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10 reasons you would like a digital marketing strategy in 2020

10 reasons you would like a digital marketing strategy in 2020

2020 Essential topic

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Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

The importance of making and employing a digital marketing decide to support digital transformation and company growth.

Where does one start if you would like to develop a digital marketing strategy? It’s still a standard challenge since many business skills vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they do not have an integrated decide to grow and have interaction their audiences effectively. If your business doesn’t have an idea you’ll suffer from the ten problems I highlight later during this article and you’ll lose bent competitors who are more digitally savvy.

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The challenges of making a digital marketing strategy?

In my experience, a standard challenge is where to start out drawing up your digital marketing plan. i feel there’s a fear that a huge report is required, but we believe that lean planning works best. Your plan doesn’t got to be an enormous report, a technique can best be summarized in two or three sides of A4 during a table linking digital marketing strategies to SMART objectives within our RACE planning framework.

We recommend creating a lean digital plan supported our 90-day planning templates to implement your digital plan rapidly to realize traction. you’ll learn more about our free download.

Free digital marketing plan template
Download our Free resource – Digital marketing plan template

This template explains the way to structure a digital marketing plan using the RACE planning system. Set your objectives for the subsequent 90 days against marketing activities and define targets for KPIs.

Access the Free digital marketing plan template

Another challenge is the sheer scope and scale of digital marketing. There are numerous great digital marketing techniques starting from search, social, and email marketing to enhance the digital experience of your website. Our article, what’s digital marketing? shows how by using our RACE planning framework you’ll define a more manageable number of digital marketing activities that cover the complete customer journey. Within each digital marketing technique, there are many detailed tactics that are important to success, in order that they got to be evaluated and prioritized, for instance from dynamic content for email automation, website personalization to programmatic, retargeting, and skyscraper content for organic search.

A recommended approach for developing a digital strategy
Whether you’ve got a technique or not, at the guts of the Smart Insights ‘Opportunity, Strategy, Action’ approach to improving digital marketing, is benchmarking to match where you’re now to assess the potential against where you would like to be within the future.

To help you start we’ve created a free digital marketing benchmarks download with a series of benchmarks covering overall digital strategy and therefore the key tactics like Search, Social Media, Email marketing, and site/experience design.

Free digital marketing benchmarking templates
Download free resource – Digital Marketing Benchmark templates

Quickly score your approach to digital marketing with these 7 visual templates. These powerful one-page templates allow you to quickly review how well you’re currently using the key digital marketing techniques on a 5 point scale for various criteria then identify the gaps in your current capabilities.

Access the Free digital marketing benchmarking templates

Click on the image below to ascertain a bigger version of 1 of our free marketing benchmarking templates, which you’ll download for free of charge to assist you create your digital marketing plan.

But what if you’re one among the businesses that do not have a digital strategy yet? Well, i feel the 2 simple alternatives for creating an idea may suggest how forward:

Start with a separate digital marketing plan defining transformation needed and making the case for investment and changes to your digital marketing
Then, following approval, create an integrated digital plan which is a component of the general marketing plan – digital is fully aligned and becomes a part of business as was common.
So, what are the takeaways to act on here? It seems to me that:

Using digital marketing without a strategic approach remains commonplace. I’m sure many of the businesses during this category are using digital media effectively and that they could certainly be getting great results from their search, email, or social media marketing. But I’m equally sure that a lot of are missing opportunities for better targeting or optimization, or are affected by the opposite challenges I’ve listed below. Perhaps the issues below are greatest for larger organizations who most urgently need governance.

The majority of companies in our research do take a strategic approach to digital. From lecture companies, I find the creation of digital plans often occurs in two stages. First, a separate digital marketing plan is made. this is often useful to urge agreement and buy-in by showing the opportunities and problems and map a path through setting goals and specific strategies for digital including how you integrated digital marketing into other business activities. Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy, it is a core activity, “business-as-usual”, but doesn’t warrant separate planning, apart from the tactics.
If you do not have a technique , or even you would like to review which business issues are important to incorporate within a strategic review, we’ve begun the ten commonest problems, that in our experience arise if you do not have a technique.

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Digital marketing strategy

Digital marketing strategy

Do you have a digital marketing strategy?

Since 2012 we’ve run an off-the-cuff poll to ascertain how widely used digital marketing strategies are. The results have shown some big improvements over the years. a couple of years ago we found around two-thirds to three-quarters didn’t have a digital marketing plan. Now that number has shrunk to 45% within the latest survey, although that’s still quite high, and means almost half are still doing digital with no strategy in situ .

When we researched our Managing Digital Marketing report we were interested to ascertain how this percentage searched for an outlined sample.

Managing digital marketing in 2020 research report
Managing Digital Marketing report

Premium members can read our survey findings and proposals supported how over 900 businesses use digital marketing today.

Access the Managing digital marketing in 2020 research report

This is what we found in our survey about the extent of digital marketing adoption:

Does your organization have a clearly-defined digital marketing strategy?

So, our latest research suggests an improved approach to planning during this sample of marketers, with fewer than half without a digital strategy. Congratulations if you’re one among these companies! If not, read on.

10 reasons why you’ll need a digital channel strategy?

1. You’re directionless

I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many who do) do not have a transparent strategic goal for what they need to realize online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you do not have goals with SMART digital marketing objectives you likely don’t put enough resources to succeed in the goals and you do not evaluate through analytics whether you’re achieving those goals.

2. you will not know your online audience or market share

Customer demand for online services could also be underestimated if you haven”t researched this. Perhaps, more importantly, you will not understand your online marketplace: the dynamics are going to be different from traditional channels with differing types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications. There are great tools available from the most digital platforms where we will determine the extent of customer demand, we recommend doing an enquiry gap analysis using Google’s Keyword planner to ascertain how you’re tapping into the intent of searchers to draw in them to your site, or see what percentage people curious about products or services or sector you’ll reach through Facebook IQ.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share

If you are not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

4. you do not have a strong online value proposition

A clearly defined online customer value proposition tailored to your different target customer personas will assist you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to interact initially and stay loyal. Developing a competitive content marketing strategy is vital to the present for several organizations since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing, and on your blog.

5. you do not know your online customers tolerably

It’s often said that digital is that the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes of visits, not the sentiment of tourists , what they think. you would like to use other sorts of website user feedback tools to spot your weak points then address them.

6. you are not integrated (“disintegrated”)

It’s only too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT, or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that thanks to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But in fact , it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels. We always recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy and once Digital Transformation is complete digital marketing activities are going to be a part of “> a part of your marketing plan and part of business as was common .

7. Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance

Insufficient resources are going to be dedicated to both planning and executing e-marketing and there’s likely to be a scarcity of specific specialist e-marketing skills which can make it difficult to reply to competitive threats effectively.

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication

Even if you are doing have sufficient resource it’s going to be wasted. this is often particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

9. you are not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead

If you check out the highest online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they’re all dynamic – trialing new approaches to realize or keep their online audiences.

10. you are not optimizing

Every company with an internet site will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t make sure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a technique enables you to urge the fundamentals right, then you’ll reach the continual improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email, and social media marketing. So that’s our top 10 problems which will be avoided with a well thought-through strategy.

So, the great news is that there are powerful reasons for creating a digital strategy and reworking your marketing which you’ll use to influence your colleagues and clients. there’s also now tons of experience from how other businesses have successfully integrated digital marketing into their activities as explained within the example digital plans, templates, and best practices in our digital marketing strategy toolkit.

Display Ad Ideas

Display Ad Ideas

8 Super Creative, Crazy Effective Display Ad Ideas

Display ads often yield abysmal click-through rates and even lower conversion rates. What accounts for their disappointing performance? It’s a matter of inbound vs. outbound marketing: Unlike search ads, display ads are not served to searchers who are actively looking for something. Instead, we tack image ads onto social feeds or informational sites with the hopes that they’ll distract users from their current activity and entice them to click through to our website. As if disrupting the user from their intended activity isn’t enough of a challenge, we’re also competing with other image ads, making for a pretty chaotic space.

display ad ideas

Rest assured, despite the not so favorable odds, you CAN design super-creative ads that break through the noise and captivate viewers, ultimately scoring clicks for your business. Here are 8 creative, effective image ad ideas to explore, using real examples from our own marketing campaigns and client accounts and backed by real data.

Creative Display Ad Tip #1: Consider Your Venue

It’s critical that you consider the platform on which you are displaying an ad before you design it. When it comes to social ads, you’re not just competing with other paid content, you’re competing with the users’ entire social network.

WordStream’s Paid Social Specialist, Brett McHale, says that social ads should “blend in AND stand out” on the page. Sounds pretty contradictory, huh? He goes on to explain that social content should be contextually relevant (meaning that it doesn’t look like an advertisement) and still grab readers’ attention with entertaining images and design elements like contrasting colors and negative space.

Want to create designer-quality display ads in minutes? Try our free Smart Ads Creator.

Using stock photos in social media ads will kill your performance. Instead, we recommend following Krista Neher’s “three R” strategy to drive your social content. Use real pictures of real things taken by real people. You can even solicit photos from your audience to use in these ads.

Michael Kors, the first brand invited to display ads on Instagram, has this practice down pat. Their ads feel native to the platform, yet still showcase their products. Their very first post, the first image above, resulted in a 370% increase in new followers.

Creative Display Ad Tip #2: Speak to Your Target Demographic

With display advertising, you have the opportunity to segment your audience based on their demographic details. Take advantage of this level of granularity and build ads that will resonate with each segment of your target audience.

Taking a “one size fits all” approach rarely yields great results for advertisers. For example, imagine a jeweler who specializes in women’s jewelry. He may be inclined to create ads geared toward a female audience, thinking this is target persona. However, upon examining his audience segments on a deeper level, he may find that a good portion of his audience is male and these men order more expensive items, likely as gifts. The jeweler should absolutely create another set of ads that resonate with a male audience.

One of our account managers, Allen Finn, shared a real-life example of this in a post on how small businesses can compete with the big guys. His team, who was working with a weight-loss client, recognized that, while men were less likely to click on their ads than women, they were significantly more likely to follow through with a conversion. In an effort to boost click-through rates for these ideal male prospects, they created this ad below.

The new ad yielded a significant uptick in click-through rates and astounding CPAs (3x less than the account average). As you can see, simply adjusting the ad content can pay dividends.

Want more tips? Here are 7 Steps to Master the Google Display Network.

Creative Display Ad Tip #3: Get Your Mind IN the Gutter

We’ve all heard it—sex sells. In fact, invoking sexual innuendo is one of the strongest and most effective marketing tactics. Of course, this tactic is nothing new. We can track it all the way back to 1871, when Pearl Tobacco began printing naked maidens on their packaging, leading to an abrupt uptick in sales. Fellow marketers took note and the strategy spread like…wildfire.

But before you start swapping all of the models in your image ads for scantily clad replacements, remember that most online advertising platforms have strict policies prohibiting erotic images in ads. To make it through the approval process, marketers must be stealthy and use images or messages that simply imply sex. I love this example, from Volkswagen. The image and copy is completely PG, but the innuendo is clear.

Here at WordStream, we stumbled upon success with this tactic completely by accident. We created a guide titled “69 Creative Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Business” and began promoting it through our social channels. Engagement rates for these shares soared, so we dove into the data and recognized that people were commenting and sharing the posts due to the (unintentionally racy) numerical reference in the title. Because it was gaining such visibility, we also saw an impressive number of people clicking on the URL to view the guide. Based on its success organically, we began using paid ads to promote this guide.

Creative Display Ad Tip #4: Go EMO

Leveraging emotional triggers in ad copy is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. According to Courtney Seiter, Content Marketing Manager at Buffer, the four “basic” emotions are happiness, sadness, surprise and anger or disgust. Humans respond to each of these emotions differently, but they all incite them to take action.

Earlier this year, we worked with a client to provided weight loss solutions. Originally, they were running the ad below which features a generic stock photo. Not only is the image easily overlooked, it hardly screams “it’s time to lose weight”. In fact, until you read the text blurb, it’s unclear that the ad has anything to do with weight-loss services.

Recognizing that this ad was destroying the campaign’s performance, our strategy team decided to take a vastly different approach. They wanted their ads to connect with viewers on a personal level, urging them to seek help immediately. To achieve this, they created an ad that provoked disgust.

It was served solely to a male audience and the results were astounding.  The grotesque image of the beer belly, coupled with the “size does matter” double-entendre, caught viewers’ attention. It hit home for those whose midsections looked strikingly similar, yielding a 47% higher CTR than the original ad. For more examples of “wins” with emotion ad copy, check out Helen’s post on the emotional science behind PPC ads.

Creative Display Ad Tip #5: Channel Your Inner Comedian

There’s no disputing that humor works wonders when it comes to advertising. In fact, according to a study published by the Journal of Marketing in 1993, when the humorous images and copy coincide with ad objectives, they are “more likely to secure audience attention, increase memorability, overcome sales resistance and enhance message persuasiveness”. Based on these findings, who wouldn’t want to integrate humor into their marketing strategy?

Unfortunately, there’s no secret sauce to building funny ad copy. We recommend brain storming with your team, customer focus groups and even turning to local comedians for inspiration. Even if you don’t have a super-exciting product offering, a little creativity can go a long way, as you can see in GoDaddy’s witty banner below.

When in doubt, borrow from widely-known cultural references (just be sure you’re abiding by the platform’s advertising guidelines). While the ad below isn’t hilarious in its own right, viewers associate it with Will Ferrell’s Anchorman movie, which is riddled with slapstick humor. The quote below the image, which is also from Anchorman, reiterates this. Even better, when users click to like it, the heart appears directly over both the ice cream and Ron Burgundy’s heart. Pretty clever, right?

Creative Display Ad Tip #6: Implement a Feel-Good Discount

I am the biggest sucker for discounts. A few years ago, a blue satin dress at TJ Maxx caught my eye. I didn’t love the style, but the fabric was pretty and the length was perfect for my stumpy, 5-foot-1 frame. I figured I’d give it a shot and headed to the changing room. I was on the fence about it, so I made a deal with myself—if it was below $75, I’d buy it, above $75 and it’d land in the discard pile.

I took a look at the price tag and, at $109, it came in over budget. However, I then noticed that it was a Stella McCartney, designer dress originally priced at $1,750. That’s discount of 94% off! Let me repeat, a NINETY-FOUR PERCENT discount. Needless to say, I made the purchase and, despite spending a little more than intended, I felt great about it, even proud.  I had scored an AMAZING discount.

Salma Hayek has the exact same dress! And yeah, she may have styled it better but I bet she didn’t score the same discount…

The bottom line here is that humans are more likely to follow through with a purchase when we feel like we’re getting a deal on it. Advertisers should take advantage of this and include special offers or discounts in their display ads.

To truly determine what resonates with your audience, experiment with multiple offers. In the example below, you can see that we experimented with two different options, Free Shipping and 50% off. The client’s click-through rates DOUBLED when we switched to the second offer. Another example might be to test a 50% discount versus $10 off the order.

Of course, you’ll need to be mindful of which offers make the most sense for your business model, but this tactic is definitely worth exploring!

Creative Display Ad Tip #7: Pick Your Color Palette Wisely

Every detail matters when you’re building your image ads and color choice is no exception. To choose the main color for your ad, consider the psychological association we have with different colors.

Source: KissMetrics’ Infographic, How Do Colors Affect Purchases?

Once you’ve chosen your primary color, pair it with a contrasting color to ensure that your text is easy to read and your CTA button is highly visible. Use the handy chart below for help picking the perfect combination.

Source: SnackToolsBlog Post 

Finally, when selecting your color scheme, consider the background on which your ads will be displayed. Of course, with the GDN this is often unknown and frequently changing. However, on social platforms you know exactly what backdrop you’re working with. For example, the Facebook platform is blue and white. Ads that are predominantly blue and white are at risk of blending in with the Newsfeed, thus garnering very little traffic. Instead, advertisers should use contrasting colors to make their ads stand out.

I love this example from Tough Mudder, which really pops on the newsfeed. Whose eyes wouldn’t be drawn to all that bright orange?

Creative Display Ad Tip #8: Shock Viewers with Unexpected Images

With ads cluttering the internet, it’s tough to create ads that stand out. One highly effective way to cut through the noise is to use audacious images to elicit a reaction from viewers. This technique, which has been dubbed “shockvertising”, evokes strong feelings among viewers, making them more likely to engage with the ad and remember it.

While digital advertisers should employ this wisely—steering clear of blood and gore, hypersexualized images and the like—a little creativity can go a long way with this tactic. I love the example above, which is for motor engine oil. The initial message “he burnt a newborn baby’s hand” paints the subject as a villain, but it goes on to say “but he save the rest of it from a burning building” turning him into a hero. They deftly intertwine this with the tagline “it’s what’s inside the counts.”

Finally, I’ll leave you with the advice I was given when building my first display ads—“When in doubt, turn to puppies or babies.”  They seem to do the trick, regardless of the product you’re selling or who your target audience is.

Source: www.wordstream.com

What is Social Media Marketing?

What is Social Media Marketing?

As I scroll through my Instagram feed a day (cough, cough…multiple times a day), I consistently notice new posts and stories by The Frye Company. I’ve always been a lover of their boots, clothing, and accessories, but I also love the content they share on their Instagram profile.

Their posts are on-brand, creative, and aesthetically pleasing. All of their photos have an equivalent filter on them to make sure they match — this makes their Instagram profile look professional, artistic, and arranged when visitors, like myself, browse their page.

Frye’s Instagram account also encourages interaction between the corporate and its followers by providing them with a selected hashtag to use in order that they are often featured on the account once they post a photograph with a Frye product.

Frye’s Instagram account may be a great example of successful social media marketing — it’s attractive, distinctly Frye engages their 197K followers, and promotes their products.

But why is social media marketing so important? Why does one have to spend time creating social media accounts for your business? and the way do you actually build a social media marketing strategy that’ll work for your specific sort of business?

In this guide, we’ll cover the answers to all or any of those questions — but first, let’s define social media marketing.

→ Free Download: Social Media Calendar Template [Access Now]
What Is Social Media Marketing?
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social Media Marketing Resources

What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the act of making content to market your business and products on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your unique content should be tailored to the precise platform it’s being shared on to assist you to boost conversions and increase brand awareness.

Social media marketing is all about meeting your audience and customers where they’re and as they socially interact with one another and your brand.

While social media marketing as an entire is incredibly valuable and beneficial to your business growth (as you will see within the following section), your strategy will differ supported which social networks your audience spends their time on.

Before we dig deeper into social media marketing, let’s segment the strategy by the platform.

Users: 2.2 billion
Audience: generation X and millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand awareness; advertising
Users: 335 billion
Audience: Primarily millennials
Industry impact: B2B and B2C
Best for: Public relations; customer service
Users: One billion
Audience: Primarily millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for Natural-looking media, behind-the-scenes, and user-generated content; advertising
Users: 645 million
Audience: Baby boomers, generation X, and millennials
Industry impact: B2B
Best for: B2B relationships, business development, and employment marketing
Users: 1.9 billion
Audience: Millennials, closely followed by Generation Z
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand awareness; entertainment, and how-to videos
Users: 300 million
Audience: Primarily Generation Z
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand awareness; advertising
Users: 250 million
Audience: Primarily older millennials and younger baby boomers
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Visual advertising; inspiration
Now that we’ve detailed the basics of every social media network, let’s discuss why social media marketing is useful for your business.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing
There is a spread of reasons why your company should use social media marketing. We’ve created an inventory of the four most beneficial reasons to think about.

Let’s dive in.

  1. Increase Brand Awareness
    In 2018, there have been over 3.2 billion people on social media globally. thanks to the sheer amount of individuals on social media, you’ll see why ensuring your business is sharing content associated with your products also as details about your company via a platform or two has the potential to assist you to improve brand awareness.

In fact, social media has been proven to spice up brand awareness by driving up engagement. Social engagement includes things like comments, likes, shares, and re-posts. Social media also helps you increase brand awareness by directing traffic straight to your site. you’ll do that by including direct links to your website in your profile, bio, and posts.

Featured Resource

How to Build a Brand for Your Company

  1. Generate Leads and Boost Conversions
    Promoting and sharing your products on social media may be a simple thanks to improving lead generation, boost conversions, and increase sales because you’re advertising to people that have opted to interact with you by following your account.

Here are some samples of ways you’ll use social media to get more leads.

Create contests for your visitors and followers to participate in on your social media profiles.
Include links to your website and offers within the bio sections of your profiles.
Host live videos to form announcements about products and supply updates or details about exciting news at your company.
Implement a social media marketing campaign on one of your channels.
Sell your products through your social profiles. for instance, you’ll enable Facebook’s Shop Section or Instagram’s Shopping feature on your profiles. These features allow your visitors and followers to click on products you’ve shared in posts to look at information like price, material, and size. Then, visitors can easily proceed to checkout through the platform and buy the merchandise directly from you.

  1. Foster Relationships With Customers
    By connecting and interesting together with your social media followers, you’ll be ready to build lasting relationships between them and your business. you’ll do that by interacting with them on your posts, responding to their questions and comments, and providing them with any help they’ll need.

You can also ask your followers questions on your products, their pain points, or create giveaways to assist you to build trust and show them what proportion you value their input and support.

What are your tips for optimizing blog posts? Share them with me in the comments below!

Like this guide? Don’t forget to share it!

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Seo (Search Engine Optimization)

Seo (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO Optimization – Learn to Optimize for SEO

This guide will be an introduction to and overview of search engine optimization (SEO), a hugely important tactic for driving traffic to your site.

In this guide you’ll learn:

What is SEO & Why is it Important?

  1. SEO Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices
  2. On-Page Optimization Best Practices

Let’s get started!

A search query like “I want to buy car” displays clear commercial intent

People are searching for any manner of things directly related to your business. Beyond that, your prospects are also searching for all kinds of things that are only loosely related to your business. These represent even more opportunities to connect with those folks and help answer their questions, solve their problems, and become a trusted resource for them.

Are you more likely to get your widgets from a trusted resource who offered great information each of the last four times you turned to Google for help with a problem, or someone you’ve never heard of?

What Actually Works for Driving SEO Traffic from Search Engines?

It’s important to note that Google is responsible for the majority of the search engine traffic in the world. This may vary from one industry to another, but it’s likely that Google is the dominant player in the search results that your business or website would want to show up in, but the best practices outlined in this guide will help you to position your site and its content to rank in other search engines, as well.

learn seo basics

Google dominates among search engines, but don’t sleep on sites like Yahoo and Bing

So how does Google determine which pages to return in response to what people search for? How do you get all of this valuable traffic to your site?

Google’s algorithm is extremely complex, but at a high level:

  • Google is looking for pages that contain high-quality, relevant information relevant to the searcher’s query.
  • Google’s algorithm determines relevance by “crawling” (or reading) your website’s content and evaluating (algorithmically) whether that content is relevant to what the searcher is looking for, based on the keywords it contains and other factors (known as “ranking signals”).
  • Google determines “quality” by a number of means, but a site’s link profile – the number and quality of other websites that link to a page and site as a whole – is among the most important.

Increasingly, additional ranking signals are being evaluated by Google’s algorithm to determine where a site will rank, such as:

  • How people engage with a site (Do they find the information they need and remain on the site, or do they “bounce” back to the search page and click on another link? Or do they just ignore your listing in search results altogether and never click-through?)
  • A site’s loading speed and “mobile friendliness”
  • How much unique content a site has (versus “thin” or duplicated, low-value content)

There are hundreds of ranking factors that Google’s algorithm considers in response to searches, and Google is constantly updating and refining its process to ensure that it delivers the best possible user experience.

2. SEO Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices

The first step in search engine optimization is to determine what you’re actually optimizing for. This means identifying terms people are searching for, also known as “keywords,” that you want your website to rank for in search engines like Google.

For example, you may want your widget company to show up when people look for “widgets,” and maybe when they type in things like “buy widgets.” The figure below shows search volume, or the estimated number of searches for a specific term, over a period of time:

search volume for seo keywords

Tracking SEO keywords across various time periods

There are several key factors to take into account when determining the keywords you want to target on your site:

  • Search Volume – The first factor to consider is how many people are actually searching for a given keyword. The more people there are searching for a keyword, the bigger the potential audience you stand to reach. Conversely, if no one is searching for a keyword, there is no audience available to find your content through search.
  • Relevance – A term may be frequently searched for, but that does not necessarily mean that it is relevant to your prospects. Keyword relevance, or the connection between content on a site and the user’s search query, is a crucial ranking signal.
  • Competition – Keywords with higher search volume can drive significant amounts of traffic, but competition for premium positioning in the search engine results pages can be intense.

First you need to understand who your prospective customers are and what they’re likely to search for. From there you need to understand:

  • What types of things are they interested in?
  • What problems do they have?
  • What type of language do they use to describe the things that they do, the tools that they use, etc.?
  • Who else are they buying things from?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have an initial “seed list” of possible keywords and domains to help you find additional keyword ideas and to put some search volume and competition metrics around.

Take the list of core ways that your prospects and customers describe what you do, and start to input those into keyword tools like Google’s own keyword tool or tools like WordStream’s keyword tool:

wordstream seo keyword tool

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool for SEO

Additionally, if you have an existing site, you’re likely getting some traffic from search engines already. If that’s the case, you can use some of your own keyword data to help you understand which terms are driving traffic (and which you might be able to rank a bit better for).

Unfortunately, Google has stopped delivering a lot of the information about what people are searching for to analytics providers. Google does make some of this data available in their free Webmaster Tools interface (if you haven’t set up an account, this is a very valuable SEO tool both for unearthing search query data and for diagnosing various technical SEO issues).

Once you’ve taken the time to understand your prospects, have looked at the keywords driving traffic to your competitors and related sites, and have looked at the terms driving traffic to your own site, you need to work to understand which terms you can conceivably rank for and where the best opportunities actually lie.

Determining the relative competition of a keyword can be a fairly complex task. At a very high level, you need to understand:

  • How trusted and authoritative (in other words: how many links does the whole site get, and how high quality, trusted, and relevant are those linking sites?) other entire sites that will be competing to rank for the same term are
  • How well aligned they are with the keyword itself (do they offer a great answer to that searcher’s question)
  • How popular and authoritative each individual page in that search result is (in other words: how many links does the page itself have, and how high quality, trusted, and relevant are those linking sites?)

You can dive deeper into the process of determining how competitive keywords are by using WordStream founder Larry Kim’s competitive index formula.

3. On-Page Optimization for SEO

Once you have your keyword list, the next step is actually implementing your targeted keywords into your site’s content. Each page on your site should be targeting a core term, as well as a “basket” of related terms. In his overview of the perfectly optimized page, Rand Fishkin offers a nice visual of what a well (or perfectly) optimized page looks like:

perfectly seo optimized page

The “Perfectly Optimized Page” (via Moz)

Let’s look at a few critical, basic on-page elements you’ll want to understand as you think about how to drive search engine traffic to your website:

Title Tags

While Google is working to better understand the actual meaning of a page and de-emphasizing (and even punishing) aggressive and manipulative use of keywords, including the term (and related terms) that you want to rank for in your pages is still valuable. And the single most impactful place you can put your keyword is your page’s title tag.

The title tag is not your page’s primary headline. The headline you see on the page is typically an H1 (or possibly an H2) HTML element. The title tag is what you can see at the very top of your browser, and is populated by your page’s source code in a meta tag:

title tags for seo

Your title tag matches your organic result headline: Make it clickable

The length of a title tag that Google will show will vary (it’s based on pixels, not character counts) but in general 55-60 characters is a good rule of thumb here. If possible you want to work in your core keyword, and if you can do it in a natural and compelling way, add some related modifiers around that term as well. Keep in mind though: the title tag will frequently be what a searcher sees in search results for your page. It’s the “headline” in organic search results, so you also want to take how clickable your title tag is into account.

Meta Descriptions

While the title tag is effectively your search listing’s headline, the meta description (another meta HTML element that can be updated in your site’s code, but isn’t seen on your actual page) is effectively your site’s additional ad copy. Google takes some liberties with what they display in search results, so your meta description may not always show, but if you have a compelling description of your page that would make folks searching likely to click, you can greatly increase traffic. (Remember: showing up in search results is just the first step! You still need to get searchers to come to your site, and then actually take the action you want.)

Here’s an example of a real world meta description showing in search results:

Meta descriptions = SEO “ad copy”

Body Content

The actual content of your page itself is, of course, very important. Different types of pages will have different “jobs” – your cornerstone content asset that you want lots of folks to link to needs to be very different than your support content that you want to make sure your users find and get an answer from quickly. That said, Google has been increasingly favoring certain types of content, and as you build out any of the pages on your site, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Thick & Unique Content – There is no magic number in terms of word count, and if you have a few pages of content on your site with a handful to a couple hundred words you won’t be falling out of Google’s good graces, but in general recent Panda updates in particular favor longer, unique content. If you have a large number (think thousands) of extremely short (50-200 words of content) pages or lots of duplicated content where nothing changes but the page’s title tag and say a line of text, that could get you in trouble. Look at the entirety of your site: are a large percentage of your pages thin, duplicated and low value? If so, try to identify a way to “thicken” those pages, or check your analytics to see how much traffic they’re getting, and simply exclude them (using a noindex meta tag) from search results to keep from having it appear to Google that you’re trying to flood their index with lots of low value pages in an attempt to have them rank.
  • Engagement – Google is increasingly weighting engagement and user experience metrics more heavily. You can impact this by making sure your content answers the questions searchers are asking so that they’re likely to stay on your page and engage with your content. Make sure your pages load quickly and don’t have design elements (such as overly aggressive ads above the content) that would be likely to turn searchers off and send them away.
  • “Sharability” – Not every single piece of content on your site will be linked to and shared hundreds of times. But in the same way you want to be careful of not rolling out large quantities of pages that have thin content, you want to consider who would be likely to share and link to new pages you’re creating on your site before you roll them out. Having large quantities of pages that aren’t likely to be shared or linked to doesn’t position those pages to rank well in search results, and doesn’t help to create a good picture of your site as a whole for search engines, either.

Alt Attributes

How you mark up your images can impact not only the way that search engines perceive your page, but also how much search traffic from image search your site generates. An alt attribute is an HTML element that allows you to provide alternative information for an image if a user can’t view it. Your images may break over time (files get deleted, users have difficulty connecting to your site, etc.) so having a useful description of the image can be helpful from an overall usability perspective. This also gives you another opportunity – outside of your content – to help search engines understand what your page is about.

You don’t want to “keyword stuff” and cram your core keyword and every possible variation of it into your alt attribute. In fact, if it doesn’t fit naturally into the description, don’t include your target keyword here at all. Just be sure not to skip the alt attribute, and try to give a thorough, accurate description of the image (imagine you’re describing it to someone who can’t see it – that’s what it’s there for!).

By writing naturally about your topic, you’re avoiding “over-optimization” filters (in other words: it doesn’t make it look like you’re trying to trick Google into ranking your page for your target keyword) and you give yourself a better chance to rank for valuable modified “long tail” variations of your core topic.

URL Structure

Your site’s URL structure can be important both from a tracking perspective (you can more easily segment data in reports using a segmented, logical URL structure), and a shareability standpoint (shorter, descriptive URLs are easier to copy and paste and tend to get mistakenly cut off less frequently). Again: don’t work to cram in as many keywords as possible; create a short, descriptive URL.

Moreover: if you don’t have to, don’t change your URLs. Even if your URLs aren’t “pretty,” if you don’t feel as though they’re negatively impacting users and your business in general, don’t change them to be more keyword focused on “better SEO.” If you do have to change your URL structure, make sure to use the proper (301 permanent) type of redirect. This is a common mistake business make when they redesign their websites.

Schema & Markup

Finally, once you have all of the standard on-page elements taken care of, you can consider going a step further and better helping Google (and other search engines, which also recognize schema) to understand your page.

Schema markup does not make your page show up higher in search results (it’s not a ranking factor, currently). It does give your listing some additional “real estate” in the search results, the way ad extensions do for your AdWords ads.

In some search results, if no one else is using schema, you can get a nice advantage in click-through rate by virtue of the fact that your site is showing things like ratings while others don’t. In other search results, where everyone is using schema, having reviews may be “table stakes” and you might be hurting your CTR by omitting them:

Afford your organic results more real estate by adding markup and schema

There are a variety of different types of markup you can include on your site – most probably won’t apply to your business, but it’s likely that at least one form of markup will apply to at least some of your site’s pages

Further SEO Reading & Resources

This guide is intended to serve as an introduction to SEO. For a more in-depth overview of content creation for SEO, the technical considerations of which you should be aware, and other related topics, read Tom Demers’ comprehensive introductory guide to SEO basics

Source: https://www.wordstream.com/seo

Content Marketing

A type of promoting that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that doesn’t expressly promote a complete however is meant to stimulate interest in its merchandise or services.

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What will content mean in marketing?
Enter content selling. Content selling could be a strategic selling approach targeted on making and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to draw in and retain a clearly outlined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable client action.

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Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate promoting is that the method of earning financial gain each time you promote somebody else merchandise or services. If you generate a procurement for the corporate, you get paid. If you do not generate a procurement, you are doing not get paid.

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