What a year it's been! Here at the CommonPlaces office, we just can't believe that there are only 14 more days left in the year (and only 7 more shopping days until Christmas!). It's been a good year for us, and we hope that it has been a good year for your business as well. But no matter how successful you've been, I'm sure that your goal is to do just as well, if not better, in 2011. With that in mind, here are five online marketing objectives that we think you should pursue in the new year. Some of these are probably tasks that you or one of your teammates have worked on in the past. That's okay '- the beginning of the year is a great time to take a fresh look at these items. So let's get started.
Review your keywords. This is a great time to review the keywords that you're using on your website. This means reviewing the text that appears in your site navigation, in the title bar at the top of the page, in the body text of your site, in the headlines you use, and in the URLs of your site. In all of these places, are the words that you're using the same that your customers use? Are you talking about 'Övehicle repair' when all of your customers search for 'Öcar repair.' Use Google Analytics, and/or talk to your customers, to figure out how people talk about your business and your industry. Then take these words and make sure they feature prominently in all of the places mentioned above.
Keep track of your presence on popular review sites. Can people find your business on Yelp? Is your contact information accurate? Have you been reviewed on Yahoo! Local? Are the reviews positive? This is a great time to take stock of the reviews of your business that exist out on the Web. If you don't have any presence at all, create profiles on this sites with your contact info, and encourage your customers to write reviews. If you encounter negative reviews, see if you can do anything to rectify the situation. DO NOT start an argument with the negative reviewer, even if you know he or she is wrong. Simply offer your apologies, and ask if there is anything you can do to help or improve their experience.
Check up on your Google Place page. Have you claimed your Google Place page? Is the information on that page accurate? We all know Google is the number one search engine, and they often deliver local results, depending on the specific search. For more information on how to claim and manage your Place page, check out this helpful article from Mashable.
Think about your mobile visitors. If someone visits your website on their iPhone, Android phone, or other smartphone, what will they see? Is your site even accessible on mobile devices? If it is, is it easy to navigate via a small touchscreen? These are important questions to ask. Use of the mobile Web has skyrocketed in recent years, and many believe it will pass desktop Internet use in just a few years. If your current website is impossible or even just difficult to access on a mobile device, you will want to consider a website that is accessible on more devices, or building a separate version of your site for Web-enabled phones.
Define your social media strategy. Maybe your business has had a presence on Facebook and Twitter for a couple years now. Or maybe you finally gave in to the pressure of a thousand blogs that told you to create social media accounts for your business. Either way, 2011 is the year to form a clear and defined plan for how you are going to leverage these websites. Whether you're looking to boost your mailing list, your site traffic, your followers, or sales, now is the time to get specific with your goals. While these aren't the only strategies you can employ in 2011, they are a good place to start. Here's wishing you the best of luck in the coming year. Happy Holidays!