It seems like the world of digital marketing is changing every day.
Maybe, like many business owners, you find the strategies that worked for you last year or even last month are no longer delivering the results you want.
So how do you stay on top of the latest, greatest trends and adjust your strategy to increase brand visibility, stay competitive, and keep your business front and center for potential customers? With so many variables in play, it can be hard to know. That’s why I developed my 2019 Internet Marketing Trends — for business owners like you who are trying to make sense of the changing landscape of digital marketing.
But first, let’s do a quick recap and check-in of my top trends from 2018, which included: Google Local Service Ads; Google’s Mobile-First Index; and, Consumer Reviews.
2018 Trends: A Quick Review
Google’s Local Service Ads: These are literally what the name implies: business ads targeted to appear in the results of local consumers’ searches. The green check, which appears next to the business name, signifies a Google guaranteed company, which gives consumes peace of mind knowing you’re a trustworthy company. These are growing in popularity and effectiveness and are a great way to reach local consumers.
Google’s Mobile First Index: Simply put, Google is now determining where your business falls in every search (whether on smartphones, tablets or desktop) based solely on how well your site works on mobile devices.
The key here is to always make sure your website is optimized to look good on mobile devices. This will ensure you’ll rank higher on mobile as well as desktop searches. (Note: test your site for free at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly)
Consumer Reviews: These are growing in importance, but beware. Consumers are skeptical of “fake reviews” that seem unbelievable or inauthentic. The best way to gain reviews on your site is to ask your best customers or clients to share their experience.
On to trends in internet marketing for 2019.
2019 Internet Marketing Trends
There are really three notable Internet Marketing trends for 2019:
1. Focus on building E.A.T. (Expertise. Authority. Trust.)
Google ranks businesses based on three key factors: your expertise, your (perceived) authority, and how trustworthy your site is.
The quality and authority of your website is more important than ever. Google uses this E.A.T. formula to rank websites. In other words, when consumers search for your product or service, the only way they’ll see your business appear on the first page of search results is if Google determines your website clearly demonstrates your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Let’s break that down.
Expertise means you need to show that you’re an expert in your field. You can do this by posting certifications or credentials in website copy. Or, by having the owner write or at least be mentioned in blog posts and articles.
Authority, in the sense that others recognize you as an authority or an expert in your field. For example, are there media articles in which the owner or the business is quoted? Share these!
And, trust. No one wants to visit a site where their information could be compromised. Years ago, banking and other financial websites had an “s” in their url. (i.e. https://www…..) to indicate they were secure. But now, Google wants all sites to be secure. This adds to your ranking credibility and gives the consumer the added insurance that their information is safe with you.
Tips to improve your E.A.T.:
- Get better and more positive reviews (and respond to poor reviews)
- Reevaluate your “About Page.” Make sure it’s well-written, not spammy, and that it clearly tells the story of what your business product or service is all about. Ditch any content that is useless, low quality, or that doesn’t add value. Low quality pages bring your rankings down! And, be sure to Include trust symbols here such as awards, accreditations — anything that helps build trust with consumers.
- Launch and maintain a blog. This is a fairly easy way to add fresh content to your website on a regular basis. Include the author’s name for added credibility and include social links always.
- Keep the audience needs top of mind when creating copy for your site. It’s not about your product or service; it’s about how you solve a problem or fulfill a need. If customers find your site valuable, so will Google.
2. “Google My Business”
Google My Business is the rectangle box that appears on the right side of the screen in a desktop search. It’s becoming somewhat like a mini-website and it’s absolutely time to pay more attention to it.
It’s free to maintain, but the key is to fill it with information consumers are looking for. So, imagine a typical search for a hair salon. Usually people search for one that is close to their home and they’re looking for reviews, services, and a phone number to book an appointment. You can provide all of this information on Google My Business.
The bottom line is, Google wants you to stay on their site rather than lose you to a click to another site. So take advantage and post as much consumer-relevant information as you can: phone number, reviews, videos, photos, social media links, and of course your website link.
3. Google Is A Busine$$
If you haven’t guessed already, the final trend is that Google really wants your money! They’re a business just like you. But the good news is, there are lots of things you can do to stay in the game.
The first and most critical thing you can do is invest in a great website. Not a good website, a GREAT website. One that is designed and optimized well and one that is maintained with proper security safeguards in place to protect your site from hacks, spam, crashes, etc.
A great website has great content that is well-written and valuable to consumers. New pages, blog posts and articles are excellent ways to let Google know your site is updated, fresh and relevant.
To that end, you may want to consider investing in a good copywriter. Someone who will take the time to get to know you and your business so their copywriting can be the best reflection of your brand.
And finally, if you’re looking to grow your business, investing in ongoing SEO to rank as high as possible as well as Google ads is the way to go.
It’s no surprise that Google wants you to spend money on ads. But ads alone won’t do the trick if your site isn’t optimized well.
Remember — it’s a marathon, not a sprint. There is no quick fix. A website is never really finished. It’s not a one and done; you need to invest time and money to continue improving it. Because at the end of the day, your website should be working for you, as your best sales person, driving leads and sales and ultimately growing your business. If you’re still not convinced, rest assured that your competitors are doing all of these things. If you don’t have any skin in the game, they’ll edge you out and earn more customers.
These are my top internet marketing trends for 2019. I’d love to know your thoughts. What are your greatest concerns about internet marketing? Drop me a line or comment below. Also, you can watch my full presentation HERE.