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What's coming in 2018? The Latest Digital Marketing Trends

January 26, 2018 • 6-minute read

Latest Digital Marketing Trends 2018

Each New Year is a testament to the dynamic, ever-evolving nature of digital marketing — and of course, 2018 is no exception. 

As we go deeper into the first quarter of 2018, let’s take a closer look at six SEO, PPC, and digital marketing trends poised to redefine how today’s businesses do online marketing.

It’s time to embrace structured data

In the never-ending quest for the almighty click, structured data stands out as an emerging force in making your business stand out. In a nutshell, structured data is a format of presenting the content on your page in a way that tells search engines exactly what your page is about.

Structured data makes it easier for users to find your page and allows it to appear on special search features (e.g. image searches).

To use a grocery store analogy, think of it as an inventory list that Google can look at to figure out which items to display for customers to be able to find the products they’re looking for.

Google's Gary Illyes specifically mentioned it during his Pubcon presentation, confirming that some of the new search feature launching in 2018 is based on structured data, and even spells it out quite plainly:

“But more importantly, add structure data to your pages because, during indexing, we will be able to understand better what your site is about.”

Searches will start to involve even more looking and listening, literally.

It has been proven repeatedly that audio-visual content has a higher recall value than text-based content. This phenomenon is primarily tied to the rise in mobile use, the Internet’s shift towards becoming more visually focused, and the increasing popularity of digital assistants.

More and more companies realize how much visual search can evolve and completely change the search engine game.

Meanwhile, voice searches are growing in frequency, with Google reporting that, on average, 1 in 5 searches is a voice query.

Don’t expect voice and visuals to send text-based content the way of the dinosaurs just yet, though. What you should plan to do is to keep an eye on the advertising and SEO practices revolving around these two search types in 2018, mainly how they’re doing in terms of results.

With the steady rise of AI, it probably won’t be long before voice, and visual searches become even more commonplace.

Artificial intelligence is getting even brighter.

Formerly the stuff of science fiction, it’s now hard to imagine how life would be without AI. This year, AI is expected to help brands increase customer engagement, deliver information and solutions, and ultimately build a more human connection between users and brands.

Thanks to recent developments, AI can now provide users with more personalized results, helping them find exactly what they’re looking for and making AI an indispensable staple for significant search engines.

This year, we can look forward to more advancements and developments in this field, spearheaded by Google’s continuous efforts to innovate and improve its AI systems.

In the meantime, it would be wise for you to start planning how to use AI as leverage for your business.

Investing in tools that can help automate your PPC work or working hard towards mastering how to improve your coding and AI scripting skills are a few of the smartest decisions you can make for your business this year.

You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket (or on one platform).

To no one’s surprise, Google and Facebook are expected to continue as the power players of 2018.

However, this doesn’t mean that marketers should disregard other channels and platforms, especially the ones that offer significant opportunities for growth (or overlap in terms of marketing potential).

Also worth considering is the opportunity for retargeting based on different audience targeting options (including demographics and life events) for a more personalized experience for the user.

With improved targeting comes brand-new ways to get your audience’s attention and make your marketing campaigns more effective.

You’ll have to work harder at proving that your content matters.

This year is a terrible time to be complacent and careless regarding your content strategy. If you don’t meet Google’s content quality standards, you will get penalized — hard — for trying to appear like something you’re not.

With an improved algorithm based on complex, extensive indexing and Google’s improvements to its RankBrain, marketers will have to work extra hard to produce quality content. That is just how it should have been in the first place.

Shady marketers can say goodbye to manipulative guest-posting this year, too. Articles posted on other sites solely to boost your search engine rankings will not only cease to be helpful but could also result in you getting penalized.

Mobile-first indexing (which isn’t surprising).

With more and more users glued to their smartphones, recent years have seen a steady rise in mobile searches, surpassing desktop searches on Google.

Now, the search engine giant will implement mobile-first indexing — in other words, Google’s search rankings will be based on the mobile versions of website pages, even if you’re searching using your desktop PC. Still, think your site doesn’t need to be mobile-responsive? Think again.

Now that you know the latest digital marketing trends to expect this year make the most of your online marketing campaigns and strategies by staying ahead of the competition. With strong and up-to-date SEO support, you’ll ride the waves of change instead of getting swept up by them.

To learn more about how a solid SEO strategy can do for your business, check out our portfolio and case studies:

straightarrow case study and porfolio

Mikael Angelo Francisco
Mikael Angelo Francisco
Kyle is a Communications Senior Specialist at StraightArrow who also contributes to the SciTech section of GMA News Online and reviews movies and comic books for pop culture blogs. He is into sports climbing, running, and other related activities, and may or may not be Spider-Man (he refuses to give us a straight answer).



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