Why your New Year’s Resolution should be to get your online marketing in order.

2011 saw a huge amount of progress in the digital world, with a vast number of changes and developments being made across search engines, online advertising, social media and mobile. We’ve seen the introduction of Google+, Twitter advertising, a Facebook overhaul, a barrage of tablet releases, major search engine algorithm updates and the widespread appearance of QR codes. But why is this relevant to your company?

In short: a very strong increase is continuing in internet, tablet and smart phone usage – i.e. more people are going online. Therefore, in 2012, that’s where you need to be.

Search Engines
The past year has seen Bing and Yahoo battle (not very successfully) to increase their market share against Google, and Google has made several changes to its appearance and search algorithm. Much more importance is now being placed on your website’s content and Google has made Maps listings more prominent in location-specific search results. With more people than ever using search engines to locate businesses’ websites and premises, they are an essential place to be visible.

Pay Per Click
In 2011 Google added paid adverts to the bottom of its search results pages (having only previously been at the top and on the right hand side) and made the paid adverts less clearly distinguishable from natural results. So, as search engine usage rises, PPC is a fantastic way to make your business visible on the search engines in a quick and targeted manner.

Social Media
With the introduction of Google+ and a Facebook redesign, social media continues to be an expanding online hub. Many businesses have tested the water without a full understanding or strategy, however, with a thoroughly planned, creative, integrated and structured approach, social media can be of great benefit to your business, and now is an ideal time to make a whole-hearted move into social media.

Last year saw tablets steal many headlines as Apple, Blackberry, Amazon, Samsung (and many, many more) all battled to establish themselves in the market. Meanwhile, the number of smartphone users has dramatically risen, boosted by the release of the iPhone 4S and popular competitors from the likes of Samsung. The implication for businesses is that more people are now online on-the-go and so businesses must be visible on-the-go too. Mobile search and mobile PPC aren’t necessarily the same as what you see on desktop computers and it is essential that you either have a mobile optimised website or a purpose built mobile site to ensure visitors can view and use your website properly. Furthermore, QR codes are popping up on adverts of all shapes and sizes, pushing viewers of offline media to the online.

So make a New Year’s resolution to ensure your business is heading online in 2012, as that’s where you customers will increasingly be.

Paul Jackson

Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

With almost a decade of experience in digital marketing, both in-house and agency-side, Paul is a CIM qualified Chartered Marketer with expertise and a refreshing approach. Paul’s experience with a diverse mix of brands in a wide range of industries has allowed him to see first-hand the importance of a tailored and business-oriented approach to marketing.