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2019 Online Marketing Checkup for Small & Medium Businesses

Posted on January 10, 2019 by

laptop and stethoscope

Time for your online marketing checkup!

With 2019 now upon us it’s time to do a quick check of your online marketing assets. This is designed to be short and snappy but you will almost certainly find something useful.

SEO – Check your search engine rankings in Google

Put your browswer into incognito (Chrome) or private mode (Safari) and search Google for your main keywords or phrases. If you aren’t ranking on page 1, it’s time to take action! There are some free tools that do this but I’d recommend a manual check for this one-off instance.

Website technical – Check your online forms are working

Go to your website and complete all your online forms to check they are all working as expected. If any are broken or end up in your spam, take action to fix them right away so your don’t risk missing any enquiries.

Website technical – Audit your website for technical issues

Go to ScreamingFrog and run a site audit of your website. It’s free and will give you everything you need to know with regard to any technical issues that you have with your website that are negatively affecting your SEO. Fix these asap!

Website design – Look to see how your site compares to your competitors

How does your current website stack up compared to your competition? Is yours looking tired or old? Many visitors are put off by old or dated looking websites so be critical and take steps to improve or redesign it if necessary.

Responsive web design sign

Website technical – Is your site mobile friendly?

Use Google’s mobile friendly test and check that your site is mobile friendly. If it’s not then this is a problem that you need to fix right away as it’s a key SEO ranking factor for Google. It’s also very important that your site works well for anyone visiting your website on a mobile device (obviously!).

Branding – Is your branding consistent?

Check your branding across all your online and offline assets. Are you using the same branding and logo across your social media accounts, website, printed material, sign-work, vehicles etc? If not take action because your brand is important.

Website UX/UI – Audit your website user journey

This might sound arduous but it’s not. Put yourself in the shoes of a website visitor and check that they can easily navigate your website and get to everything quickly and easily. Also make sure that you have plenty of CTA’s (Calls To Action) on the key parts of your site.

Website SEO – Check your website speed

Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to check how your site performs across all platforms for speed. If you are getting a slow score for either Desktop or Mobile, or both, then take action to fix it asap.

Website SEO/Technical – Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Hopefully, you already have Google Analytics set up on your website but you should also have Google Search Console set up too. Follow the links above or Google it and then follow the setup instructions and check out the user guides.

SEO – Optimise your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Find out who’s ranking well for your keywords and see if their page titles and meta descriptions are more interesting or engaging than yours. Also check your keywords are there. Click through rates are higher for well written titles and descriptions and this is a key SEO ranking factor.

Summary

Running through the points in this checklist will serve you well. You will be able to start the year off knowing that you’re in good shape online.

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback – just leave them below and we’ll get back to you. Otherwise, we hope you found something useful.


How to Overcome Black Friday Chaos

Posted on November 8, 2017 by

 

The 24th November is right around the corner, so if you haven’t started to plan your Black Friday marketing campaign yet, you’d better start now. The biggest event in retail is here in a couple of weeks, so now’s the time to make sure you really satisfy your customers on Black Friday, even if you are a small commerce business.

If you are not quite sure how to start creating a successful Black Friday marketing campaign, we’ve got some tips which can guide you through the process.

Revise the data from previous year

Revise what you did last year. Check which promotions worked well, which products made the biggest profit and which keywords were the most searched for. Were your customers mostly women? Or teens? Avid golfers? Whoever your target market is, make sure you specifically target them in your Black Friday marketing campaign.

Google Analytics is a great tool for measuring your website’s performance, and the standard version is free for businesses to use. Speak to one of our digital marketing specialists to find out more about how Google Analytics can help your business.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Get your Black Friday email marketing campaigns ready. People will receive hundreds of emails during the build-up to and on Black Friday so you have to make sure your email stands out. Make it clear and catchy.

Subject lines – try to think of a subject line that will capture the recipient’s attention. This has to reflect the content of your email. If you are sending out an email about the new HP printers being half priced you don’t want to say ‘Win the brand new iPhone 8’ just to encourage people to click on it. Information like this is spam, and will encourage people to unsubscribe. Make sure the information you are sharing is relevant and beneficial to the recipient and add some creativity.

Use personalisation – people like to see they are valued customers. If John keeps buying protein shakes every month, let him know when they are on offer.

Email doesn’t have to be just plain text – the era of plain text emails is over. You can now get creative and make your emails engaging. For example, use GIFs – they are a great way to engage with customers.

Social Media

Companies use social media to boost brand awareness and communicate with customers. Make sure your social media content is rich. Whatever promotion you send out in an email campaign, don’t forget to share it on social media too. All of these different avenues come together to form a cohesive marketing campaign, which delivers a clear and consistent message.

Many companies have now connected their e-commerce stores to their social media accounts, encouraging customers to share your products and services, helping to boost brand awareness and advertise your business.

Invest more in ads

Many purchases on your website will come from a search on Google, so it’s important to make yourself more visible around Black Friday.

If you’re not using it yourself, you’ve probably at least heard of PPC, paid search or Google AdWords. They’re the results at the top of Google with the little green ‘ad’ next to them. PPC is a great way to get your business in front of your potential customers. Make your ads pop up after people search for products similar to yours and enable your ads to reach out to more people. You can target people in certain cities or regions, or even up to a certain distance from your store. What’s more, you only pay once they actually click on your ad.

You can also advertise on social media. For example, if you’ve got a number of customers following you on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you boost your posts to reach more people. You don’t have to spend a fortune, even a small amount like £50 can get you thousands of impressions! You can be in total control of your advertising by choosing how much you want to spend and how long you want the campaign to last for.

Make sure your website is ready for Black Friday

According to IMRG, the UK’s industry association for e-retail, online spend on Black Friday 2016 was £1.23bn which was 12.2% more than in 2015. More people shopped online than in stores which means that your website has to be ready to handle a lot of traffic. Some tips on how to prepare for high traffic:

Cache your website content
The content on your website can be either static or dynamic. Static content is cacheable and dynamic content is uncacheable. Make sure you cache everything you can. Images, CSS, JavaScript or large objects like downloads have an impact on the speed of your website if they are not cached.

No more error messaging
If your customers are in the middle of purchasing products and the page is taking a while to load, they certainly don’t want to see ‘an error message’ popping up! This will convey a negative site experience, and potentially put them off making the purchase altogether. Instead, think about how could you make the waiting time a bit less painful. For example, you could use a gif that appears while the page loads – if it’s something funny they might not even realise they are waiting slightly longer than usual.

Magento 1.x updates stopping

Mobile responsiveness is key

More people are switching laptops for phones or tables. Shopping on a smartphone is very convenient and quick. However, there are some companies that still haven’t optimised their websites for mobiles. Make sure your customers have a chance to shop faster, make your website fully responsive this holiday season!

Make it longer than a day

Although Black Friday is a one-day event, the past few years showed that companies were offering discounted products longer than that. Customers now expect to see sales from the beginning of the week. Last year data from the UK’s industry association for e-retail IMRG shows that £6.45bn was spent over the Black Friday peak period (Monday 21 – Monday 28 November 2016). This doesn’t mean you should put your whole store on sale for a week, but do think about it strategically – maybe start the week off with 10% off Monday, 20% off Tuesday leading to a big sale on Friday.

Smooth returns

It’s happened to all of us. You really want to buy something but as soon as you do, you are not that sure anymore and simply want to return it. Especially during Black Friday, people will often purchase items based on their price and then regret their decision. Make sure the process of returning items is as smooth as the buying process.

Also, don’t forget that your return policy has to be in a visible place on your site. Consider placing it not only in your terms and conditions, but also under the product description or in the shopping cart.

Last but not least – don’t forget about your employees

Events like Black Friday and the Christmas period can be very stressful for employees. Showing them appreciation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Bring some snacks and drinks at the end of the day and let them know you wouldn’t be able to do this without them – it’s the little things that count!

 

If you need some help with creating your Black Friday marketing campaign, make sure you Contact Us today.


Customise Your Google Ads with IF Functions

Posted on February 11, 2017 by


Ad customisers are frequently used in Google AdWords to show highly relevant ads to customers, but Google is making this process even easier with the introduction of IF functions. These allow ads to be customised in greater detail, based on whether or not specific parameters are met.

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The Power of a Brand

Posted on February 2, 2017 by

The Power of a Brand

The power of a brand is often underestimated or overlooked in the world of business, both online and offline. A strong brand becomes trusted by both potential and loyal customers, who associate it with high quality products and good customer service – projecting a premium image of a business. This means customers are more likely to frequently purchase from a business and are willing to pay premium prices.

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What is a Brand?

Posted on January 16, 2017 by

Branding is a vital part of any marketing strategy, and is equally important for businesses operating online. Get your branding right and it will keep your business at the front of customer’s minds, boost sales for your products, and could even allow you to raise your prices. In a series of posts throughout January, we’ll be discussing the power of a brand, why re-branding is important, and the explaining the impact of brand personality. But before all that, we need to cover the basics and answer the question: “What is a brand?”

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SEO and Marketing for the Holiday Season

Posted on October 16, 2016 by

Seasonal Marketing

It may seem a little early to start talking about Christmas and the holiday season – but it’s the perfect time to consider the benefits of a seasonal marketing strategy for your business. Christmas and Halloween products are starting to arrive in shops, and it won’t be long before people start getting into the holiday spirit. Utilise a seasonal marketing strategy to take full advantage of the seasonal trends – helping to boost sales for your business and obtain high rankings for seasonal search terms.

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The Benefits of Video Marketing

Posted on October 10, 2016 by

According to CISCO, videos will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019 – and Facebook alone gets over 8 billion video views every day. If you aren’t already doing so, now is the perfect time to start utilising video marketing to boost your market reach, drive more leads and increase sales for your business.

Video Marketing

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Digital Marketing Stats & Facts from Rio 2016

Posted on August 22, 2016 by

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games was a wonderful two weeks of sport, inspiring people around the world to get involved. It was full of drama and success for the athletes but was also a ground-breaking Olympics for the digital world. We’ve put together some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics from Rio 2016.

Rio 2016 Olympics

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Drive Brand Conversation with Twitter’s New Instant Unlock Card Ads

Posted on August 9, 2016 by

Twitter has just made its Conversational Ads available for all advertisers to use and has recently released a new ad format – called an Instant Unlock Card. These are designed to increase user interaction and engagement for your brand by giving people a piece of exclusive content in return for tweeting with your hashtag. It’s a powerful way to boost your brand awareness, and early tests have already proved successful.

Twitter Unlock Cards

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