Tag Archives: social media

Nicola Peaty

Top tips on how to raise your search engine ranking.

By Nicola Peaty

search_engine_rankingWhere would we all be without Google these days?! As such a major force in our digital world, we have to play according to the big search engine ways in order for our online presence to be found by our target markets. Below are our top tips on how to help raise your website’s search engine ranking.

 

Start with your research: In order to really know how to attract your target visitors to your website, you need to know what search terms they are using when looking online for products or services which match those relevant to yours. You would waste a lot of time guessing or assuming certain terms and then finding you attract the wrong type of audience who immediately bounce back when they realise your site is not what they’re looking for. Wordtracker and Google Adwords are useful tools that will help you discover the exact words and phrases your potential customers are inputting to search engines. This kind of insight gives you real intelligence into how your market is searching and consuming relevant information to your company, so use it wisely and keep checking and updating accordingly.

Specify your search terms: Based on the keyword research, you will have a list of words, terms and phrases to form the basis of your SEO strategy. Make sure you use these keywords to match your company, products/services, but also where possible, specify the terms by using additional words to attract the absolute target audience. By this, we mean adding locality, product details and company information, so that a. your audience can see upfront exactly what they will view on your site and whether it matches their needs and b. you will avoid generic terms used by the big gun sites who will most probably rank higher and have paid for these terms through PPC.

Keyword your metadata: Use the list of keywords found by your research within the metadata on your website. The title metadata shows the page titles you can see in the web browser. The description metadata is your chance to give a succinct marketing push about the content visitors can find on that particular page. The keyword metadata is where you can use the research list of terms. It will also mean these pages appear by matching the terms searched by your prospective visitors and stand out with their relevant details compared to competing generic sites. Just don’t cram the titles full of keywords as this could well have the reverse effect and be completely ignored, so key the words concise but relevant.

meta-description-tag

Quality not quantity: Content is king as we all know in the online marketing space. Spiders love new and relevant content so keep updating and refreshing the information on your site. Use the keyword research on a regular basis to keep terms applicable and reflect in your content. Blogs are an obvious way of updating content and using social media to push this content out will hopefully then drive traffic back to your site. This increases the relevance and authority of your site. Monitor your content and know which is working and attracting the most views and comments, which can help you plan future content.

Online PR: Another way to get your content viewed and in turn raise your ranking, is to write and push out quality press releases. Again the word quality is used here, as the release has to be topical, insightful, have that grabbing ‘hook’ in order for journalists, other sites and viewers alike, to want to pick it up, link to it and view it. Value in your information will in turn give you value for your website and search engine ranking.

Links: Both inbound and outbound links play an important part on the authority and trust of your website, but again we have the quality not quantity rule to apply. Making sure you have fewer links that are all totally relevant and especially from other authority sites, is far more valuable to your ranking than hundreds of non-related small sites. It’s obviously easier to control outbound links from your site, but you can track inbound links from a range of programs such as SEOmoz and Google Analytics. This will give you an insight into who is coming to your site and where they are coming from. Another useful tip is to use specific and descriptive link tags which explains what content is to be found within the link, instead of generic terms like ‘click here’, which has no search engine value beyond the attached URL. If possible, you could contact these sites and ask them to do the same to help push relevant traffic your way.

Alt tags: Finally, once you’ve managed to drive visitors to your site, you want to keep them on there as long as possible. Therefore, use a variety of multimedia to keep their interest such as images, videos and infographics. Just make sure you don’t miss an opportunity by describing your media with alt tags (alternative text description). These can then be found by search engines and add a unique source of relevance to your audience. Below is a great example of how to post and tag images in an ongoing cycle which helps increase your links, add authority from other sites and keep your visitors engaged.

alt tag example

 

Nicola Peaty

How to generate leads for your business.

By Nicola Peaty

lead genGenerating leads for your business is the fundamental criteria for success or failure. However, it is all about quality leads not just quantity. There is much more sophistication in the art of the various lead processes in terms of generation, nurturing, demand, qualification and conversion. Marketers have to combine strategic planning with tactical execution and focus on progressing new prospects to delivering sales-ready leads. So before marketers get stuck into the array of lead generation possibilities, you must have the following in place: 1. agreed company objectives including target markets and measures; 2. the appropriate systems eg prospect database, CRM, marketing automation; 3. cohesive teams with the same aims and understanding especially sales and marketing; 4. plans to progress leads down the marketing funnel and towards sales conversion; Next it’s down to the marketing team to plan the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ in terms of targeting, promotions, messages and execution. Below is our top list of recommended ways to source new leads. These are by no means exhaustive and each must be considered as to their relevance and value in accordance with the set objectives and type of market. referralsReferrals: Even a young company will have some kind of customer or associate relations which they can utilise to leverage potential new leads. Tap into existing contacts who you can trust and who will positively promote your business in order to open a few new doors. Linked In is a great B2B network for quality professionals who can help you ‘connect’ with potential new customers. For more established companies, hopefully with some solid customer relations, ask them to give their testimonials and refer possible contacts who they believe could benefit from your services. Peer reviews go a long way to adding credibility and reassurance for prospective customers. Choose your advocate clients who you know can champion your company and products and would be willing to make the effort to refer you to others. Reward schemes can help incentivise customers to ‘refer a friend’, but monitor and assess the quality of the lead referred to ensure they are relevant and not just a way of accessing the reward on offer! Alliance partnerships: Similar to referrals in a way, by joining up with business partners who compliment and don’t compete, you can generate leads both ways to help each other. It does depend on mutual trust and willing, but it makes sense that both parties can benefit if the customer is relevant to both companies. For example, in the wedding industry, bridal wear shops can refer to florists and cake makers without competing, in the agreement, that they will refer them as well. Events: These are the opportunities to bring your company to life and give a face to the brand. Not everyone enjoys events, so it’s important to select the right person to represent the company in the best way and to achieve the desired result. Networking groups help both new and established companies, whether you are just starting to promote yourself or targeting specific types of contacts. (See our blog on Top Tips for Successful Networking). Not everyone enjoys Tradeshows can be hit or miss and it’s all about the preparation and execution. Ensure the right type of prospects will be attending so that it’s not a complete waste of time and effort. Exhibition stands are only successful if they have skilled people manning the stand who know how to attract visitors among all the other stands fighting for their attention. Once a visitor has engaged, it’s all about having the right message and promotion. speechA great way to convey your brand as a voice of authority and as an industry expert is to give a specialist talk either at a trade seminar or by creating your own session. Choosing a topic that will advise or give insightful detail and opinion will hopefully generate new interest and therefore potential new customers. Whatever your approach to events, make sure you have contact capture forms ready and follow up post event with email, call or meetings as agreed. Search traffic: How often do we all go straight to Google when first looking for a product or service? Whether it is searching locally for a company or fact finding for specific details, the search engine is the major source of potential online prospects at the very beginning of the ‘lead funnel’ for marketers. You have a choice of SEO, SEM and PPC, but in order for you to attract quality traffic, it is essential to use specific keywords and terms that will match what your prospects are using when searching for your type of product. Avoid generic terms that will only cost you more, compete with the big players and not necessarily deliver qualified leads. Include details that will help produce the best result and match for the prospect in search, for example product specifications and location of company. Ensure you have the matching content ready and in place on your website including tailored landing pages. Visitors want to be able to click on a link that takes them directly to the information they are searching for (and not the homepage), otherwise you will lose them very quickly. Content: Great content can be used in many ways to attract new leads. By writing and/or speaking about topics which leads are interested in and searching for, you can become the source for fact, opinion, advice and the latest developments for your market. As long as the content is relevant, of value and targeting the specific type of leads, your content marketing plan can be very powerful as a lead generator. (See our blog on How to write content for your audience.) Social Media: Integrating your social media messages and promotions with great content can help drive traffic to your site and generate new leads. Getting likes, shares and +1s will build your audience organically. Remember to be creative and use visuals and videos as well to stand out, attract attention and even go viral. (see our blogs on Google +,  Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and video.) Use social media as a way to monitor discussions and get involved with your expert input, so that you can build your profile and raise awareness. You can then attract new followers and start customer interaction to nurture new leads. This takes time and effort so use a dedicated resource to keep track of any leads generated and how to progress them further down the ‘marketing funnel’. Contact details: This includes both yours and your leads. First make sure that you have company contact details at all lead touch points, so that they are able to get in touch should they have any initial fact finding questions or enquiries. Include as many ways for the prospect to make contact eg email, tel, online form, and ensure you respond in time with at least an acknowledgment or with the full details to their query. Make sure you also have data capture points for all new leads, whether that be online, face to face at an event or with a telephone enquiry. Start with the minimal basics and grow the details as you have more interaction. Offer incentives for leads to give more details eg to download information or for certain promotions. The idea is to build profiles and intelligence about your leads in order for targeted marketing. Automated email marketing is a good way to filter leads and build intelligence by a sequence of emails which contain specific information. Different emails are triggered according to how leads respond to each email and thereby tailoring content to their needs. It is essential to keep all captured contact data up-to-date so that you are able to manage your marketing effectively and segment the leads according to their specific needs and requirements. Once you’ve done the hard work in generating a new lead, you can then progress the lead according to your nurture and conversion plans.

lead gen funnel How to grow your business with social media

Nicola Peaty

Using video for marketing.

By Nicola Peaty

All the stats support the fact that online video is rapidly on the increase. YouTube is now the second most popular search engine with over one billion visitors a month, and there are over 20 million Brits viewing video each week.

The phrase ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ has been superseded in a digital age by Forrester Research who claims that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words!

Not only are we are able to consume more information quickly via video than through reading text, but the overall experience via sound and moving images ignites a more immediate emotional response. If done well, a positive experience will draw in the viewer allowing the chance to influence according to the needs of the message.

There is no surprise then that a survey of marketers taken earlier this year by Demand Metric, found that many were using video to meet a number of marketing objectives:

Video-marketing-objectives

 

 

 

 

 

 

With so much content being pushed out online, video has the distinct advantage to engage in a way that other marketing means cannot; and engagement is one of the key goals in marketing. By capturing the attention and interest in a creative way, will make customers see and think about your brand and want to know more.

Plus there is the added advantage of how video can help with search results. Enhancing your results link with an image of your video will help you stand out. Click through and conversions tend to be higher as a result of videos driving traffic through to your website. Videos also help with inbound links to your website which conveys authority to the search engines.

Having stated all the reasons to use video, there must be a genuine need to convey content which is both worthy and appropriate for video and your market. Tutorials, demonstrations and clever viral videos justify their purpose. Useful, unique content which is valuable to your customers will again reap their reward. However, if you blatantly promote your business without any significant interest or takeaway for the viewer, then chances are you have just wasted some of your precious marketing budget.

Some great examples of well thought through videos which have had the biggest viral success can be seen here:
http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/the-top-20-viral-video-ads-of-2013/4008632.article

As with all tools in the marketing mix, video comes with its own marketing considerations, which are essential for overall successful outcomes. Here are our 10 questions you need to answer before commencing your online marketing video:
1. Do you know your marketing goals for the video?
2. Is the video part of your overall marketing strategy?
3. Is the video integrated with the rest of the marketing mix?
4. Have you got the required resources including adequate production budget?
5. Have you considered the relevance of video for your audience?
6. What is the exact content and message you want to deliver?
7. How can you be as creative as possible and still suitable for your audience?
8. Do you have in place the appropriate measures for success and ROI?
9. Have you made your video easy for consumers to share?
10. Is your video compatible for tablets and mobiles?

Below is a great link to a beginner’s guide on online marketing videos, with plenty of advice on how to go about creating your video from initial idea through to publishing.

http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/53/file-13201860-pdf/docs/hubspot_how_to_use_online_video_ebook.pdf

 

Nicola Peaty

How to use Google+ to help market your business.

By Nicola Peaty

google+Google+ is another fast growing social media platform which marketers are using to help target and generate leads for their business. With impressive statistics on the increase, it’s no surprise why Google+ is becoming another important part of the marketing mix:

* Over 300 million active users
* 50% of users visit daily
* 42% use Google+ to interact with brands’ content
* 70% of top 100 brands are using Google+

SEO: As this platform is actually owned by Google, there are obvious benefits when using Google+ to enhance your Google listing. By posting content with relevant keywords, Google indexes the data which helps optimise your content and in turn increases your ranking. This is something which limited on both Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, use Google+ as another stream of optimised content as part of your overall SEO strategy.

Circles: Another key feature which Google+ boasts are the ‘circles’ which enable you to circles-bigsegment and organise your ‘content consumers’ by similar demographics. This plays so well for marketing opportunities and allows a business to target in different ways such as by prospects and evangelists or by geographics and interests. Circles should be built on the knowledge of what the users’ interests are, what content they are sharing and the relationship with your brand and business. Google will respond well to great interaction between your streamed content and the actions of your users with that content.

Content: You can share content by posting on your profile, emailing to your circles or via your Google+ communities. It is down to each individual business to ensure that quality, relevant information is streamed to targeted communities. This means not only creating your own content but also recommending other ‘quality’ content. This is also a good time to remember the 20%/80% rule of promotional/useful information, otherwise you’re likely to lose your users. With so many multimedia options available, there’s no excuse to compete creatively with your content and delivery by using YouTube, Hangouts, infographics, striking images, events, webinars, the list is endless. Your ‘+1ing’ should start to increase as users receive, like and share your content.

Interaction: The aim is to grab users’ attention, get them to open up to allow your content to stream to them and then start building engagement through two way communication. Join specific conversations by joining communities and using the Explore tab, which enable you to comment on key topics which relate to your business. Maintain regular interaction to help keep the engagement and build closer contacts. If and when creating your own content, don’t forget to use links which drive traffic back to your site, not just on the platform. Google+ has a great post click engagement and refers a high quality traffic with over 2 pages per visit.

Brand: As with all communication in the marketing mix, your brand personality should maintain the same values, tone and image throughout. Make sure your profile, sharing of information and content creation/delivery all have the same brand continuity so that users build a clear understanding of your business and position in the market. Have al ook around at different brand pages to get inspiration. Below are a couple of good examples:

coca-cola-th

 

 

 

 

 

toyota google-plus-page

Nicola Peaty

Top tips on how to use Twitter for your business.

By Nicola Peaty

twitter_social_media_marketingTwitter is an instant public messaging platform on a microblogging network. For marketers, it is another way to engage and interact with customers. It can be used for brand awareness, to involve your audience with your company and essentially for you to enter ‘conversation’ with your clientele. It takes time, care and attention and planning to serve as a productive marketing tool.

Here are our top tips on what to consider when using Twitter for your business:

Profile:
Even when setting up your profile, you should consider how to present your brand and company details. This should be consistent with your other social media tools. Choosing whether to use your logo and/or a head shot can give your company a different persona. (Remember if using a logo to have it resized for the square box available on Twitter.) All account details should of course be accurate, but think of this as another marketing opportunity to give a unique profile of you and your business. As soon as you are all set up, make sure your account is integrated with your website, blog etc to ensure optimum use of shared content, traffic and followers.

Who to follow:
We would advise the following stakeholders as useful people to follow, in order to know the full picture of who is saying what about all relevant areas regarding your business:
* Associations
* Customers
* Suppliers/vendors/partners
* Competitors
* Industry experts
* Local companies
Twitter now has an advanced search which allows you to find local businesses with which to connect and network. The Twitter List also enables you to create separate groups of followers so that you can follow different types of conversations and threads.

Join the conversation:
It’s probably wise to follow and listen first, before you dive into creating new content. Spend some time getting a feel for what is being discussed in general and topically regarding pertinent information for your business. Use the hash tag search to find out about particular subjects and connected people. Also, use the search engine to find out if and what people may be commenting about your business. Build up an idea of how you can respond if applicable or add to existing conversations and even where there are gaps of information which you can address.

Plan:
You are now ready to create a communications plan. This is a purposeful, thought-through idea of messages, topics and discussions which have the ultimate aim of attracting potential customers. Rather than ad-hoc, reactive tweets, your plan needs to have objectives which fit with your brand and your business goals and integrate with all other marketing activity. Think about the frequency, subject matter, using keywords and don’t forget to mix it up! That means tweeting a variety of product news, industry views, new promotions, fun stuff like competitions, using media such as photos and videos.

Adding the shortened URL links will enable you to drive traffic to the full content on your website/blog. Make sure you track the variation of tweets and identify which type of tweets get the best results. Optimise your tweets with the Twitter widget on your website and Tweet button on all content for followers to share.

Getting the right balance:
Like all other forms of social media marketing, you must strike a balance between promoting your business as well as providing your customers with useful content which they will value. By following and listening to what your customers and peers are tweeting, you’ll be able to participate by adding your comment and opinion, sharing your views and advice and even solutions if applicable. You will then catch the attention of the right people in the right way which will then bring you closer to your target audience.

You can still promote your company and products/services, just make sure you make the promotional tweets a bit more personal and conversational and less ‘marketing speak’. 140 characters is not a lot but can be used in so many different ways. The language, tone and style of your tweets should be true to your brand and give the required voice and personality.

Twitter has its own useful information on specific marketing tools.
https://business.twitter.com/marketing-twitter
Find out how to:
* Target with precision to connect with the right people
* Find out more about who’s on Twitter and how to reach them
* Understand your results with analytics
* Integrate your marketing efforts with Twitter buttons and embedded Tweets
* Scale your efforts to maximize your impact
* Get results with successful promotional tactics and strategies

We also found this link which gives you the basics on Twitter if you need to understand about the messaging network in a bit more detail.
http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Twitter-for-business-How-to-make-it-work-for-your-business


How to grow your business with social media



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