Small Business – Marketing Trends for 2018

Welcome to the Being Found Show. We are going to go over some articles I came across that I think business owners or anyone with a website will want to know about. 

Joe: I read an article recently called Brute Force Password Hacks on the Rise by Search Engine Journal. It explains that there are bots out there right now trying to hack into websites and if they have part of a usernames or password they can try to figure out the other part. So this matters to you if you have a website or if you’re building a website, you may want to look into the attack. There are things you can do about this but you need to know what’s going on.

The Massive Brute Force attack was reported by Wordfence, a WordPress Security plugin that protects approximately 1 million active WordPress websites. This report revealed the database of 1 billion password credentials have been leaked and made available on the dark web. There really is a dark web. It’s the weirdest thing. These passwords can be used to automate the search for admin level server and CMS or content management systems, WordPress, Shopify, things like that for admin level server and CMS access to websites regardless of the platform. I am going to read some of this article.

Brute force password hacks impacting small business websites. Prevention can help save you a lot of time!
Business owners, a little bit of prevention can save you a lot of time and frustration.

“Earlier this month a Bitcoin subReddit was compromised. That hacking highlights that it doesn’t matter if you’re using WordPress, Joomla, phpBB or even hand-coding your own CMS. If your password is weak or compromised then your site is under risk.

It didn’t take long for the hackings to begin. A massive brute force attack was reported by WordFence on December 18th, peaking at 14 million attacks per hour.” Source: Search Engine Journal

Joe: This sort of attack is always happening but this one seems big.

Chauncey: Let’s make this crystal clear for businesses this is not hacking your Google because Gmail defends against this sort of thing. This is hacking small business websites. This is hacking individual websites because smaller websites are the ones that aren’t going to have these defense mechanisms. Facebook and Google will not be impacted by the Brute Forced Attack.

Joe: Google Webmaster has an article out right now called #NoHacked 3.0: Fixing common hack case and it should help you fix your site if you have been hacked. So, what ends up happening is the hacker can create an admin level. Users sometimes with FTP level access can access your servers and your files in order to completely clean your Website. Even if you think you’ve gone through the code that they may have put in your website and cleaned it out, or you think you got rid of any files they may have injected into your site, they might have actually set themselves up as a user in your server at an admin level, or your website and an admin level which means you can’t get rid of them because they have the highest privileges if you don’t know to go look for that.

Hackers can put links on your website or content that goes to another website. They’re sending traffic over to someone else that might be paying them to get traffic. It tends not to be American sites that do this like Japanese sites and things like that.

Chauncey: They’re hijacking your traffic and your users and putting links that people then go to on some other site and they’re getting paid for that right or chatting away to these other sites with a back profile. I’ve had a client come to me and needed their site to be cleaned because it had been hacked by ISIS. Their entire site had been torn down and it was now this sort of pro-ISIS website. And so I had to go in and rip all that out and put up security to block it out.

Joe: I don’t always go look at my websites. You know life’s busy and how damaging or terrible could that be if someone types in your business website address and your page is directed to a site that supports ISIS. Your website represents you and this could be damaging to your credibility.

Let’s talk about another article from Marketing Profs called ‘Small Business Digital Marketing Trends for 2018’ the article mentions a survey done by Infusionsoft, which is a big marketing automation company. And by the way, Marketing Profs is a very informative site you should check it out. Its no surprise that digital marketing success remains elusive to most small businesses, so Infusionsoft surveyed 1000 small businesses. This is some of what Infusionsoft found:

  • 46% of small businesses don’t know if their marketing strategies even work
  • 17% know for sure they’re not working.
  • 37% can say their marketing efforts are effective.
  • That means the other 63% essentially feel like they’re wasting money or losing an opportunity.

This is why we do this show, we want to help solve that problem so business owners can market confidently. The article also states that 2018 is a year of social media marketing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that.

Chauncey: I bet you that article goes on to say that we’re finally to the point where social media is going to be highly important in the world of conversion, not solely in the world of brand awareness.

Joe: Let me read what it says because maybe you’re nailing it. 71% plan to use social media content to acquire new customers.

So social media, especially Facebook ads, is sort of starting to take off to be something more than just getting your brand or getting traffic or SEO traffic. It is now leading to conversion and people can buy directly from Facebook ads and things like that. It’s always been important on an SEO branding awareness level but now on a straight up conversion level, they’re expecting it to change quite drastically.

Lastly, they found that 75% of business owners plan to include Facebook in their social media strategy. Facebook is the choice social platform and frankly, it should be. Pinterest is fantastic for our clients but most of the way we access the Internet on a daily basis is either through Google or Facebook. When we are actively looking for something, it is Google that we use. when we’re more in a passive mode, it’s Facebook.

  • 71% of business owners say social media is important
  • 75% say Facebook’s important, but only 37% think that their market strategies are working.

Which means that these businesses have a lot of anxiety about marketing. So basically they are saying “I don’t know if my marketing efforts are working” and in the same breath, they’re saying “I know we have to do it.”

We’re coming to the end of this segment. Thanks for listening to the Being Found Show, listen to the full show here: Being Found Show Episode #42

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