Now that 2013 is coming to a close, it’s time to rethink your web marketing strategies to make the most out of your website and online brand for the upcoming year. A few things you absolutely should be doing in 2014 include text message marketing, pay per click advertising, responsive web design, social media and blogging.
Text Message Marketing
Text message marketing is a great way to reach your customers quickly and get their attention right on their phones. Studies have shown that 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery, so that makes them the perfect way to reach both your current and potential customers.
Text message marketing (also known as SMS marketing) is a great way to relay information about featured products, last minute deals, specials and promotional codes. Text message marketing is also a great way to get information out quickly about your business, since most text messages are opened soon after they are received. Text messages are a great tactic to add to your email marketing strategies, because using both emails and texts together allows you to send the right message at the right time to your customers. Emails from your business can contain more information and content, while SMS messages can be used for time sensitive and short messages, since they are limited to 160 characters.
Pay Per Click Advertising
If your business hasn’t yet taken advantage of Pay Per Click advertising, 2014 is the perfect time to start. Pay Per Click (or PPC) advertising is when you can buy paid listings in search results from search engines, like Google, that will appear along with the organic, non-paid search results. PPC ads appear at the very top of the search page and also along the right side of the search results.
Like the name suggests, you pay for PPC ads every time someone clicks on them. Even if your ad doesn’t get clicked on every time a search is completed for the keywords you bid on, your ad will still appear at the top of search results and generate free impressions. Impressions like this can help build your brand’s recognition and might bring these searchers to your website in the future.
A huge benefit of PPC ads is that your ads can appear in search results and help generate more traffic to your website right away. Since PPC ads can appear immediately after you activate them, they are a great way to advertise new specials, last minute deals and promotions.
Besides the regular PPC ads that you see displayed with search results, Google also offers another advertisement option through Display Network. Google Display Network lets you place ads on a variety of news websites, blogs and other websites, including YouTube, Gmail and Blogger.
Display Network allows your ads to display on websites that are relevant to your audience. You are able to target your ads based on interests, keywords, locations and demographics. Display Network even gives you the option to choose specific websites in the network that you would like your ads to appear on.
Another unique feature of Display Network is remarketing. Remarketing allows you to show your ads to people who have previously visited your websites as they are browsing other websites. Remarketing is a great way to keep your brand at the top of people’s minds even after they leave your website.
Another thing to note about PPC advertising is that more and more people are now using smartphones, and a majority of the newer mobile devices use Bing as their default search engine. Verizon actually signed a 5 year deal with Bing to be used as their default search engine on all their new smart phones. Because of this, Bing PPC advertisements are another great option to consider along with Google PPC ads, especially if your target market is mostly mobile device users.
Responsive Web Design
Since more and more people are using mobile devices to access websites, making sure your website is mobile friendly has never been more important. Mobile optimization can increase sales, generate more traffic and boost customer engagement. In fact, a study done by Yahoo found that 52% of mobile users won’t even engage with a brand that delivers a poor mobile experience. In order for your business to compete and gain new business, a mobile friendly website is a definite essential for 2014.
A great option for making your website mobile friendly is a responsive website design. Responsive websites scale down your website depending on what device the user is viewing your site on. Responsive design ensures that nothing on your website will be hidden when being looked at on smaller devices, such as smartphones or tablets. The content on the desktop version of your website is exactly what you will see when viewing on a mobile device. Since you are not losing any content from the full version of your website, responsive websites are a great way to go if you are considering optimizing your website to be mobile friendly, while still allowing mobile device users to get the information they need from your site.
Social media has a bigger impact on SEO now more than ever, and search engines are favoring websites that have social media presences. Search engines now rank websites that are active on social media higher than those that are not on social media. Also, the larger the following your business has on social media, the better it will be for your search engine rankings as well.
It has been found that 91% of local searchers say they use Facebook to find local businesses online. If your company isn’t on Facebook, you could be losing out on local business. While Facebook is the social network most likely to drive customers to make a purchase or visit your website or store, other social networks, including Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn, can help improve your search engine rankings, and therefore, your visibility. Google+ is known to have a great effect on search engine rankings, and in some cases, a company’s Google+ page will even rank higher than their website.
Social media also allows your current and prospective customers to connect with your business on a more personal level and build a relationship with you. Testimonials left by current customers on your social media networks are a great way to build trust with potential customers and give them that last push they need to make a purchase from you.
A great way to reach a larger audience on social media than just the people that already “like” your page is by using hashtags. Hashtags are frequently used on the social networks Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook also introduced hashtags to their users earlier this year. Hashtags are a way to make your posts part of a larger conversation and visible to anyone who searches for the particular hashtag. Using hashtags that are already trending is an easy way for your posts to reach a much broader audience. Businesses can also come up with their own hashtags, and followers can tag them when they are posting about the business’ products or services.
Blogging is an easy way to make routine updates to your website. Making updates to your website periodically is very important for SEO, because it is the goal of search engines to return the most useful information to users. Websites that are updated regularly become known as a good source of information to search engines, and, in turn, your rankings will increase.
Blogs can also help answer searchers’ questions. With the new Hummingbird algorithm update, Google puts more importance on, and ranks higher, websites that answer questions. If people are searching for the topic of one of your blog posts, even though your website might not rank in that search, that specific blog post could rank high in the search results.
Blogs are also a great thing to post on your social media pages to give useful information to your followers. Social media posts that feature blog posts can include a link back to your website, which is a great way to increase your referring traffic.
If you would like more information or would like to implement any of these marketing strategies for your business for the upcoming year, Faster Solutions would be happy to help you!