Last week we held our first Digital day at iThinkMedia’s beautiful barn offices in Hertford. 40 local business leaders came along to spend the morning with us, learning about search engine optimisation (SEO), content and paid media.
We were thrilled to see that everyone who registered online for the free event turned up – it meant so much to us that the local business community came together to learn from and support us. So if you came along, thank you very much! Check out our Facebook photo gallery of the day to see if you got snapped by our photographer, and give us a like while you’re there for more updates.
The day was supported by our fantastic partners SkyAdSmart, SEOmonitor, Marin Software, Google, Pi Datametrics, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Lloyds Bank and Majestic. All our partners are tried and tested tools or businesses that we work closely with, providing an amazing service to ensure we can excel in search marketing for our clients. They were on hand during the breaks to talk to guests about what they can do to help local businesses.
Three seminars were given by our SEO, content and paid media experts. They were packed full of all the information needed to understand the basics of search.
Here’s a recap on the top tips to start using for your website today.
First up was Syed Ali, Head of Search and Lewis Sawyer, SEO Executive.
90% of people don’t look beyond page one of Google search results Your customers are looking for you. There are 843,205 local searches for businesses in Hertfordshire every month. If you want your customers to find you online you must be SEO savvy.Your customers are looking for you. There are 843,205 local searches for businesses in Hertfordshire every month. If you want your customers to find you online you must be SEO savvy. Think like a customer Research and use keywords to find out exactly what your customers are searching for and answer their questions. What problems are they trying to solve? Address their pain points. Provide relevant information and an excellent user experience.
Be consistent Consistency of information is an essential for local SEO – search engines are looking to verify their details by using a wide range of different sources to identify how consistent their details are with other citations, your website and your Google My Business details. Quantities and quality make an impact – the more consistent, the more they trust the results they’re serving. Build and engage within your target community Social signals and link signals (especially from local sources) are both key ranking factors for local SEO so it’s important to engage and build relationships within your target area via social media. Once relationships are established, you can approach websites in your new community and ask them to host your content.
Katie Moore, iThinkMedia’s Content Manager was up next with an art-themed presentation about making each piece of content a masterpiece.
Post with a purpose and optimise! Every 60 seconds 1,500 WordPress blog posts are created – so it’s key we are producing content that stands out. Ensure it has a purpose through making it entertaining, informative or useful. Not only that, but don’t fall at the final hurdle – ensure you SEO optimise your content by not forgetting things like optimising meta data, internal links, call to actions and making the content enticing to read through visuals. Address the pain points in your content creation Understand your audience, their pain points and challenges within the industry. If you can identify these, then you can easily answer their questions or difficulties within the purchase cycle to ensure you’re providing added value and they see your brand as a source of information that they’ll return to again and again.
Natalie Howard, Digital PR Specialist followed up with an outline of public relations (PR) and what it does to boost brand awareness and SEO.
Maximise your PR efforts If you have a PR strategy, chances are you are getting some good online coverage. If this coverage is not linking back to your site, don’t be shy – contact the journalist, blogger or influencer and ask them very nicely if they wouldn’t mind adding in a link. Some partnerships are worth more than others! Partnering with other websites can prove beneficial, particularly when you gain backlinks to your content on your website from other domains. Google sees this as a sign that your content is trusted by others and boosts your visibility in the search results. Links from sites with high authority and trust flow such as newspapers or university sites boost your site’s authority much more than links from sites with lesser authority – so you should concentrate your efforts on getting these high quality partnerships.
The final seminar was from Dominic Corr, Paid Media Manager and Mark King, Account Manager.
Defend your brand 49 million brand clicks were lost to competitors in Q1 of 2017. This means competitors are bidding on your brand name so they appear when people search for you. Find out who is doing this by searching for your brand and seeing who shows up. To counter this create a brand campaign to ensure that you aren’t losing out on clicks from customers that already know you. You should also consider installing your trademark on Google if you have one. This will stop other advertisers from poaching your customers, and importantly will give you a top position, fewer competitors, cheaper CPCs and an increase in enquiries. Make PPC work with your other channels Whilst PPC can put you to the top of Google on it’s own, it’s much more effective if you use other search channels to enhance your paid search listings. Filling out and optimising your Google My Business profile for example can allow you to add ratings, address, and phone number to your PPC ads, it can also cause a map pack to be displayed along side your PPC listing, increasing your visibility and maximising your chance of getting leads.
Guests finished the morning with a presentation from Sky AdSmart, an alfresco lunch and plenty of networking.
Full posts with all the tips from each presentation will be appearing very soon here on our blog. You can see all the slides here. Follow us to see highlights from the day on LinkedIn and Twitter, and check out our Digital Day Storify.
To talk to one of our team please call 01438 870 220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org