It has been an exciting couple of years for digital marketers who have taken the time to learn about the newest search engine developments. Search engine marketing (SEM), often associated with Pay-Per-Click (PPC), continues to play an integral part in the success of a business or practice, where staying on top of the latest trends in the industry is crucial. While there are several innovations in the works for SEM, the most promising changes in 2019 pertain to audience-focused strategies, automation and artificial intelligence (AI), and mobile-first indexing.
Keywords have been used in search engine marketing for decades, but it appears as though they will no longer be the go-to approach. Marketers are going to have to start looking beyond keywords and focus on delivering the best and most enthralling user experience to compete in the upcoming year. That is not to say, however, that the keyword is dead, but they do need to be used with the audience and context in mind. For example, melding the appropriate keywords with the way users might phrase a question in a voice search program can deliver more personalized results than the use of keywords alone.
Automation and AI
Artificial intelligence (commonly known as AI) comes up frequently in the digital world and tends to only grow in popularity every year. As personal assistant programs and automated chat tools become more precise and human-like, SEM experts will need to consider how to use these features to their advantage. Data collection from automated interactions with audiences will also be invaluable in the coming year. Additionally, smart programs give marketers the opportunity to multitask and make the most of their time working on a specific campaign.
With the percentage of mobile users steadily rising as handheld devices become increasingly essential (for everyday tasks, research, communication, etc.), Google has started prioritizing mobile-friendly websites over those that rely on their desktop format. What this means is optimized websites that convert well to their mobile format will take precedence in the Google search engine.