When it comes to eCommerce and online marketing, it’s pretty much an absolute necessity to keep up with the trends. In our fast-paced, ever-shifting digital age, new crazes rise and fall almost as quickly as we can become aware of them.

As a result, any business that markets itself through the internet (which, let’s be honest, is any business that wants to stay afloat these days) will need to work overtime to keep abreast of the latest developments in eCommerce, SEO, and other elements of online marketing. Failure to do so can be a death knell – the internet deserts the old trends quickly.

So to help your business get a head start in 2019, here are a few of our forecasts for trends that’ll likely define eCommerce and SEO this new year.

1. Voice search

You’ve likely become pretty aware of this by now. Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Voice Search – running one’s online searches through voice triggers is slicker, quicker, and above all, increasingly popular.

And voice searches mean, by necessity, different optimization for search engines. Remember, where text-based searches tend to be fragmented and straightforward (for instance, “furniture stores London”), voice searches are much more likely to be composed of complete sentences (“Where can I find furniture stores in London?”) The addition of these extra few words can necessitate a massive revamping of the entire SEO structure of your site; and it’s best to get on that while the trend is still hot.

2. User online experience

Sure, providing a decent online experience for users has been important ever since the notion of online marketing first came about; but nowadays, it’s more important than ever.

Remember, users generally have countless other sites to choose to check out; and in this fast-paced day and age, they’re likely to check out the sites that load the fastest. A study by Google recently indicated that sites that take more than three seconds to load lose 40% of their potential visitors.

Prepare your online presence for these impatient individuals. Go over your business’s site. Check out how long it takes to load on different connection speeds. Consider trimming the fat, and removing anything unnecessary that drags downloading time. Visitors want to find out about your business quickly and conveniently. Create a site that allows them to do just that.

3. Mobile first

Most business owners with any awareness of modern online trends are aware that optimizing your business’s online presence for mobile is pretty much the difference between success and failure in modern online marketing. After all, pretty much half of all online traffic these days is through mobile – and that’s a number that’s only going to keep getting bigger.

And Google, unsurprisingly, is on top of this. They’ve announced that their “mobile-first indexing,” which they first rolled out last year, will be continued and refined in 2019.

If you’re unaware, mobile-first indexing, in essence, amounts to Google treating your site’s mobile version as its primary version. When trawling sites, Google gives priority to mobile versions, and thus rewards sites that are better optimized for mobile with better rankings. And with the growth of mobile internet usage, these efforts are most certainly going to continue into the new year.

In other words, while optimizing your business’s online presence for mobile was once a nifty way to rope in new views, these days, it’s pretty much essential to ensure your site’s continued visibility.

4. Website security

Ordinary internet users are growing increasingly security-conscious these days; and while not everyone may be a full-fledged IT professional yet, most people know not to spend too long on a site without an HTTPS at the beginning of its name. They certainly won’t be entering any personal info or placing any orders through such a site.

And of course, when internet users grow more aware of something, Google responds to it. Nowadays, Google rewards HTTPS sites with a search ranking boost and warns users when they’re about to enter an unsecured website.

In other words, if your business’s site isn’t properly secured, you’d better make sure that it is in time for the new year’s business rush to get underway. We’re deep into the digital age now, and users don’t take well to risking the safety of their personal details.

5. Brand relationships

This is yet another thing that’s always been important in online marketing, but which has become more critical than ever as of late.

Simply put, your brand can’t merely be promoted through your own site or your own social media presence. Besides the fact that people naturally hesitate to base their faith in a brand solely on that brand’s own promises, this will severely limit your audience.

No, you’ve got to see to that your brand is linked to and mentioned by external sources – that your name is used by bloggers, Instagram stars, and other online influences with a reputation among your target market. These different endorsements will both drive up traffic and grow brand reputation…and, of course, create a few more places for the search engines to bring up your brand’s name.

6. Beyond Google

Let’s be honest: for the most part, when we talk about “optimizing our site for search engines,” we’re really just talking about making it more visible on Google.

And that’s understandable. Google is still the leading search engine on the internet and owns some of the most popular websites. But sometimes, if we’re to bring our sites above and beyond, we need to start thinking past the obvious.

For instance, with Google becoming all the more ubiquitous, many folks, when searching for products like yours, might well opt out of the fuss and hassle of using the mainstream option, and instead search directly through Amazon, or some other online shopping service. And should you take the time to optimize your online presence to catch the attention of these searches as well, you’ll be enhancing your chance of drawing in new customers to an extreme degree.

Wrapping things up

With the new year comes new opportunities to grow and expand your business; but they’ll only be of any use to you if you learn to identify them. Do so, though, and this could be the year that your business indeed takes off. If you are looking for an eCommerce marketing expert who is excited to help grow your business, Contact Me today!