5 Online Innovations We Would Like To See In 2015

2015 is here and businesses across the country are in the midst of planning and implementing their online marketing strategies.

In the spirit of planning and anticipation of future evolutions in online marketing tools, the team at BizHive would like to share with you 5 online innovations that we believe would help small businesses with online marketing and online reputation management:

1.  Google Unveils Website Visitor Heat Map

Website Visitor Activity Heat Map

Within its webmaster tools accounts, search engine giant Google unveils visual “Heat Maps” that show website and blog owners where visitors spend the most time on their pages and posts.

The Benefit:  This would be an expansion of the some of the basic features currently available in Google Analytics and would enhance the opportunity for website and blog owners to better place advertisements and call-to-action elements.  Perhaps this would also increase click through and revenue rates for Google AdSense advertisers as well?

2.  Facebook and Twitter Offer Free Sponsored Posts

Social media moguls such as Facebook and Twitter offer business account owners free sponsored posts or the ability to “boost” a free post after achieving certain fan milestones.  For example, once a business achieves 1000, 5000, 10000 fans, it would be rewarded with the opportunity to make an announcement of their choosing for free to users outside of their existing fan base.

The Benefit:  If social networks sites are looking to incentify businesses to engage in paid advertising, then this would be a fast and fair way to do so.  Imagine the increase in participation on social media websites if business owners knew that a merit-based reward awaited them for their hard work for fan development?

3.  Yelp Introduces Manual Review Removal Service

The top customer review website Yelp introduces a manual review removal service for business account owners.  We have shared this suggestion in the past to help encourage Yelp to offer this feature for businesses to manually remove one review per month in their accounts.

The Benefit:  The ability for a business to remove a fake review, a review planted by a competitor, or an exaggerated review by a customer would go a long way with business owners having greater trust and confidence in one-way online review websites.

4.  Association Email Lists Are Considered “Opted-In”

Trusted broadcast email providers such as ConstantContact and Mailchimp automatically assign “opt-in” status to professional association bulk email lists.

Many businesses are members of associations or professional groups and quite often are given access to membership email addresses.  The ability for a business to conduct a bulk upload of these association member email addresses to their email marketing account and have it automatically approved would offer a dramatic benefit for small business email marketing.  Currently, some major broadcast email providers do allow for a bulk upload of email addresses that have not “opted-in” to an email list.  The fact that a business pays for its membership in an association or professional group should automatically be considered an “opt-in” by the membership to the company subscriber list.

The Benefit:  The ability for a business to build engagement with prospective customers that possess intimate knowledge of an organization’s products and services would help to achieve results such as increased open rates, increased click through rates, and increased lead generation:

Association Membership Email ListGeneral Email Subscriber List

5.  Free SSL Certificate with Bulk Domain Name Purchases

Domain name registrars include a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate with the bulk purchase of domain names for 5 years or more.  There is credence given to having a secure domain name to help make websites and blogs more secure, and, for increased recognition from search engines like Google.

The Benefit:  This is win-win.  Businesses receive an SSL certificate for allocation to a domain of their choosing and domain registrars receive renewal fees for multiple domain names for multiple years.

These wishes may, or may not, come to fruition.  However, if they do you heard it here first!

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