23 January 2018

Digital Marketing Musts for 2018

Tags : Email Marketing, SEO, Social

By James Phillips

digital marketing icons and text on laptop in front of man with coffee

If you're still not sure what your digital marketing priorities for 2018 should be, read our top tips for supercharging your website this year.

Our blog below covers four of the main elements of digital marketing - PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing and SEO - so that you're sure to find something useful to help improve your online marketing efforts and bring qualified traffic to your website.

PPC - consider the mobile user journey of your customers

Why is this important?

Something we’ve been seeing across most of our PPC clients’ accounts for a while now (whether on AdWords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn ads, etc.), is that mobile traffic share is accelerating. With phones getting bigger, faster and more powerful, mobiles are even taking market share away from tablets.

What should I do?

Optimise your AdWords ads and ad landing pages for mobile. Make sure that you test the user journey (the route you want your ideal customer to take to purchase, enquire or convert on your website) and use mobile-specific calls to action in your ads, e.g. Call us now.

You should consider separating desktop, tablet and mobile into separate ad groups (to do this set -100% bid adjustments at the ad group level) as your wording, and even landing page, may differ depending on what device your website is being accessed.

Spend some time researching how search terms differ between mobile, desktop and tablet searches.

Tools / Learning

Intro to mobile ads from Google - https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2472719

Mobile best practices for AdWords - https://www.wordstream.com/adwords-mobile

Perform your own mobile keyword research - https://neilpatel.com/blog/mobile-keyword-research/

The Data / Proof

Mobile devices account for 53% of paid search clicks - https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/09/15/mobile-advertising-statistics

Mobile market share is growing with every quarter - https://www.emarketer.com/Chart/Google-Search-Ad-Benchmarks-Worldwide-Click-Share-by-Device-Q1-2015-Q2-2016-among-campaigns-analyzed-by-iProspect/197558

Social Media - video

Why is this important?

At the current rate of growth, it is believed that by 2021, 82 percent of all consumer online traffic will be made up of video and, according to data from global marketing agency Hubspot, video has proven to have the highest engagement rate of all internet content.

What should I do?

Pick your preferred social media platform (if you're unsure, we recommend Facebook as a great starting point due to the targeting options and that fact that it’s one of the easier interfaces for campaign creation) and start testing video ads against standard image ads. Shorter videos generally have the best engagement, which should work to your advantage as it means you don’t need to spend hours telling your business’s life story.

Tools/Learning

Facebook advice on creating video ads - https://en-gb.facebook.com/business/m/facebook-video-ads

Quick tips for creating social videos - https://blog.hootsuite.com/quick-tips-for-creating-social-videos/

The Data/proof

Forecasting the growth of video - https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

The future of content marketing - https://research.hubspot.com/the-future-of-content-marketing


Email marketing - measure

Why is this important?

Email is still one of the most influential traffic sources for marketers and can be a very cost-effective way of generating conversions. If someone has given you their email address, it’s likely that they want to hear from you again. 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.

By measuring email opens, engagement, conversions, etc. you can see what works best for your target audience and improve your messaging and delivery. For example, you may find that your readers are more likely to open emails on their lunchbreak or that mobile users don't tend to click on your web links.

What should I do?

Depending on the software you use for email marketing (e.g. MailChimp), there may be data already available to you. Otherwise, if you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you should by now be highly versed in Google Analytics. Start by seeing if your platform integrates with Google Analytics, otherwise set up utm tracking on each link you place in your eshots (please note that some email platforms don’t allow utm tracking).

Tools/Learning

Google Analytics - https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/

Tracking email campaigns with Google Analytics - https://www.smartinsights.com/email-marketing/email-marketing-analytics/email-campaign-tracking-with-google-analytics/

Using data to improve your email campaigns - https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/track-improve-email-marketing-campaigns

The Data/proof

Email marketing stats - https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/06/29/email-marketing-statistics

More email marketing stats - http://content.myemma.com/blog/9-sizzling-marketing-stats-from-this-summer 

Effectiveness of email marketing - https://www.superoffice.com/blog/measuring-the-effectiveness-of-email-marketing/

SEO - HTTPs

Why is this important?

If organic traffic and ranking are important to you, securing your website is an important step to take. Even if you’re not ecommerce, websites have found that switching to https has given them a boost in organic rankings.

Site security has been a ranking factor as far back as 2014 and nowadays Google Chrome is making it more obvious when websites aren't on https, by marking them as Not Secure. The wording used by Chrome can even make it appear that your website has been hacked and put off your visitors.

What should I do?

Start a conversation with your website developers about migrating your website to https. This is vital if your website takes personal data from your visitors, such as name, email, payment details, etc. The price of securing your website (you'll need to purchase an SSL certificate) depends on the types of personal data you take from visitors, what level of security you want and how much time it will take to implement.

Tools/Learning

Stress-free Guide to HTTPS migration - https://www.searchenginejournal.com/https-migration-guide/195103/

Moving to HTTPS for WordPress sites - https://yoast.com/moving-your-website-to-https-ssl-tips-tricks/

Guide to SSL certificates - https://searchengineland.com/comprehensive-guide-ssl-certificates-264377

The Data/proof

Correlation between HTTPS and Google rankings - https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking

Google announcement regarding HTTPS as a ranking signal - https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

Bonus tip - speed up your site

Why is this important?

Website page speed is more and more important. Users expect websites they visit to be fast and if yours takes too long to load, you will find people leaving before the page has even loaded. From July this year, Google may even downrank your website if it is slow to load on mobile devices.

What should I do?

Test your website, then start a conversation with your website developers about how to speed up the site.

Tools/Learning

Google's free tool for testing your site on mobile - https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb

Get speed insights to share with your web developers - https://gtmetrix.com/

Google's tool for web developers - https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse/

The data/Proof

Google will make page speed a factor in mobile search ranking - https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/17/google-will-make-page-speed-a-factor-in-mobile-search-ranking-starting-in-july/

How loading time affects your bottom line - https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/ 

Get in touch

If you'd like more advice on our suggestions, help implementing them for your business or even to share your digital marketing musts for 2018 with us, email enquiries@mcmnet.co.uk or call us during office hours on 01732 368120. We look forward to hearing from you.

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