Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing and SEO – Why Digital Marketing Does Not Work Without SEO

Digital Marketing and SEODigital Marketing and SEO

When it comes to digital marketing  search engine marketing otherwise known as SEO is an important part of the digital marketing Strategy as there is so much to be gained from making this a large part of your overall strategy.

Alot of websites at the moment fail to properly optimise their website which causes the lack of potential traffic to your website . Traffic = Revenue, so this is why digital marketing and SEO should be implemented together in any digital strategy. In this article I hope to explain the significance of SEO and why it is needed in any digital marketing campaign you may be looking to implement in the future.

Search engine Optimisation is a process of obtaining high rankings for your website/blog in the search engines. There are many ways to achieve this result along with certain strategies that must be implemented in order to achieve the desired goal. In this article i have provided some instant tips that you can implement straight away to see improved search rankings within a few weeks.

1. Social Signals

It is imprtant that you have a social media presence online and that you contantly engage with your customers and encourage social sharing. Whilst Google still take notice of text links to your site ( as long as they are relevant to your content). It is also important that you build up your links over a period as anything else will see you get penalised by Google.

2. Meta Tags

Meta tags are used to let the search engines know what your website pages are about they are also used as links from the search engine to your website. Without implementing meta tags across your website you run the risk of low search engine rankings. It is also important that your website pages are focused around one action and one keyword. Then focus your meta title tags around this keyword.

3. Unique content

Writing content is tough but it is also the best way of bringing traffic to your website . When you write keyword rich articles you increase your chances of ranking for that keyword within the search engines. This is how digital marketing and seo really come together. It is also wise to have a content marketing strategy in place so content is produced on a daily basis. Write for the reader  and Google will reward you. Engage in keyword  stuffing and you will find yourself being penalised. You have been warned!

4. Google Plus

Are you on Google plus? If your company is not on Google plus its is also important that you submit your details to Google and claim your Google places listing. This is a vital tip that most companies fail to do which loses them lots of ranking potential. So if you have no Google places listing for your business go and claim your listing now !

5. Bloggers

If your a business selling a range of product it might also be worth making contact with the prominent bloggers within your industry. Giving them FREE product will encourage them to blog about yourproduct which will results in increased brand exposure for your business .

6. Alt Images

Alt Images are also  an important ranking factor in Google. If your website or blog has lots of images on the website check to see if you have optimised your images for the search engines by hovering them. Most will show 2622626.jpg! It is now time you went back and changed all these image name to a description of the image. This will let the search engines know what the images are about and will be another reason to rank your website higher in the search engines.

7. Mobile

Finally. Make sure your website is optimised for mobile. Everybody has smartphones now and research has shown that more and more people are using their mobile phones to search for their information. If your website is not optimised for mobile your potential customer will go elsewhere.

I hope you have found some of these tips useful and if you can implement one or two of these on your own website as part of your digital marketing and seo strategy you will gradually notice the difference over time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Digital Vinyl Revival. Digital Marketing and the Unlikely Comeback of Vinyl Records

Students and the undrr 25s have contributed to the comeback of vinyl albums

Students and the under 25s have contributed to the comeback of vinyl albums

 

One of the most surprising success stories of the digital era is the resurgence of sales of vinyl record albums. http://theweek.com/article/index/254901/the-baffling-revival-of-the-vinyl-lp. Supposedly made redundant over twenty years ago by the rise of CDs coupled with the dominance of music downloads on Digital marketing giants iTunes and Amazon, LPs have made a remarkable comeback. Now, along with music streaming, vinyl albums constitute a growth area in the music industry. http://mashable.com/2014/01/07/vinyl-comeback/

The big success story is Digital Streaming which increased by over 30%, achieving a record 118 billion total streams mainly due to the emergence of Spotify and Pandora. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/digital-music-takes-a-dive-as-record-sales-slip-again-in-2013-20140108

Vinyl Records sales chartAs a lover of vinyl albums, I am delighted by the renaissance of the LP. However, it is unlikely that the vinyl album will ever achieve the dominance it enjoyed in the 70s and 80s. To put things in perspective, in 2013, LPs sold approximately 6.1m, a fraction in comparison with the $15b in revenue achieved by US vinyl sales in 1999 but still an unlikely triumph. Last year, CDs sold 165m while downloads peaked at 118m. (http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/02/news/companies/napster_music_industry/)

However, though it is refreshing – as well as a real boost for music lovers – that in this age of instant gratification and accessibility the music market has re-embraced a technological dinosaur such as the vinyl record album, one big question remains: why?

There are many theories, including the appeal of owning a beautifully packaged artifact. Another reason could be a perceived backlash against digital music in general. However, as AFP’s Alfons Luna says, ‘Vinyl offers a richer sound than downloadable digital songs which although hiss-free, lack the ‘warmth’ of vinyl records.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5glTYYzYiJya3Y0gQ–FOwyGJnE4Q?docId=a40ab03a-a4ea-4dc7-8b46-1deb6894f5f9

Digital Marketing has played a major role in offering the vinyl lover a better choice of product along with a richer online shopping experience, particularly since the emergence of specialist or niche online vinyl retailers Discogs (http://www.discogs.com/) and Amazon Marketplace (http://www.amazon.com/Vinyl-Records-Albums-LPs-Eps/b?ie=UTF8&node=372989011) along with small independent records stores like Disc-Covery (http://www.disc-coveryrecords.com/).

Now, the customer can avail of competitive prices and a wide choice of product from traditional (Bricks) selling (ie major retailers Tower and HMV along with independent record shops) as well as (Clicks) online marketplaces Amazon, Discogs and others. Irish vinyl retailers Spindizzy  http://www.spindizzyrecords.com/,Freebird https://twitter.com/FreebirdRecords and R.A.G.E. https://www.facebook.com/RageDublin have yet to fully embrace online sales though most continue to increase Brand awareness and drive sales through maintaining a strong digital presence on social media including Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.

One of the great benefits of going online though, is that it’s possible to track down virtually any vinyl album ever released. Recently, I sourced a used copy of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 20 Greatest Hits. My budget was around 25e and I had several criteria:

–       Reasonable price

–       Easy to use online service experience

–       Good quality or near mint condition of product

–       Cheap shipping rates to Ireland

Amazon Marketplace’s search engine is easy to use and turned up a wide variety. However, accurate shipping rates to Ireland were hard to access. Prices were mostly in sterling which involved using a currency converter tool: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

CCR

Discogs’ search engine is more elaborate and involves clicking on a number of links including ‘artist’, ‘album title’ and ‘media’ i.e. ‘vinyl’ before you arrive at a scroll down menu listing of available items. However, the site is relatively easy to use and within a minute I had a choice of over twenty records. Discogs provides easy to access and accurate shipping information on a link marked View Shipping and Payment Information). Many of the traders list prices in euro, which swung my choice. I bought from Discogs and received the LP within a few days. https://www.discogs.com/sell/order/2036419-9

The comeback of the vinyl album is for my money, one of the best benefits of the digital era.

By Ferdia Mac Anna

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Mobile Marketing Trends

Mobile Marketing Trends

By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people (Cisco via Mashable, 2013).

This statistic highlights the growing importance of having mobile functionality as part of a business website. Mobile commerce continues its upward spiral unabated with more consumers utilising mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets as their primary method for browsing, researching and purchasing products online. Ireland is no exception to such statistics as mobile adoption and ownership increases, Adashkevich notes that “The market penetration of mobile usage in Ireland is actually over 100% with 5.52 million active mobile phones at the moment” (digitalmarketinginstitute.com, 2012).

These trends have explicit consequences for businesses unsure of how emerging digital technologies may affect, alter or disturb their very existence. Many industry commentators view the mobile device as ‘an extension of ourselves’, ‘is ever present’ and is ‘always on’, therefore it is proving to be a unique tool in building and strengthening both company brand and customer relationship (Wollen, 2013). Mobile is always on so this presents opportunities for real time targeting, anytime anywhere, a mobile device user is reachable 24/7 and this trend is predicted to rapidly increase in the coming years.

Mobile Marketing Trends

“Mobile is a driving force in search and decision, and growing more important every day. Businesses need to understand this importance, learn how and when to reach the mobile consumer…” (Mobile Path to Purchase, 2013). As business and the hi-tech industry evolve, the result often provides both challenges and opportunities for eager entrepreneurs. For example Tesco home plus located in Korea was eager to increase market share. Tesco’s research indicated two key factors. One Koreans were identified as very hard workers which allowed little time for shopping and second, they were passionate mobile users.

The campaign centered on making the walls of local train stations resemble real life stores which integrated QR codes (quick response code) which were scanned with smart phones by a waiting public. The products purchased were guaranteed to be delivered the same day. The end result was a successful mobile campaign integrated into an overall digital marketing campaign which resulted in a 130% increase in online sales (scribd.com, 2012). Another notable advantage with a Mobile devise is the fact that they are portable and light making them a people friendly internet accessory.

IKEA is a renowned company which specialises in designing and selling ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and accessories. The 2014 catalogue engages the customer through mobile by allowing them to place virtual furniture in their own homes touching on the concept of augmented reality. This term is defined as “A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view” (oxforddictionaries.com). Pages are scanned by mobile devices then by  looking through the device the user can see virtually what a selected piece of furniture looks like in any room in their home. This approach is much more engaging than a paper catalogue as it personalises the experience and gives the user more control in the buying cycle (theverge.com, 2013). Mobile marketing trends such as the examples above will surly become common place as digital technologies evolve.

 

Additional Advantages of Mobile Technology

As mobile technology evolves there are numerous features which help businesses develop a better understanding of customer behaviour. For example, 02 are pushing Location Based Messaging. This approach allows companies to target customer in real-time when they are just about to purchase. When customers enter a specific location, triggered by GPS technology, which is geo fenced they receive tailored messages on their mobiles specific to chosen brand and products they have searched for previously making mobile more focused and less instructive (www.o2media.ie, 2014).

The Smartphone of today can perform multiple functions which could only be dreamed about a few years ago. For example, if you wanted to record or scan a business card, a barcode, a check which is ready to be deposited of basically anything that you can actually see, today’s phone contain this functionality. You can download an endless list of apps. Digital wallets are becoming a popular term as they can be utulised for buying online or in store and so forth. There are apps for banking, for storing and displaying discount and membership cards. PayPal allows a user to sent money from any location where there is internet coverage.

There are applications for specific phones which allow a user to keep their shopping cards in one location the list is endless (living.msn.com, 2014). This has evolved from the initial mobile phone which resembled a brick with a huge aerial and definitely could not be described as lightweight or as something we could not do without in our daily lives. The constant monitoring of Mobile marketing trends are a central factor to both businesses and marketer alike if they are to stay competitive and connected with their customers.

Marketing Confused SMEs. Get Un-confused by Digital Marketing

Dun Laoghaire benefitted by a social media driven shopping day

Dun Laoghaire benefitted by a social media driven shopping day

 

Why is it that so many SMEs in are oblivious to the benefits of Digital Marketing?

Since September 2013, when I commenced studying for a certificate in Digital marketing at DBS, I have encountered SME owners that feel the digital age is a load of bosh. They see little benefit in having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube or Linked-In. Many admitted to feeling ‘confused’ by digital marketing.

Their attitude begs the question: why is it that some SMEs are reluctant to engage with social media and the Internet in general? It seems strange given that the Internet has been in existence for a quarter of a century. Recent surveys indicate that a majority of people in the Western world go online regularly (over 85% of US citizens have access to Internet or use the social media)

SMEs I consulted with expressed the following reservations:

  •       Can’t afford the time to go online
  •       Their business is walk-in, not online
  •       Loyal customer base does not require marketing
  •       Digital advertising expensive and confusing
  •       No proof that social media can drive sales

Yet in the UK, struggling high street SMEs in towns are embracing Digital Marketing including Social media such as Twitter and Facebook – as well as a newcomer Phlok – in a campaign to fight back against large Supermarket chains.

Sarah Lyle, who runs Attic Womenswear in Ilkley, says that digitally connecting independent traders to customers through Phlok pays off. ‘Social Media is amazing, just last week it accounted for a quarter of my turnover’.  Phlok, a digital Loyalty scheme that rewards customers with points each time they spend money in a particular participating shop, costs £69 a month and has already attracted businesses throughout England.

Recently, in an effort to boost business, the town of Dun Laoghaire in south county Dublin launched a similar e-initiative, promoting a special shopping day driven almost entirely by social media including Facebook and Twitter.

The message to be gleaned from such activities is that a combination of social networks, loyalty schemes and Internet initiatives can help boost traditional small businesses as well as online companies.

For Irish SMEs who are ‘confused’ about digital marketing, help is at hand. Utter Digital focuses on teaching SMEs social media, search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing. Founder Aine Birmingham understands that digital marketing can be confusing to SMEs facing the challenges of limited time and budget, not to mention computer skills. ‘Training and mentoring has proven to be very successful to date, and this side of the business is growing quite rapidly’, she says.

So, in an attempt to ‘un-confuse’, here are my Top Five Tips to help SMEs get to grips with the enigma of Digital Market.

  1.      Build a website and get online. If you can’t be ‘found’, then your business may ultimately suffer. The very least that can happen is that customers know you are out there.
  2.      Use social media as a marketing tool. Two hours a week on Facebook, Pinterest, You Tube, Linked-in and Twitter can spread the word and build relationships with your customers.
  3.      Produce great content for your website through blogs, videos, infographics, competitions, promotions. Giveaways, bonus points etc.
  4.      Learn how to do your own marketing by using the Internet’s free tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
  5.      Be Active. Get your brand out there and network with other businesses and customers. Join Linked In and other Irish networks such as IrishBizParty 

Ferdia MacAnna

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Welcome to Digital Marketing Confused

Digital Marketing Tips and Tricks coming soon…