…and how your SEO plan will look like to harness your audience
Now that the summer sun and heat (!) have started to cool, the Christmas countdown has started and, dear reader, you will be pleased to know we are around 100 days away from the festive season where we are all jolly, ruddy cheeked and over-stuffed.
However, as we gear up to the time of year that the majority of our online retail businesses make their money, we take a sneaky peek in to what 2015 could offer us…
… and it seems that the next ‘big thing’ will be the growth in sales from social media. In fact, back in 2012, experts and industry commentators were predicting that by 2015, social media was going to burst in terms of increased revenue and, that the shopping experience would improve immensely over time.
It seems that someone, somewhere has been doing some number crunching too – predictions are that by the end of next year, almost half of the sales will be generated by social media and that, for online, local businesses, could be worth thousands and thousands of pounds.
And which social media platform could hold the balance…?
Love it or hate it, the social media platform’s power seem to keep growing and the numbers of consumers it is referring to businesses is set to increase. Thus far, statistics suggest that it send around 25% of referral traffic to businesses and so if you are not on Facebook, or perhaps do not harness it as much as you could, the tail end of 2014, just before the Christmas rush, could be the right time.
It seems that having a fan base on Facebook for your brand will pay dividends – 80% of your Facebook followers are likely to buy from you through your offers compared to 41% who are not your followers – the moral of this story? Start growing your fan base and offer them some great offers and discounts!
Recommendations are just as important too, so ask people to like and share as again, 70% of your followers will apparently do this, compared to ‘strangers’.
You also need to keep an eye on your competitors and check out how well you are performing on social media compared to them…
- Around ⅓ of online, small and local businesses have a Facebook page or presence
- Being on social media of this kind can also decrease marketing costs meaning your sales revenue takes less of a hit with expenses
- The reach of Facebook and many other social media platforms is huge BUT, don’t forget that it is not just there to sell at all costs! Don’t forget to have a mix of offers, discounts and interesting links and ideas.
Not the only social media platform…
But, Facebook is not the ‘be all and end all’ of online selling and sharing platforms, and whilst predictions are that its power and focus will grow in 2015, it is important to keep an eye on other predictions that could affect your local, online business;
- The ‘humble’ mobile is no longer ‘humble’ –Smartphones are everywhere and predictions are that during 2015, 50% of web traffic will be through consumers using their phones. Is your website mobile friendly? If not, you need to tap into this lucrative opportunity.
- Be social! – Just as we have talked about social signals before and how some people refute that Google takes any notice of this social signals, it seems at odds with the prediction that 2015 will see social media grow increasingly dominant in the world of search engine optimisation. Take a look at your social media presence – is it working?
- Email marketing is here to stay – But, if you think that a Facebook page and the odd Tweet will be enough, you’d be wrong! But, any email marketing you do will need to be more consumer focused, as well as personalised and targeted. This is simply because as web users, we are being increasingly bombarded with information and data.
- Real-time – We are impatient, no more so than when it comes to buying something or asking for help; predictions are that response from companies to consumers will increasingly become in real time in 2015 – none of this “we aim to respond in 5 working days…” lark!
- Content in context – We have been saying for some time now that your content needs to be of quality, with any keywords or phrases well placed within the article or post – and we have been proved right! 2015 promises to be the year that if your keyword sticks out like a sore thumb, you’ll be bounced back past page 10 in the search engine pages! You really do need to be using words and phrases in a way that is semantically correct – in other words, written and used in the right way.
Don’t get left behind in 2015…
- Search engine optimisation will be essential
- If your website is lumpy, complex to use and just s-l-o-w, then Google will take no notice of it
- Quality content that is fresh!
Don’t wait until 2015!
However, there are still 100 days to Christmas and so this is what you need to do:
ü Take a look NOW at your website and see what small maintenance ‘jobs’ can be done to refine it
ü Spruce up the content now
ü Look longer term: sort out the site for mobile
ü Use your social media platforms to good effect
ü Look longer term – get that online strategy written!