No one has a crystal ball and can predict the future. Saying this, there are experts who spend countless hours reviewing past trends, current market conditions, new Internet users’ habits and preferences, and upcoming events and changes that may affect how businesses will succeed on the web.
Today, we are highlighting the 4 subjects discussed among our team and industry colleagues.
=1= Website Security:
This continues to be the number 1 concerns for websites. It is also becoming costly to secure a website, its database, and the server it is hosted on. A few years ago, only large corporations worried about hackers. In 2018, anyone with a website (even it is only one page!) has to worry about hacking. Hackers rarely manually hack onto site. In most instances, they infect a site by launching a malicious script onto the Internet. In turn, this script crawls every site it finds and try to penetrate it.
=2= Website Design:
The trend of less text, more compelling images, and more engaging videos will continue. This is a catch 22 as search engines want text and lots of it while web visitors want to be visually pleased and engaged. They have little time for reading pages of copy. Instead, they want to know what you can do for them, is your website worth their time, and how good you are at what you do.
=3= Website Marketing:
Email marketing & personalization
Cold-call type of email marketing is out in 2018. It is not worth your money or energy, and it can even backfire as most users “hate” receiving unsolicited emails. What is in is inbound marketing which guides a prospect who has reached out to your company through the sale process. Also in is the old fashion personalized email to an existing client. Personalized emails are the must do this year. For small companies, personalizing an email to a previous client or contact is the way to go. It does take more time but renders by far the best results. For larger companies with thousands of clients, personalization can be worked onto automation. To do so, you have to have accurate data on each prospect and develop an email that will extract the necessary information so that the recipient feels the email was created just for them.
Search engine optimization & paid advertising
Organic SEO is still the ultimate online goal for your site. Preferably, you want your website to rank at the top of page one with the main search engines like Google and Bing without having to pay for the placement. The Internet is becoming very crowded and it is more and more difficult to be on page one. Many large corporation such as Yelp, Houzz, BBB, etc. are crowding page one pushing companies like yours to page two or farther down.
Because of it, it is anticipated that more websites will have to pay for top ranking either with a Pay-per-click program like Google AdWords or other online marketing programs.
Quality incoming links from reputable websites to your site is very important. It shows Google that your site has importance and reputable. Think of networking groups or chambers you belong it, trade associations, industry related platforms, and more. Whenever possible, you should try to have them link back to you. Since large platforms like news agencies, social media, etc. are taking over page one of search engines, having articles or guest posts on those (which link back to your site) can have a very immediate impact to your site’s ranking.
Smartphones and tablets will continue to be the most used devices. That means that you should have a plan in place to market to the visitors using a mobile device to view and use your site. That is most important for eCommerce websites. Your visitors have to be able to find a product and buy it in matters of minutes.
This is a lot to think about but 2018 promises to be the best year for businesses who embrace and harness the power of the Internet. Make 2018 your year… make it count!