The Accelerated Evolution of Web Marketing

Digital Marketing Brain

Feel like you always need to make changes or updates to your website? Wish there was another way? Well, unfortunately, you can’t get out of this one.

There was a time when you could build a website and walk away from it for a year or two. Back then, websites were online billboards for your company. People would come, read the information on your site, turn off their modem and then pick up the telephone and call you. The components you used to build it would last for years. Those days are long gone.

Websites are now living entities that are actively engaging your markets on your customer’s terms. Whether customers are using their favorite social media channel or the latest smartphone, everyone has a preference for how they use the web.

Your target user may want to hear your story through pictures, video, reviews on their favorite shopping channel, or by researching detailed specifications on your products and services. Each of these methods requires different functions from your website; and if that wasn’t enough, each of these devices and communication styles are constantly evolving at a dizzying pace.

This means the web marketing industry is ALWAYS changing. As a result, some of the strategies we recommend one year may change the next year. Our job as your partner is to ensure those changes are minimal, effective, and planned for when possible.

The changes usually fall into one of three main categories:

1. How Your Users Communicate
LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Facebook are only three of the different ways people are communicating and learning online. This year, Instagram is on the rise and Twitter is on the decline, but in 6 months it may be different.

As we are able to access more information about visitors to our sites, those users are expecting us to use their information to create an experience customized to their preferences. It is important that you are where they are and engaging them on their own terms as individuals instead of a market group.

2. Changing Device Technology
In 2016 mobile internet usage continued its steady growth and surpassed desktop usage. Mobile phones are used more than ever for searches, yet tablet devices account for the highest add-to-cart rates on e-commerce.

In response to mobile growth, Google made non-responsive sites less likely to show on mobile searches, virtually eliminating those businesses from being found by 50% of the browsing population. If your site was not mobile friendly, you vanished from searches of half of all Google users.

3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goal of search engines is to deliver websites that will answer the user’s inquiry and give them the best user experience. This includes not just relevant content, but up to date information, presented in the best way possible for that user.

The largest search engine in the world, Google, strives to deliver results that are tailored to the user’s device, communication style, and demographics. As user styles change so does Google’s algorithm. A site that has not changed becomes more dated every week and slowly moves down in search results.

Google loves frequent updates. Google and other search engines need to know the sites they recommend are staying up-to-date with their users’ expectations. Remember, the sites Google recommends are a reflection of their brand. So your site needs to be worth their recommendation and work flawlessly with the latest technology.

How Can Your Marketing Stay in Sync?
So, how can we maintain a successful digital campaign without reinventing ourselves every two quarters? The answer comes down to the following principles:

  1. Awareness
    You need to be aware of what is being replaced and what is coming to replace it. Sources that can tell you where opportunities are developing and how your customers are communicating online can be invaluable partners.
  2. Long Term Web Messaging
    While trends, fads, and the latest app can certainly come into play, the best web marketing is still based on messaging that understands what makes your customer feel fulfilled and addresses the problems they are trying to solve. A strong messaging strategy sets the foundation for campaigns across whatever channels may come.
  3. Know How to Talk to Your Customer
    The web allows users to have personal relationships with their favorite brands. Knowing how to engage your customer and talk to them “as a person” will give you the flexibility to communicate across multiple media types and keep a cohesive brand.
  4. Analyze Your Efforts and Refine
    Analytics now delivers extensive data on how your audience is interacting with your site and online campaigns in real time. Now we can watch the success (or failure) of tactics as they happen. If a trend changes, we can stand on the early analysis as proof that the original strategy worked, and use the new data to make changes.
  5. Small Consistent Changes
    By making regular small adjustments to the site and your marketing campaigns you can enjoy the advantages of being up to date and lessen the costs of larger changes when they are due. Just like your car, small adjustments and maintenance as they come up can keep you from costly overhauls later.

In digital marketing, everything has an expiration date. But with the right strategy, we can take advantage of the new opportunities without regretting the ones we took before them. It all comes down to having a communications partner you can trust to stay on top of updates and analytics, as well as your strategy.

Think your website could use a refresher? Let’s start a conversation.