Congratulations to Ian Brown who won our website audit competition. We’ll be in touch next week to get the process underway. Thank you to everybody who entered. Your entries have given us some good blog topics. We’ll cover them over the next few months and let you know when your topic has been covered.
Please note: we are strategists first and foremost so we are assuming you have a marketing strategy sorted but what you are struggling with is how to put that into action. No strategy? Perhaps we should talk about a fast track marketing plan first?
We will start this guide by getting your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in order because in 2017 it is a crucial element in driving traffic to your website. Then we’ll look at your online content and review how you could start making some ripples in social media, which is where most of your fish are!
— Baker Marketing (@baker_marketing) September 6, 2017
Please note that although we have some starting activities here, SEO is a long-term strategy.
That being said, here are six ways you can jump start your SEO right now!
Oh, and one other note: The principles you need to grasp for digital marketing are timeless principles. So much so, that this article Patrick Patrick wrote back in 2013 after seeing The Internship, is still relevant and would make a great follow up article to read if you’re interested in using digital marketing for local results: The Internship: An apprenticeship in local internet marketing
Digital marketing quick wins: Use an SEO plugin
Installing a good SEO plugin is essential for making your site search engine-friendly.
What is a SEO Plugin? In short, it’s a tool, often free, that will help you to easily add SEO titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords to each post and page on your site.
Where do you start you ask? If you are using WordPress as your content management system, we think SEO by Yoast is a comprehensive and simplistic solution for all your on-site SEO needs.
Once installed, Yoast will add a small section at the bottom of the admin screen for every Page and Post where it will ask you to pick a focus keyword for your article and then give you a to do list so you can make sure Google will get a clear picture of what the article is about.
One of these fields is for your meta descriptions, those bits of text that Google shows in search results, just under the title and the link.
Google usually just picks a piece of your page text to show in that area, but with SEO plugins like Yoast, you can easily craft a unique intro sentence to help someone who is seeing you in search results get more interested in clicking through to read what you’ve written.
Search Engines want to give their users the best possible experience, which means they are not going to rank websites loaded with errors.
Using tools (like Screaming Frog) will analyse your website and gather data identifying the errors on your site.
Start by entering your website’s URL in the ‘enter URL to spider’ box, and press ‘start’. When done you can start to analyse the outcomes.
Next, look at the HTTP status codes under the ‘Response Codes’ tab. The HTTP codes that you want to take note of and correct are:
- 404: Not found
- 500: Server error
- 503: Unavailable
The above errors can easily be fixed by implementing a 301 redirect to a relevant page. If that sentence means nothing to you, ask your webmaster or your Baker Marketing consultant for help.
When analysing the Page Title data what we are looking for here is that every page must have a unique title, with each containing the keyword you want your page to rank for.
Yoast SEO tip: Since May 2016, Google changed the maximum width for page titles and now shows longer titles when the screen has the space for it. This means the optimal title length for SEO differs per type of result. We would suggest getting your most important keyword in the first half of the title, but if your title is slightly longer than the small result because of branding: let it be!
Another important item to review is your meta description on every page, to make sure they are all unique. Remember, Meta descriptions are those bits of text that Google shows in search results.
Screaming Frog can typically help you with the following (and more):
- Find broken links
- Analyse Page Titles and Meta Data
- Review Robots & Directives (this is code on many websites to give direction to the search engines – you don’t want to get these wrong and Google even says you should have no robot instructions these days)
- Discover Duplicate Content
It is important to note that this should not only be done on new content, but also your current content and pages.
Fixing and optimising current pages is where you can get some quick SEO wins resulting in higher search rankings and increased traffic.
Digital marketing quick wins: Mobile visitors, your biggest supporters
Mobile Devices account for 60% of the time spent by users browsing the internet, so you cannot afford to ignore having mobile friendly pages.
You can quickly use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool to see if your pages on your site is mobile friendly.
Something worth considering, is that while people doing search on mobiles is continuing to grow, new technology is encouraging people to do online search by talking to their devices.
While voice search is already achievable on most smartphones, gadgets like HomePod by Apple, Google Home by Google, and Amazon Echo and Patricka devices are arriving at speed.
This means it will become increasingly important to start writing article titles in the form of the spoken voice, rather than in written voice, if we want Siri and friends to recommend us in the future.
To start with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool, insert the URL into the box to test if it is mobile friendly. If your page is mobile friendly you can submit it to Google.
A test page will include a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device.
Google will help identify what the page loading issues giving you the ability and guidance to correct them.
NOTE: Do not assume that every page is mobile friendly. Once you have tested one page, go and see what other mobile usability issues Google has detected on your entire site by visiting the Mobile Usability report.
Digital marketing quick wins: Ensure you lead the race on page speed
Have you ever considered that your site’s speed should be a priority?
As previously mentioned (and worth mentioning again), Search Engines are always striving to ensure the best possible user experience; slow sites detract from that experience.
Research has shown that faster download time of pages can lead to increase in conversions.
Slow pages can negatively affect your search ranking as site speed is one of the benchmarks measured by Search Engines to rank pages.
We recommend using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to identify ways in which you can make your site faster.
Simply put in your website’s URL and it will rank your page out of 100 with suggestions as to how you can improve your site speed.
As we mentioned earlier, mobile devices in many cases will make up the majority of your sites traffic.
For this reason, we need to ensure that your pages load quickly for mobile devices. A great tool to assist with this is the Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) tool.
Once you have entered your website’s URL using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, Google will show you how your websites page speed scores for both mobile and desktop. It may also provide recommendations on how to fix any issues.
The simplest issues to fix are:
- Optimising your image sizes
- Avoid landing page redirects (where pages on your site shunt visitors to other pages automatically)
- Enable compression
There may be some more difficult fixes, and based on your abilities, it may be best to seek further assistance.
Digital marketing quick wins: Tell your supporters what you’re about
When creating content for digital marketing quick wins, it is really important that Search Engines are able to determine what your page is about.
Your Title and Meta Description should provide this information.
Use carefully identified keyword selection in the content to boost your rankings and avoid keyword stuffing here, which is where you repeat your focus keyword unnaturally. For example, if we inserted digital marketing quick wins here just because we wanted to rank for that term, it would stick out awkwardly to you and to Google.
Further criteria Search Engines use to rank your pages is Anchor Text – any links on your page.
Using the same keyword over and over in your anchor text can land you in trouble with the Search Engines.
Instead you want to use keywords that are text descriptive. That is, it should not be generic text keywords, but rather keywords relevant to the page you are linking to.
Digital marketing quick wins: Know what you’re up against, do your preparation
Google Search Console will help you to understand how Google bots crawl, analyse and index your website.
Google Search Console is your essential tool to check the health of your site and help you discover any issues that could potentially hurt your rankings.
To introduce yourself to Google Search Console, start in the ‘Search Analytics Report’ section where you can identify which pages are drawing in your traffic, as well as identifying the keywords which led them there.
You can then use these keywords on other relevant pages to further boost traffic.
Don’t forget to update the title and meta description of the page with the keywords.
CAUTION: As previously mentioned, be careful not to “load” the page with keywords. The content needs to flow naturally. We suggest using three-five keywords per 350-500 words.
Once done, you can submit the changes through Google Search Console. The submission will alert Google to re-analyse your pages to update your rankings. After 1-2 weeks, you should see an increase in traffic if you have successfully applied the steps.
5 easy, weekday tactics for digital marketing quick wins
Of course, there are hundreds or even thousands of long term strategies to enhance your SEO, jump-started with the points above, but we also have five easy, weekday support tactics for additional digital marketing quick wins that you could easily slip into your calendar.
Stephen Covey established in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that the week is the perfect unit of time to building new habits.
He argued that our society is structured around the days of the week, and if you miss one week, you can quickly get back on track next week, whereas, setting habits based on fortnightly or monthly cycles can go astray because missing one action has too much momentum-sapping time elapsing before your next turn.
So, the key to our quick wins is to do little tasks regularly, picking up and maintaining momentum from the outset.
In truth, many problems with marketing is that people are worried about doing the wrong thing. However, they should be more worried about doing nothing.
Monday: Facebook and Instagram
In South Australia, the latest Sensis report reveals Facebook (used by 97% of the population) and Instagram (56%) are the most used social media networks.
While these tools can be great for engagement, it is good to start by using a Facebook or Instagram business account to build awareness.
So, each Monday, why not choose a photo, load it into your Instagram business account, and then create a caption that connects it to a question, problem, or experience your target market (or someone who influences your target market) might care about?
Be sure to tag a relevant person or business if appropriate. Send.
Then use the same image for your Facebook Business Page but schedule this one, with a different caption, for use later in the week, perhaps early in the morning or during the evening.
Yes, it is good to shake things up with different images but there is no problem to use the same picture if you have different captions, especially when you are staggering the publication dates and when you are trying to come up with some easy wins.
This can be applied to LinkedIn and Twitter too.
And, of course, over time you can start to make your approach more comprehensive.
Tuesday: Google News
While you will hopefully be blogging regularly in relation to the wants, needs, and problems that you can help your target market with, it is a good idea to make some blog articles more sharply focused on news.
You might even craft these articles as news releases for online news services like Newsmaker.
Therefore, your tip for Tuesday might seem like common sense, but if you want your “newsy” blog posts to be referenced in Google News, you need to ensure that your articles are news related.
Google Trends is a great tool to help identify news worthy content ideas and to see what is trending at the moment.
How will Google know when you have a news worthy article?
By creating a Google News Sitemap (try the SEO Yoast plugin), you then submit it through your Google Search Console.
Once you do that, more news worthy articles will get picked up giving you the possibility of being ranked and traffic being driven to your site.
For more info, follow the Google News Guidelines.
Wednesday – Review your blogs
Pick one page or post from your website today and apply SEO principles.
Using SEO Yoast (as mentioned) is a great guide to help you remember everything.
In Yoast, you will be asked to choose a keyword for the Page or Post, and then it will give you a To Do list to complete for that article.
Thursday: Try something new, spice it up
There are so many avenues to drive traffic that get overlooked.
For example, your email signature is a great way to drive more traffic. We would only have two of the below three at any one time:
- Link to your website
- Have your main social media profile to try and get more followers
- Mention your latest blog post
You know your business, challenge yourself to think outside the box to reach your target market.
It may seem difficult at first, but gets easier (and more fun) with time.
Friday – Write a new blog post
We often put writing content last on our to-do lists, and yet, blogging is a crucial element of content marketing when it comes to generating organic traffic to your site.
Remember, when writing your blog, it is really important to focus on your headline.
Neil Patel mentions that, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your content.
Start by using questions you get often as the source for your first blog posts.
Enjoy yourself or play with some new tactics that you have not tested yet.
You can also use your weekend to apply a Media Habit of taking photos for use through the next week, whether out at events, or when using your products.
Saving such images using Google Photos also has the bonus of being able to use Google’s artificial intelligence to search for photos by topic, when you need them later.
For example, you can type in “duck” and the photos app will show any of your duck photos, without you having to label them.
You can never have too many photos when you have such a good search tool.
The most efficient and time-consuming way to have digital marketing quick wins is by having a marketing professional at Baker marketing review your website, social media and content strategy. However, we hope this overview will help you make some great “first steps” by yourself.