Digital Marketing & SEO Tricks for your Web Design

As a small or mid-sized business, hiring a quality Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) consultant or agency can be expensive and a painstakingly tricky terrain to navigate. Guiding and effectively managing SEO consultants is equally challenging. What questions do you ask them? What tactics are working? How were results achieved?

Here are 10 do-it-yourself SEO tips that business owners or marketing managers can try before hiring an SEO agency or consultant.

 1. Understand your Online Market and Target Customers

Having an offline, real-world understanding of your market and target customers is only half the story. Habits and behavior often differ online in comparison to the offline world. A prominent offline presence does not equate to a dominant online presence. A leading national store that stocks and sells curtains and blinds, for instance, might have much tougher competition from the online-only curtain and blind retailers.

Search online for products and services you offer and take note of the most prominent websites. Study their customer reviews and benchmark their social media presence and activity. You will likely find businesses you have not come across.

2. Master Keyword Research

You probably understand your industry jargon and are aware that your customers might use different terms than your trade colleagues to refer to your services or goods. The process of keyword research provides a rounded understanding of key phrases, search terms, and also online demand for products or services.

All business owners and managers intending to market online should know how to run keyword research.

I suggest free keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, which requires that you have an AdWords account, and Übersuggest, a Google suggest scraper tool.

If you have the funds, then the paid keywords research tools worth trying are SEMRush and Wordtracker.

Also understand your industry’s head key-phrases (general and highest search volume) and long-tail key-phrases (varied and more specific key phrases usually over four words).

Consider printing out and sticking your keyword research on a notice board as a constant reminder of your online focus.

3. Plan your Site

Now that you have an understanding of the most searched keywords and the most relevant long-tail words, you should have an idea of what pages on your website address those search queries.

Having a list on paper or a spreadsheet of all top, mid, and low-tier web pages and their corresponding keyword focus forms the basis of your website’s architecture. Each high and medium priority keyword from your keyword research should have a corresponding page on your site.

Long-tail keywords should be used in blog posts and FAQs.

4. Build your Site

Now that you have an idea of the pages that should be on your site, the next step is to build the best site in your industry with the help of a professional web designer or agency and with user-testing focus groups.

Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, advises site owners to build great websites that users love and want to tell their friends about — sites that users visit over and over again. Any website built in 2013 should be mobile responsive to cater for smartphone browsers. WordPress is terrific for most small and mid-sized businesses due to its simplicity, flexibility, support, in-built SEO features, and access to a vast library of free and premium plugins.

5. Start Blogging or Producing Regular Content

You don’t have to start a blog, but start publishing your own content on a scheduled basis. I am not advocating turning your business into a publishing company by posting content every day. Scheduling weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly updates is my recommendation — consistency is key. Also, bear in mind that content does not necessarily need to be text — for example, an architectural firm could publish professionally taken photographs of its projects or Realtors could publish weekly video bulletins. Publishing content that is tailored to the content consumption habits of your target audience is the goal.

6. Build your Social Media Network

Join Google+ and then figure out one or two other social media platforms to hone in on. You have lots of options to choose from, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Social media enables you to connect with your customers, publishers, and an audience for the content that you produce. Understanding and nurturing these relationships would swiftly produce results and help your SEO in the long run.

7. DIY Public Relations

Public relations plays a key role in off-page SEO. You should know how to:

Establish and tell a compelling story about your brand;
Get media attention;
Pitch not just to journalists but also bloggers and social media influencers;
Use social media to establish relationships and promote your brand.

8. Understand Google Analytics

Have a basic understanding of Google Analytics. Understand the type of reports each Google Analytics tab covers — Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, Conversions, and Real-Time.
This will help you appreciate the concept of traffic and its sources as well as let you read monthly or weekly reports provided to you by your SEO or web design agency.

The importance of analytics in digital marketing is akin to financial reports in accounting.

9. Read at Least One SEO Blog

Familiarise yourself with SEO by reading a factual SEO guide and then subscribing to an SEO blog — time permitting. Here are my key recommendations.

The top free beginner guides to SEO are Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO, Search Engine Land’s SEO Guide, Google SEO Start Guide, and KISSmetrics’ guide to SEO.
For keeping up to date with SEO changes (especially if you are time-strapped), the two video channels I suggest are Moz’s Whiteboard Friday and the Google Webmasters YouTube channel.
If you have more time on your hands and are keen to follow the SEO industry, then subscribe to Moz, Search Engine Land, and Matt Cutts’ blog.

10. Ask Questions

Anytime you are stuck or need answers, jump into SEO communities to ask questions. Google’s Webmaster Forum offers the largest SEO community on the web. Another good community is the Webmaster World Forum. Others I recommend are Moz’s Q&A Forum, SEOChat — which is where I started learning about SEO, SEO Round Table, and Search Engine Watch Forum.

These communities are also good places for hiring SEO consultants or agencies.

I hope these 10 steps help you save money, get better rankings, and avoid throwing money away. They could also help you become a better SEO client by asking the right questions and utilising the agency or consultant you hire to its fullest potential.

Of course, If you want that agency to be us, we would be delighted to help you on your journey. Just click here to fill out the enquiry form and we can take it from there.

Hope this helps,

Greig

Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Dundee - Web Design Scotland

Good social media presence is not just merely an option, it is necessary for brands nowadays.

In the past couple of years, marketing in social media channels has grown rapidly. New features like ephemeral content by SnapChat, live feature by Facebook, are helping a brand to connect with their customers more effectively.

According to a study by The CMO Survey, the marketing budget spent by brands on social media is expected to double (from 11% to 24%) in the next five years. Also as per records by Statistica, 95% young adults follow a brand via social media networking and the count of social media users at the end of 2018 would be 2.5 billion. But even such highly convincing stats have not been able to convince the remaining ones about benefits of social networking sites and join the bandwagon.

Here are 7 reasons why your business needs strong social media presence these days:

1. Search Engine Visibility

Every business wants to increase traffic and user engagement but will it be possible if your prospects are not able to find you over the internet? Social media profiles help you dominate first search result page in a more natural way, which further increases profits. Consider the fact that millennials spent a large amount of time on social platforms, and their value will increase further.

Moreover, presence on social media channels will not only generate business for you but also stop brand negativity to reach top positions.

2. Company Mouthpiece

Whether you are new to the industry or have been a part of it for many years, a positive word-of-mouth will always help you gain customers. Social media marketing help business owners keep their clients updated about new launches, company policies and also team activities.

Online social networking gives you a chance to build narration to capture your customers’ interest. Each Facebook post and tweet can share company values, ethics, and much more. But don’t flood your followers with x number of updates every day. Make sure that everything is relevant.

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3. Trust-building Channels

Social media presence has become vital to earn customers’ trust. You can survive without a physical store but not having a social presence will be scorned at. Be it online stores or startups, this is true for all online businesses. If you don’t have active presence on social media channels, then, you are missing out on brand critical profiles.

4. Competitive Advantage

Do you think your competitors also don’t care about social media presence? You may be wrong. There are high chances that they are investing their time and money into building a positive online social presence to gain business.

Not having a social media presence will derive you of all its benefits and they will be automatically passed on to your competitor. So, take a good look around and see what they have been doing.

5. Virtual Connect with Customers

It is critical for virtual companies to prove their credibility and gain customer confidence. Social media platforms give you the opportunity to create a bond with your customers. As a brand, you have to know that it is important to engage your customers and thus uses different social media networks to promote your services. For instance, Creative Facebook posts can be used to interact with customers and give them a chance to engage with your business.

6. Sales & Business Leads

Social media is immensely useful in generating leads. With modern social channels like Pinterest and YouTube that allow direct purchases, social media has become even more powerful. Instagram, too, launched a call to action button that helps its audience to shop and install applications.

Social media is evolving very fast and it will very soon drive sales in a big way. And if you will not be there when it happens, well, you will the losing party.

 

7. Marketing Channels

Driving sales is seen as one of the biggest merits of social networking sites. All the social media channels have well-defined marketing machinery in place to help brands connect with their target audience. Facebook’s Sponsored Posts and Twitter’s Marketing Campaigns are two of the most popular ways to market your products and services.

Every social media channel has unique marketing channels. Though you don’t necessarily need to have a social media presence to use these channels, having the same will multiply the gains. Global brands link their marketing campaigns with their social profiles to increase likes and followers.

The power of social media is huge, and it can open the doors of success for your business when used in the right manner. Benefits generated by social media channels are measurable and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using them.

Conclusion

Everything said, make sure you choose the right social channels and step in with a detailed strategy. Just posting images and status updates will not help your business. The right combination of informative and promotion posts are required to generate desired results. Plus, generating leads from social media advertising is entirely different ballgame that requires experience and insights.

To find out how we can take your business into the social-sphere and start generating business online, just ping us an email at [email protected] or visit our project page using the link in the red box below

5 Ways 5G Will Aid Your Business

Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Scotland - Web Design Dundee
I get asked often, where do you see things in terms of digital in 5 to 10 years time. Well, we don’t really need to look as far as 10 years, or even 5 for the next big turn in the digital revolution wheel. Let’s talk about 5G5G remains a work in progress, but that progress is getting closer to completion. Some are forecasting the network’s arrival as soon as 2020, though that remains just an estimate. Regardless, the functionality of the system, once operational, will be remarkable, far outstripping speeds of previous networks. This will undoubtedly have a massive impact on business – for the better.Wider bandwidth means more opportunities for companies, including stabler video conferencing, more options for streaming in-depth content to users and opening doors for distributed artificial intelligence applications.

While the system isn’t commercially available yet, members of the Forbes technology Council are already looking ahead to the potential it could offer to their businesses or the industry as a whole.

This is what they’re expecting:

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The Government wants the UK to be a ‘world leader’ in 5G
1. Older Tech Will Become More Mainstream 

I believe the biggest impact that 5G can bring for my business is actually a backdoor one. For every big new wave in the tech field, the previous high-end tech becomes mainstream. This means that 5G will indirectly enable 4G to be widely adopted across the globe and especially hitting developing countries, which will be great for SaaS companies that offer products built for small businesses.

2. There Will Be More Face-To-Face, Real-Time Virtual Interactions With Our Customers 

With 5G wireless allowing for faster internet speed, there is an opportunity for us to create more face-to-face, real-time virtual interactions with our customers. On the business development front, we anticipate new ways to virtually meet with clients, prospects, and providers. It could also help distribute powerful, original video content for training our employees and associates.

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The future of the Internet of things is not that far away…..
3. 5G Parameters Portend Greater Branch Synergy 

As a company reliant on cloud-based services for seamless data transfer between member branches and partners, faster connectivity and lower latency translates to increased productivity. Besides increasing reliability — and thereby decreasing attention to minor technicalities — 5G parameters portend greater branch synergy, allowing for smoother remote interaction and increased focus on company priorities.

4. Everything Will Be More Connected And Efficient

With faster data speeds, low latency and a more connected world, my business will become for efficient than ever before once 5G is a reality. A 5G network will also do wonders for the industrial scales we design and manufacture. Our customers’ businesses and operations will also improve efficiency and become more connected with 5G.

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It is almost vital to keep your business up to date in today digital revolution.
5. More People Will Move To Cloud-Based Software 

Faster internet speeds lower the cost of innovation. We’ll see more people move from downloaded accounting software to cloud-based accounting, which impacts the number of businesses looking for a product like Quickbooks etc.

It is almost vital to keep your business up to date in todays digital revolution. You don’t need to look too far for classic examples of businesses that fell complacent and failed to embrace peoples changing behavior towards buying online – as a result of the new digital landscape,

Toys R ‘Us, Woolworths to name few….

If you have any questions or need our expertise about the topics in this article, we are happy to answer them! You can contact us by clicking here or email us at [email protected]

Hope this helps,

Greig

Click here to find out more about our Digital Makeovers

 

Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Scotland - Web Design & Digital Strategy Dundee
A good business website is like having an extra employee—one who works 24/7 and can be the face of your company, give information, answer queries and even make sales. But what good does that do you if you aren’t getting visitors to your site? In this post we’ll cover thirteen of the many ways to drive traffic to your website.The Importance of Website TrafficWebsite traffic is both an important indicator and driver of business growth. It can help you to:•  See how well your marketing is working•  Gather insight about your audience to make decisions

•  Improve your SEO and search engine credibility

•  Generate more leads, increase conversions, and get more customers

How to Get More Website VisitorsThere are 1.24 billion websites in the world. That’s a lot of competition, but keep in mind that you’re not trying to attract all internet users. Your goal is to get more people in your target audience to visit your site.

Below are some simple ways to increase the amount of traffic that you are getting to your website.

Hope this helps,

Greig

Here are 10 Ways to generate more business from your website

1. Perform On-Page SEO

There are many SEO tactics you can perform on each of your website pages to increase their rank in search engines and get more visitors. This includes producing high-quality content that your audience is searching for and writing concise meta descriptions for your pages. The meta description appears below your URL in search results. Knowing what a page is about and what will result in a click makes users much more likely to do so.

2. Get Listed

Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in online directories and review sites. For most of these sites, your profile will have a link to your website, so actively updating these listings and getting positive reviews is likely to result in more website traffic.

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3. Post to Social Media with Hashtags

Use social media to promote blog posts and other useful content on your website. This way you can get your social media followers to your site, as well as users in your followers’ networks who share your content.

By adding hashtags to posts that promote your website pages, you can extend your reach beyond your network and get discovered by users searching for your products and services.

4. Advertise Online

Online advertising is perhaps the most basic way to get more people to visit your site. Social media paid search, and display advertising are all excellent channels for PPC advertising to boost website traffic.

5. Target Long-Tail Keywords

While short-tail keywords are often searched more frequently, it is more difficult to rank for them on search engines. Targeting long-tail keywords, on the other hand, gives you a better chance of ranking higher (even on the first page) for queries specific to your products and services—and higher ranking means more traffic. Plus, as search engines and voice-to-text capabilities advance, people are using more specific phrases to search online.

6. Start Email Marketing

Sending out regular newsletters and promoting offers through email is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and can also help to get traffic to your website. Provide useful information and links to pages on your website where they can learn more, such as through blog posts and offer landing pages. Just make sure that you don`t continually bombard your readers with emails or your customers will either disengage with, delete, or unsubscribe from your emails.

Also, put careful thought into your email subject lines. These heavily influence whether or not a user opens your email. If your emails never get opened, they can’t supply traffic to your site!

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7. Use Landing Pages

Create landing pages specific to your offers, such as for redeeming discount codes, downloading a free guide, or starting a free trial. Landing pages are another source of traffic to your website. Plus, they contain the details users need in order to move forward and convert.

8. Guest Blog

Having a micro-influencer publish a blog post on your site can help to increase your web traffic, as they are likely to share the post with their large audience. It can also help to add more variety to your content and show your visitors that you are active in your field. Alternatively, you could ask the influencer to mention your business in their own review or round-up post, or you could turn an interview with the influencer into a blog post that is likely to get traffic.

You can also be a guest blogger. Identify complementary businesses in your area whose audience is relevant to your business. See if you can contribute a post to their blog with a link back to your website. Make sure your content is relevant and useful to their audience so that it’s more of an even exchange.

9. Engage Online

Be active in online groups and on websites that are relevant to your business and community. Comment on blogs and social media posts, answer questions people are posting, and participate in conversations about your industry. The more you engage with your community, the more exposure and profile visits you get. If your social media profiles contain a link to your website, then you’ve turned your engagement into another channel for website traffic. Just be sure to engage moderately and in a sincere way, and avoid including links to your website in your comments

Just be sure to engage moderately and in a sincere way, lest you hurt your online and business reputation. Also, avoid including links to your website directly in your comments, as this is spammy. Increased traffic should not be the goal of your engagement, but rather a secondary result.

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10. Learn from Your Analytics

Use tracked links for your marketing campaigns and regularly check your website analytics. This will enable you to identify which strategies and types of content work, which ones need improvement, and which ones you should not waste your time on.

These are only some of the many strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. Getting more website visitors does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication, but we’ve eliminated the hard part for you: knowing what to do in the first place. Implement a mix of these strategies and you’ll start seeing improvements in your website traffic.

Need help to generate more business online? Click Here

If you have any questions or need our expertise about the topics in this article, we are happy to answer them! You can contact us by clicking here

or email us at

[email protected]

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Business Tips & Advice from Outside Media Group Scotland

Thomas Edison grossed 1,093 patents over the course of his career. He was also reportedly fired from his first two jobs for not being productive. Huh?

Popular opinion might say that’s because creativity needs both stimulation and room to breathe. These workplaces were likely either uninteresting or too stressful, preventing Edison from flapping his inventive wings toward the problems he wanted to solve.

But this might not be the case. As it turns out, stress and creativity aren’t always mutually exclusive.

The stressed, many-hats-wearing employee could actually be the most innovative one in the office.

Here are three different kinds of stress, their connection to creativity, and how your career could be on the verge of the most inventive work you’ve ever done with just the right type and amount of stress.

1. The ‘Task-Switching’ Stress

In a recent behavioral study conducted by Columbia Business School, researchers had participants engage in creative brainstorming for multiple projects while using one of three work styles. Some could change projects whenever they wished, others split their focus in half, and a third group continuously shifted to a different project at a set interval.

And the most original team was …

Group three! So-called “task-switching,” although much faster-paced, shakes up the thought process before it hits a wall — and it often does. Mine did in this very blog post.

“When attempting problems that require creativity, we often reach a dead end without realizing it,” the study’s authors explain in Harvard Business Review. “Regularly switching back and forth between two tasks at a set interval can reset your thinking, enabling you to approach each task from fresh angles.”

Frequently changing gears forces you to change your view of each task as you revisit it. This style of working fosters more creativity and avoids the “rigid thinking” that occurs when you focus for too long on the same project. You know what this feels like: the mental block from writing, designing, analyzing, or thinking about one thing so hard, you exhaust the subject.

Changing the subject refreshes your view of each undertaking, curing this classic problem. In other words, Thomas Edison’s creativity likely has a direct correlation to the size of his patent list …

Where You’d Find It

Graphic design and video production — especially in agency settings — are volume-dependent work. An awesome YouTube channel needs a consistent stream of content. But you’re only as awesome as your bandwidth allows, right?

Wrong. Task-switching says a diverse workload can make you more efficient and effective. Think about it: The more creative assignments you have on your plate, the broader your mental canvas, and the more opportunities you’ll have for inspiration as you shift back and forth between each design or video you’re working on.

2. The ‘Meaningful’ Stress

Recently, two Chinese psychologists published a study about job stressors and their effect on the creativity of more than 280 employees in various businesses. What they found is that not all stress hampered good ideas. The stressors that were seen as constructive and challenging to an employee’s goals and development had a direct link to idea generation.

On the other hand, the stress that was seen as as a hindrance to those goals did the opposite.

What made the difference? The first stressor holds meaning to an employee, and it’s another way stress can make us more creative.

Teresa Amabile, professor at Harvard Business School, explains this idea in her book “The Progress Principle.” She suggests there are four stress conditions where you’d feel the heat:

  1. “On a treadmill”: Your work is high-pressure but low in meaning.
  2. “On autopilot”: Your work is low-pressure and low in meaning.
  3. “On an expedition”: Your work is low-pressure but high in meaning.
  4. “On a mission”: Your work is high-pressure and high in meaning.

Here’s a matrix of this concept by marketing consultant Kim Tasso:

Four conditions that connect stress and creativity, according to Kim Tasso.

Image via Red Star Kim

Both “on a treadmill” and “on autopilot” are highly repetitive work environments and therefore less engaging — requiring little creativity. However, “on an expedition” and “on a mission” are more goal-oriented and more meaningful to you as a result. That meaning is precisely what kindles creativity, according to Amabile.

When people reach goals they consider meaningful, Amabile writes in her book, they “feel good, grow their positive self-efficacy,” and “get even more revved up to tackle the next job.”

The relationship between stress and creativity here depends on how you perceive the stress you’re under at any given time. Is it connected to a goal you find meaningful? Does it push you to accomplish this goal? If so, that little dose of stress may be helping you think outside the box and grow your career.

Where You’d Find It

Marketers are no strangers to work that has a specific endgame. SEO strategy, social media management, and conversion optimization are some of the most rewarding projects to take on because they’re usually attached to a meaningful, quantitative goal.

Having goal metrics chained to your ankle may not be the most comfortable, but they’re a positive form of stress that can actually inspire some of the most creative problem-solving approaches over the course of your career.

3. The ‘Deadline’ Stress

Perhaps the most common work stressor of all, time constraints are the plague of everyone who’s paid to do anything. But as the above two scenarios prove, certain amounts of pressure are important to keeping a creative task moving forward.

For this third stressor, let’s look at a case study by Amabile detailed in “The Progress Principle,” wherein she surveyed creative teams from seven companies across three industries. She found that although tight deadlines did hinder creativity, so did mild deadlines. Spoiler alert: The third situation — moderate deadlines — produced the best ideas.

The first situation carried a tight deadline where people were performing high-pressure, low-meaning “treadmill” work. These employees’ efforts simply weren’t making an impact, and therefore they didn’t see enough meaning in the work to think creatively. They faced crises, ad-hoc tasks, and the proverbial fire drills that kept them busy but no closer to finishing their core project.

Mild deadlines were the detriment of creative thinking as well, particularly if they allowed people to fade into large project teams, trail off to assist others, or stew for too long over the same assignment (remember “task-switching”?).

This brings us to Amabile’s main finding: Workers who were under a low to moderate deadline — the middle option between “tight” and “mild” — showed the most creativity across each organization, followed by those under tight deadlines. The stress of a due date may not be exciting, but a time-sensitive environment can give your work the focus it deserves and help you fend off the distractions that can derail an inspired train of thought.

“If people and companies feel that they have a real deadline, they understand it, they buy into it,” Amabile wrote in a Forbes article. “They understand the importance of what they’re doing, and the importance of doing it fast — and if they’re protected … so they can focus, they’re much more likely to be creative.”

Where You’d Find It

Few marketers know the plight of a deadline quite like content creators, but you already know what I’m going to say here: Bloggers need deadlines. One crazy tight deadline may result in lower quality, but the weekly or monthly quotas you have to meet are what keep you honest and your content focused on the needs of its audience.

Don’t let an article that welcomes stress, well, stress you out. The relationship between stress and creativity is a complex one, and any one of these stressors in excess can ruin creativity. Too much pressure, too many tasks at once, and assignments with too short of a turnaround can all cripple the final product. Keep in mind that breaks as you need them are just as healthy as the constraints of the project itself.