Marketing Trends by Big Step
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Small Business Marketing Tips and Trends

These updates are to keep you informed on major changes in the world of small business marketing. I constantly sit in on webinars, read the industry rags, and try to keep up with the latest trends. I hope that you’ll take a brief look and also share with someone else that you think might gain from it. We’ll try to get these out more often but also respect your email and privacy. So at most, you’ll hear from me monthly. Thanks for reading!

Steve Davey


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2016 Digital Marketing Trends

It’s expected that you will start to see an explosion of video ads on the internet. Mobile video ad spending tripled in 2015 (! It’s only natural that as faster internet speeds become more and more affordable, we seek out content that is easy to consume. This means watching more videos for most people. Look to convert important product and service benefits to video and entertain ways to use that better in your website and marketing plan. Concise videos will become more and more popular, useful, and necessary. Learn more about the benefits of short sales videos.

Mobile vs Desktop
In 2015, mobile traffic overtook desktop. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you are behind the curve and your site is likely being punished by the search engines in search results. Your mobile ranking and how your site is set up to convert on mobile devices is a concern. If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, visit our website for more info.

Digital Assistant Search is on the Rise
Apps like SIRI are on the increase and automated, voice-activated search will increase. As this trend continues, it’s important to start looking at ways to optimize your website for them including the use of rich snippets, schema tags, citation consistency and growth.

Content and More Content
Companies large and small that don’t have a content marketing strategy will likely suffer. Even very small companies need to stay active with blogs and social media posts on past jobs, happy customers and success stories.

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Changes in Google

Google’s search is rapidly changing. The new local 3 pack (where there often were 7) of results is an increased trend by Google to monetize their search results. They are also doing it in the name of a better mobile return as it fits nicely on a phone or tablet. They are forcing more local small businesses to use Adwords and conduct SEO. This makes these top local spots in the 3 pack even more valuable.

Google has removed the search location option in their settings. For many, it makes it more difficult to see how your really rank in different cities. To get a realistic view on how your website ranks, it’s still important to log out of google, clear history and cache, make sure that you are not returning private results. You need to use a ranking tool with location options or anonymous browser by city to get location specific result data now.

Another Penguin update is expected soon and it should continue to punish sites for bad links and link structure. See this Search Engine Land article for more information.

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CMS Website Security & Back-Ups

There has been an increase in assault on CMS websites like Joomla and WordPress because of their open source structure. Standard hosting plans with Big Step or virtually every other hosting platform do not protect you from these attacks. Software is available to help prevent them. You can also attempt to block international traffic if your company doesn’t serve those markets. You also should have a website back-up plan in place. Hosting generally includes a 24-48 back-up option only. If your site is hacked or damaged and you don’t catch it within that time frame and you don’t have another backup, the only backup that exists will be the damaged site. Call Steve or your website host if you have questions or need assistance.

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Home Service & Google

Google has dipped it’s toe in the water on returning results with a partnership with Home Advisor (formerly Service Magic). It’s a controversial move by Google since requiring companies to pay Home Advisor for potentially preferred search space raises concerns in the integrity of their search engine. Nevertheless, in several markets they are showing preferential results of “Home Advisor Approved” companies (companies that pass a simple approval test, pay for an annual Home Advisor subscriptions and agree to a per lead cost). In the process, Google and Home Advisor get paid before you get the lead and the contact is run through Home Advisor first. How consumers react to this test will tell Google whether it’s acceptable or not to the market. They may look elsewhere to other search engines or home service sites. Here’s an interesting analysis of Home Advisor if you are not familiar with them. Home Advisor is spending a lot of money to gain a strong search presence and recently bought Angie’s List. It’s an important trend to keep an eye on that could affect search results for service related businesses in 2016.

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