitals] measure multiple aspects of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads”.  These basically entail how good and convenient the website is to use both on a mobile or a desktop device.

Marketing managers will have to pay close attention to these as they will be among Google’s core ranking factors in 2021 and onwards. Core Web Vitals might even surpass content as a top-ranking factor; even if two web pages have the same content, the one that has a good web vitals score will rank better in Google search.

Impact of voice search

According to Google’s Mobile Voice survey, 55 per cent of teens and 41 per cent of adults use voice search at least twice a day. Voice queries on mobile are something that is going to govern SEO in the near future as it is predicted that the use of voice search will continue to grow exponentially. It would be a good idea for marketing managers to incorporate voice search components into their SEO strategy.

Voice search yields different results compared to text search. Users usually opt for voice search when they want a direct answer rather than multiple links so catering content for that would definitely help in reaching the relevant customers.

Search intent is imperative

This is another ranking factor that is often overlooked. Search intent is the ‘why’ behind a person’s query. Google’s BERT algorithm works to find the best results for the user. Now it has been updated to a level that it can understand queries in 70+ languages and almost everything in English, which means that it can understand questions/queries almost like the human brain.

How do you optimize for search intent? Always search keyword(s) before writing content on your web page. And best to go for long-tail keywords as people are more likely to search their query in a statement/question form rather than a single term.

Creating interactive content

Producing content that is original and engaging is a challenge and something that marketing teams struggle with when building a brand. Google requires original content in order to rank it on the first page. Though difficult, it is crucial for marketing. Why? Because people want to read/watch something that is relevant, yet engaging and entertaining for them. This also makes them want to share the cool thing they saw.

There are several ways through which brands can engage with consumers: having a campaign story that is original and interesting really clicks with the viewers.

Pro tip: most people love to watch rather than read so creating interactive videos is a great start. Then there are quizzes to cater to the specific needs/wants of a consumer. There are also competitions, games, polls, and surveys to name a few.

As a marketing manager, you should be aware of what is trending and popular among people so that you can find the most effective ways of increasing viewer engagement. Changing times, low attention span, and the increased use of tech can either be viewed as problems or opportunities depending on how you view them. Adaptability and innovation are the only way forward.