Is Your Bounce Rate Restricting Conversions?

If you are not generating leads, attracting search traffic and scoring the conversions you had hoped from your online business, a good place to start your investigation to resolve this is in your google analytics ‘bounce rates’.  This Google Analytics metric is a good indication that visitors to your website are not hanging around.  Whilst some argue that this may be because your visitors found exactly what they were looking for so only needed a single page view, in the majority of cases it’s usually a sign that visitors are not satisfied with what they found when they arrived from the referring search engine. Some SEOs believe that search engines use bounce rate as a metric to determine how relevant your site is against a search query and to assess the usability of your website. If visitors are leaving within the first few seconds of landing, some believe that search engines know you are not providing quality content.  The return to search engine results from a site and then visiting another website for the same query is often referred to as ‘pogo-sticking’ in SEO circles.  It is important to note that Google have always denied that they use bounce rate or click through rates in any way when ranking websites. In any case, if, when analysing your bounce rate combined with other metrics such as dwell time in Google Analytics, combined with a low conversion it is likely that having a high bounce rate is not doing you any favours. So how can you improve bounce rate, encourage visitors to explore your website and guide them along the purchasing...

5 Website Usability Issues That Lose Customers

User-experience is a major issue for consumers and online business owners. If customers cannot find want they are looking for quickly and easily, they will leave your website and look elsewhere. Your competitors. To avoid missing out on a sale and the potential to build a loyal customer base, ensure your website is user-friendly across multiple devices. Here is our top five key usability issues that will lose you customers. Load times Forget content, speed is king. End-users typically give websites 2-10 seconds (depending which report you read), before clicking out. Don’t risk losing customers for the sake of a few snazzy features on your website. Although HTML5 and fast internet connections have improved load times, you still risk slowing your site speed down by loading it up with weighty files such as videos, high pixelated images and heavy javascript codes. Signposts Another bug bear with consumers is not being able to find what they want in a hurry, and not knowing where to go next. Visitors need clear instructions to navigate your site so guide them through every step of the purchasing path. You can add signposts through navigation menus and sub-menus, embedding internal links within blog content and web copy, call to action buttons and by making best use of the footer by including links to your primary and sub-services. Easy interaction The quality of a users experience rests on how easy it is to use your website. Try to keep scrolling to limit, and eliminate users having to scroll both horizontally and vertically. Busy websites will not win you any likes from shoppers, so keep content...
How To Make Your Website Trustworthy

How To Make Your Website Trustworthy

Earning trust from search engines increases your visibility in search results. Raising your game to earn trust from customers will increase conversions. Trust and authority is high on the list of priorities for both consumers and search engines. If your web presence and online services as a whole is inadequate, you are less likely to earn trust from Googlebots or online buyers. Don’t spam Sending out unsolicited emails makes your company appear unprofessional – which is another word for untrustworthy. Furthermore, your website could be flagged up as a spam-sender which will negatively affect your search engine rankings. Professional looking website A well designed website that looks professional and is easy to navigate will score ranking points with search engines and appeal to users. Include plenty of information about your company that shows you are legitimate, successful and reliable. Where possible include supporting information to back up your professionalism. Include brand logos of companies you have worked with and testimonials from satisfied customers. Furthermore, be honest with the promises you give to customers. Correctly position your product in the market and do not over-egg customer expectations. Unsatisfied customers will leave bad reviews and comments of peer-review sites and social media accounts. Your website should also include a privacy policy and terms and conditions. If you receive personal details from your customers ensure your site security is tight. Create great content Search engines encourage webmasters to produce great content – because that is essentially what end-users want. If your blog is not an interesting read, your images are poor quality or from stock photos, you do not leave a lasting...
The Art of Telling Stories in Branded Content

The Art of Telling Stories in Branded Content

Spinning a storyline through your brand marketing content is a growing trend in the digital sphere. Modern brands may be taking advantage of new technology to connect with their audience, but it is the ancient art of story-telling that is having the most impact on customer engagement. Studies show internet users spend an average of eight hours a day online. And the modern consumer is exposed to so much content, bland ads that do not convey emotion, are instantly forgotten. Consumers today want to be entertained. They want something they can share with their social networks and talk about with their friends. They also want content that offers value. Putting a story into an ad Every brand has a story. You could start with how your company began and take us through the journey of your growth. But you also have products to sell. And they have a story as well. But story telling does not always have to focus on you. It can star your customer. What are the pain points for your customers? There is a story in there somewhere. Story-telling plays on our cognitive behaviour. Explain something in linear order and people will remember more than reading an article packed with information. How to create stories in content? The structure of your story should have a beginning, middle and end and include the five W’s; who, where, what, why, when. Providing you have the fundamentals in place, you can create a story in an ad that appeals to how the human brain works. All you need to do then is bring your story to life. There...

How To Make The Best Use of Footers In Your Web Design

The purpose of a website is to communicate your brand, product and services to customers. And to do that, you should be using as much retail landscape as possible without overcrowding screens. It’s surprising how many companies do not make good use of the footer space. Granted, there are a limited number of options for design at the bottom of the screen, but utilising this space is essential to your overall information architecture. How you make best use of the footer will largely depend on the type of business you are and how many services you offer. But the important thing is, you don’t let the space go to waste. Call to action The most popular, and arguably the most effective use of footer real estate is planting your call to action. The bottom of the page is as good a place as any to prompt customers to move on to the next step. The majority of firms use the footer to include their address and other contact details. Whilst this information is important, a call to action giving customers a reason to contact you is often overlooked. Navigation Online businesses that have a wide range of products and services to offer can make best use of their web design by listing everything they do at the foot of the page. Everything you include in dropdown menu at the top of the page can be laid out in an at-a-glance overview in the footer. This makes navigation convenient for users and prompts them to take the next step of the purchasing process.  They also help to reinforce site-structure to...

Paid Search, Paid Social or Both?

Google, Facebook and other ad publishers provide powerful platforms for marketers. Paid search is achieving incredible results for online businesses, but which PPC campaign will most benefit your business? The introduction between paid social and paid search has developed push and pull marketing options. Whilst search pulls in prospects actively searching for merchandise, social media can be used to push product awareness. There is of course a strong claim for companies to utilise both strategies, but for many small businesses, a split budget is not an option. So if you had to choose between paid search and social advertising, what is the best choice? Search marketing PPC is a powerful marketing tool in that ads are displayed against an end-users search. This gives the ads relevance. And given the user-intent is focused on the advertised product, the chances of prospects clicking on your ad are increased. Or are they? When an end-user keys a search term into the engine, they are also given a list of organic results. And users will typically opt for an organic result over a paid ad. However, attitudes are changing as organic search results do not always take the user to the page they actually want, but are directed to the Homepage instead. PPC campaigns give marketers the option to link to landing pages which take searchers directly to the product or service page they are looking for to get further information. Paid search also guarantees your ad will be displayed on page one of Google, and although there is still a lot of competition, enticing ad copy will increase your chances of a...

Good UX is a Team Effort

User-experience (UX) is one of the – if not THE – most important aspects of your website. Without solid information architecture users can easily navigate, don’t expect visitors to hang around. Yet the quarterly 2016 Digital Trends report compiled by eConsultancy and Adobe reveals that only 22% of business respondents will focus on optimising customer experience this year. Could that be a mistake? Well not really. The top priority for marketers is to focus on the individual experience through multi-channel platforms and across several devices. Content, social media engagement and personalisation all top the agenda. And this is why the separate departments of your digital marketing team need close communication. How important is user-experience? UX is HUGE. Given the marketing efforts of competitors in every industry and the number of devices customers use to access the web, if you are not better than your rivals on multiple channels, how do you expect to make a profit from your online business? If a visitor to your website cannot find what they want – even when you have it – they will leave your website and go to your rivals! But in order to do that across the board, every member of your digital marketing team has to understand who your customer is, what they want, and how you will get it to them. So how do you get the information to them, fast, efficient and smoothly? How to create a better user-experience User-experience breaks down to two fundamental parts; 1. How easily a customer can get access to your product and information about your product and, 2. How you make...

Why Online Businesses Cannot Ignore Video in Your Marketing Campaign

Video has made a major impact in the digital marketing arena over the last few years. Motion pictures are easily digested and according to statistics already accounts for 50% of mobile traffic. Consumers use their mobile phones more than any other device, and because video is the preferred format for small screen users, advertisers simply cannot ignore video marketing. Furthermore, there are more opportunities to publish content on video platforms and reach a wider, targeted audience. A crop of innovative companies have emerged in the last few years that help online businesses extend their reach to a wider audience. Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science, predicts that we will, “see more integrated ad measurement in 2016, leading to cross-platform measurement becoming the standard for campaigns.” Increased opportunities for video advertising The number of young people choosing online video over traditional TV is on the rise. According to reports 62% of young people prefer YouTube to traditional TV. Together with the emergence of on-demand online streaming through the likes of NetFlix and Amazon Prime, the younger generations are ditching TV packages in favour of online sources. The growing number of platforms that are emerging to host video content is therefore growing at an exponential rate. This gives advertisers more opportunities to air video content across multiple-channels and reach a wider audience, and because of the increased competition, costs are more affordable than in the past. Online advertisers also have to rethink their online marketing strategy. An increasing number of intrusive, misplaced and irrelevant ads are beginning to take its toll on consumers. And they are running out of patience....

What Online Marketing Formats Do Consumers Most Trust?

Earning the trust of customers has always been a key challenge for businesses. And the internet has arguably made the challenge even more difficult. But it also provide you with more opportunities to take plaudits. A great website may give you an online presence that showcases you as a professional. But deep down, you are still a faceless company first time visitors to your website have never heard of. This is how consumers view you from behind a screen. They do not know who you are, so why should they trust you? The answer is they don’t so you have to earn their trust and compel them to invest in your products and services. But how? Trusted web statisticians, Nielsen offer some insight in their annual global report documenting the most trusted forms of advertising. What are the most trusted advertising formats? Despite the increase of consumers turning to the web for shopping, product research and price comparison, traditional advertising platforms are still performing relatively well in the trust stakes. TV ads still make the biggest impression on paid media platforms with 63% of respondents saying they trust TV ads over radio (54%), magazine (58%) and newspapers (60%). Branded channels on YouTube receive a surprisingly high grade of trust, which just goes to show how consumers react to top quality content. 70% of respondents surveyed said they trust branded websites – the second most trusted online source. What is the most credible form of advertising? This should not come as a surprise. In fact it won’t! The most credible form of advertising online is recommendations from friends and family,...

How To Make The Best UX Use of Footers In Your Web Design

The purpose of a website is to communicate your brand, product and services to customers. And to do that, you should be using as much retail landscape as possible without overcrowding screens. It’s surprising how many companies do not make good use of the footer space. Granted, there are a limited number of options for design at the bottom of the screen, but utilising this space is essential to your overall information architecture. How you make best use of the footer will largely depend on the type of business you are and how many services you offer. But the important thing is, you don’t let the space go to waste. Call to action The most popular, and arguably the most effective use of footer real estate is planting your call to action. The bottom of the page is as good a place as any to prompt customers to move on to the next step. The majority of firms use the footer to include their address and other contact details. Whilst this information is important, a call to action giving customers a reason to contact you is often overlooked. Navigation Online businesses that have a wide range of products and services to offer can make best use of their web design by listing everything they do at the foot of the page. Everything you include in dropdown menu at the top of the page can be laid out in an at-a-glance overview in the footer. This makes navigation convenient for users and prompts them to take the next step of the purchasing process. Testimonials Customer testimonials give prospects confidence, and...

Why Online Businesses Cannot Ignore Video in Your Marketing Campaign

Video has made a major impact in the digital marketing arena over the last few years. Motion pictures are easily digested and according to statistics already accounts for 50% of mobile traffic. Consumers use their mobile phones more than any other device, and because video is the preferred format for small screen users, advertisers simply cannot ignore video marketing. Furthermore, there are more opportunities to publish content on video platforms and reach a wider, targeted audience. A crop of innovative companies have emerged in the last few years that help online businesses extend their reach to a wider audience. Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science, predicts that we will, “see more integrated ad measurement in 2016, leading to cross-platform measurement becoming the standard for campaigns.” Increased opportunities for video advertising The number of young people choosing online video over traditional TV is on the rise. According to reports 62% of young people prefer YouTube to traditional TV. Together with the emergence of on-demand online streaming through the likes of NetFlix and Amazon Prime, the younger generations are ditching TV packages in favour of online sources. The growing number of platforms that are emerging to host video content is therefore growing at an exponential rate. This gives advertisers more opportunities to air video content across multiple-channels and reach a wider audience, and because of the increased competition, costs are more affordable than in the past. Online advertisers also have to rethink their online marketing strategy. An increasing number of intrusive, misplaced and irrelevant ads are beginning to take its toll on consumers. And they are running out of patience....

PPC Versus Organic SEO Search

PPC has become a major player in online advertising. It gives online businesses more visibility, drives traffic and increases conversions. But is it more sustainable than organic search? It’s no secret that search engines like Google et al make huge profits from paid ads. To give you some idea, Google is hitting around $10bn a quarter on AdWord spend. Search engines will always try and drive companies down the path of paid advertising, but this method of online marketing is not sustainable for every company. For small businesses in competitive fields for example, it becomes expensive. You don’t necessarily get more visitors if you pay more, and when you stop your paid ads campaign, the amount of traffic you receive suffers. The advantages of paid advertising For start-ups and other online businesses that have low visibility online, paid ads does offer a solution to increase your earnings. By bidding on targeted keywords and purchasing advertising space, you will be guaranteed visibility on the first page. Furthermore, you are only charged when somebody clicks on your ad. You can therefore be assured of lead generation. Your advertising budget is not being totally wasted. What does matter however, is that your landing page and sales pages do a good job of converting browsers into buyers. So what about organic search? The growth of paid advertising has led to doomsayers in the digital marketing community to announce SEO is dead. But SEO is far from a thing of the past and is arguably going from strength to strength. As search engines improve their algorithms, websites producing top quality content and a high...

The Importance of Building An Online Profile

Now that search engines have made it more difficult for businesses to rank in organic search results, marketers have to look for alternative solutions to gain maximum visibility online. Merely having a website and a couple of high-profile social media networks on the marketing landscape is not enough. You need to build a web presence. Fortunately, there is plenty of scope. An array of social networks capable of hosting a variety of media content, and numerable opportunities to contribute to third party websites provide a platform for online firms to be seen and heard. Be socially active Using your string of social accounts to host your content is ineffective. Now social networks have stemmed the flow of organic reach, only a small portion of your audience receives your work. In order to be spread content evenly among your followers, you have to interact with them. If there is no communication with members in your community, access to your content is cut-off or denied completely. Marketers also need to be active on social media to raise brand awareness and actively help followers find information they need. It’s all part of modern day PR. Emerging social platforms Now that leading social platforms are choking organic reach, a spate of alternative social networks has grown in importance over the last few years. Sites such as HubPages, Quora and Medium are providing companies with digital space to publish content and reach an audience. The advantage the emerging networks have is that their users can actively find content they want, so like search engines there is user-intent you don’t get with the major social networks....

Does Your Online Business Have Credibility? Tick Off This Checklist

Word-of-mouth is and always will be the best form of advertising. Online shoppers are more inclined to buy on recommendations from family, friends and peers. Consumers also trust reviews written by experts and other customers. Consumers need to be able to trust a company before they make a purchase. Entering personal bank details into a website can be a concern for some people and they need assurance the product they are buying is worth parting with their hard-earned cash. Online businesses therefore have it in their own interests to attain online credibility together with a responsibility to ensure your customer’s bank details and personal information are secure. So how do you go about raising your brand profile to improve creditability? Establish on online reputation as an expert in your field You can raise your online profile by engaging with users on social media networks, Q&A forums and third party websites. There are always questions being asked by consumers looking for advice and reassurance, and by giving detailed answers you can show you have in-depth knowledge in your subject area. Social media networks are the most obvious platform to do this, but you can also join communities on third party sites that publish content related to your industry. Ideally you should be offering articles for publication, but not only that, be active and comment on other people’s work, especially if you have relevant information to add. Recruit influencers Influencers are a great way to raise the credibility of your brand. Celebrities that advocate your products are the best choice, but alas are not in reach of us all. However, bloggers...

Brands And Bloggers – It’s A Collaboration Thing!

To increase online visibility and improve SEO rankings, it is essential to keep a blog. However, hiring someone to maintain your blog full-time or even part-time is not cost-effective, so the majority of companies choose to work with freelancers. This has obvious financial benefits, but the problem for companies is whether the writer can produce quality content that provides value to the reader. You should also bear in mind that the content they produce for you represents your company. Working with a remote blogger needs to be a collaboration for it to work successfully. Writers need to understand your products, services, your brand identity and your target audience. What to look for in a blogger Ideally you want to find a blogger that understands your products and, in the case of specialist niches, they should have knowledge and experience in the field. At the very least they should be excellent researchers capable of writing engaging content your readers can trust. Bloggers are typically passionate about the subject they write about, otherwise they would not waste their time blogging in the first place. Their passion and knowledge is something you can take advantage of. Look for a writer with a strong, unique voice together with a good knowledge of your industry. If they have a good following on social media networks, all the better. This way you can use them as influencers, and word of mouth marketing is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. What bloggers need All too often, online business owners instruct writers to deliver articles that are based on keywords. And nothing more. If the writer...

4 Ways To Improve Your Online Credibility

Online marketing involves significant trust factors. Search engines have built Trust scores into their algorithms, and consumers what assurances before they buy from online stores. So before you can improve your search engine rank and convert browsers into buyers, you need online creditability. Peer to peer recommendations Arguably one of the best features on the internet is the opportunity consumers have to leave comments about products and services and tell it how it really is. As consumers, we want the best our money can buy, both products and experiences. But purchasing items online carries more of a risk than buying from a physical store. Peer to peer reviews in magazines, together with platforms like TripAdvisor etc, comments fields and social media networks reveal the bigger picture about a brand, so providing you are deliver quality service and provide excellent products, your customers are also ambassadors for sales. Data protection Keeping the private information of your customers safe should be a top priority for eCommerce sites that receive bank details. If your company’s IT security is breached it could destroy brand loyalty and effect future sales. Recruit influencers Recruiting influencers is not a far cry from the word of mouth advertising that occurs in peer to peer reviews. The only difference is you are more likely to attract a chunk of traffic rather than a steady flow. Influencers are bloggers, industry leaders or celebrities that endorse your brand and products. They have a swathe of followers that will be influenced by what the person has to say. With a rubber-stamped endorsement from an influencer your online stock of credibility is...

Is Your Online Business Failing? 4 Tips For Success

Before you can expect your online business to succeed, you need a blend of the right ingredients. For the purpose of this article, we will assume you have laid your SEO foundations and the information architecture of your website provides a good user-experience. It can be the case, that online businesses with solid SEO and reasonable ranking factors are still failing to convert. And the reason for that is probably because you are missing the key ingredients of online marketing. It’s all mod cons you know! Sales copy people believe in The amount of content modern consumers are exposed to is immense. Actually it’s far too much and we have grown resistant to advertising slogans and in-your-face sales copy. A different approach is required. People in the digital age want relevant information and quick decisions to make. They also have little time for trivialities and are not interested reading through a long sales pitch – no matter how engaging. However, they do want questions answered. You therefore have to find a balance in your copy that explains everything prospects need to know in the least amount of words. Oh, and make your copy warm and understandable rather than using unnecessary business phrases and words. Establish credibility on Social Media Trust and authority is an essential SEO philosophy. These are attributes consumers want and that search engines demand. Without trust and authority, you will not rank in search engines or convert sales. You therefore need to be active on social media networks and relevant forums in order to increase your online creditability. By engaging with other users in your network...

Does Your E-Mail Marketing Strategy Need Revisiting? Check Out These Tips

If you have a tight marketing budget, e-mail marketing is a cost-effective way of reaching your audience. But with recipients receiving hundreds of emails a day, making your proposal stand out is a challenge email marketers can struggle to overcome. The first hurdle is getting the recipient to open the email, the second is to engage them from the very start so they do not bin it as spam after reading the first sentence. Then you have to get them to take action. So how can you make the breakthrough? Planning an email campaign Before you even begin to craft your email you need to decide what your promotion is about and who your target market is. It is better to have a specific target audience in mind rather than a generic sweep of prospects. When you know who your audience is, the message becomes easier to get across. Furthermore, sending promotional ads to the wrong people is the quickest way to lose customers. They quickly unsubscribe when ads do not interest them. Strong subject title The subject title is the hardest line to write. This is the first part of your proposal recipients will see so it has to be strong enough to get them to click on it and open up the email. A typical advertising slogan or clickbait title does not work with email campaigns like it does with content, therefore the title should be intriguing to make the recipient curious enough to want to find out more. The most effective subject titles are asking questions, or using numbered lists. Email intro With email advertising you...

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Launching A New Website

It’s natural to make mistakes with SEO when you first launch a new website. Regardless of whether you are launching a site for the first time, or redesigning an existing website, technical mistakes can be costly. The good news is that any teething problems you encounter can be fixed post-launch without too much trouble, but to get you off on the best footing, take extra care over these critical points. Don’t overdo the design The design of a website has to achieve three key principles; it must be eye-catching, easy to navigate and communicate your product in a way visitors understand and desire. How you view your web design is personal preference, so we will not go into that here. What we will say however, is that your website should function in an easy-to-use manner. Therefore, you do not need to include bells and whistles on your website that do not serve a purpose, or just because they look good. A clean, tidy design helps users find what they are looking for more readily. Don’t make navigation complicated You information architecture is one of the key principles to online success. If users cannot easily find information they are looking for, they will quickly become frustrated, leave your site and never return. The sitemap of your website should be one of the first things you address, even before design work has started. Choose elements that enhance user-experience not because it looks cool. Don’t load your site with unnecessary baggage Another important factor of a website that effects the amount of user engagement is load up speed. If your page does...

Humanising Your Brand Is Key To Online Marketing

What do you think when you read typically-worded copy on a brand website? Is it not often the case that companies use business terms and corporate-sounding lingo? The language marketer’s use is designed to make them appear more business-like? Yes, we know you are a business, but readers are not. They may own a business, but they are actually human. And it is the human you are communicating with, not the business. From a personal point of view, I have never liked corporate-lingo anyway. Why invent pretentious words when everyday language communicates a point better? Using business orientated expressions with work colleagues is laughable and unnecessary. And it is also unnecessary online. It is especially unnecessary online! So in future, talk to the human, because the business ain’t listening! How do you humanise your brand? The inbound marketing age requires companies to develop interactive relationships and understand who their audience is, what their interests are and how you can fulfil their needs. Online technologies such as virtual assistants and social media networks enable you to interact in real-time, learn more about your customers, listen to their needs and answer their questions. All you have to do is communicate like you would if you are talking to the customer face-to-face. Conversations in real-time are much easier for marketers and sales staff to appear human. Just speak normally, no lingo needed. The same principle should apply for your sales literature, emails, newsletters, website copy and blog content. By all means add emphasis to the point you are making, but do not overload a sentence with business words and phrases. Ultimately the...

Why Interactive Video Games Will Be The Next Big Thing In Online Marketing

Interactive video has the potential to be a digital marketing game-changer. It may have not made a splash just yet, but as interactive technology improves, so will advertising ideas. If you are not sure what interactive marketing is, take a look at these examples. The medium essentially has the potential to raise brand awareness and involve customers with your store and products from remote locations. Standard video advertising is a passive medium. You have between six and thirty seconds to grab the viewer’s attention and still need prospects to act before you strike a conversion. With interactive video, you can engage viewers physically (or virtually) in various ways. The key advantage is getting them involved so that they are absorbed in your marketing program and are engaged enough to return. Interactive Video games Some of the most popular video games over the last decade feature story-telling of real-life scenarios. They have a variety of things for the character to do, even mundane events that don’t seem to lend any value to the gamer. But it is the ability for the player to create their own story that is part of the appeal. Therefore, if you are going to design a video marketing game, you need to give the prospect multiple options to keep them coming back for another experience. When you make something addictive, there is a desire for online users to return – which is great for SEO. And interactive video also increases your chances of improving conversions – which is great for profits. Two important boxes ticked. Play on the desire of consumers. People love shopping, and...

5 Quick Fixes To Improve User-Experience

Google is all for user-experience right now – especially for mobile shoppers. But as a dedicated webmasters you should be considering the usability of your website on multiple platforms. When trying to map out the usability of a website in your head, you might think your brain will explode. It’s pretty difficult to see without the visual aid of live screening. So what do you instruct your web designer and content writers? Here are a few things you should focus on when endeavouring to improve the user-experience of your website. Easy to navigate Navigation should be at the very top of your bucket list. If visitors cannot easily find what they are looking for they will leave and go to a rival site. The information architecture of your site is an all-important aspect of online success and is proven to increase traffic and conversions. When planning the orientation of your website, remember that visitors are accessing your content on a variety of different devices which have different sized screens. We will assume you have a responsive web design already, and if not get one asap other you will not rank in Google. What you have to do now is consider how mobile users will navigate your site compared to desktop users with a 20-inch plus screen. Write scannable content On the subject of usability on various screen sizes, written content plays a major role. A short paragraph on a desktop screen could filter into an entire chunk of text on a 5-inch landscape. Large chunks of text look cumbersome and put people off reading. Furthermore, online users do not...

Collaborative Content: The New Approach To Online Marketing

Collaboration appears to be taking hold in creative communities at the moment. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a fully-blown trend. Best hop on that boat now before it gets too crowded. The idea of brands collaborating on projects is not a new idea. The latest trend however, is for brands to collaborate on content. Which sounds like it could be pretty challenging despite the promise of mutual benefits. A collaborative project of this nature will obviously work best if the two companies complement one another and are working towards the same goals. But the way in which online marketing is changing the way we present content offers the potential for two companies to merge campaigns. Marketing changes Traditional marketing involves crafting a brand message and delivering it to your audience through a certain media. The modern audience however, are typically passive towards advertising. They receive too many obvious ads. The huge amount of content available on the internet has changed the mind set of consumers. They are no longer interested in merely hunting down a bargain, they want information, assurances and proven quality. Content therefore has to be authentic and offer something of value to readers; not just an “offer of a lifetime.” Collaborative content helps brands push the boundaries and reach a wider audience, whilst at the same time increasing online creditability. Combining brand messages If you do enter into a collaborative project with another brand, the content has to be strong enough to appeal to both audiences, and fulfil the goals of both brands. Not always easy, but not impossible either. Redbull recently...

Is Your Dodgy Website Design Limiting Conversions?

Buying products and services online has become integrated into our lives and consumers have more confidence giving their bank details to a faceless online business. But they are not daft enough to give their money to just anyone! As technology advances and new web design trends come into being, it is important for companies to keep up with the times and create a website visitors want to use. If your website does not meet the criteria of modern day consumers, forget about improving your profits. Online users have demands and if your website does not do want they want, they will look for another site that does. Easy to navigate Consumers want convenience and speed. If they cannot easily find what they are looking for on your website, they will not hang around. Information architecture is one of the most vital aspects of a web design and must follow a structured path. If you have a large site with a lot of product pages, or offer a wide range of services in an industry laypeople are unfamiliar with, label your pages with terms the public recognise and incorporate a search function into your site. Conversion Rate Optimization tools Conversion Rate Optimisation tools are proven to increase profits, but they can become outdated. With new and improved technologies, online tools help to create a better user-experience and make the purchasing process simpler. The foundation of your website should be flexible so that you can easily remove, add or adapt CRO tools to keep up with incoming trends that will keep you consistently turning a profit. Landing pages Landing pages give...

How To Conduct Consumer Research of Social Media

Social media has seen a shift in web consumerism. Online shoppers are savvier these days and armed with anti-spam defences are more difficult to reach. Yet the paradox is, social media networks still provide a powerful tool that enables companies to connect with customers, grow lasting relationships and understand customer needs. All you have to do is learn how to best conduct customer research on social media. The level of difficulty of course will depend on the number of followers you have. You may therefore want to start this exercise by culling followers that do not engage with your content or visit your site. Shooting out a questionnaire that includes this question will lower your current followers to a manageable size. After that, accruing followers should be conducted on a balance of probability they are genuinely interested in your content, brand and products. The days of blindly accruing as many followers as possible are over my friend! Engaging with your community The key to social networking is social networking. Once you have connected with a virtual “friend” it is good business sense to learn a little about them. First of all, make yourself visible by sending a quick message to thank them for connecting. Never try a direct sell on social media, but there is no harm telling someone – briefly – about you or your brand. If you can offer advice on something, invite them to ask questions. Any dialogue you can generate among your connections goes towards building a relationship. This will inevitably increase your chances of leading to a conversion. If you do not already have...

How Online Consumers Feel About Personalisation

Online marketers are focusing on humanising their brand and personalising their service. But how do consumers really feel about a personalised retail experience? A recent survey by Accenture shows there are conflicting interests about how personal brands are. Although marketers have proven personalisation is an effective way of driving sales, for consumers it can feel as though their privacy is being invaded. Whilst 60% of shoppers are happy to receive real-time alerts informing them of promotions they have an interest in, only 20% are comfortable sharing their location with retailers. Furthermore, 90 per cent of consumers want to limit the amount of personal data businesses have access to and do not want their details passed on to third parties. What consumers do like about personalisation The majority of connected consumers do not object to receiving exclusive deals, loyalty points and coupon credits. A further 51% are in favour of one-click checkout options which lets retailers know how they want to pay. But that still leaves 49% of consumers who do not like fast-processing check-outs and are more careful about how they pay online. Consumers are concerned about hidden charges being added on to the amount they think they are paying. This shows a lack of trust in marketing strategies. Another 48% of shoppers are open to receiving reminders about items they may have run out of and need topping up. However, over 70 per cent of people will unsubscribe from contact lists if they receive too many misplaced messages about products they have no interest in. What consumers do not like about personalisation Whereas many consumers feel the benefits...

10 Tips To Improve Click-Through Rate And Conversions

Building a website and spending valuable man hours on your SEO strategy is a waste of time and money if you are not earning click-throughs and conversions. So here are ten helpful tips that will make the groundwork worth your while: Write the call to action like a headline It is well known that powerful headlines improve click-through rates. So why would the same principle not apply for calls to action? Well, it does of course. And with a strong call to action after enticing the reader with copy describing benefits, you will increase your conversion rate. Use buttons for your call to action Market research in the last few years has found that mobile users are more inclined to click on a big bright button than they are to follow a link embedded in text. The reason is simple; buttons are easier to tap with your finger than a link. Ask questions readers want to answer Stats also show that asking questions that make people feel more important or affect them emotionally are more effective than pitching on offer. For example, rather than asking “Would you like to make £100 an hour?” ask, “Looking for a well-paid job?” The first question is not believable, the second appeals to the readers need. Use video reels Video is fast becoming the medium of choice for online marketers. It stands to reason given that TV advertising dominated sales conversions for decades. The fact of the matter is, motion pictures are so much easier for consumers to digest. And videos provoke desire like no other form of advertising can touch. Make decisions...

Powerful Strategies To Improve Conversions

If you are bringing in sufficient traffic but not converting, you need to take action. Below, you will find some powerful tips you should address to improve your conversions. Although these are not the be all and end all, (you may need tweaks elsewhere), they are key areas you should focus on to improve sales. Improve your copy Improving conversions typically requires concentrating on your website rather than off-page tactics. And magic sales copy is a key component to converting browsers into buyers. Your copy should talk to the reader in a voice they can trust. Avoid jargon, buzz words and creepy sales copy and talk to them as though they were in your office sitting at the opposite side of your desk. In other words, treat them like a person, not a faceless customer. Then ask yourself, does your copy provoke desire? Does it describe the benefits of your product and service and explain to readers what is in it for them? If you only concentrate on the features of your product without explaining why prospects need your services, words mean nothing. Do you have a strong call to action? People need to be instructed. They do not want to have to make decisions, or think about what they should do next. You stand a better chance of increasing your conversions if visitors act on impulse. You therefore need a strong call to action that prompts readers to take the next step. It should involve one click or give them a phone number to call. Wherever possible avoid email addresses. If they have to copy paste your email...

How To Create a Better User Experience

User-experience is an all-important aspect of your SEO marketing campaign. If your website does not have sufficient information architecture which enables visitors to easily navigate your site, you lose customers, conversions and page rank. So what elements should your website feature to create a good user-experience that will give you kudos from end-users and search engines? 1. Keep it clean Too much clutter on a website is off-putting. If visitors have to spend time searching for what they want, they are more likely to leave before they find it. Keep design and information to a bare minimum and clearly signpost relevant pages where visitors can find more information. 2. Avoid pop-up banners and advertising Pop-up advertising banners are frustrating for visitors. If they are disturbed from reading content or browsing a site with an advert asking them to sign-up to your service or newsletter, the chances are they will not be interested. You are more likely to chase them away than pull them in. 3. Speedy load times Statistics show that users are only prepared to wait for one to four seconds for a website to load. Cut down load times by keeping the weight of your pages to a minimum. Avoid plug-ins, giffs, tiffs and heavy video content. Also optimise images to reduce load speeds by using Jpegs and reducing the resolution. 4. Signpost call to action Consumers don’t want to make difficult positions or search for what they have to do to progress to the next stage. You will improve the user-experience greatly by leading visitors by the hand and showing them where they can find additional...
How To Improve Conversion By Building Trust

How To Improve Conversion By Building Trust

The good news for online businesses is that consumers are more confident about purchasing online now than they were a few years ago. The reason for that is because online businesses have earned the trust of online shoppers. It stands to reason that online businesses will increase conversion rate if consumers trust your brand. Not only that, but search engines use “Trust” as a ranking factor. The higher you rank in search engines, the more trust you earn with consumers. Which means you need to be updating your website with trust indicators and looking for ways of earning trust points to comfort your customers. Web design A professional looking design goes a long way to ensuring prospects that you are a genuine company. However, even the free websites from platforms like Wix and WordPress look good. The difference between a free website and an online shop is that the on-site navigation and additional buttons make a better user-experience – which in itself improves conversions and rankings. A website that has clearly been invested in is a strong indication to visitors that you are a genuine business and can be trusted. There are other indicators that help support this however. Physical address Showing that you are an organised business gives you extra credence with customers. Identifying your physical address with a pin in Google maps also helps drive traffic to your site in local searches. Maintain your blog Consumers look for signs that a business is genuine, and still in operation, by how well maintained the site is. You can do this by adding regular blog content so visitors can...

Google Is The Most Important Advertising Platform Ever! Don’t Be Afraid To Join In The Fun…

Google’s $61 billion turnover of ad revenue in 2014 made the search engine giant the biggest grossing advertising platform in history. And the juggernaut is showing no signs of slowing. Google’s strong arm is the sheer number of users. With 1.17 billion people addicted to search, the way in which advertising revenue is stimulated has been captured in little black boxes. And with the rapid growth of searchers using handheld gadgets to connect to the internet, the volume of searchers on a daily basis is phenomenal. And search engines are driven by content. The changing face of advertising Traditional marketing techniques may not be dying out per se, but they are being adapted for the digital arena. The internet has become a cost-effective platform for advertisers to target customers. Furthermore, modern consumers are technically savvy and typically turn to the web to gather information and conduct their shopping conveniently. Some industries are losing the need for bricks and mortar premises because their entire enterprise is conducted online. Digital marketing is not only changing customer behaviours, but also the way in which business connect and communicate with prospects. It has advantages and disadvantages. Content driven Google predominantly excels through driving content. The entire mechanics of search engines relies on keywords to identify content the end-users wants, and Google promotes quality content that provides value for the reader. Not only that, but Google provides a diverse range of marketing tools you can use to reach customers. YouTube videos, written and image content, paid advertising, mobile ads, display network, apps, podcasts and online communities enable marketers to attract customers. The ultimate goal...

3 Elements of a YouTube Marketing Video You Don’t Want To Get Wrong

YouTube is the largest video hosting site on the net and with one billion unique visitors a month, getting your marketing video wrong is not an option. The popularity of the platform is because it is free to register and account and post motion pictures. But there is also a comments field for users to leave comments. And YouTube users do not mix their words. Don’t all them to throw daggers. Furthermore, the high volume of videos posted on a daily basis makes it more difficult for marketing videos to stand out, therefore don’t make these three marketing mistakes with your video marketing strategy. Content Your video will ultimately be defined by the nature of its content. The first hurdle you have to get over is attracting eyes to watch it. The second hurdle is for viewers to take action after watching it. Slick cinematography and good sound quality go a long way to keeping viewers watching, but the most important thing is for the video to contain rich content and that your message is given the time it deserves. For example, if you have a product that people are passionate about such as cars, viewers are happy to watch a 10-minute detailed explanation of the car, see the interior and how the gadgets work than a 1-minute video of the car in action. Hi-res images Smartphone screens and HD televisions have spoiled us. After watching pin sharp and pristine images, anything grainy or low-res is not acceptable. Consumers will judge your video on performance, and if you shoot low-quality resolution videos, it is a reflection that your company...

Should You Worry About Spelling And Grammar On Your Blog

There are some articles floating around the net that Google is judging your grammar and spelling – and that mistakes will be penalised by down-ranking. To my knowledge, Google has not issued any statements to confirm that misspelt words and poor grammar will count against your SEO ranking. But it does make sense to ensure your blog writing is at an acceptable level. The only information Google has officially released on the matter was in August 2011 when Matt Cutts confirmed spelling and grammar is not used as a ranking factor. The company’s search guru did add however, that there is an argument grammar and spelling should be used as a ranking factor. So maybe one day they will. Having said that, it is doubtful Google will pull you up over the slightest little slip in spelling and grammar. We are human, we make mistakes. Quality content It would make sense for Google to use spelling and grammar as a ranking factor, especially where multiple mistakes and poor writing reduce the quality of the content to such a degree it creates a poor user-experience. Cutts said himself that “the more reputable pages do tend to have better grammar and spelling.” It makes sense for companies to ensure the content on their website is a good read and error free otherwise readers will not return. More importantly, if the copy on your website contains errors, prospects will not trust you enough to hire you. Could Google introduce poor spelling as a ranking factor? It wouldn’t be beyond Google to negatively rank poorly written content. Before the search engine had auto-spelling...

Is Technology In Shops Marketing Overload?

Digital technology has integrated seamlessly into our lives, and for the most part makes significant improvements. Most consumers would agree that online shopping is a major convenience. Likewise, the ability to research genuine customer reviews and get the low-down on products before they purchase. But digital marketing is beginning to move in-store and the shopping experience of the future will look a lot different. Just as we find with online shopping and marketing, this has pros and cons for consumers and retailers. So what do customers find acceptable and where might retailers push the tech to far..? In-store tech consumers like to see NFC (near-field communication) on mobile phones has made payments much easier. Retailers can get through queues quicker and consumers do not have to worry about credit cards and money. The best thing about NFC is the technology will improve. Even at its infant stage consumers are satisfied with the shopping experience mobile payments offer. Another benefit NFC can provide is allowing consumers to scan a product in-store whereby they can bring up user reviews and recommendations. Discount coupons sent to mobile phones will also be a welcome alert and could help retailers increase sales. Creepy tech Marketing technology consumers are creeped-out about is anything that invades their privacy. Geo-targeting mobile handsets is a little unsettling despite the huge benefits for retailers. A big no-no is facial recognition technology targeting ads for individual customers on digital screens. Appearing on the big screen in a sports stadium is one thing, but in a department store is a completely different ball game. Even honouring customers as a high-value shopper...

Online Marketing Spend Set To Hit £2.16 Trillion By 2020

Reports surfacing on the internet indicate that online spending is set to continue over the next five years. It is estimated that online sales will hit a staggering $1.9 trillion in the US and $2.1 trillion in China by 2020. That’s £2.16 trillion in just two economies. In other words, online marketing is a juggernaut that is showing no signs of slowing over the next half decade. One study published by International Data Corporation in the US predicts connectivity between devices on ‘The Internet of Things’ will span two-thirds of the worldwide market. Furthermore, the growth of mobile shopping together with the dawn of digital wearables will enhance communication and online interaction in ways that have not been possible before. Filling the gaps in online marketing Technology is driving marketing innovation. The seemingly endless number of opportunities for brands and institutions to communicate messages is becoming richer and more entertaining. And all these advancements in technology have the potential to benefit people in their everyday. We already have connected cars, thermostats and lightbulbs that provide critical information… …how can your brand tap into new markets that are being created by new technologies? And let’s not forget purpose-built platforms, apps and various communication channels. With all these tools at your disposal, all you need is creative thinking to make the best use of them to improve your online...

Using Admin To Publish Content On WordPress Is Not A Good Idea

Have you noticed how many blogs publish content under admin? What do you make of it when you see that? It probably goes unnoticed right! That may be the case for you, but not for everyone. There are a couple of very good reasons why publishing content is not a good idea; security and ownership. Cybercriminals are becoming more adept at hacking into websites, and WordPress is a fairly easy target for them if you leave it exposed. You wouldn’t think it mattered, but publishing posts under Admin gives hackers a greenlight. And here’s the bad news. If hackers hijack your WordPress site they can infect your computer and use personal details to commit various types of fraud which you can be accountable for. Admin default When you install a one-click hosting solution in WordPress, the username is set to Admin by default. Admin is the number one username hackers use to hijack WordPress sites. Fortunately, you can easily change this by updating the usernames in your WP-Admin settings. Add as many users as you like and delete the Admin username. Another reason to update usernames is accountability, particularly if you have multiple users publishing content. If your company is undertaking a content marketing strategy, you want to be able to track how posts are performing. If everyone publishes under Admin, how do you know who published a post at a glance. Perhaps you keep a second record, but this is unnecessary and creates more admin work. Naming authors not only allows you to keep track of writers receiving high and low engagements, but it also gives readers a...

3 Digital Marketing Tactics That Transform Your Online Business

The digital marketing landscape has changed remarkably quickly over the last few years – and it is showing no signs of letting up just yet. One of the reasons for these fast-paced changes is Google algorithms. The search engine giant is on a mission, and to be fair, there are a lot of SEO service providers out there that are not on-board the Google Mothership. Instead they are trying to cheat their way to the top by manipulating search results. But Google is too big and too clever to allow cheats to prosper forever. Woe betide online business owners that attempt to use backdoor methods of SEO. They are in for a hard fall. But it is not only search engines web owners should be concerned about, web-users are getting tough as well. They will not stand for slow-loading sites, spam or persistent marketing they have no interest in. What the modern web user wants is information. Not only that, they want reliable, useful information they enjoy reading. And that means transforming your website to give readers and search engines what they want. Transform your blog into a magazine The internet has become a haven for searchers looking for information about all manner of things. Not only that, but we have become accustomed to getting all this info gratis. Newspapers and magazines have dipped in sales since going online, and we have already started to see signs media companies will start charging a subscription fee to access their content. And that is not what online readers want, we still want free stuff. Which is good news for online businesses...

Are You Missing Opportunities For Lead Generation?

The online marketing game can be a little tricky until you get used to it. The best approach to make is to forget you are online and approach customers visiting your virtual store in the same manner you would if they came into your physical place of work. Your website is your virtual shop window. Dressing it up with an eye-catching design should therefore be your first priority. A good web designer with a sophisticated vision of how a web design should look will solve that particular quandary. So now you have a prospect interested and they want to know more about your product and services. So they start reading. This is the equivalent of picking up a brochure or popping in to make a quick enquiry. So you need to answer their questions. You do this with your copy. Explain your products and services as best you can on the relevant pages. You may also want to add an FAQ page which gives prospects instant access to questions they have – and helps to increase visibility in search engines. The problem you will find with your virtual store against your physical store is you don’t know what the prospect knows. If they decide against using your services, what can you do to improve your website to turn browsers into buyers? And this is where many online businesses fall down. You are in the dark and do not know how to fix the light bulb. Track visitor activity Fortunately, software is available that enables you to track the activity of your visitors. It will show you which pages they...

Are Apps The Answer To Your Digital Marketing Future?

The meteoric rise of smart mobile technology presents dozens of opportunities to online business owners – so much so it is becoming almost unthinkable for companies not to have an app. But with over 2.5 million apps in circulation, the competition is fierce and is not going to be a digital marketing solution for all-comers. It is thought that on average, mobile owners will download 26 apps, most of which are free or included on their phone. We should probably quarter this number in terms of apps mobile users will purchase even for a small price. Before you consider designing an app for your business therefore, not only do you have to consider whether an audience will be interested in what you lay on the table, but whether you will charge a purchase fee or offer it for nothing. Why do people use apps? The principle reasons for downloading apps are to access discount coupons, solve problems, better web experience on mobile devices, boost productivity, or entertainment – usually video games. The gives companies a starting point, and it depends on the nature of your business which type of app, or apps best suit your business. If any at all, of course. You also need to consider whether an app is an upgrade on the user-experience you already provide for your customers, and whether mobile users will get any benefit from downloading an app. According to localytics, 20 per cent of apps downloaded are used on just one occasion. If users do not find your app of any use, you could be damaging your brand reputation and turning customers...

What Are The Latest Video Trends You Should Be Taking Advantage Of?

The human brain responds better to visual images over any other form of media. Furthermore, advancements in technology mean that video files are not weighing down websites and loading up slowly. With HTML5 video support on your website, promoting your brand and products with motion picture marketing is the way to go. So now, you’ve laid the foundations, it’s time to start shooting. So what videos are trending right now and how can you take inspiration from them to film your own promotional footage? Remake blog articles One of the most challenging aspects of video marketing is coming up with engaging content. You have about six seconds to capture the attention of the audience. Furthermore, making videos professionally is expensive, but making them yourself is fun and affordable. Take inspiration from New York Times best-selling author on marketing, Jay Baer who host a daily advice and chat show. All he does is takes his best performing blog posts and transforms it into video. Simple. You have already done the research and have the content. Now all you have to do is put it into a script and find a suitable setting to shoot your video. Visual aids are useful too. They add variety. Customer testimonials Nothing sells better than word of mouth, so if you can get a customer to agree to a quick video shoot, you are on to a winner that won’t blow your budget. You may want to compensate them with a small gift though. The customer should ideally be genuine. Give a quick interview in their home, if they are comfortable with that. Ask them...

Why Digital Marketing Needs Collaboration

Digital marketing is essentially a creative field, and like any large scale artistic production, requires the influence of multiple skillsets. Promoting your business online therefore requires collaboration. It is impossible for one person to proficiently undertake everything that is required to effectively market a business online. You need technical knowledge of SEO, an eye for design, an understanding of web architecture, the ability to curate content and a flair for writing sales copy. And that’s even before you get round to social media marketing and general PR – which has a whole new skillset of its own. Your promotional dream team should therefore consist of web developers, designers, copy writers and marketing/PR specialists. Building a proficient team may be difficult for some firms, both on a financial level and a lack of office space. Fortunately, the digital arena enables specialists to work from remote locations so firms can work directly with digital marketing agencies who already have their quota of specialists. But once you have assembled your team, you need to be able to co-ordinate its members so that everybody is batting and everybody is bowling at the same time. Communication is key To pull everything together, projects need a manager who disseminates information to all parties. This takes excellent communication skills so that every member of the team know the precise goals and how they will be targeted. Once a strategy is in place together with a timeline, all members will be set their own tasks. But do not leave individuals to furrow ahead if their work will have an impact on another party’s work. Encourage communication between...

5 Great Marketing Ideas For Vine

Advertising on Vine is arguably one of the hardest challenges creative marketers face. What can you say in 6 seconds? Yet there are five Vine tweets posted a second, which means a lot of marketers are recognising the value in the quick-vid platform. The reason for the huge interest in Vine may be because a six second video is not all that difficult to make if you have the right ideas. The 15 billion Vine loops played daily probably has something to do with it too. So if you do need inspiration for your Vine ads, here are five angles you can use to make the creative process easier. Introduce yourself There’s not much you can say to sell a product in six seconds, but you can say hello in that time. Your website is your virtual store, your digital shop window. Customers see all that through your website, but they don’t see your team, the faceless sales staff. Put yourself in the picture and your audience get a better image of you, your company and your brand. Demonstrate your product If you can do something with your product in six seconds, do it. Show your audience what your product is and the results it will give you. If it takes more than six seconds, speed up the footage so the results are akin to a Benny Hill sketch minus the scantily glad models…although… Get your customers to post vines Even better than demonstrating products yourself, get your customers to do it. This obviously works better for B2B customers who want to promote their services, but by doing so...

How Social Intranet Can Resolve Your Collaboration Issues

The digital age is changing the way we work. Or at least it gives companies the potential to adopt new practices that are cost-effective and wide-reaching. Communication technology makes it possible for companies to improve the lines of communication both with users that are stationed in the office and creatives working from remote locations. When you are working on a project with a team, the ability to communicate effectively with team members is essential otherwise the project could derail. Large companies typically favour an intranet system for communication purpose. They are secure, easy to use and easy to connect with other people in your company or network. However, intranets typically have outdated features of communication. Adding social to intranets Social media has improved the way we communicate. It allows us to connect instantly and chat in real-time, share content and join discussion. In essence, social networks have all the tools you need to communicate with groups with less restrictions the conventional communication methods. Rather than the digital age, we could call this period of history, the social media age. It is the driving force in many people’s lives right now. Users are addicted to Facebook and Twitter and companies are beginning to reap the benefits of social media marketing. Social tools are already commonplace in our lives, and are proven to improve lines of communication. It is surprising then that so many large companies that have an intranet are reluctant to upgrade their internal communication network with social tools. Secure social intranets Intranets are secure and can only be seen by the company. This is why most large companies...

Need To Start A Blog? The Essentials Before You Start

You have probably heard by now, to rank well in search engine results, you need a blog to publish fresh content and attract traffic. Whenever you publish new content, search engine crawlers score your site and rank it accordingly. You therefore need to be publishing content on a fairly regular basis – at least twice a week is sufficient, although more is better obviously. New content also attracts readers and increases you chances of conversions. So how do you go about setting up a blog and building it up into a readable online magazine that raises your brand profile, boosts your search engine rankings and increases conversions? Here’s how! Decide what your blog will be about Your blog should be relevant to your business and products. It’s sounds obvious, but in the past blog owners have been known to publish content because it is a popular subject and will rank better than their product. Make a list of all the subjects you can cover in your blog that are relevant to your business. These will be used as categories in your blog which you need to organise content so your blog is easily navigable. When brain-storming content ideas, be creative. The more categories you have, the more opportunities you have for ranking pages. You should also bear in mind that any one page of content should focus on one particular subject, rather than a broad overview search engines cannot index. Choose a platform and host There are several blogging platforms to choose from. WordPress is the most popular and is easy to use. Blogger also gets good reviews. You...

New To Digital Marketing: Key Tips For Start-Ups

Digital marketing can appear pretty daunting to newcomers. It seems quite exciting at first doesn’t it? Then you start reading about all the things you need to know and it’s confusing. Let’s change that. This is an easy-to-follow guide to digital marketing so that you can make a start without any hassle or time wasting. That way you can get back to running your business! Understanding search engines When running an online business it is important to know how search engines work. Without getting into the technical detail, the principle take-away is that search engines work using keywords. Keywords enable search engine crawlers to identify the content on any one page so that it can be indexed and matched against search terms typed in by the end-user. Labelling your page content with relevant keywords is therefore vitally important. Search engines also recognise what is known as semantic text, in other words they can understand the context of the content on any one page. It is advisable then to concentrate on one specific facet of your business on individual pages. The exception to the rule above is the homepage. Search engines also reward websites that provide a good user-experience, therefore access to other pages should be well signposted and easily navigated. Your website should also be designed to work on mobile phones – known as responsive web design. Ask your web developer to make sure your website is “responsive” otherwise known as mobile-friendly. Search engines also give priority to local searches, so make sure your contact page provides full address, email, telephone and a Google (or Bing) map identifying the...

Marketing Tips: Cross-Generation Advertising For Online Businesses

The issue of a cross-generation audience has always posed a problem for marketers. The digital arena is no exception, but there are more tools and platforms with which you can launch relevant campaigns to specific audiences. Communicating with your audience is key in advertising, but people want different things – and that is certainly the case for prospects that come from different generations. The first thing you need to determine is the number of generations you are targeting and determine their mind set and the benefits your services or products can offer them. Here is a list of the five generations in the marketplace: Traditionalists, born pre 46 The war generation typically cling on to old-fashioned values and are clearly getting on in years. They are likely to be dependent on others, which also includes their decision making. Marketers need to earn trust from the oldest generations so your advertising campaign must sound honest and sincere. Tell them how much you want to help them and how much you will help them. Throw a discount in to show you have good intentions. Pensioners are more open to bargains. Baby boomers 1946-1964 Post war babies are mostly retired or thinking of retiring. They are therefore wary of what they spend their money on. They are also of the generation that grew up on expressions such as “too good to be true” and “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Baby boomers are a tough nut to crack and they do not fall for ads that over promise. Be realistic and shape your campaign to offer the best value for...

The Dos and Donts of Working With Bloggers

Bloggers used to be the butt of office jokes – but things have changed. A good blogger with a strong army of followers can be very influential marketing tools, and can realistically increase your conversions. Having said that, finding the right bloggers is not always easy and you can waste a lot of time chasing the wrong type and getting nowhere. Take heed of this advice and you will save yourself a lot of wasted energy. Don’t try and reach out to celebrities Celebrity bloggers are not interested in working for some unknown in the backwaters of Kent. Unless you are a recognised brand celebrities want to be associated with, you are wasting your efforts chasing them. Celebrities are also expensive, so unless you do have some pulling power and a marketing budget to match, you will have more success looking elsewhere. Which brings us nicely to the next point… Do find relevant bloggers Relevant bloggers is key to your success, so look for influencers that specifically write about your products and philosophy. For example, if you sell Apple phones, approaching a blogger that specialises in Android will not put you in front of the right audience. To find the right blogger, look beyond the content they are publishing and determine whether their audience is your audience. It nearly always is, but let’s say you have an app to alerts consumers to discounted clothes. A fashion blogger is good, but a price-conscious fashion blogger is better! Don’t send generic emails The manner in which you approach bloggers does matter. In most cases they are professionals and deserve some respect....

What Is Pull Marketing And Does It Work?

Traditional marketing strategies focus on raising brand awareness, but since the internet provided the platform for businesses to become publishers, brands are trying to pull in customers through various digital strategies. Pull marketing is becoming a growing trend and given the amount of users accessing the internet on mobile devices, companies are ploughing more of their marketing budgets into content curation. Yet most content published by small businesses and start-ups barely gets read. It takes time, effort and patience before a content marketing strategy begins to produce results. So does pull marketing work? Research undertaken by marketingland produced a graph that showed that pull marketing is the most used form of advertising – and by quite some margin. A content strategy is obviously working for a lot of firms – is it working for you? Target the right audience The key to pull marketing is by drilling down to the right audience. Trying to sweep the internet with content and hope to land a fish does not work in the digital arena. Your social media networks will not serve you if only one in a hundred of your followers engage in your content. Your target audience has to be an exact fit for your brand. It is no use promoting yourself through food channels that cater for vegetarians if you are a steak house. The new expression for social media followers is quality over quantity. Using strong headings and subheadings in your content Once you have an audience, the next challenge is to get them to click on your content and visit your site. And that requires a heading...

Need Help Writing Blog Content? Here’s A Simple Formula

So you’ve conceded to the fact you need to launch a content marketing campaign and have got yourself a blog. But how do you go about creating “quality” content? Let’s start by defining “quality”. Essentially, search engines are looking for publishers that provide value to readers in their content. The “value” element is either information that is not widely known, content that is entertaining or inspiring, or content that offers good advice. To help determine user engagement with content, search engines use metrics such as semantic search bots that can understand the context of content and check it out for spelling and grammar, together with how much the content is shared and liked by readers… …which brings us to our first tip… Know the needs of your audience Your audience for each piece of content is not necessarily all your social media followers. It won’t even be customers that have an interest in the products you sell. Your audience are readers looking for specific information. For example, you may sell cars, but promoting a Mini will not interest readers looking for a Jaguar. Knowing your audience is one thing, but knowing their needs is what you must concentrate on. With this is mind, your blog content should be tightly focused on one specific subject. In the example above, you would write about a Mini in one article and a Jaguar in another, not generalised content with a message saying “we sell British cars.” Outline article ideas Articles need structure. The opening paragraph must lead on from the title and capture the reader’s attention. Always go back and change your...

Coke Unifies Its Sub Brands

Just days ago, the Guardian reported that Coke was set to bring together its diverse branding into one unified line. The paper said that, ‘Under the new proposition they will be united by an ad campaign featuring all the packs with a linked design. The activity will be introduced across the UK and Europe from next week, with full distribution and marketing launching in May.’ The broadsheet’s feature wasn’t sure whether the move was set to help the global drinks giant. Coke’s press release says it seeks to clarify what each drink really means, something that right now is not exactly clear. Muddying the waters But will unification help? ‘Recent research shows that not all British consumers fully understand the choice offered within the Coca-Cola trademark and the distinct benefits of each brand,’ reads Coke’s release. ‘For example, five out of 10 consumers do not realise Coca-Cola Zero is a no sugar, no calorie drink.’ For such a globally recognised brand, a 50% failure rate on product recognition is a serious shortcoming. “We believe our no and lower sugar variants will benefit from this closer association with Coca-Cola and that featuring all variants in our advertising will make clear to more consumers the full choice we offer them.” said Jon Woods, General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland. We’re unsure whether aligning the brands is going to set lower sugar variants up for higher sales. Is the move just driven by the UK Government’s tough stance on...
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