There are many different types of marketing that have proven to be successful over recent years but what is effective one year, might die a death the next, so it is important to stay up to date with the latest trends and most effective marketing methods.
Content marketing is certainly not a new trend but changes in consumer behavior, advances in technology and updates to data privacy regulations, for example, can influence the effectiveness of a certain type of marketing.
Here are some statistics that add weight to the argument that you should be investing in content marketing over any other channels.
- Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing but generates 3x as many leads
Now that is a powerful stat and as marketers, we are constantly looking for the lowest cost method to generate the most leads. Traditional marketing methods such as direct mail, and media advertising are expensive and take a lot of time and effort to deliver compared to content marketing.
- Over 200 million people use ad blockers
Let’s face it, most people find ads annoying and it is no surprise that a huge number of people have ad blocking software to stop them from being pestered with constant ads.
- Content marketing leaders achieve 7.8x more traffic than the rest
Marketing guru Neil Patel shared his insights on how successful content marketing leaders are compared to their competitors. Developing compelling content that adds high value to the reader is priceless.
- Content drives brand recall = increased engagement
Personalized content helps to make a consumer remember a brand, engaging with the company on a deeper level. According to an IBM Digital Experience Survey, 56% of marketing professionals believe that personalized content drives higher engagement rates.
- 73% of major organizations hire a content marketing strategy manager/professional
More and more companies have now realized the value of hiring a content marketing expert, to ensure that they are prioritizing this type of marketing, as they now understand how profitable it is. This also allows the company to identify the best technology and platforms to use for the most effective types of content marketing.
- For every $1 spent, email gives back $38 in ROI
According to CampaignMonitor, for every $1 that is spent on email marketing strategy, it is able to earn $38 back in ROI. By developing personalized and targeted emails, conversion rates are much higher than other channels.
- 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing
The huge majority of B2B marketers invest in their content marketing, as a vital part of their marketing strategy. Content marketing also gives more sustainable value than other marketing options.
- Many marketers will use over 13 content marketing tactics
Using the full range of content marketing tactics generates greater results than focusing on just one or two, which is evident by so many marketers choosing to deploy varied and diverse channels. These eight statistics really underline the importance of content marketing, how effective it can be and why marketers include it as the staple of their marketing strategies.
It seems that ever since the term ‘agile marketing’ began to be bandied about a decade ago, debate has raged over whether it should or should not be adopted in favour of strategic marketing. But the two are not mutually exclusive. Modern marketing requires an agile approach aligned with a strategic overview. Agile and strategic marketing can and should work in harmony. And those marketing teams who have recognised this are reaping the rewards while others continue to debate.
What is agile marketing?
Agile marketing is a flexible approach to marketing that reflects the emergence of the digital transformation and change in customer expectations in recent years.
Its strength lies in collaboration and giving creative marketers freedom to experiment within a structured working environment. This is very much a team game – one that rejects silos but enhances possibilities and accountability.
Agile marketing teams work in short bursts known as ‘sprints’. Each sprint typically lasts between one week and one month with a focus on producing high volumes of output and assessing it as you go.
Throughout the sprint, a meeting is held every morning lasting no more than 15 minutes. This is a quick summary of what each person did yesterday, what they plan to do today, and any obstacles that might affect the days’ work (e.g. a colleague is off sick, computers are down etc). Any issues are quickly addressed as a team with focus squarely on producing the volume of output that was set out at the beginning of the sprint.
This approach is very different from traditional strategy marketing that was a far longer process that only evaluated results after the event.
At the time, this process was necessary and went something like this:
Step 1: Planning phase
- Identify your business purpose
- Decide what you want your marketing plan to achieve
Step 2: Analysis phase
- Conduct market research
- Define your place in the industry
- Identify your target market
- Analyse your competitors
Step 3: Development phase
- Decide on your marketing strategy
- Determine your marketing mix
Step 4: Implementation phase
- Create your campaign
- Launch it
Step 5: Analysis phase
- Assess the results of your marketing campaign
- Make notes
- Implement what you have learned into future marketing efforts
Agile marketing differs from this approach in that it combines phases 3, 4 and 5. This is made possible by the digital transformation and the speed with which content can be created, launched and analysed.
Traditionally, marketing campaigns needed to be thoroughly planned before the implementation phase because leaflets, posters, TV and radio ads etc had to be budgeted for from the outset. Likewise, it was only after the event that the results could be seen and discussions about what had worked and what hadn’t could take place.
Contrast this with modern marketing methods that are highly targeted, heavily dependent on social media, and can be instantly analysed – and you begin to see why agile marketing is the future.
Agile marketing methods must be guided by the overarching strategy set out in phase 1 and 2, but it focuses on producing high volumes of content quickly, smelling what’s selling, and always ensuring the focus is on those tasks and iterations that have the greatest impact on results and ROI.
How to implement agile marketing effectively
Put simply, agile marketing favours responding to change over sticking rigidly to a plan. Naturally, the first iteration of an agile marketing plan will be closely aligned to what you would have expected to produce using traditional methods. The difference is that, with agile marketing, there is no need to achieve ‘perceived perfection’ before you launch your campaign.
This means you can get vast amounts of content out in the public domain quickly, find out what iterations of it work, which platforms are most successful, and where you might be able to improve. Future iterations could involve tweaking your content slightly, making wholesale changes or deciding that one particular angle was a terrible idea and should be consigned to the scrapheap.
But failure is embraced. When one marketing creative is charged with spending a day producing a piece of work that ultimately fails to land, you have lost nothing and learnt something. As other members of the team are also engaged in producing volumes of output, the few attempts that fall by the wayside are negligible. Remember, this is about working together and achieving as a team. Everybody learns from what went wrong and so the collective is better informed than they were when the spring began.
This is not a process that will necessarily transform your marketing overnight, But in the long term you will create a marketing team with broad knowledge of how to approach each new sprint and each new product. But along the way, the flexible approach of agile marketing will ensure you are able to adapt to market changes and trends in a way that simply isn’t possible under an old-school strategy marketing process.
There are four broad features that define agile marketing:
The time you give your team to complete a specific project
Stand up meetings:
Daily meetings to discuss and track progress
A central place for progress to be logged and to which all team members have access
Adopting a collaborative approach in which everybody mucks in
The benefits of agile marketing
- Teams can produce, test and optimise campaigns quickly
- Different iterations can be tested and only the most successful developed
- Make rapid data-driven decisions
- Collaboration ensures all members are pulling in the same direction
Agile marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy
As previously stated, agile marketing does require an overall strategy. This modern approach doesn’t change the basic principle that you must know what you want your marketing plan to achieve in order to target it effectively and understand how successful it is.
The key for marketing managers is to ensure that every sprint, every stand up meeting, every progress tracking exercise and every member of the team is focused on the overriding strategy. Trying to implement agile marketing without a comprehensive marketing strategy will not work. It will be without direction and impossible to analyse.
Agile marketing is not a replacement for strategy marketing. It allows marketing teams time and flexibility to try out new things. Instead of holding a meeting that involves 8 people sitting around a table for 3 hours discussing how to engage a new sector of your audience, ask 2 team members to each spend a day creating an innovative way to reach them. That’s 16 man hours rather than 24, you have your most creative individuals getting straight on with the job, and at the end of it you have real-time data that definitively shows which approach was most successful. Your agile marketing efforts then feed into your overall marketing strategy which itself becomes agile but in a more pedestrian, considered way.
Examples of agile marketing
Agile marketing does not need to be ground-breaking. Sometimes, it is as simple as making small changes to your existing marketing efforts and analysing the results to establish whether those amendments have worked, or further iterations are required. This could include:
- Writing two blog posts per month tackling specific issues instead of spending hours labouring over a comprehensive e-book
- Optimising the landing pages on your website to drive conversions rather than redesigning the whole thing
- Maximising the opportunities presented by your best performing pages instead of creating a whole new campaign
We help companies across the world enhance their online presence through digital marketing. We adopt an agile approach within an agreed strategy to help our clients reach their target market and achieve their business goals.
For more details and to discuss how we can help you implement an effective agile marketing strategy, get in touch today.
Omreon Case Study
Established in 2017, Omreon Information Technologies is an Istanbul-based provider of custom software solutions that provide clients with real-time data. The company has been at the forefront of the digital transformation with its highly experienced and dynamic development team evolving to specialize in Data Security, Business Intelligence and Reporting, and Software Consultancy Outsourcing Management.
With focus on delivering innovative, reliable and robust solutions that enhance operational efficiency and drive profitability, Omreon is well on its way to achieving its long-term goal of being Turkey’s Leading Software company.
As part of its ambitious growth plans, Omreon wanted a digital footprint and selected Fascinatid as a B2B marketing for tech solution providers. We have suggested blogging, SEO, social media activities and PR activities as an agency focusing on marketing services for software companies. And meanwhile, since the website was outdated, to be able to close the digital marketing circle and improve end to end digital journey for visitors and prospects, we have also come to an agreement to renew the website. Omreon also wanted a revamped website and increased digital reach.
Omreon needed a website with a modern look and feel. Requirements for the new site were that it should be optimized for SEO to attract visitors – and to complement that with a sleek, contemporary user experience that provides a true reflection of its brand values. Omreon chose Fascinatid to create its new site and modernize its online image.
“We should first focus on digital presence, holistic marketing activities and then website development as well.”, told Omer Sen, founder of Omreon in a meeting.
The main challenge was lack of digital presence in the era of digital transformation.
- Lack of social media activities
- Inability to be find on Google both organically and paid
- Lack of SEO
- Lack of PR activities
Which results decreased digital footprint and reduced credibility. Blogging, SEO, Google Ads, Social Media sharing’s started simultaneously with the website revamp/rebuild project, since we did not want to lose time while waiting new website gone live.
It was clear from early discussions that the existing website could not be reimagined. Instead, a new website would need to be built from the ground up. Fascinatid’s development team took time to get a full understanding of what Omreon is and how it operates.
Omreon had been keen to find an agency that understood its technical capabilities and had a clear grasp of the features and benefits its service offers. It also demanded a company that could deliver a website suitable for both English and Turkish speakers.
Discussions included user profiling and centered around how Omreon had been targeting its target audience up to that point. Omreon’s primary goal was to have a powerful digital presence that fully represents its offering and embraces the digital transformation in a way that impresses its audience and demonstrates from the initial contact that this is a forward-thinking company that will help its clients grow and develop using the latest technology.
The Fascinatid Approach
Tech marketing accelerator, Fascinatid proposed a holistic and integrated approach that would see Omreon’s digital presence improve. Starting with a high-performance website that met all technological criteria, the agency, as a B2B tech marketing services provider, moved onto content creation. Keyword research was conducted to establish the most relevant search terms, and these were organically included within engaging and informative content that appeals to real people as well as search engine algorithms.
The Solution: End to End B2B Marketing Activities for Enhanced Digital Footprint
The new website went live in 2020. The site was designed to allow users to navigate it with ease and includes strategically positioned CTAs to help guide consumers. A new blog page links valuable resources to the site and helps ensure that fresh content is posted frequently. Fascinatid writes 2-3 blogs per month to highlight the available services and serve as a knowledge bank for individuals and organizations looking for innovative software solutions. The main body of the site remains relatively untouched to ensure regular users remain familiar with it.
The focus on SEO has significantly enhanced brand awareness of Omreon and generated increased traffic to the new site compared with the old version. The quality of visitors has improved too, and this is reflected in a substantial rise in the number of qualified leads finding Omreon via search engines, and conversion rates.
In addition, Fascinatid recommended using social media to promote Omreon’s services and drive engagement.
The Key Results 1.800 Organic Website Visits in a Year
Over a 12-month period, Fascinatid wrote a total of 28 unique blogs for Omreon which have added rich content to the site and helped its pages appear in search engine results for Turkish and English speakers. Fascinatid continues to monitor results and keywords to ensure all new content is relevant and meets the needs of search engine users. The results of these efforts are total search engine impressions of 28,000 with an average click through rate of 6.4% (the global average is 1.9%). Omreon received a total of around 1,800 clicks from organic searches in 2021.
Fascinatid’s work in increasing Omreon’s social media reach was equally successful. The agency recommended Twitter and LinkedIn as the focus for social media marketing as these are the two sites most likely to attract the desired audience.
With less than $400, we have achieved more than half million impressions on Google Ads which resulted in 12K clicks for B2B services provided my Omreon.
More than 240 posts were created throughout the year. Each month, social content included a mix of posts ranging from promotional material, links to relevant blog posts and reactions to industry news. In October 2020, when they opened initial discussions with Fascinatid, Omreon had 57 followers on Twitter. A year later, with the help of Fascinatid’s social media content strategy, that figure was up to 372 – a staggering increase of 546%. Omreon’s LinkedIn following saw a less significant but nonetheless impressive increase of 61%.
Following on from their successful collaboration over the past 12 months, Fascinatid and Omreon are now working on furthering their partnership with a view to increasing the company’s reach and driving even more engagement. Future plans include an eBook which is currently in the planning stage but should be ready for release in 2022.
When a Google user is looking for a service or product that you provide, they are generally looking for a listicle that will point them in the direction of the best companies to provide what they need.
For example, if you searched for ‘best contract management software’ you will see the businesses that have paid for Google Ads at the top of the search results but then there is a list below it that includes lots of software companies. The listicle has been created by a software review site, which basically lists all of the most popular contract management software solutions, along with ratings and reviews left by customers. They also display information like cost, a link to the company’s website, company logo and platforms the software is compatible with.
This type of listicle ranks top because it successfully answers the user’s question. It adds real value to the person searching for the best contract management software and provides in depth information that will help them to make the decision regarding which solution to choose. The companies that feature on this list, especially the ones that are displayed in the top places on the review page, stand to gain a lot of traffic through this, so if you are a contract management software company, you will want to get onto that list, right?
How to get onto third party directories
In a lot of cases, the reality is that companies pay for the privilege of featuring on such a site. However, the companies that are already the big players will already be included, or else the list would lack credibility. So, if you are a smaller, lesser known company, then you can help gain more traffic to your website by paying to get onto the review site. Whatever type of industry your company sits within, featuring on a listicle that performs well in search results is going to be powerful.
The costs involved can vary depending on the type of services or products that are being reviewed but the reason these review sites are so good for Google is because it means users do not need to go onto multiple websites to find the information that they are looking for.
Additionally, these sites tend to give a balanced, fair view of a range of companies instead of going onto a company’s own website, where they will obviously be promoting themselves. So, if you want to gain more traffic to your website and hit the jackpot when people search for ‘best xxxx provider’, this is definitely an option that you should look into. Your first step is to perform the search for your relevant services or products and find the review website that you want to get onto. They will usually make it easy for you to contact them to have a discussion about featuring on their review site.
The changes to GDPR have made it harder to create email lists for targeted email campaigns, so it is important to understand the best way to create an email list that people are happy to opt-in on. There are a few different techniques that you can use to help to build such a valuable list and these are some of the most effective:
Create a ‘lead magnet’/gated asset
A lead magnet is basically a piece of content that you can offer to people that they want and will provide their email address so that you can send it to them. The type of content that typically works is something like offering a free webinar, ebook or template that will help people solve a problem, or learn how to do something. For a graphic design company, they might offer a set of templates for creating brand guidelines, or an accountancy business might provide an ebook guide on tax changes, for example.
Offer a free trial of a tool
Offering free trials is another gated asset geared around getting people to opt-in for your email list. Companies like Microsoft and Adobe are great examples of this, where they offer a 30-day trial for free. In order to get the free trial the user must provide an email address.
Use social media to promote your gated assets
Once you have a lead magnet or free trial to offer, you need to raise as much awareness of it as possible, using all of your marketing channels. Writing blogs, posting about the offer onto your Facebook business page, or LinkedIn page will help to raise awareness and if it is a really useful tool or piece of content then people are more likely to share it with others. You could write a blog that is related to the gated asset and have a CTA that sends the user to your website where they can opt in.
Be creative with your email campaigns
The more effort you put into your email campaigns, the more conversions you are likely to generate. The other important way to get more out of your email campaigns is to encourage recipients to share the information about your assets with friends or colleagues that they might think are interested. Using CTAs is again really important within your email campaigns to prompt the reader to take their required action. You can even include share buttons within the email that will encourage more people to share the email. Using the right kind of email campaign software that allows you to add prominent, attractive buttons will enable you to optimize your emails for maximum results.
Focusing on these four areas will help you to expand your existing opt-in list but it is also important to try and re-engage with existing opt-ins that have not recently been responsive in terms of opening emails or clicking through links/buttons. So, spend some time working out which gated assets will work well and start creating them.
These days there is nothing to stop you expanding your brand globally if you see a market for it in other parts of the world. Websites are accessible from anywhere in the world, online payments mean there need be no delay in completing transactions, and the international shipping market is booming. But all too often, companies fail to seize that expansion opportunity simply because they don’t follow the principles of marketing localisation.
And they are missing out on a huge opportunity to take their brand global:
- According to 49% of global marketers, marketing localisation increases ROI
- Localised content received 6x more engagement
- 86% of localised marketing campaigns outperform the English-only campaigns that were traditionally seen as the easiest route to global expansion
What is marketing localisation?
Marketing localisation is the process of adapting your digital marketing to make it relevant to other markets you want to get into. It is all about improving user experience and adapting your marketing materials in such a way that they feel organically created rather than obviously translated.
Sometimes this will involve wholesale changes to reflect the language and culture of your intended new audience, for example when translating your content from English to Indian. At other times, for example if adapting from UK English to US English, it may just require a few small changes to ensure the content remains culturally relevant and appropriate.
There may even be times when it makes sense to adapt your content for different regions of one country.
Translating your site using Google Translate
This may seem like the most straightforward way to localise your content, and Google Translate can certainly form part of the process. But we all know it is not always 100% accurate.
Google Translate takes no account of cultural nuances and will translate idioms and local phrases word for word in the same way it does the bulk of your content. Relying wholly on Google Translate will almost certainly lead to a situation where you have content that makes no sense to your new audience or worse, is insensitive or offensive.
It can be a good starting point, but human intervention is required to make the content truly relevant to your intended audience.
The importance of language in the process
There are several high-profile cases of companies who got it horribly wrong when translating their content:
- KFCs ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ slogan was presented to a Chinese audience as ‘Eat Your Fingers Off’
- American Airlines ‘Fly in Leather’ tagline was translated into Mexican as ‘Fly Naked’
- US beer manufacturer Coors translated ‘Turn in Loose’ into Spanish only to discover its new meaning was ‘Suffer from Diarrhoea’
Wherever you go in the world, language is full of nuances that often make sense only to natives. Italians use the phrase ‘In bocca al lupo’ to wish somebody good luck. The phrase translates literally as ‘In the mouth of the wolf’. It’s easy to see how this phrase could be confusing to natives of other countries if directly translated.
The English version of ‘In bocca al lupo’ is ‘Break a leg’. To anybody outside of the UK this may seem an odd way to wish somebody well and it could be disastrous if translated to another language.
But while phrases such as these have the potential to go so wrong when translated, they are the exact types of local dialect that marketers look for when trying to connect with an audience. Marketing copy is often full of local dialect, made up phrases that mean nothing outside of their original context (remember ‘Don’t just do it, B&Q it’) and puns that only work in their native language.
These are often the most important parts of the content as they establish the intended audience, define the brand and speak directly to the target market. These must be translated into something that is equally appealing to the new market – but rarely will a direct translation be the answer.
B2B marketing and localisation
B2B marketing is no longer the staid, transactional process it was once seen as. Globalisation coupled with the way people of all generations now accept digital marketing as the primary way to source any product or service, have catapulted B2B marketing into the digital transformation.
Localised content is now translated and adapted in the same way for B2B as it is for B2C. It allows B2B marketers to speak to rather than at prospects and to engage with them in a way that is professional without being overly formal.
One of the key principles of digital marketing in the modern age is finding content that resonates with your audience. This can be through videos or images that are culturally relevant as well as with words that connect with your audience and show you ‘get’ them.
A good B2B content marketing strategy is created by determining your brand message and the way you want that to connect your brand with your intended audience. By getting to the crux of how you want your brand to be relatable, you will create a strategy that is adaptable to any market because you are able to convey the underlying principle to creatives who understand the local market you are targeting and have them produce something that fits even if, on the face of it, it seems very different from the marketing material you use in your home country.
Best practice in marketing localisation
The first and most important thing to remember when creating localised content is that you must start work on it as soon as you decide to move into a new market. You can’t expect to establish yourself in the market and then adapt your content as you will spend the initial weeks or months deliberately distancing your brand from your target market. Content must be localised from day one.
Most brands typically have the same types of content:
- Brand content (About us, vision, mission statement etc)
- Marketing content (Landing pages, blog posts, product pages, social media posts)
- Technical content (Manuals, how to…, product descriptions, user guides, FAQs)
- Back-end content (Form entries, number formats etc)
- Contact information
Each of these is treated differently when it comes to creating localised content.
The majority of this will be fairly simple to translate and will only require minor edits to make sure it is accurate and written appropriately for your target audience. Remember, readability is a key part of SEO and your content will need to gain the approval of Google’s web crawlers for the locality you are targeting.
This is what really connects you with your target market. It is likely to use idioms, slang terms and images/videos that appeal to your audience as you aim to create an emotional connection with them. It is vital that you make sure this content conveys your intended meaning after being translated and is not likely to cause offence or drive people away.
This must be accurate. As with marketing content, nuances can make a difference and getting this wrong can damage the trust your clients have in you.
There is no place for ambiguity here. Everything you say must be truthful and line with local laws and regulations.
It would be easy to forget this when creating localised content but that could have serious implications. For example, in some countries, it is normal to have just one name. While users could feasibly fill in a box for a second name to fulfil your criteria and sign up, the likelihood is that they will feel put out by this and choose to go elsewhere. Even if they do decide to sign up, this does not show your business in a good light. Likewise, different countries have different standard date formats. Getting these details right will almost certainly go unnoticed. But getting them wrong is potentially damaging for your reputation.
Your content localisation strategy should be based on these 4 core principles:
1. Know your market – If you don’t have in-depth understanding of the market yourself, find an agency that does
2. Translate, localise and optimise – Be aware of cultural nuances and SEO techniques for your target market
3. Promote your content – You have content that you can be proud of, so get it out there. And use those local experts to help craft your blogs and socials too.
4. Analyse, amend and expand – You’d do it with your marketing materials in your home country, so do it with your localised content too. Just because it’s not rude or offensive, there is no guarantee that your localised content will work. If you’re using A/B testing, make sure all iterations are accurate and appropriate.
Success with localised content is about balancing cultural and linguistic nuances with your branding. At Fascinatid, we work with companies from all around the world, helping them to target the right customers, in the right locations, with the right content.For more details and to discuss how we can help make your localised content impactive and effective, get in touch today.
SEO is a topic that has slowly become more commonly understood and spoken about, even outside of the marketing world, as more people start to realise the value in getting to grips with SEO. However, as this awareness of the subject grows, some people start to worry that they can’t ask questions about SEO, for fear of sounding like they don’t have a clue what they are doing.
The truth is, SEO involves so many different elements and it is evolving all of the time, so there are very few experts that know every single aspect of SEO and are fully up to date with the latest trends and best practices. Whether you are completely new to SEO, or you have a basic understanding, if SEO is not your area of expertise, don’t worry, here are some of the most common questions that people don’t like to ask about SEO:
- What is SEO?
Even if you think you have a basic understanding of what SEO is, it might help to look at this in more detail. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is essentially a set of techniques that will help your website to be more visible in search results. In other words, if you apply good SEO techniques to your website and content, when somebody uses Google, Bing or any other search engine to search for services you provide, you have a better chance of them finding your website.
- What is the difference between paid results and organic?
There are two main ways to get more traffic to your website, one is through paid search results, which is where you pay Google or another advertiser to appear at the top of the results. The other way is organic search results, where an algorithm analyses websites to determine where they should stand in the search results. This involves how effective the SEO techniques are on the website, i.e. how well they perform against the priorities set by the algorithm.
- What are meta descriptions? How important are they?
The meta description is the section of text that is displayed below your page when it is shown in search results. This content is important as it helps to make it more compelling for a user to click through to your website, so it is worth spending a bit of time getting this section of text perfected to drive more conversions.
- Do I need to optimize my domain name to include keywords?
Whilst there are some benefits of having a domain name that includes a keyword, this is not the most important consideration. Having a domain name that is long and difficult to remember will really harm your SEO, so don’t try and force a keyword in just for the sake of it if the short and snappy domains with that keyword have all been taken.
- What is the difference between an inbound and an internal link?
This is an area that people confuse quite a lot and you can see why! To clarify, an inbound link is one where another website links to your content. Internal links, on the other hand, are ones within your website that go from one page to another.
- Is there a difference between indexing and crawling?
Crawling is the process where search engines ‘crawl’ through your content to review it before determining how or whether it will be indexed. Indexing is basically how the content is organised, a database of the content. Some content will be crawled but then won’t get indexed.
Hopefully, that will have answered some of those questions that you were too embarrassed to ask.
When you set up a new website and spend lots of time and effort getting the content right, there is one more important thing that you need to consider – auditing your website on a regular basis. Having fresh, topical content shows that your business is up to date with the current trends and information and positions you as a company with authority in your area of expertise.
Here are some tips on how to perform high quality audits on your content, which will enable you to get better organic traffic to your website:
Using Google Analytics
To start with you should have Google Analytics running on your blog/website, and you want to have a look at the data from the last year or more, so go to the following:
Behaviour > Site content > All pages
Then update the date range to get at least the last 12 months of data. You will see all of your traffic data for that period and you can now export the data in a spreadsheet to analyse it in more detail.
As well as looking at the traffic, there are metrics such as whether pages/blogs have any backlinks, which would usually indicate the content is worthwhile keeping. To find out whether there are any backlinks, you can use tools from Ahrefs or Majestic.
Create your audit spreadsheet
Sort your posts from highest traffic to lower traffic and this is the beginning of the audit process. It is a good idea to add additional columns to your spreadsheet to ensure you are regularly auditing the most important factors that will help you to decide the next steps.
The key actions and considerations are:
- Is the post getting consistent traffic?
- Does the post receive seasonal spikes in traffic? (you may need to put the date range further back for this)
- Which topics/themes/categories are the most popular?
- Are there any posts that receive no hits at all?
You will also need to look at the pages to check for issues that require fixing or updating as they can impact the quality of your content, including:
- Any content that is out of date/incorrect information
- Broken or slow loading images
- Formatting that looks messy/strange
- Any links that are broken
Running through each of these audit actions will then give you the basis to make a decision on whether you will keep the content, delete it, or do something different with it.
In the last column on your spreadsheet you should indicate whether to:
- Keep the content as it is (as it is working well and getting good traffic)
- Keep it but update it or repurpose it to make it more relevant and current
- Delete it completely (getting very little or no traffic)
- Delete it and redirect to a post that is more useful
Once you have completed this last exercise, you can perform the required actions and your website/blog will be geared up to benefit from more organic traffic. It will also give you a much better idea of what type of content is working well, so that you can continue to create similarly popular content going forward.
The key to SEO is understanding what Google wants. And the key to understanding what Google wants is knowing the search intention of users. As with all aspects of your website, when it comes to your content, you should review it regularly as part of your SEO audit – at least once a quarter is recommended. In this article, you’ll learn about on-site SEO. This is a crucial aspect of your SEO strategy as it is the part over which you have full control. And one of the first things to check is your existing content.
So, let’s start unpacking how to make the most of your on-site SEO.
Understand what Google wants
Google is powered by sophisticated algorithms designed to deliver the most relevant and valuable pages in response to search terms. One of the challenges of optimising your web pages is that Google doesn’t provide much information about how it determines rankings. And as those algorithms are updated or amended thousands of times a year, any such information would be pretty useless anyway.
Fortunately, SEO specialists have been able to identify some of the major factors that influence how your pages rank.
As Google algorithms become ever more complex, they try to replicate users when crawling with a focus on what is known as EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness).
Let’s take a look at each of these in order as they should form the fundamental basis for your on-site SEO.
Experts know what they’re talking about. So, one of the ways in which Google tries to identify how much of an expert you are is by determining who wrote your article and what they know on the subject.
Author profiles are becoming increasingly valuable as they allow web crawlers to identify who wrote an article and then take a look at their entire online presence to assess their level of expertise.
Adding an author profile to your existing content can give it authority and make it rank higher. And remember, you don’t have to attribute it to the actual author. Sure, if you have an expert blogger writing for you who specialises in your niche, it makes sense to include their profile.
But it may be that your CEO has a large following on LinkedIn and posts industry-specific content regularly. This will position them as an expert in the eyes of Google and help your blog page rank higher.
You will also get the benefit that when people share the post or repost other LinkedIn content written by your CEO, this feeds into building and enhancing their status and further improving your SEO.
When other experts are citing your content, you move from mere expert into the realms of authority. The same goes for non-experts sharing your work. Each time somebody quotes your content or adds a link to it from their own site, your authority is recognised.
So, authority comes, not just from being an expert in your subject matter, but from being able to convey it to your audience.
There are very few quick wins when building authority – particularly when talking about old content. But one thing you can do is check it for accuracy. Are the stats you used still relevant? Have any experts that you cited lost credibility or fallen foul of cancel culture? Is the content still relevant or have things moved on?
If it is no longer useful content, delete it. If it needs a few tweaks to make it relevant, edit it. If it requires an additional paragraph or two to reflect changes, prioritise writing and adding them.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what you look for when determining trustworthiness.
Things to look out for include:
- A physical address linked to your website
- A clear way of contacting your business
- Ensuring your domain is secure (security is very important to Google)
- A clear refunds and returns policy if applicable
- Evidence of adherence to any regulatory schemes
- Awards or recognitions from recognised independent verification schemes
By amending your existing content to fit these suggestions you can start to build a reputation for expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
One thing to keep in mind is that the days of adapting or adding content to your site and hitting page one of Google overnight are long behind us. Google values quality as it has its own reputation as the number one search engine to uphold and these days consistency and patience are key.
A strong title and meta description are key
A page title is the line of text (usually in blue) that you see when search engine results are returned. The meta description is what comes below the page title and gives a little more information on what the page is all about.
Google doesn’t index websites, it indexes web pages. Each page needs a unique title and description – and both need to be relevant to the content. This is something Google will search fort when crawling your site, but it is also part of providing value to users.
When a user clicks on pages that are not relevant to their search term, they go back to their results and try a different site. The obvious assumption for the algorithms to make is that your page was of no value and this will harm your SEO. It will also be detrimental in your quest to build a reputation for expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
Make them engaging
Page titles and meta descriptions must be engaging. This is what will show up in search results and will often be the first impression of your site and your business for potential new clients.
Both are key to your click through rate (CTR). Think of them as a headline and tagline. Whether you compare them with traditional newspaper adverts or modern click bait, the principle is the same. The headline must grab your readers’ attention and the meta description must tell them that your page is the solution they are searching for.
If you haven’t written your own page title and description, Google will write one for you based on its reading of the page content. This might sound like a great idea but, in truth, it will almost certainly be uninspiring. And it may not even be relevant to what you think your page is all about.
How to write an effective page title and meta description
When it comes to writing your title and meta description there are a few SEO techniques to consider. But before we come on to those, it’s important that you spend time thinking about who this particular page of your website is targeted at and what problem it solves.
Firstly, as we’re dealing here with existing pages on your site, check out the current page title and description.
- Is it clear what the page is all about?
- Is it inspiring?
- Does it tap into an emotion?
- Does it include keywords?
- Is there a clear call to action (CTA)?
- Is the text truncated or cut off?
- Would you click this link?
When you come to updating your meta descriptions, think about your USP. What makes your page better than those of your competitors? What are the pain points for people using search terms that will land them on your page?
Meaningful descriptions that target an emotional response make strong titles and meta descriptions.
How long should a page title and meta description be?
But writing your title and description are just the start. The next thing is to make them the right length. As a rule, your title should be a maximum of 70 characters for a desktop device and 60 characters for a mobile device. This is just a guide as the size is based on pixels rather than number of characters. The easiest way to find out if your title fits the limit is to carry out your own search on both types of device.
Your meta description should be a minimum of 70 characters regardless of device. The maximum for a PC or laptop is 155 characters and for a mobile device it is 130. If it is too long, you must shorten it. Neither Google nor users are fans of incomplete descriptions so it will adversely affect your click through rate if you don’t.
SEO for page titles and meta descriptions
The trick is to edit your page title and meta description and condense them to fit the character limit. Every character must earn its place. Be sure to apply the other SEO principles too:
- Go for a maximum of two sentences in your description
- Target a pain point
- Try to stir an emotion in the reader
- Use the keyword towards the beginning of the description
- Make the title and description relevant to the content
Examples of words to use that will grab the eye are:
Keyword research begins with your own knowledge of your target market. In its most basic form it is writing down the types of words and phrases your users might enter into a search engine.
Now, enter those keywords into a keyword search tool like Google Keyword Planner. The planner will tell you how many searches are made per month for those search terms. It will also suggest similar search terms and show you how often they are searched for. Sometimes, ranking higher in search engine results is as simple as tweaking your keywords.
One of the problems this research might throw up is that you are using popular keywords but not gaining any traction. Often that is simply down to the fact that the biggest names have cornered the market for the most popular search terms. Search for pretty much any item and it’s available on Amazon. And surprise, surprise, you’re going to struggle to compete with them.
Use long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases rather than just words. They are more specific and have a much lower search rate – but that can be to your advantage.
For example, as a local plumber, you’re unlikely to rank very highly for search terms such as ‘plumber’ or ‘plumbing services’. But do you want to? These are broad search terms that could be anything from vague interest to someone doing a school project.
A long tail keyword like ‘24/7 plumber in London’ will have far fewer searches but anyone entering that search term into Google is more likely to be a prospective client. And this is a search term you would have a much better chance of ranking highly for.
Keyword research takes time
This is the crux of the matter. Time is the one thing many business leaders don’t have but it is integral to getting your keyword strategy spot on.
The problem is that what you think you should be ranking highly for and what your target users are actually searching for are not always the same thing. To refer back to what we said at the beginning of the article, is understanding the search intentions of your users. You can only find out the best search terms by regularly reviewing your own stats and the websites of your top performing competitors.
The key is to identify the search terms that are most relevant to your product or service and then organically spread them throughout your content in the most strategic places:
- Meta description
- H1 heading
- Some H2 and H3 headings
- The top of the page
- The bottom of the page
It’s what is known as ‘inbound marketing’ – that is identifying the queries that are coming in and responding to them rather than putting out content that appeals to you and hoping your target audience finds it.
On-site SEO is something you are in control of and strangely, this can lead to it being viewed as the simpler side of SEO. Business leaders who invest in off-site SEO have been known to try cutting costs by investing neither time nor money in on-site SEO. But the two are not mutually exclusive. Off-site SEO will fail if it is not complemented by those aspects which are in your control.
And both are an ongoing concern. Google is constantly looking to enhance its service and your SEO strategy must keep up with it.
About the company
Fascinatid offers complete digital marketing and SEO services to companies all around the world. We take time to understand your goals and research your market before getting to work on an SEO strategy bespoke crafted to your needs.
We combine off-site and on-site SEO that work in synergy. And we provide the consistency of content and social media presence that helps you achieve what Google is looking for on every page of your site – expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
Google Search Console, which was previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, helps businesses to optimise their website for search engines. If you are not familiar with it, you should find out a bit more about what it could do for your business website. Here are some of the best features:
Remove any errors
Errors such as broken links on your website can have a big impact on your search engine performance and for bigger websites, doing a manual audit can take up considerable amounts of time. However, with Google Search Console, you can pull up a list of 404 errors (where links have been broken). For example, you might have linked to some content that has since been removed. All you need to do is go to: Crawl > Crawl errors and you will get a generated list of any 404 errors that are on your website and affecting your SEO performance. WordPress users can use a plugin such as SEO Redirection plugin to create redirects for broken links.
Get to understand your keywords better
Google Search Console can also help you to get more information about the keywords that you should be using on your website to perform better in terms of SEO. There is a set of metrics under Search Traffic > Search Analytics report that will help you to find out key information about which search terms people are using that are leading to click throughs or impressions on your website.
From the reports, you can also learn which types of queries your website is ranking for and how each of your website’s pages are performing in Search. You can also see how the three different types of content are working, as the data is split between web, images and video. So, you can see if you are performing particularly lower with one of these to put a remedial action into place.
Index your website
This is the most important part of all because if your website isn’t in Google’s index, it won’t be able to find your pages in searches. The two ways you can make sure that your website is indexed are to create a sitemap and to use links. There are tools that will generate sitemaps for you, such as the XML Sitemap Generator tool or similar.
Check and optimise your link profile
Another useful feature of Google Search Console is that you can use it to find the links that point to your website and you can ‘Disavow’ them. This means that you can remove links from any low authority or spammy websites, to prevent them from harming your search performance. You can check for this under Search Traffic > Links where you can then download the list of sites that are linked to your website under Download Latest Links. Then you can check each link to see whether to remove it or not.
These are just a few of the really powerful features within Google Search Console that you can utilise in order to ensure that your website is performing well to achieve high search engine results and keep your website looking professional.
We’re here to help you get found on Google and grow your customer base by leveraging our expertise in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media management.
Ready to level-up your digital footprint?
Get in touch with Fascinatid to learn more about the inbound growth package.