Last week my colleague, Ben Waterhouse, our Content and Social Media Manager and me, Virginia Girtz, Head of Digital Marketing, ran our first in a series of Digital Marketing Workshops, starting off with the fundamentals class covering SEO, Paid Social Media and PPC. The class was held at our head offices in Guildford and ran from 10am to 2pm. We even included a networking breakfast for our guests - otherwise known as the ice-breaker – to warm everyone up and get settled before 4 hours of digital fun!
The class was to cover off the all-you-need-to-knows in digital marketing, aimed at people who just needed to top up of their knowledge in case they had missed anything major in the past 12 months, or to those who were unfamiliar on specific topics in the digi world.
The attendees included marketing managers from a range of top brands such as BMW, Schwarzkopf and Crimestoppers, all looking to make sure they were up to date in the latest moves online.
For those out there that couldn’t make it, or didn’t hear about it (you’ll need to sign up to our Newsletter to be in the know!), we thought we’d write a quick summary of each area we covered. Let’s start with SEO:
At the end of each section, we gave our class 3 key takeaways. For SEO, these were:
1. Don’t write for search engines. Write for humans.
Now, what do we mean by that? Literally what it says. I’m not writing this blog for a robot right now. I’m writing it for you, the human. Sure, I want this blog to rank for particular keyword phrases that I’ve used in here, but my aim is to educate and pass on advice to my readers, not to please the Googlebot. Google recognises this as well. It’s bots will look for spammy content that has been keyword stuffed or contains too many links and will penalize you if it thinks your intentions are for ranking purposes only.
2. Use Google Alerts on your brand name or brand related keywords.
This is a really good way to spy on your competitors and see what they’re being ranked for on Google. It’s also a great way to see what people are saying about you so that you can either share that content, or create an article about whatever it is you have been mentioned for. It also creates a bank link opportunity for you. Lots of reasons why you should do it!
3. Write your meta tags.
This is one that we often find isn’t done. Lots websites duplicate their page title and meta description, which is useless as you have not differentiated your content to a Googlebot, or to uses scanning the search results. Check out our blog on the top 5 common SEO mistakes which has more information on this.
PAID SOCIAL MEDIA
Okay, so what 3 key takeaways did we mention for paid social media? Let’s recap:
1) Decide which channel(s) is best for your business and campaign objective
There have been times when a client has come to us, convinced that Facebook is the channel for them to run advertising on, because it’s the largest social network. But just because it has the most people using it (1.94 billion active users), doesn’t always mean the right audience is there. Consider who you are talking to and what your product or service is before you spend all that money on wasted clicks.
2) Think outside the box with your targeting
So, you know you want to target an audience between a certain age, location and job title… but what other targeting options could you use? Facebook and Twitter have interest targeting, so have a think about what your demographic could be interested in, for example, what do they read? What do they usually purchase? What brands would they likely follow? Taking the time to complete a persona profile for your demographics could be really revealing into other targeting options for you to create maximum impact.
3) Make sure you have installed tracking pixels
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter all have tracking pixels. Pixels are a bit of code that needs adding into the header of the pages where you want to log a conversion, i.e. thank you page/order confirmation page. If you do not implement the tracking pixel, you cannot run some campaigns within that platform, AND you can’t measure ROI. They’re really simple to install, so make sure you do it!
Alright, we’re onto the last one. What were our 3 key takeaways for PPC:
1) Identify longtail keywords
Lots of time, people want to make sure they’re in the top paid spot for a very broad, generic term. Now that’s fine if you either have lots of money to spend per click, or the term has low competition so getting there is cheap. If this is not the case, go longtail. We actually find that longtail phrases are becoming more common due to the advances in mobile search and voice search. People no longer search with just one or two keywords, it’s more about the different phrases. Phrase searches tend to be cheaper as well, so if your budget is quite restrictive, then definitely focused on the longtail.
2) Have well written landing pages, using your identified keywords
One of the metrics used to determine whether your ad should show over a competitor’s ad is based from Quality Score. This is a score marked out of 10 to determine whether your keyword and ad combination are the best for the end user. Quality score is calculated from a number of different things, but the one we are focusing on for this point is to make sure your keywords, ad copy and landing page are all talking about the same thing. For example, I’m bidding on the term, “black stilettos”. My ad copy needs to also mention this term somewhere in it – ideally the headline. Now to complete the hattrick, the landing page I send users to should be all about black stilettos. If I were to send users to a page all about black boots, then I would likely see a high bounce rate, which is a signal to Google that my keywords, ad copy and landing pages are not all singing from the same song sheet. This would then lower my Quality Score. Check out our blog on improving your landing page for paid search to read more about this subject.
3) Think about your entire user’s journey from your advert
Now this is an important one to consider. When someone clicks your ad, typically, they will be a new customer and won’t know much about you or your product/service. Therefore, it’s extremely important to think about the navigation from the page you are sending them too. Quite a few times I’ve rescued adverts that would be appearing for very specific terms, but the link on the ad would go to the homepage. Why!? Why would you do this! All that happens is the user gets frustrated and clicks back and continues searching for what they want via your competitors site - which actually sends them to a page on what they are looking for. So yeah, be careful where you are sending people, make sure it makes sense from the keyword they’ve searched for!
In a nutshell, that’s it! As I said earlier in this blog, we will be hosting more digital marketing masterclasses across the next 12 months, so if you are interested in finding out what our next will be, please subscribe to the newsletter so you can be the first to know! Spaces filled up fast for this one, so we anticipate a sell out next time too!