While speaking to clients over the last few months it seems the following five things are on lots of To Do lists:
1. Site Re-design — I can’t believe how many people are working on making their sites more useful. People seem to be waking up after a few years of sleeping through no budgets and no appetite for new projects and realizing that sites they built in 1999 just doesn’t cut it any more. This is good for me because that’s what I help them with! Are you or your clients working on site upgrades? If so, why?
2. Search Engine Visibility — “Getting Found” online is probably the next thing I find people talking about. Most companies seem to be pretty reluctant to hire SEO firms fearing that the hired gun will do something unsavoury and muck up their results. That’s one reason why I talk about Search Visibility instead of “optimization”, “placement” or “ranking” which seem to imply deception. Do you agree that Search Visibility is to Search Engines as PR is to Media?
3. Search Engine Marketing Tests — Paid search ads are of course the big news in online advertising. Lots of companies seem to be experimenting with this right now. I’m concerned though that the experiments aren’t being thought through well enough and some companies will determine that SEM isn’t right for them because of poor execution and poor understanding of the goals of these tests. How should people get their feet wet with SEM?
4. Saving E-mail Programs — I still love e-mail marketing but it seems that many companies are questioning their strategies. Between delivery problems diverting up to 20% of messages, list attrition, and slow list growth, only those with a solid handle on WHY they are sending messages seem to be happy. Is your e-mail marketing strategy in danger or are you looking to do more by e-mail this year?
5. Understanding The Role of Conversation — More companies seem to be interested in blogs and feeds as business tools as they see the need to talk to their customers like humans. I’m finding the Internet is becoming increasingly conversational and that companies that are not communicating well online are really ticking me off. Are you thinking about using blogs and feeds for your business? What goals will they support? If not, why not?
Finally, if these aren’t the things on YOUR list, what are you working on?