Although we’re already half way through January (how did that happen?) we thought you’d like to hear our thoughts on where to focus your marketing efforts this year.
1. Go mobile
“In 2014 we expect online retail sales made via mobiles to grow in the UK by 62% to a total of £7.92 bn…equivalent to 17.6% of UK online retail sales”
“Sales using tablets will grow by 100% (to £3.10 bn) and smartphone retailing is expected to grow by 44.3% to £4.82 bn”
With more of us choosing to use mobiles and tablets to buy products and services we have to seriously think about making our websites mobile friendly. This is particularly important if you sell online, in fact it’s a must. Google is also now looking at whether your website is mobile friendly when it serves up search results on mobile devices.
2. Optimise your website
SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of optimising your website so that it is returned in search results for the search queries relevant to your business, preferably on the first page of results.
It’s not optional anymore! Google changes its algorithm so often that it’s essential to keep up to date with what’s important. Whilst in basic terms it’s all about having a strong content-rich website that is relevant to search queries, there are technical aspects of any website which also need to be correct for search engines.
3. More content
We know that content is a key factor for SEO, but it’s also really important for visitors to your website. The more useful information, resources and advice that your can provide, the better your website will be viewed not just by Google but your visitors and potential customers.
If you’re not a natural copywriter, seek out somebody who is – whatever goes on your website is still marketing and represents your brand.
4. Focus on conversion
Forget focusing on how many people come to your website, what do they do when they get there? Your return on investment (in your website) is in the conversion of visits to business. Concentrate on tracking enquiry forms, sales, downloads for a true measure of success. Think quality, not quantity.
5. Work on social media engagement
This is in spite of the fact that a vast majority of companies achieved an uplift in conversion rates after implementing personalisation in one or more of their marketing channels” – EConsultancy January 2015
As consumers we increasingly expect personalised communications from our favourite brands. It’s frustrating if we receive a blanket mail shot or phone call with no reference to our profiles or preferences. Conversions will be much higher if you personalise your marketing and think about what else you can do to make your customers’ experience more relevant to them.
8. Think about user experience
To achieve any sort of conversion, your website must be easy to navigate with clear calls to action. It must also work across all platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop) without a hitch. There is a strong focus on user experience in 2015 as mobile particularly dominates our thoughts.
Use your own website regularly, test it and ask others to test it. You can also use your website analytics to see if there are any pages that have problems and have a high bounce rate for example. This could indicate that users are experiencing problems depending on what sort of page it is.
9. Start a blog
At the risk of sounding like a broken record (I say this every year!), blogging is a really good way of reaching your target audience, profiling your business as experts and Google loves them.
By their nature blogs tend to be more up to date than other web pages, which is one of the reasons search engines like them. They’re also an excellent form of content for any website and relevant whether you market to consumers or businesses.
Ideally you should blog at least a couple of times a month, more often if you can.
10. Email marketing is effective
“In 2014, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States” – eMarketer
“80.8% of users report reading email on mobile devices” – Hubspot
Although email marketing has been around for a while and might seem old hat it is an extremely effective marketing channel. For e-commerce it is critical to grow business by re-selling and cross-selling and for any business, keeping in touch with customers and potential customers raises your profile.
If you’re not already doing it, 2015 is the year to start!