There are endless tips that can be offered to improve your digital marketing. It is however indisputable that some tips are more valuable than others. When reading the advice given by online visibility specialists such as Jeff Bullas and Matt Cutts there are some tips that repeatedly stand out.
1. Start with a plan
Without a clearly defined plan you are shooting in the dark. Plain and simple. Every successful business has a clearly laid out digital plan that specifies several points. Sometimes referred to as digital strategy this plan will have clearly defined goals and objectives and exactly what methods will be used to reach them.
The plan will detail development of the website and what maintenance is required to keep it current especially light of available competition analysis. It will cover the development and use of other digital assets such as blogs and social media. Organic and paid marketing will be outlined and budgets to develop both will be clear. The plan will identify the customer base and the targeted traffic that the business wants to draw with sufficient demographic information to ensure that the digital reach is not spread too thinly.
A good plan will provide for contingency as well as change as the business grows and will be continually developed in line with changes in both technology and business
2. Social Media is your best off page asset
Used in conjunction with well-developed content social media will springboard your business organically. Use social media to expose your unique selling points and define you as an expert in your industry. Remember to use social media to stimulate conversation. It is the one free online method that enables you to engage directly with your customers. You may choose to use paid options on Social Media platforms to enhance your visibility and to improve the user experience for your customers. Don’t forget social media is essentially word of mouth which converts into goodwill, and businesses are often valued by the level of goodwill that they enjoy.
3. Mobile friendly
Mobile internet use exceeded desktop use globally in November 2016. This has been the norm in developing countries for considerably longer. Not only your website, but all your digital assets need to be mobile responsive. Not only will it improve upon mobile user experience and result in more returning customers, it will also enhance your page ranking with Google. Mobile responsiveness with better page loading speeds now have an immediate impact on how google ranks your site too.
There is a difference between mobile friendly and mobile responsive. Mobile friendly generally refers to sites that will resize according to the screen size of the device. Sometimes this will make the site too small to read. Mobile responsive means that the site responds to the device screen size and will change the way the content is laid out to make for a better more visible and easier to navigate mobile site.
4. Visual content
Ensure that there is an abundance of visual content on both your website and off page assets such as your social media platforms. Images should have their alt attributes tagged appropriately with keywords that will raise your age rank. Video where possible should also contain some embedded text that will be relevant to your website topic. Both images and video drive more clickthroughs sending a signal to the search engines about the value of the content, this has a domino effect of increasing page rank. Quality and relevance will make a noticeable difference both to how your visitors convert and to your page rank, so ensure that quality remains important to you. Visual content should neither diminish nor replace written content. It should enhance it. The balance between videos, imagery and written content should be appropriate for the subjects that the website covers.
5. Email marketing
Email marketing is the one area of digital marketing that is most neglected by small business. Consider the corporates that started off as small backyard businesses. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft maintain their stronghold in the digital sphere by opening and developing two way communication. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to grow and develop mailing lists. Once you have a customer’s email address you are empowered to initiate communication with them and are no longer passively waiting for customer engagement that may never come. Well structured email campaigns are often more cost effective than pay per click campaigns because you already have the details of people that want to engage with you. Maintaining and developing mailing lists and providing regular fresh information through a mailing list will keep your customers coming back for more.
Not mentioned as a tip but definitely a strategy element is how you integrate all the above tips together. By making sure that emails can be read in a mobile friendly environment and using visual content within them you will encourage readers to covert to your end goal. By including social media links and opportunities to sign up to an email list you are are creating more opportunities for customer interaction. Use all the tips together to enhance their value.