Here are 12 marketing to dos for this year – all with an Inbound twist!
1. Consider adding some of the following pages to your site:
Reviews & Testimonials
Meet the Team
First off search engines love fresh content and to see a site that is developing on a regular basis as it shows that you really are alive and kicking! Also, the more content/pages you have on your site the more terms you can bring in traffic for.
2. Remove any borrowed copy (manufactures descriptions etc.) from your website pages and replace it with well written and unique copy.
Search engines hate duplicate content. It is thought that they will only give credit to it once and normally that’s on the first website for which it was used. Borrowed copy is doing you no favours so rewrite it as soon as you can!
3. Make a habit of asking previous/current customers for testimonials and add them to your new testimonials page or relevant product or service pages. Put a strategy in place for encouraging customers to leave reviews on G+ local, Trip Advisor, Review Centre, Yell or whichever site is most relevant to your industry.
Testimonials/reviews help to build trust in the mind of potential customers, showing that you are a genuine business with satisfied customers. If a customer trusts you then they are more likely to convert. You can use Schema to mark up your reviews so that they are easily recognisable to the search engines. Google will sometimes display testimonials within the search engine results pages which could have a positive impact on your click through rates (CTRs). They will also be able to tell that your landing pages are more than just a few lines of text and a ‘buy now’ button. More substantial landing pages plus decent click through rates can only ever be an SEO positive.
4. Update and optimise the imagery on your site.
No user wants to see crabby, pixelated images when they land on a page. This could cause them to bounce back to the search results and have a negative impact on your sites engagement metrics. Also, make sure you fill out the Alt tag when you upload your image. This should tell the search engine what the image is of and will help determine its ranking in image search.
5. Consider adding a related product feed to your product pages and a related content feed to your blog.
This will help with what we call user intent. This is where a user types in a search query and clicks one of the search results but doesn’t find the exact thing they are looking for on the page. Instead of letting them bounce back to the search engine results pages you want them to dig a little deeper on your site. A related product or post may just catch their eye and cause them to spend longer on your site and look at more pages(can you feel those engagement metrics improving!), but only if you have a feed!
6. Register your business on relevant business directories for citations.
Not only will get a bit of exposure for your business it will also help with your local SEO. A citation is basically any place on-line which uses your company details (not necessarily the URL) such as Yelp or any other local business directory. These citations help increase the degree of certainty a search engine has about your businesses contact details. It’s a bit of a trust factor really which can in-turn help your ranking as they know you’re not www.give-me-all-your-money.uk.com, a spam site running from someone’s bedroom. Make sure that you use EXACTLY the same details (i.e. company name) when you are creating a listing otherwise this can 1. Be a bit confusing and 2. Look a little suspect.
7. Make sure you have clear, strong and consistent branding across all of your marketing materials and have a plan for raising brand awareness.
I recently wrote a post about why branding and SEO were becoming more and more synonymous. A weak, messy and inconsistent brand will get the anti-trust radar going in no time for both search engines and customers.
9. Place a focus on personal branding. Review all of your social networking bios, always use the same picture and name when doing anything on-line or perhaps wear yellow shoes.
People are more likely to share content (status updates, blog posts & videos etc.) from someone that they trust; this trust is built up by personal branding and reputation management. You would also expect that someone with a strong personal brand would have a large social following and it is expected that social signals will only become more important for search.
9. Commission an infographic
Infographics are a great way of presenting data or information in a digestible and eye catching way. They are a great alternative to blog posts and very sharable. Make sure that you put the infographic on your website and generate an embed code for it. That way if someone wants to share it on their blog or website they can just grab the embed code. Immediately there is a link back to your site (without the link building sweats) and extra exposure.
10. Write an e-book, or or tool and publish on your site. Check out the home page of James’ site and have a look at his ‘minutes spent changing nappies this year’ counter as well as the ‘random name’ generator.
It goes without saying that all this extra content on your site is fabulous as per point 1. Resources can also help with your link building efforts. Think about it, as a webmaster you are probably going to be reluctant to link out to a commercial website. However, to link out to an awesome resource which your readers will find useful is a different story!
11. Do a video blog
Blog writing can be difficult for the rest of us (don’t let my 949 words and counting fool you!). Videos are a great way to vary your blog content as well as adding a touch of personality. Oh…and Google owns YouTube!
12. Send out a press release and engage in a bit of PR
In a recent Inbound Debate, Nick says that he believes PR is now one of the most effective ways to obtain high quality links. With updates like Panda targeting low quality content, SEOs and business owners have had to shut down the content mill and really look at ways to create super high quality & engaging content. This type of content lends itself to PR and through this channel you should see an increase in social sharing and links pointing back to your site.