Once the dust has settled on New Years celebrations, it is easy to become a little overwhelmed by the sad reality of a full inbox, lengthy to-do list, and broken resolutions. Don’t feel too bad though, because we’ve got your online goals sorted. Our team have created a list of goals to help SMB’s make 2013 the year they generate real business from the web.
1. Benchmark your online presence
2012 was the year retailers woke up to the Internet and this trend will continue in 2013. Benchmark your website against competitors. Look at their design, where they rank in Google, their features, whether they offer online sales, chat, and a free call number. Do they have a social media presence? Is it promoted from their website and email footers? Do they have a mobile website?
With more and more Australian businesses launching websites to attract new businesses, a quick benchmark of your online presence will help set the groundwork to generate more business in 2013.
2. Audit your SEO
In the past two years, Google have released the Panda and Penguin updates to their ranking algorithm which has massively disrupted the SEO industry. Techniques which may have worked well in the past are very likely to be working against you. Audit your website and any SEO activity to make sure that you are not being penalised by Google.
An SEO audit can quickly identify what’s holding your website ranking back.
3. Make sure you measure up
If you don’t measure it, you don’t know if it is making or costing you money, and you don’t know where to put your marketing dollars. The most recent MYOB business monitor reported that 37% of Australian businesses with a website generated more leads and sales for their business. By measuring how your digital marketing is performing you can optimise your activities and join the crowd.
Make 2013 the year you start to measure your orders and lead conversion, bounce rate, and cost per acquisition.
4. Get into content marketing
Publishing content in a blog is a great way to engage customers, increase repeat visits to your website, and get the all-important social signals which tells Google to rank your website higher. According to IAB/Nielsen, 56% of consumers conduct research for products, services and retailers online before making a purchase. Blogging regularly increases your chances of being found online.
Content marketing like blogging can help you rank higher and sell more.
5. Rescue your Facebook page
Facebook is littered with business pages that are incomplete, uninteresting, or just plain out of date. Make 2013 the year you invest rescuing your Facebook page from obscurity and use it as a proper inbound marketing tool.
6. Upgrade your email to smart email
Are you one of the Australian businesses still using your ISP / POP email or an advertising supported service like Hotmail? Next generation email like Microsoft Exchange offers collaboration tools, contact management, and is designed to work on your smartphone.
Make 2013 the year you step into the future with an email and collaboration tool like Microsoft Exchange.
7. Get your Google+ business page
After a spectacular but somewhat shaky start, Google+ is quickly developing into a must for businesses who want to rank in Google. By merging Google Places into Google+, offering social tools with Google+ business pages, and throwing their search weight behind it, Google+ is now a must for all businesses who want to manage their brand online. Just don’t take my word for it, some businesses offer a discount if you ‘+” them on Google+.
Being on Google+ can help your business rank higher.
8. Protect and secure your digital brands
Getting your digital brand strategy right is critical for a business seeking to make sales online. Losing a domain name can kill the reputation of your business. In December 2012, Fresh Direct, a major US online retailer, had their website go down because their domain name expired. Very embarrassing. Similarly, not protecting your brands from hijackers by registering domain names is a massive threat to your online marketing strategy. Chuck Hagel, a former US Senator recently nominated for US Secretary of Defense was the target of a hijacking by political opponents who registered chuckhagel.com as part of their campaign against him. Imagine if one of your competitors did something similar.
Make 2013 the year you protect and secure your digital assets.
What are your online goals for 2013?