Welcome back, dear reader! I hope that you had a relaxing holiday and actually took some downtime for yourself. Ready to get back at it?
Over my holiday, I was thinking about our clients and what we’ll be doing for them in 2013. Here’s some of my thoughts on where digital marketing is going in 2013.
1. If you have a physical location, you'll have to clean up your citations.
Citations are the mentions of your business name, address and phone number on websites other than your own. It doesn’t have to include a link to your site, but it needs to be consistent and correct. Most businesses don’t worry about this, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s time consuming and finicky. But one wrong citation can lead to having the map marker for your business end up in the wrong spot, or even worse, not show up at all.
If you want to tackle this yourself, I’ll write a more extended post on how to do this in late January.
2. Pay attention to mobile.
This may be the year where more people access the interwebs via mobile devices than from desktops. I’ve seen huge jumps in mobile usage on all of our client’s sites, even the ones without a mobile-optimized experience. It’s time to go responsive or at least have a mobile experience. That doesn’t mean an app — it just means having a version of your site that provides a good mobile experience.
Boil down everything you have on your site to the basics. If you’re a restaurant and someone visits your site on a mobile device, what do they likely want? Hours, reservation form, phone number? What if you’re a lawyer? Or a manufacturer? Try to determine what your mobile visitors need and then set up your mobile-optimized experience so that it’s first.
And make your mobile site fast! No one wants to wait around for a mobile site — they’re probably visiting your site on their mobile device to kill time in the first place.
3. Think beyond Facebook.
Facebook has huge saturation already — almost complete in many markets. For example, in Edmonton, there’s 900,000 Facebook users. That’s almost the entire population of the city! Now what we’re seeing is a bit of Facebook burnout. Less people logging on regularly, less status updates, more of the same people sharing motivational quotes and silly photos all the time. I suspect that we’re past “peak Facebook” and now heading into a decline. It’s Facebook’s own fault, too — by turning off business users who have to pay for all their fans to see their posts, screwing around with privacy controls, and the recent Instagram fiasco, they haven’t done themselves any favours.
The take away from this is that you need to make sure that you’ll survive when Facebook declines. You’ve probably already noticed less traffic to your site via Facebook. What are you doing to make up the shortfall? I don’t have a good recommendation for a “new Facebook”, but I do think that it’s time to think about diversifying.
Now what we're seeing is a bit of Facebook burnout. Less people logging on regularly, less status updates, more of the same people sharing motivational quotes and silly photos all the time. I suspect that we're past "peak Facebook" and now heading into a decline.
Imagine this horror story — you’re showing up #1 on Google for a high traffic keyword, but then Google changes their algorithm (as they do, several times a day) and suddenly you’re #5? Maybe you’ll be #1 again tomorrow but who wants to live on that roller coaster? That #1 traffic was your lifeblood and now what are you going to do?
Ideally, no more than 20% of your website traffic should be from any single source. Which means that you’ll probably need a lot more sources. How about another social network? Or content marketing? Or industry directories? Or an email newsletter? And don’t forget — there really are more search engines than Google, I promise.
This year, try to be less laser focused on Google and pay more attention to the other places that bring in visitors. Ideally, the places that bring in visitors that convert. Then, get more of that. (I may have made it sound easier than it actually is, but I believe in you!)
5. Don't overextend yourself.
Downtime is important — take it! And don’t feel guilty about it. There’s nothing worse than taking some downtime for yourself and spending it all thinking “Oh, I should do that thing” or checking your inbox. Take time away. Go on a vacation. Relax. The best stuff will float to the surface while you’re unplugged and you’ll be rested and recharged enough to take advantage of it when you get back.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Go forth and have an amazing 2013!
Thanks Dana. Regarding diversifying, do you have any thoughts on helping others overcome the obsession with Google rankings? I know it’s an obsession that our industry helped to create, and now we have to push against it.
Well written Dana,
I haven’t tried twitter and Email marketing. For latter one I am pretty solid at developing. Designing is OK. Should I be serious about these two.
Any cases covered in the website regarding these two marketing ideas. It would be great if there are.