The only thing that stays the same about online marketing is that it is constantly changing. What worked well in 2000 may not be as important today, and what worked in 2010 will certainly change somewhat in 2011. Here are the major changes that will become tomorrow’s trends.
Facebook and the Impact of Google Marketing
Perhaps the biggest trend that is coming in 2011 is Google marketing may be lessened in importance among online marketers. While Google has long been the main focus of search engine marketing, it is falling in its impact because of the overwhelming influence of Facebook. The “Like” system that Facebook employs to judge the popularity of a page is being incorporated into more and more sites, and industry experts are predicting that this rating system may soon become a major rival of the Google page ranking system.
To rank well within the Facebook rating system, keywords will still be important in getting readers to find your content in order to rate it. However, linking to it may not be as important as getting readers to click the “Like” button. To encourage that, make the button prominent and easy to find. You may also see many pages that encourage readers to click the Like button if they approve of the content.
Within the realm of search engine marketing, the 2011 changes to Google’s page ranking system, called Caffeine, has lowered the importance of keyword density and raised the importance of high-quality content. While keywords will always be important to helping search engines and readers find the phrases you are writing about, using plenty of related phrases and keeping the content from being too repetitive are now proving to be just as important.
Social Media Marketing
Using sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to market an online business has become commonplace, but look for an increase in 2011. The recession has driven many businesses away from pay-per-click ad and other forms of advertising and into the world of social networking. Its free, it’s pervasive and it works. In past years the market pushed businesses to have an online presence. In 2011, they will be pushed to have a social media presence.
In the past, the success of a website or a marketing campaign could be judged in terms of site visits and sales numbers. But increasingly, success is also measured in terms of very specific analytic data. Using Google analytics to find out how long people stayed on a website, what pages they viewed and where they went when they left has become an important diagnostic tool for every type of online business.
Studying these numbers can help site owners to see which pages are failing in the numbers game and which ones are capturing the most attention. This helps when tweaking a site for the maximum performance, keeping readers on the site longer. Conversion rates can be increased through this surgical revamping, and site owners can figure out exactly where they are losing their readers and work to keep them.