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Five Things You Must Include In Your 2017 Digital Marketing Mix

As 2016 comes to a close, many companies are already planning their digital marketing strategy for 2017. Here are five essential elements to include in your digital marketing mix for the coming year.

Website Security

Earlier this month, Yahoo suffered a security breach that affected more than one billion of its user accounts. A security breach of this size should serve as a reminder of just how critical it is to ensure that your website is secure in 2017. We provide our clients with server-level monitoring for maximum security.

As scammers become more adept at stealing sensitive information, phishing scams are also on the rise. The Anthem medical data breach of 2015 was one of the largest data breaches in American history, and it caused by a phishing scam that targeted Anthem employees. Today’s scammers will go to great lengths to separate you from your money or to access your customer data. In our blog post, Lessons Learned From Scamming a Scammer, you can see just how far scammers are willing to go to get what they want.

In 2015, Google announced that it uses HTTPS encryption and SSL certificates as a ranking factor. This means that websites with HTTPS or SSL certificate will be given priority in Google search engine rankings over websites that don't. Many online shoppers won't buy from websites that don't have SSL certificates, because they're afraid of having their credit card information stolen. If you haven't already done so, your company should definitely make the switch to HTTPS in 2017.

We offer SSL certificates, website security audits, employee training about the dangers of phishing scams and other common threats to your website security.

Paid Search Advertising

As the effectiveness of paid search advertising continues to grow, more companies are realizing that it's something they need to do to stay competitive. Popular paid search advertising networks like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads offer advanced audience targeting features that allow companies to target their customers like never before. This prevents your ad dollars from being wasted on irrelevant audiences and helps to ensure that your ads are in front of the right prospect at the right moment.

We can set up your paid search ad campaigns to only target users who meet your specific demographic and geographic customer data or set up campaigns that only remarket/retarget your ads to people who have visited or made a purchase from your website. Using paid search advertising to target in-market segments of prospective customers who are actively researching and comparing your products or services to your competitors is an efficient and cost-effective digital marketing strategy.

However, with advanced targeting capabilities comes increased complexity. Many companies do what they can to limit their ad spend and reach their customers, but paid search ad campaigns are the most effective when they're being managed and optimized by ad experts. Paid search ad specialists know how to research your competitors and are able to tell you whether or not your competitors are doing paid search advertising and how much they are spending. They can even tell you which keywords your competitors are advertising for and which ads they are running so you can maximize the effectiveness of your paid search ad campaigns and increase your return on investment.

As a Google Partner that is also AdWords certified, we can optimize your paid search campaigns in accordance with Google best practices and setup or manage Bing, Google, Facebook and LinkedIn ad campaigns to achieve your marketing objectives and increase your ROI.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a powerful tool that allows marketers to streamline their marketing initiatives and dramatically increase their effectiveness by integrating their website, email campaigns and social media channels with other lead generation efforts.

As the need for your company to generate qualified leads for Sales and produce revenue continues to grow, marketing automation enables you to effectively utilize a variety of marketing channels and to automate tasks.

Many marketing automation systems have similar features. Those of us who spent last year vetting different companies can attest to the difficulty of choosing the best system from among an overwhelming list of features. Successful companies are able to narrow down the specific objectives they hope to accomplish and identify the marketing automation platforms that offer not only what they need now, but also what they need in the future.

Marketing automation is often touted as a solution for saving time and resources by automating repetitive tasks, but if your company doesn't have staff with the necessary expertise to utilize the system, it can quickly become an expensive fallacy. In order to really generate a positive ROI from marketing automation, you need to have the right strategy and the right team in place to support it. Many effective marketers choose to outsource their marketing automation needs to agencies and combine their expertise with that of their internal team.

We can help you successfully select, implement and employ the marketing automation software you need to accomplish your goals in 2017.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Like Y2K, most of us survived the Google Mobilegeddon update that rolled out on April 21, 2015. Since then, Google has rolled out yet another mobile-friendly algorithm update on May 12th of this year in an effort to give mobile-friendly websites ranking priority in search results over websites that don't have a mobile-friendly design.

As recently as November 4, 2016, Google announced on its Webmaster Central Blog that their search "algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site's content to rank pages from that site to understand structured data and show snippets from those pages in [their] results". As the world's most popular search engine, Google's statements on the rising importance of mobile-friendly website design cannot be ignored.

To see if your website is responsive, try our free mobile responsive test tool.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As the search ranking algorithms have become more complex and sophisticated, so has search engine optimization. If your website isn't fully optimized for search, your prospects have about as much chance of finding you online as they do of winning the lottery.

In addition to optimizing your page content, page titles and meta descriptions for search engines, we also help you make sure that your website is following the latest SEO best practices. We also take care of the more technical SEO aspects as well, such as backlinking and 301 redirects.

Whatever your digital marketing needs are in 2017, Foremost Media can help!