What are your best digital marketing tips for 2018?
With 2018 right around the corner, what are some of your best digital marketing tips for the new year? What have you found to work best in 2017, and what are you going to stay away from?
Jill Brennan , Founder at Harbren Marketing
Email marketing is still a great option, its not new but it has worked well in the past and can continue to work well. Yes, everyone already gets a lot of email but it works because you're talking to people that already know you. You've gained a certain degree of trust. Doing it well - ie tailored messages that add value rather than just always pitching - is key.
Eventually there will be a move away from outsourcing all marketing activities but I'm not sure if it will happen in 2018. It makes sense to outsource activities that are highly technical or for one off type projects (eg website creation) but I believe that established small businesses should be bringing a lot of marketing tasks in-house. It gives them better control, more flexibility and no one is as passionate about their business as they are.
1. As Google is moving to a mobile-FIRST index and the Facebook algorithm focusing heavily on load speed, the load speed of your MOBILE website will become crucial.
Eventually, I think all websites will be forced to implement Google AMP if they want to start ranking or maintain their existing ranking. This presents a whole new set of challenges (for example, how to transfer opt-in forms to the AMP version of your site).
2. Running your website on HTTPS will become mandatory by the beginning this year (actually, it will become mandatory sometimes in October). I explain why here.
3. The rise of the personal assistant and voice search means publishers need to make sure their websites are optimised for that (e.g. knowing how to gain the coveted 'featured snippet').
There's been some good points already including Michael's three points, which I would encourage anyone reading the thread to check out.
So instead of simply rehashing, I'm going to point out three separate tips:
- Encouraging online reviews. This is important in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018. It's such a simple strategy to start asking your customers for reviews and it has a tremendous impact on both attracting traffic and converting visitors on your site. If you want to know more, I have a post titled 'Online Reviews: Why You Need to Be Boosting Your Online Reputation' Now, which goes into detail why you need reviews and how best to go about getting them.
- Optimising your blog. Not to be confused with simply writing another blog post. Brian Dean of Backlinko has stated that he won't write another post until each post he has published on his site is reaching the goals and objectives he has for them. The general idea is of course 'quality over quantity'. So doing an audit of every post on your blog, understanding traffic, search visibility, and conversion performance. Then going through a process of improving them with more valuable insight, better CTAs, perhaps better keyword targeting, etc. Then re-promoting them.
- Marketing Automation. Enterprise businesses are all over it but I'm yet to see marketing automation being widespread in small business. I would strongly encourage any business that is producing content to implement marketing automation. Get it right and it will help you completely transform your site's experience and your ability to nurture and convert visitors to customers and at scale! If you want to know more about automation and the specific role it can play for small business check out 'AI Will Steal Jobs But Automation Might Save Your Business'.