Category Archives: Online Marketing

 

If you want your business to be seen online then it’s vital that you set yourself up on the key social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

As social media continues to grow in popularity, we have seen how influential this form of media can be in spreading the word about what your business can offer to customers. As well as giving you a forum to share your products or services, your social media pages also allow you to engage directly with your customers, provide added value in terms of the information that you share, and enable you to really build your brand’s character and bring it to life.

Social media allows others to share your content and recommend you. Getting social can also have an impact on your SEO as Google not only looks at whether you have social media pages linked to your site, but also how much engagement your pages are receiving. High levels of social media interaction can help to boost your page ranking in the search engines.

But setting up your page is just the first step on your social media journey. One thing that our clients often ask us is “now I have my page what on earth should I put on it?” At Wagada HQ we love social media and we know how to use it well. So, we’ve put together some easy content ideas for businesses to help them manage and curate their social media pages.

Promote your business

Of course, if you are looking to gain customers and retain current clients you’ll need to include content on your page that helps to promote your business. However, you need to be careful not to make it too salesy or people could feel that you are simply spamming their newsfeed and it might cause them to unfollow you. Instead show them what you can offer. Images or videos of new products or services can be popular, particularly if they are presented as a ‘how to’ guide.

You might also want to use your social media pages to promote discount codes or special offers just for your followers – this is a great way of encouraging people to like your pages. Testimonials can be very powerful too so don’t be afraid to share them. If you are able to tag the business or individual who has recommended you this helps to add authority to the review and creates higher levels of trust as your customers can see exactly who your review has come from. It also helps to increase the reach of your post. For example, when you post on Facebook and tag someone in a post, their friends can see the post too. This can sometimes encourage more likes, follows and shares of your post, which ultimately can lead to increased brand awareness, loyalty and website traffic.

Entertain your followers

Whilst people use social media to find out the serious stuff about your business, they also use it to relax and escape the realities of everyday life. Social media is a form of entertainment so make sure that you take the time to inject some light-hearted humour and fun into your posts. This could be anything from sharing funny memes, creating your own viral videos or including some humorous photos of what your team are getting up to in the office today.

You could also include a few games to engage people such as polls and quizzes. Remember to keep these posts relevant to your business and products though i.e. a wedding cake maker might want to include a video of a great wedding first dance or a nursery could include some funny jokes about parenting that their clients could relate to.

Be inspirational

People want to feel good about themselves so show them how your products or services can help them to achieve their goals. Whether you are a personal trainer helping them to get fit and healthy, or an interior designer who can give them the home of their dreams – ensure that you include some aspirational and inspirational posts.

Good quality images are always popular so invest in some professional shots of your business and products. Before and after pictures work really well and can show clearly the difference that you can make to your customers. People also feel buoyed up by inspiring quotes or personal success stories from current clients.

Offer to help and educate

Many potential customers may not know much about your area of expertise or they could be online looking for specific help and advice. Use your social media channels to help educate them. Share you blog posts and those of others within your industry that you feel may help.

You could run Q&A sessions from a live Facebook Feed or share free resources such as e-books or worksheets. These posts are really important as they can help position you as an expert in your field. Sharing knowledge is a great way to interact with others.

Bring your brand to life

Social media means that whatever their size, brands large and small are no longer a faceless logo. Instead it enables customers to see behind the scenes and engage with the people behind the brands.

There is a saying in marketing that ‘people buy people not products’ and this is particularly pertinent to your social media content. Share photos of your team and let people see what you do on a day to day basis. This really helps customers to feel engaged with you and your team and builds understanding and brand loyalty.

Start a conversation

One of the great things about social media is that you can chat to everyone. Make sure that you use your pages to start a conversation with your customers. You could share some product ideas and ask them for their feedback or even get them to name a product.

Ask them to share their stories about how your business has helped them or inquire about their advice and recommendations. People love to feel involved and by chatting to them directly you will be able to find out more about what your customers actually want from your business. It also makes you seem human if you can interact with customers socially.

As you can see there are many ways to use your social media pages. You can end up spending more time on there more than you initially planned! As variety is the spice of life we always recommend using a mixture of all the content ideas that we have included and it can be good to create a monthly social media calendar to help you keep on top of your content schedule. At Wagada we have a wealth of social media experience so if you are having trouble curating your content or simply can’t find the time to do it yourself, we can offer a range of help and support.

 

Over the last few years, we have seen a real growth in businesses using video content on their website. As the online world grows and changes, it’s important to keep up with your competition, and more and more of our customers are asking us whether they should consider some video content as part of their online presence.

Our answer is a definite yes! We love video content at Wagada HQ. Video content is a fantastic way to help boost your search engine rankings plus it gives your website a really contemporary feel. Video content also shows that your company is fresh and innovative and it is a great way of getting the message about your product or service across to potential customers. But it’s also important to get it right. When it’s done well, video content is a real asset to your site and to your digital marketing repertoire, but if done badly it can look unprofessional and even damage your business reputation.

First of all, we’ll take a look at the benefits that video content can bring to your business and then we’ll talk about how you can create engaging, professional content for your website.

Why Is Video Content Important?

Video content brings your company to life

When you use video content you literally bring a static page to life. Whilst great content and high-quality images are still really important, having an element of video content on your website will help your customers to understand what your business is all about. You want your customers to trust you and often in a small business, you are the face of your company. By appearing in a video you can help your customers get to know you and understand what your business is all about. If you have a team, get them involved, so that potential customers can engage with all of you before they even meet you. Lots of companies use written customer testimonials online but a video testimonial can increase their authenticity, as viewers will be able to see the enthusiastic way that happy clients talk about what you can offer.  You can even use a 360 video tour of your premises to let customers check out your business from the comfort of their own sofa!

Video content is a really important SEO ranking factor

Google loves video content. The reason being, that well-produced, informative, engaging video content is an important signal to the search engines that you have rich, interesting and engaging content on your website – and content is deemed to be the most important ranking factor!

Video content adds value to your customers

One thing that Google wants to see from websites is that they really add value to their customers’ lives. Websites that are purely sales driven or lack creative content are likely not to rank as well as sites that can demonstrate to the search engines that they are going over and above what is expected to help their customers. This is where video content can be vital. You could use a video to demonstrate how to use one of your products, provide tutorials relating to your area of expertise or have team members doing online vlogs about subjects that would be of interest to your users. You can be as creative as you like but make sure that your video content will benefit your customers in some way.

Video content is great for social media

Whist it’s brilliant to have great content on your website, you also want to get it seen! Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are some of the best ways to get your content shared. However, with so many blogs and memes flying around the internet, it can be hard to stand out. Video content is really engaging and if you create a fabulous video – whether it’s a bridal hair tutorial or a funny sketch – you could find it going viral. A great example of this is how the ‘mannequin challenge’ took off earlier this year. These videos of businesses attempting to pose like mannequins became a really popular social media trend (and we even did our own Wagada HQ version!) Take a look at what your key online influencers are sharing on their social media and keep on top of the latest videos trending on Twitter, to help you create video content that others will want to watch and share.

How To Get Your Video Content Right

Do your research

If you are spending time and money on creating video content, you want to get it right! You need to be sure that it is something that will be helpful and relevant to your customers and will encourage them to share your content. You’ll also want it to encourage customers to keep on coming back to your site. So do your research beforehand. Ask your customers what they would find helpful, take a look at what competitors or large brands are doing and do some research on Facebook and Twitter to see what video content is getting large amounts of likes and shares.

Take time to plan your video

Once you have a good idea of what type of video content you want to place on your website, then you need to plan it carefully. You might want to think about where you are going to film it – in your offices or on location in your town or city. Perhaps even on site with a customer. You’ll also want to consider who will be involved and if you will need any props to help you out.

If you are going to be speaking in your video content, it is a very good idea to write a script to make sure that you have covered all the key points that you want to include. You should also book in some time to do some practice runs as if you are not experienced in being on camera, it can be harder than it looks!

Hire a professional video company 

We think if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well and this definitely applies to video content. Unprofessional content with shaky footage shot on a mobile phone can look really bad on your website and could damage the image of your business. That’s why we recommend hiring a professional video company to help you out. They will have all the latest equipment to create stunning video imagery that will work well with your branding and will help you to achieve the content you are aiming for. Although there is an initial investment, it is well worth it to get your video content right.

As you can see video content is great for your website for so many reasons. It can help with social media engagement, let customers understand what you have to offer and offer them valuable information about your services and products. It can also boost your website in the search engine rankings and help you to gain more business. But of course, you have to get it right, so take the time to understand what your customers want and plan a slick and professional video that will complement your marketing strategy.  

 

They say that the best things come to those who wait – and this is certainly the case when you are attempting to help your website move up to a prime position in the search engine rankings. SEO is an ever-changing industry, but one thing we know for certain is that it’s not always a quick or easy task to get your website the ranking it deserves.  

The fact is, there are only 10 slots on page one of Google, and this means that there’s a lot of competition out there for the top spot! We understand that sometimes it can be frustrating developing and executing a winning SEO strategy, as you want results and you want them now.  However, as we explain in this article, with SEO and digital marketing, it is often proven that slow and steady really does end up winning the race!

At Wagada we like to say that we speak human. We don’t bamboozle you with technical talk or confuse you with SEO speak. Instead we like to explain clearly how optimising your website really works. We’ve taken a look at the reasons why SEO isn’t always easy, in order to help you understand exactly why it’s worth taking the time and effort to get your website to the top.

We provide high quality link-building opportunities

Link-building can have a powerful effect on improving your ranking in the search engines. If you are a relatively new business, then you will benefit from getting links pointing to your site from more established sites with higher domain authority. Google will note that these sites with high authority trust your website and this will transfer some of their value to your pages (this is often known in SEO circles as ‘link juice’). Whilst many SEO agencies will tell you they can quickly get lots of links to your site, these are often from low quality, disreputable sites that may end up doing more damage than good to your site in the long run. This type of ‘black hat SEO’ really should be avoided.

But getting high quality links isn’t a quick or simple process. Obviously, popular blogs and websites are in high demand and get frequent link requests. We find that the best way to get links is to work on establishing a strong long-term relationship with key influencers. This could be done by following them on Facebook, engaging with them during Twitter Hours and sharing their blogs and articles on social media. We also want to show them that we can offer them great content to link to, that is relevant to their audience. Of course all this takes time, but at Wagada we always find that patience pays off and by doing this, we can achieve really great links for our clients that have a positive outcome on their rankings.

We take the time to comprehensively review your website

Google will rank your website based on a number of factors. At the moment usability, content and relevance are seen as forming the backbone of a successful site that has the potential to rank really well in the search engines. Therefore one of the first things we will do is undertake an in-depth review of your website to ensure that we fully understand what is working well and what changes you need to make.

We want to make sure that your site is user friendly for your customers, that the pathway is well signposted to your consumer, and that the content you have is useful and relevant to them. Although this may be time-consuming, it’s time well spent! Think of it as being like a gardener spending time getting the soil just right before planting the seeds. We’ll make sure your website is in tip top condition and will give Google exactly what it wants to see.

We understand the value of organic SEO

We understand that in the long term, organic SEO can reap great rewards for your website. SEO involves helping your website to attain a high ranking without using paid search. This can be achieved by superior content, high authority links, a usable and user-friendly website and engaging social media. Of course all of this will take time to build up, but in the long term it means that your business won’t be reliant on short term paid for campaigns. Therefore, it will save you money as well as helping you to see your website move up the page rankings.

We build long term online influencer relationships

As social media continues to grow in influence and popularity, we are seeing how it can impact on your website’s search engine rankings. However, great social media involves a lot more work than simply setting up a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Engaging with your followers and potential customers is also key to building rapport and getting your voice heard. Social media is also an effective way of encouraging industry influencers to like and share your website content. When it’s done well, this means an increase in visits to your site and a boost to your online followers which will all give Google a great impression of your business. But social media is a pretty crowded market place. So getting your pages noticed and building relationships with others will take time and won’t happen overnight. We know that gaining the trust of customers and getting bloggers and online influencers to help promote your product or service is a really valuable SEO tool, and one that we think is well worth the work and the wait involved.

We know that good SEO is like baking a cake!

We have some pretty fabulous bakers in our team (you might have seen some of our fantastic cupcakes on our social media!) and that’s why we love the analogy of SEO being similar to baking a cake. You can use all the right ingredients but you won’t know what it tastes like until it comes out of the oven. You’ll also be constantly testing and refining your recipe to get the perfect combination. And that’s exactly what we do with your website. We’re always reviewing and testing it. We’ll trial strategies to see what works best and check that the results.

We’re confident that with time and effort we can get the SEO results that our clients want.  It’s important to understand that there is no one magic bullet that will see you rise to the top of the rankings – and beware of any SEO agencies that tell you there is. Getting your website to a good position in the rankings takes a range of dedicated strategies that value long term gains over quick wins, and who better to help you achieve this than the expert team at Wagada HQ.

 

If you run a small business, one thing that you know for certain is that you will always need to keep a close eye on what your competitors are up to. As an SME, you are likely to face competition from other SMEs as well as the bigger brands in your industry.

Of course, when you are selling in the digital marketplace, you might also find that your business rivals are not just in your local area but are on a global scale too. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. It helps to keep you on your toes and can encourage you to keep growing and developing as a business. Therefore it makes sense to know what your competitors are doing when it comes to their digital marketing and SEO and to capitalise on these learnings to support your own marketing proposition.

What is a competitor analysis?

A competitor analysis takes a detailed look at what your rivals are doing with the aim of using these key learnings to inform your business decisions and your understanding of the marketplace. It’s essential to look not only at what your competitors are doing well but also at what they are not doing or doing badly. In digital marketing, your competitor analysis should incorporate key elements such as their general website usability, traffic, their social media content and engagement.  However you should also focus on a more in-depth analysis such as the specific keywords and phrases that they are targeting.

Other things to look out for could be the events they’re attending, the content they’re producing, any PR activity, any paid online advertising campaigns they have invested in. in terms of identifying whether a competitor has invested time and resources into SEO, we would advise you to look at the title tags as a starting point. That is usually quite revealing as to whether SEO has been done and what keywords that are targeting. We would then advise you to look at what pages are indexed. Also take a look at what backlinks the client has – so use Link Research tools to see what their link profile looks like. These will all reveal great insights into your competitors’ marketing and SEO activity, or lack of!

Why should your business do a competitor analysis?

There are only a finite number of customers wanting to buy your product or service, and you want to be the ‘go-to’ brand. Therefore it’s vital to know what your competitors are up to and how successful they are online. Running a competitor analysis allows you to get ahead of the game and also to understand where your business needs to make improvements. Digital marketing is fast-paced and competitors will regularly be reviewing their online processes and activities, so it’s a good idea to schedule in competitor reviews across the year. This will ensure that you are always up to date with the market landscape and can execute effective and impactful marketing plans and campaigns.

Key areas of competitor analysis

Whilst it’s a good idea to have some clear objectives in mind when you begin your competitor analysis, you should also be open-minded as to what you might find! It makes sense to do your analysis under some key headlines of areas that are of importance to your digital marketing. We’ve listed these below, along with some of the online tools that you can use to help your research.

Like for Like Comparisons

One of the clearest ways to see how you compare to rival businesses is to make a direct comparison between the various strands of their online marketing strategy and your own. A great tool to help you with this is SimilarWeb. Their handy analysis lets you compare multiple areas of your business strategy against those of your competitors. What’s more, there is a free version of the tool which allows small businesses to begin their analysis without any heavy financial investment. Here are some of the comparisons that will help you to get the most out of a competitor analysis:

Website traffic

You can take a look at volumes of traffic to your competitor’s websites and where the traffic has come from. You can also see if it has gone up, down or remained the same during the last 6 months.

Traffic sources and referring sites

Of course, once you know how much traffic a competitor is getting, you want to know where it comes from. Are your competitors getting traffic from a paid affiliate scheme or perhaps from a well thought out social media campaign? If a competitor has high traffic coming from a channel that you are struggling with, take a closer look at what they are doing to achieve this.

Paid and organic keywords

You can get separate reports for each of these and it’s a great way to get new keyword inspiration, and also to get an idea of which keywords are working so well for your competitors that they are happy to pay for them.

Social media

Social media is becoming increasingly important for both the search engines and as a way for businesses to market themselves. Take a look at which social networks are driving the most traffic to your competitors.  It’s then a good idea to follow and like your competitors online so that you can regularly review what they are posting and sharing and who is engaging with them. If you use tools such as Moz, you could use FollowerWonk to analyse your competitors’ social media authority too.

Competitor link building

Links from good quality sites can form a valuable part of your SEO strategy. Getting a backlink from a high authority site can confer a higher authority on to your own website. It can be very useful to see where competitors are getting links from and to do this, you can simply use an advanced search option in Google search. To do this you need to type “link:” and then the domain name of the competitor you are researching. It can be extremely interesting to see the types of sites that your competitors are getting links from and can help you to plan your link building strategy going forward.

Keywords

As a small business, it can often be hard to find the right keywords for your business and of course popular keyword phrases can change and evolve over time. A useful tool for providing an in-depth understanding of your competitor’s keywords, including their organic keywords, is SEMrush. Although you do have to pay for this tool to get a more detailed overview, there are still some free reporting options. It’s helpful for you to understand which organic keywords are driving traffic to your competitors and you can then consider how you can make the most of these keywords on your website.

Keeping up to date

It’s important to keep up to date with any changes that your competitors are making to their digital marketing and you can use Google Alerts to help you with this. As well as setting them up for your own brand and keywords, you can also set them up for your main competitors to help you understand where they are getting links and mentions from online.

As you can see there is a wealth of online information out there to help you understand how your competitors are running their digital marketing. This information can be a vital way to make sure that your business can benefit from their online strategies – helping you to capitalise on your strengths and make the most of their weaker areas. Utilise the tools available to ensure that you have a detailed knowledge of how your business compares to that of your rivals. Analysis of their links, social media, traffic and their paid-for ads and organic keywords will enable you to keep one step ahead of your competition and to increase traffic and sales for your company.

 

Happy New Year everyone! 2016 was an amazing year for all of us at Wagada HQ and we’re determined that 2017 is going to be just as brilliant. We’re always looking for new ways to help you wake up your website. One of the reasons we love working in the digital marketing world is that it’s always changing and evolving, so that we can keep making your online presence even better.

We thought that this would be a great opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea (and maybe a slice of cake if you haven’t started the new year diet yet…) and review what we believe to be the top digital marketing trends that have grown in importance over 2016. We think our top 5 trends will all be really vital elements of creating a high profile online business that gets your product and / or service both found and talked about in 2017. So read on to find out more about these trends and learn what they can do for your business.

Comprehensiveness Of Content

You’ll probably already know that having great content on your website leads to a much higher ranking in the search engines.  However, 2016 has seen a greater focus placed not just on content or how much of it you have but on its comprehensiveness. In simple terms, this means how well your content actually helps your users and how well it answers the questions they are asking or gives them the information that they need.

Whilst people used to think that short, snappy content was what time poor users wanted, in fact we now see that longer content actually leads to increased rankings. This is because it is far more likely to be comprehensive and to really get to the core of what your customers want to know! Comprehensive content works well as it means that you are giving users everything they want – so they are less likely to bounce out of your site. It also makes your business appear trustworthy and because you are offering valuable knowledge, your users are more likely to share it with their peers on social media too.

To begin to build comprehensive content, you first need to think about the questions that your target market might want answered. A valuable way to get this is to reach out to your customers and do some market research, in order to understand exactly what they want from your business. Another way is to start to list out all of the questions that are raised with your sales / support / marketing / customer service teams. Once you have the results from your research, you can start to create content that stands out. It could be that you offer free downloadable guides or a series of high quality ‘how to’ videos. Maybe you can take the time to write an in-depth article that other competitors won’t have taken the time to research. Creating comprehensive content can be time consuming and may have a higher cost in the short term but we think it is well worth investing in.

User Signals

Search engines are continuously getting more responsive and seeking a greater understanding of what their customers want. This means that they are becoming more in tune with user signals, which they interpret to help them gauge how people are searching online. As a business, it is important to understand what these signals are as they will enable Google to decide how to rank your website.

Key user signals are the ‘click through rate’ and ‘bounce rate’ for your site. If Google sees that you are getting lots of clicks to your site, but people are not remaining there for long, it could assume that you are not offering what your customers need. Therefore, you need to consider carefully how well your homepage or landing pages work. Ask yourself – ‘Do users find what they want quickly?’ ‘Are there clear signposts for where they need to go to fulfil their query?’ You should also think about what content you offer – for example engaging videos, a relevant blog or a news section could keep customers interested in staying on your site for longer.

Social signals are also becoming more important to the way that the search engines monitor your website. As social media becomes ever more entrenched in our lives, it has become a key way for people to search for products or services. The number of followers that you have on your social media pages is important, but what is perhaps more pertinent is the way that they engage with you. Shares, re-tweets and engagement with posts show the search engines the validity of your business and reinforce the fact that customers value what you have to offer.

Video Content

As 2016 progressed, you may have seen a move on both social media and business websites towards video content. A great picture may be able to speak a thousand words but a video can bring so much more to your website. We have found that video works so well because it can really bring your business to life. People get to know the team behind your business, they can view a demonstration of how your products work or even take a 360 degree tour around your premises! In a busy online marketplace, using video can really make your website stand out from the crowd.

Video content is also becoming increasingly popular on social media too. Facebook have launched Facebook Live which allows you to broadcast livestream video onto your pages. This is a fantastic way to engage with your followers, it can really make them feel involved in your daily life. A great example of how video content can go viral on social media was the fabulous mannequin challenge which we had great fun taking part in. We’ve also seen a rise in the popularity of vlogging (video blogging). This takes the concept of blogging one stage further and vloggers are able to talk directly to their followers and share and show them their experiences. Vloggers are now key influencers in the online sphere and it can be a good idea to know which vloggers would work well with your target market.

It is however important to get your video content right and having badly-filmed content can actually have a negative impact on your reputation and your business. It can be well worth investing in a professional video company to shoot some of your footage for you, so that it looks fantastic – and of course think carefully about what type of video content your customer demographic want to see and what they will want to share on social media,

Long Form Content

Following on from the fact that content needs to be comprehensive, we have also seen an increase in long form content. This means copy that is over 1,500 words rather than the 500 words often used in web content. It’s only recently that people have started to realise the benefits of longer content, as opposed to shorter articles that can be read and digested quickly. Recent research has shown that longer content ranks really well in the search engines and in fact, even Google – who are often quite reticent about giving ranking information – said in their Webmaster’s blog that “10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”

Another benefit of longer content is that it can get more people linking to it. As it’s more detailed, it is more likely to be seen as a valued resource and therefore other sites will be keener to link to it. Longer articles also get more social shares on Facebook and Twitter, again due to the fact that they offer more to the reader. If you are still not convinced, then longer content has also been shown to lead to a greater conversion rate too.

Importantly though, when you are looking to write longer content, you should always make sure that you prioritise quality over quantity. Make sure that you are offering useful information and that you are writing about subjects that your customers want to read about at an in-depth level,

Long Tail Keyword Phrases

If you run a website for your business, then you probably already know what your keywords are and understand the words that your customers use when they are searching for your product or business. But, as search engines become more intuitive, we have seen how long tail keyword phrases have become far more important and how they are vital to helping you target your key customers.

Long tail keyword phrases focus on the detailed phrases that customers may be using to search for your services. A hairdresser may know that a keyword for their business is ‘haircut’ but that is a fairly vague and wide-reaching term and there will be a large amount of competition in the search engines. Therefore you need to think about phrases more specific to your business, i.e., ‘low cost haircut in St Albans’. Whilst this may not bring in as many hits to your website, what it will do is bring in more targeted hits that have a much higher chance of converting to sales.

Long tail keyword phrases are great for boosting both your organic and paid for search. If you are using AdWords there is likely to be far less competition for more unique and specific phrases which mean you can pay a lower cost per click.

We think that these 5 key trends will really come into play in 2017, so we recommend you take the time to understand how they can help your business. As always, Wagada will be keeping up-to-date with any changes in the digital marketing world and we’re sure that the New Year will bring some exciting developments. We’ll be the first to let you know so watch this space!

When the Wagada team headed down to the south coast on September 2nd  for BrightonSEO we were delighted to find that the ethos of learning, sharing ideas and communicating in with peers in a warm and welcoming atmosphere remains despite the hugely impressive scale and a stellar line-up of speakers and sessions. With 3500 attendees packing the brightly branded Brighton Centre, it would be easy to assume that BrightonSEO is a far cry from its roots as an industry meet up in a pub, however, by retaining the community feel that we think the event truly thrives.

What did the conference have to offer?

The breadth and depth of topics and content available to learn about and discuss was hugely impressive including SEO, social media, analytics, PPC and so much more with the majority of sessions proving to be accessible enough for all members of the audience with a real range of backgrounds to understand, yet containing enough valuable industry insight to provide new approaches and ideas to the experts.

The organisers of BrightonSEO firmly believe that the event has no place for conference clichés, and this sentiment was shared by many speakers including a debunking presentation from Rice Media on the often stated ‘death of keywords.’ Branded3’s presentation covering why best practice just isn’t enough was another excellent example of the event’s commitment to providing content that encouraged attendees to strive for more and innovate to achieve results.

A theme of many of the talks was what the future holds for search what this means for digital today. Microsoft’s Purna Virji presented on the rise of voice searches and what the implications of this are on the use keywords. With the prediction that 50% of searches will be voice by 2020, it’s clear that the future might be coming a little quicker than anticipated. Christian Ward of Yext also presented on this theme speaking of the importance of data structuring in in light of this trend with an in-depth breakdown of the talk available online.

What if I missed out?

A highlight of the conference was the accessibility and emphasis on attendee experience of the event. In keeping with the inclusive atmosphere of the conference, speakers were more than happy to take extra time out and answer questions. With many of the talks firing inspiration amongst the digital marketers present, there were a huge amount of interesting questions raised and engaging discussions migrating from the auditoriums to the hallways.  With as many as 78 speakers across 7 venues, even those with a highly honed schedule may have found they missed some of the key talks. Ensuring that the headline presentations truly were unmissable all of the main talks were live-streamed and over 9 hours of content can be replayed courtesy of the team at Authoritas.com.

For those who unfortunately couldn’t attend BrightonSEO a wealth of resources has been made available online, both from the speakers themselves via twitter and on a number of marketing blogs. An excellent summary of the key points made in many of the talks is available here on receptional.com with the information often additional to the curated available slides helping to provide a better understanding.

An event that made an impression

After an action packed day full of new SEO ideas and strategies by the sea it’s safe to say that at Wagada we’re already eagerly awaiting next year’s event! If you’ve never visited BrightonSEO and are wondering if the event is for you, it’s a must see, highly accessible and altogether fun conference for anyone with a keen interest in digital.

At Wagada we are really excited about the potential of Google Virtual Tours. Now your customer doesn’t have to leave the comfort of their armchair to visit your shop or take a look around your café – they can do it all online! This is an immensely powerful tool and we predict that it will become an increasingly popular way for businesses to show off what they can offer to their online customers.

How Google Tours works

A professional photographer creates a 360 video tour of your business which you can then place on your Google Local listing and your website for your customers to play and watch. They allow your website users to view the area that you have filmed and take a virtual walk around your premises or location. Alternatively you could give them a backroom tour of your kitchens or stockroom, or guide them around the unique features of your shop or café.

How Google Tours can benefit your business

Google Virtual Tours is a great way to improve your SEO for a number of reasons. Firstly they make your website really appealing to your customers. We’ve had great feedback from site users about these online tours as they find them really engaging, and it is fascinating to be able to not just read about a business but to actually see it. The tours can really bring your business to life!

As they are so effective in capturing your customer’s attention, a positive result of this is that they will stay longer on your site which can reduce any problems you may have with bounce rate. And once they have looked around your business they are more likely to stay and look around your website too. They are also a great tool to promote your business on social media which will help to increase your online presence and your social shares too! This can generate lots of online excitement around your service or product and we know that Google likes to see that businesses are relevant and getting mentioned online.

Finally the tours can give customers real confidence in your business, as they can check it out fully before taking a decision to buy or visit. For example, a potential visitor to a restaurant might like to see how clean the kitchens are for themselves or check out if the space works well for a party or celebration. Likewise, a visitor to a shop may enjoy looking at all the products shown to their best effect on the shop shelves rather than just seeing an online product list or uninspiring  static photos.

Case study – how Google Tours helped our client

We believe that Google Virtual Tours is a fantastic new tool for online businesses, so we worked with one client to help set up a virtual tour on his site. He’s a locksmith and so we thought it would be a great idea to show customers around his van where he keeps all the tools of the trade. He’s already had really positive feedback about his video and it’s certainly got people talking about his company and interacting with his website. Why not take a look at his tour and have a think about what Google Virtual Tours could do for your business!

Contact us to find out more about how Google Virtual Tours can help your business.

Want your products to stand out in a Google search?  If you’re selling items online, Google Product Listing Ads let you display eyecatching images that showcase your products, positioned above the text based search results. This means that you could even appear twice on the same search result page, marking your territory with images in the Shopping results and text in organic search. And what’s more, the cost per click for shopping campaigns is usually relatively low.

Are Product Listing ads right for you?

All our Adwords clients are different, and we’ve found that what works best for one isn’t necessarily right for another. Text based search is the perfect medium for lawyers or locksmiths, where people already have a good idea of what they’re looking for. But sometimes with a very visual product it’s better to get an image out there to show people what you’ve got – a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s where Product Listing ads come into their own.

(It’s worth noting though that certain products fall foul of Google’s Shopping Policies – so if you sell concert tickets, for example, you won’t be able to use this advertising medium because of their time sensitive nature. See the full list of policies here.)

How do you set them up?

The setup process can seem daunting, but taken stage by stage it’s really quite simple. First of all, you’ll need a Google Merchant Centre account. This is a fantastic resource for online sellers, allowing you to maintain an online product inventory that can be shared with customers across the globe. You’ll also need an Adwords account for your company, and you’ll need to link the two together. (Instructions for this can be found here).

After verifying your site and ensuring that it meets some basic requirements, you’ll need to create a file with information about all the products you wish to include. This is a Products Feed Specification, which provides Google with all the information it needs in order to be able to display your shopping ads. Adding all the data can be a laborious process and we found it took a few attempts to get it uploaded error free! But once it’s up there, you’re all set to create your shopping ads within your Adwords account. Google asks for an image URL for each product you sell, so we’d recommend you pay particular attention to this to ensure your wares are displayed at their best.

Finally, log in to your Adwords account and take a few simple steps to set up your first Shopping campaign.

Monitoring your success

Google’s Shopping campaigns differ slightly from other search based ads. You don’t get to specify which keywords you want your products to appear under, as Google determines this from the information you’ve provided in your Products Feed Specification. So getting information about what’s working and what’s not is a little different.

The great thing about your product feed is that it can include really specific tracking information – so you can add custom parameters for each individual product, which can then be set up to be viewed in Google Analytics.

Tempt interested customers back with dynamic remarketing

Google has started to promote this relatively new form of display advertising to its Adwords clients, and if you have a Merchant Center account with a product inventory list already up and running, getting dynamic remarketing ads set up should be a relatively simple step. Then, instead of appearing as shopping results in a search, your product listing ads will appear to people who have previously viewed these products on your site. And here’s the dynamic part – Google says it will use its “product recommendation engine” to tailor its ads to the individual customers, deciding which product and ad layout will provide the best results for each person. All you need to do is provide the product feed specification and create dynamic ads in the Adwords ad gallery.

Find out more about Wagada’s Google Adwords service.

The bounce rate from your website is one of the most talked about, but perhaps the least understood, Google Analytics metric. However, understanding your bounce rate and working on factors that can reduce your bounce rate can greatly improve your conversion rate, and can potentially offer a boost to ranking.

So what is your bounce rate and what does it tell you? Well in simple terms the bounce rate is the number of people who click through to a landing page on your site but then go no further into your website. They simply take a look at the landing page and ‘bounce’ out again. You can view the bounce rate for a particular page, such as a campaign landing page or home page, and for your website as a whole.  People often believe that bounce rate is linked to the amount of time people spend on your page but that is actually a separate metric and does not have an impact on your bounce rate.

Bounce rate is a really important analytical tool as a high bounce rate tells you that something is amiss when visitors come to your site. Most website bounce rates are in the region of 30 to 60%, depending on the types of keywords you are targeting and the types of content that people are consuming. Blog articles often attract a higher bounce rate, as this type of content can rank for a wide variety of keywords, and visitors often arrive, digest the blog article and then go elsewhere. The bounce rate to your Contact Us page may also appear to be high – as people may only be searching for a telephone number, or to send you a contact email. A high bounce rate should therefore be analysed within the context of the type of traffic and the intentions of those people arriving at the website.

However, a high bounce rate may be a sign of problems with your website. Firstly, the quality of visitors coming to your site is low and you are not attracting the kind of online visitors that really fit with your product. Secondly, your site may not be offering the right customers the value that they need, it may not be relevant or helpful enough to them to get them to stay, or enticing enough to encourage them to delve further into your site. Obviously if you have a high bounce rate then reducing it should be a real priority for your business, so here are our top tips for how to reduce your bounce rate.

Ensure that your website is getting high quality web traffic

If the people visiting your website are coming for the wrong reasons then your bounce rate is going to be high as it is a sign that your site is not reaching the target demographic that you want. This is bad for your ranking and bad for your business as if you are not getting the customers who will be attracted to your product or services then your sales will plummet.

So how can you rectify this and encourage high quality traffic to visit your site? Firstly a keyword review can have a big impact. Make sure you are using the right keywords and long-tail keyword phrases that your potential customers will be using. It can be worth using a keyword tool to help support you with this. You will also want to look at your marketing channels and who they are reaching. Ask yourself if you are connecting with the right people on social media and if your marketing materials are correctly targeted. Doing some customer research on how people search for your product or service can also provide you with really useful guidelines as to how people are finding your site.

Create a strong call to action on your landing page

A strong, visible call to action is a great way to encourage customers to go further into your site. Often web pages are just not clear enough and they fail to tell customers what they need to do next. Use buttons, banners and heading text to clearly signpost to your website visitors what you need them to do next i.e.:

 Click here for 50% off bargains

 Click here to find a restaurant in your location

You also need to make your call to actions relevant to your customers and they must match what the customer is expecting to find. So, if you are advertising a sale online, they may be confused if they land on a homepage with no obvious mention of a sale. Try to use campaign-specific landing pages if you are running a marketing campaign as this enables you to create a clear and relevant call to action.

Create customer relevant pages with great content

Great content is always recommended as it can boost your website in a number of ways and this is particularly relevant for reducing your bounce rate. Interesting and relevant content keeps customers engaged with your website and the more they want to read, the more likely they are to stay on your website. Good content encourages customers to visit other areas of your site and you can help signpost them to this by using “if you like this you might like…” buttons which will keep them clicking through to other relevant pages.

You should also aim to make your content easily readable. Long, informative articles can be a fantastic way of attracting traffic, but long paragraphs of content can be daunting and difficult to read. Split your content into small chunks and use the tools for writing for the web successfully: bullet points, sub-headings, split content up with images, write in short paragraphs, make phrases bold, add links to additional information…

Make sure you pages are easy to use and well formatted with a clear user pathway

First impressions count in life and the online world is no different. Research has shown that customers take only 8 seconds to take a decision about whether to stay on a page or leave it so you need to make every second count!

It’s important that your page looks appealing and engaging and it’s just as important that it loads quickly and isn’t hampered by pop up ads that will just annoy customers and cause them to leave your site. Making sure that customers are signposted to where they need to go clearly and accurately can have a really positive impact on reducing your bounce rate too, and a site that is clear and easy to use will encourage customers to keep coming back.

User intent gives us a strong indication of whether a high bounce rate is a problem. If you think your high bounce rate is caused by user dissatisfaction, or the wrong visitor demographic, act fast to protect your ranking and your conversion rate. Google is taking user interaction into account in its ranking more and more, so having dissatisfied visitors can negatively impact on your ranking. Find out more about our conversion rate optimisation service.

When you launch your business it is vital to make sure that people can find your company when they search online for the product or service that you offer. The first thing that usually springs to mind to help you with this is Google AdWords. This is an easy to use way of getting people to find you online. You put in the search terms that your potential customers will be looking for and you then bid for these terms against competitors. Then the leads start to come in and you pay the cost per click for visitors to your site.

Adwords
But, as with most things in life, it’s not always as simple as it looks and it can even be detrimental to your business. It’s all too easy to become addicted to AdWords and here’s why…

Why is AdWords so addictive?

We find that we get many customers who come to us after relying only on AdWords to bring them their online customers. The thing about AdWords is that, due to the fact you pay per click, the more leads you get from them the more you end up paying! This means that we see customers who start off with a conservative budget for their AdWords campaign (around £300) – but as the leads come in they spend more and more and they just can’t stop.

The danger of relying on AdWords

So if AdWords works why is it so dangerous? Firstly if you rely solely on AdWords you risk neglecting your organic SEO. This is the term we use to explain how you can help the search engines to find you via their own algorithms and is, in the long term, more cost effective than AdWords. When you neglect your organic SEO you can forget about the things that really matter to your customers such as high quality content and great website usability. Of course, this is really damaging as you will end up with a poor website that turns off customers. Therefore, even though they may find you easily online, they won’t stay on your site long enough to make a sale and will have no reason to return or to recommend you.

The cost of AdWords can also depend on how much competition is out there for the same keywords. This means that as your product or industry becomes more popular you end up paying more per click.

This starts to affect your budget and you may end up getting less for your money.

Finally, by relying on Adwords you may be missing out on a large chunk of your target market. Those who are savvy, and know that the listings at the top of the Google are paid ads, will often avoid clicking as they prefer to see organic, natural listings. A study by Econsultancy shows that less than 10% of people claim to ‘often click on the ads on Google’.

Do you need to go cold turkey?

The good news is that you don’t always have to go totally cold turkey from AdWords. The key to making it successful is to realise when it works and when it doesn’t. It can be great for a short term boost to your SEO particularly for seasonal campaigns, new product launches, or when you need to get a message out within a certain timescale. AdWords can also be a helpful way to run comparison campaigns to see what really works online. It’s also a great way to get leads to start to coming in to a new website whilst you wait for your more robust organic SEO to start working.

AdWords can be a really useful tool but don’t over-estimate its value to your site and remember to exercise caution with your AdWords campaigns. In the long term it is organic SEO such as interesting content, high quality links and fantastic usability that will provide you with a high search engine ranking – and then you don’t have to pay more money for becoming more successful!

Contact us for more information on our organic SEO campaigns.