If your company has been using only traditional marketing methods to generate new business, you need to read this!
2017 is the year of change and improvements. Marketing strategies have grown beyond word of mouth and Facebook posts. Let us show you how your business can reach new heights using digital marketing strategies.
Why Digital Marketing?
- First and foremost, digital marketing is a tremendously cheaper marketing method than the traditional offline methods – just think about those print runs, radio campaigns and television ads that you couldn’t afford 15 years ago! Digital marketing is much more accessible, even for those with small marketing budgets.
- It’s a great way to increase your online market share
- **According to Hubspot By 2016, more than 50% of money spent in the US will be influenced by online marketing campaigns. ** How long before we can say the same thing here in the UK?
What is a digital strategy?
Having a digital strategy is, in essence, a plan. It allocates time and money to all the relevant platforms and helps you to gain insight into statistical data which will help you to reach your goals. Market your business using multiple platforms like Social media, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Email Marketing, SEO PR, and so much more.
How to begin building a digital strategy
- The first thing you need to do is be clear on your aims and objectives.
- Analyse how your company performed in the previous year.
- Research your target audience and preferred digital media channels
- Create your content
- Allocate paid advertising budgets
- Create a timeline
- Evaluate and improve your strategy
Why you NEED to set aside a budget for an SEO and digital marketing company to help you
- By now, you must understand the importance of digital marketing. One thing that will help you reach that increased ROI is a thorough and well thought out digital marketing strategy.
- It can be a daunting task to do yourself
- You’ll save money in the long run
- Work alongside a professional to gain a fresh perspective
- Utilise their resources and evaluation techniques
As 2016 draws to a close we’ve got time to reflect back on another year in the digital sphere. 2016 has provided some great opportunities to get your brand out there but it has also been challenging at times, as we come to accept the changes that are constantly put in place by the giants of the internet.
The big online marketing changes of 2016
Some of the changes we’ve witnessed this year include:
- The introduction of mobile-first indexing – Google recently announced that it is experimenting with this and that eventually:
“our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
So, if your site is not mobile friendly you will almost certainly eventually disappear from organic search and if you don’t prioritise mobile content you may become less visible.
- The rise and growth of global spam referral visits – skewing analytics reporting and generally getting in the way of genuine traffic. There are several ways to remove this data and filter the traffic, however, experts never quite got to grips with which method was best. Ultimately it seems easier to ignore what you cannot affect and concentrate instead on your own goals, how you plan to reach them and how you’ll measure the effectiveness of a given campaign.
- The boost given to HTTPS pages – at the end of 2015 Google announced that it had changed the indexation system to look for more https pages and the popularity of secure sites has subsequently increased in 2016.
- The removal of ads from the right-hand side of the page in Google search – initial reports seemed to suggest that PLA ads benefited from increased placement and that right-hand ads were never favoured by searchers anyway, but with 10 months gone since the changes were made we haven’t seen any major dramas as a result of this change. Those worried that paid search would become more ‘cut throat’ had a right to be wary, however, CPCs continue to rise anyway and it is more about what you can do with your budget and how targeted you can make your campaign in terms of text, display and video advertising, than it is about the number of ad slots available.
- The introduction of rich cards – building on the successes of rich snippets, rich cards use schema.org markup to display content in an even more engaging way. This is perfect for sites sharing recipes and any other image rich information that you want to stand out in search.
- The continued decline of Facebook organic reach – further to the declining organic reach of the last couple of years, 2016 really saw a nail in the coffin to an organic-only Facebook strategy with publishers’ pages experiencing a 52% decline in organic reach. This means that no matter how many people like your page, a large proportion of them are not going to see the important content you have created, often with them in mind. This is because Facebook needs a way of picking out the posts that keep people coming back. With a new algorithm in June, favouring friends and family in the news feeds, it was a further blow to brands trying to reach and engage their target audience via the social network. All is not lost though, as we are still seeing really good improvements in engagement, reach and referral traffic from our customer’s Facebook pages. Video is also tipped to be a great way to increase engagement so the more video content you can get onto your social pages the more likely you are to retain that audience visibility.
Instagram users have also witnessed a decline in organic reach in 2016 and just last week, Youtube sensation and top account holder PewDiePie announced that he would be shutting down his channel on reaching 50million subscribers as changing algorithms mean fewer people are now seeing his videos.
So, where does that leave us?
Digital Marketing Trends 2017
The New Year will no doubt present its own new challenges but there will also be great opportunities to exploit new technologies and trends. We predict that the following will be key factors to successful digital marketing in 2017:
- Automation – not so much that your activity becomes robotic but just enough so that customers don’t have to wait for an initial response and that content can be drip fed into the public domain even when the offices are closed.
- Continuity – with the very real threat of your social pages being deleted if you stop updating them (Facebook has threatened to do this on a couple of redundant customer accounts this year) and the fact that the consumer can spot a mile off if you are up-to-date and or inactive from the prevalence or lack of blog and social updates, continuity in terms of your marketing strategy has never been more important.
- Integration – many businesses still view marketing channels in isolation but given that the average purchase is usually achieved through a combination of media – including paid search, organic search, social media referral and direct return visit – it is crazy to think of all these channels at your disposal as separate tools. Combine them in the right proportions, at the right time and with the right level of activity and you’ll end up with far better results.
- Going Live – there are few businesses brave enough to live stream at the moment but the marketing possibilities are out there if you stop and think about how this technology can be harnessed to help you reach your target audience. Social media users are demanding to be more ‘in the moment’ and what better way to immerse them in your brand or content than taking them with you? Think live events as a great starting point for live video streaming.
- New reality – from the Virtual Reality gaming headsets that are a popular Christmas list item to the augmented reality of roaming the streets for Pokestops earlier this year, our concepts of what is real has been challenged in 2016 and we predict it will grow and develop further in the coming twelve months.
- Cutting content – we don’t mean necessarily cutting down, but cutting through. There are so many words, images, videos and experiences out there that we are all getting too overwhelmed to bother paying attention. The winners in 2017 will be the brands who can cut through this noise to reach their target audience with specific messages that mean something to them.
What about at SEO it Right?
On a company level, 2016 has been a fantastic year. We started the year dressed up and walking the cold streets to raise money for Sport Relief, celebrated our 6th birthday in April, spent the summer delivering an awesome work experience programme for two local school pupils and an international work placement student and ended the year welcoming a new member to our team – Kostas, who comes to us as a highly-experienced developer,AdWords manager and user experience expert. If you haven’t met Kostas already or received an email from him I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing him well on his SEO it Right journey.
All that leaves me to do is thank everyone, staff, customers and followers for their continued support in 2016. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to an exciting year in 2017!
Catrina, our Portuguese intern, is currently half way through her six week work experience placement. We caught up with her to see how she is getting on.
Hi Catrina, how are you finding your work experience now that you have almost completed half of your internship?
I feel that I will leave the internship a better professional and person. I have learnt such a lot about SEO and how to manage social networks for businesses and I’m sure that I will be able to use everything I have learnt during my placement in the future. I really appreciate the opportunity I have been given with the internship to have first-hand contact with the world of digital marketing.
What have you learnt about the industry or how a business works, has anything surprised you?!
Everything has surprised me! SEO it Right has given me the chance to observe and work on different projects for various clients, including analysing online marketing reports, how social media posts are prepared depending on the objectives of the client, how to analyse the social media pages of each client and also how to identify the target which the client wishes to work towards and how we can achieve this by using SEO and social media campaigns.
Looking behind the scenes of clients’ websites has shown me countless things which otherwise I would not have known.
Has the experience helped you to identify areas within the industry which you would like to learn more about?
By working alongside Riz, the website developer, I now feel much more curious about finding out more about website design. However, the internship has motivated me to learn even more about the whole of SEO, as the experience has helped me to see lots of different areas within the industry.
Which part of the last 3 weeks have you enjoyed the most?
It’s very hard for me to name one thing! I love the fact that the SEO it Right team give me a challenge every day, or they identify a new area for me to learn more about. I was really happy when they signed me up for the Google course ‘The Growth Engine for Digital Skills’ as I can learn a lot more about different concepts within Digital Marketing. I also really enjoy work shadowing the team members when they explain what they are working on and why.
Has the experience made you approach your coursework differently, are you finding there to be a difference between the theory and the practise of online marketing?
Yes! Over the last three weeks, the tasks I have worked on at SEO it Right have shown that there is a definite difference between the theory and practise of digital marketing. Things which I have learnt in theory may not always work in practise, so you have to be prepared to make some changes to get a positive result for a client. SEO it Right have helped me to try to breakdown this barrier, showing me how to try alternative methods to achieve results, which has given me a greater interest in Digital Marketing.
We’ll be chatting with Catrina again towards the end of her placement to find out her opinion of the online marketing industry and whether she has enjoyed her time in damp and drizzly England!
On Friday 18th March, the SEO it Right team will be joining people from all across the UK and doing our bit for Sport Relief. To raise money for vulnerable people throughout the UK and all over the world, we will be taking part in an 8 hour sponsored walking relay. Each member of the team will take it in turns walking the streets of Sutton Coldfield throughout the working day, from 9am until 5pm.
Not only is walking a great form of exercise, but studies have also found that even a short walk on your lunch break can help to increase your productivity. People who walk or otherwise exercise regularly are commonly calmer and more alert than inactive people; even a gentle stroll can help to improve your mood, increase your output and your ability to handle stress at work.
First launched in 2002, Sport Relief is a biennial event that makes a huge difference to people in need all around the world. By bringing the British public together to get active, the strength in numbers helps to generate money to change many vulnerable people’s lives. 50% of all money raised by Sport Relief is used to help people here in the UK, with the remaining 50% being used to transform the lives of many in the world’s very poorest communities.
Sport Relief 2016 takes place from the 18th – 20th March, with fundraising events planned all over the UK, combined with fantastic television and radio entertainment to raise more funds for a brilliant cause.
To sponsor the SEO it Right team, please click here to visit our Giving Page.
I began at SEO it Right on Monday 17th March 2014 as part of my Social Media apprenticeship. I came in with only vague knowledge and understanding of social media after only undergoing one week at College. From first thing Monday morning, I had walked into the office and I was greeted by everyone and knew immediately that I was in a safe and friendly environment.
I then sat down with Frances who talked through with me what I had learnt and what I aimed to achieve out of the placement. I quickly grasped the way that everything was run and by the end of Monday, had successfully completed numerous status updates for a client. This went on for the entirety of my first week, with constant support and backing from the entire team who were more than happy to help even if I was asking the plain obvious. I have learnt how to effectively word statuses and how to manage my time and complete work to a high standard.
My apprenticeship is in Social Media and so I have been focusing primarily on this area whilst being in the workplace and I feel that the first week has given me more of an insight into how social media works within a business and how all the specialist tools work in order to convey this and keep them up to date. The skills I have learnt so far have already taught me how to correctly word updates to make sure that they are relevant to their target audience. I look forward to completing my apprenticeship and hopefully continuing my career in Social Media. I would like to thank the whole team at SEO it Right for being patient with me throughout this first week and for being very supportive whenever I have an issue. It is a fantastic place to work!
SEO it Right are proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the Boldmere Falcons for a second year running – the team have now progressed to the Under 8s league so we’re looking forward to supporting the boys during what will hopefully be a successful second season!
The Under 8s team are under new management this year, with two of the team members’ Dads running the weekly training sessions, organising matches and of course, deciding the tactics of each match. The boys are currently able to train on the astro turf pitches at Boldmere Sports and Social Club with league matches commencing at the beginning of September on the main grass pitches.
Last season the boys worked hard and managed to win many of their matches – a habit which has been maintained in recent pre-season friendly tournaments. Details of forthcoming matches can be found on the Boldmere Falcons website.
We believe in the importance of supporting sports activities in the local area which is why we were happy to sponsor the young team for another season.
The SEO it Right logo will continue to be sported on the away kit shirts as well as the boys’ training tops, and here’s wishing each of the boys the best of luck during the next season!
If you would like to find out more about how to increase traffic to your website, please take a look at the SEO it Right website.
On Saturday 18 May the hard working team from SEO it Right got themselves dolled up for the Yoxall Dads 4 Charity fundraising ball in Staffordshire. A great night was had by all but most importantly, lots of money was raised for Action Medical Research. Photos to follow shortly!
For any business with an online presence, the key to increasing site traffic, as well as, increasing sales and profits, is by utilizing search engine optimization. The way to do this is by educating yourself on what tactics do and do not work in terms of optimizing your site and increasing search page rank. This article contains a number of search engine optimization tips.
To help you get a higher search engine ranking with a site that remains largely unchanged you should include a blog on your site. Search engines want to see a site with updated fresh content and if you add a blog, you have the opportunity to keep adding relevant information to your site.
Make URL’s with easy, simple and user-friendly keywords. Visitors will have a general idea of what your page is about without even clicking. Search engines will take these pages and rank them under those keywords, thus improving your ranking and getting you closer to a top page listing.
Always create content that is high in quality rather than quantity. A mass submission of poor content might catch more attention at first, but as people notice the lack of thought, design, and execution they will fade away. After that point, getting any sort of traffic to your site will be nearly impossible.
One easy search engine optimization technique you can implement is to include keywords in your HTML title tag. This helps the search engines to easily determine what your page is about. Not only that, but when visitors search for your keyword, it will show up in bold in the search results, drawing more attention to your listing.
A good search engine optimization tool lets you check the popularity of keyword searches on the internet. Having popular keywords is imperative in optimizing your search engine results. SEO tools allow you to see which keywords are trending in popularity at any given time.
Networking is an integral part of any successful SEO campaign. Network with other website owners as often as you can to build what will hopefully become mutually beneficial relationships. Use these connections to learn “tricks of the trade,” get insider advice and foster link-exchanging relationships that will help both of your sites.
Build contextual links throughout your website. Interlinking your website’s internal pages gives Google and other search engines clues to what your pages are about and helps guarantee that your internal pages share in higher rankings. To make this easier, many modern content management systems offer plug-ins that detect contextual link opportunities and automatically build them.
Pay close attention to the keywords you are using and how often they are placed within your article. You do not want to stuff the article with too many words because it sounds terrible and sets off red flags within the search engine that will hurt your rankings. A good number to remember is between 3 – 5% density of the page’s total text.
Even saved images and video files on your server can present an opportunity to increase in the rankings, so be sure that you’re always saving files with keywords. For example: If you have an image on your site dealing with weight loss, like a before-and-after photo, make sure you include a relevant keyword in the title when you save the image.
As was mentioned earlier in this article, the key to your website’s performance, is search engine optimization. If your site is properly optimized, it will increase its search page rank and, as a result, will have many more daily visitors. The more visitors you have to your site, the more profit you will make. Apply the search engine optimization advice contained in this article and you will be on your way to increasing your site’s traffic and making a lot more money.
Posted by Frances Berry