The numbers for the past holiday season are starting to be tallied up, and we were a bunch of busy bodies. The question is, as a business owner, local or otherwise, does your earnings this season match up with the increased spending this year?
According to a MasterCard report, online holiday sales rose more than 15 percent, with consumers spending about $36 billion online. A 15 percent gain over last year is a great upswing in one of the busiest times of year and a great way to go into the new year. As a whole, the retail industry saw a 5.5 percent increase in sales for the season, the strongest performance in five years, with consumers spending $584 billion over the holidays.
Online sales increases this past year should be an even larger incentive for all business owners to improve their presence online in a big way. Some of the newer trends this season were mobile marketing, shopping via mobile phones. Intuitive marketers encouraged their businesses to harness the power in mobile technology, and leveraged services like Twitter to announce premium sales, issue coupons and offer very limited time flash sales with huge savings for customers.
Having a glance at the numbers for this holiday season, and having a read about some of the marketing tactics used, how did you fare this time around? Did you experience a 15% increase in sales? Did you leverage the power of local and mobile search to entice your customers into your location? With the power of the web, the world is your marketplace, but you should never forget where you are and those who are around you as well.
So what was it this year that tickled your fancy? The year is always ending just when it feels like you get into the groove of things, so it’s no real surprise that you may not remember what you were interested in 11 months ago. But that’s okay, because Google has just released their Zeitgeist of search. The flow of the year, as told by the trends of the internet and it’s users.
Whether it came to being hit with a bottle, or some other claim to additional fame, Justin Bieber beat out the likes of Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Shakira and even Netflix to become the fastest rising searched person and entertainment star. At no surprise however, the iPad and iPhone4 dominated the electronics trends, although as the fastest rising search trend in general, the award goes to Chatroulette, the instant, random face to face messaging service.
The fall from grace is never enjoyable, yet Susan Boyle felt it on search this year along with the movies New Moon and Slumdog Millionaire, and the global health concern of Swine Flu. Unfortunately as well however, the tragedies which shape us can be found in the daily headlines as well. At no surprise Haiti dominated the news trends as well as being the number one search term under humanitarian aid with donate to Haiti; followed closely no doubt by donate to Pakistan.
In the end the top 10 fastest rising queries was led by chatroulette, iPad and Justin Bieber, with Twitter, Gamezer and Facebook carrying the backend. The results do need to be taken with a grain of salt of course, as just because Chatroulette enjoys the crown of fastest rising search, it had an equally fast drop off. Facebook by contrast, is enjoying a steadily rising search trend as the leader in social networks. An interactive chart of the year can be found here for the most curous.
A new year, a new decade. Welcome to 2010, do you have your resolutions handy to go over them? Good! Lets begin..
Resolution #1: I will not try to perform my own SEO. This is a great start for the new year for you! Yes, you do indeed know your business better than anyone else, however, your expertise is not in SEO, it’s in your industry. SEO is our world, let Freshtraffic take care of that for you.
Resolution #2: I will communicate better with my SEO. Another great idea for 2010. Again, you know the best when it comes to your business, we at Fresh however know SEO. For us to serve you to the absolute best of our abilities we need you to remain in contact with us about any changes to your services or features so that we may change and update your pages properly. If we’ve helped you to setup a blogging service, please be sure to use the service regularly so to help firmly place yourself as the authority within your industry.
Resolution #3: I will work harder to understand “You get what you pay for”. In every situation, you get what you put in. If you receive promises of quick, high rankings for a low investment, expect to have very mixed results, worst case scenario, your website being kicked from Google’s index. Fresh has been in the search engine optimization business, since before SEO was a buzz word being tossed around marketing tables.
Resolution #4: I will understand that SEO is not SEM. Going straight to Wikipedia:
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results
SEM = sponsored links (top or right side) SEO = organic ranking (center of the page)
Resolution #5: I will not meddle after having my site optimized. We couldn’t have hoped for a more important resolution than this one. Search engine optimization isn’t an exact science to be sure, however, there are steps which need to be taken to ensure compliance within the industry, and that’s our job to know those lines and to not step over them. Something as simple as deciding to add a picture, or reword a page, without consulting first, could completely undo any and all work been done on your entire site.
Well then, it looks like you’ve compiled some great resolutions for moving forward in the New Year! We’ll have to check back in a few months, just to see how you’ve been doing at keeping to your resolutions. Happy New Year, may your year bring you highly placed organic rankings, limited to no paid inclusions, and exponential growth in unique visitors to your site.
Advertisers are looking forward to next year’s FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympics to save their industry from continued decline.
With the slowing world economy, advertising budgets are being squeezed from all sides, which led to a decline in world advertising spend. Even the bright light of advertising, online marketing dipped in the first quarter of 2009 by 5 per cent in the US.
With the slight exception of the ICC World Twenty20 cricket this year, major sporting events have been absent from the 2009 calendar, but 2010 brings the welcome return for traditional and online advertising companies to promote their brands at both the football world cup and the winter Olympics.
According to marketing forecasts from ZenithOptimedia, 2009 will see a 6.9 per cent decline in global advertising, but will start to recover with the advent of the great sporting events. The prediction is that advertising will grow by nearly two per cent in 2010, up to a monumental $463 billion.
ZenithOptimedia urged companies not to slash advertising budget if they wished to survive the recession: “In uncertain times advertising is often treated as a discretionary expense and cut early, despite much research that shows companies maintaining their ad expenditure in a recession come out of it stronger than those that do not,” reported The Daily Telegraph.
Digital media has a chance to capitalise on the decline of the advertising industry, with the benefits of cheaper and more effective online advertising gaining traction in the industry. Online marketing campaigns to promote the world cup in particular, are set to be extremely lucrative for top advertising markets, and will no doubt boost local advertising in South Africa also.