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You don’t need to break the bank to get your business seen online. Sure, you could invest in paid social ads and sponsored content, but with a whole world of SEO at fingertips, why bother? Here’s a handy guide on cutting your marketing spend and improving your SEO.
On the topic of keywords, it’s important not to forget how important they are for your brand’s SEO. Keyword research helps you move up the SERPs by targeting words and phrases that your customers use in their web searches.
Identify primary keywords that relate to your business and that your customers will most likely use if they search for your business. Once you’ve got these, establish secondary keywords that are even more specific to your business.
Once you’ve got these words and phrases, use them to create keyword-rich content that matches what your audience is searching for. Creating useful and helpful articles that caters to your customers’ demands will boost traffic to your site and let crawlers look upon your website more favourably.
Keyword research is something that brands can do themselves in-house easily and for free (or at least very affordably). There are numerous free tools available on the web such as Keyword Tool and Ubersuggest that can help you build up some good keyword research knowledge.
There are also online resources such as Moz that offer comprehensive courses for beginners to learn more about the intricacies of SEO.
Duplicate content is exactly what it says it is: it’s content that appears more than once on the internet. This can happen when content is plagiarised from around the web, or due to URL structural issues. Search engines have trouble identifying which is the original piece of content, and it can therefore negatively impact your site’s SEO.
You can combat this by using the rel=canonical function in your site’s HTML to tell the search engine crawlers where the original content lies, and that they should disregard duplicate versions. And when you’re creating content, make it original and high quality. Simply rewriting articles from other sites virtually word-for-word will be picked up, so try to keep it fresh.
Do content marketing right the first time round, and you will only have to do it once….
75% of smartphone owners use their mobile first and foremost to complete searches. As more and more people use their mobile devices to search, the importance of a website that is mobile-friendly grows. Recognising this, search engines now rank websites with a responsive, user-friendly design higher than those without. (And Google has recently also switched to a mobile-first index, meaning that mobile sites alone are used to determine rankings).
For your brand, that means ensuring that your website provides an optimum user experience (UX) for your customers. Lay out your content in such a way that it adapts to a smaller mobile-screen, and if you have lots of videos on your site, embed them with YouTube for easy viewing. Use a free online responsiveness checker to make sure your website is user-friendly.
A mobile-first site will help you stay competitive in today’s marketplace and ensures content and brand longevity online.
Everyone knows by the now the oft-repeated mantra that “content is king”. But are you bowing to that king, or committing high treason?
Content is one of the most important aspects of your brand’s SEO, and it’s also one of the cheapest too. Regularly creating and sharing engaging content on your business’s website or blog boosts your standing in the eyes of the search engine crawlers.
And be sure to invest in long-form content while you’re at it. While the optimum length varies depending on who you ask (some say 300 words, some say as many as 2000), creating long-form posts gives you more chance to work in relevant keywords into your text. It also gives your readers more value as they can glean much more from your content.
And content isn’t just good for SEO either. It can be used again and again through your marketing efforts, whether it’s in your email campaigns, press releases, or even in an informative ebook for customers. Find ways to make your content work harder from you, and reap the SEO rewards of traffic and sales. Content is king, and there’s plenty of reasons why!
There are plenty of marketing channels out there that you can pay for and receive a modicum of success. But when you’ve got the power to improve your SEO efforts while barely spending a penny, why bother? Do your keyword research and create compelling content, and really ramp up your SEO game.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
Make your online retail business a success with these seven easy steps.
While high street chains and independent stores continue to suffer in this tough economic climate, the ecommerce market is rapidly growing. As consumers turn to the web for their retail needs, now is the perfect time to see your online business soar. In order to entice, satisfy and retain your customers, you will need to be digitally savvy. Including everything from clever marketing to consumer experience – these are our seven digital tips to make your online shop thrive.
Customer reviews are beneficial for your ecommerce site in many different ways. They are helpful because they will assist the buyer with their decision making. Additionally, they are valued more than just basic product descriptions. In fact, 84% of people say that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Also, having user-generated content in the form of comments written by users actually boosts your Google ranking. Displaying your reviews in the form of a star rating is a great idea, as it’s a simple measuring scale that’s familiar to most users.
As of July 2017, 38.76% of all online UK content was viewed on a mobile. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile use and consumers are viewing your web page on their smartphone, they will at worst leave almost immediately, or at best, have a very bad user experience. So, if your website doesn’t operate correctly on mobiles, then you are essentially eliminating over a third of your potential customers. The easiest and slickest way to perfect your mobile site is to use a responsive design format that simply adjusts the layout depending on how the user is browsing.
You’ve succeeded at driving traffic to your website, but now you need that time online to convert into actual sales. In order to for this to happen as frequently as possible, you must prioritise the ease of the customer journey. If users can’t find how to select the colour, style or quantity of the product or have trouble using the shopping basket, they will lose interest very quickly. This is where sophisticated ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce come into play. They offer various levels of online shopping infrastructure – everything from a pre-set shopfront that organises your products in an easy-to-view display, to the backend functions like order processing and inventory management, so your transactions can run as seamlessly as possible.
The search tool is something that is utilised by the digital consumer a lot – especially if you have a wealth of products and extensive categories on your website. But, as well as enhancing the user experience, a search bar is crucial for you to track and analyse what your website visitors are looking for. If you use an ecommerce platform, then the search option may be inbuilt, but otherwise you can opt for an add-on like the Google search bar.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an all-singing, all-dancing website; if it doesn’t rank well on Google, then you aren’t going to get a lot of organic search engine traffic – and less traffic correlates to less sales. Firstly, it’s essential to keep your content updated, as a stagnant, uninteresting site will never get boosted. Also, get in the habit of using keywords wherever possible – not only in your product descriptions, but also in your image alt tags, as these will help to improve your searchability. Another search engine optimisation secret is the art of securing as many backlinks as possible, because the more people that are referencing your site, the more credible your business becomes. Reach out to bloggers to review your products and also ask your manufacturers to list you as a stockist on their web pages.
Newsflash: when online shops ask you to create an account, it isn’t just to make your life easier for future ordering purposes. Consumer data is the holy grail of marketing because having your customers’ email addresses on file means that you are free to pitch to them at any given time. With an email sign-up system, you’ll find yourself acquiring a substantial mailing list very quickly; then you can send newsletters to inform your customers of discounts and new products. Just be sure to keep the content relevant and perhaps add a capacity for the receiver to decide how frequently they get notified to prevent any unhappy clients from feeling bombarded.
As an online business, you simply cannot ignore the ever-growing juggernaut that is social media. There are 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide, so getting your brand into the social space is essential for success. The constant process of updating social media can be incredibly time consuming, so perhaps channel your focus and energy into one key social network that’s most relevant for your brand. If you’re selling products to 18–25 year old women, you will need to have an Instagram presence, but if your target audience is 30+, then consider a Facebook page.
With these tools and techniques under your belt, you’re now in the best position to excel in the ecommerce market and make your business a resounding success.
This post was a guest post from: Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer.
I work with online businesses and entrepreneurs to create valuable content and marketing strategies that yield strong results. I am always happy to share my knowledge and love discovering opportunities for collaboration.
It’s hard to capture images that look good and tell a story, especially if you don’t have the experience. Owen Harvey, professional photographer listed on the freelance website, Bidvine, shares a few tips on how to nail your blog photography.
When professional photographers work with models, they usually focus on giving guidance on what they want the models to do, but then let the model interpret that into their own style.
If you are a blogger, it’s important to experiment and let your own style shine through the photoshoot. Don’t be scared of taking a photo from a bad angle; you’ll get to decide which shots to keep anyway. It’s going to be a journey. It will have a beginning and an end, with stop off’s on the way… just keep your mind on the end shot you want. Try different approaches, allow yourself to try new things and stray from your path a bit.
A lot of great things have come out of accidents.
Photographers can instinctively recognise the best angles for their subjects from studying their art form and practising it, a lot. The knowledge that comes from studying different photographers, painters and cinematographers, which then photographers practice, gives them the ability to see the shot before it happens. If you are also an aspiring photographer, that’s the best way you can learn photographing people other than yourself—by studying great artists across a range of visual disciplines.
Before the shoot, spend 5-10 minutes talking with your model and study their features. Over time you will get a feel for what works and what doesn’t for models with different types of features. If you only have a few moments, do what you can to study the model from afar while they are doing something else. Move around and see what angle you think will work best.
If you like to model OOTD shots or if you’re both the photographer and the subject, spend some time learning what feels natural to you. If you are uncomfortable, it will come through in the image!
Practice pushing poses to extremes. Be different! It is what will make you stand out. Obviously keep it classy though :) Get into a habit of picturing what you look like from the point of the camera.
Knowing what you want, is different to knowing how you go about getting it. This is where a professional photographer comes in. A professional photographer will know how to get the shots you want, quicker and better. Also because of the quality and range of kit they bring, you will find the shots are to a higher quality as well. If you only have a few moments to get the shot, a pro will stand a much better chance of getting the shots you want.
I would recommend getting a professional in at the beginning. Your blog will stand a much better chance of getting a bigger audience quicker, if you have great images.
Be sure to check all of the different photographers’ work, and choose the one whose work lines up with your vision the most.
There are many ways to liven up your photos. Shoot low, shoot high, shoot close, shoot far away. They will all have a different and interesting impact on your photos. You can also take some pictures when you’re in motion or try dynamic poses.
Research a wide range of photos beforehand and see what jumps out, and then try to figure out why it stands out, and then try to incorporate that into your images.
Switching up the location and involving prompts can also help make your photos unique.
What is the saying? “The best camera is the one you have with you”. I have seen amazing photos shot with all sorts of cameras. Smartphones, micro four thirds, crop, full frame, mirrored and mirrorless.
There is no perfect camera, and it will be a journey to see which camera best suits you. The best thing to do is to get your hands on as many different cameras as you can to see how they feel in your hands. If you have any friends or family who have cameras, they are a great place to start.
Personally I love mirrorless, as I can see my final exposure even before I have taken it, which makes for much quicker shooting. But that is just my opinion.
You will want something that you are comfortable with and that can become an extension of you. I have come to learn, it is the glass that is important. That is what will give you that nice shallow Depth of Field.
I can certainly recommend the 50mm F1.8. It is a fantastic lens quality wise, and it is also one of the cheapest. I know a lot of photographers are also fond of the 35mm F2.8. Again, it’s about playing with them and seeing which one suites you.