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Digital marketing has been around for years. In fact, ever since the first search engines appeared and the first emails were sent, people have been using the internet to market their businesses. But many businesses are yet to take full advantage of online marketing – and your business may be one of them. Perhaps you’ve... Read more The post Online Marketing: Why It Is Essential In 2021 appeared first on Alba SEO...
Digital marketing has been around for years. In fact, ever since the first search engines appeared and the first emails were sent, people have been using the internet to market their businesses.
But many businesses are yet to take full advantage of online marketing – and your business may be one of them. Perhaps you’ve started a blog, published a few posts and quit without anything to show for it. Maybe you’ve got a few social media accounts going stale after disappointing results. Or perhaps you’ve already decided that online marketing is not right for your business.
The truth is that online marketing is fast overtaking traditional marketing – and there are enormous benefits to enjoy for almost any business. Benefits that you really don’t want to be missing out on.
That’s probably why 71% of business owners who responded to our recent survey claimed that online marketing was ‘essential’ to the success of their business.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, many more activities have gone online. More people have become familiar with Zoom calls and using online productivity tools to connect and get work done. But even without the pandemic, the world is going increasingly digital – and marketing is becoming an increasingly online activity.
The good news is that you’re not late. There is no time like the present to switch to internet marketing, and you’ll still be well ahead of many of your competitors. The time to make the switch is now.
Online marketing provides many benefits to businesses of all sizes. So what advantages can you expect to enjoy when you make the switch?
Online marketing can have significant cost savings for businesses. Compare taking out an advertisement in the paper with running an online advertising campaign. You can spend just a few pounds to get potential customers visiting your website and engaging with your brand.
Most digital marketing techniques are highly targeted. Take PPC advertising, for example. When you run a Google Ads campaign, only people searching for something specific that is related to your business will see your ads.
Social advertising is even more targeted. When you run a Facebook advertising campaign, you can target people right down to their hobbies and interests.
You can quickly find out what is working and what isn’t when you run an online marketing campaign. If you run a set of ads and one of them generates much more business, you can ditch the less successful ads and optimise the one that works.
This is similar across online marketing, from email marketing to SEO. With free tools like Google Analytics, for example, you can see exactly who is visiting your website and what they are doing once they get there, helping you to make informed decisions that improve your results.
If you target people across the country, or even across the world, you can reach out to them just as easily as if they were based in your local area when you use online marketing.
For example, it’s just as cheap to send an email to someone on another continent as to someone in your town, which is particularly useful for ecommerce stores with a global customer base.
A lot of online marketing can be automated these days. This does not mean you can simply invest in a tool and let it do all the work, because specialist knowledge will always be needed. But it’s possible to automate many of the less specialised, time-consuming tasks, helping to cut costs even further.
Digital marketing makes it easy to build relationships with your target audience. Take content marketing, for example. By running a blog and being active on social media, you can build relationships that grow over time, generating more leads. It’s no surprise that companies with blogs get 67% more leads than those without. You can then reach out via emails to build the relationship further.
It often takes multiple touchpoints before people decide to buy from you. You can achieve this affordably with online marketing.
There are lots of types of online marketing techniques, so you are not restricted to one type:
While you probably don’t want to focus on all of them, you can experiment with different marketing techniques and find out which ones work best for you.
Online marketing is easy to get started and relatively affordable, especially compared to many traditional marketing methods. For example, you can set up a blog and start publishing expert guides with very little investment.
But it comes with challenges, and there are many reasons why it often makes sense to get expert help.
For a start, there is the time requirement. In our survey, we asked about the greatest online marketing challenges for businesses, and 48% responded: ‘I don’t have time to do it properly’.
This was by far the biggest challenge facing businesses. And this is the thing: online marketing requires a big time commitment to do it properly. It can seem so easy to jump straight in, write a few blog posts and update your social feed a few times a day. But you will quickly realise how time-consuming the activities can become.
Online marketing has quite a steep learning curve. Writing a blog? That’s easy enough. Optimising it for SEO, carrying out keyword research, getting links from authoritative sources, generating shares, and getting leads? There’s quite a lot involved, and it all takes time.
14% of the respondents in our survey said that ‘It’s too complex’ when asked about their online marketing challenges. Don’t get us wrong – online marketing can be easy to get started. But it can often be tricky to make the most out of it.
Take Google Ads, for example. Knowing how to set up campaigns and maximise results is not easy – and mistakes can be very expensive!
14% of our survey respondents also responded: ‘I can’t tell if it’s helping my business.’ It’s true – it can be tricky to find out where you are going right or wrong.
A specialist will know how to find out what you’re doing right, where sales and leads are really coming from, and what needs changing to improve your results.
Another big challenge is that online marketing changes fast, and a lot of the information you find online quickly becomes outdated. If you are using SEO techniques that worked in 2016, they might be far less effective now – or even harmful.
It’s a specialist’s job to keep up with all the latest trends, to constantly figure out what is working and what will be working in the years to come – and to prevent your online marketing activities from becoming a huge waste of time and money.
For example, years ago (before the Google Panda update), it was easy to churn out low-quality articles crammed with keywords and rank in the search results. Now, the average word length of content that ranks on the first page in Google is 1,447 words, showing the shift to longer, more authoritative content.
As a result of changing trends, it often makes sense to use an expert. When you have someone who knows exactly how to get results, you can leave it in their capable hands while you get on with doing what you know best – running your business.
Because digital marketing changes so quickly, it’s hard to know where it will be in five, 10 or 20 years. What we can be sure of is that it will continue to evolve. New technologies will ensure it continues to develop all the time. However, a focus on providing value to your customers will always be important.
Looking at some trends for 2021, we can see how fast it is changing. Video marketing, for example, is an area seeing huge growth. People watch 8 billion videos a day on Facebook, and just look at how popular platforms like TikTok have become in a short period of time.
We can also expect new technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality to start having an impact. The AR market is predicted to reach over $70 billion by 2023, and many brands are already experimenting with using AR in their marketing campaigns (like Manchester City incorporating AR into its stadium tour).
Big data is sure to play a larger role too, providing more personalised marketing. And artificial intelligence is likely to become a big trend. We’ve seen this already in the growth of chatbots, but the technology is improving all the time, and AI could soon have a much bigger role to play.
As online marketing evolves, it’s important to keep up with the trends. Make sure you are the first rather than the last, and stay ahead of your competitors to take full advantage of all the benefits online marketing has to offer.
If you feel like you have missed the online marketing boat, you haven’t. Many businesses still struggle with online marketing, and there’s a good chance that you can get ahead of your competitors – and stay there – by developing a successful online marketing strategy now.
Online marketing requires consistent effort and a dedicated online marketing strategy to succeed. But if you start now, you can get ahead of the competition and start generating leads and sales for your business in a short period of time.
If you’re ready to try online marketing for yourself, contact the team at Alba SEO today to find out how we can help you.
You may be interested in reading- SME Digital Marketing Trends
With working from home becoming the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important to ensure you and your business has the essential IT equipment and software. For employees to continue working productively and proactively during lockdown, businesses must be prepared to offer the same level of support they would in... Read more The post Essential IT Software and Equipment You Need When Working From Home appeared first on Alba SEO...
With working from home becoming the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important to ensure you and your business has the essential IT equipment and software.
For employees to continue working productively and proactively during lockdown, businesses must be prepared to offer the same level of support they would in the office. E2E Technologies is an IT support company , and they have put together a handy guide to some of the most essential equipment you’ll need when working from home.
First up, you will need a computer, which can either be a laptop or desktop, depending on your requirements. There are advantages and disadvantages with both, but if you are looking for something portable, a laptop is probably the best choice. However, if price is an issue, desktop computers are usually cheaper and easier to update.
If you opt for a laptop, you need to decide which type would work best for you. Laptops come in many shapes and sizes, from the traditional hinged ones, to convertibles that have detachable keyboards. For the best value, traditional laptops are preferable and should feature a good quality trackpad, keyboard, be 9th or 10th generation Intel i5 or i7 processor, have a good-sized hard drive and a minimum of 4GB RAM.
However, if you decide to use a desktop computer, you’ll need to choose from an all-in-one device that has the computer built into the monitor, like an Apple iMac, or a tower with external monitors. Similar to a laptop, your desktop should be a 9th or 10th generation Intel i5 or i7, AMD’s Ryzen 5 2500 or at the very least Intel’s i3, with a good hard drive and a minimum RAM of 4GB.
When working from a desktop, you’ll need at least one monitor to work from, although it can sometimes be beneficial to have two, depending on the type of work you do. An extra monitor is also helpful when working from a laptop, as it gives you a much larger display. Good monitors will usually be around 21-24” in size with 1080p or similar resolution, and have an adjustable stand.
If you are working from a laptop, it’s good practice to use a laptop stand to improve the ergonomics of your workstation. Your screen should ideally be at eye level when you are working. This will reduce the risk of back and neck pain from looking down or straining. You will find a range of different laptop stands, from foldaway designs, to lightweight wooden ones.
It may be obvious, but you will need a good-sized desk or table to set up your computer and equipment on. Make sure it is sturdy and provides enough space for everything you need, including accessories and notepads etc.
To ensure you stay productive whilst working from home, it’s important to have a comfortable, ergonomic chair. It should have a high back, arm rests and be adjustable. Chairs with wheels can also be great if you need to move around easily in your home office space.
When working from a desktop, you will obviously need an external mouse and keyboard, but they can also be great additional extensions when using a laptop. When it comes to keyboards, go for a wireless or USB model and buy some rechargeable batteries for it. However, you will find that one set of batteries lasts a long time. An external mouse is also a great addition, but try to choose a mouse that is ergonomic rather than stylish, the modern flat ones have been known to cause wrist ache.
Alongside the actual computer equipment, ensuring you and your employees all have access to a fast internet connection is one of the main essentials when working from home. The broadband package you used to have at home may have been sufficient for out of hours, but with most people now working from home, this increase in connections in your household or neighbourhood could result in slower speeds. To get a faster internet speed you will need to look at upgrading your broadband package. However, you could also look into buying a more advanced router, if your current one has become outdated.
If your home office is situated at the other side of the house to your router, you may have a weaker Wi-Fi signal. If it’s not possible to relocate your office or router, you may need to look at purchasing a Wi-Fi range extender to boost your signal strength. You can usually find good quality ones for around £30.
When it comes to software, your employees will benefit from being able to access company files remotely. To ensure everyone has access to documents, you should invest in a cloud storage system like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. If your company already uses Office 365 or G-suite, you will already have access to cloud storage systems.
By moving on-site data to the cloud, you will ensure your employees have access to everything they need, and your files will be kept secure. However, don’t forget to always back up your data, even if you are storing everything on the cloud.
One of the most essential IT software that you and your business need whilst working from home is a high-quality video calling platform. Whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, maintaining strong communication channels is vital to keep the business running smoothly. If your company already uses Office 365, all employees should already have access to Teams.
When working from home, it can be difficult for companies to maintain the same level of collaboration and project management. However, there are a range of online tools and software that business should utilise to improve this. Apps like Asana, Microsoft Teams, Monday.com and Trello allow managers to keep tabs on projects and ensure work is completed on time.
As well as a high-quality video chat platform, your business may also investigate using a live chat service to help your employees keep in contact. When working from home, it’s easy for employees to find themselves out of the loop with business updates and news. An online chat service like Slack, Teams, Skype and Chanty can solve this problem as colleagues can instantly give updates and socialise. ON many of the platforms, you can also assign channels for different chat topics and projects.
Working from home can increase the risk of cyberattacks for many businesses. For cybersecurity reasons, it’s important that you ensure all of your company devices have updated anti-virus software to protect against malware, phishing and malicious links. Alongside this, you should also be using a virtual private network, or VPN, especially if workers are using remote access software to access on-site systems. You can easily set up a VPN for your company by ensuring your employees use a business-grade VPN service.
E2E Technologies are an IT support company based in Merseyside.
The post Essential IT Software and Equipment You Need When Working From Home appeared first on Alba SEO Services.
Facebook is a great tool for attracting new customers to your business. As a business, Facebook can be particularly useful as it allows you to update your customers on current offers, opening times and products as well as providing your contact details, allowing customers to message you and visit your website. If you’re unsure where... Read more The post Facebook Business Tips Not to Be Missed! appeared first on Alba SEO...
Facebook is a great tool for attracting new customers to your business. As a business, Facebook can be particularly useful as it allows you to update your customers on current offers, opening times and products as well as providing your contact details, allowing customers to message you and visit your website. If you’re unsure where to start with your Facebook business page, just follow our simple, easy steps to setting up.
The first step is to set up your business’s page. This is a fairly simple process and can be started by visiting the pages tab on your personal account. From here you can follow the instructions to create your page, including things like your business’s category, name, address and logo.
Invite everyone you know to like your page
Now that you are all set up, you want to start getting likes on your page. One of the easiest ways to do this is to invite all your friends and family to like it. Not everyone will, but it doesn’t hurt to try. You never know, perhaps a few people you know will be interested in what you do and they can help spread the word.
Choosing a theme is important to make sure you have a page that reflects the image you want to present. Sticking to the colours of your logo is a really easy way to ensure that your page is uniform and aesthetically pleasing. You can use an online tool to find out which colours are used in your logo, if you don’t already know, and build from here. It’s a good idea to choose the main colour or two as well as a few shades that are similar and maybe even one or two colours opposite on the colour wheel to give your page that pop! The colours you use will help to emphasise your brand’s message and personality.
Once you know your colours, you can create a header photo either using these colours or by inserting a picture. Your header is a great opportunity to advertise things that are relevant to your company such as sales or promotions, new products or awards. You can also change your header every so often to update customers with some important announcements that you would like all page visitors to be aware of. Think of your header like a billboard.
Now that your page is set up, you’ve chosen your theme and you’ve got a few likes, it’s time to start posting. The whole point of your Facebook is most likely that it is a free advertisement for your business and a way for you to interact with your customers. Using your brand’s theme, you can create fun visuals using sites like Canva or post pictures of your product. Whatever you decided to post, you want it to be interesting and of worth to your followers. If you create posts that others enjoy and find helpful, then you are likely to see your following and engagement grow. Make sure to reply to all comments on your posts and any messages in your inbox to keep your audience engaged.
Posting content on your page is important, but stories can be a really great way to show a behind the scenes look into your business and let your personality shine through. If you have a business that creates a product, then it is very likely that your audience would be interested in seeing this process. Creating a step-by-step or a tutorial of how you create something, in particular, invites your followers into your business and will give them an insight into the love and care that goes into your products. Stories are also a brilliant way to interact with your followers by conducting Q&As or a get-to-know-me. They only last 24 hours, so have fun with them and grab your audience’s attention.
Gaining new likes from people you know and current customers is great, but to grow your page you might want to think about investing in adverts. Growing your page organically can be difficult on Facebook, so ads are often the best way to get your content in front of a new audience. Although it will cost you in the short-term, the benefit of increasing your following will most likely lead to new business and will be worth the investment.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your account set up today and start attracting and interacting with new customers.
To be successful on Instagram, there are a few golden rules that you should follow. While Instagram thrives on creativity and unique content, these general guidelines will make sure that you are well on your way to having a successful and meaningful social media account. DO engage with followers One of the biggest musts on... Read more The post The Do’s and Don’ts to Excel as a Business on Instagram appeared first on Alba SEO...
To be successful on Instagram, there are a few golden rules that you should follow. While Instagram thrives on creativity and unique content, these general guidelines will make sure that you are well on your way to having a successful and meaningful social media account.
One of the biggest musts on Instagram is engaging with your followers. Especially as a business, you want to use your Instagram to attract new clients and keep your current ones interested. It’s all good posting exciting content and creating a beautiful page, but without engagement, this following might be of little worth.
Likes and follows are the main type of engagement but tags, comments and messages can be even more beneficial. Starting a conversation with your audience is a great way to show your personality as a business and gain your follower’s trust. Try following, liking and commenting on the accounts and content you like and always make sure to reply to comments and messages from your followers.
Alternatively, one of the biggest downfalls for many Instagram users is that they post content without a goal or aim. As a business, you need to know who your target audience is and what you are targeting. Think about who uses or needs your product and whether they use Instagram. Once you reach 100 followers, you can use Instagram insights to investigate your following, which will provide further insight into your audience and whether you are attracting the right people.
Making sure that you are also producing interesting, useful and relevant posts is really important as this will naturally grow your following as your content is of value to your followers. Producing meaningful content will also likely increase your engagement as your followers will respond to it.
Make use of the Instagram insights, they’re there to help you! Spend a little time investigating when the majority of your followers are active online and schedule your posts accordingly. Why not try a scheduling app, like Buffer or Later, to make sure you stick to your schedule and to make posting easier. If you post at a time that is popular with your followers, you’re more likely to see increased engagement and have more of an opportunity to interact with your followers. So, pay attention to these times, make use of them and reap the rewards.
While you want to post regularly, interact with others and try to get your account noticed, overdoing these things can also be detrimental to your account. If you stick to a schedule and don’t bombard your feed with posts then you will be fine. You can look at similar accounts to yourself to gauge how often they are posting and find a schedule that will keep your followers updated without taking over the homepage.
In the same way that we said you should engage with your followers and other accounts, you do not want to spam anyone. It’s good to like and comment on the posts you find interesting but being a serial liker can get you penalized by Instagram. The same goes for following, as a mass follow or unfollow can seem suspicious to Instagram. To be safe, use Instagram like the average human and your account won’t be flagged as a bot.
There are up to 30 hashtags available for you to use on each post. While they may not look the prettiest, they are very useful and can help get your post noticed by new users. If you research your hashtags and use ones that are relevant to your target audience, you will be able to grab the attention of viewers searching for the particular thing you are offering. Also, you can attempt to hide your hashtags by spacing them well below your post’s description or planting them in the comments. Don’t be afraid to use as many as you feel are relevant! The more you use, the higher chance you have of someone spotting your post.
So, as you can see, there’s much more to Instagram than simply posting content. By trying all of the DO’s and avoiding all of the DON’Ts, you will hopefully be creating a valuable online platform that is good for both your business and customers.
The post The Do’s and Don’ts to Excel as a Business on Instagram appeared first on Alba SEO Services.
For many businesses, the pandemic has been a huge shock. But those businesses that already had strong online presences may have found it easier to adapt. Suddenly, with the arrival of COVID-19, more people are going online than ever before to find and buy products and services. And the businesses that are more visible online... Read more The post Why Businesses Need a Strong Online Presence More than Ever appeared first on Alba SEO...
For many businesses, the pandemic has been a huge shock. But those businesses that already had strong online presences may have found it easier to adapt.
Suddenly, with the arrival of COVID-19, more people are going online than ever before to find and buy products and services. And the businesses that are more visible online are in a better position to benefit.
There are several key benefits of having a strong online presence. For a start, many people now start their research for products and services online (e.g. in Google). By boosting your visibility in the search engines, you can help to ensure that they come across your business first.
Local search especially is becoming increasingly important. People use their mobile phones to search for businesses in their local areas, and if you want to be found, you need to show up in the results.
In addition, a strong online presence allows you to develop your brand voice and build relationships with your customers. For example, a strong social media presence can generate more interest in your business and encourage more people to do business with you.
When you focus on online marketing, you can also monitor your results and improve upon them. For example, some tools allow you to track which keywords you are showing up for or which ads are generating the most clicks and sales. You can then optimise your marketing so you can spend less and get better results.
Finally, perhaps the most important point of all is that the tide is turning and more people will continue to go online to seek information, products and services in the future. Whatever type of business you run, you need to make sure you are not invisible to them.
There are many ways to improve your online visibility. Here we’ll look at some of the most important.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it includes a set of practices that help you to show up in Google and other search engines when someone searches for something relating to your business (e.g. plumber in Edinburgh).
PPC stands for Pay Per Click advertising, and it mainly refers to the ads you see in the search engines at the top of the results. You simply create ads that appear in the search results, then pay each time someone clicks on a link. It is a great way to get to the top of the search results and boost your visibility in a short space of time.
Social media has become very important for businesses over the last decade. Having a strong presence on one or two social media platforms is a great way to build a community around your brand and generate buzz.
It is especially useful for local businesses like tour companies, IT support companies, letting agents and dentists because you can use it to keep your customers updated and show a more personal side of your business.
The recent situation has made it apparent for businesses of all types that they need a strong online presence. But even when things go back to normal, having an online presence will continue to be important.
It takes time to build a strong online presence, and there’s a steep learning curve – so make sure you get some help. At Alba SEO, we help businesses of all sizes improve their online visibility, and we can help you too. Contact us to find out how we can help boost your business’s online presence today.
The post Why Businesses Need a Strong Online Presence More than Ever appeared first on Alba SEO Services.
Updated for 2020 As search engine optimisation (SEO) consultants, we are always looking to find the best links and citations we can for our clients. Directories are one place where it can be helpful to be listed. There are some good directories and some bad ones. What do I mean by “good”? Well, these are... Read more The post Top 5 Local Directories for SEO 2020 appeared first on Alba SEO...
As search engine optimisation (SEO) consultants, we are always looking to find the best links and citations we can for our clients. Directories are one place where it can be helpful to be listed. There are some good directories and some bad ones. What do I mean by “good”? Well, these are directories which are considered trustworthy by Google and Bing. If you are on them, then you appear to be legitimate. This will have a positive effect on your credibility and ultimately your local ranking. Poor directories are ones where anyone can add a link; there is no editorial process; there is poor categorisation of businesses; the listings never get updated so the directory becomes bloated with lots of extinct businesses; and it doesn’t really drive any traffic i.e. no one looks at it. It is fair to say that a lot of directories don’t get a lot of traffic, but there are some good ones which do.
There’s lots that go into ranking in Google so just adding your website to a bunch of directories won’t magically get you onto the first page. BUT it does give you a platform on which to build from. This article gives more information about what goes into local ranking and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Taking into account what I’ve said about the good, bad and the ugly of directories, here are the top directories that we suggest you add your website to. Particularly if you are a small local business. In all cases adding the right keywords, images and correct contact details is very important.
In 2020 these directories are still the top ones to go for!
Yelp can drive a lot of traffic to your website and as a local business so you should be claiming your listing on it. If it is not listed then create one for your business. Furthermore, any reviews will show up on the search results for Bing which is a bonus. So get your business listed and ask your customers for reviews if you really want to stand out from the crowd.
Foursquare is also featuring in the search results pages for Bing. It is a high authority website and getting your business on there is important as Google will crawl and index the listings which will help with SEO. It also appears on the search results pages if you get any “tips”.
Yell is really easy to sign up for and once your business is listed you can add it to many categories where it will feature. There’s link back to your website too which means that it can drive real traffic. Some directories don’t give you a live website link and so it is a bonus to get one.
Freeindex is a high authority directory with the ability to drive referrals right to your door. It can be a little involved to set up but it is important to get the right keywords and images in your listing to ensure you get the most from it.
Cylex is a high end directory which also can drive real referrals to your business. It allows you to add in loads of information about your business including social profiles. They also want to ensure the information stays up to date so they prompt you every 6 months to log on and check it. The sign of a well-respected directory.
and here’s a bonus number 6!
Yes it is our new directory but we think it is worth a mention because we think it is one of the best business directories on the block in 2020. Human reviewed (by us) and completely optimised so your business in this local directory will be working hard to get seen by customers.
There are plenty of directories out there (and the list here is really helpful) but it is not wise to add your website to every one you see as bulk directory submissions can look spammy. Also avoid ones which say “SEO directory” or similar. You should investigate each one to ensure that you are not going to cause your business any harm long term. You never know when the next Google algorithm update will penalise poor quality directories.
Can you add to this list?
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here