By Craig Kilgore
I’ve written a lot about beginner SEO in the past to include tips, strategies and my opinions about the industry in general. What intrigues me to continue writing about basics is the fact that digital marketing is fast paced and constantly evolving and this is something that will never change. With that being said, there are constants or “core” components that can and should be included in every digital marketing strategy in my professional opinion.
With it being so easy to get caught up in all of the “noise” and lose sight of digital marketing fundamentals, I share with you 3 beginner tips that have helped me reach such a high level of success with countless number of businesses.
Develop a content marketing strategy early:
Developing content is nothing new but given the introduction of Google’s Search Plus Your World, new social networks, growing importance of increasing brand awareness and other factors (both new and old), developing a content marketing strategy early on in the digital marketing process is a must.
Start this process by defining your business goals if you haven’t done so already.
Once you have your business goals defined, determine what type(s) of content will help you reach those goals (blog posts, visual based content, videos, etc.), and it could very well be a combination of multiple content types. At this point, you will want to create yourself an editorial calendar. Instead of getting more in depth on this, Distilled did a great job explaining why it is important to create an editorial calendar for content marketing here.
After launching a piece of content, get social with it. If you have an established following, getting social could just a matter of sharing your content with your audience. If you lack an audience, you have a little more work cut out for you. Guest blogging or sharing with an already developed community might get your more of a response and help you move forward towards your business goals.
Now that your content is published and shared with your social circle(s), this takes us on to measuring success.
Don’t focus solely on rankings:
When it comes to measuring how successful your digital marketing campaign is, don’t focus solely on rankings. Ranking on the first page of Google under a given key phrase does not necessarily equate to success. Is this key phrase driving relevant traffic to your website? Are your visitors converting? After reaching your site through a keyword search, at what point does that visitor leave your website? These are just a few questions you should be asking and ultimately measuring.
From a measuring standpoint, the screenshot above is just scratching the surface and should in no way be the end of your data analysis. At this point, I might want to analyze individual page performance to determine which of my pages are performing to my expectations. This could include product pages with high bounce rates and low conversion rates or blog pages with low traffic and low engagement rates (social shares, comments, etc.).
Remember, coming to conclusions on whether or not your site/site’s pages are performing is ultimately determined by your business goals which for the sake of this blog post, I am determining you set forth before implementing a digital marketing strategy.
Always be testing:
Now that your content marketing strategy is developed and you know how to measure success, don’t become complacent. From title optimization to UX testing, landing page designs and/or conversion rate optimization, ALWAYS BE TESTING! Sometimes the slightest modifications (location of a call to action button) can yield unexpected positive results.
Tools such as Google’s Website Optimizer are perfect for A/B testing.
A/B testing can certainly be time consuming and costly so if you are a small business on a budget, John Paul Titlow wrote a post titled 3 Affordable A/B Testing Tools For Small Businesses that is worth checking out.
Remember, when working in such a fast paced, ever changing industry, sometimes it’s the basics that will bring you the most success. I hope that you find my tips useful in your quest for improved visibility, better brand awareness, higher conversion rates and overall business success. Whether you are an in-house SEO or work for an agency, continuously set goals, define important metrics, develop a content marketing strategy and always be testing.
Craig Kilgore is a digital marketer with more than 6 years of professional experience. Craig currently heads up the R&D department at Mainstreethost which is a digital marketing and business development company specializing in SEO, paid search, social media and content marketing and web development