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Nick Bennett

Strategy Director

Digital Marketing Predictions for 2016 - Blogs

We all know how dynamic the digital marketing space is, things seem to be forever changing which makes predictions for the year to come difficult. However, there are some key trends that everyone seems to be agreeing on. First in our 10 part series - we talk about blogs and the need for longer, higher quality and valuable articles.

Much continues to evolve in the blogging world but where is the change leading?

Keep it...long!

Back in 2014, we were encouraged by blog authors to keep it short, however times have changed it seems. Orbit Media Studios surveyed more than 1,000 bloggers and found the average blog post in 2015 was 900 words, an increase of 100 words from 2014. What was interesting to see, was 2x as many respondents in 2015, were writing 2,000+ words compared to the previous year which saw 1,000 words or less.

The question is, why are fewer bloggers writing shorter content? Orbit Media Studios asked blog author Ann Handley her opinion on the matter:

“Listicle and click-bait articles are so 2014. What that means is that we’ll see more valuable, relevant, higher-quality, substantive material. To thrive in an over-saturated content world, you’ll need to constantly write or produce (and syndicate) content with depth. Longer posts, more substantive content that people find useful and inspired. In other words, click-bait articles are dead. And what you see next might surprise you.”

In 2016 we anticipate seeing longer, higher quality and valuable articles being published. For those looking to increase traffic in 2016, will need a greater focus on length of an article as well as relevant and high quality content.

Google changes its search algorithm hundreds of times a year and there are always more updates than the year before, which can affect search results in significant ways. As we all know, it pays to keep on top of the latest trends to remain ahead of the game and stay relevant.

To maximise search marketing objectives in 2016 for your most effective keywords, will be to own the top position in AdWords results and be in first position in the ‘Instant Answer Box’. The more you invest on SERPs; the better. It will increase the likelihood of showing up in the ‘Instant Answer Box’ results, which will be critical for any SEO strategy in 2016.

What other changes can we expect to see during 2016?

In the past, the important statistics were unique visitors and page views. This was the benchmark for what made a ‘good blog’. So blogging became a dirty business, authors realized that advertisers favoured visuals over high quality content, so to they started doing what they could to build a larger audience with click-bait, listicles, slideshows, name it!

Quality seemed to be at an all time low, but traffic had increased - and that’s what matters right?..... Wrong.

The quality of this traffic was poor, it’s common sense that quality prevails over quantity. Subscribers were left disappointed and advertisers soon followed. 2016 thankfully has made a 360 turn! Engagement rates are ‘Hot’ and traffic is ‘Not’. It’s all about building a community, Twitter shares, Facebook posts and encouraging discussion over social channels, regardless of the size of your audience. Community engagement matters.

Next in the “10 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2016”, we will delve into Social Media