How the Web is Changing: The Internet in 2013

It seems appropriate to start the new year with a blog post about how the web is changing. I started writing about this in 2012 – you can read the initial post which focused on your website and/or blog.  It was called: How The Web is Changing: Websites/Blogs

Since it is not just about your website, now a days, this article will focus on Mobile Visitors, Email Marketing and Social Media.

Mobile Visitors

Mobile is changing the way we use the Internet.  More and more people are using smartphones (iPhones and Android) and tablets (iPads and others) to view websites, so UniqueThink and other web developers are now building new sites and redesigning old ones to take mobile traffic into account. 

If you are already on WordPress, you may not need a full mobile website.  You may just need to upgrade to a Responsive Design theme, to get your site looking good on a mobile device.  Of course, you will also want to reconsider the layout of your site and things like whether you are providing people easy access to what they need.  Take into account why they are using a mobile device to view your site.  If you are a restaurant or retail store, maybe they want directions, hours or to call you quick to see if you have what they want. Make it easy for them to find that info!

Your Action Step

  • Look at your site from a mobile device, and ask others to check it out
  • Determine what someone might be looking for, if they are coming to your site on a mobile device – then make it easy to find that info

Also, check your stats program – most people use Google Analytics (you will find Mobile Devices under Audience/Mobile/Devices) – and see how many visitors are starting to show up from a mobile device.  The number may still be small, but are they getting what they need from your current site?Google Analytics Under Audience Mobile Devices

Email Marketing

Where do you read your emails now a days?  Chances are, you are reading them on your phone as often as you are on your computer.  Because folks are reading emails on smaller screened mobile devices, I have to take that into account, but still keep in mind how people on a desktop or larger monitor will view it.  I’ve been exploring how to do my own email newsletter layout – as well as how to consult others in my workshops and one on one Email Marketing consultations.

Your Action Steps

Though I’ll be talking more about this, in the near future, I do encourage you to find out where your clients/customers are reading your emails.

I encourage you to take a look at your newsletter from a mobile screen (or various devices, if possible):

  • Is your header image taking up too much space?
  • Do you have too many links too close together, making it hard to click from a tiny screen?
  • Is your email too long?

If yes, these are easy things to adjust.  Consider a smaller logo, to get to the content quicker.  Add some buttons, instead of text links.  Summarize in the email and link them back to your site, to read a longer article/post. These are just a few ideas, to get you started.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – to name a few – have made some major changes in the last few months.  And newer social media sites – namely Pinterest – have gained in popularity.

As with the other topics in this post, I will be speaking more about social media over the next few months on this blog and on my various social media accounts.

If you aren’t following me, already, please consider which of these forums you are on the most and connect with me there.

Many times, I go over to those sites, to share news and link to other articles of interest.

You should be doing the same with important insights for your own community.  And remember, it is a community, so speak to them like you would a friend, a neighbor, or an acquaintance at a cocktail party or a networking event: Don’t make it all about you and your sales.  Ask them questions and engage with them.  You’d be surprise what you can learn, that will help your own business, by simply Listening!

Your Action Steps

Take a look at what others are doing with their social sites, emulate a great idea that someone else has done.  It doesn’t have to be big changes all the time, but see what is working and what isn’t working for others.

Make sure your info is current, you are well branded, and you are adding new, useful and interesting updates in each of the social media site, even if it isn’t daily.

We all get busy, but take a half hour to socialize: see what others are writing and add to that conversation. Then another day, add a link to a blog post your wrote, an article someone else wrote, a video you think is entertaining or educational, or an image of someone using your product, your self, your cat sitting on your keyboard, or the beautiful view out your window. Mix it up, sometimes make it fun, other times make it informative.

To sum it up:

There are a lot of amazing changes happening on the web today.  I hope you take some of these Action Steps.

Of course, I am also available to help you, in the way that works best for your unique situation.  Whether it is one on one consultations, workshops/speaking at your company/organization, and or having me doing some of your marketing tasks for you (though I always want to make you self-sufficient, sometimes you just have to focus on what your good at and let me do what I do best).

Just let me know, how I can help.  But, the purpose of this post is to give you ideas on a few steps you can take right away.

Which of the above action steps were easiest for you to try right away?  Which ones were more difficult?

If you share your challenges in the comments below, you can help direct what my next blog post will be about.

Which are you most interested in reading more about: WordPress, Mobile, Email Marketing or Social Media?  Let me know…

Bethany Siegler

Bethany is the founder of UniqueThink, an online marketing and web design/development firm in Boulder, CO. She specializes in WordPress websites and blogs, Email Marketing and overall marketing strategies.

View all posts by Bethany Siegler

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