Digital Strategy Discussed in Bitesize:
The digital marketing landscape is evolving at a very fast rate. For a business to succeed and grow its audience online it needs to strike a clear balance between knowing its various stakeholders and its capabilities. A digital strategy can be defined as a business strategy aimed at fulfilling its business goals online or using digital media. Anyone who has done business studies will agree that with careful thinking you can break down strategy steps into actionable bits which we will list below to help those who class themselves as beginners.
- Do a SWOT analysis – SWOT stands for Strengths – help you build and often needs to be enhanced, Weaknesses – are areas that you as a business need to resolve and reduce them to absolute zero where possible, Opportunities – that could be exploited need to be maximised on and also expanded on, Threats – are areas you have to avoid and maybe the right word is thwarted if they are already affecting your business.
- Ask yourself, What do your customers want and having data from analytics and your CRM(Customer relationship management) tools will help along the way. Getting a picture of your target client requires you to develop customer personas following their behaviours.
- You need to define your value proposition, this is what the customer will get as a benefit and how that ties to the product you are offering. Remember the customers often define your brand.
- To measure progress, you will need to set measurable goals and Key performance indicators (KPIs) – this will define your success. Do you want to increase business online audience, what sort of quality leads are you getting, and what value or profit do you get from, and therefore, the lifetime value of a customer comes into play.
- After all this, you can now outline your plan – Do you want to promote and build awareness of your business brand either using the various channels like SEO, PPC, etc, how will you interact with your online audience and persuade them to buy online and covert to a sales, and finally what will the longterm plan be to maintain that customer for more repeat business and build that loyalty base.
SEO for Beginners WordPress Guide
Before we venture more into this WordPress guide on SEO for Beginners we thought this blog done by Simba Digital team was worth a read: They offer simple SEO tips in a nutshell of everything one oughts to do to have a great chance of success online by only targeting free natural traffic through keywords and topics. If you wish to enquire and speak to their search engine optimisation expert please visit this page for more details: www.simbadigitalmarketing.com/seo-company
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an opensource content management system for creating websites and this platform that uses MySQL database and is coded in a language called PHP. The fact that it is opensource means it an excellent platform for creating all sorts of websites from static to dynamic and also eCommerce websites with the use of addons like Woocommerce and since it’s licensed under GPLv2, it means anyone can modify this software for free.
The latest statistics indicate that more than 35% of the world’s websites run on WordPress.
There are two types of WordPress: WordPress.org(free to install) and WordPress.com(for profit). The WordPress we are talking about is WordPress.org which allows you to install and even self-host it under your own domain for free. We will discuss about self-hosting below after we mention what sort of websites WordPress can support.
What websites can WordPress support:
WordPress, as mentioned above, can support pretty much anything but we will list a few here:
- eCommerce online shops
- Business websites
- Membership service sites
WordPress Best Webhosting Services
Because WordPress is so popular you will find that there are loads os web hosting services available. if you are a new blogger or a small business we would recommend reading more about the best cheap web hosting services from this article: https://www.bestwebhostingservices.co.uk/ . You will also find additional SEO tips to ensure you get the best server speeds, cache plugins, free domain with any hosting package, and most importantly you will get your website secured as they offer free SSL certificate for your domain.
SEO Basics for Beginners
The majority of people will not have the money to pay for a skilled SEO agency to help them drive their online traffic up the roof and therefore knowing the basics might help you go a long way if you want to take this challenge by yourself. Remember you are not operating in a vacuum and will be competing with businesses in the same niche who have outsourced to the best in the industry in doing local SEO and national and global search engine optimisation.
For you to succeed you have to engage your philosophical brain and declare to yourself that SEO is not complicated and if you do the basics right you might be on to a winner. If you have never done SEO before use your business mind to run your website like a business. So what would you consider?
- What are my customers interested in and therefore, what would they search for (target keywords)
- Is my website optimised for what they are searching for i.e. with the search query keywords I identified above
- Is my website visible for people to find (humans and search engine)
- Do I have interesting content to share or other people will find resourceful to also link to (infographics, surveys, etc)
- Can we measure the results(goals & KPIs)
#1. Identifying target keywords by learning what people are searching for
You can’t always optimise your website without knowing what people are searching for. How do I know what they are searching for? The easiest way is by using search engines like Google.
Type what you think you would search if you were looking for a service you offer. For example, I sell cat litter so my thoughts would be to type cat litter on Google.
However, just to act a little stupid and ask a long wind query on Google will also show you some common similarity of what main keywords you ought to target for your main pages about cat litter.
Having skimmed through the results on Google we can see that most of the top SERPs (search engine ranking positions) results show that majority of the pages use the main keyword “CAT LITTER” on their page title with variations of types available added to supplement the title. This should be a good indication and then from here, you need to check the keyword volume which you can use some paid tools to get these keywords or find free ones online. Google is also good at letting you see what other people have been recently searching and will also give you suggestions on topics currently indicated in the above diagram as People also ask: Is there a shortage of cat litter?, What is the cheapest cat litter?, How much does cat litter cost?
Other places you can get keywords include a podcast, forums, Facebook, Reddit, etc.
#2. Create keyword-rich landing pages
Good research for the keywords to use is the very foundation of ensuring you attract more natural traffic. Once that is done you need to ensure your landing pages have been optimised in what SEO consultants call on-page SEO or on page optimisation which we tend to use plugins like Yoast SEO to help meet som traffic lights signals on various elements which include, keywords in the page title, keywords in the headings h1,h2,h3, keyword in the meta description, schemas inserted in the pages if you are selling products, reviews to send good trust signals.
To start, please ensure you create content that goes hand in hand with the intent i.e. search intent. As discussed in SEO tips before we have 3 types of keywords: 1. Navigational keywords which help if you looking for a specific website e.g. Simba Digital company which is also related to the brand term, 2. Informational keywords are the keywords that we use if we want to learn more about a specific topic e.g. tips on how to choose the best digital company, 3. Transactional keywords are those that aim to seal the deal if its a lead or a purchase e.g. SEO consultation
In order to enhance levels of success you need you page to be well optimised this involves using short descriptive URLs, compelling meta titles and descriptions, optimise images used by adding alt text & title, create a logical structure using headings 1,2,3, etc, and use schemas which include such things like reviews, star ratings, organisational data, etc.
#3. Make your website visible to everyone
I used to work in an agency and there was this particular web designer who would always forget to untick one box on his WordPress website and when after months of the client having his website he would contact us saying his website is not visible and the descriptions say it just another WordPress site. This was upsetting and I guess he probably still does that. This is the reason why I normally say before you launch a website please consult with an SEO specialist or even better whilst you go about the design phase please get some advice from an SEO expert so that you know your website will be optimised well both for the public to view and also easy for the search engines spiders and bots to crawl.
Remember to untick this so that the website is visible to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and other search engines.
Other tips to remember are ensuring your website loads faster and every second your website is slow to load you lose potential clients. To be exact 40% of website visitors will leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Ensure you have a mobile-friendly website as we know that Google has moved to mobile first indexing since 60% of all website traffic runs on portable devices. Get your website secure by installing an SSL to avoid Google telling people your website is insecure, more importantly, having an https structure is now officially one of Googles many ranking signals. Add sitemaps and robox.txt files
#4. Get people linking to your website
Any SEO strategy worth its salts will have link acquisition at the forefront. You have to be ready to invest your resources in link building just as you invest in content. According to Andrey Lipattsev, one of Google’s senior strategists. He pointed out that Link, Content, and RankBrain are the 3 most important ranking factors used by Google’s algorithm. See this Youtube Q&A video.
If your content is great, you can use tools like AHREFs to find which domains are linking to pages similar to yours and ask them to link to your resource page too. You will be surprised how effective this method can be when you have great content than your competitors. Another trick is to find websites linking to broken or dead 404 pages and they can swap that dead content link for your content as a replacement instead of their visitors hitting a 404 error page. Guest post is another way of link acquisition and Google is not against this unless your doing it just to build links and not inform or educate their audience.
Therefore in summary, please follow these rules to ensure you’re adhering to Google best practice.
- Create high quality content that is helpful to the audience being targeted,
- You publish on high authority sites with large relevant target readers,
- You only link to relevant pages that will expand the reader’s knowledge to the topic i.e. relevant resources.
#5. Tracking the success of your SEO using Analytics and other Goals & KPI’s
We normally say, follow the KISS effect (Keep It Short & Simple or Keep It Simple Stupid), I prefer the former rather than latter.
Therefore, with this in mind, track your organics traffic, track your keyword ranking, keep an eye on your visibility i.e. keywords your content gets discovered for.
For Local SEO we thought we would just mention that you need to optimise your Google My Business(GMB) for a more enhanced visibility score. Start by getting everything manageable by mobile where possible and lately we have seen Google provide apps to best manage how people see your business.
How to share your Google My Business listing on mobile: Local SEO
Google has introduced a new feature that allows business listings to use short names that will allow them to share with their online customers and also make it easy for them to save it for future use if they need to contact your business directly.
Simple instructions on how to do this can be found on the Googles support page here:
- You will need a Google My Business app which is both available for both Android and Apple portable devices, you will need to login
- Tap to open you Profile
- The top right corner of the app, tap on the Share icon
- If you haven’t created a short name for your business, you will be prompted to choose a name and create one
- Simply copy your new Short URL and then share it with your customer.