The COVID pandemic reshaped the world as we knew it, impacting everyone but hitting some industries harder than others. Businesses have had no option but to change and adapt the way they operate, to try and cope with the most uncertain period of recent history.
2020 was the year of technological transformation, accelerating the inevitable changes that were hiding around the corner. We saw a record number of people working from their homes, as bedrooms were transformed into board rooms and colleagues were just pixels on a screen. With many people embracing the “new normal”, these are 4 trends that we believe are here to stay.
- The continued growth of Voice Search
Over the past few years, we’ve seen voice search grow in popularity, from a purposeless gimmick to voice assistants becoming an essential hub of many people’s homes. Amazon, Google, and Apple all now offer voice assistants as a core part of their product range, with at least one in 5 homes in the UK estimated to be using them.
Spending more time than ever indoors last year, voice searches surged with the latest statistics showing that around 41% of adults use voice search at least once per day and research suggests by the end of 2021 that 70% of all searches will be made by voice. This can simply no longer be ignored by businesses who want to step up their search game and lead the rankings.
2. Shoppable Social Media
During the pandemic, online shopping has grown significantly with shoppable posts becoming the norm, as social media becomes a top channel for purchase instead of just discovery and digitally socialising. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are making it simpler for consumers to go from discovery to purchase without ever having to leave the platform.
A recent survey shows that over 70% of Instagram users said they find new and latest products on Instagram. With Instagram recently launching new features such as IGTV and Reels, it’s only a matter of time until they open up more ad placements which create unmissable opportunities for you to appear in front of potential customers.
3. Visual Searches
You already know that you can search for images using keywords, but did you know you can also submit existing images for a search, or even take your own original photos and search for context? This is changing the SEO landscape and making images just as important as the content and text on your website, instead of a visual afterthought.
In order to capitalise on the growth of visual searches, you want to make sure that your images meet the basic requirements such as including alt-text in your image descriptions, adding images to your sitemap, and include your core SEO keywords in the image file name. Get this right and you’re in a good position to take traffic away from your competitors when your customers are using images to search.
4. Virtual Events
Remember when all the events you had planned in 2020 were cancelled? Yes, us too. Large events or gatherings weren’t allowed to take place which forced the hand of many businesses, either having to cancel their planned events or to adapt and move online. Events became virtual out of necessity but as we move into 2021 and beyond, many events will stay virtual as a result of lessons learned in 2020.
Online events are obviously much safer and don’t risk contributing to the spread of the virus, but companies have also discovered many other advantages such as higher attendances, fewer issues surrounding travel and visas, and also a reduction in costs. The key is to get creative and drive engagement through great speakers, rich content, and some fun of course.
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Thank you, stay safe and well from all of us here at Mahon Digital.