As your business moves towards the next decade, now is a good time to build a strategic plan for the coming year and beyond. What’s important to remember, as you plan for your business in 2020, is to keep it forward-thinking, inspiring, yet practical.
Here are a few things you should consider:
1. Think digital
This has been the mantra for the last few years, and you may have already jumped on the digital bandwagon. But have you wondered how much further digital can take you?
Telecommuting is fast becoming adopted among businesses today. While working from home may have been dismissed as a passing millennial trend, the truth is, its benefits can no longer be ignored. Remote work no longer means working from an exotic locale; it’s a manner of approaching work. It has disrupted the traditional workplace and resulted in happier, more productive employees. Remote work saves you office overheads and commute-spend. Video conferencing also cuts travel costs while maintaining face-to-face communication. In fact, every part of your business can be streamlined using a digital platform.
2. Go green
It’s not just a trend or the need of the hour – it’s what customers are also looking for in companies. The CGS 2019 US Consumer Sustainability Survey revealed that over two-thirds of their respondents considered sustainability when shopping, and were willing to pay 25% more for sustainable products. Adopting the green revolution can help you in two ways. You can do your bit for the environment, and improve the way a large fraction of your customers receive your brand.
However, it’s not just about your brand image. Renewable energy will get less expensive with time, and making the change to more sustainable power sources can save you a lot in the future. It’s an investment that will benefit your business in the long run.
3. Invest in innovative thought
It’s easy to search Google for likely business trends in the coming years, and you’ll even find numerous predictions online. However, there are a few that have actually invested serious thought in this and know what they’re talking about. Invest in their valuable insights. An expert relevant to your business is always good to consult to get you a powerful edge, going forward.
4. Automate accordingly
Today, it’s all about automation, but you need to decide exactly what tasks in your business you’d want automated. Perhaps the best place to begin will be the mundane, routine jobs that don’t require much skill or thought. Your employees can then focus on the more important work they were hired for. So, when you plan for your business in 2020, develop a strategy that includes automating the tasks that are weighing heavily on your employees’ time and go from there. Random selections for automation won’t work. You’ll also have to account for the fact that your competitors will also be automating, and it would serve you well to stay a step or two ahead.
5. Refine your digital marketing strategy
Digital marketing is constantly evolving with changes in digital technology. It is important to keep up with these changes because your customers’ preferences are evolving too. Integrating your digital marketing with technology to provide an end-to-end customer experience is growing increasingly more important. Look into every facet of your digital marketing to get the most out of it, such as:
a. Website audit
A website audit will help you take stock of the current performance of your website. The on-page and off-page technical check-ups will give you the data and information needed to learn its current status. From this, you can derive the changes needed to improve your website. Following this, you can take strategic decisions on the same.
b. Optimize your content
For your content to be discovered by search engines, and by extension, your consumers, it must be attractive, useful and actionable. More important, it must be optimized for search. Of course, you need to start writing fresh content to suit these needs, but you can also update and refresh your old content. It’s faster and produces better results, too!
Google assigns every page a ‘freshness score’ based on the date of its inception – which is also when search engines become aware of its content. This freshness score is a factor for Google to determine the quality of your website. Which makes it all the more important to keep your website updated. Take a look at every page of your website, and check for these:
– Is the content older than other similar results?
– Is the content irrelevant and outdated?
– Does it conform to current web copy best practices?
If you’ve answered ‘no’ to these, then it’s time you brushed the cobwebs off the old content and made it bright and shiny new. How, you ask?
For starters, try this –
– Include new keywords. Here are some keyword research tools to help you.
– Replace jargon with words your customers use (use the language of your audience)
– Improve internal linking
– Link to more authority websites
– Include user-generated content
c. Stay updated on SEO
SEO has evolved very quickly. In fact, a few techniques you used last year, are already modified or obsolete now. Google has been continually changing its algorithms and we cannot usually predict the criteria for that change. Some techniques, however, are sure to move forward into the next decade.
Here’s what you need to focus on to stay on the right side with Google:
– Enhanced UX
Ultimately, it’s all about the user. Keep them happy, and you keep Google happy. This translates to the speed with which your audience can access information on your website, easy navigation, and a clean design.
– Engaging content
You could use all the keywords you want, but if your content is boring, no one’s coming visiting. It needs to be high-quality, entertaining and engaging to satisfy your audience – and Google. Blogs are already giving way to videos, images, GIFs and memes – anything visual. So try to incorporate these into your pages, ensuring that they’ve been optimized for search.
– Voice search
Search in 2020 will lean towards voice search. With more and more people needing to run searches while on the go, it is simpler to speak the question rather than type it out. Alexa, Google Assist and Siri are already using this technology. In fact, a few years ago, Andrew Ng, then Chief Scientist at Baidu, predicted that “By 2020, 50% of all searches will be carried out via voice.”
– Long tail search
As a result of voice search, where people use a conversational style to ask a question, the phrases they use are longer. This will result in a shift from concise keywords to long-tail keywords. Therefore, your website content must be simple and understandable, and your keyword must be appropriately phrased. Your content will rank better if presented in a conversational style.
– Mobile optimization
2018 onwards, Google included mobile optimization as a factor for SERP rankings. This will hold true even in the coming years. Now, rich snippets are also required as they are relevant to voice search, although they do not directly impact rankings.
If you’ve got a good thing going with your business, then that’s fantastic. But remember to stay abreast of industry and technological changes and to consider these aforementioned factors in order to remain competitive. Thus, when you plan for your business in 2020 and beyond, remember to incorporate all of these into your discussions to build a rock-solid strategy for the coming years.
At Them You & Me, we help in the digital transformation of businesses. If you’d like to discuss how to plan for your business in 2020, or have any questions, give us a call.
To know about what we do and the services we offer, please visit our website.