April 5, 2017

Yawn – another tired New Year’s resolution article, right?
Don’t click away just yet – I hate the usual generic blog posts almost as much as I dislike quickly broken resolutions.  I am going to try to make these easy and useful…

Happy & Successful New YearSEO, social media and marketing on the internet in general have become much more “serious” in the past year. Google has increased its efforts to remove junk from search results, and social media is maturing beyond being the CB radio of our generation.
Here are a few things to do, or stop doing, that will help your business move ahead in 2013.

Get Healthy

You know you need to exercise, eat right, visit your doctor occasionally. Your website could use a little of that, too.
Give your website a thorough check up. Look for outdated technology, broken links, slow loading pages, and other mistakes you didn’t know you have been making ever since you and your web guy parted ways. If you really want to be thorough, consider getting a comprehensive SEO audit and website review to really shape up your online marketing.
Your website is the hub of your online presence. Take care of it so it can take care of you. Tweet this

Get to Know What You Don’t Know

Website owners who are not primarily “internet people” can be their own worst enemy. Maybe you look at Facebook and think “look at all these people I can tell about my business” rather than looking at it as an opportunity to gain respect, trust and loyalty. Or maybe you try every low cost offer to get you that number one spot in Google searches, not realizing that those thousands of backlinks or fake Twitter followers are going to cause problems for you. Despite having been warned about such things, some people just can’t stop getting in their own way.  There are plenty of things that anyone can do in online marketing, but there are also many things that look easier than they really are. Just like other aspects of your business, some things are best left to experienced professionals – just like accounting, legal issues, or other things you can do yourself but it doesn’t always mean that you should.

Get Involved in Your Web Presence

Yeah, I hear you: “I am not into all that social media stuff.” On a personal level, neither am I. So I get that. But guess what: most people ARE into social media so you or someone who works for you does need to be involved. Try to stop thinking of social media and the internet as something totally new and different when it comes to business. Think of it all as just what it is – the way people communicate today. I wonder if anyone ever said “I am just not into that new telephone thing”…
Social media and even your own website or blog can be a great opportunity for people to get to know and love what you do, as well as making you more accessible to people. They don’t have to write down a number and remember to call. They can just click a button when the impulse strikes and that first contact is made. 
Beyond simple communication, social media can also serve your public relation needs. Local businesses often put a lot of resources into having a strong presence at the local Community Day or big local and regional events. You are there shaking hands, sponsoring fun activities, handing out freebies and slipping some marketing materials into the mix.  Potential customers get to know you and like you at these events.  
Every day is Community Day on the internet. Tweet this

Learn New Things

Even if you have decided you should get the heck out of your own way and hire someone to manage your web presence, it is still a good idea to keep learning about your website, social media and how it is being used in your business. Spend just a little time learning how things work, and what new opportunities are out there. That way you won’t feel “in the dark” when your SEO guy rambles on about something that makes your eyes glaze over. And you may turn out to be the smartest person in the room when you tell your marketing team about a brand new social site that caters to your industry.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

You are ready to expand your horizons and learn new things and that is awesome. But here’s the thing about that – despite the slow, steady clean up of spam and shady tactics in SEO and online marketing, there is still a vast amount of bullshit out there. That kind of makes the resolution about learning new things more challenging. When you find a great article that seems to have all the answers, take a moment to see if it really makes sense. Consider the source – how is the reputation? What else do they write about and does any of that seem dead wrong? Nobody is perfect, but if the writer or site consistently spews nonsense, consider looking elsewhere. “Social signals” are not always conclusive, but do any well known trustworthy people or sites associate with the source of the new information? (By the way, that is something you should be aiming for in social media – making friends with people who are trusted).
Whether you spend a lot of time verifying or none at all, the key takeaway here is “look before you leap” into a bad idea.

 Hope these resolutions help you and your business have a very happy and successful new year.