It’s 2017, so we hope that you know the importance of reaching customers online this year. If you are on top of your marketing needs then you’ve got a great digital marketing strategy, you know your customers, business goals, KPIs and marketing budget; you have a plan.
But if you’re not a marketer, how can you be sure that you understand what’s in the digital marketing mix and how to prioritise the most important parts?
Our experience in both digital and traditional marketing allows us to combine the best of both worlds to guarantee success. Read on for our checklist of digital marketing in 2017:
- Your website
For many, your website is the first contact people have with your brand and you’ll want to make a great first impression. You’ll need to secure trust, ignite excitement and encourage people to take action to engage with you and interact within your sales funnel.
A good user experience is vital; your webpages must load quickly and smoothly on a variety of browsers, devices and screen sizes. More people than ever are accessing the internet on mobile devices so user experience on mobile including ease of navigation and load times will have an impact on your business.
Making sure your website is easy to use and works well is just the beginning when thinking about user experience. If you want to get ahead of the competition, your content needs to be top notch. Include clear images, think about different types of content like video or podcasts and make sure everything is optimised for file sizes that speedy page load.
Take a look at your sales funnels on the website. Where are the opportunities to convert visitors? Are you just hoping they’re interested in your product and going to head on over to your contact page, or are you giving them specific pushes to take action on each page?
While it can sometimes feel overwhelming to consider everything necessary to create a great website, the resources and time you commit to it will be well worth the effort. Consider your website like a physical shop; keep it clean, fix broken shelves and provide the information and assistance people need in order to buy.
- Search engine visibility
Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to get a lot of traffic to your website simply by publishing it. Being visible in search engines starts with having a great website but it’s a complicated business and there are over 200 ‘ranking’ factors that may contribute to your search engine visibility.
Luckily not all ranking factors are created equal and there are some very important ones you can focus on to get ahead of the competition.
First, you’ll need to let the search engines like Google know what your site is about and convince their complex algorithms that your content is relevant and good quality.
Write plenty of content for your pages and have a blog or news page where you can be an expert. Ensure that you’ve properly optimised the content so that Google and other search engines can understand what it’s about. Within your content you should include phrases that your customers are likely to be searching for in Google. Be warned to avoid trying to trick search engines by overusing keywords – Google is very smart and it could do more harm than good.
Take a look at our recent blog to supercharge your content with metadata for more insights.
Second, you’ll need to get links to your website from quality and relevant places around the web. These are a bit like votes and again, they’re not all created equal. Pursue links from relevant quality websites is great for your visibility but getting links from poor quality or irrelevant sites can damage your SEO efforts and even lead to having your site removed from the index. Search engines are adept at working out who has linked to you because they love your product or service, or if you’re gathering links by creating great, sharable and noteworthy content in your industry.
You can gain links by publishing expert insights on external websites, engaging in interviews about your industry or taking part in webinars or other events.
Third, make sure your website complies with Google guidelines. Create clean code, optimise and tag images and content, and as we already discussed, make sure your pages load fast and work on mobiles. We’re covering this in our new Google ranking factors blog series, so sign up for Nancarrow News to keep up to date with Technical SEO Factors.
- Social Media
Creating excitement around your product, service or brand is imperative and social media affords a great number of opportunities to do just that.
Each social media platform is an additional place to reach out to and engage with customers. Start by creating a following of relevant users who will become advocates for your brand, this can take time but if you share great content, information about your services and brand story you can build up a community that’s really interested.
Promoting all that great content you’ve created for your website and respected niche publications is just as important as writing it. Social media allows you to amplify your content to an audience that is highly targeted.
Consider using promotions, give-aways and advertising to increase your social reach. Advertising on social media can be very targeted and allows you to reach specific groups of potential clients.
- Search advertising
Search engine advertising allows you to gain instant visibility for your website and provides a wide range of options for targeting potential clients. Creating keyword campaigns or using remarketing to target those that have already visited your website is a great way to drive more traffic. Properly optimising your website landing pages will help you to reduce the cost per click from Google ads (they love it when everything is relevant).
These kinds of advertising campaigns can be really effective when set up properly and are especially relevant when launching a website or to drive traffic when visitor numbers are low.
- Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase sales and website traffic. You can build a list of contacts through networking, sign up forms on your website and events. Providing useful content is a great way to entice people to sign up for newsletters and mailing lists.
Use tools like MailChimp to make your messages look great and reach the right people. You can segment your mailing lists so that you send targeted messages to specific groups and drive traffic to the pages on your site the will be most interested in or even create specific landing pages for your campaigns.
Digital marketing is vast and complex landscape that’s constantly changing. Whether you have a dedicated marketing department or you complete marketing activities yourself, it can be beneficial to develop a partnership with a marketing agency – don’t be afraid to get help from experts when you need it!
One of the great things about marketing in a digital space, is your ability to track and measure the effectiveness of campaigns. There are some great tools to help you understand the impact that your marketing is having. At the very least you should be connected to Google Analytics, but you may also benefit from using some paid tools or making the most that marketing partnership that allows you to plugin to a range of tracking software to really get a handle on what’s working.
Everything you do online reflects on your brand, on your own website, a news website, advertising or social media; send the right message to the right people.