In today's marketing - the Internet is king. More and more people are using the Internet as their main source of news, entertainment, and purchasing. More people means more companies. More companies trying to win the attention of the visitors means more competition. In order to stay alive, you need to be better. This is what this article is going to be about.
Here I am going to give you some tips and provide some online tools. With those at your disposal, you will be able to improve your digital marketing and start paving your way to success. Here's what you should do:
Analysing your audience is very important
Good digital advertising (or any advertising, really) starts with knowing who your visitors are. Who do you want to attract? Is it a male, it is a female? Is it a 17-year-old in the UK and a 55-year-old in Wisconsin? By answering these questions you will narrow down your field and will have more information on who should you try to attract. By trying to appeal to everyone you will most likely fail to attract anyone.
One of the best examples of age-related targeting is choosing your primary social media channel. If you are looking for visitors in the US, the current trend is fairly simple:
- 15-24-year-olds engage best via Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Tumblr.
- 24-35-year olds use a lot of Facebook and Instagram.
- 35-49-years-old use Facebook or Pinterest.
- For those 50-and-over, Facebook is usually the primary and only social media tool.
There are many studies and surveys done in this field, so make sure to use them to your advantage and choose the most suitable platforms.
In order to help you see the trends, Google has a very handy little tool:
By analyzing the searches it receives, Google can give its users a quite accurate representation of what the world cares about. You can search for various keywords which may interest you. By narrowing down the results in time, location, category or the type of search, you may get a very accurate representation of what's "in" right now.
In other words - if you're planning to sell fidget spinners online, that ship has sailed, unless you're in New Mexico.
If you already have everything set up and your business is up and running, you need to see the specific behaviors of the people who visit your website. That includes the pages they check out, how long do they take and how did they find your page in the first place. For that, Google has one more very handy tool.
Free of charge and very powerful, this tool gives you in-depth reports of the people who visit your website. It shows the sources of your visitors, the time spent on your website, user retention and much more.
Using the information provided, you can adjust your website accordingly. For example, there are many users who visit your homepage but don't stay for long and never go any further. In that case, it may be good to make your website more top-heavy. That means adding more relevant information and interesting links right where your visitors can see it. These kinds of adjustments won't make your website super popular on its own but every little helps. Also, tracking the success of various pages and links will aid you in seeing which of your other digital advertising campaigns have been successful.
Research competitors and use SEO to your advantage
SEO is a buzzword (buzzacronym?) you see all of the time. There are plenty of companies ready to help you get on top of the Google search rankings - for a considerable fee, of course. Sometimes, this may be useful - but many things you can do for free, on your own. One of the most important things in digital marketing is keyword analysis. By seeing not only what do people search for but also what are your competitors doing to get on top, you can plan ahead and reach success. Here are some tools who may help you to do just that:
As a rule of thumb, SEO software is going to cost you a fair bit. Ahrefs is one of the most powerful keywords and backlink analysis tool available - it also has a free 2-week trial. However, once it runs out, the most basic Ahrefs subscription is going to set you back $99 a month. If you are not ready to commit to such sums, or just want to see what keyword analysis can do, I recommend trying out KWFinder - a powerful digital advertising tool.
This handy tool is going to look into your favoured keywords and suggest some new ones. You will also see "keyword difficulty" - a ranking of just how difficult it is to get on top of the Google search list. Finding out what keywords are the best is crucial. Being found in Google searches is a great way to get plenty of organic visitors. KWFinder is also paid but it has a free version, which may be limited, but still helpful.
Once you have all the keywords ready, you will need to implement them in your content. If you're using WordPress, there are plenty of great plug-ins at your disposal. Here they are:
These plugins will analyze your texts and offer great tips which will increase your SEO rankings. There are plenty of little things which can affect your website's success. Remembering them all of the time is a mission not worth doing. Especially when you have a plug-in helping you to remember them all.
You may use such tools for free - but there are premium versions as well. They are more powerful and usually absolutely worth it in the long run.
Take care of the technical things
A lot of good work in digital marketing can be undone by your website not performing well and being slow. Awful load and response times, many outdated Flash files, text put on images and no mobile version of your website equals a disaster. Many think that the main negative is bad user experience. That is true - but disgruntled visitors is not the only concern. Many bad website development habits equal to decreased search rankings in Google. That automatically means a smaller amount of clicks. These are the small things some may be doing that need to be improved:
- Fancy Flash intro from 2004 needs to be dropped. Instead, use HTML5 for all of your video needs.
- Don't attach important paragraphs of text on a picture. If you do that, they show up in search engines. Keep text in its native state, just make sure it is paired up with an image if needed.
- Have a decent mobile website. Even though e-commerce via mobile is still lagging behind, more and more people are browsing websites with their portable devices. The mobile-friendly page doesn't only have to be quick and well optimized. Making a mobile website top-heavy should be one of the primary concerns. Most of the information should be fairly high up and it has to be easily accessible without making many presses or swipes. For more information on that, make sure to visit our guide on perfect mobile optimization.
- SSL certificate is a necessity. You absolutely must have it if you're planning to use your website to sell things or handle sensitive user information. In addition to that, Google also tends to give a ranking boost to the pages who have SSL - and many browsers give a warning if a user is about to enter a page without it.
When you sort all of this, there will still be a thing of concern you are not directly responsible for. That is your hosting provider. Earlier we established that website's load speed is important for good digital advertising. You may do a lot of great things but it will be to no avail if a hosting provider you choose is lagging behind. The math here is very simple - choose a hosting provider which offers the best response times for your region. This way, you won't have to worry about a slow hosting performance bottlenecking your entire website experience. Of course, just to be safe, pick a provider with 24/7 customer service and plenty of features. If you are unsure about your hosting provider or are currently planning to change, you can read some of my top web hosting reviews by clicking here.
Ensure beautiful text!
Once you finally know who your visitors are and made your website glow, it is time to add some texts. There really is no miracle cure here: follow the tips and knowledge received from your SEO analysis. Shape the content so it fits the guidelines provided by your tools. Nonetheless, you mustn't forget who you're writing it for. That, of course, is your visitor. No SEO guidelines in the world will work if your visitor is not attracted to what you write. Luckily, many on-site SEO tools (like Yoast) also include analysis of your content's readability. Besides that, there are also a couple of great tools which will help you. Here's what they are:
There is no way to get Ernest Hemingway to become your copywriter. HemingwayApp is arguably the closest you can get to it. Free for the web, or $19.99 as a desktop app, this little tool is going to run an analysis of your texts and point out all the possible improvements. This helps to make your text easier to read - so Hemingway App goes a step beyond spell checkers who only look into your grammar. It's a great tool to ensure the message of your internet marketing is read well.
Speaking of grammar, however...
A perfect companion for WordPress or social media, Grammarly is a freemium buddy which knows grammar better than you do. It works either in the background, correcting your mistakes as you go, or as a separate page in the editor. The paid version notices everything that could be wrong - the free version only notifies you of critical errors. Don't worry though, we all make mistakes, so even the free version is going to prove very helpful.
252 critical fixes! Me fail English? That's unpossible!
With these two tools at your disposal, plus extra help with SEO tools, your texts will be as good as they can be. Write them so they're liked by search engines - and absolutely adored by your visitors. This way, you won't have many problems.
Media should be scheduled to best reach your audience
You know your visitors. You know your platforms. You made the required analysis and made your content spark. What's next? Making sure people see it at the right time. Regular updates on all the posts on your website and constant activity on social media are required in order to achieve success. When is your website the most active? If you have a working website already, use the Google Analytics tool to see that. If not, aim for the peak times - late mornings as well as evening hours and work from there.
Doing all of that constantly can be a pain. This is why scheduling your posts is very important. Here's how:
As simple as they come, Buffer tool helps you to schedule social media posts so they're published at the right time. There is a free plan which allows you to schedule 10 posts on 1 social media profile. More advanced plans add more profiles and posts, as well as allow for extra team members. Buffer's key is simplicity, as there are not many bells and whistles - only simple scheduling. If you want something more, like ideas of what content you should share, check out Crowdfire as well.
Mix traditional with digital marketing whenever you can
If you use traditional marketing (leaflets, print ads, etc.), with you may use internet marketing to achieve better results. For example - including a custom URL or a QR code in your leaflets will help you measure the success of your advertisements. Direct your visitors not to 'JohnsCleaner.com' but to 'JohnsCleanerDEAL.com' or 'JohnsCleaner.com/ChristmasSpecial'.
Use that custom link to create a landing page which offers the visitors a discount or free services. Make sure the people who visit your website from the advertisements stay with you. You have the power of telling the people which page they should visit. Use that to your advantage!
Digital marketing success - in conclusion
There is no magical key as to what will suddenly make you popular and rich. If there was - everyone would do it. However, there are a lot of little things which will affect your success. Know your client and pick suitable social media channels. Create landing pages and combine digital marketing with regular. Employ analytics and SEO tools. Make your content sparkle and never use outdated platforms or a slow hosting provider. Put all of that together, and you're in a way better position than you used to be. Thank you for reading and good luck with your business!