Now that the holidays are over and 2015 is underway, I thought it appropriate to look at what clients will want to consider going forward for the year. These aren’t so much predictions for 2015, but recommendations for boosting your small or medium sized business visibility and sales.
- Optimize Your Local Listings. Thanks to Google’s new local-focused update Pigeon, local search has evolved to be even more important to businesses with brick-and-mortar locations locally. Well-optimized directory listings are a winner for getting the first page for local queries and often appear above the Local Pack of organic results. What does that mean to you? Optimizing your directory listings—Yahoo, Yellow Pages, White Pages, Chamber, etc—is a must for this year.
- Secure Your Website. Why? Hackers are increasingly cracking code to get inside websites (i.e. the great Sony email scandal). Google introduced a proposal in 2014 indicting that the Chrome browser, which is used by 50% of internet traffic, will identify sites that are unsecure. To avoid having visitors to your website see this warning, you’ll want to want to upgrade your website from HTTP to HTTPS. There’s time to take of this—Google will implement the warnings beginning in about two years—but there’s no reason to wait.
- Optimize For Mobile Devices. Because of the increase in mobile device use, mobile optimization continues to be very important. If you haven’t upgraded to mobile or responsive designed website, now is the time to do it. Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Use Google’s Analytic Tool to test it.
- Step Up Your PPC Advertising. This means better vs. more. Pay-Per-Click advertising users are getting savvy. Good PPC ads require appropriate keyword selection, compelling copywriting, and optimized website landing pages. If you haven’t tipped your toe into PPC advertising, this could be a good year to try it. When PPC is well-managed, you don’t have to over spend to get qualified traffic to your website.
- Create and Share Videos. YouTube is owned by Google and videos hosted on the site continue to rank high in search engines. Know how to leverage YouTube videos to drive traffic to your website. That means optimization, engagement and cross promotion.
- Don’t Overlook SEO Basics. Google’s search algorithm is as sophisticated as ever, but that doesn’t mean you overlook keywords, meta titles and meta descriptions. Review these to ensure they are still appropriate for your website. Also be smart with your header tags, URL structures, internal and external linking. Update your XML sitemap and test your website.
- Pay Attention To Your Digital Content. As a writer by training, I’ve always been drawn to words. Turns out so are search engines. So, pay attention to your digital content so it drives quantifiable leads, sales and branding.
- Wearable Technology Is Around the Corner. If you’ve seen news from this year’s International CES conference in Las Vegas, wearable technology is huge. They are being touted as the next great consumer frontier and its projected that 1 in 5 people will have some kind of wearable technology in 2015. These innovations will lead to the need to optimize them…we’ll soon see voice search, real world query optimization and more microdata optimization.
Ok. So that last recommendation is really a prediction.
What are your digital marketing needs for 2015?