It’s that time of year again where we begin to look at the next 12 months and try to predict what will change and evolve in the world of Search.
2014 – The real year of the mobile!
2013 was a pivotal year for mobile devices; usage soared and the development of enhanced campaigns in AdWords allowed marketers to target them more effectively, better understand the full value of mobile, and provide evidence for the need for responsive mobile site design.
Whilst usage and browsing has increased rapidly this year the next goal is to increase the levels of purchasing and further engagement through mobile devices. We are starting to see this happen through Google Mobile SERPs with image ads now showing and product listing ads also becoming more prominent. Google will be determined to improve the Google Wallet system and may look to set up a ’pay on SERP’ system to ensure users don’t have to leave their site to buy products, thus improving the mobile experience yet further.
We’ve already seen image ads enhance our PPC ads and SERPs this year with some very positive results and very high uptake. The next step in terms of rich media will be to introduce Video ads. Currently they are only available to certain industries such as Film trailers and video games (see the screenshot above), but we hope they will become more readily available in the future. We’ve seen some great results from our RSPB Video ad we have live on Bing.
This year could see the rise of voice activated search. Something that has been ever present through smart phones but not often used; recently we’ve seen the ability to search by voice commands on a desktop computer introduced.
Google has invested plenty of time into refining voice search and has progressed it massively in the last year or so, helped by the Hummingbird algorithm update. The Google Nexus phone allows the user to search at any time by using the buzz word ‘Ok Google’, which has simplified the process further. No doubt Google will look to roll this out to the millions of android users on other devices in the next 12 months.
As with any year there are many worldwide and national events that we, as an agency, can look to use to our client’s advantage. The FIFA world cup in Brazil presents a very big opportunity for all advertisers this year. The screen grab below shows travel agents already bidding on the term ‘Brazil 2014’ as fans begin to plan their trip. We always see a surge of traffic and hype around big sporting events such as the Olympics created in 2012. As an agency we look to maximize our opportunity here by creating tactical PPC campaigns and using more creative copy variations in a bid to drive more traffic to our client’s sites.
Whatever happens, 2014 looks set to be a very challenging an exciting year for everyone in search media as the search landscape continues to shift and change. We are up for the challenge, agile and ready to adapt in order to stay ahead of our clients’ competitors.