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Digital marketing news for small businesses: April 2019 roundup

3 minute read

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A long weekend, a heatwave, and spring finally here: if you’ve been finding it difficult to keep up with what’s been going on in the world of digital marketing, you aren’t the only one. To help you catch up, here are some of the stories that caught our eye last month – and what they mean for your business.

Have you thought about cyber security?

Early in April the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport released the findings of the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, and it made for interesting reading. Overall, there’s been a 43% decrease in the number of cyber security breaches since last year, but that still leaves 32% of businesses having reported an attack in the last year – and of those who did experience this, they suffered more attacks on average than in the previous year.

With the average financial loss from such attacks having risen by over £1,000 to £4,180, the Government is calling on businesses to do more to prevent cyber attacks. It’s clear that there are still many businesses not taking the threat of cyber security seriously enough; the survey found that only 30% of businesses (and 36% of charities) have updated their cyber security policies and processes since the advent of GDPR last May. If your business has yet to consider this, have a read of our article on how SMEs can improve their security online.

Time to strengthen your passwords?

While we’re on the subject of cyber security, a survey released this month is a timely reminder that simple passwords could be among the things compromising your business’s cybersecurity. According to a study by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), around 23 million passwords are set as ‘123456’, with other favourites including ‘password’ and ‘qwerty’.

It’s vital to make sure you’re not using simple passwords for your business log-in details – particularly if you’re holding sensitive data such as information about your customers and employees. You’ll find some more tips on passwords in our article ten steps to keeping your business secure online.

You can now highlight a great review in Google My Business

Google announced a new feature for Google My Business this month: if your business uses this platform, you can now automatically highlight suggested reviews as customer testimonials. This is a great way to show off a positive review on a platform already incredibly useful for local SEO. Want to know how to encourage more reviews? Read our ultimate guide to online reviews for lots of tips on why reviews matter and how to encourage customers to leave them.

Optimising your site for voice-based search

Microsoft’s 2019 Voice Report is a reminder that voice optimisation is likely to increase in importance when it comes to marketing your business. The use of digital assistants – such as Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana – is on the rise, with 72% of smartphone owners now making use of these handy features. When it comes to the use of smart speakers, the report details the kind of activities these devices are used for, the top two being “searching for a quick fact” and “asking for directions”.

The activities in third and fourth place will be of interest to business owners: “searching for a business” and “researching a product or service”. In fact, most of the rest of the top ten activities are also relevant, from comparing products or services to actually making a purchase, as well as contacting customer service or providing feedback. This suggests that optimising your site for voice-based search is worth thinking about; take a look at our article on what SMEs need to know about voice-based search to find out more about this growing area of SEO.

Pick up some SEO tips from the top BrightonSEO takeaways

Finally, the SEO community descended on Brighton for the wildly popular BrightonSEO conference this month. As ever, there were hundreds of valuable takeaways for anyone looking to improve their position in search engines, and in the aftermath of the event lots of round-up posts emerged with links to the slide decks and useful tips. Here’s a link to all the slidedecks from the show, and here’s a great round-up of some of the key takeaways.

Zoe works as a Content Marketing Executive at the UK Domain. Previously working in advertising and the sporting industry, Zoe has over four years experience in marketing.

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