Online Business Continues to Evolve: Here's How to Survive

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is an ever-changing industry and in order for businesses to survive, they need to change with the times. 


Some of the biggest changes in recent years have taken place on large platforms like Google and Amazon Associates and this, in turn, has brought on some unanticipated changes for a lot of smaller businesses


These and other tech giants have been accused of posing a serious threat to the wellbeing of small businesses


With some people questioning the extent to which these platforms are responsible for the 50% drop in the number of small businesses being started today, compared to 50 years ago. 


1. The pandemic has made things difficult

No matter what industry you're in, you will find that a lot has changed due to the pandemic. 


In fact, a lot of small businesses and marketers are discovering that the pandemic has made things very difficult when it comes to digital marketing and SEO. 

Small Businesses Hit Hard by the COVID-19 Crisis

Covid-19 has had a massive impact on Internet searches and on business


There have been unprecedented changes in Google SERPs, as well as in user search behavior. 


In an effort to continue providing users with relevant search results, Google and other search engines have now implemented SERP enhancements that help put important relevant information at the forefront during the global health crisis. 


And, with so many people staying at home these days, there has been a huge shift in search behavior from mobile to desktop devices. 


And this decrease in mobile searches has made it necessary for marketers to make drastic changes in their digital marketing and SEO strategies.

2. Amazon associates continues to change

The Amazon affiliate commission change had a resonating effect on businesses everywhere. 


Businesses of all sizes have felt the negative effects brought on by the reduced affiliate commissions, as well as the suspended affiliate programs. 


This sudden move has prompted many affiliate marketers to seek alternative programs where they can continue to get paid for recommending products


And many have been forced to pivot into entirely new arenas, such as display ads in order to keep revenue flowing into their business

3. Google continues to update algorithms

Google

Google's new algorithm means massive changes in SEO best practices for 2021 and beyond.


Ads are dominating search, and large brands are taking up the majority of space on the organic listings


It has become even harder for small businesses to compete - even those with great SEO practices in place.


Although many businesses overlook the power of algorithm changes, a lot of companies live and die by their exposure on Google – or lack thereof. 


They lose tons of revenue due to a drop in rankings and traffic.

Conversion Growth or Decline Due to Covid-19

If you have noticed a big shift in your traffic in the past few months, the cause could be the May update from Google which brought new changes to the search giant's algorithm, and it’s a sign that it’s time to start adapting your marketing.


Since Google's algorithm updates tend to come quickly and sometimes unexpectedly, this can have a scary impact if your business is not prepared.


And with these changes impacting all businesses online. 


It's important for marketers to stay focused on creating the best possible quality content that will allow them to rank high in Google search, now and in the post-pandemic world.

4. This industry is always shifting

Digital Marketing Industry

Things are constantly shifting in the digital marketing industry


It's survival of the fittest and in order to keep your business viable, you will have to keep up with the ever-changing markets.


Things are changing not only in the digital marketing space but also in customer taste and buying behavior. 


That's why, in order to survive, you must be flexible enough to adapt and keep up with the times.


However, for many, that is easier said than done. Especially for organizations that are transforming digitally and trying to become accustomed to the digital world. 


The good news is that if you have a plan in place, then it's very easy to keep on top of the way things are changing so you can ensure the survival of your online business in the long term.


Listed below are five effective tips to help you get started.

5. 5 Ways to survive as an online business

Survive

5.1. Focus on diversification

One of the best ways to ensure your business’s survival is to focus on diversification


You must explore multiple channels that will bring your business the best results.


In this digital age, consumers have countless ways of researching products, interacting with brands, making purchases online, etc. 


As a business, you cannot afford to rely only on a single channel. 


You will need to consider all the different touchpoints in your customer's journey.


Studies have shown that the majority of customers move through multiple channels before making the decision to buy. 


Even more important is the fact that those customers spend on average 82% more on each transaction they make.


This offers a massive opportunity that businesses cannot afford to ignore, and it is the reason why it's important to focus on diversifying your marketing across multiple channels.

5.2. Do more of what works

The next tip to help you survive the continuous evolution of digital marketing is to focus on what's actually working in your business.


No matter what your objectives are, it's important to track metrics that really matter, instead of vanity metrics which don't give you the actual truth when it comes to the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.


For instance, if you are teaching online and see that a lot of students are enjoying the courses that you’ve created, create more courses or make your current courses even better.

Rather than focusing on social media, new content, or one of the other tasks that can distract you, consider instead the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Return on Experience (ROE). 


These are metrics that really matter and they show you whether or not your customers enjoy interacting with your brand.

5.3. Avoid shiny object syndrome

The ability to adapt quickly during digital disruption is one of the reasons why some businesses experience success while others fail to keep up. 


But, while it's vital that you are able to adapt and try new things, it's also important to avoid falling prey to the shiny object syndrome.


With so much going on in the digital space, including the rapid progression of technology like artificial intelligence, etc., 


Many companies feel that they have no time to waste and are seduced into undertaking digital transformations so as not to be left behind.


However, while it's important to keep up with the evolution of digital marketing, you must take care that you don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to do everything and be everywhere all at the same time.


Focus only on what’s working for your business, learn from your mistakes, and make improvements that will help keep your business afloat during these uncertain times.

5.4. Focus on income stacking

Income stacking refers to the process of building multiple streams of income for your business. 


These will help offset all your expenses during these uncertain economic times and beyond.


When it comes to income stacking methods, there are dozens of options available for your online business to choose from. 


You must figure out the options that will offer you the best return on your investment.


For instance, you might invest in a new YouTube advertising campaign to bring in more revenue. 


Or you may find that it's better for your business to spend a bit more on training and development for your sales team to give them enhanced skills so they can be more productive and effective in the digital future.


Although some income stacking techniques may not bring in immediate revenue, by making smart investments right now, you will equip your business to survive and thrive for years to come.

5.5. Commit to continually learning

Finally, you must make a commitment to continue to learn


This is one standard element of success that applies regardless of what market you're in.


You need to track digital developments and trends, and always work to keep the feedback coming.


In this rapidly evolving digital space, it's not easy for businesses to stay on top of all new developments, but it's the companies that keep an ear to the ground that are going to spearhead the move to the digital future.


Whether it's embracing new social media platforms, adopting intuitive software, or testing new platforms, innovation is a key factor in the success of your business.


You must also get feedback whether you deal directly or indirectly with your consumers. 


You can use surveys, social media, studies, focus groups, or even simple complaint jars to give your customers a voice and help you find out exactly what they want and need.


This is even more crucial right now when customer behavior is changing and businesses are scrambling to play catch-up.

6. Conclusion

Get started right now and implement each of these five best practices to help you survive as an online business.


Each of them will help you confront the rapidly changing world around us so you can create an effective system for adapting to current and future changes in the digital marketing sphere.

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