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Everyone Hates Marketers but everyone loves Hotjar

In this episode of the Casey Digital Podcast, I interviewed Louis Grenier who is a Senior Marketing Strategist at Hotjar and host of the Everyone Hates Marketers podcast. We discuss how to cut through the marketing bullshit and get to the really valuable content for your audience. Topics we covered: Starting out with the Everyone Hates Marketers podcast from hosting an event and interviewing people Louis started out by interviewing business boot-strapers and marketeers to find out their secrets EHM was part of the first wave of marketing podcasters with a difference and he puts a lot of his success down to getting feedback and focusing on "No bullshit" approach - Learning from his guests has been really energising and valuable to Louis The podcast schedule is the most gruelling aspect of running a popular podcast Getting help with his podcast for editing and marketing helps Louis keep the podcast going every Tuesday Helping people with marketing during lockdown The future of EHM podcast is to educate people on the marketing fundamentals and giving people guides to stand out The real truth about Seth Godin and his marketing advice (must listen) How Neil Patel grew his digital product empire Louis gives us an insight to what it's working for Hotjar How Hotjar is going to grow in the future with new features Louis' tips for marketers: 1. Marketing - it's all about your market, it's not about you! 2. Giving value up front is so important when it comes to building a funnel 3. Be aware of the shiney new marketing tools and trends and try to cut through to use evergreen tactics 4. Focus on the first principles for your marketing and why are you relevant from the people first approach 5. Make sure you get a good balance of feedback from real customers (real people) instead of just looking at data all the time If you would like to listen to my podcast please Click Here or search your podcast platform for The Casey Digital Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcast or Listen on Spotify You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel or sign up to my newsletter for more marketing advice and tips straight to your inbox. Let's connect If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com IG: @caseydigital TW: @casey_digital LN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/

How to start a podcast on a budget [The Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting - 2020]

This is a simple step-by-step guide for beginner’s on how to start a podcast on a budget or for free. I started The Casey Digital podcast in February 2019 with no budget and there are now thousands of people tuning in to listen to my content. In this post I have listed the steps you need to follow in order to create and grow your own podcast from the ground up. Let’s get into the step-by-step process! Contents: Step 1: Position your podcast to appeal to your target audience Step 2: Ensure you have the right podcasting equipment and software Step 3: Plan your podcast in advance and have a great script Step 4: Find amazing guests to enrich your podcast for your audience Step 5: Enjoy recording your podcast, it shouldn’t be a chore Step 6: Spend time editing your podcast (but not too much time) Step 7: Promote your podcast effectively through your channels Step 1: Positioning your podcast Why do you want to start a podcast? It’s really important to know why you are starting your podcast and what the motivation is for you. If you aren’t clear about your ‘why’, you run the risk of losing interest and direction further down the line. Are you looking to market your business? Give people advice? Entertain people? Or are you looking to build your personal brand? All of the above are potential motivations and outcomes of the process but if you don’t have a clear drive and motivation that doesn’t go beyond jumping on the bandwagon of a popular trend, you might very well be doing it for the wrong reason. **Why did I start the Casey Digital Podcast?** I started my podcast in January 2019 because I love podcasts and I believe that there is a lot of value in the conversations that I was having with some e-commerce clients in London. I wanted to share these valuable insights and dialogues with people that couldn’t afford big agency fees. Also, I have been working on my personal brand since 2018 with a view to launching my own agency into the market. My thought process was that if I could establish a reputation in my field, then I would be able to get a big job or grow my agency faster. Target audience for your podcast, don’t try and make it for everyone Now you need to know who you are aiming your podcast at. If you don’t clearly define your demographic from the start, you won’t be able to target your audience effectively. Podcasting is like growing a following on YouTube - you need to talk specifically to a segment in the market and connect with them to build this following. If you water it down or you try to appeal to everyone, it becomes very difficult to maintain or expand your audience. I’m used to mapping personas from my time working in UX and marketing so I know how important it is to use some of those methodologies to map the personas that you will appeal to. This will also help shape the content you create in the future. I always find it useful to listen to other podcasts too. **Podcast persona targeting tips** Below is a table of the persona map for the Casey Digital Podcast and I find that it helps me plan in advance what my content is going to be, what language I use when I’m recording and also the types of guests that I will have on my show. What are the goals of your podcast? Establishing clear goals for your podcast is really important because it gives you clarity of what success looks like to you or your business. If you don’t have any goals you won’t feel a true sense of achievement and this may make the creative process feel too fluid, with a lack of focus. Here are some examples of podcast goals to help you start thinking about how you want to finetune your focus: Building your reputation in the industry as an expert Generating sales for your brand or business Bring a community together to discuss a subject or topic To talk about something you are passionate about To use your platform for a good cause If your goal is to get millions of listens and get a sponsorship deal with Spotify like Joe Rogan, you have a pretty big task ahead of you but hey, there’s nothing wrong with lofty ambitions. **My Podcast Goals** My goal is simple: to be recognised in the digital industry as a leader and to meet interesting new people to learn from. How to pick your podcast name The name of your podcast is vital but you can’t make it spammy. Think of it like your SEO strategy, where it needs to be relevant to the interest of your audience without coming across as spam or clickbait. There are a few different approaches when it comes to naming your podcast: The branded approach: Foundr Magazine Podcast, this is the name of the brand across all channels including podcasting. All about the name: For example the Joe Rogan Experience, most people are looking for Joe Rogan. Witty / Random: For example My dad wrote a porno, is funny and intriguing for people to read and it’s got a good chance of being shared The descriptive approach: For example The Property Podcast, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Apple have a Podcasts Best Practice which gives you an insight into how they rank podcasts, and it states: Pay close attention to the title, author, and description tags at the <channel> and <item> level of your podcast. Apple Podcasts uses title, author, and description fields for search. The metadata for your podcast, along with your podcast artwork, is your product packaging and can affect whether your podcast shows up in relevant searches, and how likely users are to subscribe to it. Make your title specific. A podcast named Our Community Bulletin is too vague to attract many subscribers, no matter how compelling the content. **How I named my podcast** My name is Paul Casey + I’m a Digital Strategist = The Casey Digital Podcast I like things to be simple :-) What topics and subjects to cover on your podcast It’s okay for your content and subject matter to touch on different areas as long as it stays true to you and your audience. Not everything needs to be rigid in the podcasts but you do need to know what you are talking about. If you don’t it might have an adverse affect and lead people to switch off. Podcasting is like any form of content marketing, it isn’t easy so you need to set out a clear plan and be in it for the long run (not just the short-term glory). **How to pick podcast topics** I always draw inspiration from the content I consume in my market, the conversations I have with clients and the guests that I interview. Step 2: Ensure you have the right podcasting equipment and software Software options for podcasting There is becoming a lot of competition in the market when it comes to podcasting software and there are a few out there that are quite specific, so picking the right one can be tricky. I looked at Buzzsprout, Garageband on my Mac and Captivate but for one reason or another they were either too complicated or not easy to use and it put me off as a novice. In my opinion, the best podcasting software for beginners is Anchor.fm. I have found it an absolute dream from the beginning, right through the point where I’m at now, getting hundreds of listeners per episode. Here are the benefits of using Anchor as your podcasting tool: It’s free. The mobile app is outstanding and that’s what I use to record, edit and publish my podcasts end-to-end. You can record your podcast remotely with guests by simply sharing a link as the audio is all recorded within the app itself. It has a library of free audio assets to use and the editor tool is great to trim clips, add audio in the background and order your audio files. Anchor publishes your podcast to all the major podcast platforms including Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, plus it gives you an RSS feed to embed on your website. See my podcast RSS feed here. You can monetize it to make cash if you want, I haven't as of yet but the option is there. It also has a recently updated analytics suite so you can get analytics on each episode, as well as your overall channel Like most things that are free, Anchor isn’t perfect. The analytics are not up to my usual expectations (Google Analytics style) and if you are creating a more complex podcast with multiple guests and professional equipment you might need an upgrade. If you are looking for a more advanced podcasting tool I would recommend Audacity as it has a whole host of beneficial features. Audacity also really allows you to go to town with the editing and effects. Remote recording podcast software The world has changed a lot in 2020 and the method of recording podcasts has evolved greatly too but fear not - I’ve got you. Remote podcasting is on the rise and I’ve found the best ways to do this are: Zoom Call - you can save the audio down to your machine and upload to Anchor then publish it, plus you can record the video for YouTube. I have experienced some loss of audio and temperamental behaviour if you are recording video also so make sure you test it first. SquadCast - this is a purpose-built remote podcasting software and it’s great if you don’t want any drop offs in your audio and a more professional set up with an individual audio file per guest for editing. The subscription fee is low and if you are a regular remote podcaster it makes perfect sense. Anchor - ‘Record with friends’ is a feature that allows you to record a call and the audio quality is great. Equipment options for podcasting Similar to the software, there are a lot of options when it comes to the hardware for podcasting and if you are starting out it’s important to know the basics - essentially you need a microphone and some headphones. When I started my podcast I used my Apple Airpods to record and listen as it was just me speaking in a monologue style but as I started to introduce guests and take things more seriously I needed to upgrade. Podcasting Microphones My microphone is a Blue Yeti which is a USB microphone that has great sound quality plus I can use the settings to have multiple people speaking into one microphone. Since I started using this microphone, the sound quality is great and it has made a significant difference in the growth of my podcast in general. Sound quality really matters so if you are unsure on what to spend your money on whether it’s software headphones or a microphone - make sure you invest in a good mic. Speaking to other podcasters, I have also been recommended other microphones such as The Blue Snowball, The Rode Podmic and The Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone but this costs a bomb and people only buy it because Joe Rogan uses it. Podcasting Headphones I still use my Airpods if I’m recording the podcast over the internet but if I’m in person with a guest I don’t use headphones. I have used headphones in professional studios though and it does make the experience better. The headphones I would recommend would be either the cheaper option of OneOdio Over Ear Headphones or the more professional Sennheiser HD 280 PRO MK2 Headphones. There are lots of options out there and it depends on how many guests you have and your set up. Podcasting Accessories If you really want to be fancy with your podcast setup you can buy all sorts and here are some good places to start. Foam microphone cover - this will help reduce the hissing and pops from you and your guests speaking and therefore reduce the time spent on editing. Pop filter - again to shield the microphone and improve the sound quality. Adjustable Microphone Stand or Boom Arms - will help position the microphone in the perfect position for you and your guests. On Stage MY-420 Studio Microphone Shock Mount - this will help reduce any vibrations coming through the mic from your stand. Audio Interface - this improves the quality of the audio coming from your mic and you have more control over the quality of sound. **Podcast equipment set up for beginners** Software: Anchor Headphones: Apple Headphones / Airpods Microphone: Blue Yeti Microphone Accessories: Foam microphone cover Step 3: Planning your podcast Create a podcast structure Organisation is key to any good content creation and you need to establish a podcasting structure which will work for you and your guests. Most podcasts have an intro, main body and an outro but it’s the order of the content and the flow that you can create that makes it really interesting to the listener. When you are creating your structure, make sure that you tailor it to your audience and to your guests - this way it will appeal more to the audience and it will gain more traction. **Podcast episode structure example** Introduction (just me introducing the episode / guest over some background music) Ask the guest to introduce themselves and what they do Quickfire Q&A to warm up and have a bit of fun with the guest How they started in the industry and lessons learned What they do now and any projects that they want to talk about How they try to attain a work-life balance What influences they have had on their career Advice they would give to people starting in the industry Thanks and goodbye to guest Outro (Charity fundraising, Subscribe, leave a review and follow on social media) Podcast format Decide on which podcasting format you would like to use, bearing in mind this may vary episode to episode but the more consistency you have the better it will be for your audience. 1-2-1 Interview podcast - this would involve a host interviewing another guest, for example the Joe Rogan Experience is probably the most popular for this. Group podcast - this is where you have a group of people talking together as experts on a subject matter, for example Around the NFL podcast and Tech for good live Multiple guest podcast - this is more like a radio format where multiple guests come in and out on segments, for example the BBC Radio 5 Live Football Daily Single monologue podcast - this can be you speaking directly to your audience, for example Russell Brand sometimes does this in his podcast Under the skin **Podcast format example** I have developed a 1-2-1 interview style over time and it works best for me as it allows me to meet really interesting people and really get to know them. I’ve found podcasting on my own to put a message out not that enjoyable - bouncing off other people is the best way for me. Podcast length There are no rules to how long a podcast should be, some podcasts are less than 20 minutes and they work for their format, while others are well over an hour. If you’re confident that you are producing quality content for your audience then they should stay engaged. Focus on creating quality over quantity. It all depends on the format, guests and how you want to approach it, you can always edit out the weaker parts of the recording and trim it in the edit. **Podcast episode duration tip** I usually think of people listening to my podcast on their commute and for this around 1 hour is about right and people usually listen to the majority. Step 4: Finding guests for your podcast Create a podcast guest shortlist Planning your schedule and trying to get guests on your podcast is one of the most challenging aspects I have found over time as it’s just me organising, recording, editing, marketing, etc. To combat this I created a short list of people who I would like to get on my podcast and I use this as a means to vet if they are relevant to my audience but also to create a hit list to contact over time. Network through social media Connecting with potential new guests on social media has been one of the best ways for me and I know that anyone who uses LinkedIn will know it’s a great way to look people up and see if they are the right profile. I’ve found LinkedIn to be one of the most effective methods for me, even if I send somebody a direct message on there and I don’t hear back from them until 3 months down the line. Instagram and Twitter will also work for some people but I find the responses much slower. Look for people who have their own podcast Pre-built audiences are sometimes hard to come by, however in the world of podcasting you can find hosts of other shows to bring real value to your podcast. Some of the most interesting people that I have interviewed on my podcast have their own podcast and they are pros. For example, I featured Sarah McDowell from the SEO SAS podcast on my own pod. This aligned both from a subject matter and an audience perspective as she has her own following of people interested in SEO. Step 5: Recording your your podcast Recording environment The sound quality of a podcast is one of the most important factors and this isn’t just down to your equipment set up - the room you record the podcast is also important. Any solid surfaces like hard floors are a no-go and it’s best to have carpet and soft furnishings in the room to absorb excess noise and echoes. Most people don’t have a recording studio in their office or at home so do the best you can and it will save you a lot of time in the edit. **Podcast recording environment examples** I’ve recorded podcasts in my car, in a cupboard and in a greenhouse in Use Space. I’ve had to be flexible around my guests but I always test audio before I start any episode. Comfort is key Make sure you and your guest are comfortable, have a drink ready and ensure you have a conversation beforehand just to warm up your speaking patterns. Hot drinks are great for your voice and it helps to keep you hydrated during the episode, however try to avoid fizzy drinks as they might make you burp and the mics will pick it up. When you are interviewing a guest who isn’t used to podcasting they can be nervous and that is natural so normal routines and having a calming influence is really important. Make people feel at home and they will give you valuable content in return. **Podcast refreshments** I normally make a pot of peppermint tea for me and my guest as a calming influence and less caffeine than coffee so you don’t ramble on. How to record a podcast episode in Anchor As Anchor is the best choice for newbie podcasters, I wanted to give you the step by step guide in the app so you can see how easy it is. Go to the anchor app and log in or create an account. Go to Tools and top left New episode Tap the Tools button in the app to Record, add an audio file from your Library, add Interludes, Sounds or Songs. Make sure you an intro and an outro for your episode If you want to do a remote podcast tap on “Invite friends to join” Go to details and add in a title and description, I generally use the script notes as the show notes Use the editing tools to trip or edit the audio Publish the episode and add the 5 SEO tags for the episode Check it has been published and listen Look at the analytics on the episode to see how many listens, what platforms, etc. Anchor have a guide: How to make a podcast on the anchor app Step 6: How to edit your podcast Create an enticing intro When you are editing your podcast there are some important stages that you need to focus on to make a strong impact with your listeners. Create a custom intro for each episode that bridges the gap for the listener and tells them what to expect on the pod. Having background intro music often helps differentiate between the beginning segment and the main body (plus it’s good to get a regular jingle). Anchor has lots of sound effects and royalty free background tracks but if you want something specific Audio Jungle has the widest variety of royalty free audio clips. **Podcast intro example** I use background music and then introduce the guest and the topics we cover. I also say that my podcast is in support of the CALM charity and that I’m raising money over time. Save time in the edit During the recording stage you can do things to save time in the editing suite, if you are not careful you can spend hours editing an episode and from my experience that isn’t the best use of time. Background noises, losing the train of your thought and coughing are the most common issues when I have been recording episodes from my experience. Sometimes interruptions can’t be helped so when you restart the conversation I’ve found it’s good to do a clap (yes like in the movies) with your hands or go silent then restart. The reason behind this is because you will be able to visualise the places to trim when you are in the editing tool rather than listening to clips multiple times. **Editing tip** Although it’s important to try and save time in the edit, make sure you listen to the whole episode with headphones at least once before you publish. This will help you listen to the product that your audience and makes writing the description easier. Outros are all about calls to action You can edit the outro per episode but I would suggest that you have a generic outro that you can use for every episode. Make sure you have clear calls to action on your outro, with some strong examples including: “Subscribe to my podcast” “Leave a review on Apple podcast” “Follow me on LinkedIn” “Sign up to the newsletter” “Email me feedback on <enter email address>” “Visit my website on <www.inserturl.com>” Step 7: Promoting your podcast Plan your release day and time carefully When you release your podcast is important and choosing the right day and time can make the difference between tens and hundreds of listens. You might need to research your market or just test and learn but most podcasters in the digital and marketing space say that Sunday night after 8:00pm when people are downloading pods for their weekly commute or Thursday morning before 7:00am are the sweet spots. **Podcast publishing tip** I usually publish my podcast on a Tuesday or Thursday morning around 6:00am. Create engaging podcast artwork and social assets Creating great artwork can make you stand out in the browsing categories but make sure you have a look around the competition first so you can stand out with fresh colours or styles. Create podcast artwork that is easy to read on a mobile and eye-catching in the podcast platforms such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, etc. Also when you are working on the creative save out the assets in multiple sizes so you can quickly and easily share them through your social media channels. **Podcast artwork and assets checklist** I use Canva to create my podcast artwork and it has some great templates for inspiration and it’s completely free to use. It’s also great for creating social media assets at scale. Here is my beginner’s guide to podcast assets: Podcast thumbnail - 1080 x 1080 pixels Instagram post - 1080 x 1080 pixels (same as above) Instagram Stories - 1080 x 1920 pixels LinkedIn Article / LinkedIn Post - 800 x 400 pixels YouTube post thumbnail - 1280 x 720 pixels For Facebook, Twitter and any other platforms I use the square from Instagram Write a great description Writing a great description is really important to gain new listeners as the podcast platforms use the title and the description for their search function. So like with Google you need to make sure that it is optimised for podcast SEO and you have a maximum of 4,000 words to do so. **Podcast description tips** I use the script as a base for the description and then when I’m doing a test listen, I make notes and finalise my description. Also remember to write a great intro and add your calls to action at the end of your description with links to your email, website and social media channels. Share your podcast on social media Sharing with your already engaged network is one of the best ways to gain awareness and traction that your podcast is ready to listen. However don’t be fooled into posting once about your pod and think the game is over. Due to the volume of content and competition on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram your post doesn’t reach all your followers, in fact it reaches less than 1% of them. This means you need to have a posting plan to hit different channels at different times and try to extend the promotion over a 2 week period without spamming too much. If you have a guest(s) on your show you can tag them in your social media posts to help reach their audience on platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram. It’s a good way to build a new audience through the networking effect, the bigger the network of the guest the more listens and subscribers you will get. **Example social media posting plan** Here is the timeline and tactics of when I post on my social channels: Day 1 Launch the podcast Post an Instagram story share from Spotify Post a link to Apple podcast on Linkedin Post on Twitter and pin the post to my profile My podcast RSS feed auto posts to my website Update all my bio links from my profiles to the episode link on my website Day 3 (or the nearest weekday) Post on Instagram main feed and tag the guest Post a link to Spotify on LinkedIn Post a link to Spotify on Twitter Day 7 (or the nearest weekday) Create an article on LinkedIn with the description as the article content with links to both Apple Podcast, Spotify and all my CTA’s Post a link to my website page on LinkedIn Post a link to website podcast page on Twitter Post a mobile video recording of my website page on Instagram & Stories Post podcast video on YouTube Podcast reviews = increased visibility One of the golden rules to podcasting is to ask for podcast reviews on your episode to boost visibility. The more reviews you get, the more chance you stand of growing your project. Many of the modern platforms, such as Instagram and LinkedIn, determine their algorithm on the quality of comments and reviews. **Podcast reviews tips** Start out by asking friends, family, Whatsapp groups, colleagues.... anyone to leave a written review on Apple Podcast. Networking is key Networking is a key factor for your podcast to grow to new audiences through connecting with other podcasters, having well known guests in your niche and also attending podcasting events if you can. Podcasting is very similar to the YouTuber community where they like to connect and learn from each other so don’t be afraid to reach out to your podcast heroes and ask for advice. You could even ask if they would like you to come on one of your episodes. **Example of networking with other podcasters** I connected with Sarah and Hannah from the amazing SEO SAS podcast (make sure you give it a listen) and they were super friendly and they gave me lots of amazing advice. We were also guests on each other's show, so it shows that networking does work. Email newsletter If you have a newsletter subscriber list make sure you add your podcast in as a feature and try to get some more attention to it. If you have a pre-warmed audience they are quite likely to find your pod interesting and if you have created your personas correctly they should already be in your plans. Learn from the marketing data Review your podcast and social media analytics to see what is working and where you need to improve on an ongoing basis. I have published great episodes but because my marketing was poor they didn’t get the results I expected. Like in any method of digital marketing, consistency is key and you need to let the data lead you. Summary Thank you for reading the step-by-step guide to podcasting on a budget, here is a summary of the steps: Step 1: Position your podcast to appeal to your target audience Step 2: Ensure you have the right podcasting equipment and software Step 3: Plan your podcast in advance and have a great script Step 4: Find amazing guests to enrich your podcast for your audience Step 5: Enjoy recording your podcast, it shouldn’t be a chore Step 6: Spend time editing your podcast (but not too much time) Step 7: Promote your podcast effectively through your channels Let me know in the comments, what step are you up to in the process? If you would like to listen to my podcast please Click Here or search your podcast platform for The Casey Digital Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcast or Listen on Spotify You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel or sign up to my newsletter for more marketing advice and tips straight to your inbox. Let's connect If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com IG: @caseydigital TW: @casey_digital LN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/

5 Digital Strategy Tips During Lockdown - Facebook Live Video

On this video I talk about my top 5 digital strategy tips for SME's during lockdown in May 2020. My Top 5 Digital strategy tips during and post lockdown include: 1. Adapt your marketing funnel ready for post lockdown 2. Set up conversion rate optimisation tests with Google Optimize and improve site speed 3. Create an agile content 1st paid strategy 4. Step up your email / CRM game 5. Create SEO power content posts This video is a Facebook Live recording with Use Space, for more information about this amazing co-working space in Manchester please visit - https://usespace.co.uk/ Thank you for watching this video, please like the video and subscribe to my channel. ► If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com or visit www.casey-digital.co.uk ► Instagram: @caseydigital ► Twitter: @casey_digital ► LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/ ► Podcast: The Casey Digital Podcast (all podcast platforms)

Why is my website traffic declining? 3 ways to bounce back

I get asked this question quite often when I’m talking to a client for the first time, more often than not it is a combination of reasons that you have to tackle individually to solve the overall drop in traffic. Google updates might have affected your site I’ve often found that long term growth through SEO can help build your brand long term but if you aren’t opimising your site towards Google guidelines and they change the algorithm you can lose a lot of traffic and conversions. Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times and it affects a large proportion of traffic, here are some recent updates that might have affected your site: Featured Snippet De-duping - January 2020 - Google announced that URLs in Featured Snippets would no longer be appearing as traditional organic results, in line with Google's philosophy that a Featured Snippet is a promoted organic result. January 2020 Core Update - January 2020 Google rolled another core update, which was quite significant when it eventually rolled out. International BERT Roll-out - December 2019 - Google confirmed that the BERT natural language processing algorithm was rolling out internationally, in 70 languages. This announcement came after speculation from the SEO community, and the exact timing of the roll-out is unclear. BERT Update - October 2019 - Google upgraded their algorithm and underlying hardware to support the BERT natural language processing (NLP) model. BERT helps Google better interpret natural language searches and understand context. September 2019 Core Update - September 2019 - Google rolled out another core update with not a lot of detail released. "Maverick" Update - July 2019 - Ranking trackers and webmaster chatter registered a week of heavy flux (MozCast peaked at 95°F on July 16) that was later dubbed the "Maverick" update by the search community. Site Diversity Update - June 2019 - Google pre-announced a "site diversity" update, claiming it would improve situations where sites had more than two organic listings. June 2019 Core Update - June 2019 - Sites impacted in previous core updates seem to have been affected, in some cases, and some major UK publishers reported heavy losses. Indexing Bugs - May 2019 - The first bug reportedly was preventing new content from being properly indexed. Deindexing Bug — April 2019 – affected entire sites that were accidentally not indexed in the search Core Update / Florida 2 — March 2019 – affected all ranking factors (most of our clients were affected positively) "Medic" Core Update — August, 2018 – affected all ranking factors (bigger brands seemed to have a boost at the time) Mobile-First Index Roll-out — March 2018 – affected all non-mobile friendly websites (this is a website UX and dev requirement) Hummingbird – September 2013 – affected the semantics and searcher intent as it gained more sophistication Penguin – Multiple releases between April 2012 and September 2016 – affected poor link building tactics Panda – Multiple releases between September 2011 and July 2015 – affected poor content and lack of depth This is a good resource from Moz to give you more information about Google updates - https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change Solution(s) Do an SEO audit with a reputable agency, generally they will offer them for free up front with no commitment (I can help :-)) then you can ask an expert to talk you through the detail. From an ongoing perspective, you need to have someone in house or use an agency to optimise your site each month so you are keeping on top of these issues. SEO retainers like any service can vary in cost however a good price range for an SEO retainer would be £2k - £6k p/m with an agency and make sure you consider the costs over a 12 month period, SEO growth takes 6 months to start seeing effects. Competitors in the market have taken market share We have had a client who has recently been affected by 2 major brands in their vertical moving into to online and they have pretty quickly taken up attention from customers in the market. Their pre-existing brand awareness and established websites have meant that they just turned on a few extra categories and they are ranking plus they have deep pockets so the cost per clicks have increased across the channels. Some of the signals that will let you know a new competitor has entered the market would be an increase in advertising costs (Cost Per Click), reduction in impression share in Google PPC campaigns, reduction in 1st page keyword rankings / positions from an SEO perspective and also you will notice a drop in sales as they take market share. It does take a fairly skilled and experienced person / team to spot this and identify the right data points to see the trend of decline. Solution(s) This is more complicated that just doing an audit, first you must assess a number of factors against your new-found competitors and make some business decisions: 1. Go toe to toe – this might result in winning market share back however you will see a reduction in CPC efficiencies and also it will cost you – if you have deep pockets fine but most people don’t. 2. Pick your battles – select the channels you think you are competitive on and try to beat the competition with razor sharp tactics and performance. You will have to be agile (the big guys aren’t), take risks and keep a close eye on the return on investment for each channel. In theory it’s an efficiency game to really compete, Facebook & Instagram ads are a good tactic here as you aren’t bidding in a list – you are targeting the right audience, at the right time in the customer journey, with amazing content. (or that should be your plan!) 3. Review your entire strategy - Facebook and Google might have changed the rules I admit “Changes in algorithm” sounds so geeky it’s true however don’t take this buzz word lightly, Facebook and Google are fighting a tech war in the background of all of our lives and they are constantly making changes to improve the user experience. (Actually, what is happening they want to make more money – shhhh don’t tell anyone!) When the algorithm’s change traffic fluctuates, it prompts the market to realise their “organic reach” isn’t working and start to pay for traffic through ads. Unfortunately, we are playing Facebook and Google’s game so sometimes you have to pay for clicks. Lack of investment in evergreen SEO content Investing in your SEO strategy does grow your business long term; the investment of content is a central part of that strategy and has been for a few years now. Not just writing 200-word blogs and hitting your blog post quota, actually creating meaningful content for your users to digest that has good search volumes behind it. What are you doing to solve the problem? Spending less money? Still got the same website? Not invested into content? As well as considering the above you need to assess what you are doing now versus what you used to do in the “glory days”. I have a lot of clients who I talk to who expect to do the same things in 2019 that they did in 2015 and get angry because it stopped working – STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Before you start complaining please do the work (or get someone to do it for you) in analytics and understand what channels used to drive traffic and conversions compared to now, they start a conversation with your marketing team or agency to narrow down the reasons. Ultimately each website and sector is different and I might not have covered the exact reason why but if you need help contact me and I would be happy to have a look and help. Let's connect If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com IG: @caseydigital TW: @casey_digital LN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/ Podcast (iTunes) Podcast (Spotify)

Beginners Guide to SEO

This guide looks to introduce you to the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) from a very basic high level and we cover the various different tactics that you can deploy to get the best results in Google. What is Search Engine Optimisation? Search Engine Optimisation (referred to as SEO & Organic Search) is the process of improving both the quality and quantity of traffic to your site through search engines such as Google and Bing. The Stats you need to know about SEO: Google has over a billion people using each of its products and services each day. Google now processes over 6.6B search queries a day worldwide and 15% of those have never been searched for on Google before. By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. 55% of teens use voice search daily and 44% are adults. YouTube has 1.8B monthly active users and 500M mobile views per day. By 2021, the video advertising will grow to a £17 billion industry. 97% of Google revenue is from advertising through Google AdWords, YouTube ads, etc. In Q1 2019, Google earned £33 billion through ads alone. 80% of people ignore Google Ads. In 2018, they reported an incredible 3,234 algorithm updates — an average of almost 9 per day, and more than 8 times the number of updates in 2009. The SEO strategy Cycle How Does SEO Work? Google considers 100s of ranking factors as a part of it’s algorithm to assess where a page should rank on a search engine results page (SERP). In the past, it was possible to manipulate the algorithm through spammy techniques (such as bulk buying links) but there has been a number of updates by Google to reduce the effectiveness of these techniques and even reports that some companies have seen their sites removed from search results for using them (known as a penalty). The algorithm is constantly being reviewed and changed by Google. Indications from recent updates show that sites which focus on improving the customer experience & building a strong, trustworthy brand will be rewarded. How does Google rank your website? Search engines have 3 primary functions: crawl, index and rank. Google crawls web pages, images, videos, etc. on the internet using robots. It then indexes the information in a huge database of content. When a user types in a keyword or phrase, this triggers the algorithm to list content in order of relevance to the searcher’s query. This is known as ranking. The SERPs layout and content vary depending on what a user types into Google. It can include images, maps, questions, video, business listings, etc. Paid vs organic search SEO results typically appear below the “Ad” or “Sponsored” listings (these are known as paid advertising results). When a user searches for a product or service, several results are usually displayed with different elements depending on what you are searching for. Pay per click advertising, or PPC, requires a media spend and is determined by Google’s AdRank system and can be optimised with various PPC management practices. There are four main elements of SEO... 1. On-Page SEO The goal of on-page SEO is to make sure Google can find your web pages so they can rank them when people search for keywords or phrases. When Google crawls your site and sees repeated themes throughout, it can understand what a page is about. Google also considers user experience as a ranking factor, so if your site offers a poor UX, i.e. not being mobile-friendly, it’s unlikely you will grow your traffic long term. Essential for getting your website found online. 2. Off-Page SEO The goal of off-page SEO is to get other websites to mention and link to your website. This is also known as “Link Building”. Think of each link as a vote for your site’s content. Some votes have a higher authority than others, for example a link from a major news website will have a bigger impact on your organic rankings than a personal blog. It is generally considered bad practice to pay for links, as search engines consider this manipulative and spammy - you have to be careful to avoid any loss of listings in this process. Great for building your authority in Google. 3. Technical SEO The goal of technical SEO is to ensure that Google can easily find and interact with important pages on your website. It includes tasks such as mobile UX, site structure, site speed, fixing broken links and pages to name a few. Improving your site’s technical performance is vital for SEO as it can affect metrics such as traffic and conversion rates, which are key to increasing revenue. Common flags for poor technical SEO is a decline in traffic, low conversion rates and launching a new site that doesn’t perform well. Great for improving website performance. 4. Content Marketing The goal of content marketing is to target audiences with engaging content in order to drive more awareness and conversions with you brand. Great content tries to answer the user’s problem or query in a comprehensive way. This is why in-depth content outperforms shorter content from an SEO perspective. Great examples of content marketing include blogs, videos, surveys, lists, guides, step-by-step tutorials as well as explainers. Great for improving website performance. Key benefits of SEO Scale - Grow your business online with more traffic and sales long term. Consistency - Once your site is SEO-friendly, results tend to be steady and consistent, which can be a competitive advantage. Measurable - SEO gives you trackable ROI, which you can use to make informed marketing decisions with. High ROI - As there is no cost when a user clicks an organic search result, SEO can have a high ROI from campaigns. Site Performance - Improving your site’s SEO tends to bring improvements in conversion rates and revenue. Issue prevention - Optimising your website on a monthly basis will ensure that you flag and fix issues regularly. SEO benefits to other channels Improved website performance SEO not only drives traffic but it improves the user experience and technical performance of your website. The process of optimisation improves website speed, depth of content and creates a logical site structure for your customers to interact with. Stronger paid performance As your organic traffic increases, your paid channels gain a larger audience to re-target. Optimisation of the product and category pages also improves the conversion rates of paid traffic and Google Shopping targeting. Increase in social mentions Driving traffic to your site through SEO can cause after effects such as social mentions, sharing links, etc to your content pages - which all serve to send strong signals to Google that your page is very relevant to the topic at hand. Improvement in secondary KPIs An increase in traffic through SEO can have benefits to your secondary KPIs. For example, you may receive an increase in the number of mailing list subscribers, remarketing audience size and engagement. Potential pitfalls of SEO No Quick Fix Most SEO changes take a minimum of 3 - 6 months to really see the benefits. There are no quick fixes. You have to invest long term to see results which is a challenge for some businesses, particularly new websites. Expertise There are 200+ ranking factors to consider and the list is constantly evolving. Understanding what SEO is and how you can use it to your benefit takes a significant investment of time. Getting to grips with the basics is a good start. Algorithm Updates Google has continuously evolved over time, meaning that 5 year old tactics simply don’t work. It’s important that you, or your agency, keep up with emerging SEO trends, which will help you to avoid issues and gain a competitive advantage. Summary 1. SEO allows you to increase your traffic through search engines. 2. You have 4 main tactics for SEO • On-Page Optimisation • Off-Page Optimisation • Technical SEO • Content Marketing 3. Pros - High ROI, improved website performance and growing your traffic long term. 4. Cons - There is no quick fix, it’s a changing landscape and you need expertise to deliver an effective strategy. SEO Terminology Keywords - Words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms that people are searching for. Click-through-rate (CTR) - Measures how often people click your site when seen in the search results page. Conversion - Is when a visitor completes a desired goal after entering the website. This can be filling out a form or making a purchase. Return on investment (ROI) - Is a metric used to determine campaign effectiveness. ROI is calculated by revenue/cost. A positive ROI means the campaign is generating more revenue than expenses. Algorithm - Update Is when Google makes a change to how it’s search engine works. This generally lead to small to significant changes in rankings for all websites (depending on how much has changed). User Experience (UX) - Covers how your site looks for users who visit and interact with it. SERP - Short for Search Engine Results Page, which is what appears when a user searches for something in a search engine. Rankings - Is the position that your site appears at when a user searches for your target keyword. Page speed - Is how fast your website loads for users who visit. A slow website can cause users to get frustrated and not convert into a customer. Download the whitepaper Let's connect If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com IG: @caseydigital TW: @casey_digital LN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/ Podcast (iTunes) Podcast (Spotify)

Beginners Guide to Paid Social (social media advertising)

This guide looks to introduce start-ups and SME's to Social Media advertising through Facebook and Instagram from a high level, break down how it works and the various options you have available in the Facebook Business Manager platform. What is paid social advertising? Paid Social advertising allows you to create ad content and target relevant users on social media to build brand awareness, generate traffic and drive conversions. Paid Social Process How does it show your ads? Facebook has over 2.3 billion monthly active users and Instagram has over 1 billion. Facebook Business Manager enables you to target these audiences. Paid Social ads mainly show in your feed and stories, and are integrated in a way to create a seamless social browsing experience. Some people don’t realise that they are seeing ads every time they use the social network. The posts highlighted in green above are ads. A combination of your targeting, ad creative and the Facebook algorithm determines who, when and where your ads will be shown. How are you charged? The majority of advertisers pay when a user clicks or views an ad, which is known as the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost-Per-1000-Impressions (CPM). The media spend for both Facebook and Instagram is paid directly to Facebook Business Manager, and it’s a large part of how Facebook generates its revenue. It’s important to develop a strategy to minimise wastage in spend and maximise efficiency of your budget. Paid vs organic social Organic social refers to non-paid for posts on social media where you don’t pay for clicks or placements. The aim of organic posting is to grow your community and post engaging images / videos / stories / links to your followers for them to interact with. Paid social is when you use a social media ad engine, such as Facebook Business Manager or LinkedIn Ads, to target audiences with your content and pay for clicks / engagement. The aim of paid social ads are to drive conversions and new customer acquisition. There are various tactics that can be utilised to target customers at each stage of the customer journey. Organic reach is on the decline There are four paid social ad types Image Ads Whatever your business goals are, an image ad on Facebook or Instagram is a great way to increase awareness of who you are and what you do. An image ad gives you a clean, simple format to use with inspiring imagery and engaging copy. Facebook ads often run in people’s feed, right next to posts from their family and friends. To get the maximum impact, ads should feel like a part of a person’s social fabric. The trick is to blend in with the tone (but stand out with the content!). Ad content must meet editorial guidelines and risk being disapproved if they violate any of those guidelines. Great for when you want to drive people to your site. 2. Video Ads With the rise of cameras on phones, communicating with video has never been more relevant but attention spans have never been so short. With that in mind, it’s crucial that advertisers reflect the way people actually consume video – from bite-sized videos that they watch on the go, to longer video styles that they watch on the sofa. There are multiple placement options for video on Facebook and Instagram: Short videos and GIFs Vertical videos Instagram stories Carousel Collection In-stream video (long form) Great for increasing brand & product awareness 3. Dynamic Ads Building awareness of your brand is important, but it’s equally important to target users when they want to know more or make a purchase. This is where dynamic ads shine. Facebook dynamic ads automatically show the relevant products to people who have already expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the Internet. Simply upload your product catalogue and set up your campaign once, and it will continue to work for as long as you want – finding the correct audience for each product, and always using up-to-date pricing and availability. Great for generating conversions 4. Lead Forms Lots of people want to hear from your business, but filling in forms can be difficult on mobile. Facebook lead ads makes the lead generation process easy. People can simply tap your ad and a form pops up – it’s already pre-populated with their Facebook contact information and ready to be sent directly to you. With just a few taps they can get the information they want, and you generate a qualified lead for your business. Great for turning users into customers Conversion Funnel Awareness Drive new customer awareness through creative content. Triggers Interest based - Facebook Business Manager finds people who have engaged with or posted about a subject, i.e. women’s luxury fashion. Geographic - Targets people based on their location (country / city / within x miles of). Demographic information - targets users based on their age, gender, languages, etc. Lookalike - uses current customer data to find users with similar social media habits. Goals Brand recall - a user is able to recall seeing the ad and remembers the brand. Page likes - a user likes / follows a brand’s social media page. Content engagement - a user views a video and/or engages with the ad content. Engagement Drive engagement with your established awareness audience. Triggers Viewed a product - a user views a product but does not take action immediately. Reads a blog post - a user reads a blog post on-site. Searched on the site - a user uses the search bar on a brand’s website. Signed up to the newsletter - a user signs up to the newsletter Goals Targeted traffic - a user sees the ad and then returns to the site. Adds a product to basket - a user sees a product they’ve previously viewed and adds this product to their basket. Content Engagement - the customer engages with the brand’s content further. Conversion Convert engaged audiences who’ve visited the site. Triggers Product viewers - a user has viewed a product or range, who we will then serve personalised ads. Added a product to basket - a user added a product to their basket, but did not purchase.Abandoned a lead form (e.g. request a quote) - a user begins to fill out a lead form, but does not complete the process. Goals Sales - The user is retargeted with an ad and purchases (possibly using an incentive). Completes a lead form - the user clicks an ad and completes the form (this usually includes an incentive in the ad e.g. ‘free trial’) Retention Retain people who have purchased products. Triggers Cross-sell - campaigns that show products a user may be interested in (e.g. shoes for a dress). Lapsed customers - people who haven’t purchased in a set period of time. Goals Sales - the user reengages with the brand and purchases a product. Content engagement - the customer engages with the brand’s content further. Key benefits of Paid Social Targeted advertising - Reach your target audience based on the interests they have. Measurable - Paid Social advertising gives you quantifiable ROI, which allows you to see exactly what you are getting out of the ads. Scale - Grow your business online with more traffic and sales Speed - It’s possible to get your product or service in front of potential customers quickly. Retargeting - Send targeted and personalised ads to people who have interacted with your website from any channel. Brand awareness - Get your brand and your message in front of new audiences and customers. Paid Social benefits to other channels Improvement in secondary goals An increase in traffic through Paid Social can have benefits to your overall marketing. For example, you may receive an increase in the number of mailing list subscribers, remarketing audience size and engagement. Content amplification Driving traffic to your content pieces, such as blog posts, will help to familiarise your brand with your target audience. This means that later when a user is in the market for what you sell, there’s a higher likelihood that they will click on your brand to purchase your products. Increase in social proof Driving traffic to your site through Paid Social can cause after effects such as social mentions, sharing links, etc, to your content pages. This all serves to send strong signals to Google that your page is very relevant to the topic at hand. This of course means a boost to your organic traffic! Potential pitfalls of Paid Social Expertise Social advertising platforms are like a good puzzle, they take minutes to learn the basics but years to become an expert. The best way to learn the platform is to actively run ads for your business, but unfortunately this process of learning from mistakes can be costly! Creative investment As Paid Social platforms mature, ads placed on these platforms have gradually become more sophisticated. To capture the attention of your target audience, ads need to be visually engaging (which requires creative time and cost investment). Failure to innovate can lead to low levels of engagement (particularly in crowded niches). Cost Depending on your competition and the industry you work in, Paid Social marketing can be very expensive. Some ad placements can be costly and it isn’t profitable for every business. Time investment One of the biggest factors in success for Paid Social is patience. The platform works best when you test every element of your ads (e.g. different colour scheme, copy variants, call to actions, etc). This requires time to get right, which may lead to some false conclusions if not managed correctly. Summary Paid Social advertising allows you to create content and show it to relevant users online to build brand awareness, generate traffic and drive conversions. The 4 main advertising methods for campaigns Image Ads Video Ads Dynamic Ads Lead Forms Pros - it’s visual, brand building and easy to reach an audience that is interested in products like yours. Cons - the cost, time investment and expertise required to deliver the campaigns. Click Here to download the whitepaper Paid Social Terminology Audiences are groups of people on Facebook and Instagram that you can target based on a number of parameters such as age, location, gender and interests. Impressions are counted each time your ad is served on Facebook or Instagram and seen by your audience. CTR aka click-through-rate, measures how often people click your ad after it’s shown to them, which can help you to understand the effectiveness of your ad. CTR is calculated by clicks/impressions. CPC aka cost per click, is the price you pay for each click. The price is dependant on how engaging an ad is to your target audiences (e.g. how many clicks, likes, shares your ad receives). Conversion is when a visitor completes a desired goal after entering the website. This can be filling out a form or making a purchase. ROAS return on advertising spend, is a KPI used to determine campaign effectiveness. ROAS is calculated by revenue/cost. A ROAS higher than 1 means the campaign is generating more revenue than expenses. Engagement is the number of likes, comments, shares, reactions and link clicks your ad receives. Budget is the amount of spend that is assigned to a campaign. This can be set as daily (where it will spend the set amount each day) or lifetime (where the budget will be spent over a period of time defined by the advertiser). Let's connect If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com IG: @caseydigital TW: @casey_digital LN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/ Podcast (iTunes) Podcast (Spotify)

Beginners guide to Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

This guide looks to introduce start-ups and SME's to the PPC channel from a high level, break down how it works and the various options you have available in the Google AdWords platform. What is pay per click advertising Pay per click advertising, or PPC, allows you to create content and show it to relevant users online to build brand awareness, generate traffic and drive conversions. How it works How do Google rank your ads? Google’s Ad Rank determines where you rank versus your competitors, which is calculated by multiplying two key factors – CPC - Bid The highest amount an advertiser is willing to spend Quality Score - A value that takes into account your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality. To get the best results you need to bid the right amount and create quality ads for your customers. How are you charged? You pay when a user clicks on an ad. This is known as the Cost-Per-Click (CPC). The media spend is paid directly to Google and is a large part of how Google generate their revenue. You don’t pay for impressions on your ads or organic clicks. It’s important to develop a strategy to minimise wastage in spend and maximise efficiency of your budget. Paid vs organic search PPC ads typically appear above the organic listings and a re labelled as an Ad or Sponsored listing. When a user searches for a product or service, several adverts are usually displayed with different types of results depending on what you are searching for. Organic search is based on unpaid, natural rankings determined by search engine algorithms, and can be optimised with various SEO practices. There are four main PPC ad types... Text ads (search) A text ad is composed of a written copy and is shown on the results page after a user enters a keyword that triggers one of the ads. It is related directly to the list of keywords within the campaign and should be tailored to your landing page content - user’s expectations are appropriately set if they choose to click on your ad. Ad content must meet editorial guidelines and will risk being disapproved if it violates any of those guidelines. Google AdWords and Microsoft Advertising have different editorial guidelines. Text ads are great for brand awareness and driving traffic. 2. Shopping ads Shopping Ads don’t use keywords, they use product data from your website to match with what a user searches for. They are shown at the top Google when searching for products that are sold online, such as “nike shoes” or “trainers”. They provide an opportunity for the user to visually compare products in Google before clicking through to any websites. Shopping supports upper funnel awareness initiatives, as well as driving lower funnel conversions for exact phrases. Google Shopping ads are great for selling products and increasing product visibility. Google Merchant Centre The quality of your product feed will have the greatest impact on the performance of your Shopping campaigns. Google Shopping campaigns are set up in the Merchant Centre platform (MC). The MC is an online dashboard where you control product data. The primary goal of the MC is to allow businesses to upload and maintain product information including pictures and pricing. You can check that your product feed meets Google’s feed specification and regularly update your feed. 3. Display ads Ads are created and promoted on the Google Display Network (GDN) a network of website which run Google ads. They typically contain image ads or video ads, which are then shown to users who match your targeting criteria. If a user visits your website you can display a image/video ad and try to get them back to your website. This process is called remarketing. Advertisers must comply when creating their visual creative and there is a variety of banner and video sizes. Google Display ads are great for brand awareness and launching campaigns. 4. Video ads (YouTube) TrueView is Google’s paid video advertising program where you only pay when someone chooses to watch your video ad. You can create different ad types including: — In-stream ads play before or during another video from a YouTube partner. Viewers see five seconds of your video and then have the choice to keep watching or skip it. — Video discovery ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, in YouTube search pages, or on websites on the Google Display Network that match your target audience. — Bumper ads are six second duration or less and play before, during or after another video. Viewers don’t have the option to skip the ad. You can reach a highly engaged audience at the right time and the cost per view is relatively low i.e £0.02. Gain access to YouTube’s advanced analytics suite which includes detailed content and performance insights. YouTube Ads are great for reaching new audiences and generating awareness. Key benefits of PPC Scale - Grow your business online with more traffic and sales. Targeted advertising - Reach the right people at the right time with your campaigns. Measurable - PPC advertising gives you quantifiable ROI, which allows you to see exactly what you are getting out of the ads. Transparency - Set a budget that works for your business and see exactly how your budget has been spent with no unexpected bills. Brand awareness - You can get your brand and your message in front of new audiences and customers. Speed - If managed effectively, PPC marketing is one of the fastest digital marketing strategies to drive traffic and conversion growth. PPC benefits to other channels Improvement in secondary goals - An increase in traffic through PPC can have benefits to your marketing for example you may receive an increase in the number of mailing list subscribers, remarketing audience size and engagement. Content amplification - Driving PPC traffic to your content pieces, such as YouTube videos will help amplify your brand. Combining your content with PPC allows you to capitalise on your content marketing strategy. Increase in your organic traffic - Searchers who have been previously exposed to your brand through PPC may be more likely to click and engage on organic content in the future. A higher Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and a higher engagement rate can lead to increases in traffic. Increase in social mentions - Driving traffic to your site through PPC can cause positive after effects, such as social mentions, sharing links etc to your content page. These will all serve to send strong signals to Google that your page is very relevant to the topic at hand. Of course this means a boost to your organic traffic! Potential pitfalls of PPC Cost - Depending on your competition and the industry you work in, PPC marketing can be very expensive. Some ad placements can be costly and it isn’t profitable for every business. Time investment - Due to the technical nature of most PPC platforms such as Google AdWords, wasted ad spend is common without knowledge of the platform. You can’t set up PPC campaigns and leave them. You need to invest time into optimising and improving to get the best results. Expertise - Due to its complexity it can take some practice and expertise to set up effective campaigns. This does not mean that learning PPC is not for everyone. It simply means that more time and effort is needed to learn how to maximize PPC compared to other digital marketing strategies. Summary PPC advertising allows you to create content and show it to relevant users online to build brand awareness, generate traffic and drive conversions. There are four main advertising options for campaigns: Text ads Shopping ads Display ads Video ads Pros of PPC - Speed, precision, agility and measurement of your marketing campaign. Cons of PPC - Cost, time investment and expertise required to deliver the campaigns. Click here to download whitepaper PPC Terminology Keywords - words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms that people are searching for. Impressions - are counted each time your ad is served on Google networks such as google.com and YouTube. Impressions help you understand how often your ad is being seen. Click-through-rate (CTR) - A measure of how often people click your ad after it’s shown to them which can help you understand the effectiveness of your ad. CTR is calculated by clicks/impressions. Cost per click (CPC) - The price you pay for each click. The price is dependant on how competitive the keyword is. Conversion - The point at which a visitor completes a desired goal after entering the website. This can be filling out a form or making a purchase. Return on ad spend (ROAS) - A KPI metric used to determine campaign effectiveness. ROAS is calculated by revenue/cost. A ROAS higher than means the campaign is generating more revenue than expenses. Quality Score - Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It’s marked out of and depends on your CTR, the relevance of keyword to ads and landing page quality and relevance. Search Impression Share - How often your ad impressions are shown in the most prominent positions (shown as a percentage). SI lost to Budget - How often your ad didn’t show anywhere above the organic search results due to low budget (shown as a percentage). SI lost to Rank - How often your ad didn’t show due to poor ad rank - low ad positions and low quality scores (shown as a percentage). Let's connect If you would like any help with your digital strategy or projects, please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com IG: @caseydigital TW: @casey_digital LN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/ Podcast (iTunes) Podcast (Spotify)

Digital Strategy Q&A

Working in an agency in a client facing role I get asked a variety of different questions from CEO’s, marketing managers, execs and people looking to get in the industry. Below is a list of questions from people on social media as well as a few I get asked quite regularly. Hopefully this proves useful and if you have any follow up questions please email me on caseydigital@gmail.com Should start-ups establish a presence through WordPress first then bolt on Shopify? Or just get straight into Shopify using the platforms blog function? #DSFAQ John Whalley – LinkedIn Having a content platform that is shoppable can be very powerful and in my opinion the best entry level content platform is Wordpress, similarly with Shopify from an e-commerce perspective. Deciding on the two options really depends on what you are looking to achieve in the bigger picture; build a content and make some money on the side or concentrate on sales. Content Hub (..and make a bit of money on the side J) If you are building content with the main goal to grow engagement, followers and a community online you really want to stick with WordPress or maybe even Wix. The CMS from a content perspective is much stronger and you can use tools like SEO Yoast to really help optimize your content for search engines. The bolt on of a Shopify buy now button, WooCommerce or Wix E-commerce is quite simple to set up so you can start to monetize your content through partnerships, products or premium content. From experience WooCommerce isn’t the best option from a CMS / features perspective and it’s quite fiddley to manage. Serious about sales If your main objective is to make money you will find Wordpress as a base platform will only take you so far before you need to invest in a proper e-commerce store, WordPress would usually take up to £5k - £10k annual sales with the plug-in options but after that you will be limited by platform at some point. For some people that figure would be a nice side hustle, for others you will want more and that’s where Shopify comes in. From my experience Shopify is the best entry level e-commerce product if you are serious about growing a brand / selling product online and the scale is amazing from £0 - £1m+ annual sales. The other main benefit is you get complete freedom to manage the theme (look and feel) or your store and edit lots of elements without the need for a developer. The checkout is pre-built, and hosting is part of the subscription cost plus you have access to a wide range of apps. If I had to be critical about anything on Shopify CMS (it’s difficult because it is great) it would be how you can mass product content and that is really where WordPress has a slight advantage. Your thought’s on outbrain vs Taboola and ROI? #DSFAQ Myles O’Brien - LinkedIn We have used Outbrain in the past, for those who don’t know this is a content distribution network that pushes your content and articles into other websites and content hubs. I don’t have any hands-on experience of Taboola but from looking into it looks quite a similar model to Outbrain. You can push your content out at scale and not a massive cost - we used it for hair and beauty industry, and we got lots of impressions but not a lot of engagement when people visited the website / clicked through to the articles. My main problem with platforms like this in an ROI conversation is you are just blasting content randomly out through the internet so there isn’t really any sophisticated targeting as to who the audience is. I would be more inclined to take the spend and put it into targeted Facebook / IG ads or display ads in Google AdWords as you can target the audience or Google’s affinity categories and position it on specific sites. So using the hair and beauty example we can target people who have certain interested in Instagram or place creative on Red Magazine, etc to really target the right audience and that will generate more of an ROI. What’s better for a start-up e-commerce business, Shopify or Magento? #DSFAQ Sian English – Twitter The best option for a start-up e-commerce business is Shopify in my opinion. The key benefits are all on the website and they go into a lot of detail but all the sales and marketing bull**** aside I genuinely think it’s a great product. You have to pay a subscription fee that covers the platform, hosting and a few other things but it is well worth it and in terms of running costs $29.00 per month is a good deal. You can import and customize themes which basically means that you can build up from a base for the look and feel which reduces the design / creative requirement and you tweak aspects in the admin area. The apps are great and allows you to connect to GA, Facebook pixel and lots of other marketing applications that don’t require a developer. The product and category management are simple and with an import / export function you can manage the catalogue quite easily. The list of features goes on and the Magento advocates out there will be screaming at their mobile phone when reading the above because Magento does all of the above and a whole lot more, the problem is you need someone technical or a developer to really make a Magento store work. (particularly M1) The reason main reason why I recommend Shopify to start up clients is actually nothing to do with features, tech specs, extensions or anything like that – the main reason is it is easy to use and it will give entrepreneurs enough agility to keep them happy whilst they worry about scaling their business. Most start-ups that I have worked with have a small budget, but high demands and they want to maintain control to an extent, which you can’t blame them for as it is their baby. Magento 2 offers brand a whole host of scalability however getting your first store live and transacting does come at a relatively high cost and from my experience the projects are more complex than a start-up team have the skills to understand and frustration creeps in. I can speak to 5 agencies in Manchester and I would get varying price scales for a M2 store from £15k - £100k+ with some of the gold partners. Even if you are an established business this is a decent sized capital investment in the core business and small fledgling often don’t have close to this budget when trying to get online. What I would say is that if you have been trading for a period of time and you are looking to go on to the next level Magento 2 is an amazing platform for you to grow and we have many happy clients however they generally have the following criteria: Have been trading online for over 12 months and sales are coming in Minimum £10k project budget to upgrade their site An in-house team of at least 2 who understand e-commerce websites Looking to go onto the “next level” Frustrated with the limitations or time it takes to do things on the website There are alternatives in the market like Wix e-commerce if you have a really low budget and you are just dipping your toe in the water, they offer a lot of tools where you can build it yourself in the CMS and get online, this is the cheapest solution for those one man bands out there. Thank you for reading and if you have any suggestions for future content or if you need any help please contact me on caseydigital@gmail.com or follow me on social: @caseydigital on Instagram https://twitter.com/casey_digital https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseydigital/ Listen to my podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/caseydigital-podcast/id1451643380 https://open.spotify.com/show/4OIWcXUCgYns1I5o7MJaBu

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