Many of the sites I see rely on just one source of business.
Some favour Organic Search. Others have chosen Facebook, where their Group has become a lifeline. Facebook has become home for many smaller businesses that have moved on to the Internet as COVID has strangled their retail sales.
Or maybe it’s Google Ads or paid social. It doesn’t matter. If it’s just one, you’re vulnerable.
Doing what works. And then doing more of it
Suppose you’re successful with your chosen traffic source. In that case, there’s a persuasive argument that you should be putting more and more of your resources into where you’re sure to get the returns.
It’s human nature to expect that things will continue as they always have done. But that’s not the case. You must take a step back and assess your online business vulnerabilities.
But what if those customers dried up?
Just suppose for a moment, that there’s a big Google update and, despite your best attempts to stay with Google’s rules, your fall foul of it. Your rankings plummet, and along with those rankings, your traffic and sales.
If you rely exclusively on your Facebook presence, you’re just as vulnerable to big tech changing the rules. On FB, you could have all sorts of problems. Algorithm changes that make your posts just about invisible to your prospective customers. Increases in your advertising costs. And to your preferred promotional tool changing or even disappearing.
Advertising changes are just as applicable if you’re relying on PPC on Google or Bing, or paid promotion on your social media platform of choice.
How to mitigate risk
So you can see there’s a lot on the internet you have no control over. As a business, you need to mitigate risk. Look for ways to make your business less vulnerable to outside forces.
The simplest and most reliable way to protect your business is to interact with your customers on more platforms and media. If one goes wrong for you, you can rely on the others to continue feeding your leads and business. At the same time, you can make changes to your website or advertising strategy. Or beat an orderly retreat to engage on another battlefield.
Your website is yours
If this all seems a bit uncertain, it’s because that’s the way it is. But I have some good news for you.
Your website is yours. Even if a Google update reduces your traffic. Your content and your sales funnel are still in place. Unless your content breaks your web host’s rules, and they take your website down, your online business is intact.
So, the rule is: never neglect your website. You can always find a way to push your customers towards it.
Do you have an email list?
Even less vulnerable to outside forces than your website, a well-maintained email list is a direct contact with your customers. That’s why I have my Digital Marketing Thing. You’re welcome to call yours a newsletter if you want to be more conventional ;-).
I don’t care what you call it, as long as it makes sense to your customers and for your branding. But if you don’t have one, you should start putting the pieces in place now.
Find an email host and put some sign-up CTAs (calls to action) where your customers are. Put up a landing page to sell the benefits. You may also want to offer an incentive to encourage people to sign up. And don’t forget your social media profiles.
But email marketing is a topic all of its own, perhaps for another time.
Is it time to talk?
If you’d like to discuss SEO, Content or Digital Marketing with me, you can set up a telephone call or Zoom meeting at a time that suits you, here. Or drop me an email to the usual place – [email protected].
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A version of this blog post appeared in David Rosam’s Digital Marketing Thing. Let me send it to you regularly so that you can stay up to date with Digital Marketing and my ideas about it right in your inbox.
David Rosam has been working on the internet for 25 years, after a career in direct marketing copywriting for the tech and financial services industries.
Today, he specialises in Content-Focused Search Engine Optimisation—from audits, through research and strategy to implementation.
He was probably the UK’s first SEO Copywriter.