Search engine marketing (SEM) dominates today’s marketing landscape, and with good reason. According to Search Engine Land, Google alone processes at least 2 trillion searches per year, a massive increase from the roughly 365 billion searches Google processed in 2009. As more people are relying on the internet for more and more answers, marketers have a greater incentive to improve their search engine marketing tactics in order to improve their brand’s visibility.

As opposed to search engine optimization (SEO), which relies on increasing your site’s organic search rankings over time by publishing and sharing content, search engine marketing allows you to pay to cut straight to the first search result page. But while the tactic is simple in concept, marketers have a number of ways in which they can execute a search engine marketing campaign.

Let’s take a look at the latest search engine marketing trends of 2016: 

1. Search Engine Marketing Goes Mobile

Based on 2015 data from Global Web Index, smartphones are the second most popular device used to search the internet, just after PCs and laptops. It’s also important to note that other devices such as smart TVs and smart watches are emerging as a popular search method as well. With this in mind, marketers should make sure their search engine marketing campaigns shift toward mobile users, by using a service such as mobile AdWords campaigns.

2016 search engine marketing trends

2. Use of Video Ads in Search Engine Marketing Grows

According to a 2015 study from Searchmetrics, videos appear in 14% of universal searches, with 82% of those results being YouTube videos. Bing and Yahoo were the first search engines to test promoted video ads in their search results pages. More recently, Google has been experimenting with video advertising in search results through AdWords. The campaign, called TrueView, engages your audience on YouTube and across the web. As a marketer, you may want to consider taking advantage of video-based search engine marketing campaigns, and a good place to start is with Google’s tips for creating effective video ads using TrueView.

3. Optimizing Search Engine Marketing for “Digital Assistants”

Digital assistants like Siri, Google Now, and Cortana may soon replace typed searches altogether. As consumers move toward more mobile search, more people are using their digital assistants for answers. In May of this year, Google announced that 20 percent of mobile queries were voice searches. Digital assistants provide information quickly by browsing the web for the most relevant and simple answer, and they usually find these answers from Google’s Knowledge Panels. Knowledge Panels are the boxes that appear when a user searches for a particular business. In order for your business to appear in the Knowledge Panel, and thus, have better luck when people use voice search, take steps to improve your local search rankings. This includes entering complete data with your Google account, verifying your location, managing reviews, and adding photos.

2016 Search Engine Marketing Trends

Google’s Knowledge Panel for a Chocolatier

Does your business need help with their SEM or SEO strategy? Feel free to contact Young Marketing Consulting for assistance on all of your marketing needs.