Top 5 Tips for Marketing Online in 2017

Top 5 Tips for Marketing Online in 2017

Online marketing firstly, should be referred to as just ‘marketing’ as that is what it is. Approach it the same way you would with television or radio advertising, newspaper ads, flyers and sponsorship – you are looking for a return on investment. Whether that return is new clients or a sale, or perhaps just brand awareness, your marketing efforts online need to have goals and targets.

Tip 1.

Spending miserable amounts like $20 or $50 to boost your Facebook posts will do stuff all. Yes, Facebook insights might show you some ridiculous number for ‘social reach’ and then give you a number for engagement, but truth be told, you need to look at what really matters. Did that promotion give you anything back?

Boosted posts need to lead to an increase in page likes on Facebook, more web traffic to a specific page, or enquiries.

We recommend staying away from boosting posts here and there randomly, and focusing on Facebook ads with a decent budget. Decent being $200+ and on crafted ads with multiple ad layouts. By having multiple designs, you can target different people. One person might like one image, whilst another hates it. Get both clients by showing them two different images.

Use demographic targeting to narrow down your audience. This will ensure potential customers in your specific niche are seeing your posts and advertisements.

Facebook advertising works, and it offers you multiple options like carousel and video ads, lead forms, and more. Be sure to use the full arsenal to your advantage if going down that road.

Tip 2.

Everyone has heard of them, sales funnels, they work and are essential to capture your hot lead and convert it into a sale. Read more about them on Wikipedia.

People clicking on your online ads in Google search, or web banners, or social media links, are obviously interested in what you are promoting, be sure the page they land on gives them no distractions, convinces them further about your brand or product and leads in to a call to action such as buy now, enquire today or download now.

This will push them into taking the next step. If they followed an ad or search result to get there, they were obviously ready to buy.

Look at contextual advertising as the perfect example. You are targeting people looking for a specific product. If Tom is looking for a Toyota Corolla hatch, and was reading a review on the latest model, it wouldn’t take much convincing to click on a link or enquiry form which leads to your brand that sells new Corolla hatches.

Often referred to as inbound marketing, you are digging down to specific niches, and targeting Corolla buyers, with Corolla offers and ads. Same goes across the board with products and services. If you put a service in front of someone looking for that service, they are more likely to engage and buy.

Tip 3.

Don’t fall for the cheap website trick. They are cheap for a reason. If you want a website just so you have a website presence, do it yourself with WordPress or Wix. If you are looking to create a business website that is engaging, and works well on mobile and in Google search results, you will pay a premium price.

low cost cheap websites design

All the little things count, including user interaction and simple navigation on mobile and desktop, metadata and image tagging, content distribution networks and caching, favicons and Apple icons, tablet and smartphone screen responsiveness, call to actions above the fold and so much more.

A site that is setup well and loads fast on premium web hosting will perform better in search results, we guarantee it.

To put a price tag on it, web agencies offering your sites for under $1500 are misleading. I cannot count how many times clients have gone with cheaper options only to come back in a year to revamp the site and add all those features they should have got in the first place. Sometimes saving money in the wrong place will cost you more in the long run.

Do your research and find out what you need your website to achieve, then talk to your web designer and get answers on how they can make that happen. We do it, so I am sure all the others can too. Prepackaged deals are sometimes priced too good to be true.

Don’t neglect your web hosting either. We include domain registration and web hosting in our website packages, but its not cheap shit hosting. Its hosted on SSD storage drives with super fast DNS which feeds through CDN hosts to ensure fast loading of your website wherever in the world you are accessing it. Like I said, its those little things that are often neglected.

Tip 4.

Getting a return on investment for your marketing is essential for any business. Would you buy a newspaper ad in a community paper in another town you don’t operate in? No? Well showing ads to people not interested in your product or service could possibly damage your brand, as well as cost you unnecessary ad spend.

In 2017, target your audience. Investigate the options that will get you a better return on investment. A better return would include more targeted web traffic to your site or landing page, or more web enquiries through Facebook or your website, or perhaps more sales on your ecommerce site.

We advise our clients to focus on content. Being super helpful and useful, sharing what customers are looking for and giving more than you take, is what will help you get brand attention online.

So start a mailing list with helpful guides, or offer a free download of your latest app. List yourself in every relevant online directory, and research apps that people might try to find your service in like Yelp or TripAdvisor. If potential customers are searching for your product or service, they are keen to buy. Be sure they can find your brand!

Set goals for all your ad spends and marketing campaigns. Be sure you are getting something from them. Ask questions if your digital marketing agency is just invoicing you without getting solid results.

Tip 5.

Finally, be fussy with your selection of digital marketing agencies. If you have the time and knowledge to launch your own campaigns, sure, go for it. Like most of us though, we need to focus on the core of our business, and getting help with marketing will suit us best.

Choose an agency that is transparent in what they do, what they charge and what each service actually involves. After all, you are paying for it.

Secondly, be sure that agency can guarantee a positive result. Have they done it before? Have a look through their portfolio, or ask them for past client success stories. A quick indicator for some is checking social media feeds. A good digital marketing agency will have positive reviews, good feedback in posts and comments, and have a half decent page following. Page following can be deceiving though as likes can often be bought and boosted.

Be sure they are staying relevant and not just posting click-bait. Are they responding to comments and posts? Do they respond to page messages? Why aren’t they on Twitter? Is there a photo of the staff on the page? Social media should show a professional, yet personal view of the business.

How does that agency rank on Google search? After all, if they are offering to handle your social media, ads or SEO, shouldn’t they have good results for themselves?

get seo links and build content contextual linking

Get a Better Online Marketing Result in 2017

Hopefully these tips have triggered your interrogation mindset and you start asking the important questions. The one thing we really want you to take from this article is that online marketing is marketing. Treat it like your other marketing. Do not believe for a second that its going to be a cheaper option. To get results, it needs budget similar to that of traditional and offline media such as radio and television.

A client of ours last year pulled major money out of his radio campaigns and invested it in an online campaign across search and social media. What he got was measurable results with a better ranking in search results, more interaction on social media and an increase in page traffic.

Read what Amazon and Jet.com did

Online marketing has it’s advantages being the ability to get real time reports on results including clicks and reach, but it works best when tied in with your overall marketing campaigns. Match your flyers, TV and Radio, and newspaper ads with your online advertising and content, and you will get a much better result.

Happy Marketing in 2017!

Dave.

SEO in 2017: The Year to get Found Online

SEO in 2017: The Year to get Found Online

Whether it is your product or service, or an affiliate sale you are pushing, getting noticed online is your way to a better bottom line.

Travel bugs and passive income enthusiasts like Pat Flynn show that there is money to be made online, and having your website is just the beginning. Pat has used blogging and podcasts to great advantage to get his brands created. Even sites like his affiliate security guard training and food trucker site use SEO, specifically article content that shows him as an authority in his field, and creates viral-like content sharing and linking.

In 2017, we are seeing more searches being made directly from smart devices, as well as through apps like Yelp rather than Google, and search terms being closer to spoken word. It is time you researched how people are looking for your product and service, and where, and ensure your brand is showing up.

Why are Links and Content so Important?

Search engines like Google and Bing need to deliver to their user the most relevant content to the entered search term, as well as ensuring the site they are sending the user to is safe, not-spammy, and a hub of information.

They judge this criteria using complex algorithms. Don’t try and understand them,  but know that to get found online, your website needs to contain useful information including, your contact details and services, location details, a good description of what you do and who you are, and adequate use of keywords and phrases in content, tags and metadata.

Years ago it was common to limit the amount of outbound links from your site, and focus on internal links and links to your sites from higher ranking sites. In 2017, Google is looking for information hubs, so having a good mix of internal content and links to useful sites helps. Having a blog with helpful guides and updates is great, while links to authoritative sites like Wikipedia and gurus in your field help too. Think about it from a search engine point of view. Your site needs to offer the most information for a user that will help them with their search enquiry. If Google or Bing believe your site contains helpful information as well as links to sites where you can find more targeted information, it will send the user there. If other people are linking to your site as a point of reference or authority, you will rank better as search engines believe you are an expert in your field. The bigger an expert you look, the better you will rank. Of course, there is a lot more to it, but this is the basics.

Building content and links on higher ranking sites can drive more traffic to your website, as well as help establish your brand name in the field.

Search engines penalise sites that are spammy, and look to be over optimising. To avoid this, build really useful content that people will want to read. Focus on the user, and include lots of helpful information. Keep your link anchor text natural with around 10% containing your keywords. Also ensure your website loads fast and has caching enabled and images optimised. All this will help you avoid search engine penalties and rank you better in search results.

2017 is all about mobile devices. Make sure your site performs on small screens too!

Our SEOBOT website helps you create content if you do not have time to create your own. It can also drop links and citations on high ranking websites leading back to your site. Our link building packages use a tiered linking structure to both avoid penalties on your website, as well as building a natural link layout. This structure looks a bit like that of a viral piece of content, with a combination of social signals and links. Find out more about SEOBOT at https://seobot.com.au

How to get found in more Places

The most important advice I can give you is to research your ideal client. Find out as much as you can through feedback or purchase reporting. Where did they hear about your brand, where do they live, what are their interests, how old are they, and all those personal questions.

We basically want to find out as much as possible. Why? Because lets say they listen to the radio a lot, you might think radio advertising is the ideal choice. But if they listen to community radio or channels like Triple J, you may miss them when you advertise on commercial radio stations.

Where did they find you? They may have found you online, although not necessarily on Google search. Perhaps they used an app on their mobile like Yelp or TripAdvisor to search for your product or service.

#stalking

Bottom line is, if you know where your customer is most attentive to product placement ads and listings, you can ensure that you are listed in those places and focus on building rank to out-rank your competitors in that listing.

Try something different every now and then with your advertising. Think outside the box. Perhaps a sports event or festival might be full of your potential customers, see if you can advertise or sponsor the event.

Xmedia Digital Solutions is helping clients just like you this year connect with their audience through social signals, creative content and press articles, as well as website optimisation and rank building. If you would like a piece of the pie, or get the basics sorted on your web presence, get in touch and lets talk about an online strategy for your brand.

Happy Marketing and Audience Stalking,

Dave.

Internet Marketing will be Non-Existent in 2017.

Internet Marketing will be Non-Existent in 2017.

As the year 2016 draws to a close, the term ‘Internet Marketing’ will be remembered by many business owners and shops as the one thing they need to do better next year, but will it still be a ‘thing’ in 2017?

According to David Walter from a leading Hunter Valley web design and marketing agency, the term ‘internet marketing’ should be left in 2016.

“It (internet marketing) is no longer seen as another form of marketing for a business. Just as TV and radio fall under the one banner of marketing or advertising, so too will web based marketing” said Mr Walter.

With more business owners finding the need to advertise online as well as their offline efforts, Mr Walter believes we should do away with the term internet marketing and focus on web based advertising as what it is – marketing and advertising.

“Why shouldn’t we count web advertising in the same category as TV and radio? It is just as essential, if not more, in this day and age. With web based spending by consumers on the rise, along with product and service searches on mobile devices becoming the normal, businesses need to include web advertising into their marketing and advertising strategies, alongside the normal media.”

In a recent talk given by Mr Walter, he explained how he believes that in 2017, business owners will need to focus on their marketing budgets and targeting their correct audience. To do this he suggested researching the current buyer or user of your brand, and analysing their habits. Do they listen to mainstream radio? Are they attentive during commercials on television?  Are they looking online for your type of product or service?

Research has shown that people looking for your product or service are more likely to buy, whilst people who see your advertisement somewhere might recollect seeing it, but not necessarily be moved to take action. Mr Walter, in his talk, suggested utilising a new form of SEO.

SEO, a term thrown around a lot throughout 2016 and earlier, stands for search engine optimisation. It relates to improving your organic ranking in search engines online such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

David believes that more and more searches online are being carried out on mobile devices and not always through a search engine like Google. Someone looking for a good restaurant nearby might use the Yelp application whilst others searching for accommodation might look through TripAdvisor or AirBNB. The point he makes is that businesses should identify where their audience is looking and ensure your brand is showing up firstly, and secondly is attracting positive user generated content like reviews and feedback.

While SEO will help you get found on local and national search results on search engines like Google, some digital agencies miss the mark when listing businesses in the appropriate online directories and applications. David tells his audience to confirm with their marketing team or digital agency that they are finding the right listings and search terms for their brand, and ensure they are not wasting money on optimising something that will not help improve their return on investment, such as web advertising that gets blocked by their ideal user.

David Walter owns and manages web marketing agency, Xmedia Digital Solutions, and has been helping business owners since 2009 do more with technology and the web. He is open to explaining his opinions in the field of online advertising in more detail and can be contacted through his business’ website. As a digital marketing guy would say, just Google it!

This article originated on davidwalter.com.au by Brydie Kiem.

INSIDER TIPS: SEO needs to involve more than just Google.

INSIDER TIPS: SEO needs to involve more than just Google.

Whilst SEO or Search Engine Optimisation has always meant making your website show up better on Google results, we are finding that we need to do more than just create external content and jazz up websites with keywords, metadata and tags.

Whilst many will argue that SEO is dead, (they are wrong by the way) the fact is we need to broaden our horizons when referring to SEO.

Our SEO packages these days are more in depth and involve a multi-faceted attack on the interwebs. Why? Firstly, because people are not just Googling anymore. Fashion for example is one industry where people are using apps like Pinterest and Instagram to find what they need. To find a restaurant, people are using localised search apps like Yelp. To get some tips on travelling to specific locations, people are looking to sites like TripAdvisor, and the list goes on. So when creating your online presence, ensure you are listed and easily found where your audience will go looking.

You might also like to read: How to Rank your Website in 90 Days

Tracking down your Audience

As you can see, with more apps and sites these days focused on specific industries, your audience could be hiding somewhere else rather than Google search. Social media platform Facebook is used regularly to check up on a brand and to monitor feedback and comments from others. What we call ‘user-generated content’ such as reviews and replies to posts are what people are taking notice of. Two reasons for this. First one is there is a name behind the comment or review. It’s a real person (we hope) unlike what you might find in Google search results. Secondly, user generated content is just that, content created by users of your product or service telling the world what they think. It’s not just you or one of your employees stating how good you are and why everyone should buy from you. Social media content can be digital gold, and with more and more showing up in search results, it is worth paying attention to it.

When looking where to build a presence, think about your typical customer, or your ideal customer. Now imagine a day in their life. What would they get up to…..

{starts dreaming about fashionista Mia}

Mia wakes up nice and early every morning. She can’t be wasting her day. She is straight up and making herself brekky whilst checking her smartphone for the latest social media updates that popped up overnight.

After brekky she responds to the social media world and posts about her plans for the day. She is thinking about buying a new dress for that formal event tomorrow night, so she jumps on to Pinterest to get some ideas and see what the latest fashions are.

Mia needs to go to the post office, so decides she will look for that perfect dress at the same time. She gets to the post office and then wonders where would be best to start. She turns again to her smartphone and asks Google Now to show her dress shops in the local area.

She sees 3 results that are quite close, but two of them have multiple 5 star reviews. She Facebooks both shops to see what they have going on. Yippeee! One of them has a sale on. Mia is glad she checked the Facebook page!

{wakes up}

As you can imagine, the shop that got Mia’s business needed to have a fresh and current Facebook profile, as well as being listed in the appropriate online directories to get found in searches, as well as have good reviews from past customers. But where do you find time to do all of this?!

My advice is to focus on what is important. Be sure to get listed everywhere important. Book a local SEO plan that will list you on all the prominent directories as well as set you up on Apple and Google Maps, and with a Google Local business page. When it comes to Facebook, post at least once a day and keep it semi-personal. Got something interesting in store? Show it off. Celebrating a milestone? Show it off. People love knowing what is going on with your business, especially if it is current news. So keep your Facebook page fresh with new and interesting content.

You Might also like to Read: How to Setup a Facebook Page

If you don’t have time to do more than Facebook, then don’t. Many people will just look on platforms and apps like Pinterest to get ideas, doesn’t mean they won’t resort to Google or Facebook to find the actual shops.

Reviews are the next big thing to focus on. Got lots of happy customers? Ask them to leave you a review on your Facebook page or Google business page. Both are a great way to show others that people love your brand, the product, the service and what makes it special. Many business owners refuse to allow reviews on their Facebook page. This could be because they are getting trolled or the feature is being abused. Where possible, use reviews, even if you get a few negatives. This just shows you are real, the key here is to flood it with positive reviews to outweigh the negative. People all too often are happy to vent and leave a nasty review, so it pays to ask happy customers to go to the effort to leave you a positive review. You will be surprised at how many people are happy to oblige and leave you a review!

So once you have the big listings and networks covered, be sure to search the internet for industry related sites and apps. Think about where your ideal customer would look online. Look for your style of product. What results come up? Are there sites where you can get your business listed? Many industry directories are free to get listed in, some even allow you to add photos and videos. The more you can get out there the better.

Return Clients are your Gold

Treasure your customers, especially the happily satisfied ones. Not only can they leave you a review, they can bring you back more business. Happy customers talk, and the best advertising is word of mouth. A referral to a friend about your product or service will mean more to the person they tell than any of your advertising could.

To take advantage of this potential gold mine, keep your customers happy. Loyalty programs and cards, mailing lists and special offers are a great way to keep your brand in their mind. This is also an important time to ensure your business has a point of difference. Sure, you and the shop across the road might both sell gumboots, but you sell the half sizes and rare designer collections. Make this stand out. That way when someone thinks about gumboots, they think of you. Put it in your slogan, maybe something like ‘the perfect fit and look for any rainy day’ or something that mentions your point of difference.

Mailing lists can work really well for some brands. The secret here is don’t oversell. The advantages of inbound marketing such as mailing lists and post-sale emails is that the customer will come to you when they are ready. All you need to provide in that email is why you are the best in your industry, examples of happy clients, and special offers. That way when they need gumboots, who are they going to go to first?

Coupons and after-sale offers work well too. Don’t put too long an expiry date on them, otherwise people will forget about them. You want them kept on the fridge or in their inboxes to be scheduled in to their next trip to the shops.

Keywords are Changing

Just when people are starting to understand what a keyword is and how to research the best ones to use, they are starting to change and adapt to our current trends.

We have always encouraged our clients to utilise long tail keywords. These are almost phrases rather than single or double words, and are closer to a lot of the specific search terms entered into Google search.

With longtail keywords, it can be easier to focus on a niche and dominate it for specific search terms.

Now that we are seeing more mobile users searching on the internet, and newer phones making more use of voice search, we have to understand that this will change the search terms. With voice searches, terms are closer to natural speech than typed. For example, when searching for a local pizza shop in Maitland, you might have typed “pizza shop maitland” into Google. Now on your smartphone, what are you searching? It is more likely closer to an actual question like “show me the closest pizza shop”. Using your phones location sensor, your phone will now show you answers to match your search term that also closely match your current location.

Leave yourself open to variations in searches. Different people will search for different terms. Use tools like Google’s keyword planner tool to find common searches and build on them. If you are trying to find a local audience, it is good practice to include your location in keywords. Instead of just pizza shop, you’d use maitland pizza shop. Go one better and use words that people might search, like “best pizza shop in maitland” or “the best pepperoni pizza in maitland and rutherford”. There are lots of variations. Use a combination of the best keywords for your industry combined with go words like ‘best’ as well as your location or service area.

In Summary

It pays to research your audience. A lot!

Look at your past sales. Sometimes your ideal customer is not the person you had in mind. See who is buying your product. It can help to add surveys or questions to your sales process. Perhaps get a postcode from every customer, or ask where they found out about your store.

Try to isolate online websites, apps and networks where your customer is most likely to look for your brand. Sometimes an older clientele might trust Facebook alone, whilst a younger audience might like what they find on Instagram. Then again, it could be the exact opposite too.

Don’t try to be everywhere, just be everywhere that is important, and that means, where your customers are. Whilst it is still important to be all over Google search results, it also pays to be across popular apps and sites.

When it comes to searching keyword terms, think about how you would look for your product. What would you type in or voice search?

Hopefully this helps you get across search presence and the benefit of looking outside the square. We provide a flexible and tailored approach to SEO for our clients, offering a solution that suits their audience rather than just a generic link building package. If you would like to find out more about SEO for your business, ask for a free audit of your brand and web presence and get a tailored marketing strategy that you can even put in place yourself.

RELEVANT QUOTE: Authoritative Content is King. 

 

Hope this helps. Dave out.

How to get on Page 1 of Google Search, and the Truth about Buying Links

How to get on Page 1 of Google Search, and the Truth about Buying Links

Where do you search for products and services? Google?

For most people, and more and more these days, search is being done on mobile and tablet devices through Google search. Everyone is looking for the quick and easy way to do everything, and doing a quick search on Google beats the phone book or local directory almost every time.

Spend your marketing budget wisely

When it comes to deciding on where to invest your marketing budget, there are a myriad of options to consider including your traditional media such as radio and television, as well as so many different ways to spend both time and money online. But which one works best?

That depends on your business model, product or service and where your ideal audience can be found. Even though I have helped people with print marketing, video and radio copy, my primary focus has always been on digital marketing. Why? Because it works!

Spending $40,000 a year on radio advertising might help create brand awareness, or promote that special event, but when it comes to getting found at a time of need, online marketing wins every time. Even when people hear your radio ad, many listeners jump on their phone or tablet to look you up online, check out your website or find out more about what was just advertised.

I just heard about an airshow coming up, first thing I did was hit Google to find the official website or Facebook page for details. Even when it comes to shopping, most of my Christmas present ideas get researched and bought online.

So the smart budget is spent making sure that when people do search for you or your product online, they find you!

Getting on Page 1 of Google

It is not as hard as you think. Don’t think that your website has to be in the number 1 spot on Google search results every time someone types in your product or service. Do you really think your competitors don’t want the same thing?!

The secret here is to be everywhere!

First things first, directory listings. List your business everywhere you can that is either a local or industry-related directory. Use the exact same Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) you have listed on your website, this will help keep things clear with Google.

Next up, get listed on Google and Apple maps. Both are simple to get on to and they’re free listings. With smartphones making getting directions easy, you need to make sure you can get found.

While you are at it, be sure to fill in your business details with Google Business. This will help Google know more about your business, and also links with your Google map listings. It also allows you to add images and content that will get seen on Google search results. Pay particular attention to your opening hours, business description and profile image.

Once you have a Google Business listing, you can also start monitoring your online reviews on Google, and even asking people to create a review for you. We refer to this content as user-generated content. Like I say to all my clients: rather than you telling me how good your business is, let others tell me and it will build a sense of trust. Same goes with social media reviews and shares.

Which brings me to the next point of attention – social media signals. You don’t have to be on all of them. Stick to the ones you can manage. I usually recommend Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Social signals are starting to get results with Google search. Remember to post regularly and keep it slightly personal. Social media is about showing what is behind that big corporate brand or shop front. Let the public meet the people behind the brand.

Next up, Google Ads. Yep, it seems Google is giving text ads (Adwords) a good spot on their search results page (SERP) right up the top. On mobile devices, these are some of the first results we see. Before anyone sees any website results, Google usually shows about 3-4 text ads, Google business and map listings, followed by either more ads or the organic results. So text ads are a great way to put your brand in the results even before your website is ranking well, although it is not cost effective for all business types. Depending on your industry and competition from your competitors, it can become a very costly campaign with some clicks costing more than $10 with no guarantee of a sale or enquiry.

Advertising spans across a whole heap of platforms including social media, search and Google’s display network. You can also look at remarketing, which targets users that have landed on your website already. This gives you a second chance at getting a sale or enquiry from them. Different platforms work better for different brands and business models.

When it comes to choosing advertising, think a lot about your ideal audience or customer. What is their age group, where would you find them online, and what would they be looking for? Same goes for social media, if you are targeting business users you might want to utilise Linkedin or Twitter whilst others chasing brand awareness and feedback might find Facebook better. It comes down to research and testing.

Long term Investment for a Better Rank on Google

So you are listed everywhere you can find online, you are using social media, you can be found on Apple and Google maps, and people can review your business online. What now?

CONTENT!! Google is a search engine that looks for great content. Bottom line…. CONTENT IS KING!

Don’t believe all those spammy emails from offshore marketing agencies selling you cheap SEO or links for your website. Google’s search algorithm is smarter than you might think. Spam links and over optimisation will get you penalised resulting a lower organic search result.

Buying links is considered BLACK HAT. Evil. It might be tempting when you hear how fast they can help you get ranked, but in the long term, you could be throwing all that money down the drain when Google drops you off the results page totally. Stay clean, both for Google search and for your online audience.

Seriously, both Google and your online readers want the same thing……

Seriously, both Google and your online readers want the same thing – Answers to their questions, whether that is about pricing, images or product details, they want and NEED to be able to find out easily. Or they’ll just go elsewhere.

To do this, we need to make sure your website is optimised with all the necessary tags, metadata and content Google needs. We also need to make sure your navigation is simple to use on both mobile and desktop browsers, and gives people an easy way to find what they need. Here is a simple checklist I prepared earlier – click here for my website SEO checklist.

Once your site is optimised, keep it fresh with updated content. Start a blog page or share your latest updates. This will both give your readers a reason to stay on your site and even come back to read your updates, but will also keep the website relevant and current with Google’s search bots.

A decent blog post needs to be at minimum, 500-1000 words long. Remember your H1 header tags, and use internal linking to show off other pages and posts on your site.

When it comes to sharing content on your social media pages, use your newly created blog posts. Not only does this reduce you writing about the same thing twice, but it will also bring new readers to your website. If done right, they may even check out your other blog posts or even make a website enquiry. Wooohooo!

A great website and content is a perfect start to any SEO campaign, but now it’s time we need to tell Google search how good your site is. How? Back links! We already have some created – remember all those local and business directory listings?

Backlinks are external links from other sites pointing to your site. This shows that your site is worth checking out as other people are pointing/referring to it. The more the better. The trick here is making them look as natural and organic as possible. Many marketing agencies will tell you to use keywords or your product name in the anchor text for each link. Hmmm…. this can cause grief. Google hates over optimisation.  We usually stick to a 90/10 rule. 90% of links look natural, whilst 10% contain keyword specific anchor text. What is a natural link? Think URLs, business names, blank entries, etc.

That 10% we mentioned, it also helps if those links are coming from other sites that are already ranking really well. The more authority they have with Google, and if they are related to your industry or product, the better! If it comes from a trustworthy site like a .edu or .gov website, even better!

Where do you find backlinks? You make them. Remember me saying content is king? This applies with backlinking too. Guest posts and blogs on other sites are are great way to both show your authority and knowledge in your field, as well as create links back to your site. You can also troll forums and groups online to help out with comments and feedback. Most of these sites will allow you to link back to your website.

In my business, I use a pyramid shaped SEO plan for most clients with the main site being at the top. The second row will consist of a well written and created website with links back to the main site. From here, the third and fourth row sites will focus on different keywords and categories and link to specific pages on the second row sites. The rows below these will then build up bulk pointing to all of the above except the main site. By using well written articles written about my client’s product or service, we are providing great content for Google to find, and then by using a mix of link anchor text, we are building our 90/10 ratio of backlinks I need.

Of course this takes time, and building it up will usually take 2-3 months. It all depends on both the competition and the industry. Most important thing to remember is to keep it all legit. Google and your readers are looking for great content, help them find it. That is the bottom line. If you give them the best information, along with great call to actions to enquire or buy, you will be the winner.

If you can do all this yourself, awesome! Start now as the longer you are doing it for, the sooner your results will come through. Don’t have the time or the skillset to do this? Why not get someone like me to do it for you? We keep our campaigns transparent and our pricing is better than most agencies I know. Give your business some great options, contact me today and we can discuss what you are looking to achieve and my options and pricing to get that result.

ARE YOU AN AGENCY? We help other marketing agencies outsource their SEO campaigns to us, as well as content creation and website troubleshooting. We’d love to hear from you!

CLICK HERE to contact David Walter today & receive your FREE action plan!

Using branded shortened URLs for your weblinks

Using branded shortened URLs for your weblinks

We have all done it at some time, and had to share a URL and it was the looooooongest address in history! OMG!

Of course these days, sites like bit.ly make shortening URLs simple. You just paste in the destination web address and out pops a nice short URL to use on your links.

For example, instead of dishing out: yourdomain.com/blog/how-to-sell-more-chicken-costumes-online

You could shorten it to something like: bit.ly/3aand53

Sites like bit.ly create random strings that become your new shortened link. If you haven’t seen them before, keep an eye on people’s website links, especially in social media bio’s and on affiliate pages. When it comes to hiding a web address, sites like bit.ly are super handy. You could quite easily hide the destination address: givemeallyourmoneyforthisproduct.com with a shortened URL link and no one would be the wiser until after they clicked on it.

So they do have their pros and cons, but they definitely come in handy when you have a long web address you want to share and post about.

Branded URLs.

Why just have a random looking shortened URL to share. Bit.ly lets you use branded URLs. What does this mean?

Simply, you can register any domain you want, and then use this as your share or base address. Then bit.ly will add the random string after this domain.

A perfect example of this is the blog you are on right now. As our blog address is http://xmediads.rocks/ followed by any number of words for each specific article, it can be a bit long to share or write in posts. So I shortened it. Our branded domain is xds.tips and to get to this blog, you can simply type in xds.tips/Ad50nline  <— notice I changed the random string too.

Now I find it easy to share our blog address, and it doesn’t look silly on mobile phones or in small profile bio’s.

Learn more about setting up a branded domain on their support page, which you can find at the below address:

https://bitlysupport.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1843192

Create a Branded Domain on Bit.ly

It is very simple to get started with a branded domain.

Step 1. Get your domain name. This could be one you already own or a new one. I like to keep it short, as a long one kind of defies the purpose. You can also think about using a subdomain, such as tips.xmediads.rocks

Step 2. Create new A records for your domain or add a CNAME record for subdomains. In your domain’s zone manager, or the place you change DNS settings, you will need to add or update the A records. They need to point to 67.199.248.12 and 67.199.248.13.

If you decided to go with a subdomain, you will need to add in the CNAME record and point it to: cname.bitly.com

Should you find yourself needing help to do this, firstly refer to the link above to the Bit.ly support page, otherwise, feel free to contact me or my team and we will sort it out.

Hope this helps you shorten your long links!

 

Dave out.

 

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