Digital Roundtable – Trends for 2022

Jan 10th, 2022

At Click Consult, we feel it’s important to discuss the future, and hold regular digital roundtables – during which, our award-winning teams look into their figurative crystal balls to see what changes might occur over the next 3, 6 or 12 months.

As we settle back to the new year “norm”, looking ahead over the next few months is a priority, and enables teams to create plans around expected trends. Of course “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” but being prepared for any anomalies during 2022 will help you circumvent anything unexpected.

It’s important to remember that the 2021 predictions are still relevant now and in the future, however, here’s what our teams had to say about 2022… 

Something that came up on last year’s roundtable is user experience (UX). It’s a critical trend that we don’t think will ever be omitted from our predictions, but remains as possibly the most important consideration for brands.

Andrew Whyman, our Senior Organic Search Executive said that “2022 will see a continued push for a more streamlined/optimised browsing experience”, meaning that overly-complicated websites may be left behind in favour of simplicity and speed. Currently, sites are so large that they cause bloat, and slowdowns while having the properties of an app, which is somewhat ironic due to the fact that, years ago, it was proposed that native app developments for websites were going to be the next big thing, due to the various issues with the usability of the mobile web.

However, due to the slow progress of corporate websites and the difficulty of wholesale change, many large websites have become bloated mishmashes of new and legacy code and technology which is damaging performance and UX.

As Google will increase the pressure on brands to deliver a better experience for users, it’s imperative that corporate websites keep up with the changes, rather than being forgotten they will need to invest in updating their web presence to bring it in line with modern user expectations and Google’s requirements.

As well as UX being at the forefront of business’ minds, GA4 is also set to make some waves this year. While many shudder at the thought of an update, those savvy enough to transition (or at least prepare transitioning) from GA3 to 4 earlier on are more likely to reap the benefits of the changes.

With the inevitable loss of third-party cookies on Chrome – perhaps in 2023 now, we’ve had to look closely (even more so) at GDPR in order to gather first party data. However, Will Dixon, Head of Paid Media believes that:

Audience Based targeting is going to be key, match types are becoming more blurred and making sure you’re showing at the correct query time for both the search intent and user journey is going to be more important

Picture of Will Dixon and his quote

With Google’s federated learning set to replace third-party cookies, and to be GDPR compliant, it seems that audience targeting will replace segmentation of old (Device, Match Type etc.). For 2022, creating audits of your GoogleAds accounts and testing new processes will be pivotal – and the sooner done, the better.

Will also talked about “responsive search ads” (RSAs) and the phasing out of expanded text ads (ETAs).

Building and testing RSAs and ad groups before the end of ETAs will more-than-likely ensure a successful 2022. But, as ever, preparation is key and it will require adjustments to how accounts are managed.

Our Marketing Director, Andrew Smith, considers that “TikTok will climb the list of the top ten social media platforms and get bigger for businesses”, however businesses need to be savvy enough to stay on top of trends. Brands will need to assess whether their tone of voice is consistent with expectations on the platform – and whether they’re prepared to stretch guidelines to fit the medium.

Andrew Smith picture and quote

With snackable content becoming the “go-to” for people engaging with brands, YouTube has been given a ‘new lease of life’, but as the social platform may take inspiration from TikTok (similar to Facebook ‘borrowing’ features from Snapchat) it is important to remember that quality content trumps quantity.

Since its purchase by Microsoft in 2016, LinkedIn has added a swathe of new features and functions for businesses, freelancers and for recruitment. This includes creator mode, new analytics, live video, and a growing Gen-Z audience. So it remains the go-to platform for B2B brands in 2022.

Relevancy in link building is becoming more crucial, due to various algorithms becoming better at understanding pages and websites and therefore better judges of the relevance of outbound and inbound links. Companies should aim to build their campaigns around earning relevant links rather than a quantity of links.

Final Thoughts

2022 will likely be a year of relevancy, transparency and evolution for brands. Being prepared for changes will only improve on what you’re already doing and ensure great campaigns inline with Google updates.

For an in-depth look at our predicted trends of 2022, you can download our eBook

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