Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Join us on LinkedIn Circle us on Google+
 

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?

Looking to increase your Facebook likes? 12 reasons people “Like” business pages.

Giles White - Monday, September 26, 2011

Sometimes, Facebook feels like being back in the school playground - and not just because you can catch up with the friends and secret crushes you had before taxes, responsibilities and other alien concepts got in the way of a good time.

What I mean is that, we still have a need to be 'Liked' by as many people as possible. At least when it comes to our business pages.

So why aren't we over the popularity contests?

Well you see, some very exciting things happen when people Like your Facebook Page (business page):

  • They see all your posts/status updates within their own Facebook profile
  • Their Facebook friends get notified that they Liked your business
  • Whenever they comment on your Facebook posts, their friends see those messages too.

Of course, this can depend on how people have their account set up (some only choose to see updates from certain people/companies), but potentially your messages could be reaching tens, hundreds, even thousands of times more people than the number who Like your Facebook page. I guess you'd call it word-of-mouth marketing on steroids.

The other benefit of having a decent number of Likes is that new visitors to your page feel more comfortable about Liking you too - especially if one of their friends has already endorsed you as "likeable".

So what makes people Like company Facebook Pages?

In 2010, Exact Target did some research to find the answers. Here were the top 12 reasons:

  • To receive discounts and promotions
  • To show friends that they support the company/brand
  • To get something for free, eg; samples, coupons
  • To stay informed about the company's activities
  • To get updates about future products
  • To get updates about future sales
  • Just for fun
  • To get access to exclusive content
  • Someone recommended it to them
  • To learn more about the company
  • To learn about specific company topics
  • To interact, share ideas, and provide feedback.

What can we learn from this? You're more likely to be liked on Facebook if you:

  • give people discounts and free stuff
  • share information about products/services before they're released
  • make people's experience with you enjoyable, fun and entertaining
  • offer intriguing, exclusive content that enhances their lives in some way
  • show that you're listening when they tell you something, offer feedback etc.

Why do you choose to Like brands and businesses on Facebook?

10 ways to boost your social media strategy

Giles White - Monday, September 26, 2011

... Plus the one thing you can never forget


Every business wants a piece of social media these days. But once you're there, how do you grow a base of fans, followers and friends who want to hear from you, Like and Retweet you, respond to you, become your customers - and recommend you to their own friends and peers?

Here are 10 (+ one) practices that will help you and your business become very 'sociable':

1. Listen to your audience

I don't mean to sound like your third grade teacher or anything, but listening really is 50% of communication.

To understand who your customers are; the things that make them tick; and what they love, hate, and really need from you, take time to read what they have to say in social networks about themselves, their lives, their views, as well as your industry, business, website, social pages, content, the products and services you offer, or are considering selling.

People like to be listened to - and they like the people who listen.

2. Engage with them, don't talk at them

When it's time to talk, show your audience that you really do care about what they say, think and feel. Ask questions, reply to their comments, thank them, praise them where you genuinely believe they've deserve it. Much like all those things we love to hear from the people who matter in our real worlds.

3. Slip in to your customer's cyber shoes

When it's so easy (and cheap) to communicate with your target audience, there's a temptation to bombard them with deals, information and other messages. So every time you create a blog post, Facebook update, tweet, etc, sit back for a moment and ask yourself:

  • will people get some benefit from this, or is it just annoying and disruptive?
  • if I was a customer, would I really want to read/watch it?

Give them things they can use and they'll be much happier to 'see' you on their social pages.

4. Offer content and ideas they can't find elsewhere

Like the rest of the world, your customers/fans are drowning in a sea of information overload. The only way they can stay afloat is to ignore the bits that don't add value to their world. So how do you get read, re-read and recommended as an expert in your field?

You toss people life rafts of information filled with fresh ideas, viewpoints, statistics, or anything else that makes you one of the few businesses or people they can't afford to let go of.

5. Share your own stories

Relevant stories can offer a glimpse into your business, personality, values, etc. It could be a story about something that happened to you, a client or staff member. It might be funny, informative or heartfelt, such as charitable work your team does or supports. Photos and videos work well too.

Real stuff makes you and your brand more human.

6. Share their news with your circle

Let's face it, the real reason we all love social networks is that it gives us an opportunity to voice and be acknowledged for our views. That's ok, we're only human!

Sharing, retweeting, Liking and commenting positively or constructively on fans/followers/customers content is an endorsement that you appreciate their opinion, sense of humour, etc. How could they not then see you as a smart, likeable and all around fantastic person? :)

7. Timing is everything

When it comes to social content, you snooze you lose. Not just in terms of relevance to your audience needs, current trends etc, but publishing it at the time of the day/week when your audience is likely to be looking at their social pages.

8. Invite customers to be your fans

If you are trying to build your numbers, loyal customers are a logical place to start. They already like you in the real world. And when they comment, Like, retweet, etc online, all their social network friends and colleagues see your words/videos/photos of wisdom too.

9. Respond quickly to the good, bad and ugly

Good and bad word spreads fast in social media. In the past, Dell, United and other major organisations have lost millions of dollars through a single case of bad social media publicity. And it could have all been avoided if they responded immediately in a way that showed they cared and were taking action to help the customer.

People don't expect you to be perfect, they just expect you to treat them with respect when things go wrong.

10. Subtly show your credibility

No one likes a poser. But they do like to know that the people/companies they're buying or learning from have a good understanding of the industry, area, niche, etc they're writing about.

Once you listen, ask questions and understand what your audience need, don't stand up and yell "Hey you, over here, I'm brilliant I am at that!" Instead, weave your experience and knowledge into your stories, ideas, conversations and let them do the talking.

Never forget!!

11. Keep it real

People want to get to know other people, not companies. Don't try to 'create' a personality or readers will see straight through you. Yes, have goals, use the steps discussed above, but most importantly, just be your wonderful self.

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?

Top 10 epic fails business bloggers make

Jessica Graham - Friday, August 05, 2011

In an ocean of posts, are you a fish out of water?


Unless you live under an emarketing rock, you're bound to know that blogging is a vital ingredient in the secret recipe of customer engagement.

So whether you're an accomplished author or a copywriting virgin, here are some handy hints to avoid potential blog mistakes:

1. It's too Long - Keep posts short yet informative. The average human attention span is just 30 seconds, so get to your point STAT

2. It's too Short - Conversely, if it's less than 180 characters long you're just wasting your time … do yourself a favor and Tweet it!

3. It's too much like reading an ad - Don't confuse blogs as just another place to spruik your product - who likes being blatantly advertised to anyway? Be topical, interesting and relevant. Save the 50% off coupons for your email newsletter!

4. There's no clear objective - What's your primary reason for maintaining the blog? Hint: It should be to drive organic traffic to your site, build brand awareness and trust.

5. Forgetting to optimise your content - How can you expect to be read if can't be found in the first place? Sprinkling content with keywords is like creating a roadmap leading users right to your site. Build it and they will come.

6. Boring - Blah blah Blah Zzzzzz …'Nuff said!

7. No rich content - Google highly favors posts with videos, podcasts and photos over simple text. Say cheese!

8. Forgetting links - Ever heard of the word 'Link-baiting'? It's a geeky (yet effective!) SEO technique which involves hyperlinking content direct to other pages on your website…straight down the funnel to conversion! Smart huh?

9. Keeping it to yourself - Google incorporates social media mentions in its PPC (tallying up your Google+1'sBORDER=) as well as organic ranking algorithm. The more comments/ like/share's you have, the higher it will rank. What are you waiting for? Add share buttons to your blog and update your status now!

10. Not blogging at all!

So all that said…How does your blog stack up?

What's the Fuss about Google Plus?

Jessica Graham - Friday, July 01, 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock this week, you'll probably be aware that Google has just launched their ( third!) attempt to combat what is no doubt referred to at the Googleplex as 'That Little Facebook Problem'.

So without further ado (and if you'll 'scuse the pun), here are some standout +'s and -'s:

PLUS

*Privacy: Google+ allows you to drag and drop your contacts into different 'Circles' of friends, and then from there it's easy to choose which information is made public to which circles - compared to Facebook's traditionally nonchalant approach to your personal information.

*Integration of live video : Not only can you chat with friends face to face but as a group you can search for and watch videos on YouTube with ease…. Lets be honest, who wouldn't love a group session discussing the finer points of Rebecca Black lyrics?

*Collects and stores content based on your interests: The 'Sparks' feature does what Google does best by allowing you to save multiple key terms as interest topics. New content is then trawled daily from the web and aggregated for your browsing ease - in contrast to when you 'like' a brand on facebook, and are provided with only that-brand-specific information displayed in your newsfeed.

*Mobile Photo Uploads: Google+ has a snazzy feature which automatically uploads photos from your phone and stores them privately for you to sort through later on down the track at your leisure - throw out your USB cables people!

MINUS

*Where's my gamer apps?? Whilst I have no problems with a world sans-Farmville; at the moment there is no ability to host any games, which is a feature Facebook currently has over Plus in spades ...Although with the rise (and rise) in social gaming, this is surely something that won't be ignored by Google in the future.

*It is standalone - i.e. there are no integration services with other accounts - which is a bummer for those socialites who love to simultaneously broadcast their thoughts over multiple networks (e.g. twitter and LinkedIn) at the same time.

*It's Invite Only at this stage, so if you are lucky enough to be one of the 'chosen ones' with early access, you should feel special (ignoring the fact that your Plus network is probably severely depleted compared to your current Facebook friends) - and for the masses it smacks of exclusivity.

On a side note, something else to take into consideration is that at the moment there is really no way for businesses to tap into their audiences in the same way that Facebook allows 'fan pages'. Yes, you can '+1' on articles or websites that appear in your Google searches as effective 'recommendations', but it does make me wonder…. How does Google plan to make money from Plus? Watch this space.

Are you a purple cow? Case Study: How to use social media to differentiate your business from the crowded paddock

Jessica Graham - Friday, June 24, 2011

A few weeks ago I attended a networking seminar where online boutique Shoes of Prey entrepreneur Jodie Fox spoke about the inspiration behind her custom-made shoe manufacturing business and the key role social media played in helping to build their loyal customer base

The key take-aways were:

  • Always remember that your customers have a choice - as a brand, you need to be personally relevant online or your target audience won't be engaged. The onus is on the brand to inspire the customer, and that can't be achieved by a one-sided advertisement spruiking your products.
  • The Purple Cow theory - Imagine you are driving past a field of cows, how much notice do you really take? Now imagine that same field of brown cows, but this time there is a purple one grazing smack bang in the middle! - would you stop the car, or turn around to take a closer look? Of course you would!What are you currently doing to differentiate your business from the crowd?
  • Customer service is a marketing expense, NOT an operations expense - with the rise of online networking, brands really can't afford for a customer to have a bad experience as more than likely they will vent online to their network; yet visa versa if you provide a fantastic service, their personal recommendation can act as a powerful advertisement for your products.
  • Constantly run searches on twitter and facebook for mentions of your company - how can you be an ambassador for your brand if you aren't aware of what is being said about you in the marketplace? Don't ignore negative comments - address these personally and turn a negative into a positive.
  • Measure everything you do - nothing is anecdotal, and a huge advantage of social media is that it is a highly visible marketing tool - you can instantly see what is working for you and what is not.

As she spoke it was obvious how passionate Jodie is about her business, and more importantly how the daily interaction she strives to have with her customers on a personal basis through sites like twitter, facebook and direct email really do set Shoes of Prey apart from their competition.

It got me wondering how other businesses engage with their market online - Do you? If so, how? What has worked? And what hasn't?


Google's Social Search Update

Giles White - Monday, February 21, 2011

Has social media impeded or enhanced communication?

Grant Hilton - Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Do you remember the days when you would have to phone friends on a landline to have a chat and if you didn't have their number you would either have to ask them for it and write it down with a pen on paper or get out that big bulky book called the White Pages? Obviously things have changed substantially since then with mobile phones and email but the introduction of these did nothing to negatively affect the way we communicate with each other. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and many more social media channels that we use for communication but has this made us lazy and restricted the way we verbally communicate with each other?

Firstly it is important to state that the introduction and evolving nature of social media is great for business and has no doubt had some very positive influence on many of our personal and professional lives. Whilst it is now relatively easy to keep track of what our friends or colleagues are doing through status updates and wall posts in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, it is more likely that this convenience has stopped you from calling a friend and having a chat simply because you already know what’s been happening in their life. It seems that at times we are too obsessed with using Facebook over picking up the phone and calling people simply because it’s more convenient, there is less time required to commit to that person and it’s generally easier.  The argument could be made that it has reduced the level of spoken communication but enhanced written communication and general awareness of our friends or colleagues movements. Whilst these resources are good for online promotion and networking our ability to form substantial offline relationships is limited because the majority of the communication is not in person or verbal. Therefore there are obvious elements missing to the relationship and had social media not existed would we still be in contact with many of the friends that we are connected with?


Food for thought.....


FREE CONSULTATION

For a FREE initial consultation with Whiteclick give us a call today.





Talk to our team or arrange a meeting.

CALL US!

02 8212 5425