The days of SEO as the primary traffic driver to your website are over. Don't get us wrong, organic search engine optimization isn't about to disappear as a key traffic driver. And thankfully, Google AdWords is still going strong. However, recent technology trends enable a brave new world of marketing. Ignore them at your peril.
Take real-time, for instance. The next generation of search, aggregation, notification and findability services are being developed using real-time technologies that enable users and machines to receive real-time updates. In a recent post, Robert Scoble said he would be better off curating news than actually attending the Apple launch! What? If you aren't thinking about how real time, along with social networks, mobile and location-based services fits in your marketing plan, you're missing an opportunity.
Google's Great, But Facebook Rocks
In a recent post, ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick asked "Why is Google afraid of Facebook?" The answer is because social networking sites have become a key link in the search and information sharing value chain. You would have to be hiding out in a dark hole not to understand social media and the effect it has had on marketing the past couple of years - but surpass search? Oh, right, now I get it: These sites are an important information source for everyone. Importantly, friends' recommendations are key.
Mobile is Better
Google's VP of product development recently stated that, "with all the capabilities these phones that are coming out have - like GPS, cameras - we think there is the potential to actually make this mobile Web better than the PC Web." That is a profound statement for marketing managers. A mobile phone experience better than the web? If you haven't bought yourself a smart phone like iPhone or Android, we suggest you go out and grab one. Mobile applications are proliferating like rabbits. What would be better than to be first to market and offer your customers an exceptional product experience while on the go.
Perfect product placement
Location-based services mean the ability to market right outside your front door is happening now. ReadWriteWeb's Frederic Lardinois reported in June 2009 that 1 in 3 smart phone owners use location based services. Take this simple example. You're in Vail, you just finished 8 hours on the mountain and now you're looking for the perfect apres ski location. You're walking down the Mall, you take your iPhone out of your pocket and ta-da! Buy one-get-one-free margaritas at Las Margaritas. You're standing right outside. Perfect product placement. And now you can talk about the restaurant and broadcast it immediately to all your friends.
If you aren't listening to the conversation, you better start. There are numerous listening applications available to get you started in your pursuit to join the conversation and get a handle on positive as well as negative feedback on your product or brand. A simple saved search in Twitter can go along way.
All these trends have a profound impact on how we market to our website guests at ReadWriteWeb. Not only do we have to understand search engine optimization, but the opportunities offered by social media marketing, the new capabilities and possibilities offered by mobile, geolocation, augmented reality and real-time notification and information sharing. One seems to becoming just as important as the next.
If you don't understand these technology trends as a marketer, you better get out while the getting is good. Enabled by technology, 2010 is already a watershed year for new ways to reach your customers.
Want to know more about the real-time Web? Read ReadWriteWeb's report, The Real-Time Web and its Future.
Photo by Clix.