12 Digital Marketing Lessons we Learnt in 2014

How to Make 2015 a Year to Remember for Your Business


2014 was the year websites went mobile, social networks got commercial, content became visual and SEO turned tactical.

If digital marketers have learnt anything from the last 12 months, it’s that the pace of change is getting faster and the need to adapt is more critical than ever.

With 2015 now firmly in our sights, one thing is certain: The new year brings fresh challenges and will come with its fair share of surprises.

So we’ve looked back over 2014 to highlight the lessons we learnt, explain how they impact your business and look ahead to the emerging trends you need to be aware of as you plan your strategy for next year.

Lesson 1: Keywords are not your target market

This statement is not as obvious as it sounds. Distinguish between who your product or service is designed for and how these people find you when they begin their research.

Lesson 2: What is your real conversion rate?

Your real conversion rate is the percentage of leads that became customers, not the number of website visitors that become customers. What does this number tell you about your digital marketing strategy? Not every visit to your website is a potential sale and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. People come to your website for a variety of reasons such as looking for a phone number, a job opportunity, to find a link to share with a friend, to check the status of an order.

Lesson 3: Measurements are not one dimensional

Customers often have multiple touch points with a business before they make a decision to buy. How do your website and social pages move visitors through the marketing funnel towards becoming a paying customer?

Lesson 4: A website is not enough

How you tell your business story through the content of your website and social pages, and promote it through search and social advertising will determine how much success you’ll have getting traffic and converting visitors to customers in 2015.

Lesson 5: Clean up your links


Getting a professional to focus on cleaning up your link back yard is mandatory. Elementary errors are easy to make but can be costly and take months to recover from.

Lesson 6: Re-marketing is no magic pudding

Everyone wants a slice of the re-marketing pie. But unless each piece is pitched to the right palate, you can forget about it being to everyone’s taste. The only way to get consistently good re-marketing results is to personalise the message and segment it to the right audience. Re-marketing is the greatest gift we have. Don’t abuse it!

Lesson 7: Social Networks are changing

Facebook, Twitter and other social networks like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram will become more focused on revenues and force businesses to spend more money to reach their existing audience and attract new followers. Targeting the right audience will become even more important in 2015. Personalisation and segmenting messages to defined markets will also take on more significance.

Lesson 8: Measure less and act more

Focus on the metrics that count, like sales, percentage of leads to sales, percentage of site visitors to sales. Traffic is one thing but activity doesn’t mean results. The opportunity to personalise has never been better.

Lesson 9: SEO is a whole lot smarter


Major changes to Google’s multitude of algorithms mean it is harder than ever to manipulate search results. Trying to cheat or game Google is a waste of time. What’s more, the penalties for getting caught out are bigger than ever. Focusing on quality, fresh, original and unique content is now the name of the game to get your website up the rankings ladder and to make it more relevant to your customers. And don’t forget how Google is increasingly rewarding positive social network signals in search results.

Lesson 10: Digital marketing *is* marketing

Five factors have fed into the huge growth of digital marketing: 1. The relatively low cost of entry. 2 The massive potential reach. 3. The speed with which it can generate results. 4. How accurately it can target an audience, and 5. The ability to easily track performance. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle.

Lesson 11: Choose your channels

Some digital channels are working much better for some businesses than others. Find your right channels, whether they are SEO, PPC, Social Media, blogs, email marketing, or – as it is more likely to become – a combination of them all.

Lesson 12: Mobile takes over


The shift to the mobile Internet was well and truly on in 2014 and will continue next year. Gearing your website, advertising and content to this growing market is a no brainer.

What the experts are saying about the trends to watch out for in 2015

Lee Odden, CEO at TopRank: “Our words are our currency – they tell the world who we are. They can make us look smart or they can make us look stupid – and so being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice; it’s a necessity. Are you thinking writing doesn’t matter in our video/podcast/Instagram world? Actually, it matters more. Good writing is like an iceberg – use your best words to convey depth under the surface.”
Jay Baer: “Cooperative content means using a large number of employees, customers, and business partners to create content across a large variety of topics. Businesses know they have to create more and more content, but having only your marketing department do that is both expensive and inefficient. Increasingly, we’ll see businesses turn to another source of content – their employees and their customers.”
Michael Brenner: “It all starts with culture. CMOs will begin to instil a culture focused on customers. Budgets will shift away from paid promotion and into brand content that their audiences actually want to consume. We will see a culture of content emerge in B2B marketing in 2015.”
Chad Pollitt: “The decline of the mobile-only website. It makes little to no sense for marketers to manage two separate web properties when a well-designed responsive site can provide a great user experience, too. Brands that require a completely unique experience that responsiveness can’t provide can leverage mobile apps. Look for mobile-only website design and development companies to enter into an age of decline and never recover.”
Neal Schaffer: “Paid social will become mainstream. 2015 will be the year that B2B marketers finally do a reset on how they have been budgeting their marketing for the past few years. The emergence of social media has already required marketers to shuffle their budgets. However, the growing value of paid social will accelerate that trend as social spend will reach deeper in reallocating traditional forms of marketing expenses. The realization that paid social can help accelerate social media goals, the unprecedented ability to micro target who views the ads in paid social and the potential ROI that could be generated from a relatively inexpensive ad will see many more B2B companies utilizing paid social as part of their marketing efforts in 2015.”

Don’t make the same mistakes next year.
Start by ordering a Free Annual Review of your website from roi.com.au, valued at $150, so you’re ready to face the challenges of 2015.

Get Your Free Annual Review Today!

What are the lessons you learnt in 2014? Let us know in the comments section below.

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