BLD’s Digital Marketing Predictions for 2019

#Beyond BLD Blue Laser Digital on January 14, 2019

Digital marketing is constantly changing. New technologies emerge, and trends come and go. Google’s search algorithms improve every year, and web design goes out of style just like fashion. In order to be an effective digital marketer, you have to stay up-to-date on what’s what in the digital world.

As the year comes to an end, we’ve found ourselves discussing the digital marketing trends we expect to see next year. From new development tools to mobile-first indexing, there are some exciting changes coming. We’ve collected predictions from our project managers, SEO/PPC specialists, designers, and developers to give you a taste of what’s to come. Here are the digital marketing trends we expect to see emerge in 2019:

General Digital Marketing Predictions

  • Improvements in user experience and mobile experience
  • Google’s algorithm will improve to better understand search contexts
  • Simple, easy-to-use web design will thrive
  • Reviews and comparison content will become more important
  • Voice search will continue to grow in popularity

Kathleen:

Kathleen

“I think all digital marketing channels will continue to focus on the user experience and mobile experience first and foremost. It’s all about giving users exactly what they want in the quickest and easiest format.

Google will continue to upgrade its algorithm to understand the context of a search better by paying attention to search history, search behaviors, location, and other factors.

The K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) method will continue to live on. As mobile, UX, and speed continue to play a huge role, I think keeping design simple and easy-to-use will be important. Finding ways to incorporate content by using graphics, calls-to-action, and videos will be crucial as well. Text copy won’t leave us, but we will need to get creative when incorporating it with design. I think tools like accordions will be received better by Google.

Local Search: Reviews are life. Whether it’s for a local business, service, or any kind of product, people love reviews and use them to choose anything from their next iPhone to where they get their hair cut. Ask your customers to review your business on Google.

Comparison content is also a great thing to incorporate. Consider adding content to your website that shows how you are better than your local competitors. Testimonials and comparison graphs are a great place to start. Local SEO and geotargeted PPC ads will continue to be important in increasing your business’ visibility in local search results.

Voice Search: I’m still not at this level personally, but I know my parents use Siri all the damn time. Optimizing for voice searches and understanding the difference between typing a query and dictating one will be crucial.

Using natural language and longtail SEO keywords in your website copy will be important to make sure your business is being seen by customers using voice search. Including your location in several places on your website can also help your site’s performance since many people conducting voice searches are looking for local information.”

SEO & PPC Predictions

  • Improvements in Google’s machine learning and semantic search algorithms
  • Google’s algorithm will understand search contexts better
  • Reviews, social interactions, and sentiment words will improve a site’s search performance
  • Organic social interaction will start decreasing
  • Google search ads at the top of the SERP will continue to get bigger

Nelly:

Nelly

“Google wants to understand what people want. In 2019, I think we will see more improvements in Google’s machine learning and semantic search algorithms. Google will try to understand what information the user is seeking based on what Google knows about the market as well as user’s online history. In this light, it will become extremely important to not only understand your audience, but also know who your ideal audience is not. Google pays a lot of attention what users have to say, so things like reviews, social interactions, and the use of sentiment words throughout websites will probably have more weight than ever.

As far as overall digital marketing goes…

In the next two to three years, I think the general public will start realizing that if they don’t have to pay to use a platform, they are not a consumer, but rather a product. They will realize that platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are glorified advertising platforms that are selling companies their product—i.e. people. I believe that we will start seeing a decline in organic social interaction. Probably not in 2019 but in the next several years.”

Brian:

Brian

“Google Search Ads in position one will continue to get more headlines and descriptions, taking up more real-estate at the top of the SERP.

Google will continue to improve the articulations of audience targeting in search campaigns. This means advertisers will soon be able to target paid ads toward even more specific demographics. Google will keep improving analytics so that advertisers know more about the people who are searching for their businesses than ever before.”

Design Predictions

  • Mobile-first design is a must-have in 2019
  • Text will become more integrated into design
  • Vivid color schemes, unique textures, and complex gradients will grow in popularity
  • We’ll see more brands use unique fonts, illustrations, and hand-drawn doodles
  • Flat design, open designs, and subtle animations will trend

Savannah:

Savannah

“In 2019, design trends like gradients and bold colors will continue to grow in popularity with the improvements in screen displays. We will also see a growth in minimalist web design to aid in faster page loads and increased conversion rates. With the rise in free, readily available fonts that everyone can access, companies will be opting for fonts designed specifically for their brand to stand out (like Comedy Central’s “Comedy Sans” brand font). Uniquely branded illustrations will continue to be popular this year to drive interest and tell stories within brands.”

Brandon:

Brandon

“A large part of my 2019 design prediction revolves around text. I believe design in 2019 will utilize big text for a big impact. Text will become a bigger part of the design rather than just a complimentary bit of information. Fonts using different weights, heights, densities, and even messy typography will be brought to the forefront of design in 2019. We’re going to see more outlined fonts rather than solids. We’ll also see fonts with backgrounds. Old school is new school.

Flat design will remain the hot trend it has been over the last few years but with a twist. We’re going to see more realism mixed into flat design. Along with that, we’re going to see a lot more open designs and less framing.

More floating and 3D objects. More vivid color schemes and complex gradients.

Metallic textures and effects are going to make a big comeback in 2019. The use of hand-drawn doodles is going to be very relevant.

From spinning menus to unique hover effects, subtle animations are going to drive the wow-factor from a UX standpoint.

Mobile-first design is a must. Speed is going to be a must-have in 2019.”

Development Predictions

  • WordPress 5.0 will dominate
  • More custom block plugins
  • Faster, more consistent loading times
  • WebP image and AV1 video adoption
  • Mobile-first tools & development

Greg:

Greg

“Developers will slowly and begrudgingly adapt to the WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg editor. We will see more custom block plugins (blocks are the building blocks of the Gutenberg editor) which will give content writers and publishers more power and freedom to craft how their content is displayed. And WordPress will continue to dominate.

Performance will continue to be the hot topic. New techniques will emerge to deliver websites and content faster and more consistently. WebP images (Google’s newish image file format) will gain more adoption as Firefox and other browsers embrace the powerful compression algorithm (Compare the file format at https://squoosh.app/). The AV1 video format will slowly gain adoption. The codec will reduce the file size of videos on the web and enable designers to use video in their designs with a performance hit (https://research.mozilla.org/av1-media-codecs/).

Mobile-first, again…Google will continue to lean heavily on mobile to determine search engine rankings. Devices will get more powerful and capable, and network speed will improve (That isn’t to say we can forget about performance). These devices will also support better tools so that developers will be able to tailor mobile experiences based on the actual device. Low battery? No problem. We’ll skip the fancy styles and hide all the images and video. Bad network connection? No problem. We’ll just send you the stuff that matters.

More designers will find out that the developers have been hiding fun things from them. CSS Grid will give designers more freedom to develop complex and flexible layout. Clip-path will allow designers to use weird, nonrectangular shapes in those layouts. And variable fonts will allow designers to choose how droopy they want their Cheesy Variable font (https://v-fonts.com/fonts/cheee-variable/) to be.”

Thank You for a Fantastic Year

If you’ve made it to the end, we hope you enjoyed our predictions. Digital marketing is our passion, and we love keeping up with it. While the digital world can be unpredictable, making educated guesses on how its landscape will change is crucial to being effective digital marketers. We’re looking forward to keeping our clients’ websites, advertisements, and social campaigns up-to-date in 2019.

We hope you all had a merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Happy New Year from Blue Laser Digital!