Online marketing is no longer just an option. Every business owner knows this; whether they’ve just launched a one-person start-up or are heading into their 30th year as CEO of a multinational conglomerate, they’re fully aware that having no web presence is merely delaying the inevitable closing of their doors.
But moving into the realm of online marketing can be an almost intimidating prospect, as it presents a whole new set of challenges and questions. Which forms of it are best for my business? Do I need social media? Should I be using AdWords? Do I just need a solid website with good SEO?
There’s an article over at Search Engine Journal that explores these types of questions a little more deeply, entitled 5 Online Marketing Trends Affecting Small Businesses Beyond 2013. It covers the areas that are a good bet for just about any business to invest their time and money into, helping create an understanding of the more generic, less industry-specific areas of web marketing that can help increase online sales.
Here’s one of their suggestions:
3. Higher Design and Usability Standards
Simply having a business website is still good enough for some companies, but there is a higher importance placed on design and usability. And in the coming years, websites optimized for the mobile experience will find a growing audience.
Consumers want fast experiences. Networks are improving, but websites and apps need to keep pace. Consumers won’t wait for a website to load. If it takes too long, there are plenty of other places they can find the same information and service.
Design and usability are no longer a complement to your marketing strategy. Design and usability are quickly becoming an essential part of marketing efforts because if users don’t like what they see they’ll leave. Make it easy for them to find what they are looking for with a fast loading site that is easy to navigate.
We’ve touched on the issue of design and functionality before, and how they can impact your online sales, so we’re glad to see it reiterated from other industry professionals. We’ve all been customers at one point or another, and we know it’s true: when we’re shopping for something online, we aren’t going to wait around for websites to load. We’ll choose the fastest, simplest, and best functioning every time, so it should come as no surprise that if that’s not you, you’ll likely start to see a decline in sales.
The article also talks about content, mobile websites, videos and social media, covering all the aspects of online marketing that just about every business can utilize. We’d recommend giving it a read if you’ve been wondering about the best approach to your web marketing strategy in the coming weeks and months.
What do you think? Did you find this list useful? Do you currently use any of these aspects of web marketing? Will you be using any new ones after reading this? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!