Is Content marketing good for SEO

A fact about content

Original and quality content gives Google and its spiders more to look at on your website aiding your organic SEO. This gives you a higher position in search and ultimately generate more clicks to your website, blog and/or online shop.

How and why?

Google likes to see activity on a website and a blog is likely to be the part of your site that you will most frequently update with new information to keep readers engaged.Each new article or post creates a new page with a new URL and hence, allows you to optimise it accordingly. Your content is also vital for building consumer trust, but also for Google SERPs (search engine page results). 

But why is organic SEO so important? 

Regular Content

Organic SEO matters because a staggering 75 percent of searchers don’t even click past the first page of results. If you’re not ranking on that first page when people search for what you offer, you guessed it — your website won’t get any traffic which ultimately means your site will struggle to bring you sales or enquiries.

This means that having well written, authentic and helpful content which gives the reader some value by, for example, answering a question, actually develops relationships with them. Similarly, written (or video) tutorials and how-to guides are a great way to engage your audience and help them. Most content on websites are factual – About Us, What We do, Contact Us….whereas the content you create on a blog or a video really allows you to create a personality for your company. 

Consumers look beyond traditional marketing tactics nowadays and crave more unique and engaging online content. Put simply, today, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favourite brands and this is why some organisations rank so well in Google. 

How often should content be generated?

Sit down for this, but ideally weekly. Weekly content is what is suggested by Google as the best way to see increased traction from your content marketing. But, if you are already posting content, it might be just as beneficial to go back and update that content first, especially if after a little while, you want to give certain posts a boost. This is because Blog post traffic is compounding, which means it gains organic results over time. This is why updating posts are important. This gives you more reads, more recognition, and possibly, more subscribers or ‘fans.’

Another way of using content is by engaging the services of an ‘Influencer,’ who is a personality endorsing your product or service via social media. I’ll write a post on this next.

Is there anything you’d like to know about? Drop me a line 01225 436426. 

Research your customer and use Google to target them

When it comes to knowing your customer, are there any seasonal trends that will allow you to focus on with targeted marketing or times the year where that service is required more than others like accountancy at the financial year end? Similarly, is there an existing media that is seen by your potential customers like a trade magazine or website? 

A great deal of success is down to the use of the little grey cells; the thought process, the rationale….the strategy. No one wins any prizes for launching a website.in 1 hour for £50. Take time to research your customer, their buying behaviour, their market, what they read, where they go etc. Take time to develop your ‘offer’ to them and take time to make sure your offer is going to resonate with them and take time to design it. 

Nowadays we only have to turn on the TV to see corporate companies offering to make a website in a few hours or to design a logo in 15 minutes. Surely something as important to marketing shouldn’t be signed, sealed and delivered in less time that it takes to do a gym workout? Not only that but we all know that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are awash with pointless accounts published because they are free and easy to set up only to stand still after the initial posting stampede! 

Time is a valuable commodity whatever sector you are in so use it wisely. I remember an old road safety campaign that said. Stop. Look. Listen. Do the same with your marketing. 

Also, have a serious think about who is best placed in your organisation to do marketing. If it is you, do you have the time or the expertise or even the inclination? If it is someone else in the business whose job title is marketing, can they do everything an external specialist could do? Do they need support in specialist areas like SEO?

On the subject of SEO, please, please, please, invest in this area of marketing. Invest in a professionally designed and built website that can be optimised for Google. 

Remember, Google has a huge market share (over 92%) and it also has more than just the search network to display the results. There is a common misconception that Google finds websites. It sort of does, but it mainly finds pages. This means you MUST use other digital platforms to spread your message and attract your customer. Content marketing is vital when it comes to being visible online for example. These SERPS (search engine page results) can include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, blog posts, whitepapers and YouTube videos so do your research, construct a strategy and get marketing!

Marketing. Are you visible to your customer

When it comes to effective marketing, the challenges ahead can be daunting. To start with, there are so many platforms out there at you could use to get your message to market – online, offline, above the line, below the line…….which ones to do I use? Not only that, what do I say to my potential customers and when? More importantly what does the ‘line’ actually mean!?!
Let’s face it, marketing is sector full of noise. Thousands of companies selling themselves everywhere you look. From petrol pump nozzles to ads on cashpoints, everywhere you look is someone telling you what to buy. 

However, before we get to platforms and messages, we need to stop and think about what our aims and objectives are. What do we want to achieve with our marketing? Despite working in the industry for 30 years, without question the most prominent objective is to make more sales.

So in order to make more sales, a company needs to visible; visible to the market it is selling to, but also visible at the right time, saying the right things for the right reasons. This might sound like common sense, but it’s not as straight forward as you might think. For example, if you knock up your own website and post it onto the world wide web, just because you can see your website when you look for it, it doesn’t mean the potential customer will. 

A great deal of this visibility since Covid reared its ugly head has been online as people at home flocked to Google to find things from news to games to interiors to things to do. Internet usage and search volumes rocketed; I saw a statistic that said internet search volumes increased 54% in some sectors with Google adwords seeing a 23% increase in ad conversions.  

This means that the emphasis on where your services or products appear in search has increased even more when it comes to marketing. The response to a user’s search query can be the difference between success and failure! 

In 2022 every business primarily needs to create a strong digital footprint which will make it visible to its potential customers. My advice is that marketing is a marathon not a sprint. It’s a process not an event. Think about your customer – who they are, where they are and what their buying behaviour is. Invest in the strategy behind your marketing. Constantly revisit what you’re doing. Make sure you have a mix of activity and methods of tracking effectiveness. Test things and ideally, consult a specialist. 

Shall I start my own business

It’s a horrible fact, but a very high percentage of start-up businesses fail; about 90% with 10% failing within the first year of starting. Of the 90%, 42% of start-up businesses fail because there’s no market need for their services or products. 29% failed because they ran out of cash. 23% failed because they didn’t have the right team running the business and19% were outcompeted.

This means that starting your own business is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. But it also means that opening up your new venture is something that needs proper research, proper planning and proper investment.

But where should you start?

In my opinion, far too many people think that they are good at what they do as an employee so the transition to doing it for yourself should be simple. Wrong. Take a big step back and start at the beginning. Firstly, if you’re doing something new research whether what I am offering is in demand, where, why, by who, for how much etc. Also, what are your personal plans and what are your business plans?

If you’re breaking away from being an employee and starting up by offering the same sort of product/service, how am I different from the employer?

We’ve all seen Dragons Den where people arrive in the Den with what they think is a great idea only to find it isn’t. In a nutshell, ask yourself, boil it down and question, what problems am I solving and for who?

To ‘launch’ there are a wealth of practical elements you also need to consider. From what am I called to where am I working from. From how am I doing invoicing to do I need a website? From what emails do I use to how do I register with Companies House?

Start by thinking about what significant problems you could solve and how. Look for areas where solutions are already available but you can do better than existing companies either regarding efficiency, innovation or cost. You should look for areas where you can provide significant savings to the customer vs competitors. These types of businesses grow incredibly fast, particularly during recessions.

Hard to do I know, but try to think into the future, what will the world look like in 5 or 10 years? Thinking about the future will allow you to think about new markets and niches that may open due to innovations and new technologies.

The above are indications of questions to ask and elements to consider, but, to me, one of the major elements that quite often is not given the importance it should have, is the actual marketing of your business and this starts with putting together a marketing plan

Read next article on marketing planning >>

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is pretty much any form of marketing that involves electronic devices. When you
think about it, digital marketing is just marketing. It’s how today’s businesses are getting their message in front of their best prospects and customers, but using online platforms. 

Whether we like it or not, most purchasing decisions begin online. None more so than now, customers are online: hanging out in social media, staying updated on current affair sites and blogs, and searching online when they have a need for a product or service. Your customers use Google and YouTube and many are now using voice search on their phones so effective digital marketing puts you in those same channels.

Think about the latest thing you looked for and/or bought. Regardless of what it was, you probably began by searching the Internet to see what was available, who provided them, and what your best options were. Your research may have also included by reviews you read, the friends and family you consulted and pricing. 

Talking to your potential customers on digital platforms means you build brand awareness, set yourself as an industry thought leader, and place your business at the forefront when the customer is ready to buy. Not only that, but digital marketing can collect valuable insights into your prospect market, audience behaviours, customer engagement, traffic sources and customer retention. 

What makes up digital marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO). 

SEO is the process of optimising the content you have online. Primarily, this will be a website and/or Blog. Google indexes pages so elements like the technical setup, the content, the URL, the page properties etc all play an influential part in helping your pages appear at the top of a search engine result for a specific set of keyword terms. 

Having a high, organic position in Google is one of the most desirable elements of effective digital marketing. Not only for visibility, brand building etc but effective SEO drives visitors to your site when they’re actually searching for the services and/or products you offer. Recent figures suggest that over 90% of people look for organic positions over paid ads……….

Paid search. 

Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, typically refers to the sponsored result on the top or side of a search engine results page (SERP). These results take the form of pre designed and written ads which charge you for every click. They have the word Ad next to them.

The beauty of paid search is that you can tailor your ads to appear when the desired search terms are entered into Goggle. This means your ads can be shown to prospects seeking something specific. This is called targeting in marketing speak! However, Google ads work very much like a bidding system; the higher your budget, the more change your ad will show and the more chance of getting a click. This is marketing speak is called visibility!

Content marketing. 

Content marketing has become a vital part of digital marketing. If companies can generate authentic, original and educational content consumers using a blog or a video, tag the item correctly and post to a website, channel or Insights platform, Google will be your friend forever! Some staistics indicate that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising so make the additional effort.

Social media marketing.

Socials have been all the rage for a while now, but……and it’s a big but, just because there are lots of platforms to use and these platforms are primarily free, it doesn’t mean that every company should have a profile on all of them. 

The key to effective social media marketing goes far beyond simply having active social media accounts. These platforms like Twitter come under the heading of social media as you need to create engaging content and interact with people. The more your audience is inspired to engage with you in return and the content you post, the more likely they are to share it. Once shared, your network will expand. 

Social media though, is time consuming so pick the platform that works for you and that is where your market it. Integrate activity with your other marketing efforts and, above all, don’t tell people you are going for a coffee on Twitter!

Email marketing. 

BMC is a massive fan of email marketing. Very much a push strategy as you push out your message to a database and it is still the quickest and most direct way to reach customers with information, updates, offers etc. Your eshot needs to be engaging, relevant, informative, and entertaining and tick the following 5 boxes – be trustworthy, relevant, engaging, consistent and be considered.

Yes, there are huge amounts of junk emails flying about, but these are simply mass market blasts that have no relevance to you. A quality, clean and relevant database of recipient is also vital.

Mobile marketing. 

Much as we all cannot live without our mobile devices, mobile marketing can be deemed as invasive. Think about a ping on your phone; you pick it up and it is a SMS or in app marketing advert. Delete.

Mobile marketing is quite young as a digital marketing platform but it can be effective. Not only that the ability to reach your customers directly on their devices is attractive, especially if your selling actual products, but consider your other digital marketing channels and the offer you make.

A great article that elaborates on this area is from Megan Mars.

How much do you charge for a logo

To me the identity of an organisation is one of the most important elements to take to market and, much as I understand that costs are vital to a business, what I think organisations need to consider is the value a professionally designed logo brings to their business rather than simply asking “how much do you charge for a logo?”

Logo design uses combination of text and imagery that tells people the name of your small business and creates a visual symbol that represents your vision. It’s a big part of your brand identity and is quite often the first thing a customer will see. A good logo is memorable, differentiates you from everyone else, and fosters brand loyalty so embrace it.

BBC-logoHowever, logo design can cost a huge amount of money.

For example, when the BBC decided to invest in its brand, it invested £1.8 million. Now, digest that figure for what is basically 3 letters in a row. But….this logo has been familiar to consumers for years. It is minimalistic, clearly defined and most consumers will not associate these letters with reliability and other, positive values.

2012_Summer_Olympics_logo.svgWell, what about the 2012 Olympic logo? What do you think? How much? What if I said about £625k? Worth it? Can you see the London style of architecture in the design? No? Me neither.

Accenture-red-arrow-logoWhat about the global company Accenture? Yes, the company specialises in strategy, management technology etc, but what about the costs for this? Well…how does about $100,000,000?

So, in a nutshell, what I am saying is that a logo shouldn’t be decided purely on the costs and the time it takes to draw. Your logo is the public face of your company; it is what the organisation represents and simple logos comprised of only essential elements are often the most difficult and also successful.

I have seen companies offering logo design on Twitter for $100, but remember, you get what you pay for. Using a dose of clip art and a bit of a creative font on your text doesn’t make you a designer almost as much as changing a light bulb doesn’t make you an electrician. There are logos like the Nike tick which probably took about 1 hour to actually design, but the thought process and the actual value of creating a clever, professional logo can take months and sometimes years. Therefore, the execution might be quick, but that doesn’t mean that is all you should pay for. Good designers and marketeers train for years to ply trade and this allows them to design things and make strategic decisions and sometimes, asking a designer to make the logo bigger or to change the colour of the typography isn’t actually a decision you are qualified to make!

This all may sound harsh, but it is true. A good designer will take a solid brief and then go through a multiple of ideas and concepts before working up their ideas. Trust them and work with them and above all, pay them accordingly!

Why should I pay for a marketing consultant

marketing consultant

With all the readily accessible marketing tools available these days, there are many companies implementing and delivering their own marketing activity. This is always a good thing IF a company has the right knowledge, resources, expertise and above all, time. Many do, but many don’t, and this is why some companies should consider engaging a marketing consultant.

Perhaps you want to understand what the benefits of hiring a marketing consultant could bring to your business? Perhaps your current activities are not quite doing what you need. Perhaps you want an independent view or maybe you need to review your current strategy. Whatever your reasons to consider hiring a consultant; a marketing consultant is a professional marketer who can be brought into a business to help improve your marketing efforts. They do this by assessing and understanding your business and drawing up marketing strategies that will help you communicate your message to your customers.

A consultant may well begin by assessing your business; where it is now and where it wants to be as a result of effective marketing activities. They will have a wide variety of techniques and tactics at their disposal to develop a marketing plan. A consultant will help you to create a marketing plan, help you decide on best messaging and propose the most effective marketing mix to best communicate your message.

Additionally, once a marketing plan has been decided the consultant may well be in a position to help you to execute that plan, optimising and assessing the performance of your marketing and ultimately making you more successful. They will help your business to grow with better marketing.

Being in business means competition and, whatever sector you are in, there is always the challenge of finding new customers and/or retaining the customers that you have. This is called marketing. But marketing costs money and time to effectively deliver and if you are a business owner or manager, and are doing the marketing yourself, be warned, this takes time and knowledge. Do you have this time and knowledge or is your time better invested in improving the business or just focusing on the day job? Some business owners get it so right, in that case, if you are happy to continue doing so and you have the time to do it, great, keep doing the good work!

Marketing is constantly changing; technology is constantly on the move and new opportunities and ways to target your customers are always changing, particularly when it comes to the internet and the dreaded social media.

No doubt you will have a website. If not, invest in one NOW. A website should sit at the centre of your marketing strategy. Customers will find you because of it, they’ll be able to research your products and services from it, they’ll be able to communicate and potentially purchase through it. But the internet is changing rapidly, what happens when your website becomes unfit to perform its role? How do you know when your website is no longer performing as it should? This is where a consultant can help you. Either to develop a new site or better improve the digital footprint that you have.

Marketing consultants don’t just look at your website, they can provide insight into the market, your competitors, best practice etc + they keep up-to-date with the latest techniques and strategies. Ultimately, marketing consultants will understand how to make marketing work harder for your business. I can think of many reasons that businesses should choose to engage or in fact need a marketing expert, but price will also be a determining factor.

So, when it comes to money, the cost will usually be calculated on a day rate or an hour rate and sometimes as a project. The nature and challenges of the brief and the marketing objectives will influence the pricing structure. As a rule, a senior marketing consultant with at least 20 years’ experience spanning a wide variety of sectors and with a proven track record could charge between £500 and £1000 per day. The more days that you hire and the more commitment you make, it is likely that the cost will reduce. Sometimes consultants also have external costs and fees that will be quoted separately, but elements like travel and expenses are usually incorporated into the fee.

You might think (wrongly!) that hiring someone is the cheaper solution for your marketing. Salaries for marketers will vary on location of your business and the candidate experience levels. As a generalisation, if you were
looking to hire a Marketing assistant it could cost you c£25,000 per annum, marketing managers between £25,000 and £55,000, Marketing Directors could be anywhere from £55,000 to well in excess of £100k. In addition, there is the time required to find the right person and, if you employ an agency there are costs there of up to 15% of the final salary package on offer.

Therefore, another great benefit of hiring a consultant is that you can hire them as when needed. You may need Marketing Director level consultancy for a short time to help you get organised, define the strategy
and direct your team. It could be that it is much more cost effective to hire a Marketing Director for a short time to achieve this goal, falling back on the experience of your team once the goals and direction have been set.

At Bath Marketing Consultancy our ethos is one of adding value and creating impact. We like talking to people; we like to be challenged and we like to create new relationships!

Marketing is not all online; direct marketing could be the key

Consumers are frustrated! We all want to hit the shops. We all want to go for a meal and several pints. We all want to play sports again, see our friends and family and, above all, we all want to get back to some sort of normality.

The coronavirus pandemic is still impacting consumer behaviour worldwide as online sales of goods and services are still on the up. In January 2021 for example, online transactions increased by 39.7% compared to the same period in 2020. Streaming platforms like Netflix have also experienced huge increases in subscriptions as we turn to the internet for entertainment. But consumers want human interaction; they want to browse and they want to shop…….and this means to a lot of businesses, there is potentially a huge market of customers waiting in the wings to spend their money with you.

When it comes to marketing strategy, digital marketing has been and will continue to be, vital for companies. However, as retail, leisure and hospitality start to open their doors again, traditional marketing platforms need to be included in the marketing mix. I feel that direct marketing, then, is going to be key in the next 6 months for a large number of organisations. By this I mean, marketing that talks directly to consumers – emails, online adverts, flyers, database marketing, promotional letters, newspapers, outdoor advertising, phone text messaging, magazine adverts, coupons, phone calls, postcards, websites, and catalog distribution.

Unlike mass advertising (e.g TV), which is presented to everyone, direct marketing is presented only to people who are suspected to have an interest or need in a company’s product. A good example of this is a campaign we are about to launch for one of our key clients via a personalised sales letter containing an offer.

For that reason direct marketing also has a higher potential return on investment, since the likelihood of making a sale to a targeted customer list is higher to begin with. It is also measurable and allows you the sender to make the message personal, making the recipient feel it is meant just for them.

So, if you are a shop or a hotel or a leisure club or a restaurant, consider implementing advertising in a local magazine, sending a sales flyer through a door or even picking up the telephone. Customers are waiting to hear from you.

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Implement Google Adwords into your Digital Marketing activities

Google Adwords

When a company first opens its doors, one of the biggest initial challenges it will face is awareness; the prospective market becoming conscious of you and what you do. Roll back the years and building a brand was a long, slow process that took time, money and a lot of perseverance.

Nowadays, however, the internet has revolutionised how brands, organisations and businesses become visible to their target audience. Digital marketing such as social media platforms, websites, SERPS, influencers etc are all fast and costs effective routes to market, but I want to talk about one particular initiative that should now form a part of your digital marketing strategy – Google ads.

As we know, digital marketing has gone from being a specialist approach for innovative companies to being a vital part of any marketing strategy and today businesses of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups to huge international brands, are turning to Google ads to target potential customers directly via what they are searching for.

Fact. Google is the most widely used search engine fielding more than 3.5 billion search queries every single day and it offers advertisers access to an unprecedented and unequalled potential audience of users who are actively looking for goods and services. But……with these sorts of numbers and a global platform, using Google effectively is definitely a specialist skill.

Having an SEO strategy, no matter how large your business is, is vital, but getting to the Holy Grail position of page 1 organically takes time and not all businesses have that luxury.

Fact. Google ads are faster than organic SEO. In fact, this is arguably the biggest advantage of using Google adwords to reach your audience. Yes, there is leg work required to research, write (and/or design) the ads, create a bidding strategy and implementing, but the campaigns can be launched pretty much immediately….and you only pay if people click your ads!

What PPC do I do?

Google’s advertising initiatives are split across two main networks – the Search network, and the Display network. The Search network encompasses the entirety of the Google as a search engine, and advertisers can bid on millions of keywords and phrases to target prospective customers.

The Google Display Network, which offers advertisers more visual ads such as banners, spans approximately 98% of the World Wide Web, making it a great choice for advertisers who want to accomplish marketing goals that aren’t necessarily as conversion-driven as those of PPC ads, such as raising brand awareness on a large scale using banner ads.

Yes, but why launch a google adwords campaign?

In a nutshell, Google Adwords is an effective way to drive traffic from the search engine through to your website. Google plays a vital role in increasing the reach of your marketing campaign and adwords can get your company or product there quickly. Adwords however, is an auction so the more budget you have, the more your ads will show.

Google does have support on offer and can talk you through how to set up adwords, but……I very much feel that it is very much worth hiring an independent expert to research keywords and then set up a search ad campaigns. Ongoing, campaigns also need monitoring and optimising to make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Adapt your Marketing during the coronavirus

2020 really has been crisis management for a lot of businesses as the virus has not only changed the way consumers buy goods and services, but the pandemic has changed the way people do business and communicate (I wish I had shares in Zoom!)

This situation will, in my opinion, reward organisations who have adapted to the changes and the way they market themselves. Sitting it out has not been and will continue to not be an option.

In order to be successful, companies must be visible. None more so than online. Organisations already in a space where they deliver what they do to the doorstep or the consumer have thrived and will continue to do so. The flip side is that companies who have traditionally relied on a physical presence have been hit terribly.

So, what can organisations do to keep the tills ringing? What do they do with regards to getting themselves in front of the prospective customers?

The use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers (digital marketing) is now even more critical to a companies’ marketing. This is because the virus has been causing us all to spend more time online searching. Your prospect therefore, simply must be able to find you in search engines (Google has an 86% market share) and being able to adapt the sales process will be the difference between success and failure.

Drive traffic to your website by utilising social media, Google’s search and display networks; use email marketing and optimise your website. Google very much indexes pages so use a blog and write authentic, insightful content.

The latest trend we are seeing is that paid ads are becoming cheaper. In other words, traffic on the web is up and there are fewer advertisers due to the decrease in smaller businesses advertising. This is because the way the big ad networks make money is through an auction system. They need small businesses to drive up the cost per click (CPC) for ads so that way the big, billion-dollar companies have to spend more money on ads. When we average things out per industry and globally, we are seeing paid ads producing a much higher ROI than before the Coronavirus hit. If you don’t have as many small businesses advertising there isn’t as much competition, so the cost per click decreases.

With your website and business, consider what you can give away for free or offer payment plans. Anything you can do to help people out will be appreciated. You’ll also find that it will drive you more visitors through sharing.

You could also explore running limited time promotions or if you are selling consulting services, you can accept money over a period of a year.

It is a sad fact that we all probably have more time now so use it to your advantage. Put in the effort so you can think and plan. It’s not too late and, that way you’ll come out of the Coronavirus stronger!