Category

SEO

Google’s May 2020 Core SEO Update explained

By | SEO, Digital Marketing

The last time we touched on Google’s SEO algorithm updates was back in March, and as usual some sites were worse hit than others. The May 2020 Core Update announced on 4 May is no different.

Dubbed by many as the ‘Force Update’, ‘Corona Update’ or ‘Pandemic Update’, Google’s latest update has copped a lot of criticism around its timing, particularly when user search is down and businesses are being forced to shut up shop as a result of COVID-19. We’ve noticed SERP volatility go through the roof and there are more notable SEO casualties this time around. 

So, which industries were hit the hardest?

The biggest changes in rankings can be seen across travel, real estate, health, pets & animals, and people & society.

If you’ve noticed the performance drop in some of your pages, it doesn’t mean you’re being targeted, or that there’s anything wrong with your site. As we’ve mentioned before, Google’s algorithm changes are about improving how their systems assess content holistically. 

Google explains it like this:

“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realise they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before.

The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.”

Makes sense. But then how do you strengthen your position to avoid a potential slip in rankings next time a core update comes around? 

It’s no secret. It’s all about producing quality content on your site and updating it regularly. Sounds simple and it is, if you invest the time in it.

In the case of SEO guru Neil Patel, he publishes around 4 articles a month to keep his site fresh. But then he also reviews his old content too, to make sure it’s still relevant for his audience – and it makes a difference. 

Let’s put some stats against this to further illustrate how important your content is. Neil Patel tracked 641 sites that update their old content regularly. Of these only 38 saw a dip in their organic search traffic of less than 10%. While on the flip side 187 sites saw an increase of at least 10% in their search traffic.

So it’s not necessarily about producing new content often. Making sure your existing content is constantly updated and relevant can go a long way. 

Now, Neil’s lucky enough to have a content team that looks after updating his old content. For many businesses that would be a dream, but that’s where outsourcing your content is always an easy option. And it could mean the difference between losing your SERP ranking or maintaining it.

Here’s a few things to think about when it comes to producing quality SEO content on your site:

  • Does your content provide original info about your products or services?
  • Is your content insightful beyond just the obvious content your competitors may already have on their websites?
  • Are your headings a true indication of what each page is about?
  • Is your content worthy of being shared? 

Have you checked your rankings lately? If you need to get on top of your SEO give Perth’s SEO experts a call today.

seo trends

4 key SEO moves to make in 2020

By | SEO

Dominating the SERPs. It’s where every business owner with a website wants to be. And those with a robust SEO strategy can get there (or maybe already are). But the competitive game of SEO is constantly changing and what worked 5 years ago – even 1 year ago ain’t gonna work as well as it may have.

So how do you play your cards right in 2020 and up your SEO game? Here’s a few trends and tactics to think about.

Get on top of voice search

We know with more people using mobile search every day, and Google prioritising mobile first indexing for new sites that optimising for mobile is a must. Now add voice search to the mix, and getting it all right on mobile devices is even more crucial.

Most mobile device users will perform searches while on the go and increasingly through voice search (thanks to virtual assistants). There’s no time to scroll, or like a voice search you’ll only be read one result, making that top spot on the SERPs even more valuable.

When you consider voice search, longtail keywords are more important because the query is conversational and mimics this. Your content should cater for longtail queries and start to address questions behind queries triggering featured snippets.

Optimise for featured snippets

There is a spot higher than #1! Dubbed position 0 or Rank Zero, featured snippets is where the competition is. 

Featured snippets refer to Google search results found at the top of a SERP showing a summary of a webpage, which directly answers a query. With featured snippets you don’t need to rank #1 to earn this spot (although securing both is a major boost for your conversions). 

Structuring your web content with quality answers about frequently asked questions is the way to go. Start by researching current featured snippets for your top queries and build it into your SEO strategy.

Prioritise semantic search and intent

If Google prioritises search intent, so should you. These days Google goes beyond the exact string of words typed into a search box and focuses on the context of the search and possible user intent to achieve accurate results. Google wants us to create content that solves problems, so let’s do it.

If you want to get an idea of how this works, perform your own search and see how Google interprets it. Speak to an SEO expert like Cloud Cartel to discover how you can optimise for search intent.

Structure your data

Many SEO experts share the common belief that the key to improving your ranking in 2020 is to get your structured data right. Why? Because it helps Google understand your content better.

Structured data is code written in the Schema.org format, that effectively provides detailed info about your webpage to Google in a way it will understand. Google then uses this to create rich snippets in your search results. You don’t need technical knowledge to implement your structured data, but it does help to have someone who knows what they’re doing to give you the best results.


Need help optimising your site? Get in touch with Perth’s SEO experts at Cloud Cartel to boost your search rankings.

 

seo web design

8 tips for designing an SEO friendly website

By | SEO

Everyone wants to be number one in Google. But getting there organically takes time. Many businesses overlook the importance of SEO when designing a new website and see it as an afterthought. But the sooner you start with SEO, the easier it will be in the long run.

Here’s 8 things to tick off to ensure an SEO friendly site from the get-go.

It all begins with good site structure

Before you even start to consider colours, fonts and graphics you should really think about your site structure.

As SEO guru Neil Patel puts it, “A good site structure means great user experience… and the more appealing your site is to users, the more search engines will like it too.”

Google pulls information from searches to help rank your site. And if your site is low on click throughs and dwell time, then it’s only going to hinder your search rankings.

A hierarchical site architecture is easiest for Google to crawl, but you need to make sure your category names and pages that follow are relevant.

A good site structure will:

  • Provide your site with site links 
  • Improve the crawlability of your site

Design for mobile first

Why do we still keep designing websites for desktop computers when Google clearly favours websites offering a seamless mobile experience? There are over 5 billion mobile phone users in the world who spend more than half their time browsing the internet on mobile devices. And it’s only going to increase, so designing for mobile first – considering mobile users’ needs first is the way to go.

A fast site is a happy site

Keep your website fast. Don’t focus too much on a complex design that requires lots of images or flash content. Although it looks nice, it can slow down your site. Slow loading sites create frustration for users who will only abandon your site if it doesn’t load quickly enough. 

What’s this got to do with SEO? The more people who abandon your site, the higher your bounce rate will be. Google penalise sites with high bounce rates, so keep your design simple, compress your images and add alt tags to make sure they’re SEO friendly.

Keep your code clean

Excessive code can also slow down your site and make it hard for Google’s spiders who are crawling your site for content. Simple things like adding all scripts and CSS files are external files make a difference to your SEO health.

Create unique pages with high quality content

Don’t double up on content. Google rates high quality content, and if you duplicate content across your site, you run the risk of being penalised. Spend time creating relevant content on your site for the user and the SEO benefits will naturally follow.

Enrich your meta data

This is SEO 101. Meta data is what you see on search engine results pages (SERPs) when your website appears during a search query. Include descriptions that are keyword rich and attract users to your site. The key tags to consider are:

  1. Title tag: specifies the title of a web page for search engines and users. It’s found in the search engine results pages as a clickable link.
  2. Meta description: Features below the title and provides a summary of what your page is about.
  3. Alternative Text (Alt) tag: Search engines can’t read images, so adding an explanation of what an image is ensures it will be indexed properly.

Be original with your visual content

Google knows if your website is the first to publish an image or video, so use your own original visual content where possible. Adding videos (in moderation) to your site also increases time spent on your site, which can only improve the SEO strength in your site design.

Start a blog

Creating a blog on your website means you’ll be publishing fresh content often, which search engines love. It also gives you a distinct SEO advantage to other sites who don’t update or add content on a regular basis. A blog will naturally attract search engine traffic and increase the size of your site over time, which can benefit your website authority and leverage the number of internal links across your site.


These are just a few SEO considerations, if you want to know more about how Cloud Cartel can create an SEO friendly website for your business, give our team a hola today.

SEO insights: The latest on all things Google algorithms

By | SEO

Google tweaks its ranking algorithms all the time. Sometimes we don’t even notice, other times it can really cause a stir and significantly affect the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Recall Fred, Mobilegeddon, RankBrain and Panda?

Staying on top of Google’s major updates can help to explain any changes to your search rankings and steer improvements in your SEO game.

What are the latest algorithm updates in 2020 that might be impacting your site? Let’s find out.

January 2020 broad core update – 13 January

A Google core update is usually performed every quarter. It involves Google adjusting its main search ranking algorithm with the aim of providing more relevant and useful search results to users.

In January, Google rolled out its first broad core update for the year, which included a new look for desktop search results. Each time an update like this occurs, Google reviews the search ranking of websites based on expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

The key takeaway from this update was to keep following Google’s usual standards in producing high quality content and user experiences. So, if you found your website rankings dropped as a result of this update, take a look at which competitors are ranking ahead of you in terms of their content, and think about how you can go one better.

Google also says, pages that drop in rankings following a core update aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong. The changes are essentially about improving how their systems evaluate content across the board. As a result, it may see sites who have previously had their content overlooked or have been publishing new content since the last core update, now move up in the ranks.

Featured snippets update – 23 January

In this release, Google announced URLs displayed in the featured snippet won’t show up again within the first 10 organic search results. Previously, any URLs that held the featured snippet position would also be likely to feature in the organic results that follow. This update now eliminates any repetition in search results in an effort to help users locate relevant information more easily.

Seems fair right? The only issue here is some searchers ignore the featured snippet thinking it’s a paid ad. Those sites who will now only appear in the snippet, might lose out on traffic and notice a drop in click through rates as a result. In time people may realise that the featured snippet is essentially the top organic position.


We’ll share more algorithm updates throughout the year as they come. In the meantime if you need to get your SEO game in order, give the SEO experts at Cloud Cartel a hola.

Optimising your Google My Business Page for Local SEO

By | SEO

What business doesn’t want to find ways to draw more people in? With Google My Business, you can easily go about attracting more people to your local shop. All you have to do is optimise your Google My Business page. All local SEO efforts should include optimising your Google My Business page, as there are lots of great features that can make it easier for you to get the word out about your business. Don’t simply claim your listing and then forget all about it! Below, we’ll talk you through just some of the strategies you can use to optimise this page and get awesome results.

Make Sure Your Google My Business Page Matches

Everything on your GMB page should match other pages across the web. Your name, address, and phone number match exactly on all of your properties. They must match exactly – no changes whatsoever. A small, seemingly simple change could make a huge difference and negatively impact your results. Google will be confused if you do this, and this will limit your reach. Everything needs to be spelled exactly the same, all words included; even abbreviations are a no-go.

These small differences actually make a huge one for local SEO. However, the tricky thing is that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) could be listed on multiple web properties all over the internet. You might have trouble tracking them all down. This means you may want to pay for a NAP audit from a professional company to make sure you can get everything matching and good to go.

Pick The Most Relevant Category

There are many business categories listed on GMB, so you’ll definitely find your business model in the list. Pick what your business is, not what your business does. There’s a big difference! For example, if you were the restaurant ‘Bella Italia’, you would list as an Italian Restaurant, not ‘pizza and pasta.’

Link To Your Website

Google My Business gives you the option to link to your website, which is great news for marketers. However, your linking strategy must be correct. Make sure you link to your homepage. They do not want to see your ‘about’, or any other page first. You should have an SSL certificate and link to your HTTPS version of the site, not the HTTP version, too.

Enter A Description

You get 750 characters to describe your business, so think about this carefully. Explain to people why they should choose your shop. What is going to help to differentiate you and encourage people to visit? What are your audience looking for? Remember, only the first 250 characters will show up in the knowledge panel in the search results. Use your clickbait in the first 250 characters and include relevant keywords.

Allow Booking Integrations

If you are a service oriented business, like a salon or a garage, you can sign on with one of GMB’s supported scheduling providers. Then, they will automatically add a booking button to your page. Simple!

Have Images And Videos On Your GMB Page

Ideally, you should have several images to promote your business on your GMB page. Add more weekly/monthly to ensure that your page is updated with fresh content on a consistent basis. Videos can be up to 30 seconds long. They can’t exceed 100MB and they must use 720p resolution or higher, so bear this in mind. Even better, if you add more than 2 videos, you’ll get a subtab that mobile users will see. Make sure the images and videos you use really sell your brand for you. Otherwise, they aren’t worth putting on. Something is not better than nothing in this case.

Get Reviews

Positive reviews will help with your search rankings and allow you to bring in new customers. In fact, 85% of people trust reviews as much as a recommendation from somebody they actually know. If you don’t have reviews on your page, you could be missing out on a huge number of conversions. 97% of shoppers say that they read reviews when looking for local businesses, so make sure you include them. Avoid creating fake reviews, as this will do more harm than good. Politely ask people to review you instead. 68% of local business users left a review when they were asked to do so, so this really could make a difference to your GMB page and success overall.


Your Google My Business Page is extremely valuable for your local SEO results, so make sure you prepare it accordingly!

 

SEO vs SEM vs PPC – The Bedrocks of Digital Marketing

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

In the 21st century, the success of a firm depends on its ability to market its products and services online. But the digital marketing landscape is by no means simple. There are all kinds of concepts that companies, both new and old, must learn if they want to have success.

As with anything, it’s best to start with the basics. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the key terms that people use to describe marketing online – namely, SEM, SEO and PPC. Once you know what these acronyms mean, you’ll be in a much better position to decipher articles on the subject that you read in the future. So without further ado, let’s get started.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a term which covers a broad swathe of online marketing strategies. Search engine marketing can involve paid advertising, where companies pay search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google and Duckduckgo to appear in search results, and “free” marketing, where firms generate content designed to rank highly in search results.

There are other forms of online marketing that do not fall under the umbrella of SEM, but they are few and far between. The vast majority of digital marketing dollars go on SEM-related activities, whether they cost money directly or not.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click marketing most closely resembles the marketing most companies are familiar with – advertising activities where the firm pays for the space they need directly. In the case of PPC marketing, the business pays for advertising to appear at the top or bottom of the page in search engine results, or to appear in banners on websites that are members of the advert network. PPC marketing makes it much more likely that your advert appears at the top of search results and is particularly useful for companies just starting that don’t have an established digital presence.

Of course, none of this is free. The “pay” part of PPC tells you that much. But how payment in PPC works is a little complicated. Essentially, you pay for advertising space related to specific keywords. Most PPC marketing platforms, like Google’s Adwords, allow you to select the keywords that you’d like to target with advertising and create advertisements around them. Other people may also want to advertise for those keywords, and so businesses must engage in competitive bidding against each other to secure the space. The firm that bids the most wins the right to appear in the advertising results and the others get relegated to subsequent pages or out of the results entirely.

PPC advertising is good in the sense that you don’t have to build up an online presence to benefit. If you’re a new business and you’ve got the money, you can pay to get to the top of search results without having to go through the much longer process of getting there “organically” – a concept we’ll explore next. But the downside is that you must pay each time a person clicks an advert, whether they ultimately decide to buy something from you or not.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

The aim of search engine optimisation, or SEO, is to boost the visibility of the pages of your site without paying advertising dollars directly to a search engine. Companies with effective SEO can climb the ranks in search results without paying for every click and eventually reach the first page, generating leads for free.

SEO involves many specific strategies designed to convince search engines that the content on your pages is more useful for users than the content on other sites. Google and others evaluate the merit of your web pages based on links from other websites, whether they contain useful content, images and videos, and the amount of traffic they receive from social media. Search engines take this information and use it to infer the quality of your web pages and how high up in the ranks they should appear for a given keyword.

The benefit of SEO is that by the end of the process, you should be able to generate traffic to your website organically, without paying every time a person clicks on an advertisement. Prospects will see your pages at the top of search results and then simply click through, no payment required.

The cost of SEO is that it can be both expensive and time-consuming. Rarely do new companies get to the top of search results for particular keywords in less than six months. What’s more, SEO is not free: you have to dedicate time, writers, and SEO professionals to the task.

How to Make your PPC & SEO Campaigns Work Together

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

PPC (or pay-per-click) and SEO are often characterised as two mutually exclusive digital marketing strategies. Businesses either use PPC, or they use SEO: they don’t use both.

But, with a little thought, it’s easy to see that SEO and PPC can work together, boosting the overall effectiveness of your marketing budget.

Both SEO and PPC cost money. It doesn’t make sense, therefore, to focus on one or the other. What firms care about is the effectiveness of their marginal marketing dollar: how much bang for the buck can they get from their digital marketing for each additional dollar they spend? Managers and entrepreneurs shouldn’t commit to one strategy or the other; they should choose to use both in a way that maximises their return.

There are many ways in which SEO and PPC synergise. Take a look at some of these ideas to get your PPC and SEO campaigns working together.

Gain Shared Insights

Although search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising are treated as separate entities, smart businesses know that they can use data derived from one to enhance the other. For instance, companies can collect data from their PPC advertising, see what works, and then implement similar strategies, keywords or H1 and H2 in their SEO content.

Use Landing Page Data

Companies can use their landing pages in a similar way by collecting data on the preferences of PPC-derived prospects. Firms can track which content, CTAs, and images are effective for PPC prospects and then utilise these insights in their organic SEO content.

Achieve Search Results Dominance

Some companies find that there are advantages of being both at the top of the advertising results and the organic search results. Being at the top of both signals to the customer that you’re a leader for their particular search query, making it more likely that they’ll trust you and click through to your site.

Build Customer Confidence In Your Brand

One of the best ways to build trust with your customers is through repeated exposure. People tend to trust what they see as familiar, and so businesses who can get their message in front of customers regularly are more likely to convert. Combining SEO and PPC is one of the best ways to do this because both can be used during different stages of the customer journey.

Most customers do not convert the first time they interact with your firm. Instead, they come into contact with your digital marketing content on several occasions before committing to buy. The first time they encounter you, they may click a PPC advertisement at the top of search results and get forwarded to a landing page. Next, they might do another search and click one of your blog posts high up in the rankings, thanks to effective SEO.

Then they may make several more visits, viewing product pages or making additional searchers and consuming more SEO-related high-ranking content, before finally converting. Using SEO and PPC together helps you attract and retain customer interest through multiple channels.

Use Competitor SEO Analysis In PPC

Competitor SEO analysis is fast becoming the norm for companies wanting to boost the effectiveness of their SEO. What’s the point of starting from scratch when somebody has already found a strategy which works? But what most firms don’t realise is that they can use competitor insights to drive better PPC. Competitors may be drawing people in using specific keywords or targeting a particular audience.

Use PPC Search Intent Data

Although certain keywords might be related to your business (and they may be popular), they still might not be associated with sales and conversions. People searching for “history of plumbing,” for example, may be more interested in researching plumbing than hiring a plumber. As a business, you want to target customers who have “intent to buy.” Tools like Google’s search query report can tell you the rate at which people converted after typing in specific keywords compared to others. Not only do you want to design your PPC around these particular keywords, but also use them in your SEO too. SEO content build around keywords that prospects use before converting are likely to yield higher returns than generic keywords

Leverage Your Display Network

Not all websites in your display network offer the same rates of conversion. Some sites will be popular among your customers, while others not. As a business, it’s in your interest to use your PPC data to find out which websites bring the most traffic to your site and generate the most conversions. Once you’ve got these data, you can pass them on to your SEO team who can approach these sites and offer to create lead-generating content.

The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimisation

By | SEO

If you want your business website to be a success, ranking well on Google is paramount. By now, you’ll probably know that SEO (search engine optimisation) is the key to getting it right. The real struggle, however, comes from understanding the finer details.

Let’s take a closer look at the fundamental features that can be used to give your business the boost it deserves.

On-site SEO

The on-site SEO features provide the foundations from which to build a successful website with strong SEO. It covers each of the following; unique text content, internal link architecture, bot accessibility, sitemaps, URL structure, and server response codes.

Unique content

Duplicating content (including multiple home pages that simply have the location changed) will penalise your site’s SEO ranking. On a similar note, unnecessary pages (such as subcategories that aren’t needed) can bring negativity to the table. Focus on the pages that actively gain traffic.

Title tags

The title tag for your homepage is one of the single most significant elements of any SEO strategy. If your company provides multiple services, it’s important to choose a title tag that revolves around the primary source of revenue. After all, this is surely where you want to rank highest.

Backlinks

Gaining links to your site from external platforms is a great way to become an authoritative site on any given keyword. Gaining quality links from big websites is the best solution, and can be achieved via social media, although smaller sites still offer some value.

Spam

It’s equally important for your business to disassociate itself from spammy links. If an audit shows that spam sites are linking to your site, it may be worth filing a disavow case. Fewer backlinks from trustworthy and respected sources is better than having many from dodgy sources.

PR

Getting the business out there in the digital world can be achieved through a number of PR stunts. They range from providing expert quotes or guest posts to giving testimonials and becoming a partner on another site.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a tool that provides details of the business along with customer reviews. Accurate details and updated photos are a great starting point while actively encouraging happy clients to leave positive feedback should fire you up the local rankings.

Local Business Listings

Checking the legitimacy of local businesses is a priority for search engine algorithms. Getting the company added to a local listings site can go a long way to confirming this while also gaining a valued backlink.

Marketing

The website needs to be blessed with real traffic. Moreover, Google wants to see that the site is active, which is why continued marketing is key. If you fail to drive visitors to your site, the SEO ranking will soon start to fall.

Analytics

It’s one thing to make positive additions to your SEO strategy, but knowing whether you’re succeeding or failing is another altogether. The use of regular monitoring and professional analysis will pinpoint the good and the bad, allowing you to adjust your plans accordingly.

 

How your Social Media can Improve your SEO

By | SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media

In the world of digital marketing, achieving a strong ranking on Google is one of the most important challenges of all. Search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, is the key ingredient in the recipe for success. While there are many ways to increase your SEO ranking, a strong social media game could be the secret weapon that leads you to success.

Here are just five ways in which social media marketing can actively influence your SEO in a positive manner.

#1. Content promotion

Publishing links to your blogs, videos, and content can have a minor impact on your SEO through those direct links. Significantly, though, the fact that the content will be optimised on keywords will mean that the content reaches the right audience. As they click the links and read the on-site content, the associated traffic statistics will have a very positive impact as search engines will see this as confirmation that your site brings value to the visitors.

#2. Social link building

Links to your website work wonders for the overall SEO strategy, and posting via your social media channels is a great way to do it. When other websites link to your site and content through social media, it can give the SEO a serious boost while also winning over new audiences. Getting this type of link from influencers is almost impossible without strong and active social media channels. On a separate note, it’s an ideal way to diversify the types of links you gain.

#3. Increased engagement

Social media thrives on the engagement between users, and this includes the relationship between company and client. While the shares themselves won’t influence your SEO, the added engagement certainly will. As the engagement and leads from the content grow, it will make your content (and, therefore, website) become a voice of authority in the chosen topic and keyword. This is something that the search engines algorithm will love, which will result in a better ranking.

#4. The Google-Twitter bond

Google is now partnered to Twitter, which means that popular Tweets are now displayed as a part of the search results. This makes posting relevant content on Twitter a particularly good way to cheat your way to the top of page one. When added to the impact of the added engagement and retweets, a strong Twitter account can be a very useful asset to possess. Given that the partnership is still quite new, it’s likely that the influence will continue to grow over the coming months.

#5. Brand awareness

When consumers search for your brand on search engines, it will slowly but surely increase the presence when dealing with non-branded keywords too. A strong social media game will lead to far greater awareness, not least because consumers spend so much time on social media platforms. Getting the brand known on social media ultimately has a snowballing effect that will subsequently start to recruit new clients thanks to the actions of your existing clients.

Social media helps the business grow in many other ways, but the SEO influences are certainly among the best.

 

Approaching the Customer Journey in the Digital Age

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

Digital marketing is an essential feature for any modern business as the online arena is where millions of consumer interactions take place every single day. When handled in the correct fashion, this environment promises to generate some truly fantastic results. However, this is only made possible when you approach it in the right way.

Here’s how to ensure that your online marketing strategies are met with the right responses time and time again.

Leaving the traditional route behind

In years gone by, there was a linear route. The consumer would first be exposed to the brand before becoming familiar with it thanks to regular marketing. The consideration stage would hopefully be followed by a purchase and a repeat customer.

Nowadays, consumers have greater expectations while they additionally interact with brands in a completely different manner – this includes where they shop and how they make consumer decisions. With a more sophisticated and customer-centric approach, however, it is possible to win over the online audience.

Marketing teams must now embrace two-way conversations, find innovative ways of pushing the brand as well as the products, and know how to strike at the moment where consumers are most likely to complete an impulse buy.

Approaching the customer journey in the digital age

It’s also worth noting that consumers now follow a four-stage cycle. After creating an ‘initial consideration set’ of brands, the consumer gathers information in the ‘active evaluation’ stage before choosing a brand with what is known as the ‘moment of purchase. Finally, their ‘post-purchase experience’ is where their future decisions will be influenced one way or the other.

Following the four steps below should put you on the pathway to success.

#1. Consumer-driven marketing

Modern consumers are influenced heavily by the views of their friends and family. When dealing with the online audience, this can extend to strangers that are past customers too.

User-generated content (including testimonials, customer reviews, and blogs) from impartial third parties carry a lot of weight due to their authenticity. In truth, those reviews and responses are likely to have an even greater impact than any marketing campaign.

While the user-generated content is important at every phase of the journey, the impacts are heightened during the active evaluation phase. The reviews and testimonials can make all the difference by confirming or contesting those initial first impressions.

Google My Business is a particularly good solution for local businesses, not least because it boosts the SEO status too. Other platforms including Trustpilot are very useful too.

Still, you will need to give your customers a reason to provide positive reviews. The last thing you want to do is let them down. So, set realistic expectations and surpass them. When customers gain a quality service that is even better than promised, the positive reactions will lead to great results.

#2. Engaging content

As a modern business, you don’t merely want customers to love your products. You need them to become loyal to the brand too. Thanks to digital marketing, this can be achieved before a product has even been purchased. You’d be a fool not to take advantage.

People buy into people. Even without face-to-face interactions, the use of engaging online content can make prospective clients feel closer to the brand than you ever thought possible. Blogs, behind the scenes videos, and opinion pieces are all great options. Essentially, you need the content to bring value to the consumer’s life while getting them familiar to the brand.

When a consumer loves the brand, they will be far more likely to look at its products with a positive outlook. In turn, this can lead to instinct purchases. Furthermore, the fresh content is a great way to keep the brand relevant – especially for existing clients.

Engaging and entertaining content is also the perfect way to celebrate the personality of your brand. The fact that you’ll enjoy it too should spread to the customers. Given how their mindsets can alter everything, the value of engaging content cannot be emphasised enough. Be sure to embrace it.

#3. Mobile strategies

The exponential growth of smartphone and mobile technology has changed the game forever as clients can now access valuable information at any time, any place, anywhere. In fact, over 50% of all online interactions now take place via handheld screens. Targeting this marketplace is no longer merely an option; it is essential.

Media consumption through mobile devices is an amazing thing, not least because it offers a real-time interaction between client and company while consumers can interact with each other too. Over 7 in 10 customers use their smartphone during the research phases of the purchasing journey. Therefore, your business needs to incorporate mobile strategies into its marketing endeavours.

If the mobile browsing experience is inadequate, it makes the business look outdated and unprofessional. Over half of the potential audience will suffer as a direct result. Conversely, when the site is optimised, the engagement levels will be far greater. Mobile search engine results will show your website in a more prominent position too.

#4. Communicate

Given the opportunities for real-time engagement with consumers, it’s vital that you learn to embrace a two-way dialogue. Participation will keep the business fresh in their minds, which will give you an advantage as they handle the decision-making process.

In addition to encouraging participation, it gives the business a chance to collect valuable information. This client insight (both individually and demographically) can then be used to tailor the brand accordingly.

Better still, the interactions will be held with people that actively show an interest in the brand. In turn, it can be assumed that they will be likely to show an interest in the products too. This prevents you from falling into the trap of wasting time and money on online users that won’t realistically buy your products.

When supported by the other ideas mentioned above, great communication that leaves consumers feeling valued is sure to guide them to the desired destination.