Internet marketing is a field that changes rapidly. This is often to the benefit of marketers and business owners, because it gives us new ways to reach customers and gain their attention. However, this also makes it important to constantly update websites and marketing tactics to keep up with the most effective trends. Much has changed in just the past year, so before the new year arrives, business owners should have an idea of what changes they will need to make. To help business owners prepare, here are four changes business will need to make in 2015.
Switch to HTTPS
Cybersecurity is something that concerns business owners and consumers alike. Business owners need to take steps to make sure that the people who visit their site have confidence in the security of their data. During the past year, a lot of consumers have become aware that information sent via a standard http site could be intercepted by a third party, which makes a standard HTTP site insufficient for retail sites in the coming year. Google has made it their personal mission of sorts to spread HTTPS throughout the web by giving sites that use HTTPS an SEO boost. There is even a proposal on the table to label sites without HTTPS as “Non-Secure” when viewed on Google Chrome browsers. The simple truth is that HTTPS will become the new standard by the end of the year. Not just for Google, but for what people look for before they enter their credit card information. To not make the switch is to risk losing market share as customers gravitate to sites they know are more secure.
Update Your Mobile Site
In the past, many marketers treated their mobile site as secondary to their main site. The mobile site existed, but it was just there for the few people who want to use it. In 2015, just about everyone will want to see the mobile site. Throughout 2014, there were situations where mobile has shown huge growth from the previous year. Most recently, mobile sales have dominated much of the holiday shopping. Business owners can expect more of the same next year. Improving the mobile site so it’s easier to use, has more features, and helps customers on the go will increase traffic and sales (online and in-store). Before working on a major overhaul, business owners can test for themselves how well their mobile site works by using a new tool from Google. Similar to HTTPS, Google will begin marking sites that are mobile friendly with the search from results for mobile browsers and it may even become a ranking factor. So businesses have a many reasons to make sure their mobile site is up to snuff in the coming year.
Use Internet Ads for Local Marketing
Using the internet for local ads used to be tricky. It’s always been possible to put ads in certain geographic area (like a state or county), but it was difficult to fine tune for very specific locations or specific target audiences within small areas. There have been a lot of advances in 2014 in this regard and internet ads are more effective than ever at targeting specific target audiences in very specific locations. Mobile devices make it possible to serve ads to people when they are in a certain area. Facebook has taken advantage of this to create Local Awareness Ads that can target target audiences when they are in a certain radius of a particular location. Marketers should use ad formats like these to promote restaurants and boutiques. Similarly, social media and mobile devices make it easier to create profiles for users that advertisers can use to get the right ads to the right people. For instance, Facebook and Google both have a treasure trove of data on their users, which is anonymous to advertisers, but still effective in finding people with certain interest, buying habits, etc.
Better Integrate Social Media into Campaigns
Social media changes rapidly and marketers need to do their best to integrate social media effectively in their marketing campaigns. More and more, people are learning about products, brands, and websites from their friends on social media. By better integrating social media into websites, blog posts, email marketing and more, business owners can exponentially expand the range of their marketing efforts. Many of the large social networks added new tools to their platforms that marketers should integrate into their campaigns in the following year. For example, Twitter has added new functions to their platform that make it easier for businesses to remarket tweets to people who visit their site, buy Amazon products from the user’s Twitter feed, and special Twitter Offers for credit card users. And Facebook recently added a new feature to cover photos. There’s too much happening on each platform to discuss them all, so it’s important for marketers to keep up with the latest updates from social platforms to make sure they aren’t missing out on new techniques.
As 2015 draws near, marketers need to plan for how they will make next year better than this one. By updating their website and marketing techniques, business owners can improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and increase their market share within their industry.