Digital Marketing

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Internet Marketing Has Changed Forever

 

Once upon a time, Your online business was your website. Now your website is part of your online business.

Here is a recent question I received from a potential client:

I want more traffic to my website, I understand you do SEO? I don’t really do Social so just want more organic visitors – thanks (client enquiry).

This question is not as uncommon as you might think so it is important to realise how the world of internet marketing has changed and how we got here.

SEO

I started in SEO in 1998. Back then it was an exciting field to be in because you could see the results of your work within hours.

Having your own website in the late 90s was quite new and web developers were seen as wizards (or webmasters at the very least).

A few changes to the title tag and keywords and you could be number one in Google within 24 hours.

Also, there were NO social media channels, internet connections were dial-up so no one watched a video and all your traffic came from search.

Social Media

Social Media arrived in 2006 but it took the next 5 years to really gain momentum. I remember being in a meeting with a very large and successful hotel and them saying ‘ Why would anyone want to be friends with a hotel?’ Also, the idea of looking at a website on your phone seemed ridiculous.

During the first years of social media, people liked pages very quickly and building a following was fairly easy and quick. This is no longer the case.

Google Ads / Facebook Ads

For a long time people ignored this, organic search and getting people to click on your links from social media seemed the way to go.

However, as every market became crowded, if you wanted to get in front of people’s eyes you needed to advertise.

In fact, on Facebook with exposure to your own following being down to less than 2% – advertising is the only real way to grow your business.

Mobile

Who could have imagined a world where everyone is on their mobile devices at work, home or out with friends? If you look at what they are doing most of them are not searching on google but communicating via social media and message apps. They are sharing their lives and interests with people they have never met.

Video

That same mobile device is now a movie camera able to stream live and share memories and thoughts with anyone in the world. Video is also the biggest growth area for consuming content.

Internet Marketing Has Changed

Back in 1998 the internet was still new, going online was exciting. People would wait for info to load because it was a new experience.

Now in late 2018, it’s not new, for many it has speeded up life beyond recognition. People are less patient, get irritated more easily and share their thoughts whether negative or positive with potentially 1000s of people.

Once upon a time, your online business was your website. Now your website is part of your online business.

Your business now also has a facebook page, twitter account, YouTube channel and Linkedin. You might also have a facebook group or other online communities. You are also available via business listings and message apps.

In fact, some clients now find you via social media and conduct all their business/communications with you without even visiting your website.

So just wanting SEO on your website is not going to cut it.

Coming Out From Behind Your Logo

In ’98 you could remain mysterious and hide behind your logo with a PO Box number. Now people what to know who you are and get in touch with you as a person. This is where video and appearing in front of the camera is so important.

Nothing builds trust faster than video and being real. So no super slick video,  just you in front of your camera can be enough.

SEO On Its Own Does Not Cut It Anymore

So to answer my client enquiry, I do offer SEO, but only now as part of an integrated approach using all the disciplines mentioned above. So your website and landing pages need to be ready as do your social channels and the targeted Ads you run on them.

You also need to be consistent, so a few days of scheduled social media posts and then nothing, because you are too busy, is not going to work either.

Get Back To What You Do Best

People come to me now because they cannot keep up with all the activities they need to do to market their business online. Plus nothing stands still and many times I have to delete a methodology because a platform or algorithm has changed.

I can do this in a moment because it’s what I do. The number of clients I have helped out after damaging their business from outdated information is huge.

My World Has Changed As Well

Back when I started there were not many people doing SEO or social media (when it started to emerge). Now the digital landscape is awash with agencies and digital marketing people. I have seen many vanish as well especially when their business was built on a specific aspect of SEO or a social platform.

I have been doing this for a long time and have a wealth of experience in what works and what does not. I will explain in plain English what you need to do and if it will actually help your business grow.

If you want any help with online marketing please get in touch. We will work with you as part of your team and take away any worry that you’re missing out or getting left behind in your marketplace.

Follow the link for more information – SEO Search Engine Optimisation with Phil Aston 

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

On Social Media, who should you be on each platform?

This is a question I got asked this morning and the answer is not as obvious as you think.

Let’s think about your website first of all. Your website is more corporate, It has your ‘about page’, your services, your products, your offers, latest news etc. It’s official, it is stating facts for people who find you and telling them how to contact you.  Your Blog is again information but it can be a bit less formal.

With Social Media, the key is in the word ‘Social’.

Facebook
Your Facebook page is less corporate than your website. So it is more chatty and friendly. So you do not just broadcast ‘we have this product at this price’ type of post. It is better to ask questions and interact with people.

Twitter
This is for news. It is like the social media version of busking. So if you have an offer or late availability, put it on Twitter with a couple of key hashtags.

Instagram
I like to see this as more behind the scenes. What people tend to do is get the same photos and put them on every platform. The thing is if you put stock photos on Instagram, you will get very little engagement. This is because the Instagram community expects all the images and videos to be from you – you did not just download them from another source.

For example, let’s say you are doing a short video for a new blog post or offer. You could show behinds the scenes photos from the shoot which are quite informal. Perhaps include these in your Instagram Story. This gives a chance for people to get to know you.
Then when the official video goes out via your website on YouTube you can have different edits/text for Facebook and Twitter and you have included your audience in the whole process.

So do not put the same thing on every platform. Think about each audience. Even if you have the same followers on each platform they are going to get a different aspect of who you are, as a person, or your brand.

Thank you.

Phil Aston

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

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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

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

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Tourism Marketing – What Makes you Remarkable

What makes your business remarkable, what gives you the edge?

I look at many hotel websites, I look after them and help with their marketing. This means I am always looking at tourism related websites. So I look at them from a view of making a booking and for research.

One of the things that is really becoming apparent, is how many of them are starting to look the same. Fantastic pictures of food, artistic pictures of rooms, all done up as you would expect to look, with beautiful and stylish interiors.

However, the problem with this from the perspective of your potential guests, is that they will only be on your website for literally 30-40 seconds before they move on.
What makes you stand out from what your competitors do? What will make someone choose your hotel?
Is it going to be your offers? Your Facilities? Or is it going to be your location?

When people book somewhere, like a hotel, they are looking for an experience. What is it that makes you remarkable? For many people it will be your actual location – people buy with their eyes.

When you look at this video, you can see the sea in the background. So, some of you might be thinking “I might listen to Phil”, and some of you might be thinking “Where is that beach, I want to go!”

So, many times your location will be what makes you remarkable and different from your competition.

Phil Aston

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