It’s hard to imagine a world without the Internet.
Billions of people are going digital to search for information, shopping for groceries or do their banking. That’s why businesses should follow the suit and master the digital marketing basics.
However, you can’t expect to become a digital marketing expert overnight. The field is vast and involves several concepts necessary for establishing a solid online presence and meeting consumers in the digital realm.
In this introduction to digital marketing, we’ll help you understand all the modern marketing techniques it constitutes, why they’re essential for your business, and how to use them to your advantage.
Billions of people are connected worldwide via the internet. From searching for information to shopping for groceries or banking, the internet has become an essential part of our day-to-day lives.
Very simply put, ‘digital marketing’ refers to all marketing efforts that take place on the Internet.
It involves promoting your products or services on digital channels such as via a website, social media, or email.
Digital marketing is also about leveraging consumer insights. It uses data to formulate marketing approaches targeted at specific market segments.
For example, checking the number of impressions of your blog posts lets you determine how many times visitors view the content. It also gives an idea of what type of topic appeals the most to viewers and tailors your content according to user behaviours.
The advantage of using data to sell online is that it allows companies to make calculated marketing decisions. Knowing who to target and where to sell online gives digital marketers the ability to estimate budget spending for a certain set of Return Of Investment (ROI) goals.
Whether it’s inbound marketing or digital marketing for clients, common KPIs for digital marketers include increasing brand awareness, lead generation and conversions across different digital marketing channels.
Digital Marketing Introduction: The Fundamentals
The role of digital marketing is to help brands gain online visibility, acquire leads, and turn leads into paying customers.
There are several digital marketing concepts that enable business to connect with prospects and attract a steady stream of customers.
Let’s dive in and explore each concept so you can start building an effective strategy!
What does a digital marketer do?
Digital marketers have different specializations, but they often work together as a team to make a campaign succeed with their ROIs. Some of the different departments include:
A design team to make the creative assets
A copywriting team to write the ads
A performance marketing team to create and manage paid ads
To give you a better understanding, you may refer to the diagram down. The chart shows you the various aspects influencing a website and or mobile app, plus the array of digital solutions a digital marketing agency could offer to improve those aspects.
For example, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Manager is responsible for overseeing the performance of websites and web pages. The manager optimizes websites by conducting regular website audits to identify technical issues to be fixed. He or she will also do regular keyword research to rank the site for certain keywords, so as to boost the position of a website (ranking) on Google’s search results page.
On the other hand, a content marketer is in charge of content marketing. He or she focuses on content development and content distribution. Examples of content creation include writing articles and electronic direct mails (EDMs) that represent a brand’s story to connect and engage with the target audience.
The content marketer often tracks web traffic using Google Analytics and also conducts keyword research in order to know the kind of content readers are looking for.
Performance marketers or advertisement specialists are also critical to many marketing campaigns. These are the people responsible for social media marketing (social media ads) and also search engine marketing (Google’s display ads).
Here are some examples of digital marketing elements that people specialise in:
Email marketing is a low-cost marketing channel that can be used by any business, from small startups to large corporations. It has been proven effective in driving conversions, generating revenue and building a loyal customer base.
In a nutshell, email marketing is a type of direct mail marketing that provides information about products and services to potential customers. Its goal is to get people interested in your business’s product/service offerings so they will purchase them.
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined audience.
The key objective of content marketing is to create both evergreen and timely assets that will serve as a foundation for your business’s growth.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing helps companies to reach customers by connecting with them on the platform through content and other promotional methods. It can also be used to develop brand awareness, increase customer engagement, and improve sales and lead generation.
Search engine marketing is the process of promoting your business or website by paying for advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. It’s a digital marketing technique that helps businesses rank higher in organic search results.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website or web page to improve its ranking in search engine results and thus increase traffic.
The first step in SEO is to create content that will attract users. The second step is to ensure that the content on your website or blog is accessible, easy to read, and relevant for users.
SEO can be used for a variety of purposes including increasing online visibility, driving traffic, making money from advertising on your site, boosting brand awareness, building authority and credibility with key influencers, and attracting new customers.
Digital Marketing Is A Crucial Part Of Any Business Strategy Now
Digital marketing is more in demand than ever.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and individuals were forced online, triggering a digital transformation. As a result, the Internet is now being used at a rate never experienced before.
Companies with digital solutions can easily answer customers’ queries online and are better able to grow in this post-pandemic normal. Due to their digital transformation experiences, companies are now better equipped to move forward in a digital world.
Digital marketing is likely to be a critical part of any company’s business strategy in the future. It is also evident that digital marketing is crucial for any company to remain adaptable to any market situation. The firms that cannot adapt digitally are likely to be left behind.
Now that you have a better understanding of digital marketing, it is time for you to consider how your business can transform digitally too. If you’re interested in making a digital marketing campaign for yourself or need advice on digital marketing, contact us.
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Orignal publication date: 11 May, 2020 Updated: 25 November, 2022
When chasing audience engagement and building customer satisfaction and loyalty, content marketing plays a key role. Content marketing is the act of using content to attract and retain customers. It’s any media that can be used to create awareness about a product, service, or event.
The goal of content marketing is to create valuable and compelling information so that people will keep coming back for more. The easiest way for marketers to do this is by creating blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. Content marketers want their content to be informative and interesting or entertaining enough that people will want more of it.
Why Content Marketing is the Most Important Skill for Marketers
In the age of digital marketing, content marketing has become a significant factor in many marketing strategies. The long-term success of a company hinges on its ability to produce and distribute high-quality content that resonates with customers. In recent years, marketers have started to recognise the importance of content. They have begun embracing content marketing as a means of targeting their customers and driving sales.
Key Content Marketing Skills:
Understand customer behaviour: Marketers should have a good understanding of what customers want and how they behave in order to create effective content that will resonate with their target audience.
Storytelling: Good storytelling is what makes a marketing message memorable. It’s the art of telling a brand’s story in an interesting way that will resonate with the audience.
Developing a Successful and Sustainable Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing works hand-in-hand with integrated marketing – a marketing approach that takes into account the customer’s journey and touchpoints.
Integrated marketing is more than advertising across multiple channels; it integrates all aspects of communication (i.e., advertising, public relations, events, web design and social media) to create a cohesive customer experience.
When developing a content marketing strategy, take the integrated approach. Convey a clear, unified branded message to drive higher customer engagement on your company’s products or services. Also, keep in mind that your four P’s of content marketing – Purpose, People, Placement, and Promotion – should work together in an integrated marketing campaign.
Marketing’s Four P’s and Their Role in Your Content Marketing Strategy
The four P’s provide a solid foundation for your content marketing strategy. They serve as the building blocks for creating content that’s relevant, valuable, and engaging.
What’s the purpose of this piece of content? What goals are you trying to achieve? The purpose of content is to provide value to your audience. When you’re creating content, ask yourself “what am I trying to accomplish with this piece?” If you’re trying to make your audience laugh, for example, then you’ll want to create humour. If you want your audience to get more engaged with the brand, then focus on a call-to-action or build awareness about your brand.
People are the most important part of content marketing. Without people, there would be no need for content. So, it’s crucial to know who your target audience is and what you’re trying to reach with your content.
There are many different types of people in our world today and each type of person has their own interests and needs. Suppose your business sells vegan products. Your target audience will be individuals who want to eat healthier or people who have dietary restrictions. If you run a business that sells athletic equipment, then your target audience will be those who want to improve their health or those who are athletes themselves.
The placement of your content is another critical aspect to look at. If it’s being used for a social media campaign, it needs to be distributed on the appropriate channels. For example, if the content is about how to make an omelette, post it on social media channels that are popular with foodies and those interested in cooking.
How are you going to promote your content? Promotion is essential to make sure your content gets the attention it deserves. In general, there are two main types of content promotion: organic and paid. Organic promotion includes submitting your content to directories like Hacker News, Reddit, Quora or Facebook Groups while paid promotion includes services like sponsored tweets on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
Key Elements of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
A good content marketing strategy is a mix of various content types, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and webinars. Remember that content marketing isn’t only about writing content, but also about distributing the content across your website and social media profiles.
The strategy should be tailored and varied.
For example, if the content is for a company website then it should be geared towards attracting potential customers. If it’s for an email marketing campaign, it should seek to build relationships with current customers. Content should be tailored to the purpose it serves and varied so that it does not bore consumers.
The strategy should be executable and achievable.
Every content marketing strategy needs to be achievable – setting objectives that are too far out of reach will only cause stress and frustration in the long run. It’s important to set targets that are doable and achievable will boost productivity and morale.
The strategy should be continuous and never stop.
Your content marketing strategy should not be time-limited like regular marketing campaigns. Aim for ongoing engagement, instead, it should be ongoing and sustainable, so that your potential clients feel that they can trust your company at all times.
Best Practices for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
1. Know your audience and their need for information.
The more you know about your audience, the better able you will be to provide them with what they want. This means that you must do some research on who’s reading your blog or website.
You should also understand what types of articles they like and don’t like. Your content needs to be useful and applicable to your readers. If you write something that doesn’t interest anyone, no one will read it.
2. Create a plan and think about the message you want to deliver
Before you start writing, come up with a clear idea of what you want to say. Think about why you’re writing and what you hope to achieve from your content.
You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t start somewhere. Start by brainstorming ideas for your first draft. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling at this point; just focus on getting your thoughts down on paper. A good way to start is to write down ideas that come to you in an ‘Idea Bank’.
3. Focus on quality content and not quantity
Quality content is the key to success online. While blogs with low-quality content can get quickly shared and become popular on social media, these posts are rarely read for long periods of time.
Focus on publishing quality content that appeals to your target audience. Write content pieces that educate people, engage or entertain readers, or provide a point of view that’s difficult to find elsewhere.
4. Find your voice and start creating content that is uniquely yours
“Finding your voice” is often the first step people take when starting to blog. There are many different styles of writing and finding the one that suits you best can be difficult. One way to find your voice is to start by asking yourself what it is that you want to say. Once you know this, it becomes much easier to determine how to say it, what tone of voice would be best on a personal or professional level.
5. Make sure that you have enough time to write content every day
It’s important to make sure that you have enough time to write content every day. Anyone who wants to be successful with copywriting or just writing, in general, knows that it can be hard to find time to write.
Content development can take a lot of time, especially when you’re first starting out. So, be sure to set aside enough time to work on your content every day. Just like with any new skill, it will improve with more practice.
6. Have a clear goal or target audience in mind before writing any content
Writing for the Internet and the search engines shouldn’t be a guessing game. By focusing your writing on your specific goal and target audience, you can create content that will resonate with your site visitors. The more focused you are on these areas, the more likely your visitors will find what they’re looking for.
7. Be consistent with the frequency of publishing new pieces of content
The frequency with which you publish new content is dependent on the goals of your company, the needs of your customers and what your competition is doing. Posting content at least once a week will help to maintain high levels of traffic to your site, but this may not be possible for all companies.
8. Know what type of content works best for your product/service
The content you create for your product or service is one of the most important factors to its success. Knowing how to create content that works for your target demographic will help you gain followers, generate engagement, and drive conversions.
Creating the right content is the first step to helping your target demographic find you. However, people are bombarded with content all day long on social media, through email, and on other platforms; which makes it difficult for people to notice your post or message. If you want them to take notice of what you’re posting, make sure you put in enough time and effort into creating it.
9. Make sure that you know the different types of social media channels where you should publish your posts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.).
Social media has been a major influence on the way people interact with each other. In addition to being a place to share news and connect with friends, social media is also where people find jobs, make business deals, gather news, and access entertainment. However, it can be difficult to keep up with all of these different channels and make sure your posts are seen by the right audience.
Be mindful of what kind of content your target audience wants to see when they visit different social media platforms as opposed to your blog – your content should be tailored to match the channel it’s being published on or delivered to. The best way to do this is by understanding the audience that will be viewing your content.
Building Dynamic Buyer Personas for Content Marketing
You have a list of 10,000 possible customers. What do you do? You can’t target all of them, but you need to decide which ones to focus on.
Buyer personas are a tool for narrowing that list down to a few key groups, based on the roles they play in their lives and the problems they’re trying to solve. When you’re developing your buyer personas, remember that they should never be static – that is, your buyer personas should be constantly evolving and be adapting to changes in the market and their lives.
People don’t stay the same after all, so why would your buyer personas stay the same? Their needs and pain points change as they grow older, move, have families, start and leave school, etc. It’s important that your buyer personas reflect the developments in your buyer personas’ lives, that way you can adapt your content to match their interests and needs.
For example, if you have a buyer persona named ‘Homemaker Hannah’, a homemaker in charge of housekeeping, looking after the family and taking care of the home. Let’s say she was only recently married and you were targeting her as a young woman.
After a few years, however, your ‘Homemaker Hannah’ may have started a family, started a job to earn extra cash, or maybe she got divorced… Either way, her life no longer fits the label ‘Homemaker Hannah’. Time to change it up and update ‘Homemaker Hannah’ to match whatever your new research dictates.
Creating Successful Content
People want to find new information on their own, but they also want to be told what to do. If you’re an expert in your field, share your thoughts on trends and new developments in your field. Be careful to avoid “sales pitches” and instead offer value-added content that provides new insights. Remember, one of the principal purposes of content marketing is to earn your audiences’ trust and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your content:
Make your content relevant The content you make should address your target audience’s needs. When you’re setting your goals for your content creation, make sure you’re thinking about what questions it’s answering or the problems it’s solving for your audience.
Make your content Interesting When was the last time you actually read an article or watched a video that was boring? Probably never. Why would you? Boring content is boring, after all, why would you read something that you did not find interesting? This is a key point when you go about creating your content: if it’s not interesting, your audience isn’t going to read it.
Make sure your content is understandable Having the best content in the world isn’t going to do you any good if no one can understand a word of it. Nothing turns audiences off faster than a technical, jargon-filled piece of content, whether it’s an article, video, or podcast.
Your audience is only human, and not all of them will be experts in your field so make sure you’re using lay terms and not overloading them with jargon.
A Note about ‘Going Viral’
In the world of content, people often talk about ‘going viral’. Social media trends are defined by the number of people who view them. Virality means that something spreads quickly throughout social networks.
A video goes viral when many people watch it online. An article goes viral if many people read it online. A petition goes viral when many people sign it. A website goes viral when many people visit it online. Viral content goes viral when it reaches a large audience. When someone shares something online, that person gets at least one other person who visits the page.
For example, if you write a blog post about how to make a doughnut-shaped cake, then three people read the blog post, and two of them share it with their friends. Their friends may also read the article and share it with their friends, and so on. Each person sharing your content is called a ‘viral’ user. In this case, the number of visitors to your site could be as high as 1 million people.
Virality ratios are calculated by dividing the number of new visitors from a given period by the number of existing visitors from the same period. A site may go viral if the virality ratio is above 1. For example, if you have 10,000 visitors per day and 2,000 of them come from the previous month, then your virality ratio is 20% (2,000 divided by 10,000). This means that you need to increase the number of new visitors by 20% to reach viral status.
Pros and Cons of Viral Content
As with most things in life, trying – or succeeding – at going viral is a double-edged sword. There are many benefits of viral content that you shouldn’t ignore, including:
Good source of traffic: Viral content by its definition reaches a lot of people, and so has the potential to provide you with a lot of traffic.
An efficient way to get your message out: Due to its wide reach and massive sharing, viral content allows you to get your message out more efficiently than non-viral content.
Great way to build your brand’s reputation: Do you want to spread the word about your brand? Going viral has the power to spread your reputation far and wide.
A refreshing way to market your business: Viral content has the potential to reach potential customers who may not otherwise see your content or hear about your brand.
Save a lot of money on advertising: Viral sharing is a positive experience and allows your customers to keep the message going by continually sharing and resharing it, thus saving you money down the road that you might spend on advertising.
Adds creativity to your marketing: Digital content doesn’t always go viral. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – you have to put in the effort and focus to hit your virality targets. This means adding creativity and really speaking to your audience.
Let’s you stand out: Viral content is interesting and makes a lot of noise, allowing you to cut through the chaos of social media channels.
On the other hand, there are also disadvantages to going viral that should be taken into consideration if viral marketing is the strategy you’re going for:
People might not take your content seriously because they think it’s just a joke: Viral content tends towards the amusing or entertaining, and if you’re not careful your original message can get lost in the ensuing sharing-frenzy.
Less control once you’ve put it out there: Once it’s live, it’s out there forever and you have little control over where it goes or what people do with it. While this is true of almost everything that gets published online, viral content draws a special kind of attention to itself so it bears warning you of the loss of control.
Needs more hands-on messaging to keep reinforcing your brand messages: Viral marketing is more engaging than other kinds of content marketing, and requires marketers to stay plugged in to limit the negative content that may be generated as a result.
Can be a waste of time if it doesn’t hit your actual target audience: Your viral content may go viral with the wrong audience, and there’s not really much you can do about it.
Can be hard to achieve virality: Generating viral content isn’t something that you ‘just do’. It requires a solid understanding of your audience and their psychology. It can be very easy to get it wrong and never go viral at all.
Measuring Content Marketing Success
Measuring your content marketing success is a two-pronged approach: metrics and return on investment (ROI). Most marketers, especially when first starting out, are more familiar with metrics than with ROI, so let’s start there first.
Which Content Marketing Metrics Should You Measure?
Many first-time marketers start off with vanity metrics – page followers, likes, etc. – rather than look at engagement metrics, which is where the truth of success or failure truly lies. There are six key content marketing metrics that you should be measuring:
Lead Quality How good are the leads that your content is generating? How valuable are they? How long do they stay with the company? It’s a good idea at this stage to know how to calculate lifetime customer values (CLTVs) which is done simply with this formula: “Customer Lifetime Value = (Customer Value * Average Customer Lifespan)”.
Conversions (Sales) What percentage of your leads generated are converted to real customers? It’s easy to talk about leads brought in, but their true value lies in whether they become customers or not.
Web Traffic How many visitors does your content pull to your website? Calculating the unique visitor count and understanding the demographic that visits your site will help you ensure that your content is hitting its mark.
Onsite Engagement What is your website traffic doing once it’s on your site? Is it exciting at certain points or lingering at others? Knowing how your website’s visitors are moving through your website can help you optimise their touchpoints and improve your content at each level.
Social Media Engagement Only now do we get to dive into all those shiny metrics that many of us are familiar with: likes, shares, comments, followers, etc. These metrics are all great ways to track just how engaging your content is and whether it is having the effect that you were aiming for.
SEO Success Content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) go hand in hand and should always aim to work together. Making sure that your content is helping drive SEO and vice versa will provide a solid foundation for your content marketing success. For more information on SEO and how to make it work for you, check out ourSEO Ultimate Guide.
What is Content Marketing ROI?
Content marketing ROI is the percentage showcasing the revenue gained from your content marketing initiatives versus what you spent on it. For content marketing to be successful, the ROI must be positive.
The success of your content marketing strategy goes beyond just the money you make. If you don’t get any pageviews, shares, or visitors, then no one will find your business to buy your products or services. To get an accurate idea of your content marketing ROI, you have to identify what metrics will provide the clearest picture of its performance.
4 Steps to Measure Content Marketing ROI
You can calculate your content marketing ROI in four simple steps:
Step 1. Calculate your Expenditure
How much did it cost to create the content? If you’re working with an in-house team you’ll need to take into account the salaries of the team members involved in the content creation – copywriters, designers, etc. Also, be sure to include any expenses you incurred for content assets; for example if you needed to purchase images, video or audio stock.
Step 2. Calculate your Distribution Cost
What did it cost to get your content out there? Again, don’t forget to include in-house costs that may fall under this category. This will also include your paid promotions like PPC, social or SEM advertising. Be sure to include any costs for special tools or software for your content distribution or creation.
For example, if you pay for and use a social media management tool like Hootsuite, Buffer, or SproutSocial, or you use content creation tools like premium Canva, then these costs need to be added to your calculation.
Step 3. Calculate Sales Value
When your content strategy is working, it will generate leads that convert. In other words, you’ll be adding to company revenue.
In some cases, this is incredibly obvious and easy to track – a basic call-to-action on a content piece that someone clicks to buy a product.
Other times this relationship is less clear and indirect, in which case you’ll need to get a little creative with how you calculate the influence your content piece had on generating that specific lead. Most marketers do this by claiming a certain percentage of the lead revenue rather than the whole hog.
Step 4. Apply Formula
Steps 1 and 2 provide the total cost of your content development, and with step 3 you now have the value.
To get your ROI percentage, simply apply the formula below:”.
Everything Keeps Changing
“Omnia mutantir, nihil interit.” – Ovid
We live in a dynamic world, where things are constantly changing. Digital transformation has been spurred along by the pandemic of the 2020s, and content marketing strategies have had to swivel, pivot and overcome a whole host of challenges.
What was once a simpler game has now become a complex warren of strategies and goals. Content marketing leads the way in the development and showing of new ideas, innovations, technology and communication with target audiences. There’s little doubt that the impact of the global pandemic will leave its mark on digital marketing as a whole, and force content marketers to keep up with changing trends.
Everything is constantly changing and we are constantly learning how to adapt to the changes and use them to our advantage. As a content marketer, it is your responsibility to accept change and build on what came before you.
Content calendar (or editorial calendar) is a simple concept: a schedule of when and where to publish future content (posts, video materials, podcasts, etc). An efficient content calendar normally includes dates for publishing upcoming content, planned promotions, social media promotions and posts, and updates to previously published content.
A content calendar is of extreme importance for businesses because it helps devise and track marketing strategies. Not only does it help a business stay organized, but it also helps with monitoring SEO performance.
How to Use a Content Calendar Efficiently
That being said, even the finest of content calendars won’t be efficient if they are not used to their full potential. In plain words, creating a content calendar and not following up and updating it is not the way to go about things.
The most common goals a content calendar should help achieve are, as follows:
Ensures that planned tasks are going as planned
Provides overview of upcoming tasks
Ensures ideal content distribution
Ensures that collaboration is taking place
Additional features may be added as per specific goals, but these are the very basic and essential ones.
Elements of a Good Content Calendar
As is the case with everything in life, there is no universal rule when it comes to content calendars. However, while they are highly customizable, they still should feature a number of elements that are crucial for every marketing strategy. These include editorial, promotional items, platform and upcoming ideas.
A content calendar should be planned well ahead and created in such a way that it can be easily customized as needed. To ensure best results, stick to yourOKRs.
Editorials should be the starting point of every content calendar. Namely, their goal is to list the posting schedule and all content planned for publishing.
Promotional Items are pieces of content that will promote your services. They can vary in form and usually include a mixture of posts, podcasts, newsletters and various announcements.
Choosing the best platform where to host your content calendar is paramount, especially when there are multiple contributors. The calendar should be easily accessible to every contributor at all times.
A goodemail marketing calendar relies on swift responses, so if you’re running a large business, a suitable platform is essential.
There are numerous options when it comes to the choice of a platform and other content calendar tools, the most popular of which we will list hereby:
Trello (for marketing teams)
Asana (for marketing teams)
Slack (for marketing teams)
Coschedule (for marketing teams)
Google Sheets (for individuals)
MS Excel (for individuals)
Google Calendar (for individuals)
Certainly, there are other options as well, but there is a good reason why some tools are more popular than others.
Finally, note all ideas as they come as these can be later turned into efficient strategies. Keep in mind that audiences change (and so do trends), so the ideas you get along the way are extremely significant.
Whether it’s the newGmail templates or customer feedback, make sure to note all of the important insights in your content calendar.
How to Organize Your Content Calendar
Organizing a content calendar is a serious undertaking, especially for businesses with many contributors. However, it is not impossible and there are some best practices to help you in this matter, too.
First of all, make sure you have chosen the very best platform for your needs. Immediately define the dynamics of posting.
Content calendars for small-scale marketing plans may include only post titles and the dates when to post them.
On the other hand, complex content strategies should best feature all the steps of the content creation process that are easily understandable to all contributors.
Creating a template is always a good idea as it serves two purposes:
It simplifies the process.
It helps contributors get used to the routine, making the whole process faster and more efficient.
Again, no rules are set in stone, but some elements are simply logical to include in a content calendar template. Here are some tips:
Publishing date and time
The channel where the content is to be published
Person in charge (for marketing teams)
Remember to follow through to ensure your content strategy is going as planned.
The Frequency of Publishing
This is a tricky question, especially since feedback is essential in this matter and is often one of the toughest elements of a marketing strategy.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we will still provide some ideas in hopes they will help you make better decisions.
I.e., social media posts can be published more frequently, as they also include reposting of older content that new followers haven’t had the chance to see.
It is generally recommended to publish at least one new blog post weekly, as you’ll want to keep your audience engaged.
Recycle Older Content
As mentioned above, there will always be new customers and followers who haven’t seen all previously published content. Hence, it is always a good idea to recycle older content.
In addition, it is highly recommended that you update older posts with new information, so re-sharing the updated versions is simply a must.
Be clever in your approach. Even if there won’t always be new information to add, you can make an infographic using the existing blog posts. You can go one step further and turn them into video material, a podcast… ideas are endless.
As you can see, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to brainstorming your content calendar. It is an inspiring process, but don’t forget to simplify the steps that can be simplified.
It is of utmost importance to ensure that the entire content team is on the same page and that all new content is relevant.
Keep updating older posts and recycling the content for best results, and your marketing strategy will flourish.
Viola Eva is passionate about digital entrepreneurship, flow, and mindful marketing. As a marketing consultant and founder of Flow SEO, she has worked with clients ranging from individual digital entrepreneurs to software companies to multi-national corporates and government institutions. She is a speaker, educator, and specialist on all things SEO known from Search Engine Journal, UnGagged, Pubcon, Wordcamp Europe and many other events and publications.
Considering how critical a website is, we often recommend clients to conduct site analysis and website audits at least once a year.
With the help of a website audit, companies gain insights on the “health” of their website and can correct any looming problems an audit can detect. If left unattended, certain factors can greatly affect your website ranking on Google, thereby impacting your traffic and conversions.
What Is A Website Audit?
A website audit or site analysis is an evaluation report of your site’s performance. An audit check will let you know how well your site ranks on Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
Once an audit is completed, you will receive insights on what needs to be done to improve your site’s search visibility. It detects SEO tasks that may have slipped, check for technical problems and identify missed opportunities to convert customers online.
What Happens When An Audit is Conducted?
In a website audit, we provide a thorough assessment of three major factors that affect your web search visibility:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Evaluating your website’s performance entails looking at the code and technical side of your website; making sure that it can be well-indexed by search engines. It deals with issues that affect user experience through performance and usability. Looking at your website’s SEO, on the other hand, ensures that each page of your website follows SEO best practices that allow it to rank higher. Meanwhile, a content audit evaluates the written content of your website to make sure that it is relevant, accurate, and grammatically correct.
A complete website audit includes other assessments such as a social media audit and a website security audit. If you’re interested to receive a FULL website audit, we’re offering a FREE and personalised audit just for you.
Why Are Website Audits Important To Your Business?
A website audit gives you the data that reflects your site’s current problems and issues. It also provides insights in areas like your website’s performance, SEO standards, and conversion points– all of which are important to helping marketers achieve their KPIs.
They also serve as a guide for your business to devise new marketing strategies to boost online visibility and eventually, improve conversions.
For example, a traffic report within a website audit will tell you where visitors of your site are coming from and the keywords they are searching for. This will help you determine the next steps you need to do to improve your content and identify the right keywords and links to include in it.
Furthermore, SEO is one of the best ways to drive leads to your website. According to Smart Insights, a top rank position in Google can yield a CTR of up to 30%. Meanwhile, ranking 2 positions lower is enough to bring your CTR down by 12%!
Companies should, therefore, make an effort to conduct regular website audits and act on these improvements to secure top rankings on search engines.
Running a website or an e-commerce site is always a work in progress. Things are fast-moving on the internet and content has to be refreshed from time to time for a site to stay relevant. We have to make sure we conduct regular check-ups on the “health” of our sites and build a solid SEO strategy to adapt to any changes on a search engine’s algorithm. You may also learn more about other ways you can generate revenue and leads with your website here.
We are currently offering a FREE and PERSONALISED website audit for businesses. If you’re unsure of your site’s performance, do sign up with us for an audit check. We can help you identify issues on your site that you can improve on and get your conversions rolling in!
Before engaging SEO services, you need to be aware of your company’s marketing goals. Ask yourself, do you know what you’re looking to achieve in this financial year?
If your answer is no, you need to define your marketing goals first.
Gather your insights, pull out past monthly data and identify areas your business wants to improve upon. For example, if your aim is to grow your organic traffic, SEO would the right strategy for you.
However, if you need to boost sales or scale conversions over a short period (during seasonal and holiday periods for instance), then perhaps creating landing pages coupled with dynamic social media ads would be a more viable solution.
2. Can we do SEO in-house or should we hire an SEO agency?
There are certainly basic on-site SEO tasks that marketers are capable of handling if they have the time and knowledge for it.
Here are some examples of on-site search engine optimization tasks:
Building internal links
However, these are just some factors that impact SEO.
Good SEO is a complex and time-consuming process that requires one to have a deep knowledge of various analytical tools. There are over 200 google ranking factors to optimise for, both on-site and off-site, in order to rank higher in search results, and the list is continually evolving.
Your SEO Specialist must keep up-to-date on the latest algorithm changes on major search engines and adapt his or her SEO strategies to successfully improve your site’s performance.
If you don’t have the budget for an SEO specialist in your company, it is recommended to hire an agency to manage your SEO tasks and provide you with monthly updates. You can have peace of mind knowing your SEO is in good hands while you focus on other marketing tasks.
Recently, we sat down with one of our SEO specialists to learn more about “a day in the work-life of an SEO expert”. You can read his insights before deciding on hiring an agency for your business.
3. How credible are the SEO agencies that I am considering?
Make an effort to understand the company that you’ll be hiring.
Don’t rely only on listicles like “top 10 best agencies of 2020” or “the best SEO agencies in X country”. The best way to check the credibility of an SEO company is for you to reach out to the company and having a conversation about your SEO needs.
An easier way to find a credible SEO agency would be asking for referrals from your business partners in the industry. They may already have an established relationship with an SEO agency that they are happy to refer due to their good work. These trusted sources of yours can also recommend tips on how to search for your ideal SEO agency.
Additionally, you should conduct your own research to find an agency that will deliver the best results while providing you with a great working partnership. One effective way to check the reliability of an SEO agency is to download and read their case studies to understand:
The agency’s SEO approach (understand the agency’s work process)
Their SEO campaign objectives (what matters when it comes to SEO campaigns)
Their campaign results (understand the key metrics used to measure “success”)
Other things you should read about include client testimonials and the list of awards that the agency has won over the years. Awards are not just badges of honour, they are a testament to an agency’s capability to drive results for clients.
It’s also important to keep in mind what your needs are and your preferred style of communication. If you’re someone who likes to be involved in the work process, you need to keep a lookout for an agency focused on transparent communication with their clients. Hence, read up on the company’s mission and values to know the team that you’ll be hiring and working with.
SEO agency vs full-service digital agency
You may also wonder about hiring an agency specialised in SEO versus working with a full-service digital agency that could help you with other digital needs as well.
This decision is highly dependent on your marketing goals and available budget. If you’re working with a smaller budget allocated only towards an SEO project, an agency specialised in SEO may be the better option.
The biggest advantage of a full-service digital marketing agency is that they approach your digital needs from a macro-perspective based on your marketing objectives and recommend services most likely to benefit your company by reaching your goals. They would be able to recommend SEO strategies that are aligned with your overall marketing plans.
Another big plus point of having a full-service agency managing both your SEM and SEO is that they can use the insights from the SEM campaigns to further refine your SEO strategy. Additionally, they can identify other areas of improvement on top of SEO services for your business.
4. Local SEO agency vs overseas SEO agency – which is the better option?
More often than not, companies are attracted to agencies based overseas on the premise that they can provide cost-competitive SEO packages. However, that is a common pitfall that companies should avoid when considering which SEO agency they should hire.
That’s not to say overseas agencies do not provide quality service, because local agencies sometimes fail to deliver on their promises as well.
When you consider hiring an agency, you must weigh the quality of their work against the price that you’re paying. Are you obtaining greater value than the price you’re paying? Does the company have a proven track record of producing stellar results that justify the price they’re asking for?
It’s dangerous to assume:
Competitive rates = Lower quality of work/service
Expensive rates = Greater quality of work/service
Price Is an important factor, butit shouldn’t be the only factor.
Other areas of consideration such as credibility and types of services offered should also be critical to your hiring decision. Pay attention to the agency’s proposal and note their SEO approach. Is the agency hearing your concerns and proposing strategies that serve your needs while advising you on the key metrics that matter?
Look through all the factors and consider carefully. Picking the right agency can make or break your success with SEO, so choose wisely and consider beyond the price and location of an agency.
5. When should I talk to an SEO consultant from an agency?
You should ask for an SEO consultation from an agency only when you have done enough research and after you’re sure of hiring an SEO agency.
Prepare a list of questions, define your SEO targets and SEO budget. This would facilitate an efficient meeting that wouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed with excessive information likely to be shared during the consultation session.
Of course, you should also expect the agency to come prepared. A sloppy presentation with unclear strategies is a warning sign that you should look for an alternative agency!
Be smart with your hiring decision and budget spend. Otherwise, you can risk spending more than needed or regret hiring an agency that’s not the best fit for your company.
This is the year of digital acceleration, with ever more companies joining the space of e-commerce and digital marketing. Many businesses are keeping a lookout for SEO agencies to fix their sites for optimal performance. While hopping onto the bandwagon of searching for an SEO agency, keep in mind that you’re looking for the ideal agency for your company. When you hire the agency that’s the best fit your company, it can pave the way to a long-lasting partnership. You might even be able to pick up important SEO tips along the way!
Kick your search off with the 5 questions we’ve provided and you’ll be well on your way to picking the best agency for your SEO needs!
Articles sensationalizing the “death” of SEO are clickbait. Google commands over 90% of worldwide search traffic today. In short, SEO is never going to die. If your company wants to prosper online, you need SEO.
An example would be the featured snippet algorithm update in Jan 2020. Featured snippets (short texts that answer a search query) now count as one of the ten web page listings on the search results page (SERP).
This means that when you focus on SEO for your company, you need to also try and appear in featured snippets – something that wasn’t part of the SEO scope just a year ago.
Before we dive into the five reasons your company must optimize for search engines or become obsolete online, let’s explore what SEO is.
What Is Search Engine Optimization
Short for search engine optimization, SEO is the process of optimizing a website and its content to be discovered through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.
The practice involves understanding what people would search for on a search engine to find businesses in your industry —including the words they use, type of content they prefer, and answers they seek.
As a business, it becomes easier to connect with these people by developing content that adds value to your audience by solving their needs, optimizing it so it ranks on Google’s 1st page and driving organic traffic back to your website to convert into more sales for you.
Why Your Business Needs SEO To Prosper
Let’s go through some key reasons your company needs to invest in SEO to do well in the digital space.
1. The Best Place To Hide A Dead Body Is On Page 2 of Google
The mystery shopping services provider worked with 2Stallions to improve its website traffic for a niche audience on the Internet.
Over a two-year span, our agency worked with them to conduct thorough relevant keyword research, on-site and off-site SEO, and coupled it with strong, fully-optimized content marketing efforts.
These initiatives yielded excellent results. In a niche industry, AQ Services grew their organic clicks to 1,949 from 22,333 impressions and were ranking for 26 keywords on the first page of Google, previously having ranked for none.
Every converted lead from these clicks potentially generates tens of thousands in revenue for them. They can rest easy that due to their SEO efforts, they are the first name that potential leads click on when searching within their niche industry.
Over the long-term, their investment and the investment of the many other companies that invest in SEO pays off with multiple returns on their initial investment.
This reason alone should convince most readers, but if you’re not, carry on reading.
2. Focusing on SEO Will Improve Your Bounce Rate
Are you guilty of clicking the “Refresh” or “Back” buttons when you land on a website from a search result that doesn’t load quickly enough for you or if the content isn’t relevant? Of course, it is your choice whether to stay on or leave any website.
What if the same thing is happening on your website though? What if potential leads are leaving without interacting with your brand because your webpage design took too long to load or your content isn’t compelling enough?
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page).
A high bounce rate indicates that your content (i.e. webpage, article, etc.) didn’t match the user’s intent (i.e. what they were looking for) or that your website is loading too slow and they got impatient.
A big part of search engine optimisation is technical and on-site optimization. This is achieved with a laser focus on a fast-loading website and performing keyword research followed by optimizing your website content to be high-quality and relevant so that it would rank on Google.
This, in turn, lowers your bounce rate and helps you to rank higher and generate a lot more leads over the long term.
In short, investing in SEO leads to better user experience on your website and the creation of better quality of content that is optimized to be found on Google.
Since 2015, Google has made it official that over 50% of searches now happen on mobile and in 2019, they started rolling out mobile-first indexing, showing the significance of mobile to digital.
So why does this mean YOUR business needs to invest in SEO?
Think about how people use their smartphones. Whether on Android or iOS, when they need to find ANYTHING, they turn to Google as their de-facto.
Looking for a place? Open Google Maps and type in a search. Looking for information? Open their browser and type in the search term to get results from Google Search or use Siri or Google Assistant to do a voice search.
A major part of SEO these days is Mobile SEO and Local SEO. These strategies help to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and is indexed or found on search via mobile devices and Maps.
Failing to do this means the only traffic your brick-and-mortar business will likely see is opportunistic foot traffic.
4. Have an App? Your Apps Are Discovered Via Search Too
The mobile era has also ushered in a deluge in mobile apps. In fact, more than 90 percent of all smartphone users have various apps installed on their phones including a social app, utility app, entertainment app, search app, and shopping app, among others.
These apps can be found in app stores like Google Play or the Apple App Store. Unlike Apple, Google incorporates its app store in its search engine results.
According to a Google report, about 27% of users find applications through a search engine and growing. While the number using Google Play directly to search and download apps is still higher, the future trends show optimizing an app for search engines still makes great sense.
App search could be an important driver of app installs in the very near future. That’s why businesses with a mobile app should implement an SEO strategy to rank their apps on search engines.
5. Content Marketing and SEO Are Partners In Crime
Oftentimes, companies do not want to invest in SEO because they are already investing in content marketing and fail to see the connection to SEO.
An article from The Guardian states: “It looks like Google has tired of its old friend SEO and is instead cosying-up to the new kid on the block, content marketing.”
This certainly makes it sound like there is no need for SEO if you’re investing in content marketing.
The evolution of the search algorithm has led to success via the original SEO fire dwindling over time. Content marketing is the gasoline that can ignite the wildfire digital success for your business. However, it is just the fuel. Without SEO, there is no fire to begin with.
Content marketing relies on SEO to get audiences to your website. Producing high-quality content if nobody reads it is useless.
SEO, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on content marketing for success – it can also be applied to business websites without a blog or a content marketing strategy. However, success will take much longer.
Content marketing pieces such as blogs, videos, eBooks, or even your website itself needs keyword optimization, quality backlinks and technical SEO requirements to rank on search.
In short, do not discount SEO just because you have invested in content marketing. This, in fact, is more reason to invest in SEO.
Parting Tip – Befriend Search Engines (or Google)
Search is the first stop on the Internet for most people in most cases. If you don’t befriend the search engines, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities and the chance to grow your business even more.
If you’re looking at SEO but unsure where to start, 2stallions can be your SEO partner and help you with your digital success, as it has done with many other clients.
If you’re still unconvinced, drop us a message through the comments and we’ll help you answer your concerns and queries to make the right decision for your company.
If you’re still using an Android or iOS device’s voice-search feature, search engines are still relevant. If you use Google for research, then search engines can still be used for content marketing.
Some marketers believe search engine optimization (SEO) is dead. The reason behind the belief: social media advertisements and mobile applications make content marketing more effective. They believe spending on SEO nowadays is a waste.
However, the industry is still growing. According to SearchEngineLand, research by Borrell Associates shows that businesses have spent about $65 billion on SEM campaigns. The researchers note that the industry can grow to $72 billion by 2018. Their reasons include the decline of traditional advertising, increasing fact-checking attitudes of audiences, and sophisticated techniques.
Sophisticated SEO is spot on. SearchEngineLand’s Stephan Spencer writes that SEO is a “shape-shifter.” He writes about how it has changed in practice over the years. Modern SEO is a far cry from just optimizing headers and meta-tags. It is now about monitoring “entities” or subject-specific keywords and informative content. Spencer also highlights the importance of UX (which Google measures).
SEO has changed with the advent of Web 2.0’s appearance and technicalities.
SEO plays a vital role in any business. In 2009, Marin Search Marketer helped improve Century Novelty’s overall revenues by 20%. The 1951-established party decors and supplies business saw new light online after the project. Marin Search Marketer focused on creating keyword-bidding goals to minimize their paid ad budgets and maximize ROI.
Another example of SEO success is this one project of Prime Visibility (now known as WPromote). The company helped Compass-Guard Security Systems improve its sales by using SEO targeted content and a PPC campaign to minimize paid ad spending costs. The result of their 2005 search engine marketing efforts increased content visibility by 79.4%. The business site had 278 CTA button clicks per month, effectively increasing their leads.
Never underestimate the power of a reliable SEO agency willing to provide excellent results. If you need to look for one, you must make sure to note these five characteristics.
Five Characteristics of a Reliable SEO Agency
1. Assess their Assessment
Most SEO firm sites want you to send your email and your interest in scheduling a free appointment. Take the plunge; sign up and wait for their correspondence. Their online correspondent will ask you through an email to detail your business, its performance, and SEO goals. The free consultation, just like the real thing, will take time. The correspondent may likely ask for more information; remember not to provide delicate ones crucial to your business.
Once they provide you a final recommendation and quote, assess their assessment. Ask the firm how they came up with the milestones and methods. Inquire why they feel strongly about using the indicated procedures. Finally, question them how they measured the projected results.
If you want to make an informed decision, then you need to use the free quotations of other prospects, too. It may take some time to wait for each assessment. However, it will be worth it because a data-backed, informed decision will significantly save your business time and money. You can have a free quote here.
If they’re willing to, ask their tool’s tool accuracy, too.
2. Performance Metrics Guaranteed (and Fulfilled)
Reliable SEO agencies want to help you genuinely. It might seem silly to believe a copy that talks about their passion for data, analytics, and seeing growth. However, some firms sincerely feel it is their goal in existing.
These companies know the realistic metrics they can achieve for your business. Reputable agencies will need to know your goals for the SEO campaign, the timeframe you expect it done, and the budget you have to implement it. You will have several meetings with them. The goal of these interactions is to adjust certain metrics to achieve your goals within a realistic timeframe and budget.
Reliable companies will advise you on the type of digital marketing style advantageous for the company. They can create drafts for ideal and realistic plans to show you the difference between timeframes and budgets. SEO agencies you can depend on will never begin any project without your approval. They will also include in the contract all agreed metrics they intend to deliver for your business.
3. Years of Experience
An SEO company that is has been around in the industry for years indeed sounds impressive. Digital marketing as a whole is a continuously-changing environment. For a company to survive a year, they must have provided excellent service to their previous clients. However, make sure to observe their methods and assess their assessment (as mentioned earlier). If you do this, you can maximize your investment in these long-established companies.
If an SEO company strongly caters to you, it wants to achieve one of these two things. It might want to expand their services and learn with you. It could also be that the firm is confident because it had handled cases similar to yours. You can answer this question by asking them for their portfolio of case studies.
Some companies publish these case studies on their site. Some firms can digitally send them for your reference. Make sure to prioritize studies and service renditions similar or relevant to your industry.
If their portfolio is informative and data-packed, then the more helpful it will be for your evaluation. Take note of the set milestones and the results. See if they met these goals. Next, check the space of time between each procedure implemented and achieved the goal. These small details will help you make an informed decision in using the firm’s services. Meanwhile, feel free to check our previous works here.
5. Feedback from Trusted or Similar Businesses as Yours
A reputable SEO company can forward you to customers they serviced. On their pages, you can also find a list of client feedbacks. Most of these will be positive. You can email the agency and ask them to provide customers with your reference. Prioritize references for industries similar to yours.
Make sure to ask about the referred client’s goal during their project. Have them describe the firm’s attitude. Discuss scheduling and milestone achievement frequencies. Ask about the overall working system and logistics of the company. The more informative their answers, the easier it is to know whether the SEO firm is reliable or not.
SEO is an industry that is bound to get bigger than its current stature in the next few years. Social networks, target-centric search engines, and applications might invade specific markets. However, users will still keep on researching regarding particular, and search engines are vital to doing this.
You will need an SEO agency to help your content and advertisements reach the top of the results pages. Outsourcing SEM campaigns will be better for your business. Having a team dedicated to the task is time and resource-conserving than having an in-house equivalent.
The Internet is an inexpensive way to spread the word if your company can do it effectively. Search engines, video streaming sites, and social networks have become the new television. An SEO agency or specialist can provide plenty of affordable solutions, but who should you put your money on if you’re about to undertake a new campaign?
Digital marketing firms can be completely focused on SEO. Most agencies offer an “all-around” solution to all your web needs including social media promotion, content production, local-oriented SEO, and other factors that can help you rank your website.
Another is the independent SEO specialist, who is considerably reliable based on their case studies, previous projects, and testimonials from previous clients. These individuals are often active in business forums, helping and providing informative, actionable solutions for businesses.
A business can spend an average of $75 – $200 an hour using SEO firms, according to Moz’s SEO pricing costs survey of 600 and more agencies. The data also indicates that the service prices vary depending on which country the company is situated. Moz even shared its insight that an SEO agency working on a project basis with a client costs about $1,000 – $7,500, amounts usually set as budgets with defined expectations between the firm and the client.
Moz’s data also suggests another thing: Some SEO companies earning these amounts usually have 1-5 employees; about 52.2% of their respondents have a 1:1 employee-client ratio. If you will have a singular SEO specialist, then you can deduce that it can be affordable to use an independent SEO specialist instead.
If you get what you pay for out of an SEO project, you can consider it as money well spent. To ensure you do, the service must have done you a favor when it comes to the following areas:
Resource Management: An SEO agency or specialist’s ability to use affordable but efficient sources to meet the deadlines often lowers their costs (and makes them reputable if they have previous case studies). They guarantee there are no overhead costs even after the project and they account for all receipts regarding any software, tool, or other resources they used.
Frees up Your Time for Priorities: Any business owner will hire a specialist or agency because industry-dedicated and studious professionals allow them to free up their time to focus on business growth and other business essentials.
Accountability on Results: Speaking of outcomes, the SEO agency or specialist, having not met the deadline’s expectations, must hold itself accountable for extending their helpfulness towards a feasible resolution of the particular aspect with their clients. They can offer further revisions depending on the initial agreement before using their services.
Point by Point Comparison
Most SEO specialists, given their years of experience in the field, have all resources in place ready to process your issues and manifest the expectations you develop with them. These professionals work with your business intimately and handle any other issues that crop up personally. If you have a minor problem that limits the performance of your SEO campaigns, you can hire a specialist that works by the hour and spend less (which is excellent resource management on your part).
Agencies are often firms created by pals who have worked at one point as independent specialists, which is often true for many digital marketing firms. Given their collective experience in the field, they have a better variety of tools that allow them to meet your goals. Most companies also give you a budget estimate that they will strictly follow, making it unlikely to have overheads post-campaign implementation. Creative Cali believes the right company will never have hidden fees and will care deeply for clients, too.
Positive Contributions to Business Growth
Specialists handle each client individually and use a variety of solutions based on their knowledge and professional interpretations derived from their analytic tools. Given they work individually, they have a complete view of the entire campaign’s details from keyword research to view-through rates of your social network or YouTube videos. They can let you focus on growing your business while they handle your SEO needs, but they can introduce overhead costs in some occasions especially if they outsource certain duties to other SEO specialists in certain fields to meet your deadlines.
SEO agencies work with your budget and have a selection of specialists that excel in certain SEO fields. Both senior and junior teams work together through structured processes, which make their analytic interpretations produced fast and accurate. The immediate presentation of data makes it faster to scale your campaigns because you can make an informed decision with the presented data. However, their contributions depend on the availability of their clients and the budgets you set; most firms will divert their attention on large-budget projects to meet deadlines.
Accountability on Results
Specialists work on a timetable and monitor campaign’s performance consistently. They can offer a heavily discounted monthly rate for this service because the maintenance of the SEO’s performance is the only goal. However, specialists on a project-based fee can provide one or two months of free maintenance to their clients.
An SEO agency can offer revision services after each project depending on the service packages they provide. In general, high-budget projects often have unlimited revisions.
And the winner is… Both service types.
Both SEO specialists and agencies can be used on a situational basis. If you have a big project that needs a wide-scale implementation within a short timeframe, you will want a team to focus on the task and only paying once regardless of costs makes agencies a great and profitable solution. If you have a small project that needs a quick solution at a fixed price, specialists can be right up your alley.
Any SEO agency or specialist you hire must meet these three variables to ensure you get your time and money’s worth when using their services. Small and medium-sized business thrive on a shoestring budget and every penny counts. Digital marketing is affordable, but it can still be costly if you invest in the wrong party.
Make sure to note the concept of the Iron Triangle before making any decision to hire. If you want it done fast and good, then you will have to pay a premium in exchange. Want something quick and affordable? Then you compromise the product’s quality. If you want something affordable but with great quality, then you will have to wait for longer. You can also check out 2Stallion’s SEO services page for more details.
Nearing the end of March 2017 at 2Stallions, we realised that we had failed to “walk-the-talk” for search engine optimization (SEO). Despite offering SEO services in Singapore to many happy clients, our own website’s presence on Google for keywords was lacking. Most keywords were on the 2nd page and beyond, with none ranking on the 1st page of Google. Frankly, this did not help our standing with potential clients, who often searched for, and failed to find us. We decided to change this state of affairs and decided to target a vanity keyword – “SEO” – to rank our website for (amongst others).
Vanity Keywords vs Valuable Keywords
A ‘vanity keyword’ usually describes what the website is trying to sell. However, it is not likely to drive qualified traffic nor produce high conversion rates. These have high search volume and are highly competitive, meaning they’re difficult to rank on the 1st page of Google for. However, they also tend to have higher bounce rates due to being broad.
At 2Stallions, we highly recommend targeting ‘valuable keywords’ to all our clients. Generally, we target such keywords for our own efforts as well. While these may have a lower search volume, the traffic is bound to be much more targeted and likelier to convert. For a business, this is what matters.
Why Rank On 1st Page Of Google For “SEO”
You may be wondering why then, did we select a vanity keyword for 2Stallions to rank for? Quite simply, we needed to make a bold statement, and show off our SEO skills to potential and existing clients. Hence, ranking on the 1st page of Google for a competitive keyword like “SEO” appealed to us for this case study. We analyzed the keyword on Google in Singapore.
The term “SEO” has 4,400 average monthly searches and is considered a ‘medium’ competition keyword. The suggested bid of over $17, which is what advertisers are expected to pay per click for it, was what made the effort to rank for “seo” worth it. Even 1% of the average monthly searches and clicks back to our website, i.e. 44 clicks, would save $748 per month in potential ad spend. Cool!
Ranking Results For “SEO”
Here is the fluctuation in rankings for the keyword “SEO” from mid-April, when we started, to August 2017. As you can see, we hit the 1st page of Google Singapore for the term within 3 months, by mid-July 2017. You can observe on the graph that since we hit the 1st page, we’ve actually fluctuated between 9th and 12th position. This confirms that there is no resting on your laurels when it comes to SEO, and that staying on the 1st page can be tougher than getting there.
If you are interested in learning about the techniques our SEO team used to rank our website for the term “SEO”, now!
Impact Of Ranking On 1st Page Of Google For SEO
Search Impressions, Clicks & Leads
As a business, your main objective from any SEO effort should be to drive targeted traffic to your website that can convert to a lead for you to follow up on, and generate revenue from.
Unfortunately, Google isn’t open about how much traffic a particular search term generates, so you may or may not be able to view this depth in data for specific keywords. Therefore, for a client SEO campaign, we focus on overall Organic & Referral traffic as our metrics, together with conversions (read our Guide on Web Analytics to learn more about how to set this up yourself).
As we do not have exact data for the specific search term for our website, we decided to pivot and analyse results from the perspective of the landing page. For SEO-related search terms, we’re focusing on having visitors land on to our SEO Services page. The table below shows the improvements we saw since we started our SEO efforts in % improvements from the previous month period.
May Compared to Apr
Jun Compared to May
Jul Compared to Jun
∞ (divided by zero)
∞ (divided by zero)
We saw an immediate, and dramatic, increase in impressions and clicks to the website when we began SEO work. However, we’ve only recently started seeing this traffic start to convert. Another reason for this low conversion could be that the vanity keyword resulted in traffic to the site that was not targeted or intent-driven.
Following the publishing of this case study, we shall be focusing our efforts mainly on valuable keywords rather than vanity keywords.
Analyzing Our 1st Page Ranking On Google
In an ideal world, being on the 1st page, and especially being ranked in the top 3 positions of Google should result in a dramatic website traffic increase. However, reality can be different. Despite organically ranking 8th, our visual ranking on the search result page is closer to 15th.
We took a screenshot of the search result page for the term “seo” on Google Singapore to illustrate our point. We have marked the area above the fold (light blue dotted line), which is what you see immediately when you land on the search result. We’ve also highlighted the area occupied by paid ads and areas taken up by rich snippets like business listings and video results.
For this particular search term, even the top organic result from Moz.com is only partially above the fold. The 8th position, where our 2Stallions SEO service page organically ranks, is towards the bottom of the page. Google now shows up to 4 ads at the top, with expanded ads like the 1st 2 ad results. You can’t really blame Google – after all, they stand to make $17 for every click. Statistics are clear that the top 3 results get almost 60% of the clicks, so the ads there are a major source of revenue for Google.
For a new business with poor organic traffic, that is trying to generate leads, SEM is vital. On the other end of the spectrum, existing businesses have their own reasons to continue SEM spends. For them, the goal is merely to keep their brand awareness high and prevent competition from occupying the top positions. Therefore, you should never discount SEM services for your own business. You can reach out to us for such services as well.
Furthermore, search results these days devote a great deal of real estate to localized business listings and YouTube video results. To show up amongst business listings, you can use Google My Business to set it up for your own business and optimize it.
Does this mean we should not be doing SEO, and focus our marketing spend on Adwords & PPC instead? Absolutely NOT! As you can see from the stats shared above – our organic search impressions have increased dramatically. There is now a greater chance of people seeing and recognizing our brand. To top it off, we have seen an increase in organic traffic to the website. We’re now also starting to see conversions to leads on our landing page from organic visitors.
Now that we rank on the 1st page of Google locally, it provides credibility with potential clients. We finally “walk-the-talk” when it comes to SEO. As this keyword does not generate targeted traffic, we’ll spend little effort to maintain its ranking. At the same time, we are shifting our focus to more valuable keywords.
To learn the techniques used to achieve 1st page results, !
Leveraging On Rich Snippets
Google’s apparent favouring of rich snippets makes it seem prudent to leverage on other forms of content, especially video. Therefore, 2Stallions has created and optimized a YouTube video. Specifically for our SEO services (see below), we are looking to generate additional traffic directly via YouTube. It also serves to increase our landing page relevancy to Google. If you’re interested in taking this path, our team has developed methods to dominate Google search results via YouTube videos.
SEO will not catapult your website to the top and keep you there without consistent effort. Also, while the techniques we discuss in our worked great for this particular keyword, it may not be the case everywhere. As an SEO agency in Singapore, our 2Stallions SEO team continuously refreshes our SEO skills. We learn and try out new techniques that help us to rank websites for our clients and ourselves. So if your business is looking to achieve similar results and boost its organic lead generation, reach out to us!
Google’s core business is continuously improving its algorithms to predict and rank the most relevant organic search results to show to you. Today, it has grown to a mega-sized corporation that includes YouTube, which it paid $1.4 billion for in 2006.
As of April 2017, YouTube is the second most popular site in the world according to rankings released by Alexa Internet, a web traffic analysis company. Over the years, Google has brought the same approach to ranking videos on YouTube, with marketers increasingly using it as a business promotion tool. So, what’s in it for you as a business? At its simplest – the more views your video gets, the higher you rank on YouTube. However, those views can translate into the following benefits for your business:
Appearing not just on YouTube, but also Google search results
Higher traffic to your website or online store
Greater brand awareness amongst your audience
Increased trust in your brand
A wider reach for your brand
In addition to that, Cisco predicts that the by 2030, 70% of the Internet will consist of videos and 30% will be a mix of other things. Psychologically speaking, most people would prefer to watch a video rather than read a lengthy article about a certain topic. Hence using video will improve readability. But, there is a limit. You should stick to a length of 3-10 minutes per video to improve retention rate. As you can see from the Wistia graph, engagement drops off badly from the get-go for videos longer than 10 minutes.
If you’re convinced to take YouTube videos seriously as a driver for your business, then read on to learn about how you can dominate Google through the use of YouTube videos.
Step #1 Create the video
Creating a video is the most obvious step when it comes to ranking your YouTube video but it also presents the highest barrier to entry. The longer the video, the more expensive it will be. A minimum charge of US$250 is standard for a 90-second explainer video amongst freelancers, with the usual trade-offs of quality versus price.
You can also try creating your own videos if quality is not a major concern and you have time on your hands. There are apps such as Powtoon that help you to create your own professional looking videos. Just remember to make it short and sweet.
Step #2 Create a YouTube channel
Using your Gmail account, you can create a YouTube channel for your company. Be sure to have your brand name within the name of the channel.
Step #3 Upload Your Video
When uploading, make sure you fill in a description and add appropriate tags. I recommend you write around 200+ words for the description and add at least 10 tags that consist of targeted keywords and related keywords.
Step #4 Optimize the Video
You can further optimize the video by changing the “location,” “language,” and “upload date” from the advanced settings page.
Here’s an Example
Let’s assume you own a powerlifting gym in Hong Kong called Strong Culture Gym, and you want to promote it online. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to use YouTube videos.
Before you start investing in videos though, find out which keywords you should target. The best tool to use for this is the free Google Keyword Planner. You can find out more about using it here.
Below is the step-by-step process on how I ranked Strong Culture Gym:
First, I researched keywords for gyms and decided to go with “best powerlifting gym in hongkong” as it is specific and likely to provide the best ROIs from viewers despite lower search volume
Next, I created a 3-5 minute video about powerlifting
Then, I created a YouTube channel named “StrongCulture Gym” – using the brand of my gym
Finally, I optimized the video on YouTube
I added several appropriate keywords about the gym, together with related keywords, to the description and tags
You should also add annotations to your video to create clickable links directly on the video but since that requires having a website, which this hypothetical gym does not, I decided to make do with a phone number in the description to allow viewers to contact the company
And voila! Upon publishing, I see a near instant result directly on Google HK search results
Not all examples may yield instant results, especially for very high competition keywords. And sometimes, after an initial surge, the result may also disappear from the 1st page if it doesn’t generate sufficient engagement.
However, for many businesses, YouTube still presents a massive opportunity to generate awareness. Google’s algorithm tries to show structured snippet results on the 1st page search results, and videos are a great type of those that deliver better click through rates (CTRs) for Google.
Quick FAQ To Dominate On Google With Videos
We’re used to minds racing when we explain the potential of YouTube to businesses we work with, followed by some quick fire questions. We decided to save you and ourselves some back and forth by answering some of the most common questions asked to dominate Google using YouTube videos.
Will this method always work?
No, it depends a lot on your keyword research and video optimization. The key is to find niche keywords that get you the targeted traffic. Don’t just aim for search volume.
Will my videos also give me instant results like your example above?
Yes and no. If you try for very high search volume keywords that convert, you will have a harder time ranking those keywords. Having said that, not many companies are using this technique yet – so you can use this to get a jump on them. You can maximize exposure with a well-thought out content strategy and uploading videos regularly that add value while targeting different keywords.
Will my video stay on the 1st page forever once it is there?
We both know the answer to that. The 1st page of Google search results is the most volatile, and it requires a sustained effort to keep your videos there – similar to SEO for your website.
While we hope that our short primer on how to dominate Google through video provides most of you with food for thought, and spurs action in some, we cannot stress enough that optimizing videos to rank on Google can be time-consuming so don’t get discouraged.
If your business is looking for such services or advice, check out our SEO service page. You can also leave any questions, concerns, and comments below.