Search Professionals Say Generating Leads, Traffic To Websites Are Biggest Challenges

Evolving 2018 digital search engine optimization strategies suggest that 63% of marketers feel that generating traffic and leads are their biggest challenge this year, according to data released Wednesday.

Reboot's study sought to find how companies will prioritize and challenge trends. The study reveals that forty percent of marketers still point to proving a return on investment, and 28% cite securing a budget for marketing programs, to round out the top three challenges for the year.

Identifying the correct technologies at 26%, and managing the company's websites at 26%, round out the top five.

Sixty-one percent of marketers plan to work on growing their company's SEO and organic presence on search engines such as Google and Bing. Some 53% will focus on creating content for blogs, and 47% will work on content distribution and ways to spread the word through media. About 40% said they would focus on marketing automation, and 38% will work on creating interactive content, according to Reboot, an SEO company.

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The biggest disruptions, of course, involve artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Many marketers still struggle to understand these technologies and how to use them.

Only 61% of company respondents are happy with their marketing strategy and believe it is effective. To combat this, Reboot chose to look at five effective strategies that marketers will change in 2018.

For example, in 2017, situations where a marketers once used a lot of text to create content such as ebooks will be replaced in 2018 with data visualization and storytelling. In other words, the content will read like a seamless story.

Marketers plan to ditch the idea of "organic reach" on Facebook as the platform transitions to more of a paid platform. This year, the focus turns to Instagram, Snapchat and bots -- platforms that can instantly express an idea -- and these, along with chatbots, will become more appealing to marketers.

Optimizing text will always remain important, but marketers say they will focus on more optimizing voice. Smart speaker sales have surged, leading consumers to communicate with brands with their voice.

Research from Adobe Digital Insights estimates that the sale of voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home and other devices rose 103% year-over-year between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the fourth quarter of 2017.

Where blogging was popular in 2017, rich content will replace it in 2018. Consumers want to engage with the brand through video, podcasts, and participation in polls.

Extensive videos and visuals dominated 2017, but in 2018 it will become all about micro moments, which happens when someone uses their device to find answers to questions they have at the moment.  

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