Yes, you’ve guessed it right. It’s that time of the year when we discuss the challenges that marketers went through during the past 12 months. For the majority of us, myself included, 2015 was a full year. The good part is that we’ve learned a lot of things and successfully overcame all challenges.
Therefore, let’s stop for a few minutes and think about what made us successful in 2015 by taking a look at the several digital marketing statistics.
General overview of 2015
The stats presented by various prestigious organizations show that 2015 was a great year for digital marketers. I hope that most of us can now define success as having luxurious cars and a huge mansion somewhere on an exotic beach.
In 2015, our clients manifested a growing interest for content and SEO services. In addition, we had the chance to manage a higher digital ads budget as compared to 2014.
In the next paragraphs, I will describe some interesting findings regarding SEO and Blogging. Other categories, such as Social Media, Lead Generation, Lead Management, Email Marketing and Marketing Automation will be described in the second part of this article, which will be published soon.
SEO stats for 2015
I’ve read some articles in which marketers were mentioning that we don’t need to focus our efforts towards this category of services because it is not a big deal anymore. According to 2015 stats, it seems that SEO is growing and becoming more popular than we’ve imagined:
- “SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate”. (source: Search Engine Journal)
- “On average, we conduct 12 billion searches per month in the United States”. (source: Comscore)
- “70-80% of users ignores the paid ads, and only focus on the organic result”. (source: Search Engine Land)
What we did in 2015 was to:
- Combine SEO with content marketing and put them to work together as a “team” which gave us the opportunity to increase sales and boost brand awareness.
- Focus on mobile website optimization.
- Follow and implement a keyword strategy tailored to our buyer personas in order to provide the latter with the exact information they were looking for.
SEO trends for 2016
Similar to what we did in 2015, this year we will conduct a thorough research on the new search engine algorithm, and the latest developments and trends in order to find the best practices to implement. According to Forbes.com, here are the main highlights for 2016:
“Mobile-Optimization Will Become More Important than Desktop Optimization”
If mobile and desktop traffic were on a relatively equal position in 2015, starting 2016 mobile traffic will become more important, with desktop set to fade into obscurity over the next 5 years.
“Digital Assistants Will Change the Way We Think About Search Queries”
We are confronted with a new type of keywords search given by digital assistants such as Siri or Google Now. Therefore, we have a new category called “spoken language queries” that is much different from type queries, especially because it contains long tail keywords. For the next year, we must take that into account and focus on conversational content. Hopefully, Google will reward us for that.
“Social Content Will be More Readily Indexed”
It appears that social posts will have a bigger value than independent web pages and there isn’t going to be such a big difference between “web” and “social media” from an SEO perspective. This is mainly due to the deals that Google has already set in place with social media giants Facebook and Twitter.
Blogging stats for 2015
The best way to start analyzing the main statistics from 2015 is with a joke that I’ve recently stumbled upon: one person says to another: “I have nothing to say! And the other one answers: “You should blog about it!”
We’ve always mentioned the importance of having a blog to our clients. From our perspective, a blog represents a must have. According to hubspot.com, these are several relevant statistics for the previous year:
- “B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not”.
- “By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.”
- “Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.”
- “Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.”
Contentmarketinginstitute.com also has some interesting statistics that are worth sharing:
“A typical blog post is almost 900 words – 10% longer than in 2014.”
Apparently, long form content is starting to become more popular due to the large amount of information and details shared. It’s a good strategy to use it especially when you want to share it with a bigger audience in order to help them reach their goals or overcome challenges. An infographic by Capsicum Media Works shows that long form content ranks higher in Google search results than short form content.
Their recommendation is to focus on publishing SEO optimized articles containing approximately 1,500 words:
Image source Orbit Media
“While more bloggers reported publishing on a daily basis in 2015 compared to 2014, the majority of bloggers (two-thirds) are still publishing less often than daily but more often than monthly.”
The most important thing is consistency. The problem is that, sometimes, due to lack of time, it’s impossible for most of us to publish articles on a daily basis. It’s mandatory though to write following a content schedule in order to make sure you provide valuable content to your Buyer Personas as frequently as possible.
“Guest blogging doesn’t seem to be declining in popularity though only 6% of bloggers publish the majority of their original content as guest posts.”
Guest blogging is a great method to secure backlinks from influential websites. It is useful to keep that in mind if the goal is to raise your own blog’s search rankings.
“Bloggers are increasing their use of promotion techniques that drive traffic to their posts – including paid promotions, the use of which increased by 93% over the past year.”
So far, we’ve focused more on keywords and the needs of our Buyer Personas and less on putting money into paid ads. However, in 2016 we are planning on increasing the paid ads budget for Beaglecat as well as for our clients in order to better leverage their potential in generating new leads.
What we did in 2015 was to:
- Publish articles according to a consistent and documented publishing schedule.
- Constantly measure the impact of our content strategy.
- Update older articles so they continue to bring in the high-quality traffic.
- Focus less on paid ads campaigns and more on social media engagement.
Blogging trends for 2016
Except the ones mentioned above, Katy Widrick – Predicting the Future: Blogging in 2016 (and Beyond), has also revealed some future generic predictions that I wanted to share with you:
“Bloggers will become influencers”
Therefore we’ll stop using the word “blogger” and change it with “influencer.” It sounds better, don’t you think?
“Graphics count a lot”, “Graphics will make all the difference.”
This prediction has to do with the fact that more and more websites are adopting a minimalist, easy to read style. Therefore, shareable graphics to support blog articles become crucial to success.
“Page views and potential reach will matter less; engagement will matter more.”
If your page is visited by 200 people and the content is shared by the majority of them, it is because it represents a source of inspiration for their (professional or personal) lives. By promoting useful content, you create engagement and that’s what matter most.
“Comments, already low on the value scale, will continue to be less and less relevant.”
The companies should focus more on clicks, sales and engagement and less on spending time drafting comments, since the majority of them are only between marketers.
“All mobile, all the time”
Check if your website is mobile-friendly by using this feature provided by Google.
If your website is not optimized for mobile, you are losing sales. Statistics show that 57% of mobile users will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 30% will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
That was all on digital marketing statistics and trends for now. Hope you enjoyed going through this article and are already looking forward to reading the second part which we’ll publish next week.
Until then, may success follow you, each and every place you go!