I remember when I started blogging on ActiveRain back in 2007, we had a lot of serious bloggers on this platform. By 2009 many of those bloggers decided to go the Wordpress route and have their own websites. Many of them left ActiveRain for the greener pastures on their websites.
Their websites became not only their main hub but also their entire focus, content, etc was only on their websites. Back in the day... SEO was easy, traffic was easy to get, Google adwords were super cheap... heck, YouTube was not even a thing and Twitter had just started. There was no Zillow and it was a piece of cake to beat Realtor.com in the SERPS.
The entire premise was that if you own your own website, you own it. It is yours. The traffic is yours. Everything is yours. You have control. No one could take it away from you.
While ownership of a website was important and still is, the focus and the control part needs to shift.
As the years went by, Google got smarter, tried to clean up the crap on the internet, and adopted a bunch of animals: Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon.
Many website owners found themselves off the internet grid, many were penalized, and many sites were filtered. And what did they have to fall back on while trying to get their sites to come back? Nada, nothing... deep doo doo based on a rash and prideful decision to ONLY focus on their website.
When SEO started getting tougher and tougher, and more competitors for internet traffic came on the scene like Zillow and Trulia, etc. we started doing what I call, Vertical SEO.
Vertical SEO theory is that you need to be doing your SEO on many different platforms, not just your website. Of course we want our website to be on page one and be the hub for our traffic. However, we are dealing with realty.
And the reality is that websites like Facebook, Linkedin, Screenshare, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, Twitter, ActiveRain, Realbird.... all have a lot more clout with Google than your website does. Google weighs who is more important so it does not care that you have a website. It cares only how much authority your website has.
So the smart thing to do is to be on all of those platforms, then you can of course drive that traffic back to your website.
Who cares which one of your website properties shows up on page one on google for your keywords? As long as it is your profile or your content.. who cares where they found you? Check your ego at the door.
I talk to so many people online who focus only on their websites. This is going to become even more dangerous as the months and years go by.
As a brand you should always have a website where you keep all of your content. But don't treat it as that is the only place you want to drive your traffic to.
Here are some facts:
Websites are becoming less and less important to the user, consumer...
As mobile usage increases innovation takes shape and new ways to connect and work on mobile are right before us.
Websites will become a place where you actually send people from to your other properties ( facebook, messenger, texting,
When you have a website on desktop, it needs to be smashing, it needs to be amazing, and very visually appealing. A mobile version of your website has to be much more simple, super slim, buttons and CTAs front and center... there are many mobile rules to follow in order to convert your leads.
You have Facebook.
Facebook marketing is important and all companies should be involved with Facebook.
Here is another mistake many website owners make: They want to force all the traffic from Facebook to go to your website. But did you know that Facebook rewards you if you keep your traffic on Facebook? They reward you by lower cost for your ads and by increasing your reach.
Now, I know, you don't own Facebook and they could come and turn off your page.
Well, you know those website people think they are so in control of their website say to this- they own their content. Yes, but did you also know that your sole source of all things internet ( your website) is in jeopardy? You can lose your hosting account, you could get hacked into, there are a myriad of things that can happen where suddenly you have no more control.
And as the Internet evolves and as AI and other innovations take off... the more things will change.
Within the next five years we will all be using Facebook Messenger more than our own websites and even more than regular texting.
Verticals are very important not just for SEO but for many other reasons. Where do you plan to meet people online who have not found your website? On your verticals, that's where.
Meet the people where they are. Go to them, don't force them to come to you.
So that may be on YouTube, or it could be on Pinterest. Make sure you are where your visitors, leads and customers are.
And just to show you how serious this is for mobile and for you as a business owner-
Google has now come out with free simple websites attached to your Google My Business page and also they have added a post section right on your GMB page. This is huge.
Who do you think is going to win the mobile traffic?
Now on your GMB page, visitors can click to call you! They can ask for directions, they can leave you review. They can now ask you questions and a robot converses while you are being reached.
The future of the internet will be that your website will be like your online hub. But it won't be the way most people will find you or connect with you.
People will connect with you through instant messengers like Facebook messenger. They will find you on Google maps and ask for directions to a listing or your office. They will discover your GMB page and look at the photos of your listings right from their phone on your page.
Think about how far advanced the Chinese are in technology. While they are not allowed to be on Facebook and their communist regime still controls what people say, etc. , commerce is entirely different. WeChat is the go to app in China. In just 3 years, WeChat has become the app with the largest user base in China.
With over 1 billion active monthly users, this app has become the main way Chinese communicate and also buy online and offline. 83% of the users use WeChat to buy products and services online. Over 300 million have their credit cards attached to their WeChat app. 800 million use WeChat Pay. Compare that to the western countries who use ApplePay on their phones. See chart. Over 300,000 off line stores accept WeChat payments. And 87% of those with WeChat Pay buy things off line at stores using their WeChat Pay.
This is how the internet is evolving. We have some catching up to do but we are not that far behind. Some of the ways in which you can capitalize on these trends are:
1. Develop a mobile friendly site that is simple, white background, plain and easy to read text, and buttons and links that are easy to follow and fill in.
2. Embrace Facebook marketing and ads. If you complain that you tried FB ads and they did not work for you... you are incorrect... FB ads work... you just did not work the ads correctly.
3. Use Lead Ads in Facebook and keep the entire process, the offer, the optin, the lead magnet, the delivery of your lead magnet--- all inside of Facebook. It takes 8 seconds for someone who clicks on your ad to get to your landing page on your website on mobile. You will lose most of those people because mobile users are too impatient to wait 8 seconds.
4. Expand your LinkedIn marketing. Run your entire funnel for B2B and contacts you need to send you referrals in LinkedIn. Do reach out programs in your LinkedIn account. Call the leads and contacts.
5. Use TEXT messaging!! Get tracking numbers to use with your texting!! Even if your lead fills out a lead form from Facebook at 11 p.m., text the lead at 11 p.m.!
6. Use AI ( artificial intelligence) bots! Get on this track before the train leaves the station. Now is the time to learn how to program your bots with simple programs like ManyChat. Program the codes for your leads to use to trigger the right responses from your robots. I am training our vas in this area.
7. Think outside the box. What websites show up high on mobile search and ask yourself how can you contribute your content to those sites. Be where your leads hang out.
8. VIDEO!! If you are not on the video bandwagon.. you are really not in the modern realm of content production. People have the YouTube app on their phones and they watch video all the time!
9. Create a valuable podcast. Podcasting is even more popular today than it was years ago. Most of the new cars come with Apple apps. People still commute and they listen to podcasts while they are driving.
10. Accept reviews sites ( I hate them with a passion) and optimize your content on those review search engines. Add content, complete your profiles, add value by being a reviewer.
Study the top brands and see where you can fit in. Check out this chart. Google is number 1. How can you capitalize on google products and services in order to get more leads and establish your brand online. Amazon is #2. What can you do on Amazon to establish your brand? Write an e-book about your market? Or get backlinks to your website by providing content to amazon in different way... is there an advertising opportunity somewhere on Amazon? Makes sure you are using the amazon 3s services to store your videos and pdfs, etc.
There are many things you can expand on within each of these.
The main take away is to take action, don't keep doing the same things and embrace new technology and learn how to capitalize on it.