Hot Online Trends

8. Web Conferencing

As business travel becomes increasingly challenging due to increased security, advance check-in times and transportation delays, online workshops and meetings that require no travel are coming to the forefront. It’s more desirable than ever to demo your new product to a group or make a sales presentation without anyone ever leaving home. Participants can watch your presentation on their computer monitors and hear you live on their computer speakers or by phone. In fact, I'm now transitioning to this technology to deliver webinars, and you can, too.

9. Online Research

Whether you sell exclusively online or primarily through a brick-and-mortar site, online search will have a profound impact on your sales in 2007. When asked how often they researched products online before buying them in person or in a store, 87 percent of nearly 7,500 respondents to a BIGresearch “Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” said they did so occasionally to regularly. And a comScore research study showed that 63 percent of searchers completed a purchase in offline retail stores following their search activity. So no matter whether you sell online, off-line or both, you need a great website with deep, persuasive content that keeps your prospects and customers shopping on your site or sends them to your store.

10. Local Search

Want to know where to invest your online marketing dollars in 2007? Aim for higher rankings in the top search engines. Sixty-two percent of searchers click on a link within the first page of results, according to a report from iProspect and Jupiter Research. To win higher rankings in natural search results, you can optimize your site by sprinkling the keyword phrases your best prospects will be searching for throughout all the pages of your site, in your page descriptions and in metatags. You should also secure links to your site from other high-ranking websites. But to guarantee you'll turn up in the top search results, invest in a paid search campaign. Local search campaigns are often the most affordable and will bring traffic from your immediate market area in the New Year.

Get the full story at MSNBC