Web marketing is nothing if not a dynamic industry area, with changes and shifts coming thick and fast each year without fail. This of course keeps things nice and exciting – never a dull moment for the folks at Jenkinson & Associates– but at the same time can make it difficult to know what’s coming next.
What makes web marketing particularly complicated is the way in which it must evolve in accordance with both consumer trends and the technological advances of the web. It’s therefore a practice that gets stretched and bent in all manner of ways and directions, with marketers sitting right in the middle of the whole affair trying to make sense of it all. Suffice to say, no job for the faint-hearted.
However, when each year comes to an end and a full twelve months’ worth of data have been compiled, it’s actually pretty easy to learn a few important lessons. From the strategies that hit home on the highest levels to the biggest failures of the year and in some respects what to expect going forward, these are the kinds of lessons that pave the way to bigger and better successes the following year.
In the case of 2014’s data archives, one of the most abundantly clear lessons of all came in the form of certain bad habits still being perpetuated despite having been rendered anything from obsolete to dangerous. Marketing habits have always been hard to break and stubbornness is a common trait among the industry, though to ignore the facts and evidence on paper is to risk a New Year that’s in no way happy for anyone involved.
Here’s a quick overview of the five most prevalent bad habits web marketers must oust in order to make 2015 any kind of success:
1 – Hero Worship
Above and beyond anything else, the days of bowing to Google’s every word are over…at least for businesses looking to stay viable. To illustrate why, you need only look at any of the infinite businesses that pumped billions in SEO over recent years, only to now find their efforts are being held against them. The simple lesson here being that to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket has never been a good idea and right now could be fatal. As the world’s major search engines continue to enhance their complexity and refine the way they operate, it’s just too risky to worship them like Gods and pan to them exclusively.
2 – Quantity Over Quality
Throughout 2014, a fair few marketers coined onto the fact that sites with deeper and richer content in large volumes tended to do better than their sparsely-stuffed counterparts. Sadly, a good number of these completely missed the mark and began gunning for quantity alone, often at the expense of quality. The benefit of rich, dynamic and high quality content is that it markets itself – poor quality content on the other hand rubs readers up the wrong way and doesn’t go down well with the search engines either.
3 – Technological Limitations
If you design a website that works an absolute dream for PC users running the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, that’s a pretty nice collection of potential visitors that might head your way. Sadly, in creating a site that doesn’t do the job properly with any other hardware or browsers, that could be 90% of would-be traffic blocked from the word go. These days, to create a site that’s 100% dependent on Flash for example is considered corporate suicide – mobile devices, games consoles and all manner of other gadgets cannot and will not access them. To call this kind of technological ignorance a bad habit is actuality an understatement.
4 – (Still) Not Blogging
It’s easy to write blogs off as cliché and yesterday’s news on the grounds that there are millions of them already out there. But at the same time, there’s still nothing in the world that can keep on adding fresh, rich and unique content to your website quite like a blog. What’s more, allow guests to post their own entries and open the blog to comments and you double your efforts for free. To continue overlooking the power of blogging treads the very fine line between unwise and pure lunacy.
5 – One Way Conversation
And finally, the days of being able to sit back and just watch the traffic come flooding in with no effort at all are over…gone…dead as the dinosaurs. These days, you have to fight tooth and nail for every last visitor and conversion you can get hold of, which means getting well and truly stuck in with social media conversations, forums, message boards, other sites’ blogs – the whole nine yards. To assume they’ll simply come their way without you having to make these kinds of remedial efforts represents another bad habit that really should have been broken long ago.