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Below you will find a wealth of Internet Marketing information.  Please feel free after reading your selection, to post a comment, or a question ... we love hearing back from our readers!

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Internet Marketing Trends -- 2011
By: Wendy Ogryzek, June Bachman and Teresa Mitchell ~ 12/14/2010

As the “Year of the Video” is coming to a close, we at bWyse want to explore our observations of what we believe are the Internet Marketing Trends for 2011 – the Year of Being REAL. Most importantly, “Being Real” means more personal marketing. YOU are the biggest part of your internet marketing plan. As you review your marketing efforts for next year, make certain you are providing your website visitors and members of your social communities:

  • Something of value.
  • Your knowledge and expertise.
  • Useful and helpful information.

Farmer’s Market Fresh and Fast Search Engine Results

In 2010 Bing and Yahoo joined forces to work together to provide the best possible search results and really give Google a run for their money. Bing gained Yahoo’s search market advances, and Yahoo’s search results are now being powered by Bing. Additionally, in 2010 Google made major changes to the search engine results they provide. All three search engines are now working extremely hard to offer the most up-to-date, the “freshest” results.

The search engines will accomplish fast and fresh results through a few different methods. They will continue to look to blog posts for current information. You may have noticed in the past few months that blog posts are now ranked in the results within in a few minutes …. Not a few months as before. The search engines are also seeking websites that offer interesting content that is updated often. These are the websites that will be rewarded with higher rankings by the search engines.

What this means to you …

  • You can no longer afford to build a website and forget about it.
  • You must have a plan in place to update the content on your site routinely … and often.
  • Websites that aren’t offering up-to-date content will get lost or buried in the search results pages.

Location, Location, Location … It’s all about localization

As the search engines work to improve fast and fresh results, they are also focusing very much on providing the best results based upon the searcher’s location. You may have noticed in the past month Google has changed the layout of the first page of search results. Now, the websites listed on the first place come directly from the Google Places listing – which pushes the top ten organic results to the next page.

It has become extremely important for all businesses to not only have a website presence but also have great local listings as well.

What this means to you …

  • You need to create a local listing for your business for all three search engines:

o http://www.google.com/support/places/

o http://local.yahoo.com/

  • Make sure you complete your local profile completely, using your keywords as well.
  • You should create a strategy to ask clients to post reviews on the internet for you. Local listings benefit from having more reviews.

Social Hour Has Been Extended Indefinitely

Social hour has been extended, assuredly into 2011 and beyond. Search engines already deliver real time results of Twitter feeds and Facebook Business Page posts. If your business has not yet joined the social hour … then you are missing additional opportunities for your business to be found via the search engines.

What this means to you …

  • If you haven’t built a business fan page on Facebook yet … now is the time to do it!
  • Take time to make sure your brand message is consistent throughout all of your social media networking platforms.
  • Connect your social media platforms together. Using your blog as the foundation of your social media strategy … be sure to post on your wall your latest blogs – and tweet about them as well.

User Experience Factor

Users will expect more in 2011. Website visitors demand their expectations are met. They want to easily find their way around even the most complex websites. When the user experience is difficult – they leave. It will be even more important than it has been in the past to continue to enhance and improve how well your website engages its users.

What this means to you …

  • If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your website design, it may be time for reviews and changes.
  • Take a look at your content … make sure your text is written succinctly and clearly.
  • Use more white space on your web pages. It will help users see the content you want them to see.
  • Consider using a large image on each page. Larger images make bold statements and leave a lasting impression in the mind of your visitors.
  • Although footers used to be overlooked in the past, website visitors today are looking for information in large, oversized footers.

Sticky Content

Sticky buns stick to everything – pan, utensils, fork, serving plate, and teeth. Like a really good sticky bun, think of sticky content as anything that sticks to your site visitors – an idea, a logo, a recipe, a solution to their problem, a how to video. Sticky content keeps your site visitors coming back for more because something stuck to them. Sticky content adds value, saves your customers time or money, and offers inspiration.

Video is one really important aspect of sticky content. Americans watch more videos each month on YouTube than they conduct searches on Google. A video is 50 times more likely to get a first-page Google ranking that is a web page. Over 70% of adult internet users have used the internet to watch or download videos. You need to incorporate video into your website.

What this means to you …

  • Review your website content to determine if you are providing sticky content. Are you giving visitors a reason to come back to your website?
  • Have a blog (that is part of your website) which offers interesting and useful information that visitors will want to read regularly.
  • Make some videos, upload them to YouTube, and also add them to your website.

Mobile Marketing

By 2012 over 70% of cell phone users in the United States will have smart phones. Smart phones are cell phones that have internet capabilities. This means more and more of your website visitors will be viewing your website on a cell phone. Consumer confidence regarding making purchases via their cell phones will continue to increase.

What this means to you …

  • It’s time to grab a smart phone to see what your website looks like. Is your site just as effective on a cell phone?
  • Do you sell online? Should you consider what the user experience would be like, if they are trying to buy from you via their cell phone?

Over 2011 will be interesting as technological advances, coupled with website visitor expectation continue to expand and enhance the evolution of your website. The design, functionality and strategy for localizing and updating your website routinely absolutely must be an integral part of your 2011 internet marketing strategy.