Digital marketing news for small businesses: March roundup

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Too busy running your business to keep up with what’s been happening in the digital marketing world? Never fear – we’ve been doing it for you, so sit back and find out what some of the top stories this month mean for your company.

Brush up on the future of search engines to stay ahead of the SEO game

The way we use search engines has changed over the years, and an interesting article from Bill Slawski this month highlighted the ways in which search engine algorithms are moving to accommodate this. In this article, Slawski explains that at the moment, “Google is still matching keywords in queries to keywords in web documents; so doing keyword research continues to make sense” – but that in the long run, algorithms will move towards making sense of content in terms of query patterns.

“Anticipating what questions your targeted audience might have about what your pages cover may be an exercise worth undertaking,” he advises in the article. That means ensuring that the pages on your site answer likely questions on their subject matter, so that you become “the authoritative sources for information about them”. This is arguably good practice already – after all, the more useful your website is, the more likely people are to keep coming back and recommending you. However, in the future, increasingly sophisticated algorithms will make it ever more important to ensure your website covers what consumers actually want to read.

Don’t let your approach to social media lose you customers

If you’re going to have a social media presence, new research by retail technology specialists HSO suggests that it pays to put your heart and soul into it. According to the study, 75% of consumers in the UK not only expect brands to be using social media to offer a better service, but they’ll actively avoid brands who aren’t coming up to scratch on social media engagement. It’s also worth bearing in mind that 85% of consumers expect you to reply when they post a negative comment – even more than the 74% who expect a reply in acknowledgement of a favourable comment. If managing social media is something that concerns you, have a read of our advice on how to respond to a bad review and how to manage your reputation on social media.

Going further with personalisation

Personalisation isn’t a new thing, but it’s been touted as a key trend in marketing for 2018, and research last year showed that personalisation is better than promotion when it comes to digital adverts. But basic personalisation doesn’t go far enough if the results of a new study by marketing automation company Pure360 are anything to go by.

The study found that “only 7% of UK consumers are interested in messages that relate to their personal details such as their birthday”. Using the customer’s first name was also unlikely to get brands very far, with only 8% likely to take notice of this informal personal greeting. On the other hand, 45% of respondents are prepared to engage with retailers who send them tailored promotions, with those aged 18 to 24 most likely to respond to this marketing tactic. The findings suggest that for small businesses, using customer data to send tailored offers is likely to get you better results from your marketing campaigns.

Celebrate businesswomen by adding your women-led icon in Google My Business

Finally, the day before International Women’s Day earlier this month, Google announced another way to celebrate women in business by adding a new ‘women-led’ icon to Google My Business listings. If your business is owned, founded or run by women, find out how to tell the world about it.

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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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