Let's take a quick look back at 2012 and a brief glimpse into 2013 - how have you been marketing your business online and has it been successful?
2012 has been a year where internet marketing has been dominated by social media, social signals and all things surrounding social networks. If you haven't used social media to its full potential in 2012, it's time to build and engage with an audience through Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or any other social media platform that gets you in front of, and known by, your target market.
New Year's Resolution: Create accounts, build a following and engage with your audience.
In 2012 Search engine optimisation (SEO) has seen some major changes from Google's algorithm updates. This isn't anything new as it's estimated that Google updates its algorithm around 500 times each year, but the majority of these changes will go unnoticed (unless you're affected, of course). It's only the major updates that we usually get to hear about, and Google has been making plenty of them in the last year.
Google changes the way it ranks websites in order to refine the results it gives to searchers. It's in Google's interest to provide the most relevant results, otherwise no one would use it as a search engine. The changes aim to weed out those who try to manipulate the search results and provide low quality, irrelevant results.
New Year's Resolution: If you noticed your position in Google drop on 2012, or your website visitor numbers have declined, it might be that your website has been negatively effected by Google's updates. So, make 2013 the year to get your website back on track and seek help from an SEO professional to assess where you may have gone wrong.
The use of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets is ever increasing and not something we can ignore. More and more people are accessing your website via their handheld device whether you want them to or not. This can greatly affect how a user interacts with your site and the overall experience they get from your business.
New Year's Resolution: If you've not looked at your website on a mobile phone or tablet in 2012, make sure you do it in 2013! Look at how easy the site is to view, can you see everything on the page, is the navigation/menu system easy to use and the buttons easy to press?
What will 2013 bring?
Google's certainly not going anywhere any time soon. I believe local businesses need to utilise Google+ Business pages more as Google delivers these results to searchers in specific locations and those on mobile devices.
The use of mobiles and tablets is set to increase into 2013 and beyond and so will the demand for responsive websites and mobile friendly designs, not to mention mobile apps.
Although the algorithms change, the practice of SEO remains the same - put the user first, don't do anything to deliberately manipulate the search results as this will likely negatively affect the user experience. One thing to watch out for in 2013 is Google's new Equivalency Score Algorithm, but more on that later!
Whatever you plan for 2013, make sure your website and online marketing activities are a high priority!
Happy New Year Everyone!