How Can I Improve My Digital Marketing Myself?
A recent meeting with our North Perth networking group prompted a conversation about digital marketing and ChatGPT, as well as how small businesses can improve their digital marketing, relatively easily regardless of technical skills.
I’ve written this article to give you 5 things you can do yourself to improve your own digital presence. All of these are important in one way or another, marketing is a multi-channel and holistic approach to getting your brand out there in the market (at least it should aim to be), however, I’ve attempted to rank these.
I eventually boiled it down to three ranking factors, these being:
- Impact – The impact this will have on your digital presence
- Ease – How easy it is to implement
- Quickness – How quickly you can implement it and whether there’s an on-going committment
But without further delay, let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
With Quick & Easy Links
Install Data Tracking On Your Website Using Google Analytics
Impact: 1/5 | Ease: 5/5 | Quickness: 5/5
Google Analytics is Google’s free user behaviour tracking tool for websites. By installing a simple piece of code, which is provided to you during the setup process, you can begin to track your website traffic’s behaviour on your site and gain valuable insights.
The tool will immediately begin to track information such as traffic source, length of stay, which pages were visited, where users exited, as well as demographic data such as age, possibly gender, and their approximate location around the world.
What this tool will do for you is to help you identify problem areas of your website if you start to notice trends of users dropping off on specific pages. It will also tell you what content is performing best for you and if users are searching for information that might not currently be available on your site.
Data will be retained for the life of your account and you can even track users in real time.
I’d encourage you to familiarise yourself with the data that is being collected as it is your personal crystal ball into your own website and your prospective customers. However, if you’re not a data person, once you do engage a marketing agency, like 3am Ideas [little plug :)], the insights we gain from the gathered information will allow us to shape your digital marketing strategy to work for your actual users and take the guesswork out of it.
If your website already has Google Analytics installed, consider reviewing the information every 30 days, or request a website report from your marketing agency.
I only gave this a 1/5 for Impact because if you don’t use the data in any way it’s not going to be doing much for your digital marketing. If you do use it, it’s a clear 5/5.
Ease and Quickness are both a 5/5 because it shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes to do, including the registration process, and there are plenty of resources on YouTube that will help you install this on your site. Alternatively ask your web developer to do it for you, or get us to do it. We’ll install Google Analytics, where possible, for free for all Facilit8 members.
To get started with Google Analytics head to – https://analytics.google.com/
Give Each Of Your Major Services Its Own Page On Your Website
Boost Your Visibility: Dedicate Separate Pages to Each Service.
Impact: 5/5 | Ease: 4/5 | Quickness: 2/5
Few people may consciously realise that when you search for something on Google, you’re typically quite specific for what you’re searching for, and when you are presented with a result, in most cases, you end up on a page within a website, as opposed to their homepage.
This is because you know what you want or you know what problem you’re trying to solve, and Google’s responsibility is to present you with results that are going to be the best possible answer to your search query. Typically, that’s going to be a product or service page, or a blog post/article on a site.
When you search for “dog biscuits Perth” for your beloved pooch, your expectation is to end up on a dog biscuits range page. You don’t want to end up on the homepage of your local pet supply shop so you can click through their website to find the kibble.
The same applies to your services. Understanding this user search behaviour of your users also gives you an understanding of how Google operates and what you need to do in order to start getting search engine traffic.
The SEO Benefits of Separate Service Pages
By separating your services into standalone pages on your website you’re giving Google directly what it wants. Not only will the search engine reward you with free traffic, you’re also giving your users what they want. They want to know that you understand their problem and that you’re the solution to it. If you make them go digging through your website they’re not going to hang around to call you. They’re going to your competitors’ sites instead.
So have a think about the major services you provide and consider whether your prospective customers are searching for these terms online. A website structure for SEO, is typically also one that makes it easier for your users to find the information they’re seeking.
A clear and simple 5/5 for Impact. The change in online visibility you’ll see from taking a one-page website to a multipage site will be significant. Equally, if you currently only have one “Services” page where you’ve crammed your entire offering into one, you’ll also see a significant change over time.
It is important to note that this strategy dives into the field of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and with all things SEO it takes time. You won’t notice the change over night, but by doing this you’ve quietly put a freight train into motion. With consistent efforts, most businesses start observing noticeable improvements in 3-6 months.
It will take you some time to put together the content, and we recommend at least 150-200 words per page you’re putting together, so a 2/5 for Quickness but a 4/5 for Ease because you should already know your business inside out.
If you want us to have a look at your SEO for you and make recommendations based on our findings, head over to our SEO services page.
Start Blog Posting
Impact: 4/5 | Ease: 3/5 | Quickness: 1/5
Now that you’re done putting together your service pages, it’s time to keep up your content marketing.
Blog posting, as tedious as it can be, should be considered an important part of your digital marketing, and hopefully, by the end of this section, and the next, you’ll appreciate just how impactful a simple blog post or two can be.
By writing the right type of content, in the right type of way, you’ll quite quickly begin to improve your website traffic by not only attracting visitors to your posts but also to your newly created service pages.
How does that work? Ever wondered why some websites get tons of traffic? It’s all about authority and expertise.
Two of Google’s ranking factors are “Authority” and “Expertise”. The more content you publish that talks about your services, and topics relating to it, the more of an expert the search engine will consider you to be. As users begin to flock to your content, other websites begin referencing your work (believe me, they do, the internet is a vast place) so your authoritativeness will grow.
As Authority and Expertise grow, the more Google will want to rank your service pages higher too.
Blogging for business can increase your online presence in more than just one way. Isn’t that great?
We add to the importance of blog posting in the next tip, where we talk about collecting email addresses and what you can do with those.
Quick Tips to Research Viable Blog Post Topics
I’m a big believer in standing on the shoulders of giants. Your big national, or even global, competitors have spent lots of time, effort and money on market research, finding appropriate topics for content, and through this you can somewhat work out what you should be writing about. Look through their blog section as well as social media. See which articles seem interesting to you, which posts they share a lot on social media, but also try to trigger search results for your desired keywords. Look at the top 3-5 competitors and try to replicate and improve the existing result’s posts.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re trying to beat a piece of content it’s going to have to be quite a bit longer than what you’re trying to outrank. Usually, you’ll also want to add more photos and media that they’ve included. All of this sends signals to Google that your content is more authoritative than your competitor’s.
It’s also important to conduct at least some form of keyword and title research. You’ll want the post title to almost exactly match the query that your prospective audience is typing into Google. Don’t make it obscure, clickbaity or too creative. It will only harm your ability to being found.
In SEO we also talk about semantically related keywords. These are phrases that Google would expect to see as part of your content piece. As an example, if you’re blog posting about Harry Potter, you’d be expected to include keywords such as Hogwarts, wand, broom and magic. If you’re writing about this popular fictional character and you’re not mentioning those semantically related keywords, Google might just think you’re writing about a different person called Harry Potter.
How can you find semantically related keywords easily without having to pay thousands for expensive SEO software?
Utilise Google images search and have a look at the list of keywords at the top of the results. It’s not a perfect system, but it certainly beats spending thousands on a tool like SEMRush.
The biggest issue with blog posting is the time it takes to create good blog content. Not only do you have to conduct research on your users and what they’re searching for online, which keywords to target, how long a post needs to be in comparison to your competitors’ posts.
The result from blog posting can be significant and will likely only grow with time, however, even the results can take some time to fully establish. Having said that, in 2019 we created a guide on our website called “The Small Business Marketing Guide 2019” and within 24 hours we outranked Hubspot and Xero’s posts.
Things can move quickly, but more likely than not it’s going to take some time to build up traffic.
It’s also a decent task to undertake so we’ve not given it the highest marks for Ease and Quickness.
Unlock Direct Customer Engagement: Enable Email Capture on Your Website
Impact: 3/5 | Ease: 2/5 | Quickness: 3/5
It’s simple. Sign up for a free Mailchimp account, create a list that you want subscribers added to, and then install the form code provided to you, at the bottom of your website, or even every single blog post.
You’ve already gone through the effort of creating content, and hopefully you’ve started picking up on more website traffic, which you’re now tracking thanks to Tip #1. You’ll want to maximise what you’re getting out of this content now and one way to do that is to capture email addresses.
Why? There are a number of reasons, some of them quite creepy but insanely valuable.
An email address gives you the opportunity to commence email marketing. You can sell to this audience with your email messaging, or you can inform them of newly released blog posts which will drive traffic back into your site.
While most people think of email marketing to be quite unglamorous the data speaks for itself just how effective it truly is.
To give you some insights. Google Ads are one of the best performing platforms to run ads on. People are highly motivated, they’re typing their issue directly into Google, and based on those keywords you can trigger your ads. You know when somebody searches for “plumber near me” that they’re wanting to hire a plumber who is, ideally, close to their home and can come quickly. It’s unlikely they’re just doing research on this company, they’re ready to do business.
A good Google Ads campaign will usually give you an interaction rate of 7-12%. What’s an interaction rate or Click-Through Rate (CTR)? It’s a % of how many people click on your ad out of 100 people. For Google Ads this means out of 100 people searching for your keywords, 7-12 of them will actually click on your ad.
With Facebook Ads we typically aim for about 3.5% and for Instagram ads it’s about 1.5%. An unsophisticated email marketing list will see engagement rates of 25-40%. People say they hate to receive email newsletters, the data tells a different story.
They’re not necessarily lying, they probably just don’t realise what their behaviour is. These are the same types of people that say “ads don’t affect me”. Sorry, but they do.
Getting Creepy With Emails
Emails can be used for so much more than just email marketing though. Did you know you can upload your customer database, or email marketing list, to Facebook, Instagram and Google to utilise for advertising purposes? This means if you subscribe to my newsletter, I can now send you an ad on your Facebook or Instagram profile. No more guessing who you want to target, you can now directly target your subscribers.
To get even creepier, these advertising platforms can generate audiences for you based on your customer information. Called Lookalike Audiences, we’re able to request for Facebook/Instagram/Google to cross-reference all the data they have on your customer list, to then generate an audience who shares similar demographic and sociographic data, and who are mirroring their purchasing behaviour.
It’s a bit more challenging to set this one up, still with plenty of resources on YouTube, however it involves editing your website, so lower scores for Ease. It is relatively Quick to get done, however if you already have a lot of blog posts, embedding email subscription forms onto each one can take some time.
I’ve also given a lower score for Impact because unless you’re actively using the emails you’re getting, just collecting them won’t do much for you.
However, in combination with Google Analytics tracking and your blog posts, collecting email addresses is one of the top things you should be doing to improve your digital marketing.
Marketing agencies can perform significantly better for you when they can access to some of your data.
In today’s digital landscape, the nuances of online marketing are ever-evolving, but the fundamentals remain the same: engagement, authority, and visibility. From refining your website’s offerings and harnessing the power of blog posts, to capturing valuable customer data and amplifying your social media reach, each step brings its unique value. While some of these tactics may not revolutionise your business overnight, their cumulative impact can shape your online presence in remarkable ways.
As you navigate the digital realm, remember to stay informed, be adaptable, and consistently invest in strategies that resonate with your target audience. Success in digital marketing is a journey, not a destination. Happy marketing!
About The Author
This article was written by the 3am Ideas Digital Marketing Agency in Perth.
3am Ideas was established in 2014 and has since helped over 100 businesses, large and small, with their digital marketing requirements. We’re fond of the relationship we have with our clients. It’s not about just securing that big job with you, it’s about seeing you through to the next big success and beyond.
Consider us a part of your team in helping your business achieve its goals!