How is your Digital Marketing strategy looking for 2017?

Camaro1You may or may not realize this, but digital marketing and hot rods have a lot in common.  You may be asking, “What is digital marketing?  What is a hot rod?”  Ok, if you don’t know what a hot rod is you should probably stop reading this blog and go back to whatever you were doing.  Digital Marketing is marketing using the internet.  Digital marketing leverages the power of the internet to connect businesses with current and future customers.

Many hot rods end up as rusty, broken down versions of their former selves.  Many websites can end up the same way.  If a website is not updated, upgraded, and cared for it will soon look like this 1969 Camaro – old, rusty, and not running very well, hence the U-Haul trailer.

So what does it take to turn your website from something like this to something more like this?  Hard work, but no wrenches or busted knuckles.

All of tcamaro2he rust needed to be stripped away on this car to get it to where it needed to be.  What outdated information is on your website?  When was the last time you added new content or pictures?  Do all of the links go where they are supposed to or do they direct people to the “No Man’s Land” of the internet – “ERROR 404 – Page Not Found.”  Have portions of your website become like some people’s basements, a place to put stuff you don’t need but can’t bear to part with?  These are things that need to be cleaned up or completely stripped away.

Then what?  How do you get something shiny, eye-catching, with a motor with a deep throated rumble and roar?

Great Looking Websites are Like Great Looking Cars

Nothing has quite captured the hearts of TV and movie goers like the car, with the chase scene in “Bullitt” being one of the top car chases of all time, even if you do pass the same Volkswagen Bug three times on the hills of San Francisco.  Without the General Lee, would “The Dukes of Hazzard” been as much fun?  What about Starsky and Hutch and arguably one of the worst undercover police cars – the “Striped Tomato” red Gran Torino?  The 80’s brought us the exotic cars of Miami Vice and Magnum P.I.

As for the movies, who can forget Burt Reynold’s black Trans-Am in “Smokey and the Bandit”, the cars of “The Cannonball Run,” “American Graffiti, ” the ’67 Camaro with the ski rack in “Better off Dead,” Eleanor in “Gone in 60 Seconds” and most recently the amazing “Fast and Furious” movies.  What makes these cars so eye catching and memorable?  Many of the same things that can work for your digital marketing strategy, beginning with your website.

53 Chevy untouchedWhat makes a good looking car?

It looks good from all angles.  It shines so much you can’t seem to take your eyes off of it.  You want to see it over and over.  A good looking car drives as good as it looks.

What makes a good looking website?  NAPS.  We all like NAPS, so does Google.  Google likes to see your Name,Address, and Phone number.  You move up in search when people share your site on Social media, so make it easy for people to do just that.

chevvy 53 side ovalA good looking website looks good from all angles, or screens.  Your website may look good on a desktop, but how does it look on a tablet or smartphone?  You can check to see if Google sees your site as mobile here.

 

 

[bctt tweet=”A good looking website drives as good as it looks.” username=”AllrevedupWSI”] Is the design clean and easy to navigate?  Is the menu easy to understand?  Do all of the buttons go to the pages they are supposed to?  Do all of the links go to active pages or are some of them no longer valid links?

Think about what makes an eye catching car and see how you can apply that to your website?

Turbocharge your Digital Marketing Campaign with Paid Search Advertising (PPC or SEM)

“I have the need.  The need for speed.”  I know these words first echoed through theaters in the movie, “Top Gun” but, you could be saying them as well if you want to turbocharge your digital marketing campaign.

fast cooperSo, we’ve talked about good looking cars and good looking websites.  Now we are “going under the hood” so to speak and seeing what we can do to “soup up” your digital marketing engine.

 

 

[bctt tweet=”Paid search is the digital marketing turbocharger.” username=”AllrevedupWSI”]

Paid search ads can be utilized through Google, Yahoo/Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  On Google, these ads potentially take up the first 4 spots and the last 3 spots on the search page.  These ads can be Product Listing Ads (PLA’s) for companies with products to sell, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads that cost the advertiser whenever anyone clicks on them, or you can utilize Remarketing and Display ads which appear after someone has gone to your website and not completed a “transaction” however you define it.

No matter which option you choose, you should have a dedicated landing page for your ad.  This is a page that is set up to receive the click traffic from your ad campaign.  Look at a landing page like this.

Every Ad Campaign Needs a Solid Landing Page

If I am looking for a turbocharger and I come across a paid search ad by BD Diesel, do you think I want that ad to take me to BD Diesel’s homepage where I will have to search for my turbocharger or do you think I want it take to take me to the page with turbocharger kits?  I don’t know about you, but if I land on the homepage, I may hit the back arrow and see who else has ads for turbochargers.  But, if I land on the page on BD Diesel’s site with turbochargers I might buy one.  This is called a landing page.

If I don’t buy one, BD Diesel could use a retargeting ad to have a banner pop up on the top or side of a different web page I am viewing.  This banner ad, with the BD Diesel name and logo on it, would remind me I still need to buy their turbocharging kit.

So, why is paid search a turbocharger?

Two reasons.  First, you rocket to the front of the search listings with a well-managed campaign.  Second, there is “turbo lag.”  If you have ever driven a car with a turbocharger, you have experienced that brief period while the turbo winds up right before launching you forward at breakneck speed.  Paid search has this same sort of lag.

Part of the first month of a paid search campaign is a time for research and development.  During this time, ads and landing pages are tested to see which ones will produce the best results.  After the R&D period is over, your paid search campaign rockets you forward.

A well-managed campaign includes a targeted landing page on a site with solid SEO.  The ad copy and keywords are also chosen well.  Google has a quality score which impacts the bidding process.  A business can pay more than their competition and end up with a lower ranking ad because of the quality score.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the Ultimate Tune-Up for Your Website

As we broken downfind ourselves rolling down the information superhighway, sometimes we need to stop for a tune-up.  We get our eyes, teeth, bodies and minds checked because our bodies need a tune-up.  Our cars and trucks need a tune-up.  Sometimes they need more than just an oil and filter change or new brakes.  There are times when our vehicles need new spark plugs, spark plug wires, cap and rotor, or to have other adjustments made to keep them running smoothly.

Similarly, there are times when websites need a tune-up.  This is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.  SEO ensures that your site is set-up or “optimized” for certain key search terms.  For instance, if you are a veterinarian you would want your site to show up when people are searching with words and phrases like vet, vets, animal hospital, and vet near me.  Your website needs to be tuned-up to be found in the search engines when people type in the words and phrases they would use to find businesses like yours.

SEO 101

Another aspect of SEO includes making sure your pages are labeled well and that no two pages have the same title or heading.  You also want a summary or meta-description which is unique to each page.  This is what shows up in the search engines when people are looking for you.

highwayThe pictures on your website need to be labeled with alternative text so blind users know what they are seeing.  The search engines use robot spiders to crawl the internet and they appreciate it if you give them a site map to help them find their way through your site more efficiently.

Having other sites link back to your site is also helpful.  Google and the other search engines judge you by the company you keep.  Are there leaders and influencers in your industry sending traffic to your website?  Are others sharing and liking your content?

If you are a local business, you want to rank in Google’s map box.  You need to make sure your business is listed in the countless (1600+) online directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Google Business, and others which might be industry specific like Houzz, if you are in the construction industry.

All of these are important aspects of Search Engine Optimization. [bctt tweet=”You need to invest in getting your website tuned-up with SEO for it to run and rank well.” username=”AllrevedupWSI”]

Social Media – Stand out and Get People Talking

Have you ever gone to a car show and seen a crowd of people gathered around one car while the other cars just sit there alone?  Have you ever seen one car getting all sorts of attention with people’s cameras?  Would you like to have that kind of attention for your business funneling traffic to your website?

social_media_WSI

Social Media is the new word of mouth.  Getting followers and likes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. is like having that amazing car at the show.  These followers and likes boost your ranking in the search engines.

You see Google, Yahoo/Bing and others like them are like middle school students.  They play favorites with the websites of businesses that are more popular, based on Social Media metrics.

So, what Social Media channels do you need to be on?  How often should you post?  How can you automate these postings?

What Social Media channels do you need to be on?

When I have asked people this question, many times people will say “Everywhere!”  If you have an infinite amount of time that is a good idea.  But, most of us don’t have that.  So, what is the answer? [bctt tweet=”You need to be where your target market is on social media. ” username=”AllrevedupWSI”] Do you have a wedding business?  You need to be on Pinterest.  Are you in the Business to Business (B2B) sphere?  You need to be on LinkedIn.  Are you marketing to 13-29 year olds?  Try Snapchat and Instagram.

Facebook?  Every business needs to be on Facebook.  Facebook has 1.7 billion users worldwide.  The other platforms have 25% of those users.  Make sure you invest in Facebook and the other places you target market spends time.

How often should I post?

You should post original content five times on Twitter, and twice on each of the other platforms to get people to see it.  Post at regular intervals so people know when and where to find your content.

Repurpose other people’s content on a regular basis.  You don’t have to be the only content generator.  Ideally, 65% of the content you post is original, but don’t be afraid of sharing what other people are saying. When you find an article, infographic, or picture you think your target market would like – share it with them.

How can I spread out my posting?

I tend to do my reading in blocks of time.  When I did this, I found myself posting up to 8 articles within 2 hours and then not posting again for another 3-7 days.  I had two choices.  Either I could save articles and put calendar reminders to post or I could utilize a tool.  I use HootSuite to make it appear that I am always on Social Media.  I know people who use Buffer to do the same thing.  Each of these tools lets you auto schedule posts to appear on the different social media channels you are on.

Get people talking                                                                                                       

Get people talking about your business by providing them helpful and engaging content that they will like and share with others.

Contact us if you would like a complimentary digital marketing strategy session to kick off 2017.

Dave Hall owns AllRevedUp Internet Solutions powered by WSI, an full-service Digital Marketing Agency located in Monument, CO, just north of Colorado Springs. The WSI network was created in 1BG (1 year Before Google) and is comprised of over 1000 consultants in 80 countries around the globe. WSI is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Our Digital Marketing Consultants use their knowledge and expertise to make a difference for businesses all around the world. We’re a powerful network of marketers who strive to discover, analyze, build and implement digital solutions that win digital marketing awards and help businesses succeed online.