DO engage with digital marketing agencies that practice what they preach.
DON’T fall for click-bait and squeeze pages at first glance. Be sure to check the brand out first, visit their social media pages or main website.
DO create an effective online marketing strategy that will focus on your strengths and not just have a finger in every advertising medium around.
DON’T let short term failures discourage your search engine optimisation. Good content is king, and unlike ads, are permanent and will build up your domain authority if done right.
DO investigate why SEO is better than Pay-per-Click advertising in 2017, and how to get a better return on investment in the long term.
DON’T buy links from email scams about SEO and getting on 1st page of Google. Look for evidence and process, how they plan to achieve it, and will it have a negative effect on your ranking instead. Sometimes it really is too good to be true.
DO make sure your website is engaging with users. Is it easy to navigate? Use Google Analytics to monitor traffic flow from page to page and session duration. Are people staying on your site, and why are they leaving? Use call to actions to get an engagement with them before they leave your site.
DON’T think just having a website will let people find you online. To get found on search results, you need to work on your domain authority, content and keywords, and external links from high ranking sites. Google wants to see that your website is useful, fast and easy to use, as well as popular and relevant. You can do this by creating social signals, press releases, guest posts and good on page optimisation.
DO know that Xmedia Digital Solutions can talk you through the different types of marketing and advise on what might be best for your goals.
DON’T believe you will get anything for free. A few recent posts from some agencies promises to waive their fees if they don’t come through with a result. Check their fine print, they are usually covering their costs with your media spend, or are overcharging elsewhere to cover it. You might find a few legit offers, but remember, they need to be doing a lot of work to get you ranking and listed correctly, if they aren’t getting paid, how are they doing it?
DO know there is a difference when it comes to tiered linking strategies, and also to the way content is created. Make sure you use premium English for tier 1 and 2 sites.
DON’T over optimise your links and website content. Google’s search algorithm is getting a lot smarter and will eventually catch you out. Over optimisation can actually make your website rank worse in search results.
DO use White-hat link building strategies. Just like you have rules with search and social advertising, SEO needs to be carried out correctly to ensure there are no penalties.
DON’T forget to target the right audience for a better return on investment. Think 3/67/30. 30% will never buy your product, 67% are researching your product, and 3% are ready to buy now. Focus your online marketing efforts on targeting that 67% audience. With the right content that is helpful and shows your product, service or brand as the best or expert option, you can get more engagement which hopefully leads to better sales and enquiries.
DO research why having a professional website is better than doing it yourself in most cases. WordPress is a great website option, and will allow you to expand in the future. If you are tech savvy, you can create something yourself, as long as you include all the essentials like favicons, metadata, image optimisation, sitemaps, privacy policies and OG data and schema markup for sharing.
DON’T use SEO for short term goals like events, sales and current promotions. SEO is best for long term results, while pay per click advertising is best for short term and instant results. Ask our team to explain why SEO is a cost effective long term advertising solution for your business.
DO research the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.
DON’T forget we are here to help you market your brand. Contact our team for more information or answers to your questions.
Now it’s time to make sure you have your strategy sorted out coming into 2017 and you are prepared to get something back from your marketing spend. If you need to get your website in front of more people, want to dominate Google search or just need locals to be able to find you, contact our team today to get started.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
It has been an eventful year in terms of marketing, especially online with big changes to the Google search algorithm, use of ad-blockers and the way people search for products and services. Before creating your strategy for advertising in 2017, there are a few things you need to consider.
Where are your Customers?
We all rely on clients and consumers of our products and services, and when it comes to connecting with them online, we need to research our ideal audience, and assess the way they find us. While for years we have said that Google search is the essential location to get found, we know now that consumers are using mobile devices more as well as apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor. This means that simply showing up on Google will not guarantee you get found by your customers.
Its a bit like radio advertising. It is no good advertising on commercial radio stations when your ideal or most likely potential customer is listening to their own private playlist or hanging out with Triple J. It becomes a wasted investment. Same goes with your online ads. You might be showing your ad to thousands of people, but are they buying?
Focus on your product and the people who have bought it so far. How have they found you? For example, our services have always been through referrals and social media, so we invest time and money in connecting with people through email and social media content. If your audience is looking for you or your service, you need to ensure they can find you.
Many consumers now search on specific applications such as Yelp, TripAdvisor or local searches. This means that you need to be across all media associated with your product or service, and control what is being seen – contact details, reviews, feedback and possible negative content.
Is SEO really worth the money?
The short answer is yes. It is. SEO or search engine optimisation once meant getting you to page 1 of Google search. It still kind of does, although smart digital agencies are doing the research and including local content as well as citations to service finders such as the before-mentioned Yelp and TripAdvisor apps.
It needs to be more about inbound marketing than outbound marketing. Rather than throwing your brand out there to any one who will listen, throw it in front of the people who are looking and eager to buy or connect.
In recent SEO campaigns for our clients, we have been focusing on location based content, links from reputable sites in related fields, and blog posts that target a specific audience. This will not only help you get found on specific search apps, it will also still create relevant links that will improve your ranking on Google search. Its a bit of a WIN-WIN situation.
Is SEO a better investment than Pay Per Click?
Both have their merits, although for a long term investment return, SEO is the clear winner as it builds on trust and reputation through quality article content and links on reputable sites. Pay Per Click will create almost instant traffic, and can be very targeted, although will stop instantly when your budget runs dry. Another nail in the coffin for online ads is that more people are starting to use ad-blocking software to stop seeing pop-ups and banner ads. Google is even going so far to avoiding sites that have automatic pop-ups, especially on mobile devices.
It comes down to user experience as well. Take off the business hat for a minute and think about your online travels. Do you click on banner ads? Do you hate those video ads that just start playing, will you click on the Click-Bait looking ads on top of search results? What do you trust more, an organic listing on search or a directory, or an ad that is a paid placement?
SEO means listing your business in the right online local directories, creating content that makes you an authority in your field, sharing of posts to create popularity and links, social bookmarking and user generated content. All the things that search engines like Google are looking at to determine rank. Just like a viral piece of content, if your brand is trusted and popular, or at least looks that way, it will rank better.
In investment terms, this mean focusing on creating helpful and shareable content, guest blog posts about your services, press releases about what you offer, and local listings where consumers can find you. These are permanent and quality links and brand association that will stay even if your budget for one month or two drops.
Consistency is key, and although your budget might look like a roller-coaster ride, keeping a minimum SEO campaign in place is paramount to helping you rank better. Not only does it help rank, it will increase your traffic flow as it builds more links to your site, and helpful articles about your product or service.
We usually recommend our clients use a reasonable mix of the two, although with ads being kept strictly to text based search ads. With a campaign that targets your ideal audience’s search terms, we can deliver traffic that is more likely to engage with your website or brand, which ideally will increase your business’ bottom line.
Getting found in 2017
A lot will change in 2017, and how people find or search for you is one of them. With Google search focused on mobile consumers, and search terms looking more like sentences, we will need to rethink keyword strategies and campaign targeting.
It is all about anticipating what your ideal customer will do. Are they tech savvy or will they find you in a newspaper ad. No matter where they are, you need to be sure your brand shows up when they are looking for your product or service. How you do it depends on you.
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas for how you will run your marketing campaign in the new year. I would love to hear your opinions on the changes in search, your use of ads and SEO, or what you plan to do in 2017 with your marketing.
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!
Hey guys and girls. It has definitely been a while since my last post, and there has been a reason for that….. I’ve been super busy!
I am sure you all know the feeling, especially those small business owners out there, you get all caught up doing work for clients and family and next minute, you realise you have run out of time to pay attention to your own business. Shock horror, how did this happen?!
Easy, you set priorities. For me, its simple. When it comes to my family and the clients that are helping my business grow, I know they get my attention first. Anything I get to do later for my business in terms of online marketing, lead building and networking is a bonus.
This is why I believe it is important to have systems in place that keep running even when you cannot pay them attention. Online ad campaigns are great for this, as well as squeeze pages and scheduled social media posts. Do you use automation and processes to keep your business running even when you feel like you have come to a stop?
What has happened?
In the last few months, I have spent a lot of time with a few new clients that have increased their online marketing spends and campaigns to reach more people, and the time needed for research and campaign building can be quite large. I have also been busy organising the house and our routines with my beautiful princess for our new bub due in November. Super excited! My 1 year old and 13 year old are showing signs of excitement, especially now with the baby bump really showing.
As for the business, we have had our best month in June taking on a host of new clients and campaigns, as well as creating some really nice websites. To top it off, the amount of quotes I am doing is growing, especially since launching our new landing pages. Check out the new sites at www.xmediads.rocks and let me know what you think. I have kept the pages simple, with minimal distractions. Would love your feedback, and thank you to everyone who has commented to me so far. Love your positive words!
What to expect…
So with my business growing up into the star I knew it was destined to be, as well as my family about to welcome a new member, you can expect me to be working my butt off. I have been super lucky to have my partner for life and princess Brydie by my side, and she keeps me heading in the right direction and motivated. With her new ventures taking off as well with herbalenergy.com.au and Herbalife, we are focusing on lifestyle changes and the big picture.
For us, the big picture has always been about making our careers streamline with our family and social life, whilst still allowing us the freedom of time and travel. It has taken a while to get to this point, but finally we are starting to notice the changes. No longer are we tied to set work hours during set times, or having to work out of the one location. Both our businesses allow more of a laptop lifestyle. The more time we put in, the more we get out of it. Does this mean we are tied to our electronic devices? Well, sometimes, but we are in the freedom of our own time and adventures. I could be blogging or creating an ad campaign sitting in a cafe in beautiful Newcastle, or closer to home at one of the beautiful Hunter valley vineyards or cellar door eateries.
My love is sharing what I do, how I do it, and how I can help you with your online marketing adventures, so I guess you can expect more helpful posts on here, as well as across our Facebook pages and social media presence. I make a habit of keeping my business pages personal and not all about business. I’m real, my business is real, and I want my social media pages to come across that way.
What to do next..
If you are reading this, you either are interested in what I have to say, or intrigued to see where this is leading to. Well, either way, it leads right back to this blog. Be sure to bookmark my page and check out my latest articles. The next few will be about using online marketing tools like UnBounce and AdRoll to create better sales funnels, automated lead generators and how to create an online audience interested in your brand. Sound good? Stay tuned. Same bat channel. But probably a different bat time. Dave out.