SEO & Digital Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation & Website Promotion
Digital Marketing is a huge field which changes every day. It is becoming more & more important for businesses to improve their on-line presence & interact with their customers.
I always encourage business owners to manage their own digital marketing / social media output, because they should know what their main selling points are. Many business owners do not have the time to spend writing Facebook posts or Tweets… but there are many tools out there to make things easier.
SEO / Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines are getting cleverer every day, and there is no point in trying to second guess how their algorithms work. You just need to follow the basic Webmaster guidelines provided by Google, and be honest, descriptive & concise with your website content. Using the correct page titles, meta information & keyword density will help greatly, which is where an experienced web designer will come in handy.
All websites that I create will be set up with SEO in mind. There are free tools that you can use that highlight any SEO errors on any given web page, but a lot of it is just common sense & using good copy-writing.
Glitter Body Art
Glitter Body Art are an e-commerce company based in Bridgend, who design & manufacture tattoo stencils & glitter tattoo products. I work with them approximately one day per week to design their products & manage their website, ensuring that they maintain their position on search engines.
When I joined them they had one website, using a very clunky PayPal shop, which didn’t provide a good user experience – but they had very good sales & search engine position. In order to maintain their position, yet provide a better user experience, we developed a secondary e-commerce website to direct customers to.
We then created the Temporary Tattoo Store. With 1000’s of products on their website, it was important to build the website with SEO in mind, trying to avoid any duplicate page titles or page content. After building their e-commerce website, it was also necessary to train the business owner on how to effectively use social media to promote themselves.
They have since built an impressive number of followers who interact with their social media posts every day. All of which helps to keep the website in focus of search engines. They also have a solid database of customers to send email marketing campaigns to… which was implemented by myself.
Sharing your website content on social media platforms is a great way to interact with your customers & provides more avenues for search engine spiders to find your website. But it can be time consuming.
There are many free tools provided by most platforms which make it easy to share your website content – such as the Facebook Like / Share button, or the Twitter Tweet button. The important part is to create interesting, engaging content on your own website that you are happy to share.
A well written article with useful information, or an online competition are popular ways to get people involved. And it is important to keep the topics close to the area of your business, to attract like-minded people.
For the majority of my web design projects I install a number of social media plugins – depending upon the clients preferred social media platform. I then instruct the owner on how to use them.
Welsh Brew Tea
Welsh Brew Tea are doing things the right way. After building their e-commerce website, they asked me to help them implement a social media campaign, promoting a nice competition using video content & a blog.
They produced a series of videos conveying the Welsh lifestyle, which we posted into a blog post on their website. They then asked their customers / followers to reply to the post, asking them ‘What stirs your soul?’. They then shared the competition on various social media platforms & created an email marketing campaign to promote the competition.
The blog post has had an amazing response, with over 50 people actively interacting & posting a comment on the blog post within the first 24 hours of releasing it! They will follow up the competition over the next few months by releasing a further 2 videos.
Visit: The Welsh Brew competition
PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising
Google AdWords or Bing Ads are the most popular PPC platforms, but a PPC campaign sometimes requires a lot of refining & monitoring to ensure you are not just throwing money down the drain!
I manage PPC campaigns for a number of local businesses, monitoring keywords & search terms to make sure their adverts are attracting the right people & avoiding wasted clicks.
AdWords is a minefield in itself! If you don’t carefully select your keywords – ensuring that your landing page reflects your advert – while eliminating any negative keywords, you will surely get a lot of unnecessary clicks… costing you money.
It is also very important to check out your competition. Because if you are going head to head with a larger, more established company, you have to be a lot cleverer than them to be successful. Because they will probably be able to out-bid you.
The West London Dermatology Centre / Derm Clinic are a specialist skin clinic who use laser technology to treat patients for various skin disorders & cosmetic procedures. After creating their responsive website, I also manage their various PPC campaigns. Adverts were created for each treatment offered, with a corresponding landing page & advert.
Adverts are targeted geographically, setting a radius of 30 miles around London. Targeting keywords relating to the services offered, yet blocking any search terms that may be associated with the treatments, but not actually offered.
Geographic targeting is not absolutely fool-proof, because if you don’t want Google to know your location, you are invisible to these ads… but it is fairly effective & avoids wasted clicks.
The Derm Clinic account also covers several other cosmetic brands, including AcroPass & Skinova Cosmeceuticals. Each of which has a separate PPC campaign dedicated to each product.
Creating a good email campaign takes a bit of practice or trial & error, due to the various ways people read emails – whether on their mobile phone, using a desktop mail client, or an online account like Hotmail – creating the perfect email is quite tricky.
Sometimes the old style HTML tables are more reliable… because most email clients remove any header script information (like CSS style sheets). Mixing tables with in-line CSS styling can produce most effects you could possibly want. But you should avoid using too many images, because it is very likely that the recipient will not even bother to download images.
You also need to be aware of certain words or phrases that may be considered spam, along with the layout & message that you are sending to people – to make the maximum impact & getting the message across a simply as possible.
Having worked for several online companies, I have managed email design & distribution for a wide range of audiences – for national & global companies. I currently facilitate digital marketing for a number of local companies, managing their databases of contacts & sending emails to various sets of customers.
Clinical Marketing was set up to facilitate all kinds of digital marketing output for several clinical companies. I created Clinical Marketing to act as an e-commerce portal, which automatically handles on-going subscriptions for clients.
I produce & deploy email marketing campaigns for several of these companies, using many different databases of contacts, targeting various audiences. Having control over each website hosting & email accounts, I can easily switch sending addresses for different companies / campaigns.
Blogging & Copy-writing
The most important aspect of SEO is to be original, concise & descriptive. Search engines will give valuable content more prominence in their search results, so good copy-writing is very important.
Blogging is perhaps the best way to get your words out there. If you create an interesting blog post, people will start finding it & hopefully interact with you. Blog posts are easily shared on platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and if you are providing some useful information, people are more likely to share it.
For 90% of my web design projects I provide a blog feature or news section. I always encourage people to update this regularly, but most business owners do not have time to write articles. But at least the feature is there if they find the time!
ModRed Design Blog
My blog is just an example of how posts / articles can generate traffic for your website. By looking at Google Analytics, I can see that I get a fair amount of visitors directly from my blog – which tells you that Google gives some prominence to informative articles.
I try to encourage my clients to take the time to write articles, but obviously not everybody has the time to do this. It also takes a bit of imagination & old fashioned English skills to write a good article, which many people say is perhaps not their strongest point.
But if you can take the time & create an interesting post / article – preferably within the field of your business – maybe including original images & video content, it will surely bring visitors to your website, or at least slightly boost your rankings on search engines & allow people to find you.
Visit: The ModRed Design Blog
Analytics & Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics is a very useful tool which gives you mountains of information about your website visitors. It tells you where your visitors are, geographically, how long they spend on your site, how they found your website – along with many other statistics that are important to know.
Webmaster Tools, also a free bit of kit from Google, will tell you how your website is viewed by search engine bots / spiders. It will tell you if there are any faults with your SEO set-up, and give you tips on how to fix the faults.
Google Plus & Google Maps have recently been merged into one account, but previously existed as separate tools. It is worth getting a Google account & create a business page on Google Plus – this will show your business on Google Maps, which can often appear above natural listings for local searches.
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