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Happy Blue New Year! With the holidays behind us, my guess is you’re probably trying to get back into the swing of working a full five day work week and struggling to navigate all the extra bodies at your local gym. Hopefully, you’ve also taken the time to think about how your online marketing strategy can make 2014 your best year ever in terms of business growth.
“Yeah about that…” you might tell me. “I don’t exactly have an online marketing strategy.” At which point, I’d create an elaborate song and dance number like something out of The Magic School Bus to explain the importance of setting and tracking smart and realistic marketing goals. Because Blue Corona doesn’t currently budget for elaborate song and dance number creation and production, you’re just going to have to read this blog post instead. Sorry.
How to Set SMART Online Marketing Goals
The best online marketing goals are SMART online marketing goals:
Do you have a revenue goal for 2014? That’s a great place to start. Once you have your revenue goal for 2014, you can work backwards to determine:
- How many sales you need to reach your revenue goal (your lead to sale conversion rate)
- How many leads you need to get that many sales (your visit to lead conversion rate)
- And how much more website traffic you need to get that many leads (impression data is helpful here!)
Once you’ve determined how much additional traffic you need to reach your goal, you can create a much more accurate online marketing strategy to get you to your goal in your desired time period.
What’s Hot in Online Marketing for 2014
Of course, when you set your online marketing strategy for 2014, it helps to be current on the latest online marketing trends. For example, you wouldn’t want to allocate a large chunk of your budget to purchasing links—that strategy is long gone (at least in the White Hat world we live in!). And you also wouldn’t want to buy a separate mobile site when the rest of the world (and most likely your competitors) is headed towards responsive.
SEO in 2014
While most people will probably still refer to it as SEO, search engine optimization will largely take the form of content marketing in 2014.
Ever since last year, Google has been on the warpath in a fight to find and eliminate web spam and has therefore eliminated a lot of the old SEO practices that online marketers used in the past to improve their rankings. What Google is looking for is value for its users—which comes in the form of valuable website content.
In 2014, we’re going to find the SEO arena itself will continue to move off of desktops and onto mobile. Time Warner Cable recently invested a lot in responsive design for its website to target its content and its functionality for various devices. We’re going to see more and more brands heading in this direction.
Read more about our predictions for SEO in 2014.
Ad Tracking in 2014
And of course, to get the most out of your marketing dollars, you’re going to want to accurately track all of your SEO (and online marketing) strategies. Accurate tracking allows you to uncover your true cost per lead and determine which of your marketing channels deliver the greatest ROI. Proper tracking can also allow you to eliminate any ineffective marketing strategies. Certain marketing strategies just aren’t effective for all types of companies.
Web Design in 2014
If you’ve decided to budget a new website in to your marketing plans this year, you might want to take into account some of the hottest design and functionality trends, including:
- Responsive sites
- Flat design techniques
- Parallax scrolling
- Dynamic websites
You can read more about these predictions for web design in 2014 here.
Need an Online Marketing Partner?
For all businesses—and especially small businesses—it can be helpful to align yourself with an online marketing partner to help you strategize, execute, and track your online marketing plan.
And when you need an online marketing partner, you can’t go wrong with the team at Blue Corona. Contact us today to make your online marketing goals for 2014 happen.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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