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Since everyone is dialing down for the impending holiday season, we figured that it would be a good time to layout three important trends you’ll see evolve in 2016, and because it’s almost Christmas we’ll throw in another one for free.

Automation Is Key

In the past, a lot of daily work revolved around some version of data entry. It could be coding a website, changing bids in AdWords one keyword at a time, building reports in Excel from scratch or any other number of repetitive tasks.

Now, work can be done with the clever application of automating softwares. For example, AdWords has expanded their script function; this allows marketers familiar with JavaScript the opportunity to create programs, which can manage bids and reporting for you. This means that more time can be spent growing the account, not just keeping it chugging along.

In 2016, look for areas on your website that take up a disproportionate amount of time. It could be a clunky CMS that takes forever to publish, or maybe a web page that needs to be hand coded; these will all make great candidates for automation.

Mobile Will Continue To Grow … Duh

This topic has been hammered to death a bit. We all know that mobile is the future, as is responsive web design.

Instead, look a little beyond mobile phones. With Apple’s critically acclaimed iPad Pro as well as alternatives like the Surface Pro, mobile tablets are getting bigger. With this increased size and more powerful hardware behind them, they can do a lot of the work once taken up by laptops and desktops.

As 2016 goes on, we’ll likely see an increased reliance on tablets as pure work machines. For your website it means that you’ll have to develop more towards a greater range of screen sizes. Also, as a variety of mobile devices replace static laptops and desktops, ecommerce elements will need to be compatible with the new devices.

Your Customers Will Rely on Web Presence More Than Your Website

It used to be your website was all that mattered. Then social media popped up, and you were expected to maintain a presence there as well. We are now seeing the next stage in that development.

Customers are relying on third-party websites to gauge your reputation. Once a staple for restaurants, Yelp and the reviews within it, have essentially become the default mark of quality for all types of businesses. A bad review could push customers towards the competition. While a good one reinforces the reputable image you’ve put so much energy into creating.

In addition, services like Google My Business are pushing more and more data to the front page of Google. Need directions to a business? Just Google it; the address will pop up in a handy map on the front page. This small change means that there is less of a need for potential customers to visit your website in the first place.

In 2016, you should take some time to ensure that your overall web presence is optimized. Make sure that you are on review sites and that your professional/business profiles are up-to-date and accurate. These simple steps will go a long way in ensuring that your customers can find you and trust your products.

We Will All Become Robots

What do you think? How will your web presence change in 2016? And, will the robots take over?