Top Digital Marketing Techniques for Your Business

People sometimes say that there’s no right or wrong way to market a business, but that is not even the slightest bit true. Some techniques are indisputably more effective than others, while there are also some techniques that are so wrong, they’re more likely to do harm than good.

Common misconceptions
There is plenty of bad advice floating around out there. Not all of it is malicious, often it is simply that those providing the advice don’t realize how hopelessly out of date their recommendations are. The Internet is a constantly changing environment, and to be successful in this environment, we must all be able to adapt in line with these changes.

One of the greatest fallacies is that email newsletters is the best online marketing tool. They’re not entirely useless, and still serve a purpose, but the truth of things is that these days most people get far too much email, and while they may be subscribed to dozens of email lists, they’ll rarely read any of these messages. That being said email newsletters can be extremely valuable if they are used correctly by business marketers.

Other erroneous advice includes that you should limit the amount of textual content you provide on your web pages, that you should write your web page content in formal academic language, and that you should focus all of your attention on young people connecting through mobile apps. Every one of these ideas is false, but you’d be amazed how many people think these are correct approaches.

The ideas that do work
Now it’s time to turn our attention in a positive direction and look at what marketing techniques are more likely to bring you results.

1. Website Integration with Social Media
Too many businesses have a sharp division between their official website and any social media presence they may happen to have. In the worst extremes, a business will have social media only and no official site. These are serious mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. When you have social media marketing and a website working in harmony with each other, beautiful things will arise from that relationship.

2. High value content strategy
This is a real gold mine if you do it properly. The concept is simple: give more to the user through your content than they’re expecting. Most sites are doing the opposite, disappointing users from the outset, so if you’re different for the right reasons you’ll be remembered and maybe even talked about. It means that if you entice a reader to your site, they will find the information they seek, they’ll get the best quality of information available, and you’ll present it in an attractive way. Your content will be easy to navigate and will work flawlessly across a range of different devices.

3. Correct implementation of web apps
We mentioned apps briefly in the section on things you shouldn’t do, so it must come as a surprise to see it here in the recommended techniques section. Well the truth is that you certainly should not make the app the main feature of what you present to the world, and unlike the misguided fools who we were talking about earlier, your app will actually serve a real purpose.

Lots of apps out there don’t really do anything. They just sit there as a permanent ad that’s been installed on somebody’s phone, or they are just a mirror of your business website. A good app serves a purpose and helps your users to accomplish things.

Let’s suppose, for example, your business manufactures wines. The app you produce might help people to locate merchants who stock your products near to where they are, or it might recommend which wine they should select based on the meal they are planning to have. There are endless similar possibilities.

When you are ready to build a great mobile app , make sure that you find a good company with years of experience.

SEO is NOT Dead

Rumors of the death of SEO are greatly exaggerated. In part this is because the public at large has come to associate the term entirely with black hat SEO methods which are indeed rife throughout the industry. Many SEO agencies actively steer their clients towards black hat SEO, which is extremely detrimental to the long term well-being of their clients.

So because people have this tendency to view the SEO industry as being a black hat industry, and because black hat SEO methods are much less successful and rapidly becoming obsolete, this is what has led to the widespread belief that SEO is dead.

There actually is a whole other side to the SEO industry, which as you have probably already guessed is called “white hat SEO”, but because it is so benign, because it makes no waves, it goes largely unnoticed. This is why it hasn’t achieved much fame and why a lot of people don’t really understand it or even know that it exists.

White hat SEO is typically a slower process and requires more work from the SEO agency and content creators to be successful. This is why the majority of SEO agencies were pursuing black hat methods so vigorously and often their clients had no idea of the detrimental effects that they were accumulating, because the agencies pitched only the benefits of SEO to them, and rarely would have provided details of the methods they would use to achieve it.

Both approaches to SEO start from the same place—content—but they differ in their focus and strategy. The black hat crowds are focused more on the search engine side of the equation, while the white hat group are focused more on optimization.

The goal in both cases is to increase search ranking. White hat SEO tries to achieve this goal through a natural organic process, creating better content and getting it shared through honest methods. Black hat SEO attempts it through artificial processes. Instead of creating quality content, black hats use automated tools to scrape content from other sites and then assemble it into an approximately new article. Instead of getting the content shared by actual readers because it is good content, they create entire networks solely for the purpose of sharing content, no matter how awful that content may be.

If all this sounds something like Spy Vs Spy from Mad Magazine, that’s because it really is like that, just without the sophisticated gadgets and weapons. Until this year, the black hats were winning. But Google’s algorithms have deployed counter-measures that are proving effective in turning the tide against black hat SEO.

For you as a site owner, the important thing to understand from all this is that you do still need to make the effort to improve you search engine rank, but you need to work with a team that practices white hat SEO. If you decide not to bother with optimization at all, or if you get tempted over to the dark side, you’ll definitely have cause for regret a little later on.

SEO is not dead, it’s just undergoing a major upheaval. More sites are having to turn over a new leaf and do what they should always have been doing. The obvious path to good search engine results is to create the best content and then get noticed for it. If you follow this simple principle, you can’t really go wrong.

White Hat Link Building = Great Search

Black Hat SEO strategies have become so disgracefully over-used that in many people’s minds they are synonymous with SEO. In other words, these wrongful actions are what most people consider SEO to be, and for that reason they shy away from even the most compelling argument in support of the need for SEO.

Others rush head first to embrace the black hat methods, unaware that there are other ways to achieve the same goal.

The fortunate thing is that white hat SEO is not dead. It just requires careful thought and planning, which is in fact what makes it so unpopular with the rank-and-file Black Hat SEO engineer. They do not care much about the long term prosperity of your site, because that would impact on their business.

Their concern is purely with the short term. If it were not so, it would be impossible for these people to promise every client that they would get them to the number one spot in the search rankings, because there is only one number one spot for each search term. But if they can get you there until your payment has cleared, well then, mission accomplished.

It all actually does matter, because without links to your site, you simply won’t rank at all except on very obscure search terms. On the other hand, if your links are bad ones, Google will hit you very hard in a most unpleasant place to be hit by penalizing your website.

So the obvious thing to do is use white hat link building strategies. It’s a slower process and requires dedication and work. The upside is that it shouldn’t do you any harm, and helps to make the Web a more useful resource with great search results. Here are some of the best ways to build links to your site using white hat SEO methods:

1. Guest Blogging

This means writing free articles for other related sites, in exchange for a link back to your site. It is extremely important that the website you are guest blogging for is related to your website. If the site you are writing a post for is all about coffee and your article is only about shoes, it’s going to raise a red flag. The essential thing is not to abuse it. Write a guest article that will be used on one blog and only one blog.

2. Blog Commenting

Somewhat ironically, one of the most abused black hat SEO tactics is also one of the best white hat tactics. The key point is to be sincere in your comments, to genuinely add value to the post that you’re commenting on, and to be subtle. Again, the matter of posting comments only on blogs that are related to your own website topic is essential, and each comment must be 100% unique. The SEO results of blog commenting is not the same as it was a few years ago, but it can lead to a strong following of new viewers.

3. Editorial Links

These are links placed in editorial content, as part of the content. This of course means that the content where the links are placed must be related to something on your site and anybody following the link wouldn’t feel like they had wasted their time in doing so. Legit editorial links can take a lot of time and effort to secure but it is worth it if you land an editorial link with a top online influencer.

4. Substitution Links

There are articles all over the Web that discuss the very topic that your site does. Many of these articles feature links to other sites that no longer work. This is your opportunity to contact the author of the article and say “Hey, I noticed you wrote this article about plastic lawn flamingos and I just wanted to let you know

the link to Flamingos-R-Us doesn’t work any more. There’s another site called Flamingos-4-U that you could link to instead the URL is…..” It is very important to be organized when keeping track of substitution and other link building. Use an Excel spreadsheet or a third party tool to help you keep track of your efforts.

5. Make Something Useful

If you create something really good—a video, an infographic, an awesome photo—that people want to use, then you have a potentially high value piece of SEO content. Beware, however, that this is only true if people use your content in a relevant way and that they properly credit the source and provide a link to you. So make sure you provide a link to your website or blog when distributing this type of information and make it easy for websites to link to you.

More Than Just Content – Content With A Purpose

Every website owner should know the value of content by now. But not all content is fit to be published, and bad content has no value to your site in any way. As such is the case, you must be diligent in pursuing a policy of producing only high quality content with genuine value to all who come to see it.

Good content gets talked about and shared. It comes with positive SEO benefits and has the potential to significantly boost traffic to your site. Good content also is more likely to result in conversions, as there shouldn’t be anything about it that puts off a potential customer.

Bad content, on the other hand, can lead to many problems. At the highest level of the problems that could occur is the prospect of being blacklisted by Google or any of the other search engine providers. This is a serious condition that is not always easy to reverse. Bad content also can cause you to lose potential sales due to a reduction in the trust factor and/or failing to capture the positive attention of the visitors.

This means you don’t want to just be churning out content. You need purposeful content that has been professionally produced. Your content should speak to the audience, whether it is through the written word or a video presentation, and it should be making a connection with them.

One of the best SEO boosting techniques involves adding a blog to your business website. A business blog is quite different to a personal blog, but it’s still perfectly fine to include your personal thoughts and feelings on a subject. Your blog may be for business, but it’s not an academic essay. In fact, in most cases it is better to make it totally unlike an academic work, or too many readers will find it boring and difficult to make a connection with.

Your blog can contain all kinds of content, but to get the maximum SEO boost from it, you should focus most of your content on topics very closely related to your industry. Don’t treat the blog purely as an advertising medium.

As an example, if you run an accounting business, your blog might contain articles about tax laws, special accounting rules, case studies, and financial tips.

If your business makes, sells, or repairs cars, you might have articles where you review different models of cars, talk about things that could go wrong with cars (complete with remedies), and provide breaking automotive industry news.

Any relevant content that is well-written, or professionally produced, is good content. There are two rules, however, for business blogs.

The first rule is that if your blog post does contain personal opinions, you must always have it vetted by two colleagues before publishing it, in order to ensure you haven’t accidentally made any comments that could be taken the wrong way.

The second rule is that you must always be adding value, never subtracting. What this means is that the visitor is investing time in reading your words or watching your video, so you should make it well worth their time. The easiest way to do this is to make your content genuinely interesting, entertaining, or useful to the audience. You may need to enlist help from professional writers and producers for this purpose, but it is a solid investment in your business marketing and you should not be shy about spending money for this.

If you provide high quality, relevant, purposeful content in sufficient quantity, it is bound to have a positive

effect on your search rank. This is an irrefutable law of nature, no less authoritative than gravity. So take advantage of the benefits of this principle by ensuring all your content has a clear purpose.

Top SEO Techniques That Actually Grow Your Business

SEO is a murky and inexact science. The rules are constantly changing, much of the advice that gets published is hopelessly out of date, and many of the “experts” out there have proclaimed that title for themselves without any real basis to support it.

Even though it’s quite difficult to get SEO right, it’s one thing you really can’t afford to get wrong. One of the ways you can really go wrong is if you indulge in the use of black hat SEO strategies to try and boost your site traffic. If this is eventually discovered by Google and other search engines, the consequences can be really detrimental for your website and your business.

It doesn’t take very much for these consequences to begin to affect you. For blatant violations, being blacklisted by Google will probably be the least of your worries. The loss of trust that it creates in potential customers is something you’ll find difficult to recover from.

Therefore using the right SEO techniques is a vital skill to learn. Here are few of the tried and tested methods for growing an online business that will also not attract trouble.

1. Create a lot of high value content

Being found is often a matter of being famous or popular online. One way you can achieve fame and popularity within online writing circles is by serving up high value content to the public for free.

Including a blog on your site is a good method for publishing a lot of content rapidly, but remember it has to really be of high value to the public for it to be of any value to you.

Don’t make the mistake that a lot of businesses make, where they treat every blog post as an ad for their business, talking only about the products and services they provide.

For example, if your business sells wine, you could have a huge variety of articles discussing the merits of different types of wine, the potential health benefits of wine, and so on.

If all you talk about is what’s in stock or what promotions you’re running this month, that’s not information many people care about, and you won’t get them talking about you to others.

2. Be sociable

If you can create a solid social media presence to support your website, then it will provide a tremendous SEO boost.

The biggest mistake that small business owners make is thinking that social media on its own is sufficient. This is simply not the case, and you’ll never reach your full potential if you rely solely on a social media presence without a website and a blog.

The main purpose of the website is to provide static business information. This is information about your business, your products, and your services. Your social media site is more for dynamic business information such as special events, promotions, and announcements.

The posts on your social media site should be geared towards driving potential customers to your website. The links created between social media and your website can yield high SEO benefits.

3. Create something new

Sometimes the best business content on the Web isn’t serious at all. Content that is created just for the fun of it, like an imaginative or thought-provoking video, or even just a really good cartoon picture, is content that is more likely to be talked about and shared than content that was created only for marketing purposes.

A good piece of original content can give you a short term viral boost that could attract thousands of additional visitors to your site.

Remarks

The above techniques have been tested over many years and have remained strong while other trends have faltered and died. The basic concept of providing people with good content that serves them in some way (by being informative, entertaining, or both) is so obvious it shouldn’t need explaining, yet very few commercial sites are properly putting this concept to work. Let your business be one of the rare ones the does, and you’re business will have a better chance of becoming more prosperous.

More Than Rankings – How to Attract And Acquire New Customers

Website owners get a lot of confusing and conflicting information thrown at them in the early stages of getting their site up and running. One thing that gets pushed really hard by digital marketers is the need for SEO, yet there are so many so called “experts”, all with divergent suggestions about what should be done, it’s nearly impossible to select which advice to follow.

Even more crucially, some SEO agencies will try to lead you towards the belief that being number one in the search rankings should be the entirety of your goal, and that you must be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that. Their advice is supposed to be adhered to, even if it seems unethical or shady.

The fact is, search engine rank is vitally important. But it’s not a win-at-all-costs kind of deal. If you resort to some of those more nefarious black hat SEO tactics, they can actually backfire on you in a major way. Being number one is nice, but if the guy at number one seems like a crook, you can bet your bottom dollar that the runner-up is the one getting most of the business.

It is obvious that people judge the quality of a tree by the quality of the fruit it produces. A tree that consistently produces bad fruit is eventually cut down and removed, even if it is the biggest tree on the farm and produces more fruit than any other tree.

That’s something you might want to keep in mind when you’re working out your SEO strategy. Total and complete honesty in your content production is one factor that will make a significant difference to your success. Too many sites are sacrificing their integrity to reach that coveted number one slot. It’s something you should never be a party to, and for good reason.

On the Internet, and particularly in e-Commerce, trust is the most valuable commodity that any business can possess. All of your actions pertaining to the creation and management of your website marketing must contribute towards building trust. Anything that is suggested to you that might potentially result in eroding your store of trust should be given a wide berth.

Good SEO strategy involves creating and publishing high quality content that genuinely meets the needs of those who are seeking information. This content should deliver solidly on any promises it makes, and under no circumstances is “click bait” ever acceptable.

What is click bait? It is where a link, headline, or thumbnail image promises the visitor a certain thing, but delivers something entirely different instead. This creates a sense of frustration and disappointment for the user, and undermines whatever good the rest of your offer might have been. If the user doesn’t trust you, they won’t complete the transaction.

In the end, it turns out that the best way of getting and keeping customers in the world of online business is exactly the same as in the offline world. Start by creating a friendly and welcoming environment, greet customers warmly and with sincerity, and don’t make any false promises or attempt deception.

By creating genuine value in everything you do, by preserving your integrity, and by expressing your sentiments with absolute sincerity, you build trust and inspire confidence. Your business is sure to increase and prosper, and will rise in the search engine ranks by a natural process of osmosis. Should you be tempted to go the other way, you may find your business suffering from taking shortcuts – so don’t do it.

If you are not sure what to do in regards to SEO, Content or Digital Marketing, let us know and we will do what we can to help your business.