All the top sites are doing their prediction posts. Why not get in on that game?
I decided to do that beginning in early-December. It was a busy month for me and I didn’t get this post finished for a couple of weeks.
I decided to go back in and add in more stats and links that might help you. Perhaps they’ll also bolster my arguments.
So without further ado, here are my 2016 social media, content marketing, and SEO predictions:
#1 Rand will do 52 posts this year
I bet between Whiteboard Friday and his blog he’ll manage 52 posts.
I say this because I don’t know what the guy does or how it helps me. I also don’t know why so many people think this guy knows everything.
I guess he did at some point, which allowed him to make a multi-million dollar company. Since then he’s been coasting on his accomplishments, easing back on his laurels.
Nothing shows this more than the sorry excuse for a blog that, for some reason, is still linked up to Moz’s homepage.
Personally, I wouldn’t want a daily reminder of my inability to post embarrassing me like that.
Rand and Moz do, however.
Looking at Rand’s Blog I see that the last post was November 25, just about a month ago.
Prior to that we had:
- August 15;
- June 17;
- June 9;
- June 3;
- June 2;
- February 8;
- January 26;
- January 12;
- January 8.
So that’s 10 posts this year, not even one a month. What’s particularly bad is that stretch from February to June. Well, it’s not as bad as that lame attempt at catch-up.
Maybe it's not as lame as that January-gym approach. Got busy there at the New Year, didn't he?
Honestly – why do we take advice from this guy?
Something else I’d like to mention is Rand’s love affair with still images, like this one:
My oh my…where to begin?
- How much time do you think it takes for the Moz team to come up with that?
- Do you think it’s a good use of your time?
- Do you benefit from those still images?
Well, Rand and his team feel producing those images is a better use of their time than analyzing their industry and telling us what they think.
Personally, I’d rather read more of the latter than see those still-images. I feel I’m not alone in that.
So…why do I feel we’ll be seeing even more of those still-images this year and a whole lot fewer blog posts?
Because this is a “top” site and Rand is an “expert.”
#2 Hashtags in Titles will Fade #Away
I fully expect this silly tactic to go away this year. It smacks of desperation and the last thing you want to look like is desperate.
Is your site really doing so badly that you need that extra hashtag boost that the title-hashtag gives you? Gosh, I’m sorry.
Here’s a post from Search Engine Journal that does it:
Here’s another one from an article a week later, again on SEJ:
Here’s another one from Brand Watch:
Here’s a post from last December that thought the idea so good it did it twice:
So really, here we have a site trying to get a bit more lovin’ from Twitter. It’s mainly Twitter, though I suppose this might work on other networks as well.
- Does it work?
- What is the goal?
- Are we actually getting more traffic to our sites because of this?
I’m not convinced. What would be great would be seeing these sites actually study this.
Will they? I highly, highly doubt it.
I mean, why point out what you’ve been doing all year has been a silly waste of time?
That’s not what expert sites do.
Instead they say, “oh...,” look over their shoulder to make sure no one saw, and continue right on as if nothing has changed.
#3 Barry Schwartz’s Content will Get Shorter
How do 250 word posts help me?
I’m not sure, but that’s about all you can expect from Barry each year – short posts that don’t tell you much.
That’s the problem with these sites – they break news but never tell you anything else.
I mean, honestly – is it really fucking hard to put some analysis in there, tell us a bit more of the history of this thing, how it came about, why it came about, and what you think will happen?
That’s the thing – Barry doesn’t think. He just writes. He sees something and he writes about it.
I’d rather he spend more time thinking about what he’s writing about. It’s called analysis, and Barry needs to learn how to give us some.
#4 We’ll Stop Using [INFOGRAPHIC] in Our Titles
I can even understand why you might put a hashtag in front of it, hoping to get a little extra social media lovin’.
But why, pray tell, does the damn thing have to be in all caps?
INFOGRAPHIC vs. Infographic.
Hell, why not mix it up and say INFOGraphic?
It’s not any stupider than using all caps, and I doubt it’ll lose you anymore respect than the all caps version.
Mainly, using INFOGRAPHIC in your titles just makes you look stupid. I’m sure we’ll see it a lot in 2016, but not from the big sites.
For now let’s see some posts.
Here’s one from a Social Media Today post:
Social Media Today is actually the worst with this. I see far more of their posts doing this than other sites. Here’s another one:
Still, they’re not the only ones.
Here’s one that combines my duel loves of “infographic” in the title while using a hashtag as well:
Digital bad habits…let’s think about that.
#5 Google+ Will Lose More Users as People Flee the New Mobile Design and Current Users Die Off
- First, the users are incredibly old, the oldest demographic on social media, coming in at 45 to 55 for the age of the average user
- Then, their new mobile design really pissed off long-time users, and it’s likely many of these users will do what they’ve been saying for years, and migrate more fully to other networks.
We know from a September 15 post called What is Snapchat and How Can I Use It for Business? that 70% of Snapchat users are 18-34 years of age. Taking it further, Snapchat had “around 100 million daily active users” in late-2014.
On top of this we saw in October 19’s Young Consumers Read Reviews & Are More likely to Write Reviews that just 69% of those 55-years of age and above write reviews.
What’s more, we know from December 3’s Social Media Statistics 2015 that just 9% of Google+ users actually post content.
This doesn’t mesh with local SEO goals. One more reason to kick the old fogeys to the curb.
Old people can’t compete with that and since we know millennials have tons of money to spend, marketers will just start to ignore the old people.
Considering that the vast majority of Baby Boomers are too much in debt to retire and have no savings, this won’t be a bad thing.
Yes, marketing trends will be changing in this coming election year.
#6 Melissa Mayer will Finally be Fired from Yahoo
It was all about this woman Melissa Mayer at Yahoo.
I remember this because I was hurriedly writing it between classes when I was still teaching English in China.
My God, has that woman been around this long?
I think it’s because she’s a woman and was pregnant and…didn’t she write a book? Yeah, that too. We cut her too much slack.
I feel that she’ll do poorly this year as Yahoo continues to do poorly. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Yahoo Gemini will save the company.
I don’t think so, however. Perhaps Yahoo will ditch Melissa Mayer the same week America ditches Carley Fioriana.
Both are terrible businesspeople.
#7 More Sites will Close Comments
They have no comments.
Well, when you look at the ridiculously large share numbers they have it’s clear they have no comments.
It’s a terrible ratio!
So…why are people sharing, but not commenting? Please don’t tell me the world’s full of shy ninny’s.
I guess it must be.
Or are these what I call robo-shares, nothing more that people sharing an article they got notified about on social or email, for no other reason than to look smart to their followers?
I think a lot of it is that.
#8 We’ll See A Pull Back from Email Marketing
God, I am.
It’s because we know that most email campaigns have an open rate of about 22%.
Worse, most email marketing campaigns have an abysmally small click-through rate of about 3%.
We know on AdWords the average click-through rate is 2%.
Sadly, most companies are expecting 10% to 15% for click-through rate.
Wow, talk about failure.
Yet we continue to see the big sites harp on how important it is to grow your email list.
Sadly, they nearly always suggest giving something away or engaging in some other gimmick.
Great, now I have a bunch of sign-ups that will never open, never click. No wonder our click-through rates are so low!
Folks, this strategy is not working.
Oh, maybe it’s working for some big sites that bombard you with pop-ups until you finally relent and give them your email list.
But you know what…it’s not. Even those sites have the same problems of low engagement, low opens, non-existent clicks.
Our email marketing strategies are not working.
Will that stop the Big Boys from shoving the same tired advice down our throats?
No – they’ll never stop. As long as you keep that sucker face on and lap up their bullshit, they’ll keep shoveling it at you.
So I expect more people will become vocal, saying what they think.
“Damn, it – I follow your advice and my click-through rates are shit! What gives, you dumb bastards!?!”
I’d like to hear more talk like that. Perhaps, just perhaps, we might be able to get somewhere.
For I know deep down that if we continue on, I’ll be sitting here next December writing how our email click-through rates are still an abysmal 3% or so.
#9 Twitter Goes Back on Share Counter Takeaway
I’ll go further and say that Twitter has to backpedal and put those numbers back.
Maybe I’m being hopeful, or projecting my wants onto the situation. I dunno – are people going to pay…whatever a month to have that number, that ego booster?
#10 SEO Sites Focus More on Content Marketing and Social Media
This is clear to me from both the July Online Marketing Industry Survey and the August SEO Ranking Factors post. Both show that content is perceived as more valuable than SEO…to users and now more and more to Google.
Big sites will focus more on content because guest posting, linkbuilding, keyword optimization and all the rest of it is falling flat.
I mean, guest posting really went out the window this year!
I say that because we always have Google algorithm updates that take everything those SEO folks said from years ago and penalize it.
We see this again and again.
Far from it embarrassing the SEO sites, however, they continue to push outdated and downright harmful ideas.
Worse, we know this stuff just doesn’t work. We know that you have to focus on what your user wants.
With mobile overtaking desktop and more semantic search and long-tail phrases doing away with traditional methods, SEO just isn’t going to get as much play in 2016, or future years.
Again, people will jump on that, saying we’ve heard it all before.
I already see big sites like those mentioned steer more toward the social media marketing and the content approach for building traffic, however.
We’ll see. For now I suspect it’s a wait-and-see approach. As the year progresses, however, and as we tally the various articles appearing on SEO sites, I think we’ll find this one comes true.
- #1 Rand will do 52 posts this year
- #2 Hashtags in Titles will Fade #Away
- #3 Barry Schwartz’s Content will Get Shorter
- #4 We’ll Stop Using [INFOGRAPHIC] in Our Titles
- #5 Google+ Will Lose More Users as People Flee The New Mobile Design and Current Users Die Off
- #6 Melissa Mayer will Finally be Fired from Yahoo
- #7 More Sites will Close Comments
- #8 A Pull Back from Email Marketing
- #9 Twitter Goes Back on Share Counter Takeaway
- #10 SEO Sites Focus More on Content Marketing and Social Media
So those are my predictions. I hope they made you think or gave you a new perspective.
Good luck in 2016 – if you do 'well' enough maybe you’ll be on a list next year.