Facebook is Changing the Rules | How to get results in 2018

Facebook is Changing the Rules | How to get results in 2018

Just when you start getting the hang of Facebook, they change the rules. Why is this? Because the platform is only as strong as the number of users. Facebook is feeling the squeeze as the younger ones are making the switch to Snapchat and other video sharing Apps. As a result, Facebook bought Instagram and implemented Stories and chat features.  Meanwhile, Facebook newsfeeds have become overrun with viral videos, news sites, and memes which are all created by a third party. As a result, Facebook has decided to change the rules in 2018. 

In other words, gone are the days of easy organic reach for businesses. Organic reach is simply a post or image that is seen by one of your Facebook followers. It doesn’t cost you anything. Years ago, organic reach was huge. Now, you must pay by boosting your post or ad for it to be seen by your audience. Facebook’s latest algorithm will reduce organic reach to around 3 percent.

What can you do about it? Facebook has hinted that they will favor posts that have original, engaging content. Also, they will favor video. In fact, Facebook live videos are even better – in fact, six times better according to Facebook statistics. Facebook also is very clear that they love videos that are created inside Facebook rather than a link from an outside source.

A lot of people are afraid to use Facebook Live, but you will get the hang of it if you just try it. Just make sure your dog isn’t barking in the background and make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection.

Facebook also favors engagement. Start a conversation by asking questions, get people to comment and respond to keep it going. Posts with a lot of engagement will be seen more in newsfeeds. Spend time creating quality content. Don’t throw up a post without much thought on the content or graphics just because it’s been awhile since you posted. Give your followers a reason to come back.

Facebook Groups

Facebook will also be favoring Groups in 2018.  Facebook Groups will show up in notifications for free. When someone joins a Group, the notifications are set by default. If you offer a product or service, consider starting a group so your users can opt in and stay informed. This is a great way for you to stay connected to your audience.

Steps You Can Take Right Now…

1. Post on your Page on a Regular Basis. Although it’s tempting to take a break, there is nothing worse than having a page that looks abandoned to your target audience.
2. Start investing in paid reach through Facebook ads and boosted posts. It will pay off in the long run and you will see results if you do this on a regular basis. Do not rely on organic reach as it is becoming obsolete.
3. If you place paid ads, Facebook will place these on the Audience Network – apps and websites that are not Facebook or Instagram that will run your ads.
4. Target your ads. You can do this easily in the Ads Manager by creating Custom Audiences or Lookalike Audiences.
5. Track your results. Facebook has built-in Tools within the Ads Manager to help you track what worked and who responded to your ads.
6. Link your Facebook Page to Your Instagram Account. Facebook owns Instagram, so you will get more bang for your buck when you advertise. Your ads will run on both platforms.
7. Install a Facebook pixel on your site. This is a tracking code that will allow you to better track your ads to see where they end up on your website.

Best of luck in 2018 with your social media efforts. The rules are always changing, but if you take steps to maximize your reach, you will get results.

Change to HTTPS or Lose Ranking

Change to HTTPS or Lose Ranking

Starting this October, Google will penalize any website that does not have a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate or “secure website.” You can see the small padlock symbol in the address bar and the website address beginning with https:// (the s stands for “secure” encryption) if a site has SSL.

If you do not have this in place by October, you will lose Google Ranking. In fact, Google is sending out emails to Search Console users stating that if you don’t switch over to https, your website will have a “NOT SECURE” notification pop-up to all Chrome users. Here is the email that was sent out.

So, in my opinion, you must act now before it’s too late! The last thing you want is a warning on your site which could disrupt your traffic and ultimately drive your customers away. If you migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS, Google treats this as a site move with a URL change. This can temporarily affect some of your traffic numbers. For more information on this big announcement from Google, read this article.

Do You Have a Backup Plan for your Website?

Do You Have a Backup Plan for your Website?

What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and you discovered that your website was gone? Perhaps it was hacked, or maybe your web hosting company accidentally deleted your site. Believe it or not, it’s more common than you think. What if you had to start your website from scratch? If you don’t have a backup, you’re not alone. In fact, 40% of small to medium business do not back up their website.

I have a friend that owns a business who lost everything overnight. There was an error with her credit card and her hosting wasn’t renewed. The hosting company deleted her site and now she has to pay the company $150 an hour to recover the site or start from scratch.

She was one of the lucky ones – at least her web hosting company had a back up of her site. A lot of web hosting companies do not provide backups. For the ones that do, most do it for their own protection and do not make the files available to their customers without an extra charge. Also, web hosting companies do not always run virus and malware scanners on your website, so keeping a back-up is your best protection.

So, what’s the answer? Make sure your backup plan is in place so you can have peace of mind.

Read this article for more information on free backup solutions for your WordPress site.

Are your social media efforts not resulting in REAL business?

Are your social media efforts not resulting in REAL business?

Are you tired of posting on social media and not seeing any any results? If you are tired and burned out from dedicating time to this effort, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. You try to find useful content to share and you spend a lot of time trying to find something interesting to say. While it can be a very effective marketing tool, it works best when it’s used with other marketing strategies.

According to research from the Altimeter Group, while 53% of business owners understand the importance of promoting their content, only 26% actually invest in content distribution. As a result, they are seeing very little results in their social media efforts.

Find out how you can integrate social media into your digital marketing strategy for the best results possible.

Steps You Can Take Right Now to Get Noticed On Google

Steps You Can Take Right Now to Get Noticed On Google

Every business owner is trying to “get noticed” on Google. In fact, everyone is fighting for those same top spots in the search results. Everyone is always asking the age old question, “How do I get higher ranking on Google?” There are a few steps you can take right away.

First of all, make sure you register with both Google Analytics and Google Search Console (previously called Webmaster Tools). These sites will provide you with great insight on how your visitors found you and what pages they visited once they arrived.

Have you registered your business with Google Business Services? This service helps your customers find you anytime and anywhere. You can set up your business profile, add photos, and list your hours of operation. If you haven’t registered yet, take advantage of very useful directory – best of all, it’s free!

Another important step you can take to increase your ranking is to take advantage of Google+. Although Google+ certainly hasn’t really taken off like Facebook and Twitter, it isn’t going away either. Instead, Google is reinventing it to offer more services such as photo hosting and content curation. They have implemented a new Communities feature that is gaining 1.2 million members per day. If you haven’t take advantage of this free tool, head over there now.

Finally, have you updated your content on your website? Businesses that routinely update or add content to their website will rank higher in the search results. If you haven’t updated your content lately, add a news page or a blog to make sure your site looks current. Take a look at the content you have on each page, and make sure that it is high quality, and not “keyword-stuffed.” Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, and the search engines are becoming smarter and will penalize sites that do not have quality content. Read this article from the American Marketing Association to find out how you can tweak your content to rank higher on the search engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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