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Search Marketing

The Whiteclick SEO blog aims to keep you up to date with the latest in the search engine optimisation and marketing industry and the company.

12 Digital Marketing New Years resolutions for 2012

Jessica Graham - Monday, January 09, 2012

1. Do: Share links pointing to content on your website!

It's concerning how many businesses share links over social networks that direct potential visitors to other sites instead of their own! Your primary social media objective should always be to engage with your target audience, lure them back to your website using great content, and then convert to leads or sales.

2. Do: Finally get around to setting up your business blog

Speaking of great content - a blog is one of the most effective pages to drive traffic to your site! Companies which blog have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links. For non-SEO nerds, in English this means that investing time and money into a business blog will:

  • Establish your brand as a market leader and influencer
  • Impact positively on your optimisation efforts and increase your search rankings
3. Do: Optimise your blog posts with keywords/phrases

Closely aligning your blogging efforts with your SEO strategy to incorporate keywords and phrases will maximise your content 'life' and visibility in search results.

4. Do: Post blogs regularly

Commit to generating 1 to 2 articles a month at minimum. There is nothing worse than visiting a business blog page only to find that their latest article dates back to the time when Nokia's 3310 was still the most widely used mobile phone device!

5. Do: Analyse what content engages best with your audience

Take notice of what is working. Assess your most popular blogs by views per month; your social media updates that garner the most 'likes', 'comments' or 'shares' etc. Use this data as a guide for future posts. It seems like common sense but you'd be surprised at how many businesses fail to identify what makes their audience tick.

6: Do: Set measurable Social Media goals

A big trend for 2012 embraces higher levels of social media monitoring and metrics - but how can you measure your digital marketing success unless you first set goals that are realistic and achievable? Here are a few simple ones to start with:

  • I want to increase my Facebook Fan base to x amount of followers by x date
  • I want to increase my Twitter followers to x amount of followers by x date etc.
  • I want to post x amount of blog articles a month

7: Don't: Ignore Google+

A huge development in 2011 was the emergence of Google's answer to Facebook: Google+. Early membership numbers broke every record in the book, and in late November the search heavyweight announced the provision of Business Pages for brands. While Google was quick to deny any relational effects to SEO and PPC, early data suggests otherwise. Don't be left behind, build your business presence on this network now.

8. Don't: Be tempted to cut costs by attempting DIY pay-per-click

While DIY PPC management may provide initial budget relief in an economic downturn, it often ends up costing much more than you save. The keyword selection process is far more involved than just knowing what your customers are searching for. Targeting the wrong keywords drains advertising spend without providing any ROI. It's a no brainer: Employ an expert to make sure that you're getting the best keywords at the lowest possible price point.

9. Don't: Forget the power of customer testimonials

It is estimated that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales (online and offline) will be affected by consumers who use the Internet to research products before purchasing. Social Media is the new 'word of mouth'. Populate your product/services LinkedIn page so happy customers can endorse you, and encourage influencers to write online reviews or recommend your brand on Facebook.

10. Don't: Be oblivious to what is being said about your business online

Use free web services such as socialmention.com and wotnews.com or even by conducting a simple name search on Twitter to find out how your brand is perceived by the public. Appease customers with complaints and nurture brand ambassadors. Social media is not just for promotions, it is also an invaluable market research tool.

11. Don't: Lose potential business by having an outdated, user un-friendly website

Your website is often the first experience a potential customer has with your company brand. Just like in a job interview, you need to make those first impressions count! Does your homepage load up quickly? Is your content optimized for search? Do you provide eCommerce facilities for users to buy your products online? Or is 'Lets do the time warp again' ringing in your visitors ears when they view your page design?!

12. Don't: Optimise your website for mobile and tablet devices at your own peril!

Sales of iPhones, Androids, iPads and other tablet devices are on the rise and expected to outstrip laptops and traditional computers as the home hardware of choice by 2015. Don't give potential customers an excuse to buy from your competitors - make sure your website can be viewed and utilized in any format.

What are your digital marketing resolutions for 2012?

Developing a killer digital marketing strategy...

Jessica Graham - Friday, August 26, 2011

...aka Why PPC, SEO & Social Media make the perfect Ménage à trois!

Humor me for a moment. Lets play a game.

Step outside your body and imagine inhabiting the brain of your perfect customer. You (as the customer) have just sat down in front of your laptop. After updating Facebook, maybe sending an email or two, you've now just remembered that 'thing' you've been meaning to research for a few weeks.

Lets call that 'thing' X.

You flick open Google and type in 'Buy X'… Click into a few sites… Decide to refine your search to 'Buy pink X'… Still no dice... What about 'Buy cheap pink X'... Getting closer… 'Buy cheap pink X in Sydney'

...BINGO!

Now step back from that potential customer. They just bought said pink X from your competitor.

What the hell happened???!

The perfect digital marketing strategy involves a mixture of PPC, SEO & Social Media marketing, and unfortunately you were missing an element.

  • Was it SEO ? Let's go back to that Google page. You sell pink X too but when that customer typed it in, your website didn't even come up in the first page of search results! Optimising the copy on your website is super, super important - it allows search engines (and customers) to understand how relevant your site is to what's being searched for. Including the right keywords in your website content is only a small part of effective SEO but it's an important one. If Google knows your site contains what's being searched, you can bet that your potential customer will know soon too.
  • Was it PPC? Again lets go back to pink X. This time your SEO is sorted out (you took our advice above! Yay!) and your website appears in the top 5 rankings of the search query. But GUESS WHAT - that customer just bypassed them completely! To the top and right hand side of the organic search results, Google displays paid advertisements, and one just caught that darn customers eye! AdWords is a highly effective marketing strategy to use in conjunction with your SEO to catch those customers with ADHD! The best part is, you only pay for the customers who actually click into your page (Pay per click or PPC).
  • Was it Social Media? But wait, there's more! Remember that same customer… before they even Googled what were they doing?! Messing about on Facebook that's what. Unfortunately for you, one of their friends commented on your competitor's fan page touting them as the best seller of 'Pink X'. This comment had appeared in their news feed - The very thing that had triggered the Google search in the first place! It's essential to build your business presence in social media channels to give your brand a voice, and a personality - Not to mention the huge value of personal recommendations.

The common problem with many digital marketing strategy's is that they are generally strong in one area yet fail to grasp the importance of covering all bases.

Social mentions are becoming integral to determining the ranking of your web site in search engines, the quality of your website (i.e. keyword relevance) effects where your ppc ad displays in Google, and you can even optimise your social network status updates to drive traffic straight to your site. It is essential to know how each affects the other, and how to use this to your advantage by creating a comprehensive marketing plan including all 3 elements.

How does your e-marketing strategy compare? Do you buy PPC Ads? Have you had success with SEO? Do people regularly recommend you on Twitter?

Not running regular search term reports? You could be wasting your AdWords budget on irrelevant clicks…

Samantha Hasler - Thursday, October 28, 2010

One of the many pitfalls of AdWords campaign management is failing to monitor the actual search terms triggering your adwords ads.

Why?

Because irrelevant search terms could be sucking up your daily budget…You must take action now!

By regularly running search query reports you can reveal new keywords to include in your campaigns and also to identify those pesky irrelevant keywords you should be setting as negatives.

If you’re running broad match keywords in your campaign you’ll see a feature of broad match is the broad-session match keyword. Broad-session match looks at other queries that the user has entered during their current search session to target ads - these queries are marked as "Broad Match (Session-Based)”.

The problem with broad-session match is the lack of control you have over your ad appearing for what Google deems a ‘relevant’ search query in the same user’s session. It’s impossible to plan and exclude every possible search a user may type in during the same session.

Because Google’s mechanism for identifying relevant broad match and broad-session match keywords is far from perfect, it’s vital you keep a close eye on your search query reports and add irrelevant search queries as negative keywords where required. Your vigilance should extend across your entire campaign on a monthly basis at the very least.

Historically, the query match column within the search query report has shown how close a user's search query was (in terms of match type) to an actual keyword in your account. Now you’ll find query match data under the campaign tab within your account.

How can I see the actual search terms used to generate my ads?

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click the See search terms button above your statistics table.
  5. Select All from the menu to analyze the search terms for all your listed keywords. To only see search terms for specific keywords, first select the checkboxes for the keywords you're interested in, then click Select from the menu.

Your search term data appears on the next page. And don’t forget to schedule the report to be sent to your email on a monthly basis.

Secrets of white-label PPC

Giles White - Friday, October 22, 2010

OK, so you want to offer your clients pay-per-click but are unsure of the value in outsourcing it to a PPC agency. Convenience? Yep, that one’s an easy win. Cost? Yep, you’ll have to pay (sorry I couldn't resist that one) but of course cost is relative to ROI, so you’ll have to figure out what constitutes success in monetary terms to properly answer that. Value? What does the white label PPC agency bring to the table?

If you are an experienced PPC campaign manager, you will be able to identify missing strategies, analytics potential, and tactics such as keyword selection, keyword matching options, Ad text & variations, campaign settings, landing pages, etc... and you will be able to tell your client how you can help them.

We often get asked to take over PPC campaigns on a white-label arrangement and there is a common theme to what needs to be fixed:

Strategy
No clear strategy
Doesn’t cover all products/services being offered
No integration with SEO strategy
Keyword Selection

Not enough long tail+ high converting phrases
Too many general keywords
Ad groups with confused keyword themes
Too many keywords per adgroup
No use of negatives
Campaign/Adgroup Structure
Structure does not mirror sitemap of website
No hierarchy of categories
Keyword Matching
Usually always broad match
Incorrect or ill-conceived use of matching options
Campaign Settings
Day-parting
Under spending budgets
Too many campaigns
Ads/Creatives
No call to action
No use of DKI in any of the ads
Either too many or not enough variations
Landing Page selection
LP is too generic – e.g. a homepage
LP has no conversion mechanism
Measurement
No long term tracking of cause-effect
No conversion tracking set up
No goals set in analytics

Conclusion:
There are many cost-saving and revenue-producing aspects of pay-per-click campaigns you may not have considered important. It's vital that you understand the truth about an existing PPC campaign – and the pages to which its ads point, before you make promises to your client.

So, what is the secret? A: Honesty. A good white label PPC agency with high standards can help you set realistic expectations. Honesty is the best policy and the last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure.


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