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How Can My Website Increase My Market Reach in 2016? Learn From 2015.

22 December 2015 16:06

2015 has been a year of dramatic change to the web, especially for companies with eCommerce websites. To be successful on the net all businesses must now have a much more considered approach to their online presence. Not only must websites fit all devices, display quality, relavent content, but they must also consider their customer's journey (and purchasing experience), even through social media platforms. 

Sales trends were largely driven by noteable changes in Google's Algorythm and changes in Social Media, particularly when selling online:

1) Mobile Update AKA "Mobilegeddon" — April 22, 2015

April saw the pre-empted, disruptive change in Google's mobile search rankings to de-rate websites which are not deemed 'mobile-friendly'. Responsive website design became the latest must-have. Online retailers particularly felt the impact as tablets and phones became a predominant way to purchase online and there was a massive move towards tailored mobile websites, that worked well on all mobile devices. With 80% of internet users owning a smartphone, Mobile Ad spend is predicted to increase over the coming years, 'Mobilegeddon' seemed to be paving the way for an ever-increasing mobile-orientated consumer. 

ACTION: Ensure your website is mobile friendly. 

2) The Quality Update — May 3, 2015

In May, Google changed its core ranking algorithm in terms of how it processes quality signals. Essentially Google wants to provide a good search experience for its users and higher quality findings enhance the users' search experience. 

Duplicate content is content that appears on the Internet in more than one place (whether on your own site or another website). This can be page content, product descriptions, SEO tags, or blog posts. Static blogs are also deemed to be considered to be a signal of a poor quality website. Smaller eCommerce websites who had not taken time to address their content suffered particularly badly from this update.  

Following the Quality Update, Google proceeded to start rolling out Panda 4.2 (#28) in July, over a series of months. Panda continued to enhance the quality of search results and Google vowed to help smaller businesses compete online in their later updates.

ACTION: Make sure your website does not have duplicate content and each page has unique page title tags, meta titles, meta descriptions and SEO URLs. 

3) Changes in Social Media

2015 also saw the continued rise in social media platforms - from Instagram to Facebook, Pinterest to Google+, and Reddit or Twitter, a business can no longer be represented on their website alone. With the integration of Twitter into Google's search weighing, many small businesses benefitted from investing in their wider web presence. 

ACTION: Remain active on at least two Social Media platforms. 

What's next for 2016? 

There is much speculation about the direction the web will take in 2016. Here at iPages, we are expecting to see a rise in personalised goods being sold online and an emphasis on giving visitors an exceptional, customised user-experience.

We believe visitors will come to expect a higher level of engagement from a website - whether this is personalised emails or tailored pop-ups. eCommerce websites will have to be paricularly diligent at remaining cutting edge. We are so used to shopping online, websites which can make visitors feel special or noticed will reap the rewards. 

Can we help?

At iPages, we have helped countless businesses throughout 2015 and we would love to help you this year. Our team of designers, developers, marketing and support staff are uniquely placed to help you sell online or promote your business. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to chat about your current web presence and why not request a free website audit? 

Sources: SmartInsight, Moz