Digital marketing is an industry that is always on the move. It’s essential for small businesses to be able to keep up with the shifts that are constantly evolving. One obstacle is trying to educate business owners on how competitive ranking on search engines can be. Jacob Lett of BootstrapCreative explains, “I work with a lot of small business owners who don’t fully understand how search engines work or how competitive it is. So client education is critical in order to be consistent in delivering results. The biggest disconnect I have seen is the need for content marketing. Most businesses have brochure sites with 5-10 pages that are not optimized for important keywords. So the trend I see is nothing new but focusing on digital marketing fundamentals: content marketing, on-page SEO optimization, social media content sharing, paid content amplification, and email list nurturing.”
How else can small business owners keep up with an industry that is always shifting? Take the advice from these top digital marketing experts.
Content for Search Engines
Content marketing will probably never go away and it’s essential to rank in search engines. Kim Bultsma of A Cup of Content, explains, “If you’re not creating dedicated, search engine optimized content on a consistent basis, you’re doing more harm to the future of your business than good. Not only should you be thinking about developing content, but you should also be working on how to optimize your website for voice search.”
Quality content on what your customer’s needs are will be key to your 2019 strategy. “Two things I feel will continue to be extremely important in 2019. First is great quality content based on what your customers are actually looking for when they find your website,” explains Kevin McNally of Interactive Palette. “Second is Video, a lot of customers are now doing video testimonials that are very effective.”
Content continues to dominate says Camille le Goff of Mash Media Marketing. “What will be the most effective SEO strategies in 2019? Improving and updating your content for your users as well as focusing on demonstrating your unique expertise and authority in your niche will become an increasingly effective SEO strategy.
In light of recent algorithm changes, Google has shown its improved ability to assess the content quality SEO guest post and algorithmically identify factors of expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
In 2019, website owners should still work on improving their existing content and specifically focus on crafting content strategies that both satisfy search intents and demonstrate unique factors of expertise, authority and trustworthiness.”
Find Your Customers
Knowing where your customers are is essential to a successful business. Focusing on the right marketing channel can make all the difference says Melissa Popp of Altitude Agency. “The future of digital is in multi-channel marketing campaigns. If you’re not invested in the right channels for your niche and focusing on where your potential customers are, you’re wasting your marketing dollars. Every business is different; take the time to learn where your customers are and focus your marketing efforts on those channels to drive traffic to your website and grow your business online.”
Once you have driven customers to your website, don’t lose the opportunity to grab their information explains David Baer from Baer on Marketing. “SEO works best when it drives clearly targeted traffic. Once visitors have landed, don’t squander the opportunity to capture their information. If you want them to take an action – like making a purchase or scheduling an appointment – but they’re not ready to do so, there are many ways you can follow-up with them. Two of my favorites are either offering a lead magnet in exchange for their contact info or simply including retargeting code on the page so you can serve up ads to drive them back to your site later. ”
“Develop a video marketing strategy and integrate it into your site, social platforms etc. Customers might engage with a video and stay on your site longer if they can watch a one minute video versus reading a bunch of text,” says Jared Schweers of Key Element Media. “Once you have your video, make sure you title it appropriately when posted on YouTube, etc. and use a quality description, just like you would for your website. The video may even rank itself, if not, it can help your site and overall brand.”
Google is an ever evolving giant that continues to make algorithm updates to its search engine. Troy Fawkes of Delta Growth believes these are wake up calls to all marketers. “Google’s major updates in 2018 and 2019, especially the mobile first and various targeted updates like the August 1, 2019 core update that targeted the medical and health space, are making marketers ask themselves who in their organization is governing this channel that represents such a significant portion of their revenue. Its a wake up call for many marketers and leads to positive results in this high ROI channel, and better risk management overall.”
Track your data! Metrics are key indicators of how well your digital marketing campaign is faring. Dmitrii Kustov of Regex SEO states, The engagement metrics are getting more and more weight in the ranking algorithms. Bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, even conversion rates. As I always say, “Search Engines love you only when everyone else loves you first!”
Google prides itself on have a great user experience. This is ranking factor that small businesses need to continually work on. Sam Romain of Romain Berg describes, “In 2019 it will become even more important for businesses to focus on User Experience. We are finding that Google is spending more time analyzing user behavior on websites and using that data to adjust ranking positions.”
Visuals and being able to interact with infographics is very trendy. Julia Frenkle of Opus Design explains, “Data visualization and interactive infographics are in high demand. It’s a great way to communicate a large amount of data or information and make it more accessible, memorable, and engaging.”
Find Your Sweet Spot
Jon Davis of Shape believes there is no perfect blueprint to follow. “There is no perfect blueprint in 2019 to deliver SEO results. The same was true in 2009 in my opinion. Even the best advice you read in this article won’t help you unless you can tweak and adapt it for your own situation. The latest trend may not help you at all and you could waste a lot of time chasing windmills if you don’t know what moves the needle for your company. Be sure to talk with your team and consult your data before you take on any SEO project. Don’t be afraid to ignore tactics completely if they aren’t a good fit for your team.”