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Are you planning to market your brand on Facebook? You better follow the rules, or you’ll be out, and you’ll be out fast.

A robust social platform for business marketing, Facebook is one of the monsters of the social media realm.

With a considerable amount of users of all ages, all of whom have varied interests, it’s easy to find your niche target audience. But you better not mess up.

Facebook is proud of their community standards and the action they are willing to take.

For instance, the platform has a strong stance against hate speech – throughout Q3 of 2023, they took action on 22.1M pieces of hate speech content.

Yes, you want to stay on their good side. You also want to ensure your Facebook marketing works to drive sales.

However, there’s no need to worry. As long as you follow my guide with a few simple rules for marketing on Facebook, you’ll be good to go.

Facebook Is Vital For Marketers

You want to stay on Facebook – marketing on the social media platform is crucial.

Why? Because Facebook is, without a doubt, a ringleader when it comes to social media.

Based on statistics from 2023, Facebook reaches 59% of social media users. That’s over half of the population on social media.

You Need A Guide To Facebook These Days

Although Facebook can help you see great success if you approach it correctly, not doing so could result in quick failure.

In this article, I’ve compiled a list of unacceptable errors you could run into on Facebook and what to do instead.

The 5 Worst Things You Can Do On Facebook

It’s simple to slip up, especially if you’re new to Facebook.

Are you worried about messing up? I’m here to help put your mind at ease – here’s what not to do on Facebook.

Avoid these missteps, and you’ll be well on your way to a prosperous Facebook marketing campaign.

1. Overpost Or Overshare

First of all, overposting or sharing content is going to be annoying to your audience. While you want to post on a regular schedule, you can’t make it seem like spam. Facebook also hates spam.

Generally, post to Facebook no more than one to two times per day, maybe a few more depending on your business. Anything excessive could be seen as spam, however, which could get your account disabled.

Be especially careful of bulk posts that contain promotional messaging – Facebook automatically considers this spam.

2. Try To Promote Your Business Without Paying

Facebook has also banned any promotional cover art. A.k.a., cover art that features a sales flyer or CTA (Call to Action) within the picture.

A CTA could include a request for users to go to the company’s website, make a purchase, or download the company’s app. Facebook gives you CTA buttons within your page now anyway, so there’s no point in adding one to your cover art as well.

Here’s a look at the CTA buttons:

3. Have Too Broad An Audience

Here, we’ve come to what some endearingly call “lazy targeting.” Although you may not get in trouble with Facebook over it, lazy targeting can be an effortless way to tank your marketing strategy goals.

What I’m talking about is not putting enough effort into determining your ideal target audience. Facebook gives you some fantastic tools to narrow down to the specific audience you’re trying to reach — you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t use them.

Whether you realize it or not yet, your company has a niche: your marketing strategy should focus on it.

Not doing so will result in many views from bored users who have little to no interest in your brand simply because they’re nowhere near to being your target audience.

Spend time researching your target audience: what they like, what they do, and how they act.

Honing in on specific economic factors, interests, and activities of your audience will help you reach only the people who are likely to interact with you, like Intrepid Travel does.

4. Post Bad Images Or Content

When I say don’t post bad images or content, I mean two things:

Don’t Post Low-quality Photos

This is a great way to make your company look unprofessional. If you post grainy, unclear photos, it will lower your page’s image.

Facebook pages that either post low-quality visuals or use them in their profile are likely to be disregarded.

Make Sure Your Content Is Appropriate

Facebook has taken a tough stance on the content it considers appropriate – it is vital to ensure you’re following their community standards. Not only will you ensure your page doesn’t stay up if you violate them, but it will also paint your business in a bad light.

Facebook won’t tolerate content that contains:

Hate speech.

Violent or graphic content.

Child nudity or sexual exploitation.

Bullying or harassment.

It’s pretty straightforward: just don’t break the laid-out rules and post pretty content.

Intrepid Travel does an excellent job at increasing engagement by posting captivating images from around the world – it’s no surprise they have over half of a million followers.

5. Incorrectly Used CTA

The most important thing to note here is to make your CTA crystal clear.

It must always, plainly and clearly, state where it will lead and the actions the user will be expected to take. If you don’t follow that rule, Facebook will take action against your account.

Don’t overuse your CTA, either. A tip to help keep your audience from getting overwhelmed: it’s key not to try and do too many things simultaneously.

While Facebook gives you up to seven CTA buttons on your Facebook page, that doesn’t mean you should use every single one.

Finally, make sure you do use a CTA or two. It’s essential to do it correctly but failing to use any type of CTA at all is worse than a bad one. It means potential consumers have nowhere to go once they’ve found you.

What To Do Instead

I’ve talked a lot about what not to do on Facebook. But what should you do instead? The answers make sense when you think about it.

If you’re looking to completely revamp and need even more tips on creating the best Facebook page for your business, we’ve written about it before.

Maintain A Regular Schedule

Instead of posting sporadically, or on the other hand, posting so much it looks like spam, follow a maintained schedule.

Posting at least once a day is ideal. However, if that isn’t feasible, try to post a few times a week.

If you’re too busy to post every day, try using plugins or software like Semrush, which posts to Facebook automatically for you – it will make your life much easier.

Pay For Ads

Define Your Target Audience

Crucial to the heart of all marketing strategies, not just those on Facebook, defining your target audience allows you to decide who you want to interact with.

Narrow down exactly who you want to market to using Facebook’s tools, such as their Audience Insights, and you can find people who have aligned interests.

Use Beautiful Images

People love pretty things, especially beautiful images. Gorgeous content will encourage your audience to engage with your posts.

Nearly everyone these days has a phone (or some other device) with a camera that has the capability of capturing gorgeous visuals. There’s no excuse – make sure the pictures you post are well-designed, on-brand, and give a viewer pleasing aesthetics.

Use CTAs To Your Advantage

Using a compelling CTA or two is vital to driving not just page views but sales.

A CTA tells your audience where to go next and is what will ultimately drive engagement in the end. After all, you’re trying to turn your audience into consumers.

On the SEJ Facebook page, the CTA is a “Sign Up” button – the link takes you to sign up for the newsletter.

Figure out what the primary goal for your Facebook page is before trying to decide on a CTA. Knowing what you really need will help laser your focus on the right one.

Marketers, Don’t Mess Up On Facebook

Marketing on Facebook can be nerve-wracking, and maybe it should be, just a little bit. If Facebook decides to kick you from the platform, you’re out for good.

Also, if you don’t know some basic marketing skills, you’ll be doomed to stale strategies.

Luckily, it’s not too hard to avoid getting on Facebook’s wrong side if you can follow a few straightforward rules. Knowing what to avoid is the first step – you’ve got that covered.

Now use your knowledge of what to do instead, and don’t just keep yourself from falling. Fly instead!

More Resources:

Featured image: Irina Strelnikova/Shutterstock

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Technical Seo For Content Marketers: A Beginner’S Guide

Regarding search engine optimization, technical SEO is paramount until it isn’t. Crawlability and indexability are essential for ranking, but most other factors will be negligible outside of content and links.

This blog is to help you get a handle on the fundamentals and prioritize your efforts for maximum return.

What Is Technical SEO?

Website architecture, mobile optimization, and page performance are technical SEO factors contributing to your overall organic growth. These aren’t the flashiest parts of SEO, but they’re crucial nonetheless.

Knowing your current SEO standing through a site audit is the first step in improving your technical SEO. The next thing to do is design a strategy to improve your weaknesses. Below, we’ll go over each of these measures in detail.

Understanding On-page-Off-Page & Technical SEO

These three main categories describe search engine optimization (SEO).

On-Page SEO

Image alt text, keyword usage, meta descriptions, H1 tags, URL naming, and internal linking are all examples of on-page SEO tactics that help convey your page’s topic to search engines and readers alike. Since everything relates to your site, you may exert the most influence over on-page SEO.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page Backlinks, or links from other sites to yours, are the most important vote of confidence that SEO uses to convey to search engines how popular and beneficial your page is. PageRank improves when a page has both more and better backlinks. A page with 100 relevant links from trustworthy sources will almost always outrank a page with 50 (or 100 irrelevant links from credible sites.)

Technical SEO

While you have some say in technical SEO, getting good at it can be challenging because it lacks obviousness.

Why Is Technical SEO So Vital?

This aspect of SEO is often overlooked, yet it significantly impacts your site’s organic traffic and should not be disregarded. Even if it’s the most comprehensive, helpful, and well-written information globally, very few people will ever see it if a search engine can’t index it.

A tree falls in the forest, but no one can hear it… Can you hear it? Your content won’t be heard by search engines if it lacks a solid technical SEO base.

Simplified Technical SEO: How To Improve Your Site’s Search Engine Rankings For Beginners

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to any digital marketing plan because 90% of all online experiences start with a search engine.

Th=echnical SEO is the backbone of every effective SEO strategy. The success of your other SEO activities, including content production and link building, depends on the quality of your technical optimization. With proper technical SEO, search engines will have no trouble finding, indexing, and displaying your site in relevant search results.

Speed, mobile friendliness, and UX are important ranking considerations, and they can all be improved with technical SEO work. In this article, we’ll go into the foundations of technical SEO and provide some helpful pointers for getting started.

It’s Important To Audit Your Website To Spot Any Bugs Or Weak Spots.

Launch Google PageSpeed Insights, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to conduct regular audits of your website. You may improve your website’s performance and search engine optimization (SEO) using the tools provided here. Common issues include duplication, broken links, crawl errors, and missing alt tags.

Optimizing Pictures And Decreasing Page Load Times Can Greatly Increase a Website’s Speed And Performance Understanding Your Audienence

You don’t write for search engines! Instead, you want to target your audience. Search engine optimization relies heavily on research into user behavior and language patterns to rank websites higher in search results. To rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs), it is necessary to follow certain guidelines.

Some of these norms have to do with the way we write, while others pertain to the structure of our website. One example is making sure your website is compatible with mobile devices.

Use Structured Data To Make Content Easier To Crawl For Search Engines

To improve search engine readability, you can structure the data on your website. So, it can assist you in getting rich snippets in search results and raise your website’s rankings. There are numerous formats for structured data, such as JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa.

SSL Certificate & HTTPS Protocol

When a user sends information to your website, it is encrypted using a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate. This information is delivered thanks to HTTPS, a secure technology safely. Using SSL and HTTPS, you can make your website more secure and attract more customers.

When search engine crawlers encounter HTTP problems, it prevents them from accessing vital pages on your site. Therefore, fixing these issues as soon and completely as possible is crucial.

Make It Easier For Search Engines To Crawl And Index Your Website’s Pages Using An XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that shows search engines the organization of your website by listing each page. Use an XML sitemap and publish it to search engines to boost your site’s rankings. s. The sitemap serves as a guide for visitors to your site. When satisfied with your sitemap, you’ll upload it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Always remember to update your sitemap as new pages are added or removed.


Mueller Says Don’t Focus On What Google Thinks Is Quality. Focus On This Instead

In a Google Webmaster Hangout someone asked John Mueller what was quality content for Google. Mueller essentially said that publishers know what “quality” is better than Google does. Mueller then shared what the publisher should focus on instead.

What is Quality Content for Google?

To put this question into context, a few years ago the SEO community kept announcing what they called a Quality Update every month. Month after month, they kept saying an update was happening and it was about quality.

Google denied that those updates were actual updates. But the idea that “quality” might be an important ranking factor persisted.

Even after Google introduced BERT, Neural Matching, RankBrain and other strides in Natural Language Processing to search results,  publishers still think in terms of creating “quality content.”

Quality is good. But in my opinion, based on twenty years of search marketing experience and following the latest developments in search, Google primarily ranks websites for usefulness, which is about relevance to the search query intent.

Authority is a part of determining what is relevant.

Relevance is the end and authority is the means.

Bill Slawski, a search marketer who follows search related patents, published an article in 2023 about a patent related to authority. In it he quoted this about authority:

Whether the search system considers a site to be authoritative will typically be query-dependent. For example, the search system can consider the site for the Centers for Disease Control, “,” to be an authoritative site for the query “cdc mosquito stop bites,” but may not consider the same site to be authoritative for the query “restaurant recommendations””

Here is the question:

“What is quality content in Google’s eyes? If two people are writing on the same content it’s possible they have a different opinion on the same thing. Then how does Google decide which one is better?”

John Mueller answered:

“With regards to quality content, in general this is something where you as the site owner probably know a lot more about what is actually quality content for your specific kind of site.”

What is quality? It’s a subjective opinion of excellence. There aren’t really any patents or research papers about creating a subjective opinion of quality across a range of topics.

Something like authoritativeness has been researched. Authority is about accuracy and factual truth. A site that acquires links and other signals of affirmation can be said to be authoritative.

A concept like quality is abstract and subjective. Search, in my opinion, is not about providing subjective answers but about providing useful answers that are accurate in terms of solving the question or need that underlies the search query, also known as search intent.

Related: How to Create High-Quality Content

Mueller continues:

“So that’s something where I wouldn’t worry too much about what Google thinks about quality content. But rather you need to show that you really have something that’s unique and compelling and of high quality.”

Mueller appears to be saying to stop focusing on what Google might algorithmically think is high quality and start focusing on what users will respond to as high quality.

His follow up statement encourages publishers to focus on how users may respond and that might sound “holistic” and new age-y and non-actionable. But it’s not.

Here’s Mueller’s follow up statement:

“So instead of trying to work back how Google’s algorithms might be working, I would recommend trying to figure out what your users are actually thinking and doing things like user studies, inviting a bunch of people to your office or virtually to show them something new that you’re providing on your website and ask them really hard questions where sometimes the answer might be we don’t like your website or we were confused by your website or we don’t like the color of your logo or something.

But kind of this is the hard feedback that’s really important to get and a lot of times these are things that you might not agree with but if all of your users are saying this then maybe that’s something you need to consider as well.”

In my opinion and experience what Mueller is describing is a pragmatic approach for ranking. What I mean is that when people talk about delighting users what they are really talking about is providing relevant answers or relevant experiences or relevant usefulness (utility).

Relevant answers

Relevant experiences

Relevant usefulness (utility)

Then to put a bow around those concepts of relevance there are considerations like ease of use and attractiveness.

Attractiveness is About Relevance

In my opinion, attractiveness is more about being appealing and less about being stylish. Attractiveness, when considered in terms of being appealing, is really about relevance.

For example, a site about tying fishing flies might work best if it looks like it was hand coded by a twelve year old. That will resonate with people who are focused on the information and not on how pretty a site looks. Attractiveness is about relevance. So when you design a site a consideration should be understanding how a user might feel about the look of the site and how it relates to them (relevance).

Importance of Being Relevant to Users

Finally Mueller shared how Google itself focuses on being relevant to users:

Here he mentions being relevant:

“This is something we do all the time as well. We do a/b tests in the search results all the time to see how can we make sure that we continue to provide relevant results, even when users needs and expectations continue to change over time.”

Now Mueller describes the importance of how users experience Google:

“We do user studies in search console as well where we try new features out and try to kind of see which ways users are either confused by these new features or which way they can work better with these new features.”

Finally he underlines the usefulness of approaching the problem of ranking in the same way Google approaches the problem of ranking.

“These are things you always need to do and you should focus on your users rather than on how Google’s algorithms might currently be trying to figure out what is high quality content.

One of the other reasons why you shouldn’t be focusing on how Google’s algorithms figure this out is that Google’s algorithms will also continue to evolve and continue to focus on the users and see what they need.

And if you’re just focusing on Google’s algorithms you’re always a step behind.

So try to focus on your users and figure out what their needs are and what you can do to provide something that is really unique and compelling and different from everyone else in that area that you’re active in.”

Related: The Three Pillars of SEO: Authority, Relevance, and Trust

Relevance Versus Quality

A not uncommon issue I find when performing a site audit is that the publisher focuses too much on the excellence of the content and not enough on being relevant to the user they are trying to reach.

Content quality becomes defined within the context of being comprehensive.  So they write 5,000 word web pages.

Meanwhile their competitors are outranking them with pages that are significantly shorter in content.

Why is that? That’s the answer I provide and it’s always different but it mostly centers on relevance.

This is what I meant when I said that Mueller’s answer kind of sounds new age-y but in reality there are some pragmatic and actionable takeaways.

Watch the Google hangout here:

Why Do Facebook Features Fizzle?

Since Google launched the Google+ social network as an invitation-only service, Facebook has announced and shipped a series of bold new features.

Some are clearly designed to copy or match Google services, others to exceed it and enable Facebook to do things Google can’t do.

When first unveiled, these features often sound full of promise.

But then, again and again, the features fail. Users ignore them. Everybody forgets about them. And they kind of fade away into oblivion.

Why do Facebook’s new features seem to go nowhere?

In July, 2011, Facebook announced the integration of Microsoft’s popular Skype video-capable VoIP service. The move was a great response to Google’s popular Hangouts video service, which supports video calls and phone calls with up to ten users simultaneously.

Few used it. In fact, I would be surprised if a majority of Facebook users are even aware that it ever existed.

In September of 2011, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a breathtaking range of content-related partnerships that was to transform the social network into a “primary entertainment hub,” according to The New York Times.

Users could now discover, play and share music from Spotify, MOG, Rdio, Rhapsody, chúng tôi VEVO, Slacker, Songza, TuneIn, iheartradio, Deezer, Earbits, Jelli, and Mixcloud from within their News Feeds—not to mention TV and movies from Netflix, Hulu, Blockbuster, IMDB, Dailymotion and Flixter and news content from The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Slate, the Associated Press, Reuters, Yahoo News and others.

But The Times was wrong: Facebook as a “primary entertainment hub” never happened. The revolution in social entertainment on Facebook was forgotten.

Facebook also announced its Timeline interface in September of 2011. Some users loved it; others groused. But Facebook didn’t give users a chance to ignore it. The company allowed users to upgrade to the new interface until earlier this year when they flipped a switch and made Timeline the interface for everybody.

I believe the Timeline was one of Facebook’s successes. They should have simply replaced the old interface with Timeline for everybody right away, and saved themselves from a lot of bad press.

In general, Facebook is a lot more appealing with the Timeline and, of course, everybody uses it.

Facebook launched its Poke app in December of 2012. Poke sends messages that can expire after 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds depending on the sender’s choice.

The app was reportedly created in less than two weeks in response to the wildly popular Snapchat app, which enables users to create pictures, videos and now texts and drawings and send them to friends’ phones where they’ll auto-delete in 10 seconds.

It appears, however, that Poke is having no impact. User data suggests a tiny bump when Poke first launched, followed by a reduction in users.

For example, from December to January, usage on iOS appears to have dropped from just under 2 percent of iPhone users to less than 1 percent. Snapchat, on the other hand, is experiencing strong user growth.

Facebook announced in January that users could listen to the same song at the same time via the chat feature.

As with many Facebook features, almost nobody uses this, but the reason is clear: Both users must be on the same music service and want to sit there on Facebook listening to a song at the same time as someone else. It’s a minority of a minority.

I have no idea whether Facebook’s Suggested Posts “feature,” added in October of 2012, is a business success or failure for Facebook. But I do hear a lot of users complaining about it.

First, “Suggested Posts” are right there on the timeline, as big as a regular post.

The third problem with “Suggested Posts” is that the name is a lie. Nobody is suggesting the post. It’s an ad labeled in a way to fool users into thinking a friend “suggested” it.

La Liga On Facebook: Disastrous Debut For Facebook Watch In India

Most football fans around the world claim that the English Premier League or EPL is the best top-tier football league, but for a small minority, La Liga remains the pinnacle – I won’t get into why right now since we are not a sports website. I fall in that minority, so I was surprised to hear that Facebook would be streaming La Liga matches this year. However, based on the opening weekend, that’s not a good thing.

For a cord-cutter in India, SonyLIV had been the app for La Liga matches for the past few years. This year Facebook grabbed the rights for the entire Indian subcontinent. While I had assumed nothing could be worse than SonyLIV, Facebook has managed the feat.

There were some cracking matches, a Lionel Messi masterclass and an unexpected André Silva hat-trick this weekend, but you may have missed it all. Real Madrid lined up without Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time in years, but if you were looking to watch that match, tough luck to you. Because Facebook Watch’s debut weekend in India was a disaster, and here’s why:

Poor Discovery

Only if you knew that Facebook had the rights, would you have actually known where to look for the matches. And that’s on the official La Liga page.

Cluttered design

The La Liga page — like most other Facebook pages — is horribly designed. I had to scroll down below the pinned posts, the photo albums and the discussion box to see the post with the live match I wanted to watch. For multiple matches in a day, this could become an issue because Facebook posts all previous highlights in one go, which could bury live match posts. Would it have been too much to ask to pin the live match instead of a random promotional post?

Laggy Video Player

Yes, I found the live match eventually. Barcelona had started off in a rusty manner against a plucky Alaves, but so had Facebook. It took around 5-10 minutes for the stream to actually pick up momentum. Before that it was just blurry stills from the match that kept changing as the stream tried its best to catch up to the live action.

Emoji Reactions and Chat Hell

For some bizarre reason, Facebook thinks those who want to watch a live match want to be greeted by an array of emojis flying on the screen before the video has even loaded. As soon as the stream is opened, emojis are flying off the bottom of the screen – at least something was moving, as the stream itself wouldn’t progress. Thankfully, you can turn off the emoji hell but that’s not the default setting.

When I did get to watch about 2 minutes of the match at 1080p, it was fine, but of course a football match lasts ninety minutes, so I had to find an alternative. Thankfully, there’s a r/soccerstreams on Reddit, which is a lot more reliable, more organized and you can even choose which illegal stream you want to watch. Of course, you are all welcome to judge me for using a pirated stream, but if anyone’s to blame for this weekend, it’s Facebook.

Don’t Go To Death Valley Looking For A ‘Super Bloom’

Flowers are erupting in the California desert, covering dry, hard soil with a profusion of poppies, brittlebrush, dune evening primrose, and desert sunflowers. It’s a gorgeous sight to see, and hundreds of people are flocking to witness nature’s glory for themselves.

But if you’re a bloom-seeker, choose your destination carefully. While many of southern California’s deserts are awash in color after this winter’s intense rainfall, not all deserts are going through the same vibrant transformation.

Death Valley, for example, isn’t looking particularly lively this year. But tourists are still flocking there with floral fantasies.

“If you’re coming to Death Valley looking for flowers you’re going to be disappointed,” says Linda Slater, Chief of Interpretation at Death Valley National Park. “There are almost no flowers in Death Valley this year.”

That’s a stark contrast from last year, when desert gold flowers blanketed the park for 30 miles, creating a glorious display that garnered national attention and actually inspired the first use of the term ‘super bloom’.

This year, Slater has had to disappoint many people who—inspired by news reports of gorgeous blooms in other desert areas—have made the long trek out to Death Valley only to find that there are no flowers easily accessible or nearby.

“Death valley is still a beautiful place to come in the spring, even if the flowers aren’t spectacular this year. The weather is wonderful. But if you’re looking for flowers, please go somewhere else.” Slater says.

But all hope is not lost. The disappointed tourists should try heading further south on their next trek. Flowers are blooming in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and so many people are stopping to take pictures of the orange blanket of poppies near Lake Elsinore that it’s causing traffic jams.

Precipitation patterns are to blame for the decorative discrepancy between the dry areas. While California was pummeled with storms this winter, the rainfall was not distributed evenly. Parts of southern California got soaked, but Death Valley remained characteristically bone dry.

The remarkable desert flowers that people admire are typically annuals, meaning they only live for a single season. And they want to make their short lifespans count. Seeds lie in wait in the desert soil for years—even decades—waiting for the right conditions before they start to germinate.

Super bloom coming 2 CA after drenching rains. Best place to see it #anzaborrego Desert State Park – seeds dormant for 30 yrs coming 2 life chúng tôi Belinda Waymouth (@BelindaWaymouth) March 10, 2023

In order to bloom, Slater says, flower seeds need to get regular waterings by winter storms over the course of a season. That helps the seeds sprout and grow. This doesn’t have to be much. In an area that only gets about 2 inches of rainfall a year, even a quarter inch of rain or less every month is enough to keep the cycle going once a good soaking (half an inch) has gotten the process started. While Death Valley did get some rain later in the season, it didn’t get enough early on to entice the seeds to throw off their protective shields and start growing.

If the rains are properly distributed and the temperatures are just right—warm, but not hot enough to bake all that moisture right back into the air—the tiny seedlings can reach their full potential.

So how super is a super bloom? Usually, everything falls into place about once a decade. Before the 2023 bloom that took social media by storm, Death Valley had dressed up like a garden only a few times in the past few decades—once in 2005 and once in 1998—so it was really right on schedule.

But there are no hard and fast rules on timing. Depending on location and rainfall patterns, the United States could see multiple ‘super blooms’ over the course of a few years—if different deserts happen to hit the jackpot at different times, like Death Valley last year, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this year. Or we could have a dry spell and go through a wildflower drought for years as well.

Either way, these flowers won’t last long. If you’re interested in checking out the blooms for yourself, be prepared, and maybe call the place you’re interested in visiting before you hit the road. There’s even a wildflower hotline set up in California to help you out.

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