One of the most surprising statistics of the business world today is the fact that 50 percent of all small businesses don’t even have a website. Why? Well, according to several pools about 41 percent of these business owners don’t see the way in which this would help their company grow. You see, although they wouldn’t outright admit it, most of these people don’t consider themselves to be precisely tech-savvy, which is why they avoid even thinking about establishing online presence altogether. Seeing as how hosting a website is something that is fairly easy even for a layman, it becomes quite transparent that the obstacle in question here is of more psychological than technical nature.
On the other hand, not every single one of these trends, misconceptions and mistakes are as easy to spot. In fact, some trends in digital marketing are so deeply rooted in its structure, that its users simply can’t imagine their brand’s future without them. However, in reality, they are doing more damage to the brand than they are helping. With this in mind and without further ado, here are five digital marketing trends and myths that definitely need to die in 2018.
1. Disregarding your cyber-security
First of all, this myth is outright ridiculous for several reasons. Not only is Google favoring SSL websites but there are numerous indirect advantages of having an ironclad cyber-security system. First of all, the more your website grows, the greater the target you become, which is why, soon, you will have numerous hackers on your tail. Needless to say, as soon as your security collapses, you will have all of the internet community talking about your failure.
Imagine a situation, where the breach of your website reaches all the major forums, websites and newsletters. As soon as a potential client googles your company they will see your website, accompanied by threads discussing this issue surrounding the latest hack. Needless to say, this will dissuade them from ever clicking the link towards your website and in this way, significantly diminish your traffic. On the other hand, investing just a bit more in your website’s security might have been able to prevent this altogether.
2. Keyword stuffing
A long time ago, keyword stuffing was the simplest way to give your SEO a boost. However, this was almost two decades ago and Google has been fighting this trend vigorously ever since. The biggest problem here, nonetheless, is the fact that some people still insist on this technique, believing it works even in 2018. Needless to say, this trend will get you penalized as soon as you are discovered, which is why you should avoid it like the plague. Simply make sure that your keywords are organic and that they are not diminishing the quality and, above all, readability of your content and you should do fine.
3. Quality is all that matters
Before we even get started on this one, let’s just get one thing out of the way – quantity matters and no one in their right mind will claim otherwise. That being said, even if your piece of content is one of the best, most innovative articles ever uploaded, you need to follow up in the next several weeks or even months in order not to get forgotten.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you should just pump out anything that comes to your mind or even brag with being able to write, proofread and publish a blog post within an hour. In fact, as the current stats go an average time for writing a blog post has grown to 3 hours and 20 minutes, from 2 hours and 24 minutes, where it was in 2014. In other words, while the quality of your posts is still paramount, quantity matters too. Therefore, schedule your operations in a more efficient way in order to ensure that both of these factors are satisfied.
4. Focusing on vanity metrics
One of the easiest ways to spot a layman digital marketer is by how easily they get impressed by vanity metrics. You see, likes, shares and comments do have their practical value but they are far from being your end goal. Remember, every piece of content you upload has an agenda behind it. For instance, you may want people to buy your product, subscribe to your newsletter or just get educated on the issue that matters to you. In this regard, whether they like what they see,may or may not, play a vital role. Therefore, while they might indicate that you are doing a good job, vanity metrics do not offer a hard proof of being on the right path.
Finally, according to one survey, about 11 percent of all internet users use at least some form of ad blocker and this number is on a constant rise. In fact, the competition between blogs and e-stores is so tough that, when asked to turn their ad blocker off in order to access the content, your audience is just as likely to go somewhere else. Furthermore, this also means that people who rely on pop-up ads as their primary mean of advertising may no longer see the same ROI they used to in the beginning.
The list goes on and on, however, these above-listed five trends and myths are the major culprits behind a bad effort/resources-to-return ratio. All that energy and investment could probably be directed towards something more rewarding if only letting go of a bad habit wasn’t so hard.
Nevena Popović is a cycling enthusiast, business consultant for SEO Perth and an avid reader of the cyber-punk genre. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemon grass tea (or more honestly binge watching the newest Netflix hit show).