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Online Business

In Online Business, You need to be a Trend Follower

26th September 2012

If you love status quo and a true believer that doing thing the old ways always work, then you shouldn’t do business online. Unlike the off line counterparts, online business requires you to continuously learn new things and evolve your business – or else, you and your business are becoming obsolete. With obsolete, the only exit for you is to sell your business cheap or close down your business.

A case study: Digg

Remember Digg? It was one of the most popular social bookmarking sites in the world. When you get your story on Digg front page, be ready to get your web server burned down – people will flock to your story. Digg was a powerhouse for getting exposure to your stories.

But today, Digg is in transition. It was reportedly to be acquired for a measly $500,000 (or $16 million according to a different source) – much lower than the $45 million valuation a year before it was acquired. Before, Digg sets the standard of social bookmarking, with thousands of sites copy what Digg did. Today, Digg looks like StumbleUpon to me. Sorry.

Digg’s decline is said to be due to series of missteps. But all in all, the decline is due to its inability to respond with the fast-paced changes in the online world.

We are always in transition

When we are talking about online business, we should label it as “fast-paced.” Unlike the off line businesses, online business need to continuously evolve. What’s working a week ago might not work anymore today.

SEO – before, you just stuff keywords in your content and you’ll rank your websites high on search engine result pages (SERPs). Not long ago, you need to gain backlink with your keyword as anchor text to help you rank high on SERPs – one advice I remember is for us not to use “click here” or “visit us” or such, as they are not helping you to rank higher on your main keywords. Today? You should use “click here” or “visit us” to diverse your inbound link, as too many links with your keyword as anchor text will get you slapped by Google for over-optimization.

Ad placements – before, you just need to stuff your above the fold with ads and do several pop-up ads – they will get you more clickthrough rate. Today, you need to place your ads in subtlety – blend them with your content and make them go well with your layout – or else, nobody will view, let alone click, your ads.

Website layout – before, bad design is forgivable as long as your content rocks. Today, great design is required to spice up your content. Not stopping there, with the growing trend of mobile technology, your website should support mobile devices – or else, you will lose mobile traffic, that is predicted to take over the conventional web traffic.

Social media – ten years ago, Facebook is just a place to meet with friends – if they actually use it. Today, businesses must use Facebook or else, they will lose customers flocking to competitors using Facebook to engage people with contests, special offers and freebies. Pinterest, anyone?

The bottom line, to be able to grow your online business, you need to tap the pulse of the web and be sure to respond promptly to changes – or else, you’ll lose your edge and when you do, recovering costs you aplenty.

So, are you following trends closely? What online business trends do you think prominent this year?

Ivan Widjaya
Online business trends follower
Image by Lee Maguire

Ivan Widjaya is the owner of AsepOnde.com, as well as the founder of several online businesses: PrevisoMedia.com, Noobpreneur.com and Uptourist.com. He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

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