It is getting harder and harder to do digital marketing for free! If you have a Facebook page for your business, when you post content, you are lucky if Facebook shows it to 15% of your followers! Quite often the numbers are closer to 3% ;-( If you were willing to pay even $7, Facebook might show it to 1500 additional people (not necessarily people who follow your page)!

Last month Google made a change to their landscape (the Search Engine Results Page or SERP), by removing ads from the right hand side and putting four ads at the top of the SERP. The layout of the page is now 4 ads, 3 Google My Business locations (plus a map) and then organic listings.

If you were a plumber in Toronto and did not want to spend money on Google AdWords, you’d want to be listed in the 3 Pack (Google My Business) because organic listings are so far down the page – and even there, a directory gets the first spot rather than a specific plumbing company.

Plumbers - 1(a)Google 1

Plumbers - 2 9a)Google 2

 

Plumbers - 3 (a)Google 3

What’s One to Do?

It’s not all doom. 🙂 Really do consider investing in Facebook advertising – if it is right for your business! By targeting the right audience, and having the right offer, social media can now drive conversions, not just page likes! It likely works best for a special offer as opposed to just drawing attention to your business.

If you are a local business with a physical presence, ensure you are in Google My Business (maps). Optimize the heck out of it to try to be in the top 3.

When it comes to organic results, more and more queries are becoming long tail thanks to increased use of voice to conduct searches. Google rewards good content – content that is unique and answers questions your visitors did not even know they had. Make sure have the most complete, user friendly content of any of your competitors (locally and beyond). Incorporate some images and videos; check the Google Search Console weekly to see what people are searching for and tweak your content accordingly. Rinse and repeat and over time you will drive significant traffic on your long tail phrases.