What are the most common search engine optimisation problems your business can face

Search engine marketing requires an extensive knowledge of search engine optimisation guidelines and best practices – which are subject to constant changes – along with a lot of your time and budget to get the right mix for your business.

We’ve prepared the most common search engine marketing problems your business can face, so you can avoid the most common pitfalls and maximise your business’s search engine marketing efforts.

Staying up to date with your market and Google algorithms

Your ranking on search engines and the traffic you gain from that are in a constant state of flux. Your competition are always working to try to horn in on your business’s website traffic, sales, and market share. At the same time, factors such as constant changes to Google’s algorithms, behavioural changes in your market, new apps, and new technology will also have the potential to significantly impact your search marketing results.

To protect your search marketing strategy, it is essential to keep up to date with market and search engine optimisation trends and be constantly prepared to adapt to any new changes if you want to see your search marketing strategies grow.

Optimising your local listings

An essential component of Google’s ever-shifting algorithm landscape includes local listings, mobile optimisation and Google Maps. 50% of mobile users will visit a store within one day of performing a local search, so if you haven’t optimised your local listings you are seriously damaging your search marketing strategies and missing out on a lot of potential sales.

Simply claiming your business’s local listings will not be enough to optimise your search engine marketing. You will also need to make sure that you identify and wipe any duplicate listings that could be confusing your customers and constantly check to make sure your listing information is still sending your customers to you without any confusion.

Regularly updating relevant content

A common search engine marketing mistake that many businesses make is forgetting to regularly upload new and relevant content, and update existing content. Not only does your content need to be relevant, it needs to keep up with constantly changing search engine optimisation trends and keywords.

By setting a regular schedule of blog posts, articles, images or videos, and staying up to date with the current search engine optimisation trends, you will ensure that your search rankings will continue to grow.

Neglecting external backlinks

Building a high-quality network of backlinks will help to increase your traffic and increase your business’s reputation with customers and on Google, but it is a search engine marketing tactic that is often overlooked or misunderstood.

Effective link building is achieved by creating high-quality, timely and relevant content and by developing strong business partnerships with reputable local business and organisations. It is important to ensure that your link building efforts only use ‘white hat’ techniques so that you avoid having your credibility being negatively impacted and your search ranking decrease.

If you would like more tips on search engine marketing or you would like some help to get started, contact our search marketing experts at Whitecrow Digital today.


How Much Should I Spend Marketing My Business Online?

Many businesses are hesitant to dip their toes into the world of digital marketing. Many know that they need to be doing it and usually lack the knowledge or expertise to understand where, how and why to allocate resources to certain activities. It may be that you hire an agency to implement a range of strategies or a bring a resource in-house to grow your marketing efforts online. The first thing that is important to understand is that there is no one size fits all. Different business, different markets and different competitors will require varying plans to achieve success. There are multiple ways your business can market itself online. Most businesses know about search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and they've heard of terms like content marketing & re-marketing among others. You know about it, you know it's hard to do and you don't know how much to spend or if you should even spend anything at all. So where do you start?

The first thing you should do is to analyse your business and understand where your customers are online and what they are doing. It's no good to decide you're going to start doing an SEO campaign just because you think high rankings on Google are important. Don't get me wrong the majority of the time this will be the case. Everything you do should have a business case and a measurable return on investment. What traffic to your website can you generate if you undertake an SEO campaign? How many leads can you generate? If more of your customers are reachable through a channel on social media why aren't you targeting them on this channel instead and will it be more cost effective?

The great thing about digital marketing is that everything you do can be measured. How much you spend should be directly correlated with what return your business can generate from a particular activity. Implementing a marketing plan online should be fluid and the periods you measure results and return on should be short to allow for adjustments of your plan. There is no use in locking yourself into 2 years worth of SEO before you can even measure if the results both intangible and tangible are delivering bottom line growth to your business. The best course of attack is as follows:

  1. Identify your ideal audience
  2. Identify where you will find them online - social media, YouTube, search engines, other websites
  3. Build a complete strategy and invest resources into each channel - SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, Content
  4. Have measurable and reviewable goals - X amount of traffic growth to the website, Y number of lead generated for your sales team, Z number of sales
  5. At the end of your review periods develop an ongoing budget or investment plan to grow your campaign

The more you test and measure your strategies the better you will be able to assess if investing money into a particular marketing activity is worthwhile or not. You may find that your social media marketing in conjunction with the content you are creating is delivering a consistent stream of traffic and a high conversion rate. The more you refine your audience, the better your conversion rate becomes and the more money you invest the trend should be expected to continue. If paid ads on search engines is delivering less than desirable results divert increased funds to another marketing activity that is performing strongly. Adapt, learn and grow through continual measurement, monitoring and reporting.

The best tool for reporting and management is Google Analytics so learn how to setup Goals so you can track conversions on your website and where they originate from. Using this information you can develop a plan to create a successful digital marketing campaign. You don't always need an agency so make sure you understand how to measure everything you do online before you engage one as this will help you weed out the good ones from the bad ones.

Related Tags: Digital Marketing Newcastle | SEO Company Newcastle


Tips for finding a reliable SEO company

Finding an honest, reliable and trustworthy SEO company can seem like a daunting task. A quick Google search is likely not the best answer due to the many 'black hat' practitioners interlaced in the ranks of genuine companies. Before you go signing up for any SEO services, create a shortlist of providers and check them against this list of five simple tips for finding a reliable SEO company.

1. Avoid secret recipes for success

If a qualified representative of the company cannot tell you the tactics they are putting in place to achieve solid search engine rankings for your website and instead eludes to a secret combination that no other SEO company knows, show them the door. These practitioners are often either unskilled and behind on current SEO techniques or implementing techniques that may get you results now, but are likely to wind up getting you penalised in the future. The only people that know something that absolutely no one else knows in regards to SEO are the people at Google.

2. Look for an SEO company that also provides content marketing

Since the release of Google Panda in 2011 everyone who's anyone in SEO and online marketing knows that unique, quality content is the key to ongoing SEO success. If a company tells you otherwise, they are in it for your money and are unlikely to have your business's success at heart. Always ask about the importance of unique content and unless the answer includes statements like "Content is King" or "It is a MUST", scratch them off your list.

3. Keep an eye on what they are saying

Continuing the topic of content, if an SEO provider isn't keeping their own media and blog up to date with news on the latest updates to algorithms or providing insight into how to successfully market your business online, it's likely they won't be up to the task of actually marketing and optimising your website.

4. Remember the adage 'You get what you pay for'

Seeking out cost effective solutions is one thing, but skimping on SEO and assuming you'll get page one, position one rankings for 100 keywords for just $9.95 a month is asking for trouble. SEO is not a simple join-the-dots, step 1-2-3 process that you can just expect to work. SEO takes time, skill and perseverance. If you're paying a pittance for SEO services, it's likely you'll get a pittance of real, business generating results in return.

5. Backlinks are not the only answer

Contrary to popular belief, backlinks and citations only get you so far. While quality backlinks and citations can be the backbone of an SEO strategy, they should not be the main focus. Putting all of your eggs in one basket leaves you at risk for penalisation in the future, ask anyone who suffered from a sudden drop in rankings after April 2012 when Google's Penguin update penalised poor links from irrelevant websites.

By assessing your shortlist using these tips, you will be much closer to hiring an SEO company that can generate quality traffic for your website. Here at Whitecrow Digital, we are passionate about providing SEO using strategies that won't get you penalised. We also offer a suite of other online marketing services to ensure no single aspect of your marketing mix falls behind.

To talk to a team member or to enquire about any of our services, please call us on 1300 557 338.

Related Tags: SEO Company Newcastle


7 Ways To Get More Enquiries On Your Website

It's typically the first question people ask when they build a new website or undertake a marketing campaign. How do I get more enquiries from my website? Let's start by saying it's not the easiest task to generate the amount of enquiries you want to. We always start any campaign by asking a client what is a realistic number of leads you would like to generate from your website each month? I say realistic because of course we would all like to get hundreds of leads each month. Understanding how many leads you want as opposed to what is achievable is the first step in developing a campaign that can maximise your return on investment. You want to build a process that is sustainable in the long run & that will deliver bottom line profit for your business. So you know how many leads you want, which will then allow you to build a strategy that can potentially deliver a return on your investment. Now the only thing you need is to start generating leads. Here are 7 tips that you can implement to grow conversions on your website and generate more sales.

Focus on the design of your website + your content

It's obvious isn't it. Your entire strategy for acquiring customers or leads hinges on your website and it's ability to attract, retain and convert customers. The design of your website, it's structure and how the content is presented is hugely important to your ability to get people to take the next step, whether it be calling you, filling out a form or buying a product. If you have an old website then it's time for an update. If you have a fairly new website implement some tweaks based on some simple recommendations:

  • Make it easy for people to contact you. This means don't hide your phone number or email address. Keep it front and centre in the mind of your visitors. If people have to dig around on different pages of your website to find out how to contact you they will likely leave before they get to that point
  • Clear & deliberate calls to action. Every time someone visits your website you should be asking them to do something. This could be filling out a form on your website, subscribing to your newsletter, reviewing your latest blog post or buying your latest special offer. Funnel your customers to the important pages on your website.
  • Utilise landing pages. Do you have a high performing product or service that performs well in your physical location or on other channels outside your website? Create a dedicated landing page on your website for this specific product or service. Build this landing page with conversions in mind.
  • Excellent content. In general terms we are talking about the copy on your home page or on your about page. Don't slap something together that was written 5 years ago. We are in the information age so make your copy concise, relevant and easy to read for your visitors so they don't lose interest quickly. Some tweaks to your copy can make all the difference when someone is sitting on the fence deciding about your business
  • Optimise for all devices. You've probably heard it a thousand times by now. A website design that is mobile friendly will not only help with your rankings on mobile devices it will also annoy less of your visitors. You will rarely convert visitors on a mobile without a responsive website and due to rising trend of mobile usage you are ultimately missing out on potential customers.

Create killer content

Content is critically important to a range of different things including how your website ranks in search engines and how you attract and retain the right customers. Let's start off by understanding that there is content overload out there on the market. How do you cut through and use content as a genuine tool to increase enquiries? A content strategy that is developed and delivered right can create a massive benefit for your business in the long term. This content can be used to attract people who are searching for information related to your service. Through this helpful content you can then sell what you do.

Think more about your audience & what kind of problems or questions they would be asking in your industry. Can you solve these problems with your specialised information? How can you differentiate your content from your competitors and deliver a value add to your audience. The goal with your content is to create an audience and drive them to a call to action whether that be signing up for a newsletter or downloading something off your website. It's at this point you can begin distributing them more relevant content and working on driving them to make an enquiry or purchase a product.

E-books & webinars (be careful)

There are thousands of e-books and webinars out in the market from people trying to generate leads & enquiries for their business for further re-marketing. They are great tools to use to acquire and convert customers by providing useful information, however to really stand out from the crowd you need to deliver a unique value proposition to your readers or viewers. What I mean by this is that it's just no good to do a standard e-book and link it to an opt-in on your website. Think about your e-books like you think about the content on your website. Put yourself in your customers shoes and think about how you can solve their problems. How can you differentiate your information from your competitors by using your knowledge about your industry or niche you operate in.

How about an example:

Let's say you run a hardware business. All your competitors focus on providing information about the different types of products and their uses. Your business leans heavily towards do it yourself buyers rather than professionals. There is an avenue to create downloadable or informative content to your customers and potential customers by focusing your content on do it yourself information. Think about what someone buying a particular product would want to use it for and what are their potential pain points. How can you deliver this in a formatted way which will allow you to acquire someone's information. Every download or registration for a webinar should require someone to provide you with their details. You can then provide further information, content & detailed marketing to convert that customer into a regular buyer. Try to think outside the box when it comes to generating leads through these methods and differentiate yourself from the competitors.

Get your visitors to opt-in

What is one of the best ways to convert a customer into a sale? Give them something for free. Think about how your business can provide something of value to a visitor. It may be a free download or a special offer. Drive visitors to opt-in by obtaining their email in exchange for something their interested in. In sales terms this is effectively a warm lead. If someone gives you their email address they are likely interested in what you offer and potentially your products or services. This is where email marketing, automated responders and content will help you turn a subscriber into a customer. Don't think about every enquiry as a sale. Give your customers a value add & build your relationship with them through your email marketing with a simple opt-in on your website. A non intrusive pop up or something similar is the perfect tool.

Instigate chats with your visitors

Now not everyone loves this method as some people can get annoyed when they are just browsing a website for information and someone rudely interrupts them with a request to chat. You have to be in the right industry and your live chat has to add value to a potential visitor. It can also be a way to differentiate what you do from a competitor. You can easily monitor what your visitors are doing, what page they are on and where they have landed there from. Take the time to create pages where you want to instigate chats. Don't just wait for a customer to hit the home page. Specify rules about what pages you want them on and then subtly introduce yourself. Sometimes you will be successful and other times you won't, however it is another way that a potential customer can talk to a person behind the business.

Pay to play

Ultimately it's hard to get customers without traffic to your website so you need to be investing in growing your business through organic and paid channels in search, social media & content. Every business is different and every strategy to acquire traffic should be optimised for your circumstances. Not every business is going to need SEO or social media or Adwords. The first step is understanding what channels you're likely to acquire customers from and how can you leverage marketing to give your business the best opportunity to send these customers to your sales pitch (your website). If you don't invest time or money you likely won't get far on any channel online. The number one thing you should be investing time in is content. If you run a successful business it's likely because your good at what you do and you're knowledgeable about what you do. The key is translating that knowledge into your content to educate and inform a potential audience. The first place people are going to be searching for this information is online. Not just Google but social media as well. The goal is to create content that outperforms your competitors by leveraging what makes your business unique and special. Even with great content you need to advertise it, whether it be a paid promotion through social media or spending time on outreach. It's important and you should be investing now if you haven't already.

Put yourself in your customers shoes

To many times we see a website that was designed that looks great but isn't converting visitors. The customer has invested time & money into SEO, Adwords or social media with little to no result. There can be multiple reasons why and one of the biggest ones is that they didn't think like a customer when they looked at their website. Most people think like the business owner and what they want to see. The ultimate goal should be delivering something that is not only easy for customers to use but that also converts. Questions you could ask include:

  • What conversion am I after - form, phone call, sale, click through to somewhere else?
  • What information is most important to a customer?
  • How would this information be presented best?
  • What tools will be most useful for a visitor?
  • Can they contact me easily?
  • Do they understand what I do without scrolling down the page?

These are just some simple questions you can ask yourself during your website build. Focus on delivering something your customer wants, not just what you want to see.

Most importantly when trying to get more enquiries on your website make sure you're tracking conversion goals in Analytics. Identify where your customers are coming from, how long they are spending on your website and importantly what an enquiry means in terms of a dollar value to your business. This is where a lifetime value of a customer calculation comes in handy to really assess what you spend vs your return. This can help you identify areas where you should invest more money. We hope these tips can help you acquire more customers on your website. Feel free to share any tips that have worked for you.

Related Tags: Web Developer Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


Five Reasons Why You Should Choose Digital Over Traditional Marketing

The dynamics of business and marketing have shifted quite dramatically over the last 10 to 15 years. The way we interact, consume and do business has changed. This change has created & been created by many new ventures that have disrupted the old & traditional ways things have been done. Can't think of any? Here are just a few to get you thinking:

Google

Google has changed the way we find information. Rather than looking through books or consulting with someone who is an expert in their field we can type anything into a computer and find the answer to pretty much anything.

Uber

The way we move around has changed & shifted. The traditional methods of catching a bus, taxi or train has shifted to more personalised and on-demand transport.

E-Bay

With the introduction of E-bay so came with it the rise of online shopping and the buy and sell online marketplace. No longer do you need to have a garage sale or visit the local market. Just put your product up and start selling.

What This Means For Your Business

There are many more companies that have shifted the landscape of business and how your potential customers and actual customers consume information, services & products. What does this all mean to you? If you're a business that has been operating for longer than 10 years or a new business to the market the impact of how people interact on a daily basis is going to have the same effect. The potential impact it can have may be greater if you're a long standing business stuck in traditional ways of doing things. Flexibility & the ability to be dynamic as a business has become increasingly important as things now change so rapidly. So that's where we get to the argument of where you should invest your marketing dollars. Let's be clear from the start and identify that every single business is different and no one strategy is going to suit every business. What is important to see is that digital marketing has benefits that traditional marketing potentially can't compete with.

Why Choose Digital Over Traditional?

It's a question we get asked multiple times a week. Why should I do this when I've always done it like this? Why should I be doing digital marketing? What's the benefit for my business? Our website isn't that important to our business, so why would we do it?

We believe that every business should be doing some form of digital marketing whether it being optimising their website for conversions & implementing an inbound marketing strategy, working on an SEO campaign for keywords that are relevant to their business or running a paid Google advertising campaign. The opportunities are endless and the potential return for the business is vast due to the sheer number of consumers that are looking for them every day through digital channels even if they don't think that it's important. Some simple research into things people are searching for that are relevant to your business can be an eye opener.

Why Should I Do It Though?

Ultimately for every business it comes down to justifying the cost vs return when any type of marketing campaign is implemented. How many people can I get to see what I do and how many of those can I convert into real paying customers? The problem with many traditional marketing activities (not all of them) is the inability for you as the business owner to understand your real return on investment, how effective your marketing activity is and what results it can deliver for your business. With digital marketing whether it be SEO, Social Media, Content or Adwords you have the ability to measure, review and improve. It's not just a nice to have, it's a must have. To better understand how you can acquire more customers you need to know how much it costs you to get one, what you're willing to spend to acquire a customer and how you can continually improve your return on investment. Digital marketing gives you that opportunity and it is something you should take advantage of. Always take the time to thoroughly assess traditional vs digital channels and make sure you talk to a digital marketing agency that understands the importance of conversion tracking, reporting and return on investment monitoring.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


How To Be Smart With Your Digital Marketing Spend

Running a business isn't easy and many of the decisions you make come down to how much you can afford to spend or what kind of risk you can afford to take for a calculated return. If you are thinking about marketing online, whether it be through search, social media or content there are some ways you can be smart with your spend & actions to make sure you aren't wasting money or dedicating resources to areas that aren't delivering a return for your business.

Do Your Research When Choosing A Digital Marketing Agency

Just like any decision you make when spending money especially when investing into growing your business make sure you do adequate research on the company you want to partner with. More than anything this relationship should be a partnership where the agency has a vested interest in delivering tangible results for your business & helping you grow. Here are some simple questions you can ask and make sure you compare the answers from a couple of agencies both locally and outside your area:

1) Tell me about your experience?
2) What makes your agency different?
3) Can I see some examples of results with other clients?
4) What are your biggest strengths?
5) Can I see some samples of your reports and what kind of information I will expect to receive?

Cost is always a factor that should come into play, however make sure you get an understanding of the business, how they track results and how they can deliver value to your business. Making the right decision from the outset can save you money, time and can start growing your digital strategy from day one.

Put Some Time & Effort Into Your Tracking & Reporting

Like anything you get out what you put in. With digital strategy everything should be able to be measured and tracked. This will enable you to find areas where your performing well and others where you aren't. If the company you've engaged isn't giving you information around what your results mean for your business & the dollar return you should expect to receive you should be asking for it.

You should also being putting time into understanding Google Analytics, so as a business you can track and measure traffic & conversions.

Investment vs Return

You should be investing time into understanding & analysing your investment v return. Before you start investing in your digital marketing plan put some effort into understanding your customers, the dollar value an individual customer acquisition returns to your business and the number of referrals they provide you. This will help you assess your cost to acquire customers and the return that your marketing efforts will deliver to your business.

Pick Your Channels

Ultimately you know your business and you understand what your customers want and the type of customers you are trying to target. If you're a business to business client in an obscure industry social media may not make sense when choosing where to invest your money & resources. Take time to understand the different channels you can market to and how they suit your business. If you've engaged an agency get them to detail why they suggest a certain channel to market your business and how it fits with your overall marketing strategy.

It's a Long Term Investment

If you're thinking about marketing online and you only want to dip your toes in the water you should probably think about spending money elsewhere. You need to be committed to developing a long term strategy as you will only start to see results and a return on investment when the cumulative effect of your marketing efforts start to come to fruition. This is especially important when undertaking search engine optimisation which is always a long term investment for your business. Talk to your agency partner about the long term goals & plans for your digital marketing plan and remember to measure and track everything against your goals so you can continually refine & improve.

Related Tags: Web Developer Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


Are You Tracking Conversions On Your Website?

Every business that has a website or undertakes any kind of digital marketing strategy should be focused on conversions. They can come in a variety of forms depending on your business, whether it be an enquiry via email, a phone call, a ticket sale or a product purchase. Why are conversions so important? Ultimately tracking, monitoring and analysing conversions will allow you to assess whether a particular marketing activity is working and most importantly if it is delivering value and a positive return on investment. Analysing the performance of a particular campaign, social media post or optimised keyword via SEO will give you so much more confidence about your digital marketing and it will also allow you to dedicate resources that are generating income for the business and dollars to your bottom line.

It sounds simple right? For the majority of businesses it is actually a lot more difficult than you would think. If I told you that we are going to allocate $10,000 of your marketing budget to a billboard on a busy highway for two months but you weren't going to know if it delivered increased sales or more customers would you do it? Potentially given the sheer exposure of the billboard people would assume that their sales are going to increase. There is no guarantee and there is no possible way for you to track if it's going to work. Sure you will hear statistics about how many people drive past the billboard, the demographic and how they are right in your target market. How do you know that this billboard will deliver results? Is it a blind leap of faith? Is it a traditional marketing avenue and it makes you feel more comfortable? We see this everyday, where a business will allocate a marketing spend to an activity that can't be measured and may in the end deliver zero value.

Your website is the equivalent of a billboard on a busy highway with the exception that you can understand who visits it, how long they stay, how they got there and most importantly if that visitor attempts to become a customer. If I said to you can either invest $10,000 and directly analyse the return on that spend and the value delivered to your business as opposed to spending $10,000 and having no understanding of what the outcomes of that spend were, which one would you choose. Clearly we would all choose the first option. If this is the case why do more and more businesses fail to engage in the appropriate management and analysis of where their enquiries come from online and what the overall return of that customer generated online means to their business. The reasons are simple:

Lack of information

Many businesses aren't being supported with the right information. Many companies will promise you first page rankings, amazing website traffic and significant exposure. What does this mean to you at the end of the day? It doesn't mean much. You're simply placing your billboard in a more prominent position. You need to understand what the outcomes you are getting from that traffic. It's not just limited to a search engine optimisation campaign. It may be an Adwords campaign, social media marketing or a content marketing plan. Take the time to not just fall for the easy and quick guarantee about getting your website on the first page of Google or in a prominent ad position. To really become a digital superstar you need to understand what those people are doing once they visit your website. It's not enough these days to just have your billboard on the side of the road. Become better than your competitors, gain more insight and use it to your advantage.

Can't somebody else do it?

It's too hard. This is something that I would tend to agree with. Understanding Google Analytics & understanding what a conversion means to your business can be difficult. The information is overwhelming and the ability to use that information to develop a plan of attack isn't easy. There are some simple techniques that we are going to unlock over the coming months that can make your life a whole lot easier and hopefully allow you to easily monitor & track your website traffic & conversions and use the information to make actionable decisions for your marketing plan. Always make sure when undertaking any kind of digital marketing campaign that you ask questions about not only when will I be on the first page or where my ads will sit but also about what kind of information do you provide around traffic, how do I analyse my return on investment and how do I improve conversions every month.

I've got no time

I don't have the time. It's common for small business owners to be time poor. If you are planning on running your own analysis on your website traffic and understanding conversions take the time to do it properly. 30 minutes to 1 hour per week may save you a lot of money and effort when deciding where to invest resources when marketing online. If you don't have the time make sure the professionals you engage deliver timely and relevant information that is directly relate-able to your profit, customers and sales.

Like traditional marketing promoting your business online requires an investment of money and time to deliver good results. The major benefit you get when advertising online is that everything is measurable and can be analysed in terms of the return you obtain in relation to effort & dollars. Avoid companies that only want to show you rankings because the real value comes in understanding your traffic and how it delivers results to the bottom line of your business.

Related Tags: Web Developer Newcastle | Website Design Newcastle


Seven Ways Your Business Can Improve It's Online Presence

Running your own business can be hard work. Juggling multiple hats, managing employees and dealing with the day to day operational issues that come up on a daily basis can leave you with a lack of time to promote, manage and grow your business. As consumers and people who may use the services your business provides there is an increasing need for information being readily available and the channels to access what you do being easy and simple. The growth of the internet and advances in technology has made it easier to connect with your customers whether it be through your website, social media or other digital channels. The best thing about having a good online presence is that you are easily reachable by your customers and it provides you an opportunity to differentiate what you do from your competitors. So how you do you achieve a great online presence and how do you use it to generate sales, leads and more customers for your business. Here are 7 tips that will help your business become better online.

Start selling online if you can

Enabling e-commerce functionality can open up a new sales channel for your business if you operate a traditional brick and mortar structure. Instead of employing another sales person spend some time and invest some resources into e-commerce and let those customers come to you. Like anything online you need to put the work into promoting and building awareness of your e-commerce store. It's not enough to just build it and expect the customers to come flowing through the doors. If you already have an existing website incorporate an e-commerce component and improve your online reach

Start a blog

You've probably got to the position you have by being fairly good at what you do and sometimes an expert in your industry. Sharing that knowledge and information is a form of inbound marketing that may be able to generate leads and customers for your business. If you have information that others might not be able to access easily that means it's valuable and people will be looking for it to either solve their problem or help them make a purchasing decision. Create unique, interesting and shareable information and you can generate interest in your website and business.

Pay attention to social media

This doesn't mean just doing a facebook post every 2 weeks. Create a strategy and change it slightly depending on the platform you are posting on. Consistency is the key and most importantly, what your saying must be fun, informative and interesting. The goal with social media is to build a community of followers that may eventually turn into actual customers over and over again. Don't sell what you do.Just share content that you would like to see when you visit  social media.

Update your website

Your website is a vital component of your business and it may be the place where people get their first impression of you and what you do. Make sure it's an accurate representation and always keep your website refreshed and up to date as your business changes and grows. You wouldn't let a TV ad you ran 10 years ago show up now so why would you have the same website.

Email marketing is your friend

One of the best ways to communicate with customers and potential customers is to create an email marketing list and to generate important & useful information for your subscribers. This may include special offers, discounts and once off promotions for your subscribers only so they feel special and rewarded. It can be a great strategy to convert visitors & customers who may have used you before, but have now forgotten about what you do.

Promote and advertise online

No matter what you use your website for you should always be promoting and advertising it in some way. Whether this be through SEO, Adwords, social media advertising, re-targeting, video advertising or content marketing you should be doing something all the time to promote your website and business. A well rounded digital marketing plan can do wonders for your business because it's measurable and you develop action plans based on the results to increase sales and the bottom line for your business

Review, evaluate and improve

You should always looking for ways to do things better. Being online is no exception and you should be finding things that are working and accelerating their growth. Conversely you should be dropping those things that aren't working or sending additional resources or going at it from another angle. The best thing about marketing your business online is that there is always room for improvement.

We hope these 7 simple tips can help your business become more successful online. We'd love to hear what works for you so feel free to comment below.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing NewcastleDigital Marketing Newcastle


Why Is Digital Marketing Important?

You may hear the words "Digital Marketing" floating around if you run a small business and you have been looking for ways to promote yourself. Is it a buzz word or is it something that can deliver value to your business? Digital marketing encompasses a lot of things and it should be a part of every businesses advertising plan. Why? We are going to learn what digital marketing is, why it's important and why you should be using it for a few simple reasons.

What is Digital Marketing?

In it's simplest form digital marketing is advertising & promotion through online channels. The number of channels & the relevant strategy are dependent on a few factors including:

- the type of business
- the industry
- the business goals e.g. enquiries, online sales, signups
- budget

Digital marketing is now a broad terms that covers advertising using the following channels:

- Search engine optimisation
- Search engine marketing
- Content (inbound) marketing
- Social media marketing
- Display & re-targeting advertising

Utilising all of the above channels gives you a full toolbox to attract, retain and convert customers who are visiting your website. All the efforts that go into your digital marketing plan should be focused around customers performing some kind of action usually on your website. Having a high performing website becomes of utmost importance when you are pursuing any kind of online marketing activity.

Why Is It Important?

So why is it so important for your business? Most people are already aware of the shift in the landscape of doing business with more traditional methods of providing services & products being phased out and brought online. Even industries where an online presence wasn't important five years ago are finding that being online is an important factor and is becoming increasingly important. The cyclical nature of business means that you need to constantly reinvent the way you do things, how you interact with customers and how you acquire new business. Digital marketing gives you an opportunity to target a new segment of customers that you previously may not have reached. It also allows you to directly target specific niches and measure your results down to the finest detail.

Measurable results and detailed action plans are key for your business understanding whether the money you are spending on advertising is delivering a real return on investment. Let's use the example of a local business that puts an ad on the tv screen at their local gym. Note, this is a good form of advertising to gain exposure and build brand awareness, however do you have the opportunity to measure how many customers are a direct result of this advertising. The answer would most likely be no. The gym may give you stats on their demographics & how many people are going to see it, but the only thing you should care about is acquiring new customers. If you can't measure it, that can make it quite difficult to ascertain if the advertising is of value and if you are generating a return on investment.

With any kind of online marketing you should be able to measure the result of your spend. If you run an e-commerce store and you are managing a pay per click campaign through Adwords you should know exactly how much it is costing you to acquire a customer. If every click through costs you $1 and for every 10 clicks you sell on average a $65 item you should be able to assess the cost to acquire those sales and determine if the return on investment is good enough. If you find a strategy and niche that works you should continue to invest more and more money into it. If I'm selling $100 worth of items for every $10 I spend in advertising and I'm making a net margin of $50 why wouldn't I invest more money in it? You can grow ten fold by investing in a strategy that is working. If you don't continue to build and grow, your business won't grow. Digital marketing provides measurable results that lead to detailed action plans designed to grow your business.

There are components of digital marketing that deliver intangible benefits including:

- A social media profile that has an engaging community and growing base of followers
- A loyal following of readers in your industry following & reading your content
- First page rankings on Google that deliver not only customers (measurable), but also the impression of being the leader in your field

Digital marketing isn't something that is a nice to have. It's a must have for any business that is aggressively promoting and advertising their business to new & existing customers.

Why Should You Be Using It

There are some pretty simple reasons why you should be using digital marketing:

1) There is a whole segment of customers you are missing out on
2) Your competitors will be doing some form of digital marketing
3) You can measure results and develop plans to optimise your plan depending on those results
4) You can measure your return on investment
5) You can diversify your traditional advertising methods.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle


4 Reasons Your Business Should Invest in SEO

As a business owner you are always on the lookout for ways to leverage your marketing dollar spends to increase the return for your business. Typically this return is in the form of more customers and increased sales. The world we live in today allows everyone to search for what they are looking for at the swipe of a finger and a click of a button. You've probably heard it a 1000 times about how SEO is important and you should be doing it. You know it's important but there is a difference between realising it's importance and making a serious investment to attempt to grow your traffic and potential customer base online. No matter what stage your business is in there are usually 4 reasons why you should invest in SEO.

Traditional marketing isn't cutting through like it used to

Traditional marketing is a must have for every business and it becomes especially important depending on the market and industry you operate in. The trick is being able to blend your traditional & digital marketing into one seamless approach. Technology is changing, markets are moving faster then before and this means that your marketing approach should continually evolve. Many businesses have had to completely change their business model to remain relevant. The yellow pages is an example of a business that relied on traditional marketing as it's service and has made a complete switch to the digital market.

What many businesses find is that they feel comfortable using traditional marketing even if there is no way to measure if it's working. Sure you can run a billboard at a local gym or other establishment and you will get some brand visibility, but how do you measure your return on investment? It's near impossible and it is a good reason to look at investing in something that allows you to measure your return on investment.

You want to reduce costs

It's sounds silly right. How can spending more money actually help you reduce your costs. Search engine optimisation is a long term investment and as such you should view the return as long term as well. As your business starts to rank for more and more of the words that relate to your products and services the cost for you to acquire each customer will actually reduce over time. The reason being is that you are specifically targeting customers that are already motivated to potentially buy or use your service as they have done half the work and searched on Google for what they want. You can view it as snowball effect where depending on the type of business you are you could potentially cover the cost of your marketing spend via SEO by acquiring one customer. It will obviously be different for each industry but there is reason to be confident that if you have a digital marketing plan utilising SEO that you will see a greater return on investment over the long term than any other marketing activity you can undertake.

You want more customers

It's simple. More and more people are searching for your business everyday online. If they can't find you then it's more than likely they will find one of your competitors. SEO like any other type of marketing activity is about volume, generating enquiries and squeezing the enquiries through the funnel to customers and sales. You should also know the lifetime value of your customer. How much repeat business do you get from that one customer and what is their value to you over the course of 12 months. The traditional ways of acquiring customers doesn't allow you to adequately measure your cost vs return. With SEO you can get more customers and measure if the return outweighs the cost. You will find that as your visibility increases online you will begin generating organic enquiries and sales. This is where the design of your website and how you convert visitors comes into play.

You don't want to spend time on it

SEO is time consuming for the business you employ to do it. For you as the business owner there is not much you really need to do. An effective SEO strategy like should always form part of your overall content marketing plan which includes regular blog updates on your own website, however most of the content you send to customers or use to advertise can be adapted to a blog that is useful to people who are searching for your products and services. It might take you 30 minutes a week to start running a blog that not only supports your SEO strategy, but delivers value to your customer base.

Related Tags: SEO Company Newcastle | Digital Marketing Newcastle