Technology is changing, social marketing is evolving and new digital trends are emerging. Follow these 10 tips on how to grow your business online in 2022 to ensure that you can adapt to the new digital landscape.
How to Grow Your Business Online in 2022
Here are 10 digital strategies to start developing now to ensure your company can respond to the new digital landscape and consumer behaviour and more importantly, thrive in 2022.
1. Perfect the Online Hub of Your Business
With all the social media channels and Google platforms, some businesses ask themselves if their website is even important anymore.
The resounding answer is yes! Websites are incredibly important and one of the most important pieces of the puzzle of how to grow your business online (and effective web design is essential to having a successful website).
Your website is your online home. It’s where all the social platforms connect and your business’s online hub to which you should be driving traffic.
Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business, etc. may be where your customer finds out about you or connects with you but your website is where they go to validate their feelings about you company, to ensure you are who you say you are and to learn more about your offerings.
A website establishes trust like no other platform and consumer trust is more important now than ever before. Plus, social media trends come and go but your website is the one asset that your business truly owns and can completely customize.
To ensure your website is set up for success, use this website design checklist.
2. Be Obsessed with Consumer Behaviour
It’s one thing to sit in a Board Room and discuss with your team your website content, design and overall strategy. It’s another thing (and way more effective) to truly understand your ideal customer and his or her behaviour. Being obsessed with consumer behaviour will help you make more informed and targeted decisions.
COVID has changed consumer behaviour and it’s vital to understand what customers want and don’t want now. For example, curbside pick up (where a customer’s order is brought right to their car) may be a convenience that customers want continued, even when “things go back to normal.”
Investing in current customer insights reports and customer surveys will help your company stay ahead of your competition in the post-COVID landscape.
3. Focus on the Most Effective Marketing Channel (and The Only One You Can Control)
Similar to the fact that your website is truly the only platform that you completely own, your email list is the only customer engagement method that you 100% control.
We saw it last year with Pinterest. Bloggers who had thousands of Pinterest followers and focused all of their efforts on the acquisition and engagement method that had always worked for them (Pinterest) were deeply effected when Pinterest changed their algorithm and bloggers saw their traffic plummet to a screeching halt.
We’ve heard stories of Facebook accounts being shut down or going to Facebook jail as some call it.
While social followers are great and engaging with followers through social media is important, you don’t want to neglect direct communication with your customers by email.
In fact, email marketing is ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing. When looking at how to grow your business online, email can be the golden ticket to your success. Need to improve your email marketing? Read Neil Patel’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing.
4. Treat Every Page as Your Home Page
In the olden days, a visitor would visit your home page and navigate to different sections of your site from there. With SEO, targeted ad campaigns, email marketing and Google Shop just to name a few, users are now arriving to specific pages of your site instead.
If I know nothing about your business and I land on any page of your website will I know who you are, what you do/offer and why I should buy from you? You don’t want make the mistake of only putting information about you on your about page or information about your services only on your services page.
In The Ultimate Guide to E-Commerce Growth by the Hammersley brothers, Product Pages are the new Landing Page: “Think of your product page as the whole website. If someone just visited a product page and they had to just use what was on that page to decide to buy, then what would be missing?” Suggestions for optimizing your Product Pages for better conversions include offering more than one product, showcasing user reviews to aid with the trust factor and highlighting offers.
5. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Obviously not a new trend but it can be shocking to see the websites that are still not optimized for mobile. If you’re still not convinced of the importance of mobile optimization, Google says that over 54% of websites are viewed on mobile devices and have implemented mobile-first indexing.
And it’s not just Google you need to keep happy, 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
Your site shouldn’t just be adapted to fit on a mobile device – it should look outstanding on mobile and be designed with a mobile user in mind.
6. Prepare for Web 3.0
Throughout 2018 – 2019, blockchain was the talk of the town. While the word on the street isn’t as prevalent in 2021, the development of a decentralized web or Web 3.0 is still happening in the background. It’s important to pay attention and understand some of its key principles such as data ownership and user privacy.
What is Web 3.0? According to Forbes: “Web 3.0’s decentralized blockchain protocol will enable individuals to connect to an internet where they can own and be properly compensated for their time and data, eclipsing an exploitative and unjust web, where giant, centralized repositories are the only ones that own and profit from it.”
A great real-world example of a company utilizing blockchain technology is Nike. Nike is now using blockchain to authenticate and track shoes (coined CryptoKicks).
Just as companies such as Uber and AirBnB emerged from the recession of 2008, we are sure to be seeing new companies and new ideas arise from the pandemic, some using blockchain in more mainstream capacities such as the Nike example.
While not every company needs to be an early adopter, your business should be staying informed of Web 3.0 and be ready if the right opportunity for your company to jump on board presents itself.
7. Pivot Your Marketing Automations
The iOS 14 and 15 updates changed the way companies had previously retargeted customers. It is predicted future updates will include even more robust privacy controls.
These privacy controls and the Mail Privacy Protection can have a big impact on email marketing campaigns. According to Apple, “Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from learning whether an email has been opened, and hides IP addresses so senders can’t learn a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them.”
Many marketing automations use “opened” and “clicked” as triggers in their workflow. Without being able to know this information, your business needs to revise your automations.
8. Pay Attention to your Core Web Vitals
As of June 2021, Google is now including Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert Ahrefs explains in their overview of Core Web Vitals: “Core Web Vitals are the speed metrics that are part of Google’s Page Experience signals used to measure user experience.”
While it is only one of 200 ranking factors, you do want to be aware of how your website is performing. The best way to view your site’s metrics is by viewing the Core Web Vitals section in Google Search Console.
With every SEO initiative, it’s a brick by brick approach and focusing on Core Web Vitals should be part of your larger SEO strategy. Since SEO can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a year (with the average of 6 months according to How Long Does SEO Take by Ignite Visibility), it’s important to start now.
Hosting can make a significant impact on how your website performs. Read here on why I recommend Cloudways as the best host for your website.
9. Stop Selling to Everyone
Yes you want consumers to pick you but what can make your company even more successful is by picking out your customers carefully. Focusing on a targeted demographic can make your digital marketing strategies and your website much more effective.
Customers more than ever want a personalized and seamless experience. How can you provide that red carpet treatment if you are trying to please everyone?
The Hammersley brothers provide a great example: If you have a website selling golfing equipment, you may determine that your traffic can be grouped into the following niches:
- First time golfers looking for their first golf clubs.
- Parents looking to buy clubs for their children.
- Intermediate golfers looking to move to the next level.
- Advanced golfers looking for the latest hot product.
- Everyone else.
A website or marketing campaign can then be designed specific to each of these target customers for a much more personalized experience.
10. Be Ruthless About Effective Web Design
And a final tip for how to grow your business online: stop focusing on good web design and focus on what’s effective web design. This strategy, highlighted by Joe Natoli from Give Good UX, is focused on being ruthless about determining what the user cares about or needs to focus on most on any given screen.
Joe says: “Even the best-looking UI design can still be nothing but an obstacle, an unusable collection of nice-looking elements.
Everything a user sees onscreen does one of two things. Each element either:
- Illuminates the path to their desired outcome and helps them get there easily, or
- Serves as an obstacle standing between them and what they hope to find and accomplish.”
Take a good look at your website. Are there obstacles standing the way of your success? It’s time to get out of your own way and focus on effective, user friendly and goal-driven websites that will help your business thrive online.
As we emerge from a very uncertain time and prepare for the year ahead, here is what we know for sure: we need to provide constant value to our target audience while also ensuring a flawless user experience and being respectful of privacy. Keeping those three priorities top of mind and working on these 10 digital trends will help your company be primed for optimal succeed throughout 2022.
Need assistance with anything on this list? Please contact me anytime.