How to Keep Standing When Google and Facebook Pull the Rug from Under Your Marketing

Matt Ulmer
Matt Ulmer VP of Operations & Client Relations

Mobile phone showing connections
Image Source: Pixabay

Some big changes are occurring in the digital marketing world.

First, Facebook announced that it was tweaking its all-important News Feed to show less content from brands and publishers, to make way for more content from friends and family.

Then, Google announced that they are adding more ways for users to control the retargeting ads they see, and to completely stop the ads they don’t want to see. This is after Apple already added features to the latest version of its Safari web browser to block tracking for retargeting, and auto-playing video ads.

What all these changes mean is that companies suddenly have less opportunity to reach prospective customers.

So what can be done?

SEO to the Rescue

Cell phone with search browser open 
Image Source: Pixabay

Out of your hands

Companies looking to promote their offerings have always to some degree been at the whim of companies that provide a means to promote their offerings. If Facebook and Instagram suddenly stopped allowing advertising on their platforms; if Microsoft suddenly blocked all display ads on Edge and Internet Explorer. Those scenarios aren’t likely to happen, but the point is that the companies that control the advertising control your ability to reach consumers.

This is why a forever popular and accurate saying/cliché is the need to diversify. Don’t only advertise on Facebook, or rely exclusively on the Google Ad Network.

And don’t only advertise, period.

By that I mean don’t put all your proverbial eggs in the single basket of online advertising. Make sure you can also be found organically.

And that’s where SEO comes in.

Control your own destiny

Ron Sansone, our director of search and analytics, believes (perhaps unsurprisingly) that the antidote to the recent Google and Facebook updates is to double-down on SEO.

Google searches will always be a top method for consumers to find desired offerings. These users are actively searching for your product, and users know to trust listings they see in the organic results. So when companies suddenly block your ability to reach prospects through your previous means, make sure you also have organic search results covered. Consumers will always be searching there.

Now sure, that’s easier said than done. And Google still ultimately controls that destiny, not you. But you have the ability to hire an SEO agency or internal department to ensure your website is properly optimized for the keyword terms your audience searches. You have the ability to write relevant content that will resonate with searchers.

You can’t control whether Facebook changes its Newsfeed or Apple blocks auto-playing video ads, but you can control whether your website presents the type of content Google thinks a searcher is after.

Don’t Give Up on Ads

Cell phones with advertisements showing in search
Image Source: Pixabay

I want to be very clear: I am not saying turn your back on other digital tactics. Online advertising is still the most efficient way to reach an audience. These recent updates don’t change that.

Display advertising on relevant platforms still introduces prospects to your offerings for vital brand building. Retargeting still reminds hot leads that you have what they want. Facebook has actually now made it more vital than ever to advertise on Facebook versus relying on free status updates.

Get integrated

In fact, the best way to be as diversified as possible is to perform digital advertising in conjunction with SEO. We call this integrated digital marketing, and it gives you the best of all worlds.

When a webpage will never be able to rank organically for a particular keyword term, bid on that term in Google AdWords. When you find terms or messaging that resonate with your intended audience, try to optimize for it. When you get traffic to your site from SEO, retarget to those visitors so they don’t forget about you as they continue their research.

When all efforts work together, only good results can follow. And it also ensures that your business can’t be upended by the sudden whim of one of the Googles or Facebooks or Apples of the world.