In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, desktop computers were the norm. Being “online” meant having an email account and, perhaps, a website. Most websites were nothing more than online brochures.
In 2007 the Internet was turned on its head with the release of the iPhone that could access the Internet. The opening of Facebook to official business pages gave businesses a new Internet on-ramp. Today, 80% of Internet users have a cell phone and over 1.5 billion people are on Facebook.
The early 2000’s also saw an exponential increase in the number of websites. This made it necessary for search engines to decide which web pages best answered a user’s request. Sophisticated and complicated rules were developed to make those decisions. These algorithms continue to evolve as technology advances, making it increasingly challenging to “chase” top rank for web pages.
Mobile devices and social media complicated things even more
Two of Google’s decisions have had a profound impact on how companies approach the Internet: 1) Google decided to include posts from Facebook and other social sites in their search results; and 2) Google decided to “punish” websites that were not mobile friendly. This means that a Facebook post or tweet might appear before a web page, and that a website that is not mobile friendly may not be displayed – even if it has the best answer for a search term.
Advertising has changed
Many businesses use Google Adwords, which take advantage of a user’s browser history to display ads, not only in Google’s search results, but also across the Internet. Many of these ads are displayed on mobile devices and influence point-of-purchase decisions. Facebook uses information, interests and browsing history to show targeted ads to people with Facebook accounts and to those who are not on Facebook. Facebook ads can also target people who are close to a retail store that is advertising on that platform.
Businesses ignoring mobile and social are at a disadvantage
Businesses that do not have mobile-friendly websites and an active Facebook strategy are losing in the marketing game. Don’t believe me? Here are a few statistics:
- Mobile Offers are redeemed 10 times more frequently than print offers. (eMarketer)
- The amount spent on digital ads is set to exceed spending on television ads in 2017. (eMarketer)
- More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computer (Hubspot)
- Mobile ad spending topped $100 billion in 2016 and accounted for 51% of all Internet ads. (eMarketer)
- 80% of Facebook advertising revenue comes from mobile ads. (Advertising Age)
- 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they are more likely to buy a site’s product or service. (com)