Just some reminders really
Over the years we have prepared many reports and given presentations that have helped organisations to implement online marketing campaigns and gain insight into which are the best strategies and tactics to use.
Overall there is no 100% right course of action to take because different techniques work for different organisations and what didn’t produce good results in the past may work well in the future. The following tips are meant as a simple (non comprehensive) guide only and are aimed more at the beginner rather than seasoned practitioners. Hopefully they will provide one or two takeaways that will help you get ahead online.
Where should you be online?
This is quite subjective and it’s worth bearing in mind that you shouldn’t necessarily stop something you have been doing or ignore the many other online marketing opportunities available. But you should take the opportunity to review all your current activity and think about starting something new.
Update weekly for business sites and daily for ecommerce. Your website should include a blog and is the centre of your online presence. You must be in control of updates and have the ability to add and share content easily
Update 2 – 3 times a week. Customise the look and feel of your page and make sure you have a ‘Like / Send’ link from your website. A Facebook page makes a great landing page for email campaigns.
YouTube, Slide Share and Flickr
Update as and when you have content available Use these as storage for video, presentations and photos. It’s then very easy to share the content on your website, Facebook page etc.
Update daily, or several times a day if you have the time Make the most of 3rd party tools to enhance your tweets, i.e. Twitpic. You can customise your profile page and add keywords to your profile. (Bio)
2 – 3 times a month Make sure you have a fully completed profile, search for people to join your network and become a member of groups that may interest you. You can add ‘Widgets’ to your profile such as a feed from your twitter account.
Work on your email subscription list
For most businesses email is the most important form of digital marketing. It’s simple, very cheap and will produce results. Target yourself to send a monthly offer / newsletter. (Bi-monthly would be better but don’t exceed weekly). PLUS make sure you spend time trying to improve your database:
- Your website should have multiple subscription forms, essential for your home page
- Place a subscribe link in your email footer
- Always have a ‘Forward to a Colleague’ option in your email campaigns
- Make unsubscribing easy, one click only!
Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to set keywords (Such as ‘Your Business Name’) and then receive an email every time you are mentioned online. You can also set up keywords for your competition or key products to keep an eye on their online presence.
You need to sign up for a Google Account before you can register for this service, limit the frequency of the alerts to monthly. Visit: GOOGLE ALERTS.
Analyse your website
HubSpot is a free website / blog grading tool. Simply visit the site and enter your URL and HubSpot will run a series of tests on your site and give you a grade out of 100. You should be aiming for upwards of 60.
Assess your website and blog after making any key changes to see how much impact they have had. (You can also assess your twitter account) Visit: WEBSITE GRADER and it’s also worth while checking PEAR ANALYTICS.
Allows you to sign up to multiple news feeds and displays them all in one place, great way of staying up to date and finding content to share. Visit: GOOGLE READER, another good alternative is ALL TOP.
Think on and off site
Google controls 95% of search in the UK. If your websites pages are not indexed then you won’t appear in Google’s search results. Google rank your site based on circa. 200 different factors. Only around 30% of these factors relate to your website so you must work on getting mentioned on other credible online resources:
- Comment on industry related blogs
- Issue press releases (Use an online distribution service)
- When you write blog posts or add to your social media sites share this on your other profiles, a lot of this can be automated to save you time
- Try focusing on one core area / niche of your business first to try and develop a reputation as an expert in a particular field
- Ask your suppliers (And customers) to link to your from their sites or promote your services via their social media profiles (Ask your friends and family as well)
- Think quality not quantity, websites with high (Upwards of 4) Google page rank are great
- Don’t join link sharing schemes
There are hundreds available, just make sure you are up to date with the major ones such as Yell.com and Thompson Local. Keep a record or bookmark of them and if any of your details change make sure you go back and update them.
Google provides many free services and one of the best is their analytics package. It is relatively easy to install on your website (If your not sure ask your web developer for help) and gives you in depth analysis of how visitors to your site behave.
One of the most important performance indicators is ‘Bounce Rate’ This is the percentage of visitors that only visit one page then leave, you should be aiming for less than 50%. Visit: GOOGLE ANALYTICS.
Link your website and social media profiles
Where possible have links or feeds to and from the websites where you have a profile. Your twitter feed can be displayed on your website and your Facebook page for example. You can also have simple buttons on your website that allow users to link to your content.
Also make sure you have a consistent bio, logo and contact information across all of these sites and take advantage of including your main keywords in your descriptions.
Content content content
Good, relevant and consistent content is vital. Google is looking for websites that will be useful for the people that are using their search engine.
There are no short cuts, improving your rankings takes hard work and time. You need to put in more than you get out and think of what will be useful to others if you want to gather momentum.