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ROBERTSON: Digital changes to business and the web

Even corporate “giants” have issues. Most everyone has heard about the Cyber Monday overload.

Last week, on the 10th anniversary of Cyber Monday, the online shopping day the Monday after Thanksgiving, some major sites such as Target had outages because of high volume. While frustrating for those affected, this situation shows why it is important to have the right hosting service for your website.

No business should have to deal with a website crashing because of overload. That’s one reason why it is important to have webhosting that is scalable, operates on a powerful server, has stable network connections and a 99.5 percent and above uptime score.

A need for speed: Speed is also important. In this increasingly fast-paced world, there is a “need for speed” in website loading. At some point, you have likely visited a website that took forever to load, and you went to another site. Not only will a faster website increase user experience, but it can also affect your Google rankings.

With HTTP/2, your website loads faster, and you may get a rankings boost. According to Google’s John Mueller, by the end of this year or early 2016, GoogleBot will support HTTP/2. That’s why businesses should start thinking about updating to HTTP/2 now. Updating will bring advancements in efficiency, security and speed.

It’s all about providing the Internet user a better experience. Over time, as you adjust to the limits of the new protocols, you and your website users should see increased speeds on HTTP/2 connections.

How about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

Because GoogleBot is adding support for HTTP/2, websites supporting the protocol will probably get an additional rankings boost from increased speed. And, according to Search Engine Land, “with Chrome and Firefox only supporting HTTP/2 over HTTPS, many websites that have not yet upgraded to HTTPS may see an additional boost in rankings when they do.”

Now, let’s take a look at Internet ad usage.

Thanks to ad blocking and the continual saturation of advertising, users are becoming more likely to block ads or pass over them. Consequently, marketers are reconsidering how they attempt to reach consumers. Looking at consumer usage, it appears the future of digital ads will be going more toward social media ads and native advertising

A majority of adult consumers use social media sites on a regular basis.

Top social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have advertising options. Each site has shown success. Repeated success stories have led to increased spending in this area of digital marketing. The overall spend for social media campaigns in 2015 is expected to fall just shy of $24 billion, a 33.5 percent increase from 2014.

Ad blocking in the U.S. grew by 48 percent in 12 months and is expected to cost publishers an astonishing $22 billion this year, prompting advertisers to try native advertising. Resembling editorial content, native advertising typically has a slight design difference showing it is sponsored content. Native advertising is a less intrusive way to present a brand to the consumer, has a purchase intent 53 percent higher than traditional ads and usually produces a higher click-through rate than standard display placement.

Technology and trends continue to change. That said, it is important to be aware of these changes and see whether you need to make any adjustments in your organization’s online marketing effort.

 

This column was compiled by Karen Robertson, director of public relations and client development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations, Inc. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or 912-921-1040.

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