Did another panda or penguin just amble across Google? If you don't know, you should. Keeping up with online trends is essential to your small business success. However, the online world is constantly changing. Just when you think you've got it down to a science, another hummingbird flies across the digital landscape and things are topsy-turvy again. It's time to stop letting random algorithm changes on search engines control your business. You can put control of your business's online success back in your own hands by making (and sticking) to these top four online New Year's resolutions.
Deliver More Personalized Experiences
Today's online shoppers appreciate the personal touch. They like it when your website appeals to them on a personal level and appears to care about them by knowing exactly what they want and why. You can keep up with this information and integrate it into your website to give every visitor a personal experience by utilizing a professional digital marketing company. These companies collect customer information from a wide range of places on and offline, and collate it into individual customer profiles you can use to enhance your business.
Protect Your Identity
Identity theft is a continuing problem in the online and offline world. The recent data breach at Target that sent tens of thousands of customer's credit and debit card information flooding into the black market is a perfect example. Setting up anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer is a must, as is selecting complex passwords with numbers as well as letters for each site you use (and use a different password for each site). You should also sign up with an identity and fraud protection service like Life Lock. Life Lock services provide alerts if your identity is compromised and helps you keep your personal information safe. This is a must in today's digital world, especially if you're running a business.
Integrate Your Online and Offline Marketing Efforts
You want to make sure your marketing efforts are consistent across all channels, not just your online channels. Remember, your online customers are out there in the offline world, too. You want them to see the same kind of marketing messages from you in both places. If you can only reach them offline, make sure you're presenting a consistent message across all offline channels, and that those messages correlate completely with the messages on your online channels.
Integrate online and offline marketing campaigns for customers who use both methods of interacting with you, as well. This will strengthen your customer base. Have special coupons that are available online that customers can use offline and vice-versa. Don't forget scannable QR codes, either. These are still relevant and important to integrating your online and offline marketing efforts.
Move Away from SEO and Into Social Media
Google's recent changes to limit what data it lets users see regarding search volume on keywords means traditional SEO is no longer going to be effective. To get your Web presence out there, you're going to need to focus much more on social media. This is where most of your customers are spending time online, anyway. Get a social media presence wherever you can. This means Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest at a minimum. Also, Google is putting more emphasis on images in search engine results, so sites like Instagram and Pinterest can be quite important to your online marketing. Use them wisely and you'll see business success.
Author: Dave Dennehy. Dave is an SEO expert who is perfecting his smoked brisket. He hopes to win the Memphis in May BBQ contest some day