SEO 2017: 8 Crucial Rules For Dominating Google's Search Results

by R.L. Adams 

From its earliest days, Google’s core search algorithm offered the most relevant and most organic search results quickly and accurately on a simple site with an iconic logo that has now become synonymous with the search giant’s business. Searching amidst the world’s vast data, Google cleverly cataloged and categorized pages using its PageRank formula, which assessed the the quantity and power of links to any given webpage.

For a few years, Google’s search worked seamlessly, repeatedly predicting the most relevant search results every single time, again and again. In fact, it was so good that it sent shockwaves through the internet, digitally obliterating its rivals over time. However, as Google’s clever search engine grew into a colossus corporation, and both individuals and businesses realized the inherent power of appearing organically at the top of any search, things began to change.

The changes occurred at the behest of some unscrupulous characters who were hell-bent on gaming the system. With so much money at stake, do you really blame them? Once they learned the majority of the rules, they began poking and prodding Google’s innards by building massive link farms and content farms, spinning low-quality articles, and auto-generating links in an effort to outgun other listings and secure the top spots on Google’s lucrative Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

As a result, Google introduced several now-infamous adjustments to its algorithm that went by the names of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, just to name a few. As the less-than-savory characters began dominating Google’s search by supposedly gaming the system, Google had to act or risk losing its relevancy. These algorithm adjustments were intended to both weed out the spoofs and scammers, while also fine-tuning its semantic search.

7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO

Google the term “Is SEO dead?” and what comes back in return is over 44 million references including the aptly titled article of the same name by fellow Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers. In his article DeMers shares a conversation he had with Sam McRoberts, CEO of VUDU Marketing and a widely published expert in the SEO field.

When queried if in fact SEO  is dead, McRoberts said “SEO is far from dead” but added the caveat that “it’s changed so drastically that people really need to learn to think of it as less of a marketing tactic, and more of a branding play.”

Not sure I agree with that assessment but regardless of that and contrary to what you may have read recently, organic search engine optimization is far from dead.

In fact, many companies, including the London based SEO agency – Go Up, are making a renewed commitment to investing into developing solid, SEO optimized web infrastructure that is search-engine friendly, given the engines’ continued commitment to improving their algorithms over time.

It still works – First and foremost, the techniques employed to improve SEO still work. Even though data regarding organic traffic from Google was pulled fairly recently, the techniques themselves remain sound. Plenty of SEO case studies performed post-Hummingbird can verify this. Joshua Guerra, CEO of marketing firm BIZCOR says “As long as you are focusing on optimal user experience while performing methodic SEO strategies, you will be rewarded with higher positioning and organic traffic.”

  1. It is not going to stop working any time soon – Based on the way search engines appear to be developing, it is not likely that SEO will cease to be effective any time in the foreseeable future. On some level, even audio and video searches ultimately depend on keywords the same as traditional text-based content; this link ensures the continued success of SEO techniques as long as it exists.
  1. It is cost-effective – Compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good ROI. While PPC may drive more revenue and social media may be more important for your image, your organic SEO in many ways remains a bedrock of your online presence.
  2. Search engines grabbing more market share – Somewhere between 80-90% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase, and this number is only expected to increase. It won’t be long before virtually everyone is searching for products and services online. Do you want them to be able to locate your business, or not?  Without organic SEO in place, people will have a very hard time finding you and will instead find your competitors.
  3. Rise of mobile bandwidth and local search optimization – Later this year, the amount of traffic delivered to mobile devices is expected to exceed that delivered to traditional desktop devices. With this dramatic explosion in mobile usage, a whole new world of effective SEO techniques have opened up for companies, such as local search optimization.
  4. Not having a healthy content profile is damaging – With each and every update to its search algorithm, Google and other engines change the way they look at websites. Things which didn’t exist a few years ago, such as social media indicators, are now given fairly high importance in terms of their impact on your rankings. Not building a healthy content profile spread out months and years is potentially damaging to your business, as it is one of the factors Google evaluates when looking at your site.
  5. Your competitors are doing it – “Remember, SEO is a never-ending process,” says Jason Bayless, Owner of BestSeoCompanies.com, a website which tracks and ranks the efficacy and service of many of the nation’s leading SEO providers. “If you’re not moving forward and improving your position, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. That’s a simple fact of how the process works.”  Don’t let your competitors out maneuver you by ignoring this valuable tool for your business.

Investing in organic SEO is more important now than ever before, despite the current difficulty everyone finds themselves facing regarding the lack of organic keyword data and traffic. Your business definitely needs to have an SEO strategy in place if you are interested in succeeding in terms of online marketing; it remains one of the single most important components of any organization’s branding efforts and online presence.

Source: Google Images

How To Optimize Adwords Campaigns

Have you ever wondered if there could be a better way to optimize your AdWords campaigns?

With all the advice out there on the internet, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. And you probably don’t know who you can really trust.

“Are they really giving their top secrets? Or did this company just churn out yet another PPC article?”

And no doubt, you stand to gain a lot from optimizing AdWords. In fact, 55% of B2B marketers say that it’s their most effective paid advertising method.

That’s why, in this article, I’d like to share with you some of our best battle-tested tips. We’ve got our AdWords optimization strategies down to a science through years of trial & error.

Read on and follow these steps to steal some of our best tips and tricks, so you can start tweaking your AdWords campaigns towards a higher ROI.

AdWords Optimization Begins With Alignment

If you get one takeaway from this article, it’s this: Proper AdWords campaign management begins with alignment.

Specific keywords searched should be directly related to the ad copy and landing page.

Any small discrepancy in this sequence can throw users off the “scent” trail to your conversion goal, resulting in fewer leads & sales.

Thus, it’s important to create custom ads and landing pages to match specific keywords.

Have Proper Tracking

The most common mistake we see when we examine accounts is the lack of proper tracking.

Without proper tracking, how are you supposed to know what’s working and what’s not?

Knowing all the numbers is crucial if you want to identify and root out the campaign elements that are draining your budget.

For example, we’ve found accounts that ran non-converting keywords for months. And they didn’t turn them off because they weren’t tracking their converting keywords.

That’s basically throwing your budget down the drain.

Here are two steps you should take to fix this:

  1. Make sure proper analytics installed so that you can track every crucial campaign metric, from CTR to conversions.
  2. Find keywords that have never converted and turned a profit for the last 3 months. Either pause them until you can target these terms more effectively or delete them altogether.

One last tip: Make sure you have worked out the lifetime value of your average customer so you know exactly how much you canspend to acquire a new customer. If you haven’t made this calculation, chances are you are either over or under-spending on your campaigns.

Create Highly, Relevant Landing Pages

Inexperienced (or lazy) advertisers often send their ad traffic to one generic homepage.

There are two big reasons why this lowers conversions and wastes money:

  1. The copy on the web page visitors land on isn’t congruent with what they searched for.
  2. Unnecessary elements and links on the page distract the reader and lower conversions.

For example, let’s say a pet owner searches for “organic cat food.” But she gets a landing page that shows non-organic cat food. Think she’s going to stick around & search for the “organic” section of the site?

More likely, that prospect is going to close your website & buy from your competitor, who served her a landing page with organic-only cat food options.

Because here’s the harsh truth: People want a specific, unique tailored experience to fit their needs. If it isn’t as convenient as possible for them, they’ll leave and find a competitor who delivers.

Not to mention landing pages that don’t “deliver” tend to have a higher bounce rate. A high bounce rate leads to a lower quality score in AdWords, which lowers ad position and increases how much you pay. It’s a vicious cycle.

The good news? There are plenty of tools that do this for you, so don’t have to create a ton of landing pages yourself. Examples include Unbounce, Instapage & Wishpond.

Among other features, these services automatically change the words in your landing page headlines to match a user’s search query.

Tighten Up Your Ad Groups

Having too many keywords that are not specifically related clustered together in one ad group can lead to a lack of “congruency.” This lowers campaign quality scores, lowers conversion rates & generally makes advertising on Google a lot more expensive.

Instead, aim to have a relatively small number of tightly-themed keywords per ad group. And make sure all the keywords are really related in topic.

For example, let’s say you are a B2B software company. You could have an ad group with keywords about a specific topic like:

  • “Automating accounting processes”
  • “How to automate accounting”
  • “Accounting automation”

Notice how all these keywords are specifically wrapped around the topic of accounting automation.

Move keywords that aren’t specifically related to each other to another ad group. Examples might include:

  • “Software for non-profit”
  • “Non-profit software”
  • “Software for automation”

In this case, you’ll notice that one of these keywords is not like the others. The first two are focused on users searching for software for non-profits. The third is purely focused on automation software. To better target this keyword, you should “peel and stick” this keyword into a new ad group, ideally in a new campaign focused on more general “software automation” terms.

Keeping ad groups organized like this will also help you identify high and low-performing keywords more easily, both by ad group set & individual keyword level.

Improve Your Keyword Targeting

Improving keyword targeting is one of the best ways to uncover new opportunities in AdWords.

To win at the AdWords game, you’ve got to be very intentional and specific in the keywords you initially target. Then, constantly analyze their performance over time to improve or cut losers and double down on your winners.

Here are some specific steps you can take to keep improving your keyword targeting and performance:

Keep Adding Negative Keywords

Imagine this:

You do a Google search for “plastic pink barbecue tongs.” But you get served an ad for red, stainless steel barbecue tongs instead. Are you going to buy what that advertiser is offering? Didn’t think so.

To avoid falling into a similar trap in your own campaigns, you must proactively add negative keywords to avoid showing up for (and paying for) irrelevant searches.

As a quick refresher, negative keywords prevent your ad from showing up whenever users run a search with those terms included.

For instance, if you’re selling B2B eCommerce software, you probably wouldn’t want to pay for the search phrase “free B2C software for eCommerce.”

So you would add “free” and “B2C” into your negative keyword list on AdWords.

Target Keywords With High Commercial Intent

If some of your keywords aren’t converting, it’s possible that they are targeting buyers at the wrong stage of the buying cycle.

To get the best possible returns from your AdWords campaigns, target keywords with high commercial intent. High-intent terms target searchers at a later stage in the buying decision process who are more ready to buy.

You can infer intent based on the user’s query. For example, someone who searched “free info on b2b marketing software” is probably still researching. But a person who searched “b2b marketing software price comparison” is probably looking to buy.

Here’s a handy tip: Google the keyword you’re looking to bid on and look at the search results. Are other advertisers showing up for that term? If yes, that’s a good thing — it means the keyword is probably worth competing on.

If not, you may have discovered a gap in the marketplace… but more likely, it’s not a term you’re going to be making a lot of money off of due to low levels of buyer intent.

Also, go ahead and check the organic search results to observe what kind of sites show up. If your competitors show up, it’s a good sign you should bid. If the results are irrelevant to your offering, your buyers are probably not searching on that keyword.

Bid on Brand Terms

Targeting brand terms (yours, your competitors, and parallel industries) is an often overlooked strategy. Because advertisers often don’t bid on these terms, it can be a cheap way of getting quality traffic — with some caveats.

One thing’s for certain: Bidding on your own brand is a must. You might think you don’t have to since you’re already ranked #1 organically. But bidding on your brand offers 2 distinct benefits: this exact oversight that allows you to poach other people’s brand terms. Don’t make the same mistake for your own brand term.

  • Protection from Competitive “Snipers”: Some competitors will try to snipe traffic away from your brand by bidding on your brand terms. While the effectiveness of this tactic is highly variable, you can remove this threat by bidding on your brand to “own” your traffic and prevent it from leaking out to our competitors.
  • More Control: Put simply, an ad offers you more control over where you can direct a user to on your website than your organic listings. For instance, if someone searches “Your Brand + Service You Offer,” you can send searchers to a landing page about that particular service versus a regular interior page on your site to improve conversion rates.

If you want to bid on your competitor’s brand terms, do so with caution. Often, searchers are going to click your ad and bounce because they were actually looking for your competitor in the first place. If you’re not careful, you can waste a fair bit of money on this strategy.

One area we’ve found competitor brand bidding to be successful is with brands that are seemingly identical to the consumer. For instance, a consumer that searches for “Mr. Roofer” may be less likely to care about the difference between them and “Roto-Roofer.” Again, test sparingly and creatively if this applies to your business.

Don’t Overlook Low Search Volume Words

Low search volume “long tail” keywords are another often overlooked, low-competition opportunity.

It’s easy to assume that higher volume keywords are more desirable and to put all your eggs in that basket. But often you can find some high-quality keywords for a bargain price with a little bit of deep-dive keyword research.

Don’t expect droves of traffic from these terms. But if add enough of them, you can add a healthy trickle of low-cost conversion sources to your campaign.

Keep A/B Testing… But Do It The Smart Way

What if you could get a few more clicks and leads with a different ad? That small increase could make all the difference in terms of profit.

Many marketers drop the ball when it comes to constantly testing and refining their campaigns. Oftentimes, they aren’t testing anything at all!

The fact is, what works best today might not work tomorrow.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. Today’s “secret” winning tactics might grow stale as more people discover and apply them.
  2. Ads that seasoned experts think will flop sometimes end up doing really well. You can never know what to expect until you actually run a test.
  3. Ads get less effective over time because the audience gets used to seeing them. (This phenomenon is known as “ad fatigue.”)

Rule of thumb: Always have one test ad running against your original “control” ad.

You might want to start off testing a radically different ad to get a high-level view of which direction to go.

Over time, your test ads will look more and more like your control ad except for the one part of the ad you test. This is because you will be narrowing in on the ad variables that are actually driving results.

Let your tests run for a while before deciding on a winner. For ads, aim to test a minimum of 100 clicks each to get a statistically significant sample.

Once you’ve determined a winner, pause the loser and come up with a new variation to test. Then, just keep repeating this process to continually improve your ads over time.

Finally (and counterintuitively) — sometimes, what hasn’t worked in the past might work today. Because preferences change as culture changes.

For example, during the Great Depression, people came up with “Keep Calm and Carry On.” This motivational saying died out until very recently. Similar economic times caused by the Great Recession brought this back.

To capitalize on this principle, keep a close eye on Google Trends to see what terms are rising vs. falling in popularity. If you can get ahead of the curve of how your buyers are searching for your products and services, you can get a healthy jump on more “antiquated” un-hip competitors.

Optimize Your Display Ads

If you haven’t tried out display ads, they might be worth a test.

Because display ads are a highly visual-based advertising medium, they offer lot of room for creativity and opportunities to stand out from the competition.

For instance, we’ve found it’s very helpful to use a visual representation of a button in an ad. Here’s an example from our own ads:

Even though you can click anywhere on the ad to go to the page, the button seems to improve the click through rate. Viewers seem to be more inclined to click when there’s a button.

To further boost your clickthrough rates, try having some sort of “directional cue” pointing to the button — whether it be an arrow, a person or even an object.

In the ad shown above, notice how the pig is “looking” at the button to draw attention to it. In another one of our ads show below, we literally have an arrow pointing at the button:

Try using “evocative” verbs, adjectives, and nouns to incite emotion in the reader. At WebMechanix, we have an extensive list of power words to reference so we don’t end up using generic words.

Examples of power words include “Audit-Proof”, “Deadly-Rage”, “Rip” and “Coax.” As you can tell, these can be more evocative than “cool”, “increase”, or “get.”

There are multiple ways of positioning your ad to make it more appealing. Highlight the single greatest benefit you provide your prospect in the text of your ad. Here are a few time-tested benefits to get you started:

  • A great price
  • A limited time offer
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns
  • Fast shipping
  • Official or certified products
  • Great selections
  • Beginner-friendly

You can get creative with your ad testing. Try having an attractive girl look at the button. Try using eye-catching colors. Test the same ad with a different power verb. Display ads offer much more flexibility for testing than text ads, so do test these ads early and often.

Compare With Your Competitors

One trick you can use when first breaking into an AdWords auction is to “ethically steal” and get inspiration from your competitors’ ads.

For instance, you can look for common words or themes among the best-performing competitor ads and test those in your own ads.

You can also use a tool like Spyfuto see if you’re paying more on a CPC basis for a keyword. If you are, improve your quality score and you could end up paying less. You can do this by improving keyword to ad to landing page alignment.

Define a Campaign Goal

It’s hard to track to see if you’re making progress if you don’t have a clear, specific, and realistic goal.

Decide ahead of time what you want to accomplish with your AdWords campaign. Do you want quality leads? Do you want purchases? What price are you willing to pay for each? How many would satisfy you?

These are questions you should ask yourself both before you launch a campaign as well as on an ongoing basis as your campaign matures and evolves.

Conclusion

Maximizing the effectiveness of AdWords doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly complicated.

You can easily manage and improve your AdWords performance if you follow the 9 simple steps below:

  1. Install proper tracking and analyze results.
  2. Improve your keyword targeting.
  3. Tighten up your ad groups.
  4. Increase congruency across keywords, ads, and landing pages
  5. Tweak your ad and landing page copy to improve conversions and CTR.
  6. Keep A/B testing to find winners.
  7. Optimize your display ads.
  8. Set clear goals so you know what to track.
  9. Compare ads with competitors.

The 10 rules of modern marketing: creating "Customer Love" in the digital age

As I combed through all the content we’ve planned for MITX’s FutureM conference, I was struck with a sense of opportunity for brands and products willing to invest in creating digital experiences centered on Customer Love, not just like, but serious love. Customer Love is more accessible now than ever before – but there are some very important rules to guide us if we are to be successful.

1. Marketing ≠ Advertising.
Advertising still is important but marketing today is much more about conversations, not shouting out messages – it’s bringing the customer with us. Building customer love is about engagement and relationships. Connect to an emotion, give customers a reason to believe or care about you. Learn about your customers and how they want to interact with you.

2. Participation is the 5th P of marketing.
Today we live in a world where connected consumers want to have a say, want their voice to play a role. Participation is not about letting go of your brand, but instead it’s a willingness to let others in. Give customers the means to play with your brand and make it their own.

3. Always be listening.
Online communities, ratings and reviews, Twitter, call centers, all provide opportunities to learn and innovate. There are more opportunities now than ever before for channels to listen to your customers, you will be amazed at what people will tell you if they think you are listening.

4. Talk is cheap (media).
Empower your customers to talk to their friends about your products, their influence is far greater. Provide ways for them to spread the word, enlist in your cause, share what they learned.

5. “Me-Commerce” is better than E-Commerce.
Create digital experiences and interactions on a mass scale make them feel like they are 1:1. Digital technology has enabled this – personalized discovery, product customization and stellar customer care. There are a few great young companies in Boston, like Gemvara,Blank Label and CustomMade that are working on this.

6. Think mobile first.
According to the Pew Internet Project, 88% of adults carry a mobile phone, 50% of which are smartphones; 19% have tablets. Mobile devices account for 30% of email opens. Thinking mobile first means understanding how the consumer is experiencing your brand on the go, when it’s convenient for them. The rise of mobile should encourage you to rethink the role of Location. Even better, reinvent your offering to make location matter – how can it change the game?

7. Content is king.
Be relevant, meaningful and helpful and people will come to you. What are you expert in? What do you know about better than anyone else? Share all the facets of this. Think about how your product fits into people’s lives – business, personal whatever - and build a content strategy around it.

8. Every employee is a brand manager.
Marketing, capital M means that your customer service department, your innovation or R&D group, your retail clerks – anyone that has a touch point with the customer all know and understand how to communicate what your product means, what the brand stands for and can bring it to life in their work every day. This isn’t a new idea. But what is new is the way that customers and employees can interact and be very connected because of social media and the internet.

9. Two parts here: Use technology to simplify and measure everything.
Can technology help me do this better? Think about user experience through the entire purchase path and how technology can make it better, help us learn what our customers want and give it to them. Technology can also help track how we are doing. There are so many options and channels, links and levers – you need to be sure you know what is working well and what is not.

10. Don’t be a lemming.
It can be so tempting to try each bright shiny object that comes along that’s the darling of the moment. Do not do this. Ask yourself how this would fit your customer and if the answer isn't obvious right away, it’s probably a bad fit. For most products, you can’t and shouldn’t be everywhere online.

Bonus Rule: Change is the norm. Be ready for anything.

So that’s my 10 – what’s yours? Please leave me comments below. Or come toFutureM in Boston in October to debate with the nation’s best and brightest on the topic – you’ll be glad you did.

Debi Kleiman is the president of MITX, the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange, the nonprofit trade association focused on digital marketing and Internet business in New England and the creators of FutureM Boston, Oct. 23-26th.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

5 Basic Rules of Internet Marketing

1. Understand that everything starts with content

The best Internet marketing tool is your content. If you provide original, high quality content (or products, if you are an ecommerce site), people will naturally talk about you. They will visit your site, and even recommend it to their friends. Other sites will want to link to you, without you paying for the link. And search engines will rank you high.

Your content is your best weapon on the Web – especially if you do not have vast resources to build branding campaigns and engage in massive advertising. You can do all the shortcuts you want, or try to trick the search engines — and it may just work, albeit for a limited period of time — but nothing beats anything on the web except great content.

2. Be persistent

Internet marketing is not a one-shot deal. It is something that you will do on a regular basis using a variety of techniques. Competition on the Web is getting very tough with millions of websites competing for visitors and sales. You are competing both with small and big businesses — both in your own part of the world and elsewhere. It will take a lot more effort to get the traffic and sales that you need.

3. Use different techniques.

One of the cardinal rules of Internet marketing is: do not rely on a single marketing tactic. The risks are too high if you put all your eggs in one basket. Take for example organic search engine optimization where you rank high in Google – you may be #1 today in your main keyword but if Google updates their algorithm, you can get hit and lose as much as 80% of your traffic. Believe me, it is painful.

Make a list of what you can do given your resources to reach audiences online. Investigate what your competitors are doing to market online and whether you can use their techniques as well. Consider both paid advertising and guerrilla marketing strategies, such as:

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Banner advertising
  • Social media
  • Text link advertising
  • Contextual text advertising
  • Lead generation service
  • Running an affiliate program
  • Organic search engine optimization
  • Online press releases (both online and print media)
  • Article marketing
  • Participation in forums and communities (without spamming)
  • Email marketing
  • Tapping blogs
  • Link popularity

… and the list goes on. There are loads of free things that you can do, while some internet marketing costs an arm and a leg. Choose the techniques that make the most sense for you.

4. Track and measure your results

You can only prioritize your internet marketing activities if you know which ones work and which ones don’t. Put more resources or dedicate more time in doing activities that can actually bring in traffic. Regularly analyze your web logs or web statistics software to get a clear idea of the most effective Internet marketing strategy for you. Hard data can also help you look at how you can improve the results of each campaign and strategy that you do.

This is especially true for paid advertising – you want to know which ad copy pulls in the most number of customers, what ad creatives are working, and which websites you advertised in can give you the most. Only by looking at the metrics can you assess how well your online marketing efforts are doing.

5. Learn, learn, and learn

Internet marketing is continually evolving: what may be acceptable in 1999 may no longer work or frowned upon in 2012. Article marketing used to be so big in 2005, but with the Panda updates of Google, its value has significantly diminished. Online marketing also changes rapidly, that books with its lag time from writing to publishing often do not capture the new techniques that people are successfully using in marketing online.

The best resource on Internet marketing are online experts found in blogs, webmaster forums and online publications. Spend time every time reading something. Check out forums such as WebmasterWorld.com, blogs from the search engines themselves, social media watchers such as Mashable, and other sites. There are always a lot of things to learn.

Why 2016 Might Be Your Best Year for Internet Marketing

When we’re bidding adieu to an old year and hello to a new, we like to read (and write) about predictions for the New Year. I’m not immune to the New Year excitement bug, even though I tend to work on holidays (rather than party).

This year, I’m a little more excited than normal. Although I have no pretensions to prophetic abilities, I’m seeing signs that 2015 is shaping up to be a huge year for Internet marketing. If you’re in the digital marketing space like I am you should probably get excited, too.

The way things are looking, I’m willing to venture that as long as you are strategically investing in online marketing, you’re going to see some big gains in the next few months.

I’m banking on the statistics, not just my gut. That’s why this article is chock full of charts. Check out this list of reasons why I’m prophesying big gains for 2015.

Gaining mobile search traffic and optimization is relatively simple.

For the past few years, it’s been popular to talk about the explosion of mobile — mobile growth, mobile revenue, etc.

There’s an obvious reason for this. From 2008 to 2012, mobile exploded. Over a four-year period, mobile experienced a CAGR of 129%.

But what about now? Has mobile finally plateaued?

Actually, no. It hasn’t. Quite the opposite in fact. In fact, over the next four-year period, it’s predicted to grow even more.

Evidently, mobile is still growing. But how do you cash in on the mobile market?

It’s not too hard. First, you need to make sure you have a fully responsive site that is mobile friendly. Be sure to check out Google’s mobile friendly test to make sure that your site is approved in the mobile SERPs.

 

Second, if you gain online revenue, then you need to make sure your checkout process is optimized for a mobile experience. It’s one thing to have a responsive site, but quite another to have a fully mobile-optimized checkout process.

Finally, it’s important to gain the top organic search result. As proven by SEO Clarity, the top position in the SERPs is especially important for mobile searchers as indicated by the high percentage of first-position clickthroughs.

This three step process virtually guarantees an uptick in mobile revenue during 2015:

  • Fully responsive site
  • Mobile-optimized checkout
  • Top-ranked mobile search results

Millennial shoppers respond to Internet marketing.

When we think about “Internet marketing,” we have to think about the market — the group of people who will search, find, and buy our goods and services.

Who is the biggest market sector in 2015? It’s millennials.

Millennials do something that no generation before has done. They don’t go to brick-and-mortar stores as often.

Even though they comprise a large percentage of the spending population, they are visiting less often and spending less money at stores, comparatively, to their older counterparts.

Where are these millennial shoppers spending their money?

According to some statisticians, 82% of a millennial’s shopping time is spent online.

They buy a lot of their stuff online — from health products to movie tickets. Many of them even do grocery shopping online. Few things are not on a millennial’s online shopping list

We have millennials to thank for the major boost in online holiday spending via mobile.

Besides being big online spenders. Millennials are receptive to online marketing. Social platforms are where they spend their time, make their relationships, listen to recommendations, and interact with others.

Online shopping and revenue has done nothing but go up.

Ever since the beginning of the Internet shopping age, online revenue has gone nowhere but up. And up. And up.

Remember, how back in the beginning, we were all blown away by the rise of online revenue?

 

(Image source)

Well, here we are a decade later, and we’re nowhere near the peak. Online revenue will still rise as time goes on.

 

To put it in financial terms, investing in online marketing is like investing in a bull market. The most obvious marketing move is not to pull back, but to lean in.

All major industries with the exception of auto (in 2013) have grown, as indicated by ad revenues compared YoY from 2012 to 2013.

 

The chances are pretty good that your Internet marketing dollar will have a solid ROI this coming year.

Online interaction and social media allows for top-notch customer interaction and retention.

If you know much about marketing, you know that your existing customers are your best source of revenue.

If you can maintain your customers by serving them well, then you are in the perfect position to retain those customers.

How do you serve them well?

Increasingly, it’s through online interaction. The social networks are the primary way that digital brands interact personally with their customers.

As reported by Statista and Mashable, “social networking is the no. 1 online activity in the U.S.”

 

This is where customers are present.

It only makes sense to drive relationships using these platforms. As indicated by the research, many online brands use social media to improve customer relationships twice as effectively as email.

 

Let’s be honest, though. Social media is not a primary driver of conversions. But itis a driver of relationships, which help to maintain customers, even if it’s not in a way that we can easily define with conversion and clickthrough rates.

But it’s not just social media sites themselves. In fact, customers are more likely to be influenced by their online interaction with you as a brand than by your presence on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

We have more tools than ever before.

Welcome to an era where we have an app or online tool to solve virtually anyproblem.

Never before has marketing been this easy. Whether you need data, task optimization, SEO enhancement, testing information, localization tools, collaboration networks, syndication tools, social media listening tools, social media management apps, or marketing automation resources, it’s at your fingertips

There’s nothing that you can’t do without some sort of online service.

Disclaimer: There’s one risk associated with this huge variety of tools. It has to do with strategy. Tools don’t strategize for you. They only help you to implement your strategy. Use as many tools as you want, but don’t expect them to do your strategy for you.

We have more access to more resources.

Not only do you have all the online marketing tools you could ever want, but you also have more resources than you could ever use. Here are some of them.

Mobile Workforce

More and more online workers are doing so in location-independent situations. Many startups don’t even have a physical office.

What do you do if you want to hire a mobile designer in 2015, but you can’t find him in San Francisco where your startup is based?

Then you hire him wherever you can find him. Istanbul. Moscow. Orlando. Mexico City. Ypsilanti, Michigan. It doesn’t matter.

You have all the workforce resources you need in 2015, because they’re working online, not in traditional offices.

Agencies

Agencies can do your marketing tasks for you — like handling all your CRO, creating your content, managing your social media, or whatever else you need.

There’s a lot of different marketing tasks that you could be doing, but don’t have time for. The solution is straightforward. Hire an agency to do it for you.

Consultants

Sometimes, the biggest gains in business are discovered by hiring a consultant who can tell you what’s wrong, and how to fix it.

Information

Let’s not forget about information. Personal blogs, business blogs, podcasts, ezines, webinars, training videos, infographics, whitepapers, research, tests, statistics, and data is available to you. It’s just a few Google searches away.

Basically, in 2015 you have everything you ever need to explode with digital marketing power.

Conclusion

The way I see it, we’re gearing up for a very good 2015.

I tend to be optimistic, which is why I like news like this. In this case, however, I don’t think that my optimism is altering my perception of reality. Look at the numbers. Check out the trends.

What do you think? Is 2015 going to be a big year for you?