The breakneck pace of SEO and social media development is exciting for online marketers. It offers countless new opportunities to get an edge over the competition and refine our tactics to better appeal to our audience. But at the same time, it's a little intimidating.
Though some new technologies and trends are hardly noticeable, others are game-changing, undermining some of the tactics you've poured your time and money into in favor of some new paradigm you have to learn from scratch.
So, most marketers try to make predictions about the course of development for the industry, tracing historical lines to uncover patterns and following those projected lines into the future. Though effective, doing that only prepares us for the most immediate, straightforward, and accessible possibilities for development. Instead, we need to focus on some of the potentially radical changes that lurk in our near future.
Based on my experience in the industry, some subtle hints suggested by influential companies in the space, and a bit of logic, I can see some (or all) of the following five changes taking hold in the next decade:
1. Traditional websites are on their last legs
Marketers have been predicting the death of traditional websites in favor of mobile apps for a few years now. Mobile traffic continues to rise, and users increasingly prefer app-based experiences to online browser-based ones. But the next five years or so could bring us the final nails in the coffin.
Google is slowly rolling out new search features that cater to apps and app users. For example, app streaming allows users to access in-app content for apps they haven't even downloaded directly within search results.
To prepare for that transition, either begin work on creating an app for your business or invest in apps that already exist, such as third-party review sites or directories.