Online Marketing Trends for Businesses in 2011

The year 2010 was the year of social media. Social media consolidated its position and by the end of the year major search engines admitted that their algorithm took into account the visibility of a website link on the profiles of the famous and the popular!

The year 2011 will be the year of mobile applications. Internet access via mobiles will increase. Mobile browsers on the other hand will display search results based on location. So ensure your website is a part and parcel of those applications especially if you are in retail, services or hospitality business.

Below are some trends in search engine optimization and marketing that will continue to matter in the year 2011.

  1. Local Visibility: Local visibility will make a huge difference. Search engines especially Google has changed its algorithm to detect the location of the visitor and deliver results based on proximity of the location. They will further refine the process. Claim your listing on Google maps and other sites like Yelp.com or CitySquares.com.
  2. SUGGESTION: Encourage your customers to post reviews about you on whatever social network they frequent.
  3. Communities Matter: Who is talking about you? Apparently social ethics has nothing to do with business. The more you are talked about the better! So watch out for 2011 and get popular; either by hook or crook. If the person talking about you is important (has a lot of fans and followers) you carry more weight than your competitors. So if you want to outdo your competitors start a conversation that everyone is interested in and will eventually link to.
  4. BEWARE: Don't take in negative comments -algorithms can detect it!
  5. Mobiles: Online access via mobiles will make a difference especially if you are in the retail, services or hospitality sector. If you are on the move Google maps will detect your location via GPS and send you specific retails of stores, restaurants and all that matters.
  6. TIP: Offer downloads of these applications on your website. Visitors will appreciate that gesture.
  7. Videos: As technology gets better and loading time is almost instantaneous videos are becoming increasingly popular. Product videos will be The Conversion Factor in ecommerce sites. Information sites will attract better linking if they include process videos.
  8. SUPER TIP: For conversion optimization add a product use video to your squeeze page
  9. Cross Channel Marketing: Resource crunch will see businesses experimenting with both traditional and newer forms of marketing. Small businesses will become more strategic in their planning. Direct marketing is returning back on platforms like SMS.
  10. BEWARE: Do not apply the same strategy to all channels. Each channel has its own requirements!
  11. Customized Applications: Just as RSS revolutionized your homepage these apps are design to deliver just what you want to see. So make sure you are a part of these app or networks that deliver these apps.
  12. SUGGESTION: Mobile applications are specific to browser and most applications are not cross platform. Provide your visitors the entire array for each platform.
  13. Advertising: It will become popular in other forms. Banner advertising will make a comeback as partner websites. Videos will be used in adverts. Infographics will be cloaked advertisement on social media platforms. Advertorials along will discount offers will be accepted by many blogs as a form of advertising.
  14. TIP: Advertising on a niche social media platform is a great way of sending relevant traffic to your website.
  15. Instantaneous Load: Loading time for websites will make a lot of difference as far as optimization and ranking visibility is concerned. The fact that higher loading time leads to high bounce rate is no industry secret.
  16. NAG: Pester your webmaster till the loading time is well below 2 seconds
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Ajay Prasad

Ajay Prasad is the Founder and President of GMR Web Team, a leading healthcare digital marketing agency. He guides small and medium size healthcare practices/businesses in customizing their online marketing strategy, focused on building a loyal base of patients and improving their patient acquisition. Ajay believes in an improved patient experience as the key to successful healthcare business, which can be accomplished with the right marketing plan in place.