It seems like every week, we hear another person proclaim something like “SEO is dead” or “social media is failing”. Are these sentiments true? How is a local business supposed to handle marketing if SEO or social media are in trouble?
The good news is, neither SEO nor social media are going anywhere anytime soon. More apt statements would be “SEO is changing” or “social media is updating privacy policies” (we can only hope). So what kinds of SEO and social media changes can a small business look forward to in 2018 and beyond?
SEO is not dead, and neither is content marketing.
First of all, a big part of SEO is content marketing. In the past, it used to be said that all businesses should run a blog to entice visitors to stay on your site. But it’s become increasingly difficult for business owners to find the time to do this, and with all the other things they have on their plates, they’re beginning to ask themselves how important blogging really is.
The thing about blogging is that it lends itself very well to some businesses but not so much to others. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, keeping a blog updated might be a relatively easy way to inform your clients of your newest projects, working as a sort of portfolio. Or, if you run a consulting service, blog posts are essential to your brand. But let’s say you do appliance repairs. Are people going to want to read blog posts about dishwashers or air conditioners? Likely not. But they are likely to read information about how to keep these units in good condition over time. So, a local business might eschew typical blogging practices to write practical guides that customers would be interested in.
Social media isn’t going anywhere, but the way you use it will change.
Next up for discussion: social media. Finding time to update social media is a challenge in and of itself. It isn’t necessarily that you can’t post something here or there, but you want to make sure it is engaging to your customers so that they want to continue to follow your page. And, with all of the privacy commotion lately, are people going to want to quit social media altogether? How can they trust your social media pages?
Another thing you need to remember is that you should not trust links you don’t know. Sometimes people will send links through direct messages on Twitter or Facebook in an attempt to get you to click and go to a page where malware or spyware can be installed. Twitter in particular can be a minefield due to the link shortening feature—it’s hard to tell what you’re clicking when it’s just a shortened link.
The most important thing to do here is never click on links you don’t know or trust.
You should also train your employees to do the same. Most people think of these scams as happening through poorly-worded emails, but even links on social media can be compromised, so you should always be extra careful.
So how can your customers know they can trust your pages? Make sure you secure a URL that reflects your business’s actual name: click here to do this on Facebook and here to do this on Twitter. Include links to your official social media platforms on your website so customers can click through with confidence. Finally, link to reliable resources from your social media sites—if you continuously spam the same links or share dubious articles, people are likely to think your page has been hacked.
Can you think of other tactics to use? Let us know!