Digital Marketing

How to Create an Effective Digital Marketing Action Plan

Digital Marketing Action Plan

Digital Marketing

An effective digital marketing action plan consists of understanding your audience, creating SMART goals, utilizing the appropriate tools, analyzing your online presence, creating content, and launching and optimizing your campaign.

The number of Internet users worldwide is growing each year. In 2023, the numbers are projected to grow to 317.1 million in the US alone. 

Statista Internet users Growth
Source: Statista

And what does this mean for your business? Without a digital marketing action plan, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to grow your customer base. 

However, coming up with a digital marketing strategy to support your business goals may seem overwhelming. This is especially true for small- and medium-scale businesses. 

But with a step-by-step action plan below, I will guide you to create an effective digital marketing strategy for your business. But before I delve into that, let me first define what digital marketing strategy and campaigns are.

 

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy? 

A digital marketing strategy is a plan of action that you, the business, implement to achieve your desired goals (emphasis on goals). 

Identifying goals is a crucial step here because a strategy will revolve around the goal or multiple goals. 

For instance, your business goal is to increase sales by 3% by the end of the quarter. To do this, your strategy may involve generating twice the website traffic in the following months. 

Your strategy, which involves a series of actions, should work toward your business goal. 

But how? 

A strategy may utilize one or multiple marketing channels to support what you want to achieve. These online marketing channels include paid media, earned media, and owned media. 

Later, I will discuss the owned, earned, and paid media framework in great detail in the succeeding sections. Keep on reading to learn more about these marketing channels. 

 

What is a Digital Marketing Campaign? 

With a strategy in place, the next step is to set your plan of action in motion. This is where digital marketing campaigns come in. 

A digital marketing campaign is the building blocks within your strategy. These are the actions you take to achieve your desired goal. 

But isn’t it basically the same with digital strategy? 

Think of it this way: 

Digital Marketing Campaign Simplified

Goal > Strategy > Campaign 

Within your goal is a strategy, and within a strategy is a campaign.  

In a strategy, you identify the what, who, where, when, and why of achieving a goal. In a campaign, you answer the how. 

Digital Marketing Strategy & Campaign Example 

To illustrate, let’s take a look at Red Bull’s example below: 

Redbull Marketing Example

Red Bull has established itself as a brand that focuses on sports, culture, and lifestyle. This is all thanks to its digital marketing campaign utilizing articles and videos about the latest happenings in the sports community. 

Its strategy involves using owned media (what), creating content and experiences that would resonate with people even if they don’t care about energy drinks. 

Red Bull’s content is catered to extreme sports fans (who) and is distributed through various platforms including their website and social accounts (where). 

The brand’s campaign to appeal to sports fans via relatable content and experiences (how) makes it an unbeatable marketing powerhouse. 

While achieving what Red Bull has reached may seem unlikely as no marketer has a perfect first marketing campaign, you can still follow some steps to help you achieve the best results for your business. 

Read on to know how you can create a digital marketing action plan. 

 

How to Create a Digital Marketing Action Plan 

  1. Understand Your Audience 
  2. Create a List of Goals 
  3. Identify What Tools Can Help You Reach Your Goals 
  4. Analyze Your Current Online Presence 
  5. Create High-Quality Content 
  6. Launch, Analyze, and Relaunch 

1. Understand Your Audience 

It is crucial to any marketing strategy to understand its audience. Knowing who they are, where they hang out, what are their needs and problems, and other vital information can help you craft an effective strategy. 

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t even know what message to give them. You won’t know what media to use, or where to find them. 

That’s why it’s essential to understand your audience. 

Demographics and Psychographics 

But what kind of information should you gather about your target audience? There are two kinds of information to make an informed digital marketing strategy. 

Demographic Information 

Demographics are the quantitative data of your target audience. These are measurable characteristics that can be a useful insight when crafting your strategy. 

  • Location 
  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Income 
  • Job title 
Psychographic Information 

Psychographics are qualitative data that forecast consumer behavior. These less measurable characteristics determine the following: 

  • Goals 
  • Personality traits 
  • Hobbies and interests 
  • Values 
  • Lifestyles 
  • Priorities 
  • Opinions 

It takes more than knowing their demographics to better understand your audience. You also have to take into consideration their psychographic information to come up with an effective digital marketing strategy. And the above items are just some starting-points. 

Knowing your audience’s demographics and psychographics helps you: 

  • Create an accurate list of topics for content 
  • Find keywords to target 
  • Optimize content 
  • Deliver a message that resonates to your audience 
  • Set up your pages for a more effective conversion 
  • Provide a great user experience 
  • Find key influencers in your niche 

How to Reach Your Online Target Audience 

Now, the million-dollar question is: “How do you know your audience better?” 

Search Engine Journal outlines some key steps to understand your audience so your digital marketing strategy can reach them. 

Conduct market research 

Nothing beats good old market research to obtain your audience’s demographics and psychographics. 

Market research allows you to get as many details as possible about your prospects. But most importantly, you can get this acquired information to build buyer personas. 

Here are some methods to gather your much-needed information. 

  • Reach out to the sales team 
  • Gather data using tools 
  • Perform social listening 
  • Create a quantitative survey 
  • Conduct interviews (qualitative research) 
Build your buyer personas 

The use of buyer persona is an indispensable tactic in digital marketing. In fact, research shows that marketers who utilize it achieve 73% higher conversions than those who don’t. 

But what exactly is it? 

A buyer persona represents your ideal customer. But it isn’t just a simple buyer profile. This information is based on real data to ensure your marketing strategy is in the right direction. 

That’s why it is essential to conduct a market research first to come up with the closest representation of your target audience. This will evolve overtime and should continue to be updated as you learn more about your audience. 

Identify influencers in your niche 

Influencers, without a doubt, can help build awareness and sales for your brand. To put that in numbers, eight out of 10 consumers buy something after seeing a recommendation from an influencer. 

But for influencers to be effective, you need to choose one that is relevant to your target audience. For instance, if your audience is into a healthy and active lifestyle, you might want to find and reach out to a popular fitness blogger. 

But aside from the niche, here are some considerations when you are looking for influencers: 

  • Pay attention to engagement 
  • Ensure the influencer believes in your brand 
  • Know how much the influencer is worth 

Once you’ve created your list, narrow it down by getting to know your prospective influencers. Take the time to check out his posts before reaching out to them. 

Don’t forget to communicate your brand objectives and expectation when you speak with them. 

2. Create a List of Goals You Want to Achieve 

Previously, we’ve touched the importance of setting goals to create an effective strategy. Without them, you wouldn’t know where you’re headed, much more if your strategy is working. 

Goals are crucial, but just how do digital marketing goals look like? And how do you come up with these for your business? 

Below, find out some common examples of digital marketing goals as well as business goals. Also, discover the SMART way of creating a list of goals for your digital marketing strategy. 

Examples of Common Business Goals 

Remember that the most important thing about goal-setting is to align your digital marketing goals with your business goals. That’s why you must first define your business objectives before you come up with digital marketing goals, which include: 

  • Drive more sales 
  • Raise more revenue 
  • Increase profits 
  • Grow brand awareness 
  • Reach new audiences or demographics 
  • Secure funding 
  • Enter new markets or territories 
  • Develop stronger relationships with stakeholders 
  • Expand market share 

Examples of Common Digital Marketing Goals 

With your business goals defined, it is only then that you can create a list of goals for your digital marketing strategy. To give you an idea, here are some common goals that marketing teams come up with to support their overarching goals. 

  • Improve conversion rates 
  • Drive more click-throughs on paid ads  
  • Increase website traffic 
  • Get more website or social media engagement 
  • Grow an email list 
  • Gain more social media followers 

SMART Goals of Digital Marketing 

Smart Goals in Digital Marketing

When it comes to goal-setting, you should be SMART. And by that, I mean your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

The SMART framework works best in digital marketing because of the following: 

  • It gives you a clear direction 
  • Allows you to use time and resources productively 
  • Focus efforts 
  • Ensure goals are relevant to business 
  • Emphasizes the role of measuring results 

Ultimately, having SMART goals can increase your chances of achieving your desired result. 

Here are some examples of how to leverage SMART goals in your digital marketing strategy: 

  • Specific – Be specific to make your goals clear to anyone who has a basic knowledge of the campaign. 
    • Example: I would like to increase our brand awareness by growing our Facebook page following. 
  • Measurable – The success of the goal should be measurable in numbers. 
    • Example: I would like to double the number of follows on our Facebook page. 
  • Attainable – Your goals should be realistic—targets not too high or too low. Ensure that you have all the resources to achieve your goals. 
    • Example: I would like to gain more followings by allotting a certain budget on Facebook sponsored posts. 
  • Relevant – Your digital marketing goals should support the overarching goals of your business. 
    • Example: I want to drive more traffic to my website by building our Facebook presence since that is where our audience hangs out.
  • Time-based – Deadlines are crucial so you won’t end up aimlessly exerting efforts without an idea when should you stop. Determine how much time you need to achieve your goals. 
    • Example: I would like to run a Facebook sponsored post for two months to double my following. 

3. Identify What Tools Can Help You Reach Your Goals 

Tools are essential before, during, and after running a campaign. 

There are plenty of digital marketing tools out there that makes executing your strategy easier. From organizing your to-do list, automating tedious tasks, and tracking your progress, you can find a tool that best suits your needs. 

I curated some of our favorite tools to get you started. 

Organization Tools 

With a team working on your digital marketing campaign, it’s easy to lose track of tasks. This is where these organization tools come in handy. To maximize organization and productivity, here are some tools that can keep your marketing team updated with what’s happening in the campaign. 

Trello Marketing Strategy Screenshot
Trello 

A simple visual project management tool, Trello’s system of boards and cards makes it easy to keep up with a list of to-do tasks, ongoing tasks, and completed tasks. Create lists, add labels, assign teammates, set deadlines, and make it easy for everyone to visualize each step of the campaign. 

Slack

This communication service appeals to small and medium companies because it allows them to create channels specific for certain information. For instance, you can create a channel for #Copywriting to talk about everything-copies there. Slack is all about focused collaboration so the team won’t get distracted by conversations about where to go for lunch. 

Evernote 

Leave notes in one place for everyone in the team to see. With the Evernote tool, you can store important notes, organize research, draft blog posts, save articles, and access them for later use. 

Automation Tools 

Automation tools save precious time that you could use for other tasks. These tools will allow your team to focus your efforts on other things that support your campaign. 

Mailchimp Automation Screenshot
MailChimp

If you’re looking to automate email drip campaigns, MailChimp got you covered. This tool offers intelligent email marketing features including personalizing, behavioral targeting and automating emails. 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is popular among marketers for its social media post scheduling feature. This is a real savior as it takes Facebook posting, tweeting, LinkedIn updates, and scheduling YouTube videos done on a single platform. 

HubSpot

HubSpot offers advanced marketing solutions for businesses. This goes beyond automating email as it puts lead nurturing, managing data in bulk, notifications, and other tasks on auto-pilot. 

Tracking Tools 

Jeff Bullas, one of the top online marketing influencers today, provides a great resource of digital marketing tools that you should check out. My favorites among his tracking tool recommendations include: 

Jeff Bullas Google Analytics Screenshot
Google Analytics

GA is a tool that should not be missing from a marketer’s arsenal. It’s free, powerful, and offers insightful data about your website. 

This tool allows you to see who’s visiting your website, and which pages they spend most of their time. It also has a goal feature that enables you to track events, conversions, and a lot more.  Check out HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics if you want to learn how to use this amazing tool. 

Google Search Console

Another free tool from Google, this tool gives you information about which queries bring users to your website. It also offers insight on your site’s clicks, impressions, and position on Google Search. 

To utilize this tool, here’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide to Google Search Console by Moz. 

SEMRush 

What I love about SEMrush is it allows users to track the position of the keywords they are trying to rank on search engines. 

But it doesn’t stop there. SEMRush is also a handy tool for anything digital marketing—from SEO, PPC, link building, traffic analysis, and more. 

The above tools are only a few of the many that can make your job a little more painless. Now, identify what tools you need that can help you reach your goals. 

4. Analyze Your Current Online Presence 

How is your online presence doing at the moment? Are your prospects finding you on search engines like Google? Are you getting enough leads without paying for advertising? Do your competitors show up for high-volume keywords? 

A thorough audit of your online presence (e.g. website, editorial content, social accounts, etc.) will give you a clear picture of where you are standing right now. It identifies and rectifies potential issues that weigh down the performance of your business. 

What worked? What didn’t? Which platforms performed best? 

Analyzing your current online presence plays a key role in a successful digital marketing strategy. And a good start to do this is by looking at your available digital marketing channels. 

The Owned, Earned and Paid Media Framework 

Categorizing your digital assets as owned, earned, or paid media lets you identify how your content reaches your target audience. Below, let’s take a look at the media framework you may already be using. 

Owned Media 

Owned media refers to the digital assets that your business owns and has complete control over. This can be your website, blog posts, and social accounts, among others. 

Owned media always takes the form of content. It can even be off-site blogs that you own, such as the ones you publish on Business 2 Community and Medium. 

It is essential that you audit and plan your owned media to build a more effective digital marketing strategy, which I will discuss more in Step 5 of this guide. 

Earned Media 

When people speak about your brand through press mentions, social shares, and reviews, those are “earned” media. 

What’s great about earned media is that it reaches a new set of audience, and you don’t have to pay for it. 

It also buids stronger trust and loyalty. We of course will say great things about ourselves. When those are also echoed by third parties is helps your brand and increase sales. 

Paid Media 

Paid media also gets you in front of your audience, but it comes with a price, literally. 

In this category, you have to pay for media placements to reach more people. This can be in the form of PPC, Facebook Sponsored Post, and Google Ads, among others. 

Here’s a great image from Search Engine Journal that summarizes the digital marketing trifecta: 

Search Engine Journal Digital marketing Mix

The Mix: Combining Two or More Types 

A common misconception is that you only need owned media in your marketing efforts. While it’s true that owned media is indispensable, it is not enough. 

A great digital marketing strategy combines these categories to get better results. 

For instance, getting your audience to read your blog post (owned) may be a challenge with so much online content vying for attention these days. If that’s the case, you may consider tapping into influencers (paid) who may be interested in your blog. If your content is relevant and good enough, people may share them on their social profiles (earned). 

Now, you have all these channels working together to significantly grow your visibility. 

5. Create High-Quality Content 

Now that you’ve taken a better look at your channels, it is time to evaluate existing content to make a well-informed editorial calendar. 

A good start here is to analyze content gaps. 

A Look Into Content Gaps 

Content gaps are areas in content that could be improved upon. 

For instance, if you’re writing a post about web design, you may find that the content on Google’s First Page may be outdated, lacking examples, or difficult to understand. 

Those are gaps that you could fill with your content. And because you are improving those gaps, you are able to create better content. 

Some best practices to spot content gaps include: 

  • Evaluating Google’s first page 
  • Using gap analysis tools such as SEMrush to scale the process 
  • Auditing your own content 

Creating Your Editorial Calendar 

With these content gaps in mind, you can now fill your editorial calendar with valuable articles and blog posts to write about. 

But what is an editorial calendar in the first place? 

An editorial calendar is a publishing schedule that documents your content efforts. With an editorial calendar, you can track publish dates, authors, content types, and promotional channels you set for your digital marketing strategy. 

Editorial calendars may take the form of spreadsheets or software. Either way, you need to answer the following questions to determine how your editorial calendar should look like. 

  • What platform will you use to manage the calendar? 
  • How many people will use the calendar? 
  • Do you create more than one type of content? 
  • How frequently are you publishing content? 
  • What stages will the content go through before it’s published? 

With an editorial calendar in place, you can plan strategically, fill gaps, track content, improve scheduling, and manage your editorial team more effectively and efficiently. 

Learn How to Create High-Quality Content 

There are a lot of considerations before one could come up with high-quality content. And what better way to learn about these from the experts themselves? 

Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, a Wall Street Journal’s best-selling author and a digital marketing pioneer, shares a lot of tips about writing high-quality content on her blog

From developing a strong tone of voice, short-form and long-form storytelling to writing better and making boring writing fun again, she discusses some key elements of great content. 

6. Launch, Analyze, and Relaunch 

It’s the moment you’ve all been preparing for. When you completed all the steps above, it is time to finally execute your strategy. 

Giving yourself enough time to prepare before the launch of a campaign significantly increases your chance of achieving your goals. 

With all these goal-setting, planning, and organizing, you’re one step closer to success. In fact, CoSchedule’s annual State of Marketing Strategy Survey of more than 3,000 marketers found the following: 

Coschedule Digital Marketing Action Plan Stats

But you can’t rest easy yet. 

There is always the possibility that you might not experience what you had hoped for once you launch your digital marketing campaign. And that’s an inevitable part of the process. 

That’s why your campaign shouldn’t go untouched once you press the “Launch” button. 

What you should do is to continuously monitor and improve your campaigns. Adapting in real-time and your willingness to make small and big changes can make the big difference between a winning and losing campaign. 

Relaunching with Adjusted Strategy 

In case your marketing strategy doesn’t work as planned, here are some ways to adapt to the situation: 

Give it more time, or adjust 

Some digital tactics start working immediately like PPC while others take a long time to pay off such as SEO

Short-term strategies should improve over time when you make adjustments based on available information. For a long-term strategy, give your campaign more time. Otherwise, adjust using the approaches below. 

Be different 

Based on the data you gathered from the duration of the campaign, adjust your strategy to make it unique. With so many competitors vying for your audience’s attention, you have to stand out. 

For instance, find out what your competitors are saying. Then, change your brand messaging in a way that only you are the one saying it. This could get your brand cut through the noise. 

Offer more value 

People always want something valuable in return. Whether it’s an affordable product, discounts, freebies, or more useful content, they are more likely to notice your business depending on your offers. 

If your campaign doesn’t get enough interactions, it might mean that you have to consider increasing the value of your offer. Incentivize and win some customers. 

Retarget to fit your audience 

Say, your ads are not getting enough clicks from your target audience. This could mean that your message is not resonating enough with that group of people. If that’s the case, revisit your buyer personas and conduct some new research about your demographics. You may be targeting the wrong group that you may have to retarget your ads. 

Segment (and AB test) your strategy 

Alternatively, you could get better results by running AB tests. Test different personas, types of messages, and channels to see which ones perform better. Doing so lets you understand which marketing elements work and which don’t. 

Try a new strategy 

If all else fails, be ready to try another strategy. 

While your previous strategy may seem like a failure, this doesn’t mean it’s for nothing. Remember that digital marketing strategies are hardly total successes or total failures. Whether your campaign performs well or poorly, there are always opportunities to learn, and then begin anew. 

Again, no marketer has a perfect first marketing campaign. Take these learnings to further improve your digital marketing strategy. 

 

Final Thoughts 

To conclude, a digital marketing action plan is crucial to map out the actions you’re going to take to achieve your overarching goals. 

Yes, creating an effective digital marketing action plan may seem an overwhelming task. But with this guide, it’s never impossible. 

If you need help developing a digital marketing strategy for your business, do not hesitate to contact me

What step in this guide are you currently working with? 

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What Is Lead Generation In Digital Marketing?

Lead Generation in Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

In today’s developed market, lead generation becomes crucial for the survival of businesses, especially during this time. Your business can grow or become extinct based on how many leads you are able to generate. 

Lead generation in digital marketing is about crafting valuable content for your audience & guiding them through a funnel that ultimately results in a sale.

To help you keep your head above the water and even thrive in today’s highly competitive business environment, I’ve put together a complete guide about lead generation. In this article, you will discover: 

  • What are leads 
  • What defines a high-quality lead 
  • How to generate high-quality leads 
  • Tips to increase the number of leads you get leveraging the power of digital marketing 

By the end of this lead generation guide, you’ll be able to grasp the ins and outs of lead generation fully, and you’ll know how to get your own high-quality leads to keep your business flourishing despite any setbacks and challenges. 

 

What is a Lead? 

So what is a lead? A lead can be defined as a “prospective customer who lands on your page or gets into your marketing funnel and provides their contact information.” Simply put, a lead is a potential buyer who leaves their contact information and agrees for you to contact them, either by phone or email. 

The Buyers Journey in Lead Generation

A site visitor can turn into a lead when they either register for an event on your site, call you, or contact you via live chat. If you have an upcoming webinar or a useful eBook, you can “gate” these assets and request for the email/phone number of your site visitors. Those who want to access these assets need to leave their name and contact information, turning them into a lead. 

A site visitor who turns into a lead is eager to learn more about your products, services, or to find out valuable information that can help them. Even if most leads do not buy right from the start, as they are either in the awareness or the consideration stages, your chances of converting them into sales can grow considerably if you manage to “re-heat” your leads. I will detail the entire process later on. 

 

The Importance of Generating Leads Today 

According to a report by Nurture HQ, generating sales-ready, high-quality leads is one of the top priorities for modern digital marketers. 

Smart marketers have understood that they need to employ the most innovative marketing techniques in order to turn today’s information-savvy users into leads. 

Generating leads has become a must because of the digitization of our economy. 

Almost all types of transactions are moving online. Banks are turning to digital onboarding, B2B companies are selling their services and products via their websites, and even realtors are using 3D mockups to sell houses and properties via the internet. 

With more and more shoppers using the internet to purchase products and services, you need to have a strong presence online if you want to grow your business and outsmart your competitors. 

Because most people tend to buy after multiple interactions, you need to have a proper attribution model in place. This means that you need to be aware of how much a particular technique in your funnel has contributed to the conversion.

Staying on top of the data you receive from every step in your funnel is vital to optimizing and scaling winning strategies.

 

What is a Good Quality Lead? 

There are two types of leads – good quality leads, and poor quality leads. A poor quality lead is a person that will never buy from you or is not interested at all in what you have to offer. A good quality lead is someone who engages with you and has a real potential to turn into a customer. 

Usually, most good quality leads are not necessarily ready to buy in the beginning. They need to realize that they have a desire and are the best person who can fulfill that desire. 

As a rule of thumb, a good quality lead has the following traits: 

They are pre-qualified: You have made an offer that only potential buyers of your product or service would be interested in, and they opted in to learn more. You need to send multiple emails and “feed” your leads various details, helping them to know, like, and trust you. This will help show them that they need you and should try your product/services. 

They were quick to convert: A good lead that converts after just a few interactions is definitely a good-quality lead. So, even if they start to run dormant and don’t engage if you have a great product or service and delivering top quality, eventually, they could end up using your services again.

They are measurable: After the lead has made a purchase, you should be able to track that lead and discover more about there interest. For example, in the past, they have made repeat buys of a skincare product you sell but have recently liked one of your social media posts on skincare tips. This data is priceless and can be used to send special offers on skincare products to help re-heat a previous customer.

 

The Lead Generation Process 

The lead generation process is pretty simple and straightforward. Let’s break it down below: 

Step 1: A prospect discovers your brand through a marketing channel or tactic, such as paid ads, organic, email marketing, video marketing, or social media. 

Step 2: The prospect clicks on a call-to-action, or CTA, which can be a button, message, video, or photo, which takes them to a landing page to learn more. 

Step 3: On the landing page, the prospect finds an asset that they want to download, or wishes to talk to you via chat. They fill out a form in exchange for an offer. 

Step 4: You are sending your leads emails to nurture them and to encourage them to choose you as their vendor or provider ultimately. 

The Lead Generation Process

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps: 

1. Discovery 

The first and most crucial step in this process is the discovery phase. You can use a wide variety of channels to promote your landing page and to showcase your brand’s strengths. You can choose anything from content syndication, blog posts, social media posts, emails, ads, retargeting campaigns, product trials, referral marketing, affiliate marketing, or even search engine optimization (SEO) for organic traffic. 

Of course, another option you have here is to buy leads, but that’s not the ideal scenario for numerous reasons. 

First, the leads you’ve purchased do not know you and have not found you online. If someone receives an email from a company that they never encountered online or spoken with, they will more than likely neglect your messages. 

Second, you might be flagged as a spammer, and your account might suffer from that. 

Third, you might buy a faulty list that has very few good potential leads. You would have done much better by investing in content syndication, native advertising, or remarketing. 

To be safe, always try to generate leads organically. 

2. CTA 

The CTA is a key component of your lead generation process. Once your business is discovered on the targeted digital channels, you want to ensure that your CTA sparks the interest of your prospects and that they click on it. If your CTAs fail to capture the attention of your audience, then all your efforts, time, and money spent would have amounted to nothing. 

To create a killer CTA, here are some advanced rules you can use: 

  1. Always use a strong command verb at the beginning: verbs like “shop,” “order,” “discover,” “find out how,” or similar ones will help boost your engagement rate quite a lot. 
  2. Make use of words that provoke enthusiasm and spark emotion: examples include “plan your dream vacation right now” or “buy it now and get a whopping 80% off”. 
  3. Offer your audience a compelling reason to act: think of your audience when creating the CTA. What’s in it for them if they click and land on your page? Tie the reason with your unique selling proposition (USP). 
  4. Leverage FOMO: also known as the Fear of Missing Out, this is a motivating factor that can dramatically increase engagement rates on your CTA. The best way to capitalize on FOMO is to mention a limited promotion. For instance, you can say something like this: “Limited offer! Sale ends today!” or “Download the eBook until it expires.” 
  5. Get creative: a killer CTA is always the result of creativity. For example, instead of a bland message that everyone uses like: “Call us today for more information,” use “Don’t miss out! We’re just a phone away!”. Also, the standard “Check out today’s deals” could be transformed into “Tons of amazing deals at your fingertips” for improved conversion rates. 

Never get married to what you like or think your audience will like. You have to pay attention to the data. You may have to test several variations of your CTA to find the one that converts the best.

3. Landing Page 

Once a user clicks the CTA in an ad or organic message and lands on your page, it is time to start the education process. While your final goal should be to convince your site visitors to leave their details or to contact you for a personalized deal, you must also focus on providing useful information to your users. 

Educating your visitors before trying to convert them is key to gain more good quality leads. For example, if a user enters your page after he saw an ad about the new GDPR regulations, he will want to find out more about this and about how GDPR can impact his Europe-based store or clients.

After offering helpful information, you can provide them with an offer to leave their contact information in order to gain access to an outstanding GDPR-information eBook that can solve their problem. Anyone interested will leave their details, and you’ll have a new lead in your funnel to begin the nurturing process. 

Your page and your lead capture forms should be eye-catchy and should entice your site visitors to interact with them. 

4. Offer 

In exchange for their personal information, you can give your site visitors an exceptional piece of content. This can be a whitepaper, case study, infographic, webinar, how-to video, interview, template, data visualization, free trial, a demo video, spec sheet, coupon, or quote. 

 

How do you Generate Quality Leads? 

When it comes to lead generation, it is crucial that you generate high-quality leads. Failure to do so can result in over 67% loss in sales, according to Steven Tulman

To generate quality leads, you need to look at several aspects. 

First, try to find out if your prospects have a specific need that they want to solve. 

Second, provide a unique solution that caters to their needs and is easy to implement. 

Next, do some brainstorming and research to discover if your target audience has enough money to spend on your solution. 

The fourth step of the process involves taking into account the level of influence your prospects have in making a decision. If they are not the final decision-makers, you should probably get more targeted and focus on bringing only decision-makers on your site. 

Lastly, think of how soon your prospects need to implement a solution. 

To generate good quality leads, you need to add value through everything you do. You want to establish yourself as an expert in your niche who knows how to solve specific problems your customers might have. Your content should also be focused on addressing your customers’ pain points. 

In the awareness stage, you should only create content that focuses solely on solving the user’s problems and needs. Next down the funnel, you should show them how your company can quickly solve their problems. 

Only after they have decided to see what you have to offer, you can start promoting your services and advertising your expertise and accomplishments. 

 

How do you Get Leads in Digital Marketing? 

Today, marketers are more focused on the quality of leads than on quantity. For that, they use a mix of inbound and outbound lead generation methods. To get good quality leads you can focus your efforts on several areas: 

Outbound lead generation strategies 

These include content syndication, display ads, PPC ads, event marketing, and retargeting. Also known as “interruption lead generation,” these strategies are perfect for reaching out to prospects in the awareness stage who are not yet aware of your services. 

The most common outbound lead generation strategy is using content syndication. This tactic involves pushing out your content on third-party sites to create awareness and spike interest. By wiring your content into specific digital contexts related to your business, you can boost your reputation and drive highly-qualified leads over to you. 

Inbound lead generation strategies 

Social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and website optimization are considered inbound lead generation strategies. This is a tactic that leverages your prospects’ desire to make a purchase and showcases yourself as a true and tested solution. By offering an interesting mix of content and assets, you can spike your customers’ visitors and drive them down the funnel to the purchase stage. 

A Website 

Optimizing your website is key to getting more qualified leads. This is probably the most essential method of generating high-quality leads since your website acts as a portal between your brand and potential customers. Almost all customers convert after at least one interaction with your website or landing pages, so you want to ensure that your main platforms offer a superior experience to all its visitors. 

Since over 96% of visitors who land on your site are not yet ready to buy from you, it becomes crucial to optimizing your website. This means you need to ensure it loads extremely quickly, it works flawlessly on mobile devices, offers streamlined navigation, and has no broken links. 

A Blog 

Your blog content is an excellent source of new leads, especially when it is optimized for search engines. You can use a wide range of methods to transform your blog into a lead-generation system

For starters, you want to offer exclusive content to your readers that provides value and demonstrate your expertise. 

Next, you can offer them certain perks. For example, if they read your blog on a regular basis, you can entice them to enter a contest and win a discounted product or service. 

Lastly, try to capitalize on slide-in CTAs that appear on the page once readers scroll down the page. Intrusive popups still work, but I’m a fan of less intrusive options as long as they convert better, of course.

Content + SEO 

Your content all across your site should be optimized for SEO. Of course, SEO is quite complicated and involves optimizing numerous aspects on your website, together with link building and social media integration. However, the most crucial part of SEO involves creating content that sparks engagement and uses the right keywords

To generate leads through SEO, you should also start using schema markup. Schema markup enables you to rank higher in SERPs (Search engine result pages) by enabling search engines to understand your content better. This may also allow you to get featured in Position 0, which will drive up additional targeted traffic to your site. 

Email marketing 

An essential lead generation method that comes at a reduced cost and offers excellent results is email marketing. This is widely considered to be the least costly ways to generate high-quality leads and to re-heat cold leads. Email marketing is famous for enabling US-based businesses to enjoy up to a 4,300% increase in ROI

To fully capitalize on the power of email marketing, you should start by designing automation campaigns and a funnel. People who land on your page from any source and complete the form should immediately receive a thank you email, plus a link to the resource they requested. After a few days, they should receive a follow-up email with a link to another asset. This funnel can have several iterations, driving people down the funnel until they are ready to purchase from you. 

Social media 

Leveraging the power of social media is a must if you want to get more leads. To use social media marketing for lead generation, you can start by promoting gated content on your social media accounts. Next, use giveaways and contests and drive up engagement. Lastly, set up alerts for relevant keywords or hashtags that mention your brand or your products. You can also use a tool such as Hootsuite to stay in control of your social media management. 

Ads 

PPC Ads represent a unique online advertising model where you can display information about your products and services. You’ll pay when a user clicks your ad and visits the page, or you can pay for 1,000 impressions. You can run PPC ads on virtually any platform, including Google Search & Display Network, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter, and even Amazon. You can create highly targeted display options in order to reach your prospects right where they are. With this method, you can generate new leads extremely quickly. However, it is imperative to continue “heating” them on your site and email list, with targeted content. 

 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is vital to strive to leverage all the tools and strategies you have at your disposal in order to drive more qualified leads. 

People can quickly find any type of information they want without much effort. This can hinder your growth if you don’t have enough content or the proper lead generation methods in place. 

The ever-increasing competition has made it a must to implement effective digital marketing strategies in order to compete in many industries. 

If you need help integrating a new tactic that would help you drive more quality leads, do not hesitate to contact me.

What are some lead generation tactics that work well for your business or areas you’d like to improve on?

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The Digital Marketing Mindset Need for Long Term Success

Digital Marketing Mindset

Digital Marketing

Do you have what it takes to succeed with digital marketing? With an average annual growth of 5.6%, the digital economy is showing no signs of slowing down. That means you’re going to have a lot of competition to face.

The digital marketing mindset required to succeed must include patience, persistence, continued education and constant analyzation and optimization of campaigns.

So what do you do? Do you specialize, or do you go broad? Since digital marketing can encompass many things, you need to have the right mindset to tackle this giant beast.  

Without it, failure is practically guaranteed.

Below are six digital marketing mindsets you need to have to set you apart from the rest of the competition.

 

Adapting to changes 

Technological assets don’t usually have a long lifecycle. The general idea is that it would only last on average, about five years. This necessitates companies to manage their hardware and software – to track operations and ensure it’s updated or replaced when required. 

It’s the same outlook you should have for digital marketing in your business. To market online effectively, you have to keep up with the trends, adapt to changing technologies, and the ever-changing algorithms.  

Finding new ways to reach your target audience 

The global average Internet penetration has increased by 24% since 2013. And with more companies entering the foray of online marketing, reaching your audience is about being innovative, creative, and being able to understand what the market wants through research. 

For example, with more people using social media, some digital marketing companies have employed the use of chatbots to improve customer support. 

These AI-powered bots can respond to questions quickly, execute tasks around the clock, and create personalized customer experiences. And the usage doesn’t stop there. 

Ticket-based support systems nowadays are supported by AI chatbots. They help the staff to focus on other more complex and non-repetitive issues, increasing productivity and customer satisfaction.

Reevaluate marketing effectiveness  

After the whole process, the primary goal of digital marketing is for your target audience to take action on your content. Whether from clicking your ads, liking your social posts, or signing up for your newsletter, evaluating and tweaking your copy is a continuous process. 

Making changes when something is not working works towards your goal. So it’s essential to know your goals, and if your digital marketing strategies are not hitting them, then drop it and try something else. The faster you can pivot through these campaigns to find the winning ones will result in quicker positive results.

By adapting to changes, you can face challenges and unfavorable circumstances head-on, enabling you to stay competitive in the digital economy. This will allow you to increase your website’s traffic, get more customers, and build brand loyalty

 

Keep on learning  

Digital marketing is ever-changing. What used to work five years ago may not be as effective today when it comes to marketing strategies. 

Previously, keyword stuffing was the norm for SEO’s, and marketers obsessed over achieving a certain level of keyword density in their content. That is no longer the case nowadays because of relevancy and authority matter more when it comes to ranking sites. 

Tactics will change 

Just look at how fast social media platforms change, whether it’s to please shareholders and increase profits by showing more ads, or changing how and what a user sees in their feeds. 

A drastic algorithm shift can alter how you market and engage with your clients. With digital marketing, your services and skills need to reflect the current times, or you’ll end up with mediocre results or some irate clients. 

Tools can become obsolete 

Digital marketing has its fair share of products and services that cater to the b2b market. Since you’ll probably end up using some of these products as well, it’s essential to evaluate the longevity and usefulness of the available features. 

You should be aware of the people behind the tools and services that you’re using. It’s not uncommon to use something for a couple of months, then suddenly, the product or service stops working. On top of that, the developer goes missing. 

One example of this is with WordPress Plugins. You can add a plugin that is highly recommended and has excellent reviews. Then one day months or even years later, you run into functionality problems with your website. 

After troubleshooting, you will see that this once great plugin hasn’t been updated since the last three versions of WordPress and is now incompatible. 

Picking the right tools and services that best complement your business in terms of functionality, price, user experience, and integration is essential for digital marketing.  

Invest in your education  

Technology can be very intimidating. You might think that you already nailed down one method. Still, then you realize another three objectives need to be implemented to make the strategy work. 

So how do you keep up?  

As with most worthwhile things in life, you should never stop learning. Reading blogs and industry-specific magazines are a start. 

But you should take a few steps further by browsing sites like Udemy and Skillshare. 

Find online courses that can further your digital marketing education and put in the time to learn. Companies like Ahref, who do content marketing with their helpful SEO videos, is another way to learn for free. You can find whole playlists of digital marketing tips and tactics by viewing their channel alone.  

If you feel you’re up to it. Get certified. There are free and paid digital marketing certifications in various areas of specialization that you can do online. You get to practice as you learn and, at the end of it, be recognized as an industry expert – which will help with credibility.

My personal favorite is finding mentors. Not necessarily someone whom you can work with hands-on but someone who is accomplishing the things you want to achieve. Consume all their online content, buy their books, and get their courses if they offer them.

For example, Ryan Biddulph from Blogging From Paradise has been blogging for years and is widely respected in the online space. I have consumed a lot of his content, and when I was ready to sharpen my skills on guest blogging, I move to the next level and purchased his eBook on the topic.

There is a lot of information out there, and if you are not careful, you could be mislead. So, finding a mentor can be an essential way to cut through all the noise. 

Use reliable data to make decisions  

Digital marketing is not a guessing game. But many people make decisions based on what they assume their audience wants. 

There are clear metrics that you can measure to create the right response after you deploy a strategy. This is the only way to have tangible evidence on what works and what doesn’t, which would save you months of your time and money from ineffective results. 

For you to gain meaningful data, you need to have a few tools in your arsenal. This can include the following: 

Comprehensive SEO data 

Tools like SEMrush are useful for a lot of digital marketing related tasks. But most marketers use it to improve their SEO campaigns

Keyword research and finding trending topics is a significant component of SEO, and SEMrush helps you do that. It’s not limited to just that though, think of it as the Swiss-army knife of SEO tools. 

If you need to rank better in the search engines and find new data for SEO opportunities, then SEMrush is for you.  

Other notable alternatives are Ahref, Serpstat, and Moz.  

Email marketing to gauge response rate 

Email marketing is more than just a tool to communicate with your audience. It can be used to measure response rates from your headlines, your email copy, and your various content. 

You can integrate a shopping cart with it and conduct retargeting campaigns with your newsletters, among other things.  

By measuring your open and click-through rates, you can gain insight into what interests your audiences. This data can be used not just for crafting better emails but can be used to create other forms of content as well. 

Most people check their inboxes at least once a day. So by knowing how they react to your email messages, you can form strategies that cater to your audience’s wants and needs. 

Once you build a loyal list of subscribers, you’d be amazed at how much knowledge you get by just asking them the right questions. 

A popular email marketing solution is MailChimp and GetResponse. MailChimp is excellent for beginners with its free plan up to a certain number of subscribers.

Using data from paid social media campaigns 

Everybody is on social media. And forgetting privacy issues for a moment, that means these giant platforms have a ton of information on their users. 

By doing paid social media advertising, you can get a wealth of information on your target audience. This gives you stats on your ad performance, which translates into better marketing and attributions data.  

To get started, you don’t even need third-party tools. Just use Facebook’s own Power Editor to manage your ads. You can target exactly the audience you want and save these as Saved Audiences for later use.  

When you can accurately measure your key performance indicators or KPIs, you can evaluate and adapt your social media efforts to make the most impact on your audience. 

 

The importance of perseverance and persistence 

You’ve analyzed all the data and taken all the necessary steps for your digital marketing campaigns. Now you want to see the results of your efforts. 

But it’s not going exactly the way you expect. Or you do not see the results you thought you’d get by now. So what do you do? Give up your online marketing dream or continue?

As with most things in life, perseverance and persistence are what’s needed to succeed. Staying strong amidst setbacks and unforeseen outcomes is crucial; some would even argue it comes before everything else. So it’s vital to have a strong and ‘technical’ mind at the same time as you are unlikely to succeed with one without having the other.

Some results are beyond your control 

Even after the right attitude and mindset, you’ll still have to be patient to see results. It’s like hitting a baseball; you can only control your stance and how you hit the ball, but not exactly where the ball will go once the bat makes contact the majority of the time. 

The same holds true with digital marketing. You need time to build an audience and gain trust; positioning your brand will take multiple campaigns. Your SEO efforts will likely see organic results after at least six months to a year. 

Therefore, it’s ideal for focusing your efforts on what you can control. Look over your marketing copy, can you improve your headlines, so it gets more clicks? Try to enhance its relevance to your audience by making it more engaging and updated. 

You can scrutinize the quality of your videos. Do they have the proper lighting? Are you using the right video scripts that make your audience subscribe to your channel and hitting that Like button? 

Asking these types of questions in your digital marketing will help refocus your efforts in the right direction. 

On the flip side, obsessing over vanity metrics over actionable metrics won’t do you any good. And for organic search results, it will stress you out trying to keep up with every single update. Forget how your competitors are doing; you’ll catch up to them eventually. 

When it comes to making decisions, taking the long view, and making small, calculated steps goes a long way. You should plan and prepare, but perseverance and persistence win the battle.

Sticking with what works  

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Being successful with digital marketing is about focusing on what works and ditching the rest. It’s the Pareto Principle – 80% of your results should come from 20% of your efforts. So if you find that a particular type of content resonates well with your audiences, improve and create more of the same.

You might discover that a category on your blog gets the most comments. If so, keep on creating more posts in that category, improve the visual elements, and make it a sticky post if it’s evergreen content. 

Not only do you increase the relevancy of your content for the search engines, but you encourage repeat traffic from website visitors as well. 

Another thing you could do is repurpose your most popular content into other types of media. You can turn a popular post into an infographic and submit it to websites like Visual.ly or Slideshare. Or use the content and create videos and send it to YouTube and Vimeo. 

It takes a lot less effort to repurpose content than to create one from scratch. By doing this, you can reach new audiences and double or triple your results.

Don’t get caught up with the infamous ‘chasing shiny object syndrome.’ There will be a time and a place to broaden your marketing scope. Focusing on what works not only allows for tangible results but prevents you from straying from your core marketing strategy. 

 

Appreciate the successes you’ve achieved 

I know you heard this at least one thousand times already.

Rome wasn’t built in a day! And the same goes for your digital presence. 

Regardless of the size of your company, if you are an established solopreneur or just starting out, there will be small and big wins that you should care about. 

Maybe you’ve reached your first 1000 subscribers. Or you managed to get a lot of replies when you gave your email list a free training course you just created. 

Appreciating the small wins is just as important as celebrating the big ones. The significant strides that you achieve with your digital marketing efforts probably would not have happened if you didn’t build on the smaller results first. 

With digital marketing, your results can have a snowball effect. We all know how small a snowball is before it turns into a giant rolling down a hill. And that’s how you should view your successes. 

 

Final Thoughts 

Digital marketing is a complicated, challenging, but ultimately rewarding endeavor. You need to have hard and soft skills to succeed. 

And being able to adapt to changes while learning and persevering will make you a more effective digital marketer. 

So go out there and make it happen!

Much Success!

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What Is SEO in Digital Marketing?

What is SEO

Digital Marketing

SEO is one of the many ways to drive traffic to your website. But more than the traffic it brings, it’s one digital marketing strategy that can help deliver high quality leads to your business for years to come. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of SEO. Here, you’ll get a better understanding of what SEO is and why it is essential for businesses like yours. 

By the end of this piece, I’ll help you make an informed decision on which is the best route to take for your business or blog. 

To begin, let’s start with what SEO is. 

 

What is SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the practice of optimizing content so that your website is discovered in the search engine results page (SERPs). 

The goal of SEO is to drive ‘earned,’ ‘unpaid’ organic traffic to your website. 

In simpler terms, you make specific changes to your website to make it more appealing to search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And what do you get in return? 

Those search engines will display your website on top of the SERPs. It helps show your business in front of your customers as they search for what you have to offer. And this means more targeted people are seeing and clicking links to your website based on past work. 

Optimizing for search engines increase both the quality and quantity of a website’s traffic. It also helps website owners gain exposure to their brands without continued spending on ads. 

 

Why is SEO Important

Why is SEO Important? 

There are many other ways to drive traffic to your website, aside from SEO. But why should you optimize for search engines? 

SEO’s impact lasts more than several years. 

While paid advertising, social media, and other digital marketing strategies can drive traffic to your website. They last for a relatively shorter time compared to good SEO. This is especially true for paid advertising that gives immediate results but disappears completely once the campaign ends. 

The more time, effort, and budget you spend on SEO, the better and longer your website will enjoy consistent organic traffic. 

But the importance of SEO doesn’t just end there. Optimizing for search engines also gives you 20x more traffic opportunities than PPC on both desktop and mobile. This is when your website appears in organic search results. 

Organic search plays a critical role in getting users to engage or convert. To put that in numbers, 40.9% of Google searches get an organic click for mobile devices. That’s a huge difference compared to the mere 2% of paid clicks. For desktop devices, it’s 62.2% organic versus 2.8% paid clicks. 

These are only a few of the many reasons why you should utilize SEO for your business. 

 

Types of SEO 

There are two types of search: organic and paid. 

As stated above, organic means unpaid, natural rankings in search results. Paid search, as the name suggests, focuses on paid rankings. 

Organic search can be optimized with various SEO practices. Meanwhile, traffic from paid search can be acquired through search engine marketing (SEM). 

For this guide, we will focus on organic search and discuss the different types of SEO. 

On-Page SEO 

On-Page SEO involves optimizing the content on your website. 

Optimizing each page on your website helps search engines understand the topic of the content you are publishing. This tells search engines that your website is relevant to people who are searching for specific terms.

In this type of SEO, you do the following: 

  • Keyword Research – Looking for keywords to include on a page (more on this later) 
  • Content Creation – Publishing high-quality, informative content revolving around the keywords 
  • Keyword Optimization – Adding the keywords in strategic places in the content 

For On-Page SEO, excellent content is key to rank higher in the SERPs. According to Rand Fishkin of SparkToro (formerly with Moz), your content should be ten times better than other content available on the results page. That and a couple of relevant and related keywords. 

Areas of On-Page SEO 

To find success in this type of SEO, you must pay attention to these areas that will help increase your rankings, traffic, and conversions. 

Title Tag 

Title tags are an HTML element the shows the title of your web page. Along with meta description, they appear in search engines like this: 

Steven J Wilson example of a Title Tag

Meta title tags are crucial because they help search engines understand what your page is about. This is why it’s vital that you follow the SEO best practices for optimizing title tags, such as including your target keywords. 

SEO aside, they also leave first impressions on the people looking on search engines, which can be a make-or-break factor on whether searchers will click on your link. 

Meta Description 

Located just below the title tag, meta descriptions explain what your page is about. It is the longer version of the title tag. 

Just like the first HTML element, meta descriptions also tell search engines what the topic of your content is. Meta descriptions also need keywords to rank your page in the SERPs. 

Header Tags 

Header tags are HTML elements H1-H6 that’s long been a fixture of SEO, but most people know a little about. But what exactly are header tags? 

These HTML elements are used to determine headers and subheadings within a content. Just take a look at the illustration below. 

Steven J Wilson Header tag examples

While header tags aren’t as critically important for site rankings as they used to be, they still serve a role that can indirectly influence your rankings. 

Header tags indirectly impact rankings by: 

  • Making content more scannable for an easy read. 
  • You are sending the right signals to search engines about what topic your content contains. 

Image ALT Tags 

People visiting your web page can physically see the photos published on your site. But search engines can’t. And this is where image ALT tags come in handy. 

ALT tags, otherwise known as “alt attributes” or “alt descriptions,” are HTML code and text that you add to describe an image. If you include keywords in these tags, search engines will easily determine what your photos are about. 

These tags are vital because they not only make for better user experience, but they also contribute to image SEO. ALT tags lend search engines a helping hand by describing what an image is about through keywords. 

Internal Links 

Internal links are hyperlinks that direct to another page on the same website. 

Internal linking is an essential step in SEO for the following reasons: 

  • It allows for more straightforward navigation on the website.
  • It helps establish site architecture for the given website. 
  • It helps distribute link juices around web pages. 

Both internal and external (more on this later) links send search engines signal about the topic of your content. But internal links are used to show relationships between content. As search engines determine such relations, they work on ranking your most essential pages higher in the SERPs.

Page Speed 

Page speed is another important ranking factor that Google is looking for. It is the measurement of how fast your web page content loads. 

Page speed is often described as “page load time.” A page’s loading time is dependent on several factors, such as image compression, page file size, and the site’s server. 

Google penalizes pages with longer load times, which tend to have a lower average time on page and higher bounce rates. Hence, it’s crucial that you follow the SEO best practices on increasing your page speed. This includes enabling compression, reducing redirects, and improving server response time, among others. 

Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO involves optimizing efforts outside of your website. Unlike on-page SEO, you often do not have control over off-page SEO. 

For instance, you reached out to an authoritative website to link to your website. That’s off-page SEO. It is considered off-page because you didn’t change anything about your website. 

Off-page SEO is vital because it touches many of the search engines’ off-page factors that help rank a website. Some of the most important of these factors include the following. 

Links 

Building links is at the core of off-page SEO. This is because links are one of the most important ranking factors for Google. 

Links are crucial because search engines use them to discover new web pages. They are also used to determine how well a page should rank in the SERPs. 

Search engines look at the number of links from external websites pointing to a page you are trying to rank. These links tell search engines if the page has sufficient quality to rank for relevant keywords. 

In general, the more high-value links you build, the better you rank in the results page. 

We will discuss link building in great detail at What is the SEO Process section. Keep on reading to learn more about this process. 

E-A-T 

E-A-T in SEO stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. It is one factor in determining Page Quality. 

Search engines determine a page if it has a beneficial purpose. If it does, it’s E-A-T level is considered whether the content is YMYL (Your Money or Your Life). 

This ranking factor matters on topics such as YMYL, which include pages that can potentially impact a searcher’s safety, financial stability, health, and happiness. 

And what do these all mean? It all boils down to links and high-quality content. 

As mentioned above, links are crucial to rank higher in the SERPs. And it’s not just any link; it should be linked from high-quality content. For you to create high-quality content, you need to look at your E-A-T. 

Social Engagement 

Google made it clear that social media is not a direct SEO ranking factor. But despite this, there’s still a connection that indirectly affects how search engines see your content. 

Engagement metrics, like “shares,” play a role in SEO. How? The more social shares you get, the more visibility of your content gets. 

And visibility sends the right signal to search engines that your content is high-quality and relevant to the keywords you are targeting. 

That said, social engagement impacts SEO. And you should also pay attention to this when trying to rank on the results page. 

Local SEO 

Statistics show that 46% of all Google searches are local. And how do you take advantage of these searches? Through local SEO. 

Local SEO is the process of optimizing content to drive traffic organically. But in this type of SEO, you are targeting more relevant local searches. 

Investing in local SEO is vital because 80% of local searches result in conversions. And 50% of people who made those searches visit a store within a day after conducting a local search. 

If your business offers laundry services, and a local customer searches, “laundry service near me,” local SEO helps you get found in the SERPs. That means an opportunity to convert, so you shouldn’t miss out on local SEO. 

Important Parts of Local SEO 

The process of local SEO is not all that different from organic SEO. This involves taking the following steps to optimize your content for local searches. 

  1. Performing keyword research. 
  2. Creating content with a local focus. 
  3. Acquiring high-quality links. 
  4. Outreaching. 

These steps will be discussed in great detail in the What is the SEO Process section. 

 

What is The SEO Process

What is the SEO Process? 

Now that you have an idea of the types of SEO, it’s time you get an overview of how the SEO process goes. 

How Search Works 

Search engines rank a website in three primary steps: 

  1. Crawl – search engine crawlers scour the Internet for content. 
  2. Index – search engines process and store information they find into a huge database called an index. 
  3. Rank – from the index, search engines chose the best answer (aka most relevant) for each search query. 

For crawlers to rank your website higher in the SERPs, you have to optimize your content for search engines. How? Through the steps below: 

Keyword Research 

SEO campaigns usually start with keyword research. 

Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that your audience enter into search engines. It involves analyzing those search terms to help you develop an informed content and marketing strategy. 

The ultimate goal of this process is to optimize content around those keywords. You do this, so your website ranks in the SERPs. 

Importance of Keyword Research 

Keyword research is crucial because it tells you what topics your customers care about. It also gives you relevant data like search volume that tells you how popular those topics are to your target people. 

Determining the intent behind each search term also lets you identify what sort of content you should create to resonate with your audience. 

By researching keywords for their search volume and intent, you get insight into what answers people are looking for. You get a clearer view of what you should consider in the next steps of the SEO process. 

It is like a compass that tells you where to go when doing content creation, outreach marketing, and promotion, among others. 

The Keyword Research Process 

SEO specialists usually take the following steps to discover search terms. 

  1. Making a list of relevant topics for your business. 
  2. Research keywords that fall into those topics. 
  3. Discover related search terms. 
  4. Come up with a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords for a balanced strategy. 
  5. Use keyword tools like SEMrush to check how competitors rank for specific keywords. 
  6. Refine your keyword list based on search volume, general intent, and trends. 

Content Creation 

Once you have your keywords sorted, the next thing to do is to create your content. 

SEO speaking, content must be of high-quality and should contain useful information to your audience. Remember that when searchers type a query, they are looking for a ‘relevant’ answer. 

If you want to rank on the results page, your content must be able to provide answers that are of value to searchers. 

Importance of Content Creation 

In digital marketing, content is ‘still’ king. 

Search engines’ mission is to compile and organize information and to present the best possible answers to questions. 

That’s why content should be useful and relevant to searchers. And the ‘best’ answers are always rewarded by search engines in the form of a higher results page ranking. 

Simply put, content with SEO value, ranks higher in the SERPs. So, you should work on creating optimized, valuable content. And by optimized, we mean strategically placing relevant keywords on the content you are creating. 

Different Forms of Content 

There are different forms of content, and they work differently depending on your audience. 

Remember that each industry is different. One industry may find blogs to resonate with its audience. In contrast, others may notice videos to be an effective form of content that drives results. 

The idea is to find what content appeals to your audience. Because the more it appeals to them, the better search engines will look at your content. 

Below, we rounded up some of the most common types of content that work best for SEO

  • Web Page Content 
  • Video Content 
  • Blog Posts 
  • Long-Form Articles 
  • Evergreen Content 
  • Photo and Visual Galleries 
  • Podcast 
  • Social Media 
  • Local Listings 

Link Building 

After creating content for your audience, the next to do is to build links to your website. 

As mentioned above, links are one of the most important ranking factors that Google has established for SEO. Previously, we’ve discussed internal links. Now, let’s talk about external links, aka inbound links or backlinks. 

Importance of Links 

Inbound links are links that point from one website to a page on another website. They are like “votes” for a specific page, acting as a real-life reputation. 

To put it simply, think of links as people. Say, you asked five people what the best diner in town is. Then, they all said, “Steven’s Kitchen in Manhattan.” In your mind, you would trust Steven’s since people are vouching for it.

This is what links do for search engines. These links signal to search engines that other website trusts your content. 

And the higher the number of links that point to your website, the higher you appear on organic search engine rankings. 

Ways to Build Backlinks 

Link building can be done in several methods, and Moz has provided an exhaustive list to help you build high-quality backlinks. To give you an idea, we rounded up some of the most popular strategies that tend to work for most campaigns. 

  • Publish a blog 
  • Find customer and partner links 
  • Create unique resources 
  • Build resources page 
  • Refurbish top content 
  • Get involved in your local community 
  • Be newsworthy 
  • Be personal and genuine with outreach 

Outreach 

Aside from link building, outreaching is another way to help businesses rank for their chosen keywords, thus attracting organic traffic. 

But what exactly is outreach in SEO? 

Outreach is technically one way to do link building. In this method, you reach out to people to create valuable backlinks from third-party sites. Other than gaining traffic, doing outreach also helps businesses build credibility within their respective industries. 

Often, businesses also perform outreach to improve brand awareness. This is done in several ways, like earning a mention from influencers and press releases, among others. 

Importance of Outreach 

Outreach is crucial in SEO to stand out from the crowd. 

As more and more digital marketers create content for link building, the supply of content is now significantly exceeding demand. 

It is up to the outreach specialist’s skill to identify strategically valuable publishers and convince them to accept and promote their content. 

When you do this correctly, you may enjoy high-quality backlinks to your website. And that means better ranking and more organic traffic for your web pages. 

Ways to Perform Outreach 

Businesses can outreach in various ways. This includes the following strategies: 

  • Email outreach 
  • Social outreach 
  • Influencer outreach 
  • Press outreach 

 

Is SEO Difficult? 

With all the steps mentioned above, you’ve probably guessed: SEO is complex. 

Learning its process by yourself demands a significant amount of time and attention. You might even have to spend months just to learn the basics and find your footing in this digital marketing strategy. 

This is why many business owners are too intimidated to take on SEO themselves. 

But you know that SEO is an excellent investment. So, what should you do? 

Seek help from the professionals. 

Marketers who have spent enough time mastering the optimization method offers you better chances of achieving your business goals through SEO. 

 

Should You Hire Someone for SEO? 

If you are a business owner who doesn’t have the luxury of time to spend on learning SEO from scratch, it’s probably best you hire an expert to optimize your website. 

Pros of Hiring Someone for SEO 

You get someone who has a full understanding of SEO 

When you hire someone for SEO, you acquire valuable digital marketing knowledge that will help you achieve your business goals. You are getting someone with advanced skills that can work hand-in-hand with you. 

You get someone who is updated on current algorithmic changes 

Search engine algorithms are an ever-changing element that you need to keep up with. And staying up-to-date is one of the many offers that an SEO specialist can bring to the table. Using outdated tactics can hurt your rankings. 

You get someone to talk to within your business 

Got an in-depth question about SEO? Feel free to discuss it with an SEO expert. Having someone to do SEO for you means you can explore ideas that might work best for your business. There is not a one method works for all approach in SEO. Strategically piecing together business goals with SEO could be the thing that helps you stand out to algorithms. 

Quicker Return on Investment 

SEO is an investment that, when done right, gives excellent returns. Depending on your business goals, SEO can provide some of the best returns in digital marketing. For instance, one case study shows how a website saw an average of 140,000+ organic visitors per month from the previous 20,000. That’s an increase of 600%, boosting the client’s brand awareness and, ultimately, their revenue.

Cons of Hiring Someone for SEO 

SEO takes time to get results 

As we will discuss below, SEO is a commitment that takes months or even years to pull off. Be mentally prepared to commit to 6 to 12-months for superior results.

SEO Is Complicated 

Many factors contribute to the success of an SEO campaign. If you’re hiring someone to do the job for you, you will have to rely on that person’s skill to get results. That’s why it’s crucial to find an SEO expert with experience and someone whom you feel you can trust to deliver results.

 

How Long Does SEO take

How Long Does It Take to See Results From SEO? 

If you’re hiring SEO experts to work for you, know that there is a baseline period for you to see results from your optimization efforts. 

Ask some SEO agencies, and they will tell you that it takes 6 to 8+ months to rank for high competition keywords. High competition means keywords that have high search volume that often convert well into visitors or purchases.

Many marketers and advertisers bid for high competition keywords because of its opportunity to convert, gaining huge traffic and sales. Thus, the term “high competition.” 

In contrast, it may take you 4 to 6+ months to rank keywords with lower competition. By lower competition, it means terms that have relatively lower search volume. 

Low competition keywords often rank easier in search engines because fewer marketers and advertisers are bidding for them. Ranking low competition terms usually take little to no link building and no domain authority.

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to find high volume keywords with low competition during the keyword research phase. These keywords give businesses a chance to rank on the results page. 

With that said there is value in using keywords that have low volume with low competition as well. I recommend this more for newer sites that are still growing and building their E-A-T with google.

 

How Much Does SEO Cost? 

The cost of SEO services depends on what is included in the package. Services are based on the scope of a project, but just to give you an idea, the typical SEO campaign cost in 2020 is around $750-$2,000 per month.

One-time projects cost around $5,000-$30,000. Hourly rates for consultants are priced between $80-$200. 

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in SEO services.

 

Wrapping It Up 

Now that you have a better understanding of SEO, it’s time to decide which is the best route for you to take for your needs. 

Decide whether to take it upon yourself or hire someone to do SEO for you. But here’s a piece of advice: if you want to increase your chances of success in this strategy, it’s best that you seek the help of an expert. 

What is your take on SEO? Is it worth learning or getting experienced help is best?

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Why Branding Should Be Your SEO Strategy For 2021

Branding and SEO

Digital Marketing

Developing strategic branding, that can be detected on an algorithmic level, will create longevity and allow your brand to continue to progress through all future Google updates. 

Google has been on a mission for years to continue to improve search results to deliver results as accurate as possible. 

Google is getting better and better with delivering results factoring in user intent. 

Furthermore, artificial intelligence continuously improves the various parameters affecting search rankings. This will continue to make it increasingly difficult to create pages and content that take full advantage of current technicalities in the algorithm. 

It’s time to begin taking a serious look into strategies that fit with Google’s update trajectory. 

We have to begin focusing on a critical aspect that continues to deliver long term results. One that has been used for years offline. 

You have to understand where Google is headed based on their past updates and current algorithms to understand what they expect from your brand.  

 

“Brand is what wins. It always has and always will. It’s how everyone makes a decision.” Gary Vaynerchuk 

 

Brand Recognition Increases Profitability 

According to PwC’s Consumer Insights Survey, 35% ranked trust in the brand among the top three reasons for their purchase decision.  

Brand recognition is among the ultimate objectives of building a profitable business. It increases the chances of potential customers buying products associated with a brand as long as they associate the brand with something they value. 

The same can be observed among search engine users. Having a recognizable brand dramatically increases the likelihood that searchers will click and choose your content over other results. This causes your website to get more traffic, which can then lead to increased conversions.  

You can see in the above diagram from CrazyEgg that the beginning of a conversion funnel begins with recognition and awareness of your brand. 

The wider net you cast will increase your chances of links, which increases your opportunity to increase profits. 

These clicks are essential since a page’s click-through rate is now among the top factors for ranking search results in Google. This makes your branding awareness an indirect factor in getting your content to the top results for your queries.  

 

Why Click-Through Rates Are Important for Search Engine Rankings 

To understand how branding affects where your website ranks in search results, you must first realize that search engines give the utmost consideration to user behavior.  

 One such consideration includes the click-through rates (CTR) that links get when listed as a search result. 

Depending on how much the click-through rate exceeds the average for the search term helps determine where you will rank on SERPs. A more significant positive margin results in a higher ranking on the first page of the search results. 

Wordstream ran a study and found that for every 3%, you increase your click-through rate will result in an increase in your search result position by one position. 

The click-through rate is used as a measure by the algorithm to determine which results generate interest from its users. This is their way of recommending to their users the pages that others previously engaged with while searching for similar keywords. 

 

Why Your Brand Could Be the Deciding Factor for a Higher Search Engine Ranking 

I have skipped many number one search results to go straight to content from a Brand I trust. 

This is true for many others as well. 

“Authority can, and does, influence search a great deal. Brands with higher authority are often more desired, and therefore searched out more frequently by customers because it’s a brand that they trust. This, in turn, results in even better search visibility because it’s getting more traffic.” SEMRush 

As you can see, this increases the ranking of your pages on search results of the keywords related to your pages. 

 

Building Your Brand Is the Best Way to Establish  E-A-T 

E-A-T is a factor in Google’s search engine algorithm. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.  

This is used to help Google evaluate the potential of a website’s content and to help determine if the content will be accurate and able to produce helpful information for the user. Any content scoring poorly with the E-A-T evaluation would be less likely to show higher in search results. 

To understand what is taken into consideration, here is a brief look at each element of E-A-T: 

Expertise 

Google divides expertise into two types – formal expertise and everyday expertise. Formal expertise relates to content created by individuals considered as formally educated, verified, or accredited like doctors, financial advisors, and lawyers.  

On the other hand, everyday expertise is those demonstrated by individuals who have adequate life experiences in their topic. 

According to Google’s guidelines, expertise is demonstrated when content is factual and is delivered in a professional manner.  

It should provide your readers with what they need from their search. You can find this out by starting with keyword research and understanding their intent behind their search queries.  

Once you know these things, you can then start writing comprehensive content that can be easily read and understood by your audience.  

You should also add supplementary information in your content or link to another page on your site that can help them answer further questions that they might have.   

Authoritativeness 

This is measured through the relevant credentials on the topic displayed by the content creator. This metric applies to the main content, the webpage, and the website as a whole.  

Both types of expertise can use the about page to provide proof for their authority. As for contributing content creators, professional expertise is displayed through a professional title, short bio, photo, certifications, an official website link, or a full bio link.  

As for everyday expertise, a statement that the content creator shares their significant personal experience, not professional advice, can serve as a basis of their authority.  

These proofs of authority are not limited to the bio and about pages of authors. Creating content outside of one’s website as long as the content coincides with the website’s niche or field is another crucial factor in determining authority.  

For example, Google would not see content discussing a medical condition written by a doctor as authoritative to the doctor’s website if it is found on a website for financial advice.  

Trustworthiness  

This is simply the integrity of your website and its contents.  

You should, at the very least, have some of the underlying security features and pages added to your site. If your website does not use author biographies and reference external sources where applicable, it could also be a sign of an untrustworthy source.  

Some examples of things you should have set up early on when launching your website: 

  • A secure domain (HTTPS) 
  • A contact page 
  • A physical address (if applicable) 
  • A terms and conditions page 
  • A privacy policy page 
  • The refunds and returns policy for your transactions 
  • A comprehensive specification for products being sold 
  • A biography in the about page  
  • An author biography section for relevant blogs or articles 

How Authenticity helps build E-A-T 

As a brand, you want your targeted audience to look to your brand as the expert authority in your niche. You want them turning to your brand whenever they need more of what you offer.  

The goal should be for your target market to see your brand positively, and the best way to express that is through authenticity. 

A survey conducted by Social Media Today found that user-generated content was the most effective in creating authenticity and trust for a Brand. 

You want to deliver the value that your audience expects and give them more of what they may not even realize they want. 

Focus on developing a strategy that holistically blends Branding and E-A-T to establish your overall goals. 

The only difference between the two is that E-A-T targets Google’s algorithms, while branding is more concerned with your audience’s perception of your brand.  Together these will have a substantial impact on your overall rankings. 

 

Brand Awareness Leads to Links 

An established E-A-T brings awareness among content creators in the same niche as your brand.  

This comes with your brand’s content being used as a valuable resource when creating their content.  

These are essentially backlinks that help in improving your search engine ranking. 

There is a strong correlation between backlinks and the amount of traffic you generate from Google.  

The more you build your E-A-T, the more backlinks you will generate naturally, which will keep Google happy. 

 

Overcome YMYL with Solid Branding 

YMYL, “Your Money or Your Life,” pages are web pages providing content related to topics that may affect a person’s financial stability, happiness, health, or safety.   

These include topics on personal finance, financial transactions, medical information, legal affairs, news, public and official information, and car safety.  

YMYL pages are placed under a stricter set of quality guidelines in evaluating content for search engine results.  

These guidelines include E-A-T.  

You are less likely to be affected by the current and future standards for such pages if you continuously work on establishing stronger E-A-T. Especially in the earlier stages of your site. 

This does not mean that you can get away with breaking YMYL guidelines on E-A-T. You would still have to back up elements of your content with facts from other reliable E-A-T resources and maintain a smooth-running website. 

E-A-T is the foundation that establishes your brand in Google’s algorithm. Because of this, your pages can break into the top results even if it’s a YMYL page with less friction.  

 

Good Branding Creates Longevity 

SEO standards will continuously change due to improvements made to the search engine algorithms to continue to improve user experience.  

This results in technical strategies only lasting until the next update. Such approaches may be only good for a few months up to a year.  

In some cases, these updates result in dramatic changes in how pages are ranked in search results.  

This is why you have to create proper brand recognition from your target audience. Your brand’s reputation from your audience cannot be taken away by any update on Google’s algorithm.  

And, the most significant way to do this is through high-quality content.  

 

“Content is the cornerstone of internet marketing and for successfully building a brand.” Neil Patel 

 

Users Will Consume More of Your Content 

With Brand recognition and quality content, users are more likely to consume more of your content, which results in lower bounce rates.  

If you provide more value through the effective use of internal links, you will increase their time-on-site and their pages per session.  

 

“… bounce rate doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO. But, It does have a huge impact on lots of metrics that DO have a direct impact on rankings.
 Mathew Woodward 

 

Final Thoughts 

These metrics will be observed by Google and will be seen as a justification to increase your ranking for relevant keywords. 

Aside from your audience, other content creators will be referring to your content as a trustworthy source.  

You are further establishing your brand recognition and awareness. 

Effective branding will stand the test of time and will help you dominate rankings. 

What are you currently doing to build your brand and establish E-A-T? 

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Why a Website is So Important for Digital Marketing

Why a Website is important for digital marketing

Digital Marketing

Are you running a business without or with an outdated website? You could be missing out on a lot.

According to statistics, 74% of people judge a business’s credibility based on its website. Now, imagine how people see you if you don’t own one or haven’t bothered to get it updated in a while.

Aside from people’s perception of you, websites are also crucial for digital marketing. They significantly help improve your branding and lead generation.

That said, having a website is crucial to a business’s success. However, only 64% of small businesses have one.

If you belong to the remaining 36% who don’t have a website, read on to find out why you need to get yours now. And if you just have started one, I will also discuss how you can make your website work for you.

 

The Importance of a Website

There are many ways a website can impact your business, such as:

Branding

Having a website is one way to build a business presence online.

This is crucial because almost 4.57 billion are actively using the Internet. This means your customers are going online, and you have to adapt if you want your business to succeed.

Internet Users Statista
Source: Statista

With a website, you can improve your branding by:

  • Building credibility. As previously mentioned, people judge business credibility by its website.
  • Establishing authority. Having a website helps establish authority through educational content that shows you know your stuff.
  • Providing accessibility. With a website, you can provide a place for your audience to know about your business 24/7.
  • Making the right first impression. Websites are usually a customer’s first impression of your business, so make it count with professional web design.

Undoubtedly, a website is a beneficial channel to enhance your branding.

Seize the opportunity that websites present to show what your brand is all about. Use it to display your products and services, and most importantly, communicate, engage, and build long-lasting relationships with your audience.

Lead Generation

Need to generate leads? Websites can also help with that.

With a lead generation website, you can turn site visitors into prospects and customers.

Instead of passively reading a static sales brochure, websites help visitors find information, fill out lead forms, and reach high-converting landing pages.

Lead Generation Hubspot
Source: Hubspot

With proper site structure, well-written copy, and strong calls-to-action, you can gain the leads you need for your business.

Your website can even serve as your online salesperson. So, you are assured business will continue any time of the day, even when you sleep.

Retargeting

Retargeting is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there, having a 10x higher click-through-rate than a typical display ad. To take advantage of this strategy, you’ll need a website to do that.

But what exactly is retargeting, and how does it work?

Retargeting is a form of ads that “follow” people who have already visited your website. This is crucial because 97% of people who visit websites for the first time leave without buying anything. And then, they never come back.

But retargeting helps you bring these first-time visitors back to your website.

When someone checks out your site, you are placing a pixel, which is an unobtrusive piece of Javascript, on their browser. This is where retargeting starts to work. Those who visit your site will then start seeing your ads while surfing the Internet.

Retargeting Website traffic
Source: Mailchimp

Retargeting ads follow your visitors even after leaving your site. These ads will appear when those visitors read an article or browse other stores online, constantly reminding them of the stuff you offer on your website.

You can’t run retargeting ads if you don’t have a website unless you already have built a contact list in your database. That’s why having a website is essential if you want to take advantage of this digital marketing strategy.

 

What Makes a Good Website?

So, you’re considering putting up your business website now? That’s one step closer to success.

But to get optimum results, having just a website is not enough. You have to come up with a good website.

Various elements make a good website. But if we’re speaking digital marketing, the number one thing you should consider is holistic SEO (search engine optimization).

Why Holistic SEO?

According to Yoast, a holistic SEO approach involves improving all vital aspects of a website. You do this, so your website ranks higher in the search engines.

This is crucial because, as a business, we want our target audience to find us online. With a higher ranking in the search engines, we can increase our brand visibility.

To do a holistic SEO, you should focus on the following aspects of your site once you got the basic setup, i.e., bought a domain, secured a host, and picked a theme:

  • Good technical SEO
  • User-friendly experience
  • Secure site
  • Quality content
  • Conversion optimization

Below, let me give you an overview of each of the said aspects.

Good technical SEO

This is an SEO basic that is incredibly important to your website. Technical SEO involves making your site faster and easily crawlable by search engines. When we say crawlable, it means search engines like Google should be able to understand what your website is all about.

By improving the technical aspects of your website, search engines may reward you with higher rankings on the search engine results page (SERPs).

An excellent technical SEO should have the following characteristics:

  • Fast loading time
  • Crawlable by search engines
  • Doesn’t have dead links
  • No confusing duplicate content
  • Secured
  • Has structured data
  • Has XML sitemap, or a list of all pages of your site
  • Uses hreflang (for websites targeting multiple countries)

User-friendly experience

It is already a given: your website should look beautiful.

But aside from aesthetics, your website should also be easy to navigate. When developing a website, you should put an equal consideration to user experience (UX).

Some of the typical UX elements that you should pay attention to includes:

  • Site structure
  • Site speed
  • Mobile experience

When you think of your website design, you should satisfy your visitors with a fast-loading page. They should also be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

And in a world where 52% of traffic comes from mobile devices, a mobile-friendly website is a must. Rather, it must be designed mobile-first.

Secure site

Noticed the “http” and “https” on your browsers when visiting a website? It may seem a trivial difference, but it is actually vital.

The “s” in https means secure. A secure website protects user information when they visit and perform an action on the site, say, buy a product.

http vs https

And what does this mean for you?

If you want to rank higher in the SERPs, you should make sure you have a secure website. This is because https has been a ranking signal for Google since 2014.

Several studies, like Backlinko’s, also point out a slight correlation between a secure website and higher search rankings.

But aside from SEO purposes, you should also work on securing your website if you want your target audience to visit, stay, and make transactions on your website.

This is because website insecurity could potentially impact sales. In fact, 84% of users said they would abandon a purchase if they are dealing with an insecure connection.

That said, you should also focus on securing your website.

Quality content

Content is king. Whether it be web copy, blog posts, articles, or videos, you should populate your website with content.

Content is the bread-and-butter of your website. It is what brings traffic and converts visitors into paying customers. As such, you should pay attention to producing content.

But I’m not speaking about mediocre content here. I am talking about quality content.

Google defines quality content as “valuable” content. This means it should be:

  • Useful
  • Informative
  • Credible
  • Engaging
  • High-quality
  • More valuable than other sites

Overall, the key to quality content is to write for your audience, not search engines. Your content should be able to satisfy the issues, problems, and desires of your audience.

To do this, understand what user intent is or why people search for a certain query. Are they searching for the purpose of learning information? Are they searching to find a certain website? Or are they looking for something to buy?

Identify their intent and create content with that in mind.

Conversion optimization

Now that you acquired traffic through content, what should you do next? Convert your visitors into paying customers.

This is where conversion optimization comes into play.

Conversion optimization refers to improving the effectiveness of your website to drive more sales. But how?

In general, you take the following steps to optimize your website for conversion:

  1. Evaluate your sales funnel to identify ways to improve your website
  2. Develop a hypothesis to test
  3. Create a new version of a web page or landing page to test against your current version
  4. Implement the variation that generates the highest percentage of sales

For instance, when you evaluate your website, you may discover that changing the copy, layout, or design of a web page can positively affect the number of people buying your product. This is after you tested a hypothesis and compared the results with your current version.

Through conversion optimization, you can achieve better results from your website.

That’s why conversion optimization is crucial because you’re making your sales equal to that of the traffic you are generating. Simply put, you are getting more out of the traffic you are receiving.

This allows you to spend less on PPC ads or other paid digital marketing strategies.

 

How to Create an Effective Website

Now that you know what makes a good website, it’s time to develop one for your business. Follow this step-by-step guide to ensure you are implementing the most crucial elements needed for your site.

  1. Understand your audience
  2. Analyze the competition
  3. Research the latest web design trends
  4. Choose your platform
  5. Develop copy for your audience
  6. Blogging
  7. Publish your website
  8. Monitoring and analytics

Understand your audience

To gain quality traffic, you should know who your audience is. And when I say know your audience, I mean learning beyond their gender, age, and location.

You should also look into their most pressing problems, issues, and desires.

By knowing your audience on a deeper level, you can craft a more focused website message directed to them. The right message resonates well with your visitors, and this can get them to do your desired action.

But how do you understand your audience better?

By creating buyer personas.

What is Buyer Persona

A persona is a close representation of your target audience. It contains essential details based on real target audience data you gathered in market research.

To gain the needed information to create these personas, you can conduct one or more of the research methods below:

  • Surveys
  • Personal Interviews
  • Customer observation
  • Focus groups
  • Field trials

Once you have the needed information to create buyer personas, you’re your audience come alive in the minds of the website development team.

Analyze the competition

Conducting a competitive analysis allows you to learn which websites are your greatest threats and how you can beat them.

For instance, evaluating a competitor’s website lets you find out the keywords they are ranking for, phrases they are bidding on pay-per-click (PPC), or what products are selling well for them. These are valuable insights that you can apply to your site.

Analyzing your competitors’ website is a must if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

To do this, first, you have to determine who your competitors are. You can ask your prospects and customers about whom they think competes with your business. Or you can find competitors by assuming the characters of your personas.

Once you have a list of your competitors, evaluate their strategy using some competitive analysis tools, and get some customers’ feedback on their websites.

Research the latest web design trends

Studies show that 95% of a visitor’s first impression is design-related. So, it’s always worth paying attention to your web design.

One way to strike that good first impression is by being up-to-date with the latest web design trends.

For instance, in 2020, web design is all about clarity of use and intuitiveness. This translates to oversized types and elements, solid color blocks, and split-screen content, among other trends.

However, keep in mind that the latest design trends are not one-size-fits-all. Some web designs may work for your website, while others don’t.

Before incorporating a design trend into your site, always consider the following:

  • Your industry
  • What your competitors are doing
  • Overall user experience

Emphasis on user experience. Don’t include a modern design just because it looks cool on your site. Always think about its function and if it will make the user experience any better.

Choose your platform

With so many platforms to build your website, it can get confusing. But what’s the best choice from Weebly, Shopify, Wix, WordPress, and other site builders?

SEO speaking, WordPress is the best choice.

WordPress has it all that you need to build a strong SEO campaign. From SEO-friendly themes, awesome plug-ins to easy optimization, integration, and user-friendly experience, it’s the best CMS to date.

With its amazing tools and features, WordPress helps you obtain the coveted spots in the SERPs.

Aside from site builders, you may also need to find a domain name registrar. If that’s the case, Namecheap is worth checking.

This ICANN-accredited registrar offers outstanding service to its customers, staying true to their goal of a “customer-focused atmosphere filled with the happiest customers.”

Develop well-written copy for your audience

Let’s put it this way: the website design captures your audience at first glance; the website copy engages them and sways them to action.

A website copy is how you communicate with your visitors on your site. It is what makes them perform the action you want them to do. So, it’s vital that you get the copyright.

But how do you write an effective copy?

Wordstream listed seven ways to write a compelling website copy:

  • Highlight benefits over features
  • Use the voice of the customer
  • Perform surveys to determine brand values
  • Develop a style guide for establishing brand voice
  • A/B test copy on high-value pages
  • Satisfy user intent at all times
  • Add statistics, quotes, and original data for added authority

Blog

Aside from the copy on your main web pages, you should also create more content through blogging.

Blogging is essential because it benefits both your audience and SEO.

For instance, blogging gives your audience a reason to keep coming back to your site. Imagine if you don’t have a blog, your visitors would only see the same content (home, about us, products, etc.) over and over again.

If it isn’t worth checking, you can’t expect users to return to your site. That’s why you need a blog to give your audience regular content worth checking.

Aside from that, blog posts also rack up SEO and your page rankings.

When you regularly post content, this signals search engines that your site is actively updated. This means your website should be crawled and indexed frequently, increasing your chances to rank better in the SERPs.

Blogs also present an opportunity to position your brand as an industry leader. With blogs, you can share your opinions and expertise about the industry you’re in.

Your audience benefit from the learning you provide, you’re seen as an expert in the field, and you get to rank higher in the SERPs. With blogging, it’s a win-win for you.

Publish your website

Once you got everything in the above steps covered, you’re ready to publish your website.

Make sure you proofread everything, check your links and test out forms before hitting the ‘Publish’ button. You want to make sure all the functions work when you receive your first visitors.

But don’t sweat the small stuff, though. Launching a website is a work in progress. You’ll discover what works and what doesn’t over time, which brings us to our last step.

Monitor and analyze your website performance

Now that your website is up and running, the next thing to do is to monitor and analyze your performance.

This step is crucial as it helps you identify the best ways to make your website more effective. It also determines possible issues in your strategy that you need to work on or eliminate altogether.

Monitoring and analyzing is vital, but how can you do it? Through Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Screenshot
Source: jeffbullas.com

Google Analytics is a powerful tool to monitor and analyze the traffic on your site. It is one of the most essential free website tools out there that help website owners make informed decisions.

As a business owner, you wouldn’t want to miss on valuable insights about your website, such as:

  • Where your visitors are coming from
  • How your visitors found your website
  • Which pages your users visit the most
  • How users interact with your website
  • What keywords your visitors searched for

If you want to track important metrics and monitor the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies, be sure to install Google Analytics on your site.

Check out this quick guide from Hootsuite on how you can set up Google Analytics.

 

Final Thoughts

If you don’t have a website yet, it’s time to have one now. Don’t miss out on the benefits that this online channel offers.

Take note of what makes a good website above when developing yours to be one step closer to business success.

If you need someone to talk to about getting started or optimizing your website or digital marketing strategy contact me to help streamline your process.

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