Search Engine Optimisations - or SEO as it's usually referred to by us marketeers - is integral to your marketing as a micro/small business.
Not only is it free (!), but organic searches make up 53% of all internet traffic so there is huge opportunity to capture the attention of your target audience.
Here are 15 easy ways to get started with SEO-ing your website and business.
1. Make sure your site is mobile optimised. This is 2021, half of the UK's traffic is from mobiles. Make sure people can see your website properly!
2. Think about your website structure: It should be intuitive to use, have lots of relevant content, and use descriptive, yet logical URLs.
3. Know your best keywords and use them throughout your content. You can research using Google Keyword Planner, by looking at competitors' websites and using Google Trends.
4. Never repeat content, always reword things for each new page or blog. This applies to both your website and elsewhere.
5. Use a blog to introduce long, relevant copy that is updated regularly. Both things are two massive ticks in the eyes of a search engine bot.
6. Link to other sites with information on your subject, this shows your content is valuable and informative.
7. Be descriptive when you name your image files. Search engines will just see the code, so you can use the image name as an opportunity to add in more keywords.
8. Add an ‘alt’ tag to your images again, so that search engines will see extra keywords.
9. Make sure image files are small so they don’t effect page speed. By small I mean less than 500kb, preferably smaller.
10. Write concise page titles using a maximum of 60 characters. It should be clear what your business is from this title.
11. Use interesting page descriptions. These should be enticing for your potential customer and a maximum 160 characters.
12. Redirect page errors so that visitors don't immediately bounce off your site. Use your website platform tools to redirect old pages to the new ones (this is a 301 redirect) and make sure that your 404 error page directs people back to your homepage.
13. Use Google My Business to take up lots of real estate on the search results when someone searches for you business name and also to give Google more information about who you are and what you do. It's also a good idea to ask for reviews to show that you're a trustworthy business.
14. Keep your social media updated and make sure profiles link back to your website. Pinterest is a search engine in itself, and particularly good for linking back to your site with every single pin you create.
15. Get links to your website from other websites, especially well-respected ones. Guest blogs are a fantastic and easy way of doing this (just don't reuse one of your own blogs).
All of these steps are straightforward will make your website and business more search engine friendly, as well as more user-friendly for your customers. It's win/win.
There are simply thousands of ways to carve up the vast amount of data it can give you, but here are the reports that I find most beneficial (at a top level) and come back to time and time again.
This shows you your percentage of mobile traffic, which is important for your site optimisation as well as targeting ads.
REPORT: ALL TRAFFIC > SOURCE / MEDIUM
The best thing you can do with your traffic is add tracking parameters to the end, which I have previously explained here. This will signal to google where the traffic has come from and allow you to analyse and compare results between your difference marketing channels.
If you are using these parameters the source/medium report will show you results per marketing activity. Add a ‘secondary dimension’ of 'campaign' or 'ad content' to get even more granular.
REPORT: TRAFFIC > ALL CHANNELS
Google will automatically segment your traffic by marketing channel even if you don’t use tracking parameters, so this report will give you a very top level view of what it/isn’t working at the very top level.
REPORT: SITE CONTENT > ALL PAGES
What pages are your visitors spending the most time on and which do the leave quickly from? Knowing this will help you prioritise your optimisation strategy and also identify any problems on site.
REPORT: SITE CONTENT > LANDING PAGES
Where do people enter you site? Knowing that will make sure you maximise what they are seeing on those pages. This is especially useful when broken into marketing channel.
REPORT: SITE SPEED
If your website is slow it will negatively affect your search engine optimisation, so it is worth checking in on this every now and again.
If you need help with your analytics and gaining insight from the myriad of marketing data then check out my insights service here.
Carrying out research to gain insights on your products, services, target audience and marketing is best practice for business or marketing strategy. There are two overarching types of research - quantitive and qualitative - that you can conduct in order to listen to what really matters for your business.
Big companies spend big bucks every year doing just that. But don't sweat it, as a small business, research can be simply done. And most importantly it can be done at no cost, aside from time. Read on for more information on the different research types, and my tips on how to conduct these for free.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH involves opinions... speaking to a small group of people and asking for their thoughts on whatever you are researching. It will give you a deeper understanding of that audience you are talking to.
My tips on how to collect this data as a small business:
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH involves numbers... what statistically stacks up based on the options given to a wide sample of people. This type of research will give you a clear topline understanding of what an audience likes/dislikes.
My tips on how to collect this data as a small business:
Overall, my top tip for small businesses when it comes to research is that you should run a survey to your target audience / customers with both quantitative and qualitative questions on at least at annual basis, just to check you're still serving your customers as well as you can.
If you have any questions then please comment or get in touch with me. You can find more digital marketing top tips over on my instagram.
I absolutely love helping small businesses with their marketing, it's so rewarding to see results blossom and to cheer on the businesses I come to love.
If you'd like to read the full article then click the link below.
Over on my Instagram account I offer digital marketing advice for small businesses. Here is a summary of the posts that were most popular amongst my followers last month:
For the full Instagram post content that elaborate on the advice above, and many more digital marketing tips, please do head on over to Instagram and follow me @digitalmarketingmama.
I'm proud to be one of the writers for MamaTribe's features and this month I have created a hierarchy for how to prioritise your digital marketing channels. Here is a quick overview of the steps:
1// Get your website structure and content right, making sure you are mobile first.
2// Focus on Search Engine Optimisation by researching keywords and adding them to your title tags, headings, descriptions, URLs and image ALT tags.
3// Introduce basic email automation for important emails and make sure they are on brand.
4// Establish yourself on social media, remembering that it is better to excel at one or two social networks rather than spreading your time too thinly.
5// Dabble with social media advertising to increase your social reach and utilise social network pixels.
6// Up your email marketing ante with an email template and regular newsletters.
7// Get serious with your digital advertising across both social media and search platforms.
8// And then add the rest, such as affiliate, content and influencer marketing.
To read my advice on prioritising your digital marketing channels in full you can find the MamaTribe feature here.
Email is one of the most important digital marketing channels thanks to its impressive ability to facilitate both customer loyalty and high conversion rates at a negligible cost.
As a small business, having a template, or several templates that you alternate, is a good idea for consistency, and also to ease the amount of time it takes to send out an email campaign. Any automated emails you have, such as your welcome programme, should also align to the same template style in order to keep consistency.
You just need to make sure that your email template is working as hard as it should be. Here are my tips for creating a template that engages and converts:
Once you have a template you will see your time investment into your email programme decrease, but your results improve as customers respond to the consistency and clarity of what you are sending them.
I have some great email examples over on my Pinterest page here.
Of course, if you have any questions on this or want some help with your email programme then please do get in touch. You can get hold of me via my contact form or @digitalmarketingmama.
When it began, Facebook advertising was so sweet... cheap to run, high engagement rates and high conversion rates. Now all that is changing, but you can still achieve good results if you take the time to plan your campaigns and analyse the results you see.
Here is my quick guide to setting up your Facebook ads via the 'Guided Creation' feature.
Take time to plan your advertising
Choose your campaign objective
Create an ad set
Choose your target audience
Choose where your ads will be shown
Create your ad
There are lots of different options that Facebook offers you along the path of this journey, which can make the ad platform seem daunting and overly complicated. Don't feel like you have to take every option and try and stick to the basic principles outlined above. Once you have done it a few times you'll get the hang of it.
Of course, if you need help building out your campaigns then I am always here to help. Please do get in touch with any questions or cries for help!
A carefully thought out welcome programme for your new email subscribers sets the stage for what they can expect from your brand.
By delighting them at this early stage, when engagement is naturally highest, you are helping guarantee their continued attention for your business... oh hello, higher open, click and conversion rates.
To achieve this, consider introducing a multi-email welcome programme rather than the standard "Thanks for signing up". Few companies do this and even fewer do it well; it is a real opportunity for your brand to stand out.
So what to do?
First, think carefully about why someone has signed up for your emails, meet that need and then exceed it with the content you provide.
Here are some content examples that you could include in your welcome emails:
• Introduce them to your brand values.
• Showcase your unique selling points (USPs).
• Offer a look behind the scenes of your business.
• Add a personal touch from you to them.
• Give them exclusive content / offers.
• Showcase a first look at new things or featured products.
Once you have what you want to say, decide how to spread this out over 2, 3 or 4 emails, as well as the time period these will be received over (probably a 24 hour pause between each mailing), They will get these emails before entering your usual email newsletter cycle.
Make sure each email installment is designed in line with your current email templates and be sure to test both the design and automation set up before sending it live. If you use an email service provider such as Mailchimp, it will be intuitive to set this up on their platform.
Best practice here would be to test different content to see what gets the best response, but in real life, where time is always a premium, just make sure you are checking email stats once it has launched and review the programme after a month or so, then at regular intervals.
Pitch this email welcome programme at the right level and you will create subscribers that open again and again and are bought into your brand values; basically the kind of audience every marketer craves!
For some more inspiration I have added some examples to my Pinterest profile. If you have any questions or comments please do add them, or get in touch with me.
Cookies are a cornerstone of using the internet and, ultimately, provide enhanced user experiences, both directly on sites and via effective data usage by the companies using the cookies.
But how do these magical little nuggets of information actually work? Here is a quick overview:
1. A website/host sends a text file to the user's device to be stored. This contains at least a unique identifier for that device and a reference to the website.
2. The website/host checks for the presence of this information when a user visits. It basically acts as memory for the website, as web servers have none.
3. Information relating to the behaviour or personal information of that unique identifier are then captured.
This can help with everything from remembering preferences, identifying an audience in Facebook, serving retargeted ads, creating your Google Analytics data to providing pop-ups at a relevant time with a relevant message.
They are clever little things, these cookies!
Here are some tips and tricks for marketing your business effectively.