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Our 101 Steps to Digital Marketing (Part 2)

Creative Content

Content is arguably the driving force behind any digital marketing campaign. When companies lack online content that is informative, clear, and that resonates with readers, they stand little chance of attracting more traffic or climbing SERP rankings. Both readers and Google can tell when content doesn’t measure up.

  1. Publish quality blogs.

Blogging is a popular method of generating fresh content, but it is actually more challenging than it may appear. A great blog depends less on its inclusion of a ranking keyword than it does on the quality of its content. Today’s online reader is confronted with a wide variety of options in terms of blogging content, so if you want your blog to stand any chance of garnering wide viewership, it has to be top-notch. Make sure your writing doesn’t sound too stilted, that it presents readers with useful and informative content, and that it’s interesting enough to make them want to read your future posts. Today’s online reader also isn’t a fan of blogs that read as overt advertisements or that contain misleading “click-bait” titles that don’t reflect the blog’s actual content. In other words, blogs should focus on the experience of the reader, rather than on sending a marketing message. You should also promote your blogs on social media as part of your digital marketing plan.

 

  1. Create informative infographics.

Infographics are great alternatives to blogs, yet are slightly more condensed and engaging thanks to their dependence on visual representation. An infographic can serve as a substitute to a post on your company’s blog, or can be featured as an accompanying resource on a product or service page to better demonstrate what you offer. While well-designed infographics will likely attract a sizable number of views, you’ll want to make sure they still provide readers with a fair amount of useful information.

 

  1. Produce Whiteboard videos.

To create a whiteboard video, write out a short script advertising your service, send it to a professional voice-over company, and also include custom graphics using a video creation program like Sparkol. These videos will definitely offer additional value to viewers when placed on product/service pages, and can also make for great social media posts.

 

  1. Podcasts

Though podcasts themselves are nothing new, they are emerging as a new way to market to a digital audience. Companies can create audio files on a regular basis that offer listeners insight and perspectives on trending topics relevant to their industry.

 

  1. Include ranking keywords.

Ranking keywords are an inevitable part of effective digital marketing and should be an integral part of your content. However, incorporate keywords into content in a natural way, and alternate between short and long-tail keywords/phrases when using as anchor text to links.

 

  1. Include links back to social media profiles, product listings, individual web pages, and more.

In addition to linking to your company’s main web pages, consider incorporating links to your social media profiles, specific product listings or local web pages for more variety and relevance to readers. In addition, for onsite web content, remember that interlinking between your web pages is key.

 

  1. Don’t ignore the power of Web 2.0s.

Web 2.0s refer to content that’s published on external content platforms, such as Tumblr, Slideshare, Themefy, or Weebly. These platforms are a great way to move beyond an onsite or WordPress blog to reach a wider audience.

 

  1. Position your company as an authority.

In addition to being engaging, relevant, and search engine optimized, content should also position your company as an industry authority. In other words, content should in some way offer insight into a topic based on your company’s knowledge of the field.

 

  1. Make content more useful with outbound links.

There’s no harm in including links to outbound sources in your content, either. Though this won’t directly drive traffic to your site, these links can provide readers with valuable resources. The greater value your content holds, the more likely readers will return to read more in the future.

 

  1. Publish content on a strategic schedule.

When content is published matters, too. Create an editorial schedule that sets forth when blog posts will be published, and stick to it. This schedule will be influenced by your understanding of high traffic days, notable events worth blogging about, or even holidays. Be sure that content is published on a relatively fixed basis, such as every week, every other week, or each month.

 

 

On-Site Search Engine Optimization

 

On-site SEO is central to any digital marketing campaign, as your website serves as the “hub” of your other online content and is where you’ll actually get conversions. All of the other moving parts of your digital media campaign—from blogs to social media to inbound links—always funnel back in some way to your actual website, which is why it’s critical that no effort is wasted in making it in exceptional.

 

  1. Submit an XML sitemap.

An XML sitemap is probably one of the more fundamental steps in setting up a digital marketing campaign. An XML sitemap is submitted to major search engines like Google and contains information about all of your site’s web pages, which makes for more effective search engine crawling. A site that can be easily crawled is a site that has a better chance of earning a high SERP ranking.
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  1. Implement strong meta tags that include a call to action.

A meta tag is the snippet of text that appears below the link to your company’s website on a results page. To prevent text from being cut off, meta tags should be no more than 155 characters, including spaces. They should also offer readers a succinct description of what can be found on your webpage. Meta tags should also be optimized to feature your company’s ranking keywords and include a call to action to entice readers to actually visit your site. For a better idea of how to write effective meta tags, check out our WebiMax SEO basic training resource.

 

  1. Build links.

Ensure that your website includes interlinking between pages using anchor text that is optimized for your ranking keywords. If a link will direct visitors to your men’s apparel product page, the anchor text for this link should include one of the keywords for the men’s apparel page.

 

  1. Devise effective title tags and headers.

Write title tags that are within 60 characters and include your company’s name, if room permits. The heading should also be relatively concise and, as with a title, include ranking keywords or phrases.

 

  1. Optimize graphics for a faster load time.

Slow uptime is one of the surest ways to achieve high bounce rates on your site. To help ensure that your site loads expediently, double check to see that images aren’t taking up too much space; you may find that simply reducing an image’s resolution or using gzip compression to condense files will do the trick.

  1. Produce strong web page content with keywords.

As we’ve mentioned, strong web content is informative, well-written, and inclusive of ranking keywords. The content you feature on your site’s individual pages should also be at least 200-300 words in length and feature original content; duplicate content is subject to penalization. Google will also penalize pages that appear too “spammy” as a result of an abundance of keywords, so be sure keywords and phrases are included somewhat sparingly and are actually relevant to the content on a page or the page it links to.

  1. Always include image alt tags.

Every image included on your web page should be accompanied with an appropriate alt tag that describes the image in a few words. This can include a keyword, but the tag must still be relevant to the image described. Think of these descriptions not as a means of improving a page, but as a necessity.

  1. Choose your web host wisely.

Hosting service does matter, as the type of host your company selects can either hinder or improve your site’s uptimes, speed, and availability, all of which affect user experience and your Google rankings.

  1. Make site navigation easy and intuitive.

The structure of a website is one of the most important determinants of its long-term success. To ensure that visitors can quickly and efficiently navigate a site, create a hierarchy that includes between 5 and 10 main level pages, under which visitors can locate a series of more specific subpages. These main level pages will likely attract the most site traffic, so be sure they’re optimized for keywords and are built on either CMS or HTML (both of which are friendly to search engine indexing and visitors).

  1. Monitor analytics with tools like Google Analytics, Open Tracker, and Omniture.

In the world of SEO, analytics are essential. How else would you know if an SEO campaign is working without information about your traffic or conversion rates? Use analytics to guide your company’s onsite SEO strategy, and when your findings reveal shortcomings of your company’s goals, consider A/B testing to determine how to make improvements.

  1. Remove all broken links.

Links that lead viewers to 404 pages will almost certainly drive them from your site and hinder your company’s chances of ranking high on a Google SERP. In fact, when a search engine crawls a site and encounters a broken link, it will leave the site altogether. To identify these onsite broken links (or those that are linked to your site from others and are broken), frequently check Google Webmasters.

 

  1. Pay attention to URLs.

A URL that is poorly structured can stand in the way of effective search engine indexing, high rankings, and growth in traffic, which is why every page URL should be designed to be within the 256 character maximum, feature only lower case words, and include relevant descriptors with keywords. URLs should not include random number sequences or spaces, and all words should be separated with a hyphen.

Continue to part 3

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