Dan Monaghan, Co-founder of WSI, closed this year’s UK WSI Digital Summit at the Growth Hub in Gloucester.
Celebrating 20 years in business this year, WSI is the world’s largest digital agency network with over 1000 offices operating in 87 countries and has a host of prestigious corporate partners like Google, Bing, Hubspot, Hootsuite. Adobe, Microsoft and many others.
20 years has seen massive changes in the digital landscape. Having a website is still central to an online presence but it’s now surrounded by a multitude of other more complex marketing activities that bring customers to your door. WSI group these activities into four central pillars that cover all aspects of digital marketing:
WSI have a digital guide and we are your Digital Sherpas. We’re here to help you to navigate the complex landscape and harness the world of digital.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that digital is just for high tech companies but don’t be fooled – 75% of the digital economy is delivered by traditional companies in traditional industries.
The digital landscape is vast and complex and many fall at the first hurdle because they don’t know where to start. Business leaders will often jump straight to tactics without having a strategy. If you don’t have a strategy you will have no direction. Your strategy will determine which tactics are best to use and when.
When coming up with your strategy, do your research and ask questions. A good digital marketing strategy is as much about the questions you ask as the answers. Importantly, have 1 person responsible for owning that strategy. Of course there will be contributions from other people needed, but it needs sole ownership. Time taken to work out your strategy is likely to save time and costs further down the line.
So when coming up with your strategy what things do you need to consider?
Are your websites and search campaigns mobile responsive?
With more than three quarters of the online population using their mobile devices to access the internet, you need your site to react properly whatever device someone is using. It’s not just about having the same navigation on different devices. Each device will likely need different navigation. Responsive or adaptive sites can achieve this.
A poor user experience on a mobile device will send your customers to your competitors. Did you know that about 63% of small businesses still don’t have a website? Of those that do, 93% are not mobile friendly.
In addition mobile is driving SEO ranking. More searches are done on mobiles than ever before and Google is responding. If your site or Ads or not mobile responsive, then they won’t rank. The last Google ‘Mobilegeddon’ update had the biggest impact of all the recent updates.
Have you claimed your social media properties?
Staying in touch and engaging with your audience is a key part of an online marketing strategy and any inbound marketing campaign. If your plan is to use content to attract customers it’s essential you get this right and consistency of the content is critical. Just as essential is monitoring these properties and managing your reputation – harnessing the feedback of your happy customers.
In addition, social has enabled a shift in lead generation activities with Social Selling.
How are you going to drive traffic?
If using paid search understand the levers. Campaigns can be targeted in so many ways, location, time etc. but there may be elasticity in the demand. Know you customers buying cycle and leverage it.
Remarketing – the secret weapon of paid search! This is where your Ads show on other sites (where there is Ad space) if a prospect has visited your site. Remarketing increases the campaign cost by 15 – 20% but it increases the overall performance of a campaign by 50%. Good branding and image is an added bonus.
When considering paid search don’t forget the TV options – YouTube advertising is popular
Search Engine Optimisation can be a bit of a minefield and needs to be done correctly. We at WSI use AdaptiveSEO. Using content, social and the best practice SEO methods to drive organic traffic or paid search. Inbound and marketing automation can help your efforts here.
Whatever search methods you use, you need to work out what you want to achieve and then work out the best way to get there. It goes without saying that a vital part of any search strategy is making sure there is testing, measurement and analysis in place to see what’s working and what’s not. Test, tweak and measure. You may not be able to reduce the cost of driving traffic, but you could improve the results.
It goes without saying that your website must be mobile responsive to provide that all important user experience. In addition, it needs to work properly – no broken links or images. Optimising and split testing your landing pages will help enhance your search campaigns. Changing the wording, imagery or even just the colour of a button can improve results. Test, measure and tweak to achieve better results.
As marketers we can’t make guarantees but we can measure and use that measurement to make informed decisions to maximise the benefits of your digital marketing.