According to a recent report released by eMarketer the total online advertisement spending directed toward desktop ads is expected to peak in 2014. This year the estimated budget for desktop paid ad spending should reach $34.29 Billion, after an expected increase next year, however, the report anticipates spending in this area will begin to drop. This is due, in large part, to the fact that people are rapidly moving away from their desktops and towards tablets and smartphones. Due to the increased functionality on these devices, people are also doing more and more of their shopping on these devices as well, which attracts the advertisers.
So, what does that have to do with SEO strategies for marketers going forward? More than some might think actually. With the continuing trend of people moving toward mobile devices it will no longer be good enough to simply find a page on the first page of the SERPs for a keyword. Many mobile devices display fewer results above the fold, which means the 4,5 and 6 positions in the SERPs will likely see reduced traffic.
In addition, some experts suggest (though no study is currently available on this that I’m aware of) that people searching from mobile devices will tend to type in shorter search phrases. This will reduce the effectiveness of some long-tail keywords, thus further increasing the competition for high quality keywords across virtually every niche.
While this might seem like a problem to smaller marketers, there are some options available which may make it possible to remain competitive. First, mobile search uses more precise geographic information in most cases, and that is only expected to improve. While on a PC someone might search for “City Name + Dog Trainers”, individuals on a smart phone can harness the power of a GPS to narrow the search results to specific areas within the city.
Whatever the future holds for online advertising, SEO and marketing it is clear that there will continue to be a lot of money to be made by marketers who can get their products in front of searchers. Whether that is by increasing their paid search budgets or by improving their SEO strategies, online marketing is only going to get more competitive, and more lucrative in the future.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you use paid search for desktops? If so, are you planning on shifting to more mobile focused marketing over the next year or two? You can see the full report from eMarketer here.