Google algorithm updates are making it a veritable zoo out there, but they seek to make the web a better place, with better content. The Pigeon update changed SEO forever, and improved distance and location services to help customers find local businesses. It gave better search rankings to local businesses, and changed the results to a three-pack format.
To stand out today, make use of social media, especially reviews. Optimize content for local signals. Make use of your Google My Business listing, and ramp up your location pages. Don’t focus on city search queries, since Penguin divided cities into neighborhoods. Don’t go for just any directory – target top-ranked ones. Dedicate resources to content marketing.
You can determine your impact by looking at vanity metrics such as “likes,” “favorites,” “shares,” and “retweets” to see if people are interested in you. Talk to sales staff to see if there’s an increase in activity that’s a result of social media.
Google Analytics can show how social media plays a role in website traffic. Are people more interested in you that before? Also, you’ll probably see an increased workload if your social strategy is working, because you’ll have a higher interaction rate. Most importantly, your return on investment (ROI) will improve, giving you clear evidence that your strategy is working.
Building a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever, because more users are accessing the web with their mobile devices. But don’t make mistakes. For one thing, go native. Native apps are specifically designed for mobile platforms; don’t mistake a mobile website for an app. Learn the difference.
Don’t treat mobile like a desktop. It’s an entirely different platform, requiring different tactics. Keep it simple. Don’t build a mobile app without a marketing plan to make sure people find it and use it. Don’t take your customers for granted, because mobile users discard apps within six months. Don’t ignore consumer behavior; get interactive feedback and install an analytics dashboard to keep them coming back.
Social media can be difficult because it’s data-driven and requires consistency. However, great social brands are whimsical, surprising, and act like people instead of businesses. As a strategy, consider using the element of surprise. Unexpected stimuli can elicit emotion and capture attention. People want spontaneity; otherwise content reeks of self-promotion.
Millennials are novelty seekers so your brand should be say interesting things. Remember, though, you can plan a relevant, unique, timely piece of content. You can create a culture where content can be concepted and approved quickly. Make a balance of 80 percent planned, 20 percent spontaneity, so there’s genuine reaction involved. Spontaneity actually involved autonomy, collaboration, and availability.
Making assumptions about your customers can be terrible for your business, which is why creating complex buyer personas for your target audience is important. These are composites of the values, behaviors, and characteristics of perfect customers, involving demographics, motivations, and goals.
Use demographic data to help you segment your market into subcategories. It’s a good place to start. Once you know ages, genders, education level, and income level, you can flesh your persona out with analytics data to find conversion paths and interaction levels. People want to make their lives better, not just buy stuff. Assign them objects that align with your sales funnel. Now you can draft increasingly refined messaging to appeal to your target market.
Reddit isn’t a social bookmarking site, and linking to Reddit is not recommended. You can use it for SEO, because Redditors post content they discover on Reddit to their own channels. So focus on creating good content. Make sure it contributes value, so it will get upvoted.
You’ll have to become an active member of communities related to your business. Be honest and upfront about who you are – Redditors appreciate that. Be accessible; stick around and engage the community. If you have expertise, Redditors will ask questions and debate your content. You can also use Reddit to fine-tune content and get feedback and hold a Reddit AMA.
Videos are a critical component of marketing today. When creating them, make sure they are of high quality. They should be short – under five minutes. The shorter, the better. The average attention span is 8.5 seconds, so you need to capture people’s attention immediately.
When uploading to Facebook, use the description field to tell viewers why you’re sharing it with them, and include additional info and relevant links. Or, be witty! Give it a good name that’s easily searchable and interesting. Choose the right thumbnail, one that’s visually captivating or reveals an important message. Sort your video into the correct category, and choose a call-to-action. Publish and go.
Dark data is data that goes unutilized, and poses benefits as well as concerns. If you can develop a system to manage this information, you can find patterns and insights. It can provide a more complete view of your consumers and your performance.
Many resources are needed to take on this kind of undertaking, but there are intelligence, legal, and reputational risks to not managing dark data. You can use universal encryption, dark data audits, and retention and disposal policies to protect and destroy dark data. Cyber security is very important here.
Strategies aren’t much fun, but they are necessary. If you’re winging it, it will be obvious. For one thing, you don’t cater to the different audiences. Each social media platform has different types of users, and you need to know them so that you can give them what they want.
If you’re duplicating content on each platform, that’s a giveaway. Every channel is different, so every one must be updated with different content. You can’t just copy and paste. Also, you need to know your volumes – how often to post, and when. On Facebook, twice a day is sufficient. On Twitter, 4-8 times a day is ideal. Up to 5 times a day is good for Pinterest users.
Google has updated the local results you see in a normal query with local intent, so that it shows just three local businesses instead of seven. This will lead to fewer phone calls and sales for businesses in the fourth position or lower – but may net more sales for the first three results.
This change is designed to fit more with the mobile user interface. Industry experts have dubbed the results the “local stack,” or the “3-pack.” Currently, it looks like your local results page will no longer include stars indicating Google reviews, the address or a view of the URL – just the name, general location, and links to the website and directions.
Take your media strategy worldwide! First, evaluate your current situation and gauge the markets you wish to reach. Find commonly used words for your brand. Study the metrics and ask the questions that will reveal your demographics and their complexities.
Be aware of time. For local strategy, it’s easy to figure out the most effective times of day. With other countries, you need to learn their location and behaviors and the time of day that you’re posting, along with local customs and holidays. Don’t publish irrelevant materials; customize to your audience. Consistency is key, and assumptions are the enemy. Know the nuances and cultural norms.
Most solo bloggers are self-motivated entrepreneurs, so it’s good to hire people who show strong curiosity and a desire to become an expert in your niche. Solo bloggers are a central figure in their blog; add a personal note and centralize your blog’s voice to copy this tactic. Encourage personal branding.
Allow bloggers and content marketers time to learn and experiment and become experts. This will help them stand out. Emphasize your best content, as companies can create great content but it doesn’t always get the visibility it needs. Create a stronger sales funnel, because this is critical for success. And incorporate visual content, including pinnable headers.
Make sure Twitter fits into your content strategy. First, set objectives for Twitter marketing – lead generation, building awareness, providing customer support. Decide how Twitter fits into your strategy in terms of traffic, conversions and sales. Identify your target market by looking at hashtags, following and engaging, and searching for keywords.
Find the best times to tweet. Use tools like SocialBro, Hootsuite Autoschedule and Tweriod to determine this. Get content ideas by monitoring industry hashtags, see what your network is sharing, and look at the questions your audience is asking. Monitor the competition. Choose what you share, and make sure it’s a variety of text, photos, videos, slideshares, and links. Promote.
To stand out, a brand must connect. Build a brand persona to do that – it humanizes your brand and makes it more likeable. If your brand were a person, what would it be like and how would it use social media? You must communicate like a friend, not advertise. Do your research. Find out who your audience is.
Select your network based on where your audience is, and personify your brand. Remember the personality you want your brand to exhibit. Choose a color scheme, find 2-5 fonts that represent your brand, use slogans and hashtags, and create campaigns with their own sub-branding. Use images and a logo.
Timing is often everything in social media. For Twitter, ideal posting times are1-3 p.m. For Facebook, 1-4 p.m. Tumbler people get on from 7-10 p.m., and Instagram works best between 5-6 p.m. Pinterest appeals to people between 8-11 p.m.
Posting dead zones for Facebook and Instagram take place from 12-8 a.m., while Twitter is dead from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. LinkedIn doesn’t have much going on from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Tumblr is dead from midnight to noon. Pinterest’s dead zones are from 1-7 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. You need to catch people during their downtime, but remember your audience may not adhere to these guidelines.
The costs of a social media screw-up can be high. So, think before you post or you might find yourself in an online reputation disaster. First, decide if your idea has value for your followers. If it does, consider whether it fits the network’s mission. Is this the best format for the post? Are there good quality visual assets, and are they optimized for the network? Also consider if you’re posting at the best time.
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you may have to find a different topic or angle, choose a different network, adjust your format, or choose different assets. You may also want to save your post for a different time.
Don’t try to sell your product cold; user-oriented content can help drive brand loyalty and create relationships. Listen to your audience, and do what they suggest. Research your target audience, and get to know them. Survey real people and look at trends. Have users submit their own content via email, hashtags, and replies.
Host an event. Use different strategies to target different demographic groups. Write content with user-focused language, and create written content that’s on their level. Don’t neglect your social media, because it’s an easy way to generate user-oriented content. You’ll benefit with more conversions!
According to a new study by social software company Buffer, the highest volume of tweets are sent between noon-1 p.m. – except in the Pacific time zone, where 8-9 a.m. is the most popular time. Evenings and late nights are the best time for total engagement.
But, if you want more clicks, shoot for non-peak hours; 2-3 a.m. is the best time to post – the traditional workday is the time with the least engagement. Buffer looked at 4.8 million tweets from around the globe to find the best time to tweet in other countries as well.
If you don’t have a million dollars to spend on conversion rate optimization – or even a budget, you’ll have to make time instead. Use free tools to help you out. Know that stylistic changes make some difference, but not much. Content changes, however, can increase your CRO by up to 20 percent.
Test to find elements that perform well; then, keep testing, because the web is always changing. Determine the conversions you must improve, form a hypothesis on how to do this, identify the variables that can be adjusted, run an experiment, and measure the results. Learn from your losers, and make sure your tests are about your customers. Play the long game; you’re investing in a process.
Crafting in-depth, relevant content is required these days. Google loves it, so you’ll get a better click-through rate and a privileged position in search engine results. The average length of top 10 results is in the 2,300-2,450 words range.
People would rather check out a trustworthy online source with all details in one place – even if they’re on smartphones. Timeless articles rank well in search engine results, generate leads for the longest period of time, and keep you in the public eye without making you seem outdated. Make sure to do your homework; optimize your content creation process with keyword density, an ideal structure, linking, and quality; and expand your sharing strategy.
Having trouble getting new followers? Capitalize on online influencers by interviewing them for your blog. Make sure to add a clear call-to-action on all your blog posts, so readers and viewers will add you in their social media connections.
Run a contest with your email list, and tell them that the requirement for entering is an add on social media. Make sure the steps are simple, the prize is enticing, and the mechanics are easy. Create a job post, and require people to add you before they can apply. Add content lockers, in which the only way to see a full template is to click a social sharing or like button.