4 Ways to establish a digital presence without relying on Google

digital presence

By Anja Skrba {grow} Community Member

What if one day Google’s algorithm drops your website from its index, and it happens right in the middle of the season your business makes the most revenue? Or if you unintentionally violate Google’s trust by outsourcing backlinking to a company that pays for the links (this happens, you know!) and you get penalized by Google?

We are often conducting our business at Google’s mercy.

In order to become less reliant on Google, consider diversifying your methods for increasing website traffic – let’s call them “real marketing strategies,” and build solid and reliable assets.

Here are some ideas to get started:

Personal Branding

If you are (still) skeptic about relying on only one social media platform due to the experiments conducted by Facebook, you have another way of dodging Google. Embrace the good old ways of personal branding and mix them up with the brand new digital ones, something Mark Schaefer explores in his book KNOWN.

Why do this? Because people probably won’t remember you just because you’re the first result on a Google search results page! What they will remember you for are your values, your perspective, and the things they associate with you.

Personal branding is so much more than a buzzword. If you develop an honest personal branding strategy and give your best to stay honest with your audience, people will follow you on social media, bookmark your website, and subscribe to your blog posts. You won’t have to rely on being discoverable via Google searches.

What people often forget about personal branding is its ability to build relationships. You have to let the people get to know you and find out what you have to offer. For example, you can start your podcast or be a guest on the popular ones in your niche, start a vlog, become active on Twitter, and so on.

Even if you get excluded from the search results, it won’t matter, because the relationship that you’ve built with the audience is authentic and, as such, it exceeds the limits and the penalties of the digital realm.

Step Up Your Content Game

digital presenceIf you want to stop relying solely on Google, you have to step up your content game. Significantly.

There are many examples where the content on a site is so amazing it transcends SEO, social media and link strategies.

Outstanding content does not necessarily have to be articles from a blog. You can share images, create interesting and informative infographics for your audience, or address some of the burning topics in your niche by directly asking your followers to participate in a discussion.

Since there is no universal “How to successfully diversify your online marketing strategy” recipe we can all follow, be open to experimentation. After a few months, look at your website traffic sources and see what the results are. Remember, different things work for different businesses – if something works well for my audience it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for yours. And vice versa. So don’t be afraid to experiment.

Enter Conversations in Your Niche

Leaving comments on other people’s blog posts, videos, forums, and social media posts are also viable methods of moving towards Google independence. Of course, “thank you”, “I agree with you”, “Rock on” “Nice post”, “Keep doing what you doing”, “I’ve covered the same subject on my blog” and other types of comments that fall into this category are simply out of the question.

If you want to build a name for yourself in your niche, you will have to enter the conversation as an expert willing to exchange honest opinions and shine some light on the subjects in question. If you want to nail the conversations in your niche, make sure to provide a unique perspective on the topic covered in a post. Oh, and be sure to tell your audience why you feel that you are qualified to offer advice.

Use Apps, Chatbots, and Creative Social Media Posts to Engage Millennials

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to (if you still haven’t been properly introduced) the majority of people who will come in contact with you online – the Millennials!

Millennials are heavy internet users and they are quitedigital presence tech-savvy. A great way to stop depending on Google is to use some cutting-edge web technologies and to pay attention to the statistics. According to Statista.com 92% of millennials watch digital videos, 74% compare prices online, 54% use shopping apps because they are easier to use, and 50% refer to social media platforms when they need to find information.

Millennials are soon going to make up a great chunk of the parenting demographic as well. So, ladies and gentlemen, take it from a millennial – this is your audience. If you want to stop depending on only one marketing channel, try to supply this audience with what it expects.

For instance, enable a chatbot on your website and social media profile – they have become quite popular in 2017 and they offer some unique benefits. A creative meme, gif, or a short video on Instagram can get you lots of exposure as well. Give Millennials what they like and they will remember you and come back for more.

The point is that YOU CAN establish a meaningful digital presence without relying on Google. This only means that the people at Google have done their marketing so well (high five for them) that Google is, slowly but surely, becoming the synonym for marketing on the internet for many of us. However, that doesn’t mean that you should cast aside the marketing methods mentioned in this article, in fact, you should use them all to exist outside Google in this digital marketing era.

Anja Skrba is a Content Creation Manager for FirstSiteGuide, an educational website which provides tutorials and guides that help people create, grow and maintain their online presence. You can connect with her on Twitter or through LinkedIn.

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