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Seems like just yesterday you only needed a website to market your business. Then you needed SEO. Now, you need a responsive site.

You can’t hire just a single SEO consultant anymore. These days, you need a whole team with a network of contractors who rarely operate independently. If you go with an agency, they have multitudes of employees. It’s true: managing a website is no longer a simple, one-person endeavor. And I’m sorry to say this, but it will only get more complex as the years go on.

Here are some current trends shaping how you approach your digital marketing strategy:

It’s Tough to Get Around Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is becoming a necessary evil. Today, you can do this using PPC in Google Ads, while Bing/Yahoo have their own networks as well. Beyond this, every major social network (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.) now has a paid advertising option. Facebook’s grown so powerful that the platform continues redesigning its algorithm to show your posts to fewer followers—unless, of course, you fork over additional cash.

All of these digital properties act as major gateways to the Internet, and you can bet that any website with major traffic will continue to find ways to charge you money to advertise on their platform.

Security Will Remain a Top Concern

Ever notice how some website URLs start with http:// while others begin with https://?What’s the difference, exactly? The latter stands for “HTTP secure.” With regular HTTP—the former internet standard—third parties can view traffic and data that pass between your browser and local web server. This information could include your credit card number or Social Security number.

To encourage a safer and more secure Web, Google docks your rankings if you don’t use HTTPS—even if your website doesn’t receive sensitive information from visitors. At the end of the day, HTTPS encrypts all information transferred between your browser and server.

Why is this important? World superpowers such as Russia and China have government-sponsored teams of hackers (though they’ll never publicly admit to this), while every country on Earth has its own fair share of independent hackers.

Smart hackers know small businesses may be less lucrative, but they’re easier targets.

Recent data shows:

And It Certainly Doesn’t End There

The reality is there’s much more to digital marketing than everything mentioned here. Artificial intelligence, marketing automation, influencer marketing, the increasing rise of algorithms (to sort email in Gmail tabs, among other things), and live streaming video will continue to shape digital marketing too.

The key to all of this is having someone you trust help you understand and identify what really makes sense for your business.



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