Frequently asked questions
Social Media Marketing
Can social media marketing really help my business?
Most definitely! It’s been proven over and over again by a variety of different businesses. In fact, not utilising social media marketing can actually be damaging to your business and having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable business these days.
What are the benefits of social media marketing for my business?
Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers and your potential clients via social media is a vital process of developing relationships with them and helping them through the sales journey.
How should we be using Facebook for marketing?
Facebook is the social media platform of choice for over a billion people worldwide. Businesses should use it to connect and interact with their audience, and to share useful content in a way that encourages your fans to share it as well.
How should we be using LinkedIn for marketing?
LinkedIn has over 467 million users worldwide and it is a great place to share your credentials with the world, but more importantly, it’s the perfect place to interact with your audience online. Using LinkedIn Groups, you can answer any questions and contribute to relevant discussions in order to demonstrate your industry thought leadership as well as your willingness to help others generously.
How should we be using Twitter for marketing?
Twitter has over 313 million users worldwide and is ideal for sharing your content and connecting with other influencers in your industry.
Which social media platforms should my business have a presence on?
There is no set answer to this question only because you need to have a presence wherever your customers are. In our experience, different businesses have different audiences. One demographic audience spends most of their time on Facebook, while another only engages on LinkedIn, and while some divide their time equally between three or more channels. The key to this is for your business to find out where your customers are, and follow them there.
Should we be using Google+ for marketing?
Google+ is a platform we would recommend using as part of your SEO strategy. Google likes regular Google+ updates and therefore it is ideal to share industry news or content with relevant circles and connect with Google+ followers.
Is YouTube important for marketing?
Videos are becoming increasingly more important in the world of social media marketing. YouTube gets over 4 billion views per day! You can promote your brand’s image through a video and let your audience have a peek behind the scenes at your business, or produce a “how-to video” which will be useful to existing and potential clients.
Is outreach an important part of social media marketing?
Guest blogging is one of the most effective and widely discussed methods of outreach, but social media can help your outreach efforts significantly, as well. Connect with other influencers in your industry via social media, and then build relationships with them through conversations and helping them to promote their content. Building a relationship in this way before reaching out to ask for a guest blogging opportunity can boost your chances of success greatly – and when your audience sees that you regularly converse with other experts via social media, they’ll see you as an expert, too!
How long does it take before I’ll start seeing results from social media marketing?
Social media is constantly evolving, and results are dependent on variables such as the time and effort you are putting into social media marketing management, your social media budget, your target audience, your social strategy, and whether you are using paid ads or not. Regardless, it is important to remember that social media is a marathon and not a race.
What type of social media content converts best?
Just like question #6, this will depend on your audience. The best way to find out what type of content converts most effectively for you is to test, refine and test again until you find the right fit.
Is email marketing still effective?
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for a business to reach customers directly. If you think about it. You are not posting something on your website with the hope someone will visit the site. You’re not even posting something on a social media channel and hoping fans will see and engage with it. You are sending something directly into each person’s inbox where they definitely will read it! Even if they don’t open it, they will still see the subject line and your business name each time you send an email, so you’re always communicating directly with your audience.
Isn’t social media marketing taking the place of email marketing?
Statistics indicate that email reaches three times more people than Facebook and Twitter combined. That is a significant difference as social media marketing is wildly popular and becoming even more so by the day, but it is definitely not taking the place of social media marketing any time soon. On Facebook, for example, each post only reaches a small portion of your users. If you have users opted into your email list, however, everyone on that list will receive that message.
Do I need to send an email newsletter?
For some businesses, a newsletter is the way forward and for others, a different approach works better. Newsletters usually feature several different pieces of content, such as recent blog posts and current special offers. But it is also perfectly fine to send an email featuring only one piece of content, or an individual marketing message. Tailor your email structure to your unique audience or customer base, and see what works best through experimentation.
How often should I send marketing emails?
As often as you can, without annoying your audience. How’s that for an unclear answer? But it’s true, you want to send frequent emails, but not so frequent that people start unsubscribing or worse, marking them as spam. Where’s the happy medium? Unfortunately, this is different for each business and for some, once a month is plenty, while for other companies, daily emails are just fine. Again, it’s a matter of experimentation, testing and refining to see what your particular audience responds best to.
What is the best day and time to send my marketing emails?
The answer to this question differs from business to business and once again, testing is the way to find out what works best. In our experience, mid-week seem to be the times when more emails are opened, but since your audience may have different online habits, it’s best to experiment and then use your own data to decide.
Should I use HTML or plain text-based emails?
This is another case for A/B testing. There’s no one right answer even though some people swear by the gorgeous, eye-catching images of HTML emails, and others maintain that simple text looks best in every email program and is never blocked like an image can be. Once again, it all depends on your particular campaign and audience and their preferences, so try both options and see which one is most successful.
How long should my emails be?
In our experience, the average person will only spend about 20 seconds reading an email, so use that as a guideline. If your email will take longer than 20 seconds to read, make sure that the most important information, as well as your call to action and links, are located near the top, where they can be seen without having to scroll down. The time spend reading your email will also depend on the content, if your email contains engaging and intriguing content, you have a better chance for the reader to read all of your content.
Which metrics should I be looking at?
The two most important metrics for email marketing are the open rate and the click-through rate. If your emails aren’t getting opened, subscribers will never see your full marketing message, and if they are opening them, but does not click through to your website, it’s a clear sign that your emails aren’t converting.
How can I increase my click-through rate?
People are much more likely to do something if you simply ask them to. By placing a call to action in your email, specifically asking subscribers to “click here” “read more” or “shop now,” will boost your click-through rate.
What is content marketing exactly?
Content marketing turns traditional marketing on its head. Instead of focusing on a company and its products or services, content marketing focuses on the consumer’s needs first. The goal of content marketing is to provide valuable and genuinely helpful information to consumers for free, in order to create a relationship with them based on trust, which eventually leads them to make a purchase.
What qualifies as content?
When most people think of content marketing, they think of a blog and blogs are certainly one of the easiest and most effective means of content marketing available. But they aren’t the only forms of content that can be employed in a content marketing strategy. Any valuable information, conveyed via any medium, can be considered content. Videos, PDFs, info-graphics, webpages, podcasts, blogs, articles, white papers, eBooks, webinars and the list goes on and on.
How should I get started with content marketing?
Though it can be tempting to jump right in and start writing a blog without much thought, the only way to ensure that your content marketing will be effective is to take the time to create a strategy first. Without a clear plan in place, all the time you put into developing content will be wasted.
What are the steps to developing a content marketing strategy?
First, determine who your target audience is. Develop a customer persona to whom your content relates to. Then, based on that persona and your company’s brand image, decide on your company’s voice, and the type of content you will be creating. Your content needs to be informative and valuable, as well as interesting and engaging, to your target demographic. And once you start producing your content, constant refinement of your strategy is in order, based on how successful each post is.
Do I need to constantly create new content?
Content creation does need to be ongoing, but there are ways to streamline and simplify the process. One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing so is to repurpose content. This entails creating content in one form, and then reworking it several times in order to utilise that same information in other forms, as well. For example, you might write an eBook about an important topic in your industry. Then, you could take the chapters of that eBook, and edit each one to make them into individual blog posts. Next, you could create an info-graphic illustrating the statistics mentioned in the eBook. And finally, you could give a webinar discussing the content in that eBook. Not only does this approach lighten the content creation load, but it also allows the same content to be consumed by people with different tastes in content.
How often should I post fresh content on my site?
There is still a lot of debate surrounding this question and every industry and every demographic sees different content consumption patterns. In our experience, fresh content should be posted no less often than once a week. As for an upper limit, there is none, recent studies seem to show that posting once a day, or even several times a day, is a very effective way to drive traffic to a website. It’s just a matter of deciding how much time and effort you can devote to creating content. Google is known to give more prominence to websites that update their data on a frequent basis which could help your website rankings.
How important is it to share my content on social media?
It’s essential! Posting content to a blog and then sitting back and hoping that visitors will find it is a pointless exercise. In fact, some blogging gurus maintain that only 20% of your time should be spent on content creation, and the other 80% on promoting that content via social media! It’s that vital.
How important are keywords in content marketing?
Despite the constant changes to Google’s algorithm, keywords are still important in content creation. While the standards have been somewhat relaxed, so that words and phrases that mean approximately the same thing as the exact phrase searched for can now pop up in search results, too, it’s still best to include a few mentions of the exact words and phrases you want to be found for. It’s important to remember that your priority is always to write for humans, not search engines.
How do I make my content engaging?
The answer to this question depends a lot on your particular audience. What’s engaging to teens will necessarily differ massively from what middle-aged business professionals will find engaging. Speak to your target audience’s challenges or interests, let them see that you understand them and want to help them, and then open up the conversation. Ask questions, and invite them to respond. The beauty of content marketing as opposed to traditional marketing is that communication is not one-way anymore.
How can content marketing make me into an industry leader?
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of becoming a thought leader, and with good reason. Getting you known as an expert in your field is exactly what content marketing is meant to do. It’s what creates the sense of trust in consumers, which allows them to feel comfortable making a purchase from you. By creating unique, original content, in which you demonstrate your expertise and answer questions consumers might have, you’ll be on your way to becoming an industry thought leader in no time.
Is there a difference between B2C and B2B content marketing?
Yes and no. The purpose of each is the same, but since the audience is different, your content will also vary. B2B content tends to be more professional and businesslike, though not always, and the topics will of course be more business-oriented. B2C content on the other hand, is usually more conversational, and the topics have a little more free range.
How can I create content that converts?
It’s important to remember that content marketing is just one step in the conversion funnel. It’s only through a combination of SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, outreach, email marketing, and website design that prospective customers are led to convert. That said, content marketing is vital in the conversion process, since each page of your website and each informative blog post or white paper plays a distinct and definite role in convincing visitors to buy from you. Create different content with each step of the conversion funnel in mind, and don’t forget to include a solid call to action.
What are some common content marketing mistakes?
The most common content marketing mistake is to fall back into the old habits of traditional marketing. Writing blog posts that are overly sales, or content that promote the company and its products excessively, is a big no-no. Content should be valuable to consumers, and sales pitches are not only not valuable, they’re off-putting. There’s a time and a place for sales, and it’s not in your content.
How do I get people to read my content?
Promoting your content through email and social media is vital, but even the best promotion efforts can be stalled by a lousy title. Make sure that the headline of your content is intriguing and informative. It should convey an idea of what the content contains, while also hooking people’s interest.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it refers to techniques that help your website become more visible in organic search results for the people who are searching for your brand, your product, or your service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Why do I need SEO?
SEO services help your site rank better and become more visible within search engines organically. Better rankings in relevant terms will drive more traffic to your site, creating the ability for better exposure and higher revenue streams.
What is the difference between paid vs organic traffic?
Organic results are the results that appear in search engines, for free, based on an algorithm. Paid search results appear at the top a page with a little “Ad” sign next to them. These are the links that advertisers pay to display on different search engines.
What are meta descriptions and do they still matter?
A meta description is the text that appears below your page in a search engine result that explains what the page is all about. Meta descriptions still matter, just not in the same way they used to. Meta descriptions used to be a place to optimise for keywords so that crawlers would know more about your page contents. Lately, it's more important for you to write something compelling that makes readers want to click so you can improve conversion rates from SERP results (Search Engine Results Pages) to your website.
What’s the difference between internal and inbound links?
Internal links are links on a page on your site that go to another webpage on your site. Inbound or “backlinks” are other websites that link to your website or content. Both are valuable for SEO.
How does backlinks affect my rankings?
Backlinks help improve your search rankings. Search engines see backlinks as positive ‘votes’ for your website. Search engines highly associate your site’s backlinks with your site’s ability to satisfy a browser’s search query.
How many inbound links do I need?
There is no fixed, ‘golden’ number of inbound or backlinks to a website. Ideally you want to acquire backlinks from reputable sites in an ongoing, natural fashion through the creation of relationships, PR, and unique content.
How many internal links do I need on each page of content?
Just like you should avoid keyword stuffing into your content, you should avoid stuffing too many links into your content. Only include them when it improves the user experience.
Should I optimise my domain name to include keywords?
Your primary domain should not include a keyword just for the sake of keyword optimisation, that can actually be harmful to your SEO. If your company name happens to have a keyword, then that's fine, but don't go buying a domain like onlinemarketingcompanyinedinburgh.com. I'm sure you get what we mean?
How do I know when I’m using the right number of keywords on a page?
Unfortunately, we cannot tell you an exact number that is the "right" number of keywords on a webpage, mostly because that's the wrong way to think about keyword optimisation. There's no keyword density you should be aiming for but using a keyword too many times can result in penalisation due to "keyword stuffing." Always keep the reader in mind, and only use keywords when you need to. You'll find enough natural opportunities to include keywords that you won't even have to worry about reaching a random number of keywords.
What’s the best way to determine my SEO budget?
Think of your SEO budget as a marketing investment and the potential return you will receive from that investment. Many businesses see a SEO budget as a marketing cost rather than a marketing investment and they lose focus on the return in website traffic, increased sales and revenue as a result of the SEO investment. There will always be a need for online marketing and search engine optimisation, however, be sure your provider is presenting you with quantifiable results.
What is robots.txt?
This is a page that gives search engines information about the pages a company wants indexed or crawled. You can find this page by doing to YOURDOMAIN/robots.txt.
What is the sitemap.xml file?
This file is an index of all the pages on your site. It's a quick reference for search engines of content that you want indexed.
What’s the difference between indexed and crawling?
When search engines look through the content on your website, they are crawling your site and as they crawl your site, they index content that will appear in the search engine. However, an important thing to remember is that not all content is indexed. Search engines pick what content they will and won't index as they go through the crawling process.
How can I see what pages are indexed?
It’s really easy, just type in site:www.YOURDOMAIN.com to find the pages on your site that are indexed.
Why do you need alt text on your images?
Search engines cannot read images, but they can read text. The alt text helps them figure out what the images are all about and if a page doesn't load for some reason, people can still find out what the image is by reading the alt text.
How long does it take to see results from SEO?
There are a few important factors that will determine how quickly (or slowly) results will come. This list includes, but isn't limited to:
• The amount of content you create
• The quality of your content
• How the content resonates with your audience
• If you're a big or small site with strong or weak domain authority
A large site could possibly see results in a couple of weeks if a search engines is crawling their site regularly. Smaller sites will most likely take longer because they get crawled less frequently. Wait at least a month, before you consider changing your SEO strategy. We would suggest waiting a bit longer if you're brand new to SEO.
Should I hire someone to do my SEO?
Hiring someone internally or externally to do your SEO can be very helpful, but it can also be dangerous if that person doesn't actually know the modern rules of SEO. Google goes into the risks of hiring the wrong SEO person in this supporting document.
What’s a good goal to set for my SEO?
When you think about your goals for SEO, don't just think about the top of the funnel and how many more visits you're getting to your website. Think about your full marketing funnel and how much quality traffic you're getting to your website. Are the people who are finding your website through SEO qualified prospects for your business? If not, does it really matter that the traffic to your website has increased? As you create your goals, consider what general traffic vs. quality traffic means to you. Set goals not just based on traffic, but based on the entirety of your marketing funnel.
What is paid search?
Paid search a type of Search Engine Advertising that uses an auction based model where advertisers bid on keywords to trigger the placement of their adverts to users via search engine results pages. Normally, the search engines use an algorithm to decide which ads should appear and in which order based on various weighting factors such as CPC, quality score, relevance but mainly driven by revenue. Paid search can also be referred to as paid listings, sponsored results, sponsored listings, etc.
So what’s PPC?
PPC refers to Pay-Per-Click, the most common fee structure for paid search. With PPC, advertisers don’t pay for impressions, but rather only when their ads are clicked on. PPC was an early term for paid search that is still frequently used today. PPC also refers to ads that are bought per click, including banners, video ads, mobile ads, rich media, affiliate links and so on.
Why is paid search important?
Paid search has proven to be one of the highest return on investment (ROI) channels both online and offline. Why? It’s relevancy. Search engines have become the new place where users go to find products and services and because an advertiser is bidding on relevant keywords to their business, they are able to get in front of a user who is actively searching for information on that topic. One example of this is a car dealership bidding on their ad to show whenever a user types in “used car” in their area.
What is a PPC Campaign?
A PPC campaign is set of ad groups that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings. Campaigns are often used to organise categories of products or services that you offer.
What is an PPC Ad group?
An ad group contains one or more ads which target a shared set of PPC keywords. Each of the campaigns is made up of one or more ad groups based on your product or service. Use ad groups to organise your ads by a common theme.
What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?
In your account statistics, you will see the click through rate (CTR), which tells you how many people clicked on your advert after seeing it. This metric can help you gauge how enticing your ad is and how closely it matches your keywords and other targeting settings.
What is a PPC Impression?
An impression is counted each time your ad is shown on a search result page or other site on the Google Network. Each time your ad appears on Google or the Google Network, it's counted as one impression.
What is a maximum CPC bid?
A Maximum CPC (Cost per Click) bid is a bid you to set to determine the highest amount that you are willing to pay for a click on your advert.
What is PPC quality score?
Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, your keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions. Quality Score is reported on a 1-10 scale.
What is a PPC landing page?
A PPC landing page is the webpage where people end up after they click your ad. Your landing page experience is one of several factors that helps determine a keyword's Quality Score. The experience of a landing page is represented by such things as the usefulness and relevance of information provided on the page, ease of navigation for the user, and how many links are on the page.
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