If you’re not sure why you need a digital marketing strategy, then you’re in the right place!
Digital marketing can be a very tricky thing to navigate.
A digital marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how your business will achieve its marketing goals via online channels like search and social media.
Digital marketing covers many forms such as social media to email marketing, website SEO and strategy. In practice, any marketing which uses electronic devices is digital marketing.
Luckily, there are lots of tools and resources available to help small businesses get started with their digital marketing efforts.
In fact, many of them are free! Here are some reasons why we think every business should have a digital marketing strategy in place:
1. It lets you understand where your customers are online
A digital marketing strategy is essential to making sense of the world of online marketing. It lets you understand where your customers are online, how they interact with you and each other, as well as what kind of digital experience they want from you.
Currently, there are more social media platforms available than we can count on both hands, this means that you need to understand where your customers are to ensure that you are posting content on the right platform.
A good digital marketing strategy will help you see trends in customer behaviour and identify areas for improvement or innovation. This is especially useful if your product/service is a seasonal item which will naturally have peaks and troughs in engagement.
You can also use this information to develop a content strategy that matches your audience’s needs and interests.
2. It helps you to understand what your customers are looking for
A digital marketing strategy helps you to understand what your customers are looking for.
This can be achieved through customer research, customer feedback and insights.
Each step along the way will help you to better target your audience and create more relevant content that meets their needs.
Producing content for the sake of producing content is not a viable marketing strategy. If your audience is not interested in the content you are producing, then you are wasting valuable time and energy which could be better placed elsewhere.
3. It will help you to become more focused with your marketing activities
A digital marketing strategy is a plan that helps you to focus on the right activities. It also allows you to measure the success of your efforts so that you can improve them over time.
It’s important to focus on the right things because if you don’t, then you won’t be able to achieve your business goals or meet customer expectations and this could end up costing you money and customers!
Focusing on the wrong marketing activities, or not having a focus at all, can result in poor marketing performance overall. An example of this is keyword research.
Keyword research is vital for SEO efforts to ensure you are ranking for the correct keywords. If you do not focus on keyword research, you may rank for keywords which no one is searching for, or you may not SEO optimise your website at all.
4. You’ll be able to make improvements in real time
The beauty of digital marketing is that it’s so flexible. Unlike traditional marketing strategies, you can make changes on the fly based on feedback from your customers.
With digital marketing, you’re not committed to any one medium or channel—you can use paid advertising such as Facebook ads, or organic strategies like blogging and email marketing.
If something isn’t working for you, stop doing it!
After all, what’s the point of wasting money if it doesn’t work? This is why having a digital strategy helps so much: You’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t by looking at your analytics and feedback from customers.
Plus, if something isn’t working well enough yet but could be improved upon with more resources (like more content creation), then you won’t need to invest in other channels until these efforts eventually bear fruit.
5. It helps create a consistent message across all of your channels
When you have a digital marketing strategy in place, it helps you create a consistent message across all of your channels. This is important because consistency builds trust with your audience and helps build your brand and authority.
Similarly, to using the same branding colours, logo and slogans across your channels, it is also important to use the same tone of voice in all of your writing to ensure your brand remains consistent.
A great way to ensure your content stays consistent across all of your digital marketing channels is to repurpose content. For example, if you create a blog post, you could then split that blog post into 5 social media posts!
In summary, you need a digital marketing strategy because it will help you to grow your business. The more focused and consistent your message is, the more likely people will be to engage with your company.
If you want a digital marketing strategy but need help to create and execute it successfully then get in touch with CREATIVE in TiME now to find out how we can help you.
I’ve been there, directing or managing a sales and marketing operation and needing marketing support to deliver. You don’t have dedicated marketing resources for what you need, or you do have marketing resources but there are aspects that you need more support with.
Then you get a warm referral from someone you know, you start talking needs and prices, and then you sign up with a marketing agency for support of some kind.
Maybe it’s putting articles out, or looking after your social media. Maybe it’s keeping your website updated with case studies. Or maybe it’s PR, or just maybe you go as far as wanting creative support and ideas.
Then, gradually, after several months, you find yourself wondering…
Is it all WORTH it?
You might find yourself feeling like marketing agencies are a waste of time if your experience is like many others! Feeling like you are either being pestered to provide all the content and ideas that you thought you were paying them for, or that you are chasing them to deliver what they said they were going to deliver!
You don’t have TIME to check up on these folks all the time to see if they are delivering what they promised. If you find you are being let down, you can find it is a bitter pill to swallow and it leaves you heavily biased against marketing agencies in the future!
What I Tell People Who Ask “Is a marketing agency worth it?”
Marketing is a widely misunderstood subject with a great many subcategories that are often even MORE misunderstood.
Marketing agencies are worth it if you find the right people to work with who understand your business AND have the skills to make a difference, PLUS have the time to do what they say.
If I tell people we focus on HELPING people with content marketing and organic SEO through blogs and web page updates, they mostly look at me as though I am talking in a foreign language.
When I tell people we are a marketing agency, they will often assume we make flyers and posters, or we do PR campaigns.
“If I have learnt anything through 20 years in Technology and Engineering companies, outsourcing is never easy.”
Whether that’s getting hundreds of engineers set up in a faraway country with an aim to save time and money on a multi-million-pound development (which is hit and miss), or trying to get people to understand you and your business so that they can market you, without you having to spoon-feed them constantly, it can be a thorny road.
I also know that employing people directly, trying to get as many competencies and skills in as few people as possible for the best price can be just as frustrating and challenging, not to mention how many people get comfy and a little lazy in their jobs past their probation period.
Determined to Be DIFFERENT…
So, having been down the road where so many companies find themselves, when my partner and I decided that we were going to launch a marketing agency and focus on helping people get found, I knew we were going to be DIFFERENT.
We were determined to be different.
With my background in industries like F1, Aerospace, H2 Fuel Cells, Rail, Electronics, IoT and Software through a career climbing from a project engineer to director overseeing sales & marketing operations, we knew what was MISSING from those I want to help.
How many marketing agencies have a chartered engineer and engineering fellow on hand to translate for you?
Add to that my partner, Andrea, who has 20 years of being a successful marketeer for her own business start-ups, running networking organisations, and has amazing communication skills which help her get over the line with businesses and allows her to easily translate technical terms in a simplistic way.
Let’s not forget about our marketing team who are highly motivated, always on top of the trends and full to the brim of innovative and inspiring ideas.
How many agencies have this kind of SUPPORT on hand?
Imagine a world where a techy oriented company can talk to a marketing agency, and for those marketing folks to GET what they do, really UNDERSTAND them, have TECHNICAL competence, and a passionate and motivated team focussed on getting you found?
Well, that’s what we’ve done with CREATIVE in TIME!
Working With Us
Does it sound too good to be true?
That’s because there aren’t many agencies like us. It works perfectly. Once you’ve explained your business and how you help your customers, we can delve into the technical depths of what you do. This ensures we can translate it into simple language for your customers to understand HOW you can help THEM, and WHY they would choose YOU!
I hate to say it but WHAT you do is of mostly no interest to your potential clients.
With over 20 years working around techy oriented companies, I always found myself being the bridge between the proper techies and the more financial and business’ type folks. I could understand both sides without being an expert in either.
I could explain the benefits of developing a bit of tech in a way a techie couldn’t, they will tell you all about what they need to do, I will tell you the benefits of what they need to do, and how much it will all cost.
So, we realised we would be the bridge for complex or techy companies that need marketing support, we have built a team of amazing marketing execs that get trained by us in what our customers do, how they help people and why they should work with them.
One Way We Are Different
There’s one more ingredient in our mix other than our techy know-how. Whilst we are extremely familiar with CORPORATE environments including CxO level folks, we are persuading those same types to allow a little more fun to be injected into their messaging and put a little less “corporate” out there.
People engage with FUN content, rather than the same old boring corporate messaging saying how amazing they are and how people should just buy their products over and over again.
So, if you want to engage with people in a fun (and not quite so corporate way), if you do techy things that are often hard to explain to people outside of your business, then you could do with some help from some honest, decent and hardworking marketing folks just like us! You’ll be glad you did!
SEO, backlinks, ranking, domain authority, do all of these words mean nothing to you currently? Well once you’re finished here you should be well versed in the world of backlinks.
Did you know that 55.24% of pages don’t have a single backlink?
This is even more mind-blowing when you hear that the top results on Google’s first SERP have 3.8 times more backlinks than results below them!
Backlinks are alive and kicking and just waiting for you to make the most out of them…
First of all, what is a backlink?
Simply put, backlinks (aka incoming links and inbound links) are links from one page to another.
Backlinks are seen by search engines, such as Google, as “votes” for the page.
The more backlinks a page has, the more likely it is to have high organic search rankings and be found. Here at CREATIVE in TiME, we are alllllll about being FOUND!
So, why are backlinks important?
A backlink can be compared to a positive vote. Each time your website receives a backlink, it tells search engines that your content is useful, relevant and trustworthy.
As you may know, Google makes changes regularly to its algorithm however backlinks have always remained as a key ranking factor, building backlinks isn’t going out of style anytime soon so hop on the trend!
Are all backlinks made equal?
No, having a high number of backlinks is perfect however this is only the case for high quality backlinks.
Quality over quantity.
Having a few high quality backlinks is more desirable than having 100 low quality backlinks. Think of it this way, are you more likely to trust a recommendation from a sketchy guy’s website or from Forbes? Exactly.
What makes a quality backlink?
1. It comes from a trusted website
As we have previously mentioned, the website from which you have a backlink is important. This is called having “domain authority”. Domain authority means that the more authority a website has, the more it can pass onto your site through the link.
Backlinks from authority sites have more weight under Google and can easily boost your organic search traffic. This does mean that quality backlinks are harder to get than low quality links, but they are absolutely worth the effort.
2. Your target keyword is in the link’s anchor text
What is anchor text, I hear you ask? Anchor text is the visible text part of your link which people click on.
If possible, you want the anchor text in your links to include your target keyword. Including your target keyword has been shown to cause higher rankings for said keyword.
If you are thinking “this sounds too good to be true”, well you aren’t totally wrong. You want to be careful not to go overboard with keyword-rich anchor text as this can harm you if you’ve done too much.
3. The webpage linking to your site is topically related to you
This is likely the most obvious of all, Google wants to see a relation between your website and the website which is linking to you.
For example, you have written a blog detailing how to bake a cake.
Google will put significantly more weight on backlinks from websites that are related such as baking, cooking and recipes as opposed to websites about fitness and electronics.
Reach out to other people in your industry, you likely already know people who will have relevant websites and may wish to host each other’s backlinks.
4. The link is from a fresh domain
Backlinks from new websites are more effective than websites who have already linked to you. If a website links to you more than once, all links after the first will have lower returns.
Once you have a link from a domain, do not focus your efforts on being linked to AGAIN.
The number of websites linking to you is more important than the total number of links. 50 links from 50 websites is better than 100 links from 1 website.
How do I GET backlinks?
If you want to get backlinks, then you need something for people to link to. You need something that other people will recognise as being worth linking to.
We would recommend:
And anything else that people will want to link to.
For people to link to your website, it needs to be useful and relevant content. Here’s a tip, when creating your content, look at what other people AREN’T doing.
If you are writing a guide then check out what other people are missing, maybe they haven’t included examples or do not have enough detail. If people are looking for the best guide on a topic, ensure that yours will be the most relevant.
Another way to build backlinks is through guest posting. Writing guest posts for quality sites in the same field as you is ideal. Avoid guest posting for unrelated topics as this can look suspicious to Google.
Find websites in your niche that support guest posting and try reaching out to get the ball rolling.
Now, go forth, and get BACKLINKS!
You should now know what backlinks are, why they are important and what links are most desirable for your website.
If your website has backlinks and is still struggling to be found, get in touch with us now. Our team of SEO experts are just waiting to get stuck in!
You can, theoretically, rank for ANYTHING! If people are searching for it, you can rank for it (people can Google some out-of-the-box things). For example, have you ever Googled yourself? I’m sure we’ve all done it, but if you haven’t, I’d strongly recommend doing it after you read this just for a giggle.
If you haven’t started optimising your SEO ranking and want to start, click here to learn HOW to optimise your SEO for your business. If you’re in the process of optimising your SEO, and you’re interested in finding out how to check your SEO ranking, read on!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way in which you can help customers to find your site through search engines such as Google. By improving and optimising your SEO you can drive more traffic to your website and therefore generate more sales.
How to Check Where You Rank on Google
How many have you done this? When you want to see where you rank on Google, you type your website into the search bar and then scroll and scroll, hoping your website pops up in the first few results.
DON’T DO THIS.
Do you know there are websites that do this for you? We’ll touch more on this in a second.
Did you know that web pages rank and not websites? Each of your web pages has the potential to rank, this includes blogs and articles if you write them (which you should, click here to find out why!)
What is a website’s ‘SEO Ranking Position’ on Google?
Google ranking systems are designed to sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in their Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.
In simple terms, to generate an ‘organic’ search result, Google matches every word or phrase you type in the search box to its index of web pages to find matches. What YOU want to do, is get your website to SHOW UP for your keywords and phrases. You do want to be found, right?!
Google displays these matches as search results which are simply lists of web pages in order of relevance. So, the first organic result is the web page Google believes to be the most relevant to your search, and so on.
The Problem with Searching for Your Keywords
If you do show up on the first page of Google when you search your site, this may be wrong. When you sit down at your own computer or pull out your phone and search for yourself, you may not actually be seeing accurate results. Why is this? Well…
This could be down to:
Your Physical Location: When searching, Google takes the searcher’s location into account to tailor the search results to show businesses near them.
Your Browsing History: To get you the most helpful results, Google prioritises sites you’ve visited before in your search results. It will show those sites higher in the search results in case you’re looking for them again. If you visit your site often, then it will automatically show higher.
So, How Can You Truly See Your Accurate SEO Ranking?
There are a variety of websites which can be used to check your website’s SEO ranking and your websites ranking for specific keywords.
On Ubersuggest, you can add your business website as a ‘project’ which allows you to see a variety of statistics about your website such as backlinks, SEO issues, and site speed.
When using Ubersuggest to view your ranking, you should add the keywords that you are trying to rank for so that you can track where your site ranks on Google and when any changes occur such as moving up or down in the rankings.
Top Tip: Set up a project on UberSuggest and see what keywords you rank for higher and lower over time. If you see your keyword falling in ranking, start posting more content or update your current pages with this keyword. You won’t regret it!
Another great tool for checking out mobile speed and SEO is Google Lighthouse.No, we don’t mean those blinding lights that guide boats!
Lighthouse is a page experience tool built by Google. The tool executes five audits for accessibility, performance, SEO, Progressive Web Apps and an extended list of best practices.
Powered by the new Core Web Vitals, these audits together give you an excellent overview of the quality and performance of your mobile website as well as your desktop site, or web app.
We find that Lighthouse is the BEST for checking out site speed. In 2022, site speed is super important to Google, and a lot of websites still don’t have mobile-optimised experiences.
Top Tip: Take a look on Lighthouse (you can find it by right clicking on your site and inspecting element) and see what you can do to make your speed better. For example, do your images take too long to load? Don’t forget, this will need to be on the Google Chrome Browser and not Safari!
Take it from your personal experience, would you stick on a website that is struggling to load? Or would you bounce out and find a faster one? Site speed for the win!
Google Search Console
Another one we swear by is Google Search Console. Through Google Search Console, you can crawl your website, see what people are searching for when they click on your website, check out which keywords get you the most traffic and clicks and so much more.
Google Search Console is a FREE tool and it’s amazing. Every website SHOULD have it set up already, but if you don’t, click here.
Once you have Search Console set up, navigate to the “Performance” tab on the left. Then click the colourful buttons at the top to turn on Total Clicks, Total Impressions, Average Click-Through-Rate, and Average Position.
Top Tip: Google Search Console is also used for submitting sitemaps. If you haven’t submitted your sitemap to Google yet, then you need to do it. NOW. For SEO, having a sitemap is critical to having your important pages indexed, demonstrating which pages are valuable, and having them indexed regularly to make sure only your most-up-to-date content is appearing in search results.
Why should you check your SEO ranking?
You should check your SEO ranking regularly to see where your website is ranking on Google and which keywords you are ranking for.
If you do not keep up to date with the standard of your website, then you will not be able to improve. Find out what keywords you want to be found for and find which ones you are not currently ranking for; Use this information to include these keywords in your future website improvements and content.
Top Tip: Blogs are a great way to be found for keywords. You do not want your website to become cluttered and disorganised due to too many keywords, blogs are a great way to be found online and for people to visit your website.
If you have started optimising your SEO already, brilliant! If you haven’t started, first of all why? Secondly,click here to learn HOW to optimise your SEO for your business.
If you want to check out your SEO ranking and optimise it for your business but don’t know how, then just get in touch! Digital marketing is what we love to do. Click here to book a discovery call now to see how we can help your business.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to know you are getting customers from Google just by following a few steps? Who are we kidding, of course it would be!
With some guidance, using Google My Business is a simple and effective way to reach potential customers and show off the best parts of your business. Brick and mortar businesses and online businesses can both benefit from the effects of Google My Business.
Below we have collated our top 5 steps to help you grow using Google My Business.
1. Share images and videos of your business
PEOPLE buy PEOPLE (cliché but true), not businesses or corporations. Prospective customers love behind-the-scenes shots of what’s going on at your business. Humans are nosey people!
Make the most of your images by choosing the right size to fit its purpose:
Profile picture: Your profile picture is what your customers will recognise your company by on Google. Ensure it is memorable, recognisable and high quality. For a profile picture, your image should be 250×250 pixels.
Cover photo: Your cover photo is also set as your listings preferred image to show first, ideally this is where you can showcase your companies personality, this is not a guarantee that it will show first however. An image of 1080×608 pixels should be used.
Other images: Customers like images, it gives an insight into your business and the people who work there. Use images in Google My Business posts to improve your posts and increase chances of a purchase or booking. Use an image of 720×540 pixels for any additional images.
Videos are rapidly increasing in popularity and effectiveness. With the amount of choice available to consumers, people are doing a quick internet search to find the best product to fit their needs. Videos are exemplary at giving people an up-close in depth look at what you are offering.
Did you know that 81 % of businesses are now using video for marketing?
A video can improve trust in your product and encourage people to make a purchase. After all, 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision.
2. Share your products
A great feature on Google My Business is the ability to add products to your listing. If you have a retail business, adding your best-selling products to your Google listing can boost sales and shows prospective customers your products without even going to your website.
Use this feature to add best sellers and products that you want to push. Use eye catching pictures to draw attention, ensure your product description is succinct but includes enough information about your product to entice a purchase and make sure yourprice is correct!
No one likes going to checkout and noticing a price has gone up unexpectedly, if anything changes regarding your products promptly update your Google listing for it, your customers will appreciate it.
3. Generate reviews
Don’t underestimate the power of online reviews, 93% of consumers say that online reviews have influenced their purchase decisions!
Google My Business reviews are a gold mine for new customers. Don’t be shy to ask for reviews from former and current customers, when prompted most customers are happy to leave a review.
Did you know that Facebook reviews also show up on Google My Business? Now you do!
Online reviews allow for your customers to share their experiences with your business and can bring credibility to your product or service. Negative reviews can have a bad effect on your business, but Google My Business reviews are interactable which means if someone did, hypothetically, leave a bad review you could respond and resolve the issue.
You should RESPOND to all reviews whether they are good or bad by using personalised responses and customer names. Show care and appreciation towards customers as consumers will also be looking for this.
4. Share your events
Whether it is a sale, workshop, price reduction or open house, you should share it! Posting events to your Google My Business page will make it known to more people and can allow for more attendance/engagement. Present your event in a fun and engaging manner, no one wants to sign up for an event that sounds boring or uninformative.
When posting an event, include a link for people to sign up for said event or a link to a product page if there is a sale. Make it simple for customers to get involved, the less steps they need to take the more likely they are to participate.
5. Monitor your analytics
Google My Business insights is a great tool to see how people interact with your listing. If you are implementing our previous tips then you need to monitor their analytics too.
You can view how many people have viewed your photos, how often your business is searched and what actions your customers take such as going to your website amongst many other visibility and engagement statistics.
Keeping track of your analytics can show you what to continue doing and what needs to be improved. If you notice certain Google My Business posts get significant interaction whilst others do not then be FLEXIBLE and consider changing your plan accordingly. As humans we don’t always like change but it is necessary to improve and thrive.
Google My Business is a tool that all businesses should be using, whether small or large, to engage with customers and promote their business.
We hope these tips can allow you to revamp your listing and set your business on the trajectory to success. If you need help getting your marketing on track, just get in touch! Marketing is where we shine.