A new year is here and along with 2022’s arrival comes the predictions and lists of what marketers should be focusing on for the year. Within all the articles and blog posts there’s one topic that has become a common denominator: Web 3.0.
In order to understand where the internet is heading and how to prepare for it, let's take a look back at how it got where it is today.
Web 1.0 was introduced in the 90’s and was a brand new solution to gaining access to information online. This initial iteration lacked organization and provided no true way to navigate the information or interact between users.
These large platforms grew and quickly gained control over what users were creating, taking ownership of that content, along with user data. The word trust was easily lost when data breaches and private information began being shared among the masses. Web 2.0 quickly became a creature only a few could control.
Web 3.0 is the next generation of the internet, an environment that will change the landscape of how individuals use and consume content. The building blocks for this new wave have started appearing over the last year or so. Shaping to be a decentralized internet, one where people will interact on small competing service platforms via blockchain alongside big tech companies.
This next evolution of the internet will create a space where individuals are in the driver’s seat with the ability to go anywhere in the world and not be confined to a desktop or mobile device. A world punctuated by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and dependent on the user’s goals and desires.
These developments will shake up the world of digital marketing and business strategies for brands everywhere. As we did nearly 20 years ago with the beginning of social media, we need to approach Web 3.0’s landscape dynamically as it evolves.
The future of Web 3.0 is shaping up to be unlike anything we have seen before.
“Web 3.0’s decentralized blockchain protocol will enable individuals to connect to an internet where they can own and be properly compensated for their time and data,” Forbes writes.
This next phase will focus on the individual user and their power of choice. Individuals pick how they spend their time and consume their content. Brands will have to work harder to grab an individual’s attention and keep them engaged.
At its core, SEO relies primarily on search engine algorithms. Web 3.0 has the potential to remove these organizations from the equation altogether, leading to an individualized, decentralized and focused internet where the user is the main factor, choosing where they go and how they search.
In 2021, Google controlled a little more than 92% of the search engine market share worldwide. This means that for now, as things unfold, SEO still plays a huge role in digital marketing.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for the emerging Web 3.0 and your 2022 (and beyond!) marketing plans.
Your page’s user experience will continue to send signals to search engines that affect your search rankings. The user’s first few seconds visiting your website will determine if they stay or go and how much time they spend on it.
One significant factor that affects users at the outset is your website’s load speed. Google states that if your website’s load time takes longer than seven seconds, visitors are much more likely to leave the site, causing high bounce rates.
There are many factors that impact your website’s load speed, but large image files are the most common culprit. To ensure it doesn’t hurt your website or it’s rankings, double check the file sizes of your images (aim to be under 200KB per image) and their formats.
In addition to website load speed, make sure to keep an eye on these other core web vitals: site interactiveness and staying mobile-friendly.
Core web vitals became more clear and significant factors with Google’s Page Experience Update that fully rolled out in August 2021. This update made the metrics listed above fairer and more accurate. You can measure these in Google Search Console (GSC).
All of these and more can play a role when it comes to your website’s ranking. As you work on evaluating and improving these factors, one key thing to keep in mind for 2022 is user satisfaction. This will be essential moving forward and helping your team in preparation for Web 3.0.
Your website’s content is just as important as the site’s structure and code, and the future of Web 3.0 continues in that direction. Content builds trust with your audience and shows search engines you have authority on the subject matter. If you don’t know where to start, focus on creating content built around semantic search.
When using semantic content on your website, you serve up answers encompassing the whole topic they might be searching for, instead of a few keywords. It easily connects the user’s search intent with the context of the content on your website.
Here are a few tips on how to curate specific content:
Currently, search engines are more likely to send users to your website when it has been recognized as showcasing content users find accurate and useful.
Other content a user might find helpful is user-generated content (UGC). In the Web 3.0 world, Forbes predicts the content users create will be rewarded with tokens, or virtual currency, giving them ownership of their content and a stake in the platform. This type of system would attract more users to provide content for brands.
UGC could be what is considered useful and relevant in the new internet, meaning brands will have to start implementing it into their marketing plans. The emphasis companies put on their users and their UGC will only help them be ahead of the game when the time comes.
Brands will need to step up to ensure their website is even more engaging to their audience while providing the ultimate user experience (UX). Websites need to be interactive, user-friendly and possibly three-dimensional (3D). This is where the metaverse enters the conversation.
The metaverse is another new buzzword that has been thrown around a lot over the past year. It can be described as a virtual, interactive 3D environment that mirrors our physical reality, but also provides an array of digital experiences.
This new environment has sparked interest in AR and VR within marketing departments to engage with and grow their audiences. Companies have the opportunity to expand and offer more interactive experiences for individuals and immerse them into the brand’s story.
For example, Ralph Lauren collaborated with Zepto, a social networking avatar simulation app, to take a step towards combining the virtual world with the retail industry. Ralph Lauren designed a clothing collection exclusively for Zepto user avatars to wear as they were in a virtual interactive and digital space modeled after their flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City.
“Making our product available to purchase and wear digitally and allowing consumers to experience the brand in immersive new ways is the next frontier,” said Alice Dealhunt, Chief Digital Officer, Ralph Lauren.
People are looking to experience these highly-interactive websites or environments while browsing the internet. Brands have a chance to redefine how they connect with potential customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Today, brands can add live shopping through social media platforms, 3D virtual tours of shops and much more to their marketing strategies. Improving and constructing these experiences keeps users engaged on their current websites and opens the door for what is to come in the new world of Web 3.0.
At Kuno Creative, we are always learning and staying on top of the latest trends and technology. Our team researches and tests out these new avenues to prove them helpful and innovative, all to ensure that we advise our clients on the best techniques to enhance their digital marketing strategies.