With seasons changing and only two months left in the calendar year, you can’t escape hearing what trends everyone considers to be “coming back.” I once even heard a major television network morning show claim that jeans were back in fashion. I paused and then laughed out loud.

So when I heard multiple industry leaders say that we’re going back to the basics in 2018 for marketing recently when I attended the recent Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit (MAM Summit) in downtown Baltimore, I was slightly apprehensive about what was to come.

In our ever-changing world of communications, we can’t afford to lose focus on the latest ideas, technologies, and trends. But hearing what many of the presenters had to say about going back to marketing basics in 2018 makes perfect sense. And it was somewhat of a relief to hear everyone talk about the importance of testing and collecting data CORRECTLY and USING it.

Ready to go back to basics but unsure of where to begin?

Here are six top areas of focus according to MAM Summit presenters:

1. A/B testing: it’s critical. All websites have a goal. They may want visitors to purchase their products; a media website wants visitors to read and view stories and click on ads. To meet your website goal, you need to compare two versions of a web page and see which one performs better and gives the highest conversion rate.

2. Digital content: Test and find the right mix of content and types of content. Keep your audience engaged with valuable content. An engaged audience will become a loyal audience which translates into returning traffic and THAT will add tremendous value to your website. What is valuable to one visitor is different from the next so it’s important to have the right mix of content. Some to test: infographics, videos, product reviews, live chats, photo galleries, newsletters, company news, timelines, interactive demos of your products, press releases, plug ins, the list goes on and on.

3. Website copy: update it. Yes, everything old is new again but that doesn’t go for your website copy. That ever-changing world of ours? It means we have new concepts, phrases, and more and your website is the perfect place to reflect that. Not only will your frequent visitors appreciate it, but so will the almighty search engines.

4. Landing pages: create new ones. Google’s quality score includes the quality of landing pages making them pretty important. Double-check the load time of any new landing pages and that users can easily navigate their way around the site and find what they’re looking for.

5. Web optimization: start your website from scratch. Not literally, but sit back and ask, “what’s the point of the website?” Over the years you may have lost sight of the reason you created your website. Maybe you became caught up with all of the bells and whistles available for websites today. Does your website need them?

6. Conversion optimization: sleep on it. When CMOs were asked what keeps them up at night at the MAM Summit, the answer was: conversion optimization. It’s not easy but it is possible. Gather all the data you have from testing and take a deep dive into it and use it to help you convert more passive website visitors in active users that engage with your site and/or purchase your products.

Will your marketing plan include going back to some of the basics in 2018? We’d loVE to hear from you! Reach out to us at emily@vaneperen.com.