It’s almost silly to reiterate, but internet marketing changes fast. Even behemoth marketing platforms like Google change how they do things, and frequently. To that end, I bring you the latest in changes to the internet marketing baseline:
Facebook Business Page Cover Photos
Until very recently, the structure of Facebook Page headers was that your cover photo was partially covered up by your Page photo/avatar. Now, even on mobile devices, the cover photo is independent and not covered up by your page avatar, and to make matters worse, the size of cover photos has changed. The old images are now getting cut off on the left and the right on mobile devices, so your old photo just doesn’t look good like it used to when someone pulls up your page on the Facebook mobile app.
It’s reminiscent of what YouTube has continually done with YouTube channel art. Now you are going to have to leave some room on the sides of your Facebook cover photo if you want it to look good on mobile devices.
If you are one of our clients, we have a special price for redoing your cover photos to fit this new format. Reach out to us for details.
Our KickFire Diabolos Facebook Page Before
After We Changed the Cover Photo
Indexability of Sites With No SSL Certificate
Thanks to folks like Edward Snowden, internet security has become a front-and-center issue the last couple of years. SSL Certificates (a fancy way of encrypting the data stream from your website to your customer’s browser) are the first line of attack in the fight to secure the internet.
Google has been very active on this front. They are now actively demoting any website that doesn’t have an SSL Certificate installed on their website. If your competitor has an SSL Certificate on their site, and you don’t, you’re going to lose rank against them.
This is one of the extremely few times Google has publicly given guidance to what they want to see on your website to ranking well. The other recent guidance was around being mobile friendly. Google doesn’t generally tip its hand when it comes to search algorithms or ranking strategies, so you can be sure they are motivated and serious when they say they won’t be sending as much traffic to insecure websites.
If your site isn’t encrypting data with an SSL Certificate, we can help.
Direct From The Horse's Mouth
The Increasing Importance of Yelp
I don’t like Yelp. I think they are terrible. I had a really bad experience with one of their sales people who just wouldn’t leave me alone. I’m a busy guy and he just wouldn’t stop, even with clear language and tones leaning toward outright anger.
That being said, you can’t ignore Yelp. Bing and Yahoo AND Apple all rely on Yelp for their business ratings. If an iPhone user asks Siri to find a dentist in Newport Beach, Siri asks Yelp. She doesn’t ask Google. That is a tremendous amount of traffic being funneled through Yelp. Traffic that needs to go to you.
Our advice for managing Yelp is to send happy customers there to leave you positive reviews. Actively. Continually. And if you want some help designing a super-sick automated system for inviting your customers to leave 5 star reviews, reach out. We have a great system for helping that happen.
Yes, I left a negative review for Yelp, on Yelp.
Google Map Geography Restrictions
If you market to a local area, and you are one of our clients, you know how deeply we preach the virtues of claiming and optimizing your map listings on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp. Well… Google has changed the game again.
Where Google would rank seven businesses on a small map listing, right inside their normal search results, they are only ranking three. The odds of you getting in the top three just went down by half.
The other thing we’ve noticed, and Google has been silent about this, is the new geographic restrictions they are putting on specific map results. If you do a search for Kaysville Chiropractor and go to the map results, where you used to see pages and pages of results, starting in Kaysville and fanning out in to other areas, you now ONLY see results for Kaysville. You can’t scroll or go to a new page that will have Layton Chiropractors. If you want them, you’re going to have to search for Layton Chiropractors.
For location based businesses, this is good news and bad news.
The good news is that if you were fighting against the dentist in the next town over for the map results for your neighborhood, you won’t be fighting them any more.
The bad news is that if you were trying to get traffic from your competition’s neighborhood, you’re likely not going to be able to compete inside Google’s Business listings. You’re going to have to go it the old fashioned way: website or video ranking in the organic search results.
Interestingly enough, this new feature/bug isn’t perfectly configured yet, so some searches will yield a wider geographic result even if you are being specific to a city. We figure Google is still honing this and we will continue to see changes to the Business listings over the next however long it takes for Google to get it right.
One way we’re combatting the changes to map listings is by doing Adwords campaigns. Google has extended Adwords to the map results, so we can structure ads to show on the map above your competition in a local area. There are other more organic ways to keep your map listing high in the results that we can talk about too…
If you have a second, go to maps.google.com, type in [your industry name] in [your geographic area] and see how your results come up. If you aren’t showing, reach out, we can help.
This is the New Format for Map Listings
That’s it for now. As more changes come up, we’ll keep you informed. In the mean time if you need any help with this or any other marketing related anything, reach out. We’re here to rock your marketing world.
I'm also a busy and engaged entrepreneur working on a number of interesting side projects.
When I'm not working, I run in the local mountains or work out at the local crossfit gym, ride my '83 Vespa PX200E, play with my kids, date my wife, or study Austrian economics or bitcoin.