The online space is constantly evolving with new updates, new platforms and changing consumer patterns, all of which result in tons of opportunities to have your business found online.
Businesses should have a plan that identifies their customers, their goals, and the strategies on how they will achieve them. This should be reviewed frequently to measure results and identify, and capitalise on, these opportunities.
Five trends and the ways businesses can make sure they are making the most of their online presence this year:
People research everything… and want it now
People expect to find out what they need straight away and are more likely to engage with customised information based on where they are, their demographic and their stage of the consumer journey. An example of the rapidly changing online world is the way consumers are now researching everything online – from toothbrushes to salt. Picking up a device and researching the information you need is so easy these days, and it turns out there’s no decision too small to research. In the past two years, there has been a 375% increase for “best” searches for salt, and a 165% increase in searches for “best” water bottles.
Search interest in “open now” has tripled in the past two years, proof that the impatient consumer is making decisions faster than ever before and expecting to act on those decisions instantly.
Top tip: Make sure your Google My Business listing is claimed, verified, completed and up to date – and check on it every six months. It’s free and is “online 101” in terms of first steps.
Make it phone friendly
For businesses out there who think their customers only view their website on a computer, you’re wrong. Mobile website traffic already outpaces desktop traffic, and in 2018, mobile information consumption including voice searches will continue to grow.
Top tip: Your online presence should be designed for mobile interactions, with the correct types of information included to be found in mobile search.
It’s not all about the likes
When it comes to social media, it’s easy to get caught up in how many people “like” your page. If you are worrying about the number of likes, then you are concentrating on the wrong thing. Instead, start worrying about the reach, engagement and conversion rates.
Top tip: Engage with your audience and reply to all comments; you will improve your brand’s reputation and help build a loyal community.
Artificial intelligence isn’t just for the future
It can be easy to think of artificial intelligence as a concept for “in the future” but the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is growing, particularly in the form of advanced customer targeting. There are already many ways to use AI in online ad platforms like Facebook and Google, including tools like re-marketing, interest targeting and lookalike audiences.
Top tip: Make the most of advanced online ad targeting features to ensure you’re reaching an audience that is most likely to engage.
Hard to believe, but there are still plenty of businesses out there that haven’t yet made a start online. If you haven’t taken the plunge or have just dabbled in an online presence, it’s time to take it more seriously – be it upskilling, hiring someone in your business with digital marketing skills or working with an online marketing agency.
Top tip: Consider your online presence as an essential part of your marketing strategy, rather than an optional add-on.
Whether you are a business that sells holidays or a business that sells socks, you need to be using online tools to market your business. Get in touch to find out how, and for a free consultation.