When to hire a digital marketing agency?

When Should You Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?

When Do You Need A Digital Marketing Agency?

Running an online business is not for the faint hearted. Time is of the essence in running a business and many owners feel overwhelmed by the work load. Although most business owners would agree that working on their business is vital to business growth, many are falling into the trap of working in their business. This means taking care of the minor administrative tasks and content creation that keeps the business running smoothly, but hardly helping it to grow.  Digital marketing is one area that requires the special attention of the business owner; it is not only time consuming but also reliant on core digital marketing skills few possess. To be competent in digital marketing, the business owner has to analyze customer data, track their marketing campaigns and manage a smart content strategy. Needless to say, this is an area that requires experience and some serious delegation!

 

Signs you need to outsource to a digital marketing team

 

Two heads are better than one. And a team is better than a pair. This is especially true in digital marketing where agility and the ability to pivot quickly makes the difference between success and failure. Knowing when to hire a digital marketing agency is key to the growth of your business. Here are the signs to look for:

 

1. Your time to do digital marketing is zero

 

Many business owners don’t want to admit they need help. After all, they are superman, or superwoman, with endless stamina for work. Being human places limitations on the hours you can work and be productive. Smart business owners use their precious time to grow the business; they prioritize their time to get maximum results. Digital marketing is very important to a business but it is also time consuming: by freeing up your time from digital marketing, you can accomplish much more in terms of business growth.

 

2. You don’t understand digital marketing

 

If you can’t do it right-then don’t do it at all. Digital marketing requires analytical skills and experience to make it work. Bad digital marketing can harm your business so hire professionals from the start. Correcting mistakes made in marketing can be costly later on and irreparable at worst.

 

3. Your competitors are hiring expert digital marketers

 

Business is competitive and hiring the best brains can give you a competitive advantage. Of course this makes hiring the right people a top priority in your business. Successful businesses look for compatible digital marketing agencies with the right creative/analytical experience to promote their brand. When considering a digital marketing team, ask yourself if they are the right fit, and how passionate are they about working with you?  Hiring the best digital marketing agency for your business can be the greatest business investment you make.

 

4. Your business has plateaued in sales and you don’t know why

 

It’s a sad moment when you realize your business is not gaining new leads or making any sales. Your service and product is excellent and yet something has stalled. It could be market demand for your service/product, or it could be due to marketing. The pace of change in consumer habits means finding new ways to reach them. Multi channel marketing, social media marketing and mobile optimized content could revive your sales. Talk to a digital marketing agency about your existing marketing efforts and where it can be improved.

 

 

5. Your business needs a fresh marketing approach

 

Keeping up to date with data on consumer shopping habits can point you in the right direction for digital marketing. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to realize what their target customers want. Businesses targeting millennial customers found social media marketing to be more effective compared to magazine advertisements and some had to change their marketing approach completely. A well informed digital marketing agency will help your business implement a fresh marketing strategy.

 

6. You don’t like digital marketing

 

Some business owners don’t like digital marketing. Maybe you are one of them and the idea of sending customized emails fills you with dread. In that case, outsourcing this to a digital marketing agency passionate about tracking emails and designing newsletters can be the best business decision you make.

 

7. Your in house marketer is costly

 

An in-house marketer is expensive to hire and do not possess multifaceted marketing skills. Instead of paying up to $100k per head for in-house staff , why not spend the same amount on an entire digital marketing agency? The diverse skill sets and brain power from different people will be more cost effective for your business.

 

8. It requires too much effort to train your own staff

 

Digital marketing requires more than a Twitter account or posting photos on Instagram. Training your staff to be proficient in digital marketing is a major undertaking; they will need to analyze data and learn how to use different marketing software. Furthermore, the time you use in training your own staff can be better used elsewhere. Hiring a digital marketing agency will allow you and your staff to focus on running the business.

 

9. You do not have the marketing tools to measure, track and analyze

 

A costly expense for any business is advanced marketing tools. I’am hesitant to call them an investment because they can be useless for your business or difficult to use. A digital marketing agency will have a full suite of marketing tools and know how to use them for your particular business. This is not only cost-effective, it saves a lot of precious time too.

 

10. You want your business to grow faster

Hiring an experienced digital marketing agency can help you measure your marketing for effectiveness better

As the owner of the business, making the right decisions can impact how fast your business grows. Great decisions will allow faster growth and bad decisions will hinder any progress you have been making. In order to grow your business faster, you need to eliminate the processes and marketing methods that are ineffective. How do you know what is ineffective and a drain on your resources? You need to track and measure every single move. You need to know what contributed to a spike in sales recently and how to replicate that method/or process. You also need to A/B split test which marketing ideas are working or not. Digital marketing is not left to chance, and every move must be measured for effectiveness. If you do not know how to grow your business faster using A/B testing, hiring an inbound marketing agency can help you.

The key metrics for content marketing are the ones to track for success

Important Metrics For Content Marketing


Defining The Key Metrics For Content Marketing Success

Spending money on your content marketing can sometimes feel like a pointless pursuit – the rewards and results are often difficult to see and hard to easily measure. You might be frustrated and wondering how you can accurately measure how well – or even if – your content marketing efforts are working?

While traditional reporting and bookkeeping cannot effectively measure the success of your inbound marketing strategies, there are ways to stay on top of your digital marketing. Assessing your metrics in these four key areas can help you get away from this uncertainty and determine the best way forward.

The most important content marketing metrics

  1. Consumption Metrics – Determining how many views you’re getting on your blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook posts and Tweets is fairly simple – you can assess your Google Analytics, your YouTube insights and your social media back end pages. This information is valuable – it tells you about how many people consumed your content and how many downloads occurred. A lot of novices will pore over this information as if it is the holy grail of SEO marketing metrics – but don’t make this mistake and stop here! While consumption metrics are important, you need to go further.
  2. Sharing Metrics – This is a seductive metric; who doesn’t want their content to go viral? Sharing metrics are useful because they let you know how engaging and valuable your viewers find your content – if they are willing to share it with a friend, surely it means you are doing something right. But now that you are connecting to your clients, are you actually generating leads?
  3. Lead Generation Metrics – So by now, you might know a little bit about who is looking at your content and which posts are the most engaging – but you also need to know how many of these views are turning into leads and actually clicking through to your commerce pages. This is really going to help you to determine whether your social media marketing services are making financial sense. In order to track this, you can set a browser cookie and track how often people fill out your lead forms after viewing your content (even if this occurs much later). If your business relies on phone enquiry, set different phone numbers based on different online campaigns.
  4. Sales Metrics – Now we are talking about the really valuable metrics – the ones that measure your sales and let you know exactly what content drove that money into your ledgers. You can note in your customer or prospect database that a potential client viewed specific pieces of content before purchasing your product or service. Over time, you can assign concrete values to specific SEO campaigns and determine the best cost effective digital marketing services for your business going forward.

 Be informed by content marketing metrics that matter

Once you have assessed these four key marketing metrics for your digital marketing strategies, you are guaranteed to move forward with only those that have been driving the most sales to your business.

What are the biggest myths about content marketing?

Myths About Content Marketing In 2018

Common Misconceptions About Content Marketing In 2018

Content has become one of the most important components of a successful digital marketing campaign. It has certainly become popular amongst marketers due to its effectiveness. Be that as it may, its popularity has also caused a number of misconceptions to rise about it. There are so many myths about content marketing circulating around that finding the right approach to creating content can be a challenge. You need to separate fact from fiction if you wish to make the best use of content marketing.

 

Myth 1: Content must bring in results immediately

 

Content is certainly capable of bringing in new targeted customers to your website for sales. However, it is not possible to see an immediate rise in your sales just by publishing a piece of content. There are various aspects to marketing with content. An effective marketing strategy needs to be developed to ensure that your efforts are effective. The content needs to be created accordingly and promoted. Later, the results of the campaign have to be measured so as to modify the next campaign for better results. In other words, you need to give time to the campaign to start seeing results.

 

Myth 2: Content marketing can be fully automated

 

There are many marketers who believe that it is possible to run a successful content marketing campaign by automating everything. While it is possible to automate a few tasks such the publishing of the posts, it is not possible to automate the entire marketing campaign. After all, there are various aspects to marketing, some of which cannot be automated. Modification of the content to suit the sensibilities of your readers, for example, cannot be automated. If you do automate the entire process, you will be reducing the effectiveness of the campaign significantly.

Myth 3: Content marketing just means blogging

 

It is important to maintain blogs with high quality content and the blogs should be updated on a regular basis as they are vital to marketing with content. Be that as it may, content marketing involves more than just a good blog. There are many other kinds of content that are a part of this kind of marketing. You should select the best ones for your business based on research. Infographics, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, videos and newsletters are possible options you can use.

 

Myth 4: Content must be viral to be successful

 

While a viral piece of content is beneficial, it is not possible for all your content to become viral. It is impossible to even plan content in such a way. It is not necessary either. The aim of your marketing campaign should be to reach the right audience and interest them. You should avoid worrying about creating viral content.

 

Myth 5: Quantity in content marketing matters

 

It is certainly important to keep creating new pieces of content to keep your marketing campaign running. However, this is not the sole activity of the campaign. You need to ensure the quality of the content and keep track of the engagement and responses of the audience. Simply creating new pieces of content will never be enough.

 

Myth 6: Promoting content is pointless because quality is all that matters

 

Simply producing more content will never be enough to increase the reach of your marketing strategy. Instead, you need to concentrate on the distribution channels. By distributing the content more efficiently and effectively, you will be able to increase the reach. In fact, it is possible to increase the reach while reducing the creation of new content as long as there is a proper plan for distribution.

 

Myth 7: Quality content cannot be created daily

 

Some marketers will tell you that it is not possible to create high quality pieces of content on a regular basis. However, that is untrue. There will be many aspects about your brand and business that can be used for creating content. It is not too difficult to find interesting topics and viewpoints for creating new content. You can conduct conversations with your customers and business members to find new topics to write about.

You can offer solutions, case studies and a variety of other types of content so as to keep the marketing campaign fresh. You can find various methods to keep developing new content. It is possible to hire a content marketing agency to create new and interesting pieces of content.

 

Myth 8: Content is only good used once

 

It is easy to believe that once, you produce a piece of content and ensure that it gets distributed and promoted through the appropriate channels; it will be the end of it. However, the fact is that you can still repurpose the content and use it again. Some blogs can be converted to infographics. Alternatively, you can take content about a single topic and create an eBook out of it. You can even share the earlier pieces of content so that the new customers can read it as long as the content is not too old.

As long as you believe the myths about content marketing, your business will not be able to make the best use of content marketing campaigns. Alternatively, you may feel that such campaigns are a waste from time which is completely untrue.

Alvomedia London inbound marketing agency provides a full suite of online marketing services to improve your business’ presence and revenue online. Contact us today for a quote and consultation. 

Why your digital marketing plans failed

Why Your Digital Marketing Bombed

Digital Marketing Plans That Don’t Go To Plan

Digital marketing is growing fast . The consensus suggests that digital marketing is replacing traditional forms of advertising, and big companies are increasing their marketing budget for digital. Every day, business owners are reminded of the importance of content marketing, SEO, social media marketing and mobile first design. It is enough to even confuse industry experts. It is a time consuming task to keep up with the changes in Google algorithms and fragmented digital channels.

When companies approach digital marketing agencies for help with their online marketing, there is a horrible moment when they realize it is not what they imagined it to be. Don’t get me wrong; there are many companies with realistic expectations of digital marketing and how it can improve their visibility. It is just really frustrating when a company presses ahead with plans containing the blueprint for digital marketing failure.

 

Why online marketing don’t go to plan

 

Here are some plans that will never take off in digital marketing.

 

1. Not knowing your market for digital marketing

 

Digital marketing is more effective when the company knows their marketplace. An understanding of the customer demographics, unique selling point (USP), distribution channels and competitors will help to plan a better digital marketing strategy. If companies do not know who they are marketing to, their plan is bound to fail. Their marketing budget on digital will be wasted. Reputable digital marketing agencies will refuse to execute a marketing plan if they feel it is not in their client’s best interests.

 

2.  Not having a digital marketing goal

 

Wait and see is not a good way to measure the success of digital marketing. Companies should define their marketing objectives and have some key performance indicators (KPI) to help them measure the effectiveness of a digital marketing plan. A professional digital marketing team will use the KPIs in their evaluations.

 

3. Not having a defined budget for digital marketing

 

There is nothing wrong with increasing or decreasing the marketing spend. It is wrong, however, when there is no clear idea of how the marketing budget will be divided for the different digital channels. Knowing how much a company can afford to spend will help digital marketers decide how to spend it. This is especially important for a company with limited budgets.

 

 

4. Expecting online marketing to achieve immediate results

 

Digital is fast, however digital marketing takes some patience to see results. A digital marketing campaign will not only take time to make an impact-it will require constant tweaking. Online marketing agencies promising results in 1 week are not only delusional, they can harm the client’s business. For Pay Per Click campaigns, 3 months is the time for results to kick in; the bidding needs to be optimized and A/B tested for the best wording. When companies pay for SEO, they expect a time-frame for their website to move up the rank results. In reality, this can be anything from 3 months to 12 months: depending on how competitive the keywords are, this can take even longer. The most mysterious of all-social media marketing can take the longest time to target and engage with the right audience.

 

5. Not doing your research about digital marketing

 

Digital marketers and business owners have different levels of knowledge about online marketing. Even so, it is the business owner’s job to decide how to spend the marketing budget and check the progress of their digital marketing campaigns. It is never a good idea to rely solely on the words of the marketers. Investing in analytic softwares and learning how to log into Adwords are some of the ways business owners can gain control of how they are marketing. Digital marketing agencies can help to improve the bottom line of companies but it takes an auditor’s eye to see whether they delivering on the promise. Digital marketing is an area where ignorance does not equate to bliss.

How to earn more links with your content

How To Earn More Links With Your Content

Content For More Links Building

Content can earn links; this improves your online visibility and conversions in the long run. There are many things written about link building but the crux of it is content worth reading and sharing. High quality links can only be earned if the content deserves it. Important websites will only associate with content that is useful and valuable for their audience-this is why publications such as The Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal and New York Times are harder to earn links from. Do you want high quality links from well known publications in your niche? Then you need to improve the quality of your written content.

 

Why low quality links hurt your ranking

 

Low quality links, such as the ones from mass directory sites, spammy blog roll sites and poor quality guest blogs will cost you your time and reputation. They signal to Google that your website has associations with other poor quality websites. Think about it, would an authoritative, trustworthy website be linked to spammy, low quality websites? To maintain your online reputation and long term visibility, you need to disavow harmful links.

 

Why shares are not links

 

Shares are very common in social media marketing but they are different from link building. Social media links can drive traffic to your website and give you brand exposure, but they are not links recognized by Google. High quality links can improve your organic SEO; they signal that your website is worthy of being linked to. The context of social media sharing is completely different from link building. Social media shares are sometimes reciprocal and vanity metrics. You do not even need great content to get reshared. The gold standard of sharing content is to earn links from relevant and authoritative websites. 

 

Setting link baits

 

Link baiting is a surefire way to get your content noticed. If your content is useful, promoted well and easily accessible then it can be used as link bait. Link baits that ask for consumer information in exchange for content does not work so well. Unless you create the illusion of not asking for anything from readers, link bait should be ungated.

Well researched long form content for earning links

 

According to BuzzSumo and Moz, long form content backed by thorough research earns the greatest number of links from authoritative websites. In addition to the research and 2250-2500 words content, the most link worthy content also expressed different opinions and and were promoted on social media. This may seem easy in theory, but only 25% of content get links. That means 75% of content published are not link worthy and a waste of marketing resources.

Another link worthy form of content is the listicle. The list content is satisfactory for readers because they provide a solution to common problems. Content such as ’10 ways to recycle your old clothes,’ and, ‘100 ways to use baking soda,’ are popular because they appeal to the human psychology of wanting to know. The list form is also easier to digest.

Spend more time on link earning

 

Now that you know the most link worthy content and what efforts they entail, it is time to invest in good quality content. This can be outsourced to experienced writers or planned in advance so you can promote it in good time. You need to know where to promote it and who to promote it to. Half of successful link earning requires active promotion. You should be reaching out to influencers, paying for social ads, reformatting your content and retargeting.

Another point to remember is to trim your content but not the information. What this means is eliminating any content that does not add value. Long form content in excess of 2000 words are not waffling if they present detailed research and valuable insights.

Alvomedia London inbound marketing agency helps clients with traffic and conversions for their website. Contact us for a marketing audit today.

Alvomedia video marketing in 2017

Video Marketing In 2017

 Content Video Marketing For 2017

In the recent decade, content marketing has becoming increasingly visual. From rich media content to infographics and GIFs, there has been an increase in the amount of visual content published. One of the fastest growing mediums of marketing is video marketing and it is estimated that videos will drive the majority of traffic to sites by 2017.

This statistic should not be a surprise if we compare the effectiveness of visual content to text only. According to Digiday, 9% of marketers estimated that their visual content alone was 10 times more effective than written content. More than a third marketers agreed that video was also effective on mobile devices. There are obstacles to visual content marketing of course, with 65.4% of marketers citing lack of resources as their biggest obstacle.

Video content is shareable content

Videos are effective for content marketing because it delivers a punch like no other medium. Popular video marketing platforms such as Youtube, Vine, Vimeo, SnapChat and Twitter exploits the engagement advantages of videos. Videos are shareable and interesting. The entire premise of viral videos is that they get shared many times and watched by millions within a matter of hours.

What businesses have realised in recent years is just how much broadcasting power they have on the internet. Everyone can create and upload videos and there are so many ways to communicate brand messages in a video. Many successful brands use video content for tutorials, sharing insights and behind the scenes about their industry. Story telling is best sold through videos. The combination of visuals and sounds brings stories to life like no other medium. Informative, persuasive content and ideas are perfectly suited for videos. If implemented with a strong content strategy, you can improve your conversion rates, organic SEO and brand equity through powerful video marketing.

Video Marketing in 2017 can target demographics even better

Video marketing can target specific audiences by offering tips, advice or relevant information. Some of the best marketing videos fire on all cylinders of emotional connectivity, great aesthetics and storytelling. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will allow content creators to target their specific demographics better with dashboard features.

To target your specific audience, it is best to be authentic, and be focused on valuable content rather than the ‘sell.’ A video that delivers a blatant message to buy something is a thing of the past. Viewers no longer take that kind of marketing seriously. Looking back at the best viral marketing videos in the last year, it is easy to see that human emotions and humor are still the most important components of video marketing.

Video Marketing will rise with mobile video consumption

Many people watch videos on their mobile devices and this is perfect for video marketing. Your targeted viewers can watch the video anywhere and if they like the content, sharing can be instantaneous. Videos on mobile devices are watched by 98% of smartphone users aged between 18-34 and the number of smartphone users are increasing by the day.In fact, video marketing on mobile devices are becoming more important than TV marketing, and this is something that businesses are beginning to catch on.

Video content marketing can showcase brand personas

Video content is an effective way to showcase a brand’s persona. Brands will be able to build better connections with their target audience through visual embodiments of their brand. This can be through actors, the founders themselves and even social media influencers. Video content marketing has a greater scope for showing customers what their brand looks and sounds like; more so than any other online marketing formats.

Video content marketing can be implemented with any budget

Live video streaming using Periscope, Google Hang Outs,  Blab and SnapChat requires just an Internet connection and laptop or mobile to get started. The informality of these video platforms shortens the distance between the brand and their audience. It encourages spontaneity and interactions within the video content. Some marketers will argue that this informality, rough around the edges approach suits certain brand personas better.

On the other end of the scale, video content marketing can be expensive and highly polished to attract a different audience. Luxury brands and professional services employ this form of video content marketing to great effect. The bottom line is, you don’t need a big marketing budget to implement video marketing; it really depends on your audience and brand persona.

Video content marketing will face difficulties in resources and measurement

In the Digiday and Chute survey, 65.4% of marketers cited lack of time and resources to be their biggest obstacle to visual content marketing. 32.7 faced opposition from governance and a troubling 25.2% says poor tracking/measurement held them back. This is unlikely to fade away in 2017 and beyond. Any form of effective content marketing requires an immense effort in ideation. creation and distribution. Brands will have to identify their most important video content marketing metrics and measure the efforts accurately along the way.

25 effective SEO tips

26 Effective SEO Tips For Your Website

 Simple SEO Tips For Better Rankings

If you have a new business website then these SEO tips can help rank your website for keywords in as little as 4-6 months time. For more advanced SEO or highly competitive keywords, you can hire a SEO agency to set everything up for you. Let’s get started on these top SEO tips:

1. Write high quality content on a consistent basis

High quality content is better than large quantities of average content. How do you know if the content is high quality? Make sure that what you write about is informative, interesting, adds value and include images or videos with the text. Write high quality content consistently to ensure more traffic and better rankings.

2. Write content that is relevant and targeted to your audience.

If you operate a website selling organic socks, write relevant content about organic cotton and how to look after them. Don’t try to stray from your main subject: organic cotton socks!

3. Keyword research for search volume and competitiveness.

Use Google Keywords Planner to help you find relevant keywords that gets searched a lot and use these as your website keywords.

4. Write good meta descriptions that tell the search engines what your website page is about

A meta description is the html description that summarizes what your page is about. For a web page about cleaning your organic cotton socks, the meta description can be, ‘how to clean and look after your new organic cotton socks.’

5. Write titles with the focus SEO keywords

The title of your web page should contain the keywords. If your web page is about organic cotton care, the title must contain ‘organic cotton care’ in it.

6. Make sure that the URLs are search engine optimized -with the main keywords

The URL should contain the main keywords for that page.

7. In the first paragraph of your content, make sure that the main keywords are found there.

The first paragraph of your blog or website content should contain the keywords near the beginning to communicate to the search engine what your page is about.

8. Be careful about keyword stuffing

Instead of stuffing keywords into your content at every opportunity, incorporate them in a natural way that flows when you read the text. A keyword density of around 9% is ideal.

9. Optimize images on your website for SEO

When using images, and you should be using images in your content, use your keywords in the alt description. If your page is about cleaning organic cotton with the keywords, ‘washing organic cotton,’ write this in the alt description of your image to accompany the text.

10. Use -hyphen in URLs, not underscores_

An URL for the title ‘Washing your organic cotton’ should be ‘washing-organic-cotton,’ and not ‘washing_organic_cotton.

11. Use Robots.txt files.

This is a file at the root of your domain site that indicates those parts of your site that should not be crawled by search engines.

12. Use no more than one H1 tag per page.

One H1 tag is enough to communicate to Google what your page is about. More than H1 will present a problem of prioritizing what the subject matter is about.

13. Structure your page using H1, H2 and H3 tags accordingly.

For example, the page structure for a piece of content about washing organic cotton can be:

<h1>Cleaning organic cotton</h1>

<h2>What fabric cleaners to use with organic cotton?</h2>

<h3>How to make your organic cotton socks last longer</h3>

14. Make sure that your website is user friendly and clear to understand

When a visitor clicks through to your website, they should know immediately what it is about, where the contact information is and how to find different sections of the website that interest them.

15. Check for broken URLs and fix them, or delete from the pages.

The http response 404 not found error is the sign of a broken link. Using a link checking tool such as Screaming Frog SEO spider, you can crawl the website and find any broken URLs.

16. When building links, build slowly and link to relevant, high quality websites.

There are so many things written about link building, it will require a few blogs to cover it! Generally, avoid building links too quickly (it would appear manipulative to Google) and link to high PR sites related to your website. Using Open Site Explorer, you can research website backlinks and any reputations relating to trust.

17. Use Google+ in your social marketing.

In a Google search ranking factors test, it was found that Google +1s had the single highest correlation with Google search ranking (0.4).

18. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn for your business website.

The biggest social media platforms for reach and targeted customers are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You can search for demographic of audiences with Facebook, engage target customers with eye-catching images on Pinterest and use search hashtags for Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn is suited for contacting professionals in specific industries. The greater your social presence, the more traffic directed to your website and the better your search engine rankings.

19. Links from .edu and .gov sites are very reputable and great for SEO

Websites on .edu and .gov domains have the advantage of age, trust and domain authority every link builder wants.

20. Create a sitemap for your website

Using XML sitemap generator you can build a sitemap quickly. A sitemap is important in telling Google and other search engines about your site content and organization. You need to update your sitemap often.

21. Video marketing using YouTube is effective

YouTube videos are 53 times as likely to rank for Google than simply text alone. This makes sense when you consider that Google wants website visitors to find the most relevant and information rich content. After creating your YouTube video, you should embed the videos on your website as well.

22. Use paid search marketing

Google adwords and PPC (pay per click) will direct more traffic to your website. Do not buy traffic because it will not be targeted for conversion. Traffic is vanity whereas actual sales are what you should be aiming for.

23. Delete/redirect any duplicate content

Duplicate content confuses Google and does not translate to user friendliness. Use a 301 redirect from the page with duplicate content to the one with the proper content. You should redirect any duplicate content URLs to the proper canonical URLs.

24. Use internal linking to other pages within your website

Internal links will connect relevant pages to each other in the same website. Do not link pages under your main domain website for the sake of internal linking. It must be helpful for the reader. A page about cleaning organic cotton under the domain www.organiccottonsocksshop.com can link to another page about colourful organic socks under the same domain name.

25. Check that your website is mobile friendly

Mobilegeddon has made it harder to rank for websites that are not mobile optimized. If your pages are static then consider installing AMP for your pages. You can check if your website is mobile friendly using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

26. Optimize website content for natural language search

With the emergence of voice control and search, Internet users are turning to digital assistants to retrieve information. Instead of over optimizing single keywords, website content should be optimized around natural language search queries.

6 common company branding mistakes to avoid

6 Common Company Branding Mistakes

Company Branding Mistakes To Avoid

The business world is competitive, and the rise of the internet and social media profiles has made branding more important than ever.

Your brand is how you communicate information about your business with new and returning customers. Unfortunately, this also means that when a company makes mistakes with its brand, the toll on the company’s value and recruitment is heavier. A simple mistake can undermine years of work in building up a company’s brand and marketing strategies.

Avoid making the same miscalculations that other company’s make.

Here are six of the most common branding mistakes that businesses commit, with advice on how to prevent your company from falling into the same traps.

Inconsistent Messaging

When your company develops its brand, there is a certain message and image relayed to your customers. If you’re not careful, over time it can become easy to lose focus and send mixed messages that are inconsistent with your company brand. This is unappealing to customers and deters brand loyalty.

Remember, it’s important to stay in control of what comes up when someone looks you up online. Online reputation management often governs the rise and fall of web-based companies, and a ton of that has to do with branding.

Inconsistency may occur if brand guidelines are not communicated to the entirety of your staff. Everyone employed by your company should reflect messaging consistent with your brand, using the same voice and imagery.

This may involve some training, but such efforts will pay off. Your employees should be able to effectively explain the company’s attributes, culture, and offerings.

And speaking of consistency…

Forgetting Branding Guidelines

Keep your brand cohesive. You want your brand and message to always be recognizable, no matter which social media account or medium you’re promoting through, whether that’s Facebook or print media.

Create branding guidelines for your company that include imagery and colors related to your logo, taglines, fonts, and mascots.

The colors and fonts used by a company’s brand will stick in a customer’s mind. Over time, customers will begin to recognize these features and associate them with your company and work.

If your branding is inconsistent, you are working against building these associations. Communicate your brand guidelines to staff, clients, and customers early and often.

Trying to Appeal to Everyone

There’s psychology behind why a customer chooses one brand over another.

It can be as simple as liking one color or font more than the other one. The fact of the matter is, you can never appeal to absolutely everyone, and this applies to areas outside marketing as well.

Customers are going to pinpoint certain features and images that appeal to them, and your brand can’t have it all, even if you try.

If you try too hard to appeal to everyone, your brand might end up looking either bland or confused.

Messaging can become inconsistent and in the end, you might be making customers disinterested rather than appealing to them. Work to gauge what customers your brand appeals to most, and focus on drawing them in and appealing to similar demographic samples.

Resembling Competitors

Doing research on your competitors is a good idea, but don’t let their brand imagery influence you too much.

Your company brand needs to be unique, entirely different from how other business present themselves. Avoid using the same colors and similar tags — you should be trying to be different.

If your brand too strongly resembles your competitors, you’re giving your customers fewer reasons to choose you over them. Or worse, they will think that you are copying other ideas too closely.

Ask yourself: What makes your company different?

Incorporate these answers into your branding. Search for competing companies to see what images they are cultivating, and do something different. Being unique will pay off.

Overlooking the Small Stuff

Every mention of your company online can negatively or positively affect branding.

Companies that have built successful brands know this, and use every opportunity to make them stronger. On the other hand, some companies overlook the small stuff.

Some companies let the comments sections on their social media profiles go unanswered or get out of control. Others have errors on web pages that haven’t been fixed in months. Even the way a company writes a job post can influence the way people think about the brand.

Branding is not just limited to the highly visibile, big-picture stuff. Overlooking the small stuff can get you in some serious trouble.

Becoming Stale

While being consistent and sticking to branding guidelines are both important, don’t let your look get stale.

Think of all the subtle variations you have seen from popular brands, like Coca-Cola or Apple. These brands are always recognizable, yet still have changed in interesting ways over time.

You don’t need to do a complete rebranding, but mixing things up a bit every few years goes a long way.

The idea of a subtle rebrand may be daunting, but don’t worry. With a careful, thorough approach, you can give your brand a much needed facelift. Everything changes and evolves over time, and your brand should too.

Conclusion

An artful rebranding can keep your brand relevant and fresh for your customers. If need be, you can even work with a graphic designer or graphic design agency to help develop a fresh rebrand.

Quick tips to optimize your website

Tips To Optimize Your Mobile Website

Optimizing Websites For The Mobile Age

Mobile is a word frequently mentioned in the same sentence as website optimization. With 3.64 billion mobile users globally and mobile internet browsing surpassing desktop browsing in 2014, website designers cannot ignore the penetration of mobile devices. Mobile friendly website designs is absolutely essential for success in a mobile user’s world.The 2015 algorithm updates from Google, called Mobilegeddon, has made website owners take action. When 78% of mobile searches for local businesses results in a purchase, it makes sense to make mobile responsive designs a priority in website optimization.

Effective ways to optimize your mobile website

You can test whether your website is mobile friendly by using this link.

Perhaps it is time to update your exiting website for the better. To make your website more competitive in the online world, here are some effective tips:

1. Choose a simple mobile website design

Simplicity is the height of sophistication, or words to that effect. A website designed for business has to convert and focus on the conversion optimization. Everything from the functionality to the layout and call to action buttons has to help visitors make that purchase decision. A website is the first point of contact with potential customers so it has to make a good impression. A clean, simple design with easy navigation is the best.

Here is an example of great style and simple navigation in a website:

Simple and easy to navigate website designs are best for website optimization

 

To improve the clarity of your website, ask yourself: what can I eliminate to make it easier for my visitors to find what they need on the website?

You can ask your business partners for feedback, or better still, a customer. Generous use of banners and call to actions can clog up the space on a website page. You will want all the menus, navigation and order/checkout buttons to be easily found. Some images are unnecessary if they are not optimized for search engines. This means they don’t have an alt text description or title to help Google understand what it is about. Delete anything that does not help your SEO in any shape of form.

2. Think mobile first website design

A mobile device is pretty small compared to a desktop screen so any mobile optimized design has to be scaled down. Minimal, clean designs works best for mobile.

Here is an example of mobile first website design

Mobile first website designs will make navigations and conversions easier on smaller mobile device screens

 

 

Easy to find navigation buttons and bigger texts are some features of mobile friendly websites. Images that appear on the desktop versions of a website would be enlarged even more on a smaller screen. It is important to eliminate any text and image clutters for a mobile optimized design.

A question to ask is: how many times do I have to pinch/enlarge my mobile device screen just to read the information on the website? If the answer is a lot, then you have to improve the design.

3. Search engine optimization at all times

Search engine ranking positions correlate to website conversions. 70% of people never go past page 1 of organic search results and a hefty 18% of organic clicks go to the first ranking. Keyword research on Google Adwords for your specific industry is important as is the placement of your keywords or phrases. The best thing about keyword research is that it will tell you the popularity of the words and projected traffic if you use them for your written content.

Another way is to register for Google Places for your business. In local search results, your website will have a higher chance of appearing at the very top. A pin on the Google map will add further credibility to your business and target leads based on location.

4. Keep your website content up to date

Updating your website information on top of operating the business is hard yet important. You can update the information yourself or outsource it to a marketing team. Keep all the information about your products, services, promotions, special offers, opening times, contact details and images up to date.

Start to optimize your website today

Optimizing your website step by step from today will guarantee you more conversions. The concept of website optimization is not difficult to grasp but it will take patience and effort to implement. Outsourcing your website optimization to a SEO agency is one way to work on your business whilst you make improvements to your website’s design and functions. In a world where every company look for smarter ways to conduct their online marketing, getting the website right is vital to your business success.

What are the digital marketing facts for 2017?

Digital Marketing Facts For 2017

Digital Marketing Facts To Know In 2017

Getting your digital marketing to yield positive ROI is a feat even for experienced marketers. One of the most challenging aspects in recent years is content marketing, which is both unpredictable and time consuming. The volume of content that is published by brands will continue to rise in 2017, intensifying the competition for consumer’s attention. 

Despite the demand for digital marketing, the skill set required for successful marketing is in short supply. It was revealed in a ‘Digital Distress‘ survey by the Adobe that only 48% of digital marketers felt proficient in digital marketing. Indeed, many felt intimidated by the implementation and measurement of digital marketing methods.

What does the future hold for digital marketers? No can can predict 2017 with 100% accuracy. Or even 40%. We can make informed guesses based on what happened in the digital space in 2016. For anyone on the pulse of digital marketing will know that social media, video marketing, data, user generated content and better contexts are just some of the areas to get our heads around. You don’t have to be a genius to succeed at digital marketing; however, it helps to keep an eye on your customer’s behavior and marketing trends. So, what are the digital marketing facts for 2017?

 

Digital marketing fact 1: not all content is created equal

 

In recent years, we have been told by various experts to churn out high quality content at a consistency that rivals a news site. The definition of high quality content really confuses a lot of B2B and B2C marketers. Many companies produce huge amounts of content but are failing to get good conversion rates from it.

We are under the impression that content is everything; it will sell your brand with ease. The fact of the matter is, high quality content is collateral to other things such as SEO, consumer targeting, social media marketing, mobile optimization and behavioral analysis of your customers. A Smart Insights survey discovered that only 30% of marketers found content to be their most effective digital marketing method.

 

Digital marketing fact 2: defining high quality content is relative

 

We live in a very competitive era for gaining consumer’s attention. Despite the low barriers to entry for digital marketing, getting noticed in hard. The definition of high quality content is not even that clear cut; it is relative to what your competitor is producing. Perhaps they have better content creators and resources than you. If you are in a very competitive industry, such as retail, hospitality or professional services, then 2017 could be the year for you to assess your content and focus on your strengths in various channels of marketing.

 

Digital marketing fact 3: no resting on your marketing laurels

 

One of the harsh realities of digital marketing is that you can never think you are good enough. The complacency from resting on your laurels will make it easier for a competitor to take away your business. You need to commit to constant assessments, iterations, A/B testing and tracking your digital marketing data. You also need to be flexible in your digital strategies and anticipate change.

 

Digital marketing fact 4: you need to measure and monitor everything

 

To improve on your methods and know what resources to invest in digital marketing, tracking data is essential. It will strengthen your decision making and help persuade decision makers in control of the marketing budget. Hire a digital marketing agency if you are not comfortable with analyzing data yourself.

 

Digital marketing fact 5: it is a continual process

 

Being open to learning in digital marketing can make the difference to your bottom line. Read the latest blogs, articles and opinions of your industry leaders. Participate in forums or relevant conferences. Implementing new digital marketing methods requires discernment. Be ready to learn new things constantly.

 

Digital marketing fact 6: patience pays

 

Social media connections takes time, content marketing takes time; that new YouTube channel takes time to gain traction; everything requires patience. Digital doesn’t mean fast. Digital marketing is a long term commitment but your efforts will pay off in years.

 

Digital marketing fact 7: get your semantic SEO sorted

 

Google is looking into deep machine learning for their search engine functions. If you want to be visible on search engines, relevancy in your content and understanding the semantic context is necessary. In 2017, SEO should be integrated in your content; be informed about the changes in algorithm and write for human usage.

 

Digital marketing fact 8: data driven marketing

 

Collecting data may seem straightforward, but analyzing it requires different skills. Most marketing teams are made up of creatively minded people, however, digital marketing in 2017 and beyond require quantitative skills. Intuition alone cannot form a digital marketing strategy. It has to be backed up by insights from data.

 

Digital marketing fact 9: connecting marketing channels in the customer journey

 

Connecting the customer journey between different marketing channels is vital in 2017. Opportunities for conversions are lost where there is a disconnect. It is a digital marketing fact that brands are failing to meet customer’s expectations for the purchasing experience.

 

Digital marketing fact 10: optimize for mobile devices

 

Optimizing for mobile involves Google AMP, mobile SEO, personalized mobile content and making the desktop to mobile customer experience seamless. 2017 will be a year where mobile optimization becomes increasingly important.