Digital marketing has changed considerably in recent years. Go back five years and the main focus was usually to get your business ranking at the top of the first page of Google like a true king of the web. However given the number of Panda and Penguin updates since these harmonious days, and the fact that search engine success needs to be genuinely earned businesses have embraced broader multi channel or integrated digital marketing campaigns. Below we take a look at the considerations any SME should have in mind for 2015.
A Little On Site Maintenance Will Go A Long Way
Some companies are so wrapped up in marketing and promoting themselves to other websites that they tend to overlook the importance. On-page search optimisation has always played a key part of SEO but the focus and importance of getting it right for search success declined in recent years as it became all about the links. Google Panda changed that with a focus on high quality content and good site maintenance. As a result it is again given a high priority. Getting the basics such as including suitable meta data and appropriate cross linking can really contribute towards the quality score that Google assigns to your website and content. The result being greater search success you to being found more easily by your target audience. Something related to note is that as MarketingSherpa reported that 70% of marketers use website optimisation lessons to inform offline campaigns and other marketing communications.
It’s also worth giving your site a common sense check by correcting grammar and spelling and including up to date contact details. It all adds up to maintaining a high quality website.
A Splash of Pay Per Click
With a lot of uncertainly around Google’s algorithm updates and securing steady organic search rankings PPC has grown as perhaps the most effective marketing techniques in the last couple of years. Wordstream reported that 64% of people looking to buy a product clicked on sponsored results, compared to the 35% who clicked on organic (or unpaid) links. That said there is some careful set up and optimisation required to ensure you get the most out of your campaigns. Once set up those campaigns need to be carefully tended. Conducting regular keyword research can help you keep up to date with new or emerging search term trends that you can test. Adjusting your campaigns by the smallest amount can potentially create the biggest impact, but it’s all about knowing what to use and when.
NAP Is Where It’s At
Local search has become a key part of most traffic campaigns for local businesses. And consistent and accurate NAP details is critical. What is NAP I hear you ask? Well in short it means name, address and phone number. It also refers to other personal details such as fax number, email address and so forth. You will likely have such information in a number of places including social media profiles, but also on a number of business directories. Because leading local business directories are a trusted source in Google’s eyes you can list your company on a number of directory sites easily but you have to do so with care. Google themselves reported that 81% of smartphone users search specifically search for local businesses so if you are a local business you need to get this right. There are a handful of multi-category sites like Yell and ThomsonLocal that you can sign up to or alternatively you can search for location or industry specific local business directories. Be sure not to duplicate your introductions!
Quirk Up Your Content
For months now people have been championing quality content more than anything and today is no different. After all B2B businesses who own a blog generate 67% more leads on average, according to Fat Joe. Due the vast amount of articles already out there is can sometimes be hard to find something topical to talk about without covering points that have already been covered. It takes a lot of imagination and thinking outside the box, as well as research, to figure out what might be well received. If it’s something that a number of people are searching for chances are you’ll get plenty of traffic and a good amount of general interest. Crafting a well written title can ensure that your content stands above the crowd. There is also the idea of exploring content outside of typical industry related articles such as glossaries, how to’s, reviews and more.
The Rise Of Social Signals
Social media is by far one of the biggest influences in marketing right now and has been for a while. Almost all businesses now have a social media account of one sort or another making sites like Facebook and Twitter the biggest advertising marketplaces worldwide. Facebook alone is used by almost all social network users, with 80% of ‘other’ social network users having an account according to Pew Internet. Because of this vast audience many businesses choose to optimise their own profiles to gain interest and spread the good word. Some gain success organically with witty status updates and varied hashtags but others find their rhythm through running consistent social campaigns. It doesn’t cost the world and because you can tailor the campaign to your needs it’s quite accurate. The one thing you should always be doing, however, is get to know your audience base and thank them once in a while for their support.
So the above represents those aspects of digital marketing that we think businesses should be considering in 2015. If you have any more queries about current trends or would like to discuss working on a campaign together simply get in touch!