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by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

GDPR – Don’t Panic

GDPR, I guess many people are already fed up with this.

I just want to say don’t panic. The main thing I want to draw people’s attention to, (because I can see this happening) is when we reach May 26th there are going to be scammers everywhere sending you emails saying you do not comply, you could get fined etc. But if you pay us a fee we can help you out. Please don’t fall for this.

As you know we work in SEO and it is a bit like those online SEO audits which can find fault or errors with any website. Most of these errors are false positives. For GDPR there are already websites which can check your website for cookies and then tell you that you are none compliant.

A lot of GDPR is common sense. From what I know there will be about 60 people enforcing GDPR and they are not going to come after all small businesses just because you are not quite ready.

You do not have to stop using companies or software because you are worried they are not compliant. They are also working towards it. Use what is best for your business.

Also, have a statement about what you do use personal data for and how long you keep it. For example, if you use PayPal for your online sales and you use their system you might only print off the customer’s address to stick on a jiffy bag.

I was a lead auditor for ISO9000 in a past life and what we used to look for was the intent that you were working towards the standard. Not everyone is going to have everything in place by May 26th, but you can have a lot ready.
If you can show evidence that you are putting procedures in place to comply that will go a long way. You should only worry if you are doing something dodgy!

Essentials are making sure your Privacy Policy is up to date, you know what cookies you use and why. There are plenty of WordPress Plugins which can help here.

So

  • Update Your Privacy Policy
  • State what Cookies you use – analytics etc
  • Have a document that states what data you keep and for how long – most probably this will be for tax reasons so document this and don’t panic.
Thanks Phil
by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Facebook Data Breach – Twitter Changes – Social Media in the news

Social Media is in the news, but not necessarily in the way it thought it would be. The recent news about the Data breach on Facebook is not helping Facebook or Social Media as a whole.  I imagine it is also making some Social Media Agencies a little nervous. Prior to this happening, we have also seen Twitter announcing it is not going to allow scheduled or bulk posting and it is all about being real and authentic.  I can also see this making some agencies worry as well.

Personally, I am not worried about this at all.  My background is in Marketing and SEO.  I started in SEO in 1998.  it was so easy back then. You could get people on the first page of Google for almost anything. As the years rolled by, lots of SEO Agencies sprang up and the whole focus seemed to be about gaming the system, whatever tricks could be applied were.  The biggest subject seemed to be Link Building.  Many people will remember being cold called from an SEO agency promising to build hundreds of backlinks with the idea this would increase your organic rankings and get you in front of the competition.

Then not that long ago Google introduced the Panda and Penguin Algorithm updates. Almost overnight it seemed like a lot of SEO Agencies just vanished. All of a sudden all of those agencies that employed dozens of Link Builders were being told it’s not about backlinks anymore it’s about content and they couldn’t do content.  This saw a lot of those agencies disappear.

The position we are now is similar to with some Social Media Agencies using automated software to build audiences, bulk following, unfollowing, multiple shared posts (using the same content). Some Agencies even use multiple accounts to share a client post, this games the system in making a hashtag seem to trend.  Even some influencer accounts have been shown up to made up of mainly false followers or bots.  All of this is coming to an end with the recent announcements in Twitter and the recent algorithm changes at Facebook where some businesses have seen their audiences fall off a cliff.

On Twitter, I have seen hundreds of accounts get suspended or blocked for using unethical practices. A lot of this seems to be coming from Social Media Agencies or related software.

So it is is a similar thing in a way and Social Media Agencies need to wise up and focus more on Marketing.

I am not worried because here at Genius Loci we have never used any of these practices. Our SEO practices have always been about content and always about the website user. It’s always been about increasing traffic and making the phone ring.   Social Media has always been about telling a story as authentically as we can, using a clients content and producing posts that fit in which their company culture and tone of voice.

So we are ready for the future and have been around a long time.  We started in 1998 and moved to Cornwall in 2004, so we have seen many things come along and pass.  Our strength is in the fact that we are specialists in SEO, WordPress, Hosting, Social Media, PPC and have the agility and flexibility to wipe the slate clean.  We can let go of what we did the year before and move ahead with the latest practices as they are announced.

So if you come on board with us, you will not need to worry about any part of this as we will look after it for you.

If you have any questions I will be with you every step of the way.

Phil Aston | 01736 719342

Social Media Management 

Digital Marketing Support 

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Don’t Put All Your Eggs Into Social Media – Your Website Is Still King

Phil Aston

A few days ago I almost lost my Twitter account. This was due to an error on Twitter which locked me out of my account.  I then spent a very worrying 24 hours talking to the Twitter Support Bots trying to get it sorted out.  Don’t Google Twitter Support, the stories will not fill you with confidence at all!

The worst part was when the automated support message from Twitter said.  ‘We suggest you open up a new account and start again’. After spending almost 9 years on the Twitter platform and with 30K followers the idea of just starting again was a bit depressing, to say the least.

It did make me think about how much we rely on Social Media platforms to expand our business.  We have to remember we have no control of these platforms and they can change at a moments notice.  For example, having 100, 000 followers on Google Plus meant a lot in 2013 and now not a lot.

All of us use social media now more than we have ever done before and we can sometimes neglect our own websites. For many of us, our discussions now take place on Social Media. The fact is your website should still be the centre of your content universe.

You have to remember that you don’t own the real estate you have on any social media platform, the only place you can say that you do is with your website. Here you have control, it’s your domain name and your content.

If a social media platform decides to change it’s algorithm or change its terms of service you could easily lose part of your revenue or audience. Make sure that you don’t put too much of your business on one Social Media platform.  Safeguard yourself in case anything happens by building up an audience on several platforms and keep up-to-date with trends and where your audience is.

With your website at the center of what you do you can post out to the different Social Media platforms with links to your website.

If you do get locked out of any social media account make sure you have backups of your passwords, email, and phone numbers.  If you update your phone number make sure you update your social media accounts if you use additional verification.

Phil Aston

Join Genius Insights for the latest know-how on Digital Marketing. 

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Three Top SEO Tips

3 Top SEO Tips From Phil Aston Genius Loci Media in Cornwall

1. Produce regular content that adds value and is relevant for your target audience.

2. Find out more about your target audience through Analytics and Social Media targeting.

3. Always start with benefits, not features – Your audience is permanently tuned into ‘What’s in it for me.

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Facebook News Feed Changes and Your Business Page 2018

Facebook News Feed 2018

What does this change mean for Facebook Business Pages and public content?

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.

As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease.

The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.

Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution.
Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”.
From The Facebook Announcement – January 11th 2018.

What should You Do?
What this means is that everyone should now have a Facebook Advertising budget and be using it like any other marketing media.

Engagement will help but overall if you want to be seen by the people who like your content and be discovered by new fans and customers you need to advertise.

Facebook advertising is still very cheap but I expect this to change this year.

Many businesses will also need to up their game.  By that, I mean responding to comments, messages and likes faster and with more thought.  The fight to get into your fans news feeds is now extremely important.

Advertising and great quality content can do a lot to help you get to see and heard, but being shared by your fans will also help with your visibility.  The aim has always been to build trust and relationships this should now be part of your content strategy.

The targeting and reach on Facebook is still the best way to reach your customers. It can be complex so if you want help please get in touch.Below is the link to the full Facebook announcement.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci
01736 719342

#facebook #pages

https://newsroom.fb.com/…/news-feed-fyi-bringing-people-cl…/

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Are you still using Twitter the same amount as before?

I have started to notice for a lot of my clients (yes they are posting a bit less) the amount of website referral traffic coming in from Twitter has really dropped. Almost all the social media traffic now is coming in from Facebook.

I am not sure if this is making people think that Twitter is less important and they are putting less effort into it.

There is also no doubt that more people on Twitter are simply broadcasting themselves or sharing other peoples content with no input from themselves.

So I wonder when I see in the news that Twitter is having a bit of a renaissance (perhaps because of people like President Trump) is it really? I do feel you have to engage more and talk more to get the level of engagement you used to get.

I have acquired quite a few clients from Twitter but even I am seeing a drop in engagement. What I am seeing is groups of people following me for a few days and then disappear so they are using an automated system for getting more followers. I am also seeing what is obviously a lot of scheduled posts which creates a lot of noise and little interaction.

So are you using Twitter the same, using it differently, or walking away?

Thanks
Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Facebook Advertising Tips – Google Campaign Builder


Video Text Below

Here is a little tip when setting up your Ads on Facebook.
I know you probably have a Facebook Pixel, and if you haven’t, make sure you have. But what you want to do is track how people are coming to your website from Facebook.

Facebook is brilliant at taking your money and it can give you lots of stats but they are not always accurate.

So my Facebook Ads tip is that always use the Google Campaign URL builder first of all.  This will help generate a unique URL for the page you want to send people to.

This will allow you to stipulate who you are advertising, with, the medium, creative copy so you can see how each Ad is performing.

Use the Campaign URL builder first before you set up your Ad on Facebook.  Then you can make sure you use the same campaign name, Ad name and demographic identifiers when putting your URL in place.

If you want any help with your Facebook Advertising then please get in touch.

Thanks

Phil

 

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

December Work Availability

Quick update on our work availability.

In January 2018 we have one slot available for Facebook Advertising Support,  if you need any help in that area please get in touch.

Phil Aston | +44(0)1736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Being an entrepreneur – The work life balance

Being an entrepreneur is about finding your own path, using your own footsteps, not just putting on someone else’s shoes. You don’t have to be anyone else but yourself.

Video duration 2mins 30 seconds – text below

I am actually a fan of Gary Vee. I am sure many of you know him. He is a very loud American who swears a lot. He is always hustling and runs a large media company in New York and wants to buy the Jets. I have bought his books and I watch a lot of his videos.
However, I am not like Gary Vee. His idea is that you should be hustling 14 hours a day. A lot of his videos start with him running around New York in his sneakers, drinking coffee at 5am and making connections.

I am happy to build my business and class myself as an entrepreneur. However, my entrepreneurship is based on work, life balance and being in nature is the balance.
I need to have time to recharge my batteries, actually I don’t function that well if I am hustling all the time. I need time to be in the landscape, I need time to walk, time to have some stillness, I need time for a bit of mindfulness, I need time to be creative. I need time to think about how I can help my clients and just working flat out is not my idea of building an empire.

In fact I do not want to build an empire. I want to build a business that is sustainable, ethical and gives me time to support my family and enjoy my life.
I have seen so many of my contemporaries kind of fall off their horses and not get on them again through burn out or more serious issues and I am determined and will try my damnedest to ensure that will not happen to me. I know how easy it is for that to happen. It is great to be busy all the time, checking things all the time, but you need to have space, you need to have space between what you are working on so you can create new ideas and live your life.

So yes, Gary Vee is a great inspiration, but there are aspects of what he does that I don’t sign up for. The whole thing about being an entrepreneur, is finding your own path, using your own footsteps, not just putting on someone else’s shoes.
So great for Gary Vee, I still like what he does, but find your own story and share that, document that. You don’t have to be anyone else but yourself.

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Should you spend your Facebook advertising budget on getting likes for your page?


People are obsessed with numbers, it is true if you have a large follower count it does make you look like more of an authority.

If you are starting from scratch with just a few hundred followers you do not want to spend more on trying to increase your follower count as this can be expensive.

My suggestion would be to spend your advertising budget on targeting people who will sign up for services or buy your products.

You will see more of a return on your investment and those people in turn will share your content to their friends and like your page in turn.
So think about your products and services and don’t get too hung up on the numbers initially.

If you want any help or advice with your Facebook Advertising, please get in touch.

Phil Aston

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