If you stay current on technology trends, you’ve probably heard of a few that are defining the future of the web, email marketing, and search.
These Big Three are HTTPS, voice search, and AMP for email.
Here are some wow-worthy facts about each:
- In 2017, 50% of first-page Google results used HTTPS, according to Moz.
- Research from ComScore reveals that 50% of all internet searches will be voice-based by 2020.
- Google’s AMP technology (accelerated mobile pages) powers over 2 billion mobile web pages and 900,000 domains – and those numbers are growing.
If this is all news to you, or you haven’t been keeping tabs on tech trends, you probably have some questions.
What are these technologies, and/or where are they headed? What might “the future of the web” mean for your online marketing?
Let’s take a peek at the implications as all three gain ground in the industry.
HTTPS: Secure Browsing as a Google Ranking Factor
“HTTPS” stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.”
It probably looks familiar; you’ll see this acronym at the beginning of URLs. Just take a gander at your browser bar and see if the web address starts with HTTP or HTTPS. Here’s what a secured site looks like (yes, that’s ours ;-)):
What’s the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. It simply means that all data sent between your browser and the website you’re surfing is encrypted.
This encrypted data is unintelligible to anyone who may try to intercept it and steal it.
A great example:
The personal data you send when you make transactions online (like a purchase or a bank transfer) could be stolen by hackers if it wasn’t encrypted.
Image via Instant SSL
Why You Should Care: HTTPS Is a Google Ranking Factor That Will Increase in Importance Going Forward
Google has adopted the mantra of “HTTPS everywhere” regarding web browsing.
This means sites that use HTTPS/secure browsing will be prioritized in the rankings over sites that remain unsecured. And, according to Google, this will hold true into the future as sites continue to make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS:
Bottom line: If your website doesn’t use HTTPS yet, it’s time to get on that – yesterday.
Voice Search: The Future of Internet Search
In 2018 and beyond, voice search is bigger than ever – and growing.
The factors influencing this trend include:
- Better technology, getting better all the time (voice assistants understand what you want and provide more accurate results)
- New products make jumping into using voice searches easier for us humans, like integration with TVs and smart speakers
- On-the-go voice search is becoming normalized, as it’s an easier alternative to fumbling with your smartphone’s keyboard and browser
Here’s a crazy fact related to just how good voice search technology is getting:
According to the Internet Trends Report for 2018, Google’s speech recognition accuracy is on par with that of a human.
The Internet Trends Report for 2018 says that Google’s speech recognition accuracy is on par with that of a human. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
Still more incredible: This technology is going to keep getting better.
Why You Should Care: Targeting Voice Search Is Different from Text-Based Search
So, what does the advent of accurate, easy-to-use voice search mean for you as a digital marketer or business owner?
First off, Google says that voice search users frame their queries differently than text search users.
This means using long tail keywords in your content, framed in natural language, will be more important as we head into the future.
Bottom line: If you want to grab traffic coming from voice search, you have to target the keywords people are using to ask their voice assistants for information.
Search Engine Journal has some other good ideas to help you prepare for the advent of voice search:
AMP for Email: Complete Basic Web Tasks Inside Your Email Messages
Another technology getting a lot of buzz is AMP (accelerated mobile pages) for email.
Whoa, Back Up – What Is AMP?
AMP is an open-source initiative that helps web pages load much, much faster across all devices. It helps you browse the web on your phone as fast as if you were using a desktop computer.
Essentially, it helps your device bypass information and code you don’t need for mobile browsing. That way, you’re not stuck waiting for unwieldy pages to load.
In short, AMP helps create better mobile web experiences for everybody.
Accelerated Mobile Pages + Email = ???
So, what happens when you mash up AMP technology with email?
Something pretty darn amazing.
According to Google, AMP has evolved from its original purpose. Now, developers are starting to use it to create rich web pages – ones that are more interactive, easier to use, AND faster.
Google and other entities like Pinterest, Doodle, and Booking.com are experimenting with providing a web-like experience within email messages. Check out the gifs below to see it in action:
Needless to say, in the email experience you’re used to, things look a lot different.
Right now, you have to click a link inside your emails to do any of this. Those links may or may not:
- Take you to an in-app browser, which gets confusing (I have regularly forgotten which app I’m using because I’m stuck inside an in-app browser – cue frustration)
- Open an outside app, taking you away from the app you were originally using (which can also be super annoying)
In contrast to these possibilities, AMP for email lets you stay inside your email message while carrying out common actions you would normally need a browser to complete.
Photo from Google
Really cool, right?
Why You Should Care: With This Tech, Email Marketing Could Get Even Better
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. It’s one of the only avenues left where your organic reach is virtually untouched.
According to a 2016 study from eMarketer, the ROI of email marketing was a whopping 122%:
Now, imagine the power of email combined with this new AMP technology.
You could offer a richer email experience for your list, and they’d never have to leave your original message.
For those of us who champion email, that’s exciting to think about.
Bottom line: Keep your eye on AMP for email – it’s looking like it will be the next big thing to hit email marketing.
The Future of the Web Looks Good for Digital Marketers
As technology improves, the digital marketing landscape is looking more and more exciting.
This industry is changing at lightning speed, and it can be hard to keep up – but, overall, these changes are a great thing.
They’ll give us more opportunities to connect with and reach our target audiences, not to mention provide value in fresh and fun ways.
The future is looking bright.