These Are Safe Predictions Because They Really Are Obvious
2015 is going to be an interesting year for marketers. Based on what I’ve seen over the years and my decade-long+ experience with online marketing, I think there are going to be a lot of changes – which means opportunities!
When you are thinking about planning your online marketing for 2015 give some thought to these 6 online marketing predictions that are sure to be more significant factors in 2015 and beyond.
Prediction #1: Guest Post Links Will Not Be As Effective for Gaining Position in Search
This was a method for gaining backlinks that once worked well. It still can work and if you are a blogger and a quality writer with something to say then guest posting is still a good idea.
It is just that it will not work as well. Google is now more wary about the guest posting approach to link building.
Another part to this prediction is that this will make link building only harder.
Action: Define as many strong and proper ways as possible to gain incoming links. One way to develop links in 2015 is to create something of significant value on your website so that people will want to link to it.
Prediction #2: SEO Will Be More Difficult
The search engines are getting better all the time at detecting poor content. We want them to get better. The better they are the better our search results will be and this makes it better for us (as searchers).
How do you win the search engine optimization (SEO) competition when it gets harder and harder to win? This prediction means that you have to focus on creating delightful content and you need to promote this wonderful content.
A static website with boring, out-dated content is a lost cause and will not lead to success in 2015 and beyond. If you have a boring out-dated and static website then expect to lose position in search in 2015.
Action: Define your audience precisely. Build a great site / blog for them. Think of this superb site as a container and fill it with content that your audience desires. Help them to solve their problems with your content. Educate them. Entertain them. Wow them with photos. Be creative and fill up your website container with valuable and interesting content.
Prediction #3: Blogging and Social Media Will Become Knotted Together
Why are some blogs so popular and others not popular at all? Some of it has to do with content but much of the popularity has to do with social leverage. If you want to make something happen in your community it is always easier when you get a couple of influential people to help you. If you get a powerful influencer on board with your project then things start to happen (almost like magic). This is also true online.
Action: Identify influencers and collaborators in the online space pertinent to your business and then work with these people to build up your own social media marketing leverage.
Prediction #4: Marketing Budgets Will Shift
Successful businesses will become more creative and learn how to use experts as additional resources. If a business does not have in-house expertise then it needs to find it. For example, if a business does not have an in-house writer then define a super external copywriter and make him or her part of your expert team. Another example would be that if a company does not have the in-house resources to properly execute social media marketing then find a pro to help.
You need to develop expert resources externally or gain the expertise in-house to best leverage social media marketing channels. If you don’t then you may fall behind. If you fall too far behind then you may not catch up.
Also, do not be afraid to test and experiment. No one knows exactly what to do. Let’s be real. The online marketing world is a big and fast paced place. Be willing to experiment and then build upon what works.
Action: Define what you need then establish a team of committed and capable individuals.
Prediction #5: The Winners Will Work on Conversion Optimization
Traffic is great. Targeted traffic is even better. However, traffic that does not convert is not that valuable.
Has your website or blog been optimized for conversion?
This is an area of marketing that has been significantly underutilized. It has been neglected to the point where very few marketing “experts” even know how to do it.
This special skill set will see higher demand in 2015 as companies realize that to gain search position and traffic is harder and harder and therefore they better work to optimize conversion.
Imagine that you have 1000 visitors per month and only 1.5% of them convert. This conversion rate would yield 15 customers. Conversion optimization would focus on increasing the conversion rate. Imagine doubling the conversion rate from 1.5% to 3%. This may be a better deal and more effective to top-line revenue than working hard to double your traffic from 1000 to 2000.
Conversion optimization will provide an increase in top line revenue and can reduce costs because your online operations are more efficient. With conversion optimization a business can win at the top line and at the bottom line.
Action: Find a pro that can help you optimize your conversion rate.
Prediction #6: Reviews Will Become More of a Factor
Google is now starting to display reviews in the search results. For companies with good reviews this is great! If you have few or no reviews then you are vulnerable. For companies with bad reviews it will become more of a struggle to be displayed high in the search results. Moreover, even if you are displayed in the search results (now, along with the bad reviews) new business will not be attracted and in fact may turn away.
When you think about it then it makes sense. Google wants to display the best results for its customers it can manage to display. Since reviews are a measure of company performance then it makes sense to factor reviews into the search position judgment criteria.
Action: If you know that you have some clients that love your business but they have not written a review then ask them. You may not get it otherwise and to gain some nice reviews will help you with your marketing and your search position.
2015 is going to be an interesting year. 2015 will be a year of opportunities. Don’t ever be afraid of change. Instead, learn to adapt. In addition, if you can adapt before your competition, more opportunities will be available to you.
Here is a Prezi version of the Blog Post.