Cue the end of year cliches – ‘where has this year gone?’, ‘it’s frightening how fast this year has flown by’– and with that, comes our very own 2020 predictions! As an extremely eventful and uncertain year draws to a close, we’ve taken a moment to reflect on what predictions came true and what awaits us in the wonderful world of digital in 2020.
We’ve decided to keep it real this year, focusing on those tiny strategic adjustments, tactics or tips that you will definitely becoming more familiar with within the next year.
With Brexit imminent, uncertainty around spending will continue to be an issue when it comes to Travel and Tourism and ultimately, spending in general. Ensuring your site is working as hard as possible will be key in 2020, from rankings to conversions. Leveraging answer boxes and rich snippets regularly will drive awareness, making your site your biggest advocate.
Google will measure your authority and trust based on your brand and link profile but your expertise will be judged on how useful your data and content are. Being able to take advantage of position zero, with accurate and useful data, will be key. Google are actively looking for ways to bring more data into the SERPs to improve user experience and the recent announcement on parcel tracking is a great example of the direction things are going, with Googling the status of your delivery likely to become typical behaviour.
A key focus in 2019 was the importance of improving Page Speed across a website on all devices. If you’re eCommerce focused, taking this further in 2020 will mean improving your security efforts and we recommend keeping an eye out for HTTP/3 and QUIC in 2020.
As always, having an organic strategy aligned with other marketing activity will be essential. Uniting different teams to work towards one common goal will get the most bang for your marketing buck across all channels, but especially SEO.
Ultimately, retailers in 2020 will need to be preparing for ways they can be useful directly in the SERPs without compromising the bottom line. As proven by a recent Black Friday analysis by Which?, consumers are becoming incredibly savvy to promotions and comparison intent is increasing. Retailers that are able to provide genuine value and brand affinity will see success in 2020 as both are keys to long term success. Elsewhere, Instagram will remain a prominent influencer resource but, perhaps more importantly, continue to grow as a direct selling platform
With the possibility of stricter overall regulations on advertising, the iGaming and Online Casino sectors could see a need for drastic changes to be made to ad copy to ensure compliance. Companies may also see a major increase in the importance of negative keyword lists to avoid unwanted penalties or fees.
Based on trends from 2019, we also predict that CPC may well decrease in 2020 as businesses continue to consolidate their brands and conversion rates drop.
Our Content and PR team recently revealed there are 83,000 PR professionals to 64,000 journalists in the UK, making the task of obtaining coverage trickier than ever. For 2020, we recommend utilising data, whether it be simple or complex, as a basis for your campaigns to ensure that your content is not only topical but insightful.
Over the past few months we’ve seen an increase in journalists who are more open to featuring content from iGaming and Online Casino brands that used to be considered quite taboo. For 2020, we want to stress the importance of being honest with your outreach and not shying away from shouting about your brand – if the idea is strong enough, a journalist will want to feature your story.
The environment will remain top of the news agenda in 2020 and a major focus for journalists. For those working in digital travel and retail, creating content based around the environmental impact of travel will have a good chance of success, especially when accompanied with data.
For those looking to be featured in B2B/ trade media, we recommend taking a look at Global Payment trends as they are likely to be huge in 2020 with customers searching for various ways to pay for their transactions. By shouting about the various different payment options you offer, we predict that this will be a great way to earn traction.
We’ve recently put together a guide on how we use data to analyse headlines and determine what journalists actually want to see, which can be found here and will be a great basis for 2020 planning.
In 2020, we also strongly predict that Google will roll out further Smart bidding models for search similar to ROAS or profitability. Keep an eye out for these as the year goes on. This signals Google moving us towards further automation and away from manual bidding. However, for us, this does not signal the end of the PPC manager. Quite the contrary – in fact we feel that PPC marketers need to be the gatekeepers of strategy – formulating strategic decisions about which options are best for each campaign and overall business objectives.
While still shiny and new, Google’s latest Lead Generation ad extension also has great potential for targeting users who are further up the purchase funnel. We’ve recently put together our tips and tricks for using the extension, which can be found here.
As always, Brexit will continue to be a tailwind for UK holidaymakers but we do believe there may be an opportunity to target non-UK traffic with UK-based products. An essential for 2020, Paid Search will serve as a great channel to use for testing a new market or scaling up your visibility quickly.
Whatever changes may be on the horizon, as long as you take heed of the mantra – ‘test, learn and adapt’ – you can’t go far wrong. Our digital environment is constantly evolving, but the principle remains the same and it’s about finding the right tools and tactics to suit your specific audience and business objectives.
If you need a hand with your 2020 digital marketing plans, feel free to reach out to one of our specialists today.
Happy New Year!