If 2019 is the year you decided to nail your digital marketing game, the good news is that you’re on track. It’s really important that a business is not only online – it’s also important that they know how to use the internet to attract and keep customers.
Two key types of digital marketing are social media and SEO. Social media is a great way to generate more leads from the places people are at (such as Facebook and Instagram), while SEO is the best way to drive high-quality traffic to your website. In other words, customers that are in the mood to buy from you.
If you’re new to all this, don’t worry. In this article, we’re going to show you how to deliver the goods with both social media and SEO so that you meet your customers where they’re at and turbocharge your business.
Let’s start with …
What Is SEO And Why Is It Important?
SEO sounds simple enough. It’s the process of optimising your website so that it performs well on search engines.
In other words, if you can get SEO right, your website will rank higher. This increased visibility means more organic traffic.
However, SEO is a lot more complex than that. The aim is to attract more of the right traffic. Moreover, SEO includes every single aspect of your website, from the headline to site speed.
If you don’t take the time to implement a strong SEO strategy, you website simply won’t rank and your rivals will gobble up all that traffic.
How To Use SEO To Grow Your Business?
Do Your Keyword Research
The cornerstone of any SEO campaign is keyword research. You’ve no doubt heard it before: You have to pick the right keywords that your target audience are using.
However, there are a few things to bear in mind in 2019 and the biggest thing is user intent. Essentially, there are three types of keyword user intent:
- Navigational – the user is looking for a specific brand
- Informational – the user is looking for information, such as prices, reviews or comparisons
- Transactional – the user is ready to make a purchase, so will use keywords like “get double glazing quotes”
Once you understand user intent, you can start to produce content that targets the right users at the right time. For example, you can capture prospects who need warming up with how-to articles and comparison pieces.
Other than that, good keyword research is all about targeting high volume keywords that come with fairly low competition. A good way to do this is to find long tail keywords.
It’s all about brainstorming keywords, before using free tools like Google Keyword Planner or paid SEO tools to find even more keywords, as well as check popularity and competition.
Then, you need to build content around your keywords. On that note, it’s important that you don’t mislead the end user. For example, if your main keyword is “digital marketing for beginners,” make sure your content actually delivers on this front. If you use a keyword that has little relevance to the article, users will bail out, your bounce rate will soar – and your ranking will plummet.
Create The Beat Content Possible
There are a few reasons why it should always be your aim to create the best content possible. Awesome content will:
- Establish you as the go-to expert in your niche
- Build a relationship with your audience
- Get shared
- Generate backlinks
It will also be loved by both Google and your audience. This is really important because if your customers are getting a lot out of your content, they will engage with it, share it and link out to it. All of these interactions tell Google that your content is satisfying a particular query really well, and will thus rank it higher.
It should be your goal, then, to create in-depth long form content. You don’t need to do this for every single article you write, but it’s a good idea to have strong, long form evergreen content (or pillar pages) for a main topic (such as digital marketing) before creating several offshoot articles that all link back to it (such as social media marketing). This is called topic clustering and it’s great for SEO as it positions you as the expert and encourages more backlinks (more on backlinks soon). .
Get More Backlinks
Backlinks are going to be one of the most important parts of your SEO campaign. A backlink is nothing more than a link from one website to yours, yet what it can do for your rankings is quite extraordinary.
It works like this: By securing high-quality links from authoritative websites in your niche, you will be showing search engines that they can trust you. After all, if these high domain websites trust you, why wouldn’t Google?
Actually securing backlinks, on the other hand, can be a bit more complex. One of the most popular ways to do it is via a blogger outreach campaign, which is when you write content for other websites in your niche in exchange for a link back to your website. This takes time and lots of effort, but the rewards can be really high. However, you would need to put together a small and dedicated team to take care of your outreach efforts.
Another way is to create your own backlinks by linking internally. It’s not quite as valuable as a link from another website, but it still counts.
Then there are directories like AllTop, which you should add your website to.
You can also launch a broken link building campaign.
Overall, you just need to keep producing consistently awesome content. Eventually, the links will start to come by themselves once people realise how good your content is and start sharing it. And don’t forget to monitor the backlinks you are building for your website to understand which ones are most valuable and where you should invest more effort in acquiring them.
Clean Up Your On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is really important and includes – as you’d expect – all stuff that happens on your page. This is a good thing because it means you can control it all.
Here are some things you need to optimise:
Your URLs – your URLs should be short and descriptive and they should look like this >> mysite.com/social-media-2018 and not like this >> mysite.com/blog/archive/38491010/social-medua-2019/page/67
Title tags – Title tags should include your main keyword and at least one secondary keyword. They need to tell both Google and the reader what your page is all about
Meta descriptions – Meta descriptions let Google and your readers know what your content is all about. They need to be compelling, they need to contain a keyword, and they need to persuade the end user to click
H2 tags – Header tags benefit the reader by giving them more information about your page. They benefit Google, meanwhile, be telling them further what your page is about. They benefit you by allowing you to use your target keyword more times
Site speed – If your website takes too long to load, people will bail out. Run your website through a site speed tester, and then take a look at ways you can improve its speed.
Social Media And Why It’s Important For Businesses
It’s absolutely vital that you build trust and confidence with your customers. And one of the best ways to do this is via social media.
Your customers are on social media, with both Facebook and Instagram now home to over a billion users each. Social media allows you to meet your customers where they’re at, engaging, entertaining and educating them until a proper relationship is formed.
From there, customers are yours to lose. It’s then a case of consistently interacting with them and producing content so that your reach continues to increase.
How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business
Pick The Right Social Platforms
Before you do anything else, it’s crucial that you don’t post on the wrong social platforms. There are a few out there and there’s no need for your business to be on every single one. For example, while a fashion brand is suited to Pinterest and Instagram, an SEO brand is less so.
Before you start putting out content, make sure that your social media profiles are optimized, too.
Use The Right Tools
Once you’ve decided which platforms you’ll be using, it’s time to make your life a bit easier by working with tools. Here are 3 of the best:
Focus On Relationships As Opposed To Sales
If you’re entirely new to the social media game, you might decide to start selling straight away. Bad move.
While over 2 billion messages are exchanged between customers and businesses each month, people still primarily use social media to be, well, social.
If you forget this and decide to sell, sell, sell, you will lose.
The key is to strike a balance between being fun and being a business that has a product or service to sell to people.
Starbucks do this really well. They’re a business but they have a lot of fun on social media, sharing memes and GIFs that they know their audience will love. They also create funky animations and make people laugh.
Why? Because they’re focused on building proper relationships with their customers.
Promote Your Content – And Repurpose It
As mentioned earlier, you need to create lots of valuable, in-depth content for SEO purposes. You can then promote this content on social media in order to drive more traffic to your website. Having a solid content distribution plan is crucial in ensuring that you maximize your content creation efforts.
To get as much juice out of your content as possible, repurpose it. For example, you could vary your choice of images on social media, as well as change the headline now and then.
Consider mixing up the snippets of your articles that you post to social media, too.
Social media is a great place to generate more high-quality leads. One of the best ways to generate those leads is to run contests.
Because who doesn’t like to win things?
Running a contest that converts insanely requires a few steps:
- Pick a goal – Do you want to boost engagement, boost your following or perhaps you just want more user generated content? Decide a goal and a budget to get started
- Pick a prize – Your prize must be relevant to your brand, and it must also be pretty damn exciting. Otherwise, why would anyone enter? It could be one of your products, a voucher, a discount or something entirely unique
- Decide on a contest type – Contest types include photo contests, caption contests, video contests, and sweepstakes. Or, you could ask people to share the post. Either way, you’ve gotta keep it simple
- Determine a length of time – How long will your content run for? The shorter the time period, the more urgency you’ll create
- Brush up on the contest rules – Each social media platform has their own rules when it comes to contests. Make sure to read up on them before you launch yours
- Promote it – Dust off your best copy to build a buzz around your contest and get the word out there
- Announce the winners – And don’t forget to give the winner their prize as soon as possible. That’s really important!
Instagram is a visual platform, so it makes sense that you’d be super visual there. But it’s important that you think carefully about visuals whichever platform you post on.
Indeed, research has shown that customers share visual content 40 times more than they share non-visual content.
It’s the same on Twitter. If you add images to your tweets, you will receive a lot more retweets.
Don’t just focus on ordinary photographs. Think outside the box and share all kinds of visuals, from memes to GIFs, infographics to videos, and even animations.
Engage With Your Customers
Your customers will leave comments on your social media feed. Why not interact with them?
Social media is totally different from any other form of marketing in that it gives you the chance to actually have a proper conversation with your customers. You can field questions, take feedback and overall make people feel good about your brand.
Indeed, just a simple “thanks!” in response to someone’s comment can improve your relationship hugely.
And because just 11% of customers actually receive responses from businesses on social media, you’ll be pretty unique.
Carry Out Social Listening
Social media is abuzz with customers talking about their favorite (and not so favorite) brands. If they’ve had a positive experience, they might use social media to recommend a brand to their friends.
They also might criticize a brand (or an aspect of the brand) on social media at times, too.
Social listening gives you a chance to monitor brand mentions. This kind of feedback will prove invaluable if you monitor it, listen to it – and act on it.
Track Your Results
Lastly, it’s really important that you track your performance on social media so that you know how effective your marketing campaigns really are. You’ll be able to find out what’s working and what isn’t, and you can then make the right changes.
There are plenty of social media analysis tools you can use, such as TrackMaven. You can also use Facebook Insights on Facebook itself, as well as SproutSocial to understand more about your efforts on Instagram.
Then there is Google Analytics, which gives you insights into which social media platforms are driving the most traffic, as well as why.
SEO and social media are both excellent ways of getting people to your website and encouraging them to convert. Both are as much about relationship-building as they are about selling, and that’s really the key point here.
As long as you keep producing valuable content that helps people and solves their problems, there’s no reason why you can’t take your business to the next level online in 2019.
See also: How to Optimize for Voice Search in 2019?