While we generally try to focus
on all types of digital hints, tips and tricks here on the Dmac Blog, this one
is a bit of a break from the norm.
Why? I hear you ask!
Well, this one is just a little
special in that it is the 100th blog we have posted, so we thought that
rather than keep in the same vein as our usual blogs, we would take a look at
what publishing 100 blogs has done for us.
Believe it or not, our first blog
was published on 10th of March 2012, almost 8 years ago and over the
intervening years we have shared much of our experience and wisdom, kept you up
to date with the latest updates from Google and even published some self help
videos. While all of these have been a valuable resource for our followers, it
has had a profound effect on the numbers of visitors our website attracts and
even helped us climb the rankings for organic search results.
Since that humble day in 2012,
our blog articles have been read by over 6,709 users, who have enjoyed an array
of content and topics. Titles such as ‘How to Take Professional Car Images’, ‘Why
Website Content is Important’ and even ‘How to Understand the Online Buyer
However, our content exploits were not always what we’d want to shout about. Like many of our digital marketing customers, we found it difficult to produce unique, interesting relevant content for almost 6 years. Not necessarily our finest hour and not because we didn’t have something to share, but rather due to the time needed to write a blog was hard to find. We’ve often told our customers to create and publish at the very minimum 1 blog per month, and yes, we may be hypocrites considering we weren’t able to do it ourselves until 2018. In fact, since 2018 we have published over 70 articles.
Here is a look at our top 10
blogs over the past 8 years:
We list these as our top 10 blogs for a number of reasons. These are the blogs that have attracted the most website visitors over those 8 years. What’s more, this league table always stirs up a bit of friendly competition between our blog authors at our content meetings, each one vying for top spot each month and the notoriety that comes with it.
So what changed and prompted us to be more blog prolific?
We simply put in place a system of work that got more authors involved and we made a conscious effort to find the time to publish, unique, industry specific content 2 to 3 times per month.
We made it no longer acceptable to NOT to publish content.
We enlisted a wider number of writers, who between them were asked to find just 2 hours per month to create some content about their working life. We put ourselves in our customers shoes and tried to answer as many questions as we could think off that they might have. The result is astounding. (Well digital marketers will be impressed anyway). Just look at the growth in our blog visitors since 2018 below:
While we love entertaining our
readers and sharing our expertise, the real value in our efforts can be seen
through organic website positioning. In 2019 alone, the search visibility for
our main website has increased a staggering 144.74% and we are now organically
ranking for a range of keywords we had once thought impossible. In fact, we now
rank on the first page of Google for 35% of our tracked keywords and are
continuing to increase our position each and every month. Quite an incredible
number when you consider that we totally revamped our keyword strategy in
Just see the rank increases
So what does this all mean?
Well despite what some might say, search engines still love unique industry relevant and authoritative content. While it does take time to create, there are significant rewards out there for companies willing to invest that time.
If you take one thing away from this article and one thing only:
Don’t let it be acceptable for your business not publish content frequently.
For us, we’ve simply reached the first milestone in our Blog Evolution so that you, our valued readers, will have plenty more to look forward to over the coming months and years.
Most of us are generally never overcome with excitement at
the thought of things changing. In fact, most of us are averse to change of any
shape or description. However, today sparks yet another change to Google’s
Search Results Pages (or S.E.R.P’s as us marketing folk call it.) Some eagled
eyed readers out there will have noticed a distinct new look to Google’s Search
Results on Desktop as of this morning.
Several months ago, Google unveiled their new look mobile
results, and yesterday they rolled out a similar look to desktop results. For
those of you who are less eagle eyed, here’s a quick look at how search results
looked before yesterday.
As of this morning the new look search results are as
Did you spot the differences?
Although subtle, organic search results now include a
favicon alongside organic listings, while the web page’s URL has moved from
below the headline to above, and is no longer the conventional green tone with
which we have become accustomed. Subtle
indeed. While the changes may seem
minor, the impact of them is not. For example, it is particularly vital for
websites without a favicon to add one immediately.
What else can we expect?
In addition to the changes highlighted above, Google have also suggested that they will be tweaking the green “Ad” indicator which was introduced in 2017. In line with Organic Search Results, Google Search Ad’s Display URL will also feature above the headline. In an update in May 2019, Google has maintained that this change is to help users quickly identify where information is coming from.
Here’s Googles very own Mock-up as to how search ads might look following the update.
Is There More?
While many of us will soon get to grips with the new look search results, this update comes at the same time as a Core Algorithm Update from Google. While this might not mean much to most people, Core Updates from Google happen throughout the year and can have wide ranging consequences for websites. Marketing Managers, SEO’s & just about anyone with a vested interest in a website should monitor their traffic over the coming days and weeks to determine if this algorithm update is having any impact.
For most, it will be a chance to simply embrace the new look
search results and utilise a format which Google has said will:
“put a sites brand front & centre, helping searchers better
understand where their information is coming from, more easily scan results
& decide what to explore.”
Sounds great right? For marketers & SEO’s alike, this
could unfurl some unexpected issues such as lower click through rates from
search or perhaps even an incorrect icon becoming associated with the brand.
However addressing such issues should be a relatively painless task for most
Google’s Core update may prove a different animal altogether. Our advice is to closely monitor traffic and performance over the coming weeks and if you do experience changes, take a comprehensive look at the content your website hosts and consider Google’s advisory questions which you can find here.
As we all slowly come out of our collective
festive coma and return to the front line of growing your brand & business,
you could be forgiven for wanting to crawl back on the couch with a bottle of Baileys. How do we blow off the cobwebs and begin to
take stock? What’s not working? Or, better yet, how do we get things that are working,
to the next level? Fear not, the tasks ahead are not that daunting as they
To ease the process, we at Dmac Media have
pulled together a bullet point guide to getting back on track for 2020. Here are 20 simple things you should
implement to get better insights, more traction and ultimately more revenue for
your efforts online.
Without further ado and in no particular order here is our top 20 things you should do in Digital Marketing for 2020.
Review your Return of Investment (ROI) for 2019
up all the money spent on marketing efforts in the last year and compare the
total value of sales in the same period.
This gives you the gross figures for both money in and for money
out. It gives you an idea of the average
return on marketing spend. If you have
the patience, or the data available, you can dig deeper and examine sales
directly related to google ads or real-world initiatives and break these down
The ability to see what marketing spend
creates, is a vital part of decision making and should always be a feature in
future planning. Knowing how good, bad
or indifferent last year’s return was, will give you the data you need to drive
change or protect that marketing budget.
Audit your Resources/Skills
What tools or skills do you have at your
disposal? How much time do you have for
marketing activities? What kind of budget?
Do you have all the skills you need or if not, have you partnered with
reliable teams that can deliver on the skills you lack (cough cough…!!)
Getting a solid grasp of what you have
available to you will allow you to reality check the expectations you have for
the year. Yes, you might want to climb
Everest but you need climbing gear and training in order to do that.
This audit will help in planning for growth
and also help to identify areas where you may need to upskill.
Agree growth targets for 2020
This wins the award for most obvious suggestion, but we are always surprised by the lack of defined targets or goals when it comes to a company’s digital marketing strategy. For this reason, we felt we had to include it. Take one hour out of next week’s schedule and sit down with anyone in your business who has a stake in the outcome and define what success looks like for all of you in 2020.
Use this as a backdrop to inform your
marketing objectives. It is a lot easier
to move forward when you know where you are going.
Review your site content on mobile
We are all very familiar with the idea that
mobile matters most for website performance, but a shocking number of us do not
take the time to wander through our own website on a mobile device. Those carefully laid out and detailed desktop
pages that wowed the leadership team may be causing real customers heartache on
Commit to reviewing all website changes on mobile first make sure that impact is what matters most.
Stalk some competition
Pick three competitors that irritate you
most and talk a wander through their online presence (website, Facebook, etc.).
Look specifically for things that they are doing better than you (be objective).
Ask honest questions about how you compare. Are you still ahead of the
competition? Try and identify any gaps
and look at how to close them (Start using video, for example)
Check your website page speed – visit GTMetrix.com
Google has been focussing on site speed for several years now and we have all learned to pay it lip service now and then, but it is rare (in our experience) to find a company who holds web speed at the basis of its website strategy. Speed is sacrificed for images no one took time to optimise or for another slide on the home page that nobody reads or sadly, for the latest third-party plug-in that you were told was vital! (chat bots anybody?) Everything you add to your page impacts your speed. This needs to be taken seriously, particularly if Google does roll out it’s so called “Badge of Shame”
Start by taking control using free tools like GTMetrix.com to get an accurate assessment of where you are and what needs to be addressed.
Review and Renew your Google Analytics Goals
Whether you are an analytics addict or just a seasonal visitor, take the time to review the goals you have created and make sure they fit with current objectives. The ability to track events and outcomes is improving all the time, so if you have not updated your goals in the last year then you are not likely to be getting the most from the data you collect.
Set Up Hotjar
This is probably the tool that we recommended the most in 2019. Hotjar is still a firm favourite. Hotjar captures real time behaviour of visitors on your website. It shows where and how they click and can give insight into how they are interacting with your platform. It can be invaluable in tracking landing page behaviour as well as shopping behaviour (for you ecommerce types).
On the downside, it does impact on page load, so we recommend putting it in place for a short period to get the recordings and then take it off again. This platform has a basic free account level so it is a no brainer for use by the smart digital marketer (that’s you!)
Implement Search Term Tracking in Google Analytics
This is another essential and indispensable tool. Google Analytics enables search term tracking on your analytics and allows you to see the search terms people used to find content on your website. This can help identify previously hidden search phrases. It can also help add better internal navigation so that potential customers get to their desired content. Combining this with Hotjar can give you an invaluable insight into how your website works (or should work) for customers.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Google Ads is just a blackhole for your budget but there are multiple ways to restrict where, when and who you spend your money on. Audiences are one of theses methods. You can create an audience based on multiple criteria (interests, habits, etc.) and then spend more serving your ads to those people. In effect it means showing more ads to those more likely to be genuinely interested in your product or service.
Start Using Google Shopping
On the off chance that you have not carried out a google search in the last 3 years, this is something you really need! Google shopping allows you to promote your products directly in search results. In comparison to the ever more confusing traditional search tactics, it is relatively straight forward to create a product file and to push your product directly. This can give useful feedback on your price competitiveness whilst also driving traffic directly to that all in important buy now page.
One word of caution. Google wants to push the most competitive prices for products so if you are not careful about what products you spend budget on, there is a possibility that you will be pushing your lowest price / lowest margin products. Make sure you are only spending on product that provide a good margin for you.
Implement Video Tracking on your Website
Video is the most engaging form of content that you can give your users, but it is often difficult to gauge the level of that engagement or the full return on this content. If you are not tracking interactions correctly, then you are losing valuable insights. It is useful to calculate just how much of your video content is being watched end to end. This video will provide a nice step by step to this end, using Google Tag Manager.
Review your Performance Stats in Google Search Console
Possibly one of the most underused
resources in a marketer’s arsenal, Google Search Console offers incredible
insight into your websites performance in Google Search. After a quick and easy
verification process, you can start to learn things like how many impressions
your website gains in search, what search queries your website is showing for
and what countries are your users coming from.
These are just a number of very useful tools available in Google’s Search Console. If you’ve never used Search Console before, head over to Google Search Console now and start optimising your websites performance
Optimise for Voice Search
The way people utilise search engines
continues to change, thanks to the prominence of voice search. Smart devices
now come with a built-in voice assistant designed to make users lives much
easier. Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Ok Google are
changing the way potential clients search. As a result, searches have become more relaxed
and conversational in tone, and often produce geographically local search
results. ‘Pharmacist near me’ etc. This
means that rather than the 3- or 4-word searches that have been the norm over
the past number of years, we are now seeing extreme long tail searches,
sometimes upwards of 7 words being used.
Firstly, it is imperative to get an
understanding of how people use voice search. Check out some blogs to examine
how users interact with voice assistants. Once you have an understanding, it is
time to optimise your web content to accommodate some of these long tail search
terms. (Top Tip: Google Search Console can help you identify these terms.) You
should also ensure you have claimed and optimised your Google My Business page,
and that this is kept up to date.
Check the User Location Report in Google Ads (Don’t serve
ads to people in Brazil)
One of the pitfalls we’ve seen numerous
business fall into while managing their own Google Ads campaigns is unknowingly
and unwillingly advertise to far off shores through the platform. A single,
often overlooked setting during campaign set up can lead to higher than
necessary costs as well as clicks and impressions from users very unlikely to
buy your products and services, or worse still in a country that your company
can’t deliver to.
To check if you are advertising to the far
distant shores of Brazil, visit the user’s location report in your Google Ads
account. This can be found under the Locations tab when logged into your Google
Start Remarketing to your Website Visitors
Remarketing lets you target spend and
exposure to people who have already visited your website. The click through and
conversion rates tend to be stronger and the cost is considerably lower. In order for remarketing to work you need to
achieve a critical mass of website visits after you enable it. You can use
simple Google Ads campaigns again to create this volume in a very short period
Once you have critical mass, you can
combine multiple other factors (location, interests, etc) to maximise
conversions from your spend.
Set up A Facebook Catalogue
Facebook continues to be one of the most visited websites in the world and despite the controversy surrounding the management of user data, we are all still actively using Facebook. By using Facebooks product catalogue you are able to deploy your products directly on Facebook and increase the chances of a qualified clickthrough. If you have already set up a Google Shopping Feed it does not take much to customise this to suit Facebooks criteria.
With a product catalogue in place you can utilise the Facebook pixel to run remarketing on products so the customer that was browsing for that dress or shirt will find that same product showing up in their Facebook feed.
Continue your Business Story through Facebook Advertising
Facebook Advertising as annoying as some may find it (you’re not alone!) is still one of the most popular ways to advertise for the complete novice. Not only is it easy to do it’s definitely one of the more economical versions of advertising, a simple branding campaign can start from as little as one euro per day. Now, let’s be clear, you’re not going to reach all of Ireland for that amount, but with some clever geographical and demographic targeting you can reach your ideal customer and spread brand awareness for a reasonable budget. If you want to learn more on the topic Facebook has some excellent resources here: Facebook Blueprint
Start Using Reviews
Trust remains one of the major factors in converting visitors to customers. Independent review platforms like Trust Pilot, Feefo or Googles own reviews (GPFB) provide authorative feedback on how your company’s products or services perform for real people. A high volume of reviews on authorative sites (somewhere north of 150) can help boost your organic ranking and impact on PPC costs.
Many companies are wary of reviews and fear that it will bring out a disproportionate amount of keyboard warriors with nothing better to do than to have a pop at your brand, but again the answer here is volume. Your users will look at the average rating for your reviews so getting a high volume of good reviews diminishes the impact of the one or two with a chip on their shoulder.
And it has to be said that, if you are
getting mostly bad reviews maybe it is time to start listening to your
customers and fixing the issues.
The internet is an information resource
like no other and if you want to compete in the space there is no substitute
for creating unique and useful content for your users. Over the last decade, countless customer’s
content has proven time and time again to be the best return on investment for
any business. You do not have to write a
novel, but you should be creating new content each month and posting it to your
website. This same content can be used on your social channels and further
enhance your authority.
Simple things like creating a list of content that you can create and making dates in your diary to do just that will help you stay consistent. That completes our whistle-stop guide to 20 things to do in 2020. Here is a bonus one as a reward for reading this far. If you are a marketing professional and are concerned, confused or scared of any of the above we have a team of experts on hand that are happy to give you free advice on any of it. Just tell them Dave said so. Lift the phone or drop us a line here and we can start a conversation.
We all know how useful regular blog posts are for your website. Your clients love them. Google loves them and as you continue to write, a growing audience will love them too. They really are worth the effort. But you may be making some very simple mistakes that could lose you readers and prevent your writing from reaching more potential and existing customers.
Copying and pasting
This is the most common mistake of all and it is the one
that has the most disastrous effects on your Google ranking. It also has the
potential to make you look like a twit, if your readers have seen the original
text. If you copy and paste a blog post,
Google will pick up the plagiarism and will rank the original author over and
above your site. You will, in fact, be
promoting someone else’s blog.
Solution: Don’t do it! You can take inspiration and information from other posts, but make the text your own with over 60% original and unique content.
Click bait and empty
Never make promises for your blog that you don’t follow through with. If you are promising to point out the 6 common mistakes made when blogging, then deliver on that promise! Do not suggest you’ve got the latest news on Colleen Rooney, if you are really just directing people to your new business services. It is easy to start with a great idea and then head off down some weird thought train and never deliver on the blog title as advertised. It could potentially annoy people. After all, if click-bait on other sites irritates you, then it will bother your readers too.
Solution: Give them exactly what it says on the tin!
Passing on vital and interesting
news about your industry is always a great blog topic. There are times when
giving valid information on new, innovative and exciting products is a perfectly
good reason for blogging products. However, when you lazily place a few words
around some hyperlinks to items you are trying to sell, you are underestimating
the intelligence and the tolerance level of your readership and your potential
clients. Product placement should happen
because of a blog, and not the other way round.
Solution: Passing on vital and interesting news about your industry is always a great blog topic. Consider a title like ‘Is this best way to keep your hands warm this winter?’ to product-place gloves or ‘Are you tired of paying too much for a silver cleaner that doesn’t work?” to product place a range of silver cleaners Etc. etc.
Google ranking loves your long blogs. The longer it is, the more chance it has of
‘ranking well’ in search options. This
might seem like a good reason to waffle on for longer than you should. Bear in
mind that your blog should, for ranking purposes, be more than 600 words, but
those words should be interesting and on point. Don’t be afraid of being
personal and letting your personality come through (a personal voice usually
takes longer to relate and is often easier to read).
Solution: Ask a suitable person to read your blog and suggest some edits, explaining to them that you are trying to hit the balance between length and interest. Break up the text and have a nice layout with eye-catching images.
I know, I know. Too
long can be a mistake, but too short can also bring its own issues. Google
ranks the longer blogs well even if the quality of the ‘content’ is not their priority. If your blog is too short it won’t hit those
Solution: Make bullet points of all the aspects of your blog topic before you start and write a paragraph on each of the points. Top and tail that information with a witty introduction and round up paragraph.
Too technical, Acronyms
and Insider terms.
Never presume that the reader understands your ‘insider
terms’, your acronyms and short-cuts. Too many times a blog will overcomplicate
a simple guide to whatever, with a liberal amount of industry specific terms
and SSA’s (stupid silly acronyms).
Solution: If you must use shortcuts and terms that are not in normal use, just pop an explanation in brackets. An edit from someone not involved in your industry will flag up any use of exclusive and unfamiliar language.
Blogging is easy, blogging is fun and although you may fall foul of the above common errors, there are easy solutions to hone your writing and ensure a wider audience and a further reach for your blogs. Need some help writing your blog see our previous blog – New to Blog Writing? Here is what you need to know.
Stories on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and more are here
to stay. Many users now go their chosen
social media platform to view stories and leave without scrolling through any
of the organic posts. There are multiple platforms that use stories, but we
will focus on Instagram for the purpose of this blog post.
Stories are photos and videos which can be temporarily viewed or shared for a period of 24 hours. These stories make an ideal social media marketing tool for business. Sharing a story from your account lets your customers engage with your business on a day to day basis. Stories enable people and businesses to express themselves creatively, experience moments outside their everyday lives and feel part of your business on a personal level. Stories that feature the behind the scenes at your business, promotions & sales, or that introduce new products are an excellent way to leverage this feature. A video uploaded on a story is 15 seconds in length but multiple stories can be uploaded in unison so there is no disruption to the story.
As social media continues to evolve and change we need to
adapt to ensure customers are still seeing content from your business, here’s some
tips on how to use them to their full potential:
Start with Instagram Stories. Instagram stories are user friendly and have some of the best tools to create with as most of them are prebuilt into the app. Start your story sharing gently and master this platform before moving onto the next.
Increase website traffic using links in your Stories. Instagram and Snapchat allow users to embed links directly to your website products in stories. This can be very useful for a special offer or launch of a new product as regular posts do not allow you to add a linkable URL.
Use the Tools available. There are many useful tools within Instagram. These include Instagram Stories polls, drawing tools, text/typing tools, boomerangs, reverse video, filters, story highlights, video, music, images and many many more. If you are collaborating with another social media personality, ensure to tag their account on the story.
Reuse and share your content across multiple platforms. You can save your Instagram Stories and use them on other platforms but just be aware that you may have used some Instagram only features i.e. Instagram Stories polls/music, and these will not transfer over.
Don’t forget the social part! Its important not to make your social media platform all about promoting your business. Yes, use stories to promote certain important aspects of your business but use them to try to grow a personal connection with your customer base by using the unique features on Instagram stories to interact with your customers.
Highlights This feature consists of Stories that you select to last beyond their 24-hour only lifespan. Highlights will appear on the top of your profile page, this gives viewers access to the content you most want them to see on an ongoing basis .Each highlight can include as many or as little stories as you select, add more stories to your highlights as and when you want. After you post a story open it and, in the bottom, right hand corner there will be highlight press this and save!
Do you know your CPC from your CPA? How about your pixel from your campaign? Facebook Advert Manager can be confusing enough to navigate without throwing in all the confusing terminology! Have no fear Dmac Media Social Media Marketers are here to bust those digital terms!
Facebook Advert Manager terms:
Ads manager – This is where you create adverts for Facebook & Instagram.
This is at the top of the advert structure. The structure is as follows:
Campaign > Ad Set > Ad.
The campaign level is where you will select
your marketing objective based on your ad purpose. Some of the objectives
include: Brand awareness, Traffic to website, Catalog sales, Conversions.
Ad set – The
ad set controls the budget, ad schedule, audience target, ad placement, and
optimization & delivery of ads.
Budget – There
are 2 ways to set your budget within the ad set
Lifetime Budget – Once this is
set, you will not go over the amount
stated and the campaign will cease to run once the budget has been used
Daily Budget – For continuous
ad set a maximum daily budget. This budget will nearly always be used fully so
make sure it is an amount your happy to spend.
Audience – Facebook
allows you to target people based on their demographics i.e. age, location, job
title. Once you create your demographic segment you can save this as an
audience, to use again if necessary.
Ads – You
can create up to six ads per ad set budget. The ad creative is where you will
choose the image/video, ad copy and the call to action you want on the advertisement.
Pixel – The
Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that is added to your website, it works in
conjunction with Facebook Advertising. This is an analytics reporting tool that
allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by tracking and
understanding what actions your customers perform on your website. Read
Boost – This
is the blue button that is on most of the posts to your page. A boost is a
simpler method of paid advertising, but it is generally more expensive &
less accurate. This however can be used without using the advert manager.
Catalog – An
upload of all the products you sell. This can be done manually or via a feed
from your website. The products can then be used in ads for new customers or
– The total money spent on a campaign for the date range selected
– Facebook measures conversions that happen after a person either clicks on or
views your ad depending on the conversion window you have chosen in the ad set.
A conversion is the aim of your campaign, so for example if you launch a
campaign to generate leads, then a conversion is a new contact made.
CPC Cost per Click (All) – Cost per click for all clicks on your ad. This is the amount
you’re charged each time someone interacts with your ad, this may be the call
to action button, a click to your profile or even to enlarge a photo. This is
calculated by taking the amount you spent and dividing it by all clicks.
CPA Cost Per Acquisition – This figure is an average amount you pay for each action a person
takes on your ad. The action is something that you specified within the
campaign, it may be a form filled in, a website sale or a signup form
CPL Cost per Lead – This is the average cost for every lead you get. This can be via
a lead from on Facebook or via a from complete on your website
CPM Cost per 1,000 people seen – CPM stands for Cost per mille.
This metric is reported in monetary value. E.g. “a CPM of €4.12” means it
cost you €4.12 per 1000 views.
CTR Click through rate – This is a measure of the number of times your ad was clicked on.
Frequency – The
rate of times for a single view of your ad. Reach of 1200 and impressions of
2381 will give you a frequency of 1.98which is the average number your
ad was shown to one person.
Impressions – The number of times your ads were displayed on screen
Reach – The
number of unique people who your ad was displayed to at least once.
Results – The
number of times your ad achieved an outcome, this is based on the objective and
settings you selected during setup.
We hope that this is explains some of the more frequent jargon used by Facebook adverts and wish you every success with your online adverts in the future. If you’d like to hone your skills or get professional advice on social media marketing, speak to Dmac Media today.
We all know how much value is added to your website by having unique and new content added on a regular basis. It is absolute gold for your site, both in terms of reaching your valued clients and in keeping search engines happy. Blogging is an excellent way to keep your website alive and kicking in terms of content, not to mention the benefits from an Search Engine Optimisation perspective. But it is not always easy to find time to write blogs and when the actual revenue generating aspect of your business demands all your energy, certain tasks inevitably get put on the end of the ‘to-do’ list.
But blogs and an updated website ultimately generate income too! There are ways to write blogs quickly and easily. See our blog on tips for new bloggers which includes advice on titles and ‘listicles’ for the days when you need to get words on paper quickly. However, you may want to consider that you don’t always need to be the one doing the writing. Guest blogging is a perfect way to access expert advice and information for your website. Invite a guest blogger to write for your site. By adding informed content and links to other industry experts, you elevate your own website and make life a little easier at the same time.
Who should be your invited guest blogger?
Obviously the voice you showcase on your site should reflect your ethos and appreciate the work you do. You might choose a valued client, an industry expert or an all-round awesome writer to contribute to the regular blog spot on your website. It will add a new voice, new expertise and bring a whole new readership. Of course the sneaky people among you are thinking that this is the equivalent of getting someone to do your homework. It is. But while someone is doing the homework, you still have to do management, the edits and the organising. But if you have a fear of the blank page and don’t find that words flow too easily, then guest blogging may be just the thing for your website. The advantages for you is the imparting of new information and the adding of an authentic voice to your website for a minimum amount of effort.
Things to consider before you invite to write.
There are many things to consider when asking a guest blogger to contribute to your site and the management of the publication may take up as much time as actually writing content. There are a number of things to seriously consider BEFORE you issue the invite. Does the person share the same ethos and principles as your own Company? Can they actually write? Will they be upset if there is an edit on their work? For you, retaining editorial control is essential as you may well invite a valued customer or an industry boffin to blog for your page, but find that their information is ultimately incorrect or, horror of horrors, lauds a competitor or a retail item that you actually don’t sell. Agree the terms before they start writing to avoid embarrassment later. Suggest the topic that is relevant and reaffirming for your business and make full use of the expertise that the guest blogger may have. Consider whether you can use a hyperlink to the website of the contributor also, as this increases traffic and the search ranking of your own page. Most of all guest blogging should be seen as collaboration rather than a carte blanch for the writer.
Guest Bloggers: What is in it for them?
So why would another blogger write for your page. The trick is to make this a win-win situation for you both. Perhaps they have something to sell themselves. If you stock their product, then a blog which details its amazing properties and the care taken in the manufacture, is a win-win for both of you. . For others, you might be able to trade blogs. You contribute to their site and them to yours. Barter the blog for preferred services or products. For some of your contacts being asked might just be enough, but it is useful to consider the motivation before you issue the invite. Links from one site to another does increase the value of both from an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) point of view, so this is absolutely a selling point when inviting your guest blogger.
Reasons why you should accept an invitation to guest blog
I know, first we tell you that guest blogging can take the pressure off you and let someone else do the work while you do the supervising and now we suggest you write for others! Take a moment to consider the benefits and you may well be rushing to the keyboards. Guest blogging on other websites demonstrates your expertise and authority and shows that the other site recognises you and your company as someone trustworthy and of note. By writing in your own specialized area, you build up credibility and reach a new audience. Building your brand by increasing your exposure is always a positive business move. You may well attract new leads for your business. (Google+ is ending or is already gone) Always request a direct link back to your own website so that you can have the full value of the blog writing in terms of website traffic.
The content on your website is vitally important and not just because you have spent ages writing it. It’s the content of your site that engages potential clients and repeat customers. It is the content that contributes to keeping you high in the search rankings with Google.
Easy functionality is essential. Zippy Design is important, but it is the actual content which brings people to the page. There is no doubt that unique, vibrant and interesting content is the cornerstone of your web-site that not only informs potential customers, but goes a long way to keeping your website alive and vibrant.
Good content is worth investing the time and effort. However, there are a few common content pitfalls. Small mistakes that take the value out of the script and wording on your site. Here are some of the common content errors that can adversely affect your website.
The most common mistake with a website is thinking that it is done! Change the content on your website on a regular basis. Add news, special offers and a cute new image every now and again. Link to your regular blog (Of course, you have a regular blog!). Keeping things fresh will assist with the ranking of your website and is a key component of an good SEO Strategy. Staid and old content does not reflect well on your business in general.
Plagiarism – write your own stuff!
Yes, we know there is nothing new and amazing in the world. No unique revelations or wondrous new words, stories and facts that have not been uttered, retold or rehashed. But if your website content does not register as new, Google will disregard it or even worse, attribute it to the original writer (and rightly so, write your own stuff!). Over 60% of the text on your site must be completely new and unique.
This is not as hard as it may seem. You can get ideas from other sites, blogs, magazine articles and Facebook posts and then just take some time to write it in your own words. You can rehash your old content by taking it out and updating it for a re-post. Keep an eye on the most popular items and use it as a guide to choosing subject matter.
Identify the keywords for your industry or services. These magic words should be liberally sprinkled across all your writing. Don’t be afraid of overusing words similar to your keywords. Literally mix it up so that you have a better chance of ranking. Competent keyword research is a complete tutorial and workshop all of its own, but in simple terms, it means using every word and phrase that you feel our customers will search.
Spacing it out – designing it out
The way in which people read websites is different than you may think. Basically, you are best to space out the information and content in easily readable sections. Design it out in bite size pieces. Don’t waffle. Keep it relevant. Less is more, as long as the less is relevant, smart and interesting. Remembering how the reader’s eye works and cognisant that they are scanning rather than reading will keep you on-point.
Spelling errors bad edits
Use the spellchecks folks! There is nothing that screams
inefficiency and sloppiness like a badly edited piece of work. Run your content through the spell check, but
don’t stop there, as spellcheck cannot tell the difference between ‘their’ and
‘there’ or whether you meant ‘form’ or ‘from ’! So it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a
pedantic friend, preferably one with freakishly correct grammar tendencies, to
edit your work.
By adding fresh and new content we are telling the search engines that the website is active and keeping our regular and our potential clients interested and engaged. It is worth the time it takes to create new site content, so keep that steady stream of articles, blogs and images flowing for successful search engine optimisation.
The term, Seasonality, is often used by marketing professionals and typically describes a set of recurring sales increases as a result of the changing needs of customers.
As the calendar year unfolds, the way we live our lives changes in regular patterns, whether we like it or not. Understanding these changes and predicting when they are likely to occur empowers marketing professionals to make intelligent marketing decisions.
Strategy, sales promotions and more can be planned and implemented effectively using historical seasonal data.
Consider that a retail clothing store running a sales promotion and actively marketing their woolen jumper range in the height of summer is very unlikely to yield results.
While the example given above is quite clear, many seasonal predictions aren’t quite as straightforward. When the seasonal lines are blurred, marketers must rely on other methods to gain insight. Thankfully, there are a range of online tools that can help, some of which we’ve mentioned before.
Google Trends is an incredibly valuable tool when deciphering seasonality and making decisions. It’s clear cut interface showcases the peaks and troughs of search interest surrounding whatever keywords you choose.
Google Trends Seasonal Search trend for perfumes & aftershaves in Ireland.
Here we can see the almost constant search interest for perfumes and aftershaves throughout the year until November. As Christmas approaches, search interest soar and interestingly aftershave was more often sought online than perfume. Factoring this growth in consumer interest and tailoring marketing campaigns to capitalise on this growth in search interest will set you above the rest.
Deeper insight can be gained through Google’s Keyword Planner. The table below showcases the seasonal trends associated with both “perfumes” and “aftershave” keywords. In addition, Google also offers the seasonal trends of a range of closely related keywords giving a clearer picture.
Now that we’ve gained an insight into the high seasons for both perfume and aftershave, we can focus on getting the most in return for your efforts. While this information should be used for all marketing efforts, we’re just going to focus on your online marketing here.
First off, let’s look at what we know. We know that our customers will be searching frantically for perfumes and aftershaves over a 6-week period before Christmas. We know that searches for perfume and aftershaves will diminish and become practically non-existent in January, and we know that the search interest is on a steady incline prior to the six-week hot period.
Our main aim here has to be to maximize traffic and sales for the company’s perfume and aftershave range during the 6 weeks prior to Christmas. Planning and scheduling campaigns is key during this period. Create and schedule your email marketing campaigns well in advance, decide on whatever sales promotions you will have and update your Google Ad copy to amplify such promotions.
Remember profitability underpins effective Digital Marketing. We know that consumers are steadily buying during this period and less so when January arrives. Tailoring your budgets to spend more during the 6-week frantic period and less so through January into February, is a simple yet effective way to become profitable.
Finally, consider your customers in the research phase of the buying cycle. During this period your customers are comparing prices, seeking out the best value and anticipating making their purchase. Although not necessarily making purchases during this period, you should endeavour to be found as a contender. Doing so, will impact your overall pre-Christmas revenue from digital marketing.
“Spend more of your budget during the time your customers want to buy, and less when they don’t.”
So, there you have it, seasonality should play a vital role in your digital marketing efforts. Not only from a customer acquisition perspective, but tailoring your marketing budgets, messages and strategies to capitalize on surges in consumer search will impact your bottom-line revenue.
The online explosion over the past number of years has seen an incredible growth in the number of businesses actively engaging in online marketing.
The digital environment is now part of your customer’s daily lives and as a result must become a core component of your online advertising strategy. In doing so, your digital strategy must be profitable for you as a company. It is no longer acceptable to advertise just for the sake of it and spend 100’s of euro on Google ads or social media campaigns without seeing a return.
Anecdotal feedback is no longer enough.
Saying your website is busy when you spend money on Facebook or after you send a marketing email, is not useful, nor should it be acceptable. In my 3 years working at Dmac Media, I can count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with companies who can clearly identify at what point they are profitable when it comes to digital marketing. More often than not, online advertising, whether it’s social media, pay per click and even email marketing, has been undertaken by business out of necessity.
I’ve lost count of the number of times where businesses have been advertising online without clearly defined conversion metrics.
From setting up online goals to transaction capturing, conversion led optimisation is an underpinning element to successful digital marketing. For the most part, however, the fault of this does not rest with the business owner. In many cases, advances in tracking software that have not been implemented, resulting in reporting inaccuracies.
Let’s take Google Ads for instance. If you’re an eCommerce business and have not updated to Global Site Tag tracking in the past 6 months, there is a good chance your Google Ads Conversions are inaccurate. This could mean, a keyword or campaign that you might consider to be performing very well, could in fact be costing you money.
Putting conversions and conversion metrics at the forefront of your digital optimisation strategy is key.
Rather than simply counting the number of enquiries your
website generates, look at the number of new customers you actually win as a
result of those enquiries. In a perfect world, every enquiry your website
generates would turn into a paying customer. However, it is far from a perfect
world we live in, and paying close attention to the number of new customers
your company on-boards will showcase the true value of your marketing efforts.
This is why we recommend utilising cost per acquisition metrics over cost per conversions in this instance. While this can prove an easy to analyse metric for an eCommerce business, it is more difficult when your business relies on sales follow ups and onboarding strategies to convert an enquiry into a customer.
We recommend that our clients go one step further in this regard. Utilising cost per acquisition metrics rather than cost per conversion can offer real insight into your digital campaigns.
What’s the difference? Well let’s examine them a bit more closely.
Conversions are anything you deem to be valuable for your business. This could include a range of behaviours from a view of your companies contact details onsite or to a newsletter sign up. Conversions tend to have a marketing objective. For instance, in the case of the Contact Page Views example above, the objective of the campaign could be to drive more telephone calls to your business.
By contrast, acquisition is actually acquiring a new customer and may take some time or considerable touchpoints. For instance, your sales team may have to deal with 10 enquiries to acquire just one customer. From an analysis point of view, this example suggests that 9 enquires were defunct and invaluable, however they cost your business money in gaining them.
Sample Brochure Website Month
Advertising Spend: €1000 Enquiries (Conversions): 50 Cost per Enquiry: €22 per enquiry Customers Won: 10 Average Order Value: €180 Cost Per Acquisition: €100 per customer won % Cost Per Acquisition: 55.55%
In this example the company are likely to be losing money on
each customer won when admin is added as a cost. This company should strive to
reduce their CPA% as soon as possible through a reduction of their advertising
outlay or improvement in their onboarding strategies.
Sample eCommerce Website
Advertising Spend: €1000 Transactions: 100 Cost/Conversion (Transactions): €10 Average Order Value: €130 Cost Per Acquisition: €10 % Cost Per Acquisition: 7.69%
In this example, we see that the company was able to
generate 100 orders for their €1000 advertising spend. With the average order
value being €130, this represents a CPA% of 7.69%. Even without knowing the
profit margins of this company, there is still a strong likelihood that this
customer is going to be profitable having achieved a 7.69% CPA figure. At this
point the company should look to scale up their approach but strive to maintain
their % CPA as they do so to grow their market share.
So you see, the tools to track profitable customer actions are available to all online businesses, who should endeavour to use these tools whenever possible. Doing so, provides deep insight into the channels and methods that are fueling your online success or failure and help hone your marketing tactics, and ultimately increase your bottom line profits.