Digital marketing changes frequently, and while most of us would like to think that we are on top of the game, the key to digital is to always keep moving forward. If you're running your own website and handling your own small business marketing, there's always something to learn. Architechs for the Web recently attended PubCon, the largest digital marketing convention, and we learned a lot. We also wanted to share, so we collected some of our favorite tips and lessons from digital marketing experts at Pubcon 2016 and put them together for you to utilize in the coming months.
Repurpose Your Content
Chances are that you're investing money into anything you post, so there's no good reason to only share it once and in one way. In fact, it could cost you money and engagement if you only share once. While it's never a good idea to spam your blog or all of your social media channels with the same content over and over again, you can and should reproduce content in different formats when your audience is big enough to benefit, and should share content at different time zones to ensure that your entire audience sees it. How can you prevent repeat posts from becoming repetitive? Pubcon's own Melissa Fach suggests that you use a scheduling tool to make posting easier, and then add different facts or snippets to the post each time, so that your followers get something of value each time they see the post.
If your business is large enough, you can also repurpose your content to create videos, podcasts, blogs, and even infographics with the same media. However, you do have to be careful, this kind of content duplication can be expensive, so it's crucial to ensure that you're working with a popular topic.
Avoid Vanity Metrics
Scott Stratten is the author of four books, runs UnPodcast, and is the head at UNMarketing. He knows a lot about traditional and non-traditional marketing, and he knows how to make both work. His keynote at PubCon 2016 touched on an issue that many of us are guilty of, using viral posts or shares, or posting content that has little to do with our business, to boost our shares and metrics.
While this kind of content can be valuable on Facebook where it can boost your ranking, you shouldn’t use it unless you can tie it into your business. Why? If you're just pumping up your analytics and visits with content that doesn’t drive sales, your metrics will be worthless. If your readers and website traffic aren't actually interested in your products or services, there's no reason for them to be there other than vanity.
What can you do? Try making thinking of angles for sharing viral and trending topics that make them relevant to your business, and then jump on early rather than later on. For example, you can share something about a local person in the news and offer to donate or help that person out, you can post something viral and make it relevant to your company, you can jump on trending hashtags on Twitter and make a joke related to your products, or any of a number of other things, so long as they are relevant to your business.
Modernize Your Website
If your website is slow, outdated, unattractive, or doesn't work well on mobile, you will lose customers or clients. This is incredibly important moving forward, because mobile devices are becoming more powerful, and many people are swapping their laptops and computers out for tablets and phones. Lisa Buyer, author of Social PR Secrets, emphasizes a strong focus on your mobile website, especially for social media marketing, where many of the customers you send to your site will be on mobile. The State of Mobile Web shows that roughly 56% of all consumer traffic in the fourth quarter of 2015 was mobile, and that percentage has increased every quarter since.
Other marketing experts also weigh in on this topic. Barry Adams, founder of Polemic Digital, recommends optimizing for mobile by using Google AMP for your web pages. While you should talk with your web designer to see if this is a solution for you, it is something to consider.
Other key points from marketing experts on website optimization for 2017 include:
Use HTTPS. You might lose some tracking and referral data, but Google prioritizes secure websites.
Use structured data and rich cards.
Use analytics and free tools like Google Pagespeed to stay on top of your website and it's performance.
Switch Up Old SEO Tactics
Creating thousands of backlinks and using PR platforms to share your content simply doesn't work anymore. If you want to succeed with SEO, you have to modernize your tactics, and start focusing on what matters to your website.
Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal pointed out that your best bet is to combine SEO and content marketing with PR and outreach tactics to get a combination of exposure and increased organic search results. He suggests using content amplification tools like AddThis, LinkedIn, OutBrain, Buffer, Storify, or any of a number of other similar options to increase exposure for your content.
You also want to focus on highly specific keywords in your niche, and if you're a local business, make sure you're optimizing locally. Bruce Clay, owner of the eponymous digital marketing company, offered similar advice, discussing the importance of using keywords based on what's really relevant to you. If your company isn't an expert matter in it, you don't want to use it. The more targeted your keywords, the higher quality your traffic will be.
Develop Content Consumers Want – Develop valuable eBooks, email marketing campaigns, and blogs that people will link to and share.
Build Relationships Not Links – Links are becoming less valuable in today's SEO algorithms. While this could change with the next Google update, you are much better off focusing on building relationships with bloggers and with the media rather than scavenging for links. Links from your own Wikipedia page or other large scale entity database can, however, be very valuable.
Use Tools to Research Your Keywords
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Bing Keyword Planner
Keyword tool dominator
Digital marketing is constantly changing as the audience changes, algorithms update, expectations evolve, and new tools are introduced. To master your marketing, you must be willing to keep learning. If you don't have the time to stay on top of digital marketing changes, make sure that you hire someone who does. Who is this from? The team at Architechs for the Web.
We offer full service digital, including web design and development, search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and consultation if you just need advice. Contact us to set up a free appointment to see how we can help you make your website profitable in 2017.