Beginners Guide To Online Marketing
Fewer than 20 years ago, extroverts had a way better chance of becoming rich and successful. Why? It involved a ton of networking. For you to be successful, you had to hire employees and build a huge company. Even for a career in arts, music, or movies, you had to get every person in your industry to know you.
While connections are still a great deal to date, you don’t have to go looking. You can get them right from your couch, at the comfort of your home. That is online marketing. In a world where 93% of all marketing interactions start with a search engine, according to Inforza, you need to be on top of your game.
Online marketing is evolving at the speed of light. This is one huge reason why getting started in online marketing might seem like a daunting process if you are completely new. To keep up with the evolution, you need a strong foundation with the judgment to think critically, act independently, and be ferociously creative.
Not to mention the fact that it’s a huge industry with a lot of competition. But don’t worry. To get yourself started on this all-important marketing journey, there is so much that you need to know to begin online marketing, and we have you covered.
This guide starts at the beginning, to provide already-intelligent professionals with a healthy balance of a strategic and tactical online marketing process.
Determine Your Business Goals
Having a primary goal to measure your digital marketing efforts’ success might be the most critical and beneficial digital marketing step of all.
Before starting a business marketing plan, companies must determine their main achievable digital marketing objectives and have a predetermined marketing budget to go along with it. Great marketers think in terms of growth frameworks. And they take time to learn how to position their marketing strategy into a sustainable, ROI-positive revenue engine for the brand.
According to Nibusinessinfo, your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of your business when setting objectives for online marketing. You have to build your marketing strategy around them. The most important thing in marketing is understanding what your customers want, and working towards quenching their thirst, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience.
Marketing is strategic. To succeed, you need highly focused goals. It is better to start a journey knowing where you are heading, that way it is easier to arrive at your destination faster.
Learn Traffic Acquisition
Even if you have the most amazing web storefront, blog, or product in the world, if you’re not getting traffic, your business’s growth strategy will fall flat.
Many brands are focusing all their efforts on getting higher conversion rates. Of course, that’s extremely important for the success of your brand. However, before people can convert, they need to find your website first. Growing a website takes time. It takes consistent sharing of great content for months and months on end.
Your growth is slow and steady just as the traffic coming to your site is slow and steady. While that strategy will work, it’s always nice to employ more effective strategies to get a huge jump in traffic every once in a while.
Improve Conversion Rates
In addition to bringing visitors to your website, you need to keep them there. Not only that, you need to transform them from interested prospects into customers. Conversion optimization is the practice of converting first-time visitors into customers and converting first-time customers into repeat buyers.
Interestingly, the outward look of your page is the first towards achieving high conversion rates. According to an analysis by Portent, the first 5 seconds of page load time have the highest impact on traffic conversion rates. So now you know that your website has to be deemed world class even at first glance.
After that, your website needs to move the relationship forward and seal the deal. Conversion rate optimization provides a significant opportunity for businesses of any size. It takes a scientific approach to optimize websites and to enable businesses to convert more visitors into subscribers or customers.
Conversion optimization isn’t rocket science. In many ways, it’s common sense. But you need to actively think about what you’re doing and know the best practices.
Routinely Create Quality Content
Are you blogging regularly? If yes, great job! Don’t have a blog yet? It’s time to share your industry knowledge with the rest of the world. Nothing makes search engines happier than websites that continuously update their content. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not just about search engines. The more you blog, the better for you.
However, it’s understandable that finding the time can be challenging. Research from Zazzle Media supports this. It reveals that 60% of marketers find it hard to produce content consistently. And even when they do produce content, they may not be happy with it. No pressure, just consider your schedule and try to remain consistent, whether that’s every day, every week, or several times a month.
Note that while creating this new content, it’s crucial to ensure it’s written for humans, not robots. Search engines have come a long way and, over the years, have gotten sophisticated enough to discern quality and spam-worthy content. To build your website’s credibility, your content should always answer the audience’s questions. Write for humans, then tweak necessarily to satisfy search engines. After all, your customers are humans, not robots.
Get Found With SEO
Search engines are a powerful channel for connecting with new audiences. Step one of a strong SEO strategy is to make sure that your website content and products are the best that they can be. The second step is to communicate that user experience information to search engines so that you rank in the right place.
Want your business to succeed in the world of SEO? It can be done, as long as you’re strategic. If you know nothing about SEO, taking up Clickslice SEO training and courses is just the best way to go about it. Investing in a long-term SEO plan for continuous organic search success is important. It can eat up a lot of your valuable time but in the long run, it is worth it.
Build a Robust Social Media Presence
The opportunity for direct face-to-face communication is currently limited, the more reason for growing brands to embrace social media to reach their customers.
Today, brands are riding the wave of social media marketing. According to Buffer, 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been effective for their business.
Social media has become such a functional and essential aspect of many marketing strategies and across all generations. It is the simplest and least expensive way to reach a huge audience.
Optimize Your Website For Mobile
Last but not least, you should understand that mobile marketing has become more relevant than ever.
More and more consumers browsing and making purchases with their smartphones or tablets, a mobile-friendly website is vital. According to a report from Hitwise, nearly 60% of all Online Searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors, like Food and Beverage, reaching 72%.
Although investing in mobile-specific marketing can require a substantial investment, especially if you’re just starting, you can take the first step by ensuring that your business’s website is optimized for mobile.
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What To Look For When Hiring An SEO Expert
Presently, search engine optimization is the most important form of digital marketing. Gaining organic traffic, reputation building and the promotion of your business are goals of website optimization.
Your company’s Website may look great, with plenty of multimedia sizzle. But if the site isn’t consistently attracting targeted visitors and converting them into customers, then it’s not doing its job, and this can negatively affect your revenue.
If you want to make your business visible on the leading search engines and grow traffic for your site, you need an expert to do the job for you. Hiring an SEO consultant is a great investment into the long-term growth of your business, provided you hire the right one. But what do you even look for in an SEO expert?
SEO results highly depend on the strategies of the specialist you hire and their campaigning style. So, while hiring an SEO professional, you need to ask the right questions and consider certain important things.
Your assessment of candidates should focus on the following factors.
Anyone can set up an SEO Agency overnight and call themselves an SEO expert, but that doesn’t mean that they know what they are doing.
There are hundreds of little things that go into the bigger picture of doing SEO and it takes many years of experience to know what works and what doesn’t.
While hiring an SEO professional, you need to make sure that you find yourself an experienced one. Communicate with them well to know their years of experience and success in the field.
The SEO market changes quickly, and an SEO professional has to stay updated with this capricious field. So, while hiring one for your website, you should ask a lot about their years of experience in the business. Their qualifications, success rate, and approach to being up to date with the changing courses of the market should also be subjects to bring up in inaugural conversations.
Proven Track Record
It’s easy to talk a good game in SEO, but it’s another thing to have happy clients.
When choosing an SEO consultant, look for a track record of producing desirable results for businesses similar to yours. This is the most effective method to check whether the SEO service provider you have contacted is the right one for your website.
If you have chosen an experienced SEO expert, they will be more than happy to share their previous work records and success to establish their competency. A proven SEO consultant should also show how multiple optimizations that they used contributed to the clients’ bottom line.
You can verify their claim by reviewing the previous jobs that they are associated with at the review sites. Check out what their previous clients are saying about them. Thus, you can pick the right SEO professional for your company.
Here at ClickSlice, you will get SEO experts with a proven record of successful SEO work for established and new websites. This is a necessary factor considering the rising number of snake-oil salesmen on the internet these days.
Understanding of SEO Levels
Search Engine Optimization consists of three tiers:
- Technical – This is the structure of a site that, more than often, determines how easy or difficult it will be for search engines to crawl and index your content.
- On-page optimization – involves using such elements as keywords and HTML tags in ways that help to generate increased search engine traffic to your site.
- Off-page optimization – off-page strategies such as link building help you increase traffic on your site.
You should make sure that you can get personalized services from the expert and off-page SEO strategies to increase awareness of your content on other websites through social media posts, press releases.
Knowing this, it goes without saying that the expert you hire must be up to date on best practices and the latest trends in SEO. They should have a strong command of SEO toolsets and platforms that facilitate keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink optimization.
Of course, you don’t want a one-dimensional SEO expert. You need someone who will approach their strategy from all three angles to maximize success.
It is better to get yourself an SEO professional who doesn’t promise overnight results. Does the expert focus on conversions – converting a visitor to your site into a customer – or are they more concerned with search engine rankings?
Ideally, Getting ranked on the first page of the search engines is not the goal. Also, high traffic is not the goal. All you need is valuable, relevant traffic that generates leads. But that is not easy.
The focus of any SEO strategy should be to accomplish a relevant goal, with a realistic strategy, like increasing conversions, and not achieving a certain rank. A top-notch SEO expert will carve out a strategy that will set you up to consistently be and remain competitive in the search channel by developing a genuine insight into the product, the users, the revenue model, and the competitive landscape.
One sign of a blue-chip SEO expert? They will always start by asking you lots of questions around the business to inform their thinking on building your online visibility.
Find a Creative Geek
When looking for an SEO consultant, you want to hire someone who can come up with ideas, implement them, and measure their impact.
An SEO needs to be comfortable doing relatively geeky analytical and technical stuff day in, day out. The expert will have to crunch through a lot of data and spend time to come up with new ideas and strategies, so they should have a certain sharpness and ability to draw insights.
As Rand Fishkin cites, Finding an SEO who can recite the IP addresses for all of Google’s crawlers is great, but finding one who’s deeply curious and constantly investigating how that crawler works is even better. Ever-growing knowledge is a craveable trait in an SEO Expert you’d want to hire.
There are a lot of self-proclaimed SEO specialists out there, but true experts are few and far between. When hiring an SEO Expert, separating the wheat from the chaff takes time and effort, but finding the right expert to help you grow is well worth the investment.
Thanks to the mentioned factors, you are now aware of hiring methods, skillset, and things to remember about hiring SEO professionals. Give a boost to your business with effective SEO services and drive, not just traffic, valuable traffic from search engines.
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How Search Engines Work
Search Engines are programs that search an index of the world wide web for keywords and display the results in order. They find and rank web content matching a user’s search query.
Examples of popular search engines include Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
How Search Engines Work
According to InternetLiveStats, Google receives an average of 5.5 billion searches a day. Or 63,000 searches per second. For every one of those queries, the search engine trawls through more than 130 trillion individual pages internet-wide and selects the fitting results in less than a second.
Behind those results lies a lot of groundwork. While Google, like other search engines, is notoriously secretive about the mechanisms behind search results, marketers benefit from knowing how search engines work. Understanding how search engines find, organize, and select results means you can better optimize your web pages to rank. Let’s get you informed.
A search engine is an interlinked network system that works together to identify pieces of web content, including images, videos, and website pages, based on the words you type into a search bar. Site owners use Search Engine Optimization to improve the chances that content on their site will show up in search results.
Search engines use three basic mechanisms:
- Web Crawlers
- Search index
- Search Algorithms
How Search Engines Crawl, Index, and Rank Content
From the outside, Search engines look simple. You type in a keyword, and you get a list of relevant pages. But that deceptively easy interchange requires a lot of computational heavy lifting backstage.
The hard work starts way before you make a search. Search engines work round-the-clock, gathering information from the ever-growing list of websites and organizing that information, so it’s easy to find. This is a three-step process of first crawling web pages, indexing them, then ranking them with search algorithms.
Search engines rely on crawlers to scour the web for information. Crawlers start out with a list of websites. Algorithms, sets of computational rules, automatically decide which of these sites to crawl. The algorithms also dictate how many pages to crawl and how frequently.
Crawlers visit each site on the list systematically, following links through tags to jump to internal or external pages. Over time, the crawlers build an ever-expanding map of interlinked pages. It is critical for you to make sure your site is easily accessible to crawlers. If your site is not accessible to Search engines, Technical SEO services from Clickslice are at your disposal to ensure that search engines can crawl your site. If bots can’t crawl it, they can’t index it, and that means your site won’t appear in search results.
If you’re not sure whether your site is accessible to crawlers, check it out on a Site Audit tool. The tool catches accessibility issues and advises on how to fix them.
After finding a page, a bot renders it similar to the way your browser does. That means the bot should see what you see, including images, videos, or other types of dynamic page content.
The bot organizes this content into categories, including images, HTML, text, and keywords. This process allows the crawler to understand what’s on the page, a necessary precursor to deciding for which keyword searches the page is relevant.
Search engines then store this information in an index, a giant database with a catalogue entry for every word seen on every webpage indexed. Google’s index, the Caffeine Index, takes up around 100,000,000 gigabytes and fills server farms. These farms are thousands of computers that never get turned off, around the globe.
If you want to know what crawlers see when they land on your site, use the URL Inspection Tool. You can also use the tool to find out why crawlers aren’t indexing the page or request that Google crawl it. Use a robots.txt file to control access by telling bots which pages they can crawl.
In the final step, search engines sort through indexed information and return the right results for each query. They do that with search algorithms, rules that analyze what a searcher is looking for and which results best answer the query.
Algorithms use numerous factors to define the quality of the pages in their index. Google leverages a whole series of algorithms to rank relevant results. Many of the ranking factors used in these algorithms analyze the general popularity of a piece of content and even the qualitative experience users have previously had when they land on the page
To make sure that the algorithms are doing their job properly, Google uses human Search Quality Raters to test and refine the algorithm. This is one of the few times when humans, and not programs, are involved in how search engines work.
How Search Engines Personalize Results
Search engines understand that different results appeal to different people. That’s why they tailor their results for each user.
If you’ve ever searched for the same thing on multiple devices or browsers, you’ve probably seen the effects of this personalization. Results often show up in different positions depending on various factors.
It’s because of this personalization that if you’re doing SEO, it is better to use a dedicated rank tracking tool to track ranking positions. Your search results are personalized according to your:
- Search History
Understanding how search engines work is the first step towards ranking higher in Google and getting more traffic. If search engines can’t find, crawl and index your pages, you’re dead in the water before you even start.
The best way is to begin by optimizing your website for SEO. Sending the right signals to search engines guarantees that your pages appear in results pages relevant to your business. Serving up to searchers, and search engines, the content they want is a step along the path to a successful online business.
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7 Ways to Improve Your Online Presence
Building a solid online presence is imperative in the digital age.
It’s where your customers are finding you. Even if your core service requires a brick-and-mortar establishment, individuals will turn to the internet to discover your company.
Here’s precisely why and how you should approach solidifying your brand’s online identity.
What Is an Online Presence?
Put simply, if a business can be found anywhere on the internet, it has an online presence.
A robust online presence generally consists of an excellent website and fascinating social media accounts. Investing in your online branding in the early stages of your business can skyrocket your success.
More often than not, a business will have an online presence regardless of whether they are actively creating one.
Can your customers find you on Google Maps? Can they geotag on Instagram? Or leave a review on TripAdvisor? If any of these apply, then you already have the foundations of an online reputation.
Why You Need an Online Presence
Most businesses will struggle to achieve great success without an excellent online brand.
Because viewers convert to customers.
So, the most profitable businesses spend a great deal of time and money, developing an excellent website and engaging social media accounts. Providing customers with valuable information helps to build trust and shows readers that your product or service is the best around.
A strong online presence makes your business more credible, accessible, and helps to support the overall branding.
7 Ways to Improve Your Online Presence
A Flawless Website
A flawless website is the fastest way to show the integrity of your brand.
First and most obviously, the website needs to look incredible and accurately represent your business. A website is a crucial building block in your overall branding, so the aesthetic must encompass your company identity.
Next, the website should function without fault. It should be fast to load and free of broken links. Customers will quickly leave a website that is full of glitches or slow to load.
Finally, your website must be discoverable. Unfortunately, most people never venture further than the first page of Google, with the majority clicking on one of the top three links. Therefore, you must implement a robust SEO strategy to enable potential customers to find your website.
Consider Your Platforms
Building a social media presence is the next building block for your online company.
However, especially in the early stages of your business, mastering all of the platforms is near impossible. The options include Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok, requiring written, image, and video content combinations. Attempting to provide your audience will value on each of these will undoubtedly be unsuccessful.
Spend time considering the content that fits your brand and focus on one or two platforms. For fun, snappy video content, opt for Instagram and Tik Tok. On the other hand, if words are more your vibe, Twitter or even LinkedIn may be preferable. Pinterest is perfect for infographics and beautiful imagery, and the platform is well known for excellent click-through rates.
Create Shareable Content
One of the best, organic ways to reach whole new customer bases is to create shareable content. Essentially, your readers will then do the marketing for you, sharing your blogs or social media posts to their followings.
However, you should be aware that there is a very fine line between enticing content and clickbait. Whilst headlines may draw people in (especially on social media), only valuable, interesting content will lead to shares.
Infographics work exceptionally well and can be created easily as an addition to your long form work.
Quality Over Quantity
When building your brand online, it’s easy to get bogged down with the numbers.
Reaching 100 website page views per day, or 10,000 Twitter followers, can feel like the key to success. But this is not necessarily the case.
The trick is to engage genuine customers, who are likely to convert to sales. This can, however, be especially difficult for service-based businesses, where location is crucial. For example, a viewer in Edinburgh will not utilise a hairdresser offering their services in Manchester.
This is where local SEO becomes even more critical. When search engines precisely understand where you are based, they can show you to your ideal customer base.
Building a relationship with other businesses and social media influencers can be a great way to get yourself noticed online.
Social media users are wise to constant paid for advertisements, which can look try-hard at best, and tacky at worst. Also, affiliating your company with another brand that doesn’t align with your beliefs can have serious repercussions later down the line.
However, authentic relationships will hugely help with your online presence. You will undoubtedly notice a flurry of additional viewers if another company mentions and links to your website.
Ensure you are reciprocating and keeping open communication channels to allow these relationships to organically blossom.
Build a Mailing List
You can build a mailing list by taking the email address of your customers (with their consent) and storing them in a database. This helps create a personable relationship between yourself and the customer, allowing them exclusive insights into new products and sales.
Every email sent to these customers increases the chance of them heading directly to your website and making a sale. Ensure there is a call to action on every email issued, and monitor the response from your customers to help figure out which tactics work best for your audience.
Work With A Dedicated Agency
Here at ClickSlice, our expertise is getting brands noticed online. We are SEO fanatics, aiming to boost your search engine rankings, drive new readers to your site, and convert them into customers.
We pride ourselves on being consistent, using data-driven and reliable techniques that have proved successful time and time again.
For a no-obligation chat about building your online presence, contact our friendly team today on 020 3287 3638 or email@example.com.
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6 Ways to Make Your Website More Accessible
The goal of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to drive organic traffic to your website.
A robust SEO implementation considers both the technical aspects of the website and the content that the website produces.
However, if your website is being shown to users who cannot effortlessly access it, the whole SEO implementation is fundamentally flawed.
The content should be informative, well written, and easy to digest. In addition, the website itself should be easy to navigate and have fast load times.
What Is Website Accessibility?
An accessible website is a website that anyone can use. A vast range of disabilities should be considered throughout developing a website, and catering for those who are visually impaired is imperative.
But website accessibility goes far beyond building a website for those with sight problems. Accessibility should also consider those with physical, hearing, and cognitive disabilities.
Spans Beyond Disabilities
An accessibile website is also imperative for those who are non-disabled.
For example, an accessible website is one that transfers seamlessly between devices. Meaning, a user can access the same level of service regardless of the device they choose.
Additionally, an accessible site functions perfectly during ‘situational limitations’. These include adjusting the contrast for those in exceptionally bright environments and considering those with slow or unstable internet connections.
6 Tips for Increased Accessibility
There are an endless number of tweaks that can be applied to a website to increase its accessibility. Some are relatively quick fixes, and others require a more substantial overhaul.
Establish A Strong Header Structure
Most people who are blind or partially sighted use screen readers to enjoy the content on your website. Screen readers rely heavily on a heading structure to navigate the articles.
Headings range from H1 – H6 and should be tagged accordingly to ensure these screen readers understand them.
You mustn’t style to text to look like a heading without appropriately marking it as one. Otherwise, the reading software will not register the heading, and the content will be challenging to comprehend for those with disabilities.
Each page should only contain one H1 tag, which will typically be for the article’s title. H2 – H6 tags are then used for various subheadings throughout the piece. Usually, there will be multiple H2 headings throughout the content, separating different sections of information. Under each of them, there will be a variety of H3-H6 headings, where appropriate.
Descriptive, Effective Image Alt Text
Screen readers will use the alt text to describe your images to your reader. Without a cohesive description, your reader will have no idea what the image is.
Traditionally, website owners developed a bad habit of stuffing image tags with keywords as a sly way to incorporate them into the article. This was a nightmare for those who accessed the content through a screen reader. Search engines quickly became wise to this tactic, developing strategies to combat it.
Alt text also hugely helps with situational limitations. If a reader’s internet is running slowly and lacks the power to load the whole page, then the alt description will be displayed instead.
Videos that accompany articles and blog posts are becoming increasingly common.
Many readers prefer to consume their content visually, finding this to be a more engaging and entertaining experience. However, for those with disabilities, videos can be completely inaccessible.
Providing a transcript of your content is a relatively straightforward way to boost the accessibility of your site.
Additionally, many people simply do not have the time to watch an entire video. They would prefer to skim the transcript and jump straight to the content they are searching for.
Breadcrumbs are particularly useful for E-commerce websites, which generally have thousands of products across hundreds of different pages.
It refers to the secondary navigation scheme that shows users exactly where they are on the website. Breadcumbs may look something like this:
Home > Clothes > Men’s Clothes > Men’s Jeans
As well as accessibility, breadcrumbs are great for a well-rounded SEO strategy.
Many who are blind or partially sighted may not be able to use a mouse. Therefore, it is imperative that your website can be navigated with a keyboard alone.
Widgets, drop-down menus, and dialogue boxes should all be considered. This is a crucial element of your accessibility strategy that will help prevent segregating a large percentage of your potential audience.
The colours and contrast levels on your website will have a considerable impact on how accessible it is.
People with conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have a low contrast sensitivity, and therefore will struggle to read web pages where there is not enough differentiation between the colours.
For example, red text on a green background would be challenging to read. In comparison, black text on a yellow background will be much more prominent.
Accessibility and SEO
A successful SEO strategy is not one that merely ticks the boxes prescribed by search engines. Instead, it requires a holistic approach, looking at both the technical aspects of a website and the on-page content.
There is a significant overlap between optimising a website for SEO and optimising it for accessibility purposes.
Accessibility Is The Right Thing To Do
As stated, an accessible website is likely to be one that search engines love. However, we would hope this is not your primary reason for building an accessible space.
You should be hoping to build a community with your product or service. A loyal group of customers who can enjoy your content and support your journey. Without an accessible website, you are immediately outcasting a significant percentage of the population.
Optimising a site, and its content, to make it accessible to the broadest audience can feel like a daunting task. But, it is never too late to implement an accessibility strategy.
For any queries relating to accessibility, or SEO in general, contact Click Slice on 020 3287 3638 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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6 Steps for Creating a Secure Website
There are currently over two billion websites on the internet, and it is estimated that thirty thousand of those are hacked every day.
An unsafe website impacts everyone. Not only can it be hugely detrimental to your company, but it will make your users and customers vulnerable. An unsecured website will make their data and personal information easily accessible to cybercriminals.
The reality of an unsafe website is hugely daunting. But, you can take clear and relatively inexpensive steps to elevate your website quickly and allow your users to browse with the utmost confidence.
Choose a Safe, Secure Web Hosting Company
For anyone looking to create an online presence through a website, choosing the right web hosting company is integral to their success.
To choose the best company to work with, you will need first to determine the level of support you require. Hosting levels can broadly be separated into three distinct categories.
Shared hosting is great for small to medium businesses. It allows multiple websites to utilise the same server, making this option much more affordable. However, once your company begins to grow, you may notice some severe performance issues.
When your business requires a little extra, consider upgrading to a VPS. A virtual private server provides a happy middle ground, simulating a dedicated server’s experience whilst sharing the hardware costs with other businesses.
Once your company begins experiencing large volumes of traffic and processing a substantial number of financial transactions; a private server will likely be required. This option provides you with complete control over your website and allows you to implement customisations that meet your business’s demands. The most robust option, which comes with the most substantial price tag.
Alternatively, hosting in the cloud may be a more suitable environment for your business.
An SSL is a secure sockets layer.
It sends a message that your website is safe, enabling your customers to browse and shop on your website securely.
For E-commerce sites, an SSL certificate is essential. It is entirely unethical to allow users to input their bank details without assuring that their information will be kept private. Additionally, it can be logistically impossible to accept many bank accounts without an SSL in place.
An SSL certificate cements your identity on the internet and gives your users peace of mind. It protects users data and allows people to enjoy your site with confidence. Additionally, search engines have made clear it is a crucial factor considered when ranking websites.
Create a Backup System
A website backup is essentially an identical copy of your website data, which might include content, media, and databases.
Suppose your website becomes compromised and is hacked, having a backup means that you can be back online in no time.
Backups need to be regular as if the worst does happen; you need the most up to date version of your site. Consider investigating automatic backups which will ensure you have regular copies of your site.
Many web hosting services offer backups as part of their service. However, the storage on these can be limited, so may only be useful for part of your site.
Alternatively, you may choose to invest in a specific backup service, which sits independently of your website hosting. Finally, various plugins are available across many content management services that can help back up your site.
Whether you have one, or one thousand people who access and update your website; strong passwords are essential.
Stay away from your birthday, your dog’s name, or worse, 123456.
First and foremost, do not store passwords in your browser. Although it makes life infinitely more simple, it is just another way for hackers to attempt to steal your information.
The most robust passwords are long yet memorable. Choose something that is over eight characters, using a combination of letters, numbers, and special symbols. Try to use a phrase unique to you, such as a nickname or term that only you would know.
Do not write your passwords down, and do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
Avoid Excessive Plugins
Content management systems, such as WordPress, offer a vast array of plugins for your website. Some of these can add extra functionality to your site, whereas others simply increase aesthetics.
Whilst all plugins purchased from WordPress will be vetted independently, every addition to your website presents a chance for hackers to access your site. Keep potential risks to an absolute minimum by carefully and strategically adding plugins to your website.
WordPress comes with a set of security measures in place by default and offers a range of plugins to increase your website’s security, click here to see what those plugins are.
Thorough SEO is essential for a website that gets noticed. However, once the traffic starts rolling in, it is vital that you closely monitor it.
It is estimated that close to half of all internet traffic is bots. Whilst some bots are harmless, others can be catastrophic for your business and your customers.
For example, web scraping bots will crawl your website, copying the entire contents identically. This can then fool users into believing their site is legitimate, enabling them to trick visitors into handing over their personal information.
If you have a WAF (Web Application Firewall) installed, monitoring for ‘bad’ traffic will be less of an issue. Without one, however, you need to ensure that manual monitoring is conducted regularly.
You will need to select a tool to monitor your website. Google Analytics is generally the favourite and provides a comprehensive overview of your site, providing you with information regarding the viewers’ location, how long they spend on your site, and their behaviour once on the site.
What to look out for:
- Excessively high or low session duration
- Bots tend to click through the pages on your website at a rapid pace. If you notice a vast number of visits with a tremendously high or low session duration, bots are likely present.
- Abnormally high page views
- A sudden boost in pageviews way above your general average is a clear indication that the users on your website are not genuine.
- Spike in traffic from an unusual location
- A sudden massive influx of users from a particular area is a good indication that you are suffering from bot traffic. This is particularly relevant if they come from a country where the mother tongue is not your website’s native language.
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Local SEO: What You Need to Know
If you’re already familiar with search engine optimisation, you’ll know just how important it is for businesses. By increasing your rankings on search engines via SEO, you can reach a wide proportion of your target market. As your website traffic increases, you’ll have the potential to optimise your conversion rate and secure more sales.
What is Local SEO?
So, where does local SEO come in? Local SEO is similar to standard SEO in that it focuses on increasing your search engine rankings. However, local SEO enables you to tie your location or operating areas into your SEO activity.
Essentially, local SEO enables you to hone your search engine optimisation activity. By targeting specific geographical areas or regions, you’re targeting the people who are most likely to use your services. By doing so, you’re already thinking one step ahead and factoring potential conversions into your SEO campaign from the outset.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Take a look at the following example to get a better understanding of local SEO:
A plumber in Essex wants to increase their online visibility, so they launch an SEO campaign targeting the key term ‘plumbing firm’. After getting to the first page on Google, their website traffic skyrockets. However, their conversion rate plummets.
Why? Because their key term (plumbing firm) is relevant to people all over the world. The increase in traffic that firm has gained may originate from anywhere, which means it’s of little practical use. Someone with a leak in an apartment in New York isn’t going to hire a plumber in Essex, for example! Similarly, someone who needs urgent plumbing services in London probably isn’t going to engage with a company operating in Leeds.
By modifying the key term and using local SEO, you can transform these results. Now, the plumber uses the key term, ‘plumbing firm Essex’ and gets to the first page of Google. Crucially, the subsequent increase in traffic is from people who are looking for a plumbing firm in this area. The results are, of course, more relevant to their needs and they are more likely to engage with the company.
As well as securing an increase in website traffic, the plumber also sees their conversion rate improve, which equates to more profitability.
What If You Offer Nationwide Services?
If you operate all over the country or all over the world, don’t assume that local SEO doesn’t apply to you. Local searches have grown exponentially in recent years, which means users are inputting geographical data when searching for online content. Even if your company operates all over the country, you’ll only secure these customers if you meet their search criteria.
With people using ‘near me’ searches to access services and find companies, your SEO activity needs to have a local component in order to reach your target market. If it doesn’t, you’ll miss out on the chance to engage customers who are actively looking for a business just like yours.
Key Benefits of Local SEO
A local SEO campaign can be successful for all types of businesses. To find out why local SEO is so important for your company, take a look at some of the key benefits now:
1. It’s Cost-Effective
When you target local SEO search terms, it’s typically far cheaper than targeting generic versions. There may be a lot of competition for the key term ‘plumbing firm’, for example, but less competition for ‘plumbing firm Aberdeen’ or ‘plumbing firm Essex’. As a result, it will be cheaper to target the local variations, which means fewer costs for your business.
2. You Get Faster Results
As there is generally less competition for local SEO keywords and terms, you get faster results. When you’re not competing against as many other website owners, you have to do less to achieve the same results. Essentially, your rankings will increase more quickly and you’ll achieve your objectives swiftly.
3. You Generate Real Life Gains
Having millions of people visit your website on a daily basis can be beneficial in some instances, providing it equates to real-life gains. For most businesses, it doesn’t. A million visitors won’t generate revenue if they don’t convert. As conversion rates are typically higher for local SEO campaigns, you can generate real-life, quantifiable financial gains when using this marketing tool.
4. Your Content Can Feature in Google’s 3-Pack
Google’s 3-Pack shows the first three listings that match a user’s query on a map and displays your company’s contact details. Local SEO makes it easier to secure placements in the 3-Pack. In turn, being visible in the 3-Pack makes it easier for users to click-through to your site or contact your business directly.
5. It’s a Futureproof Form of Marketing
When you’re creating your marketing strategy, it’s important to think about how user behaviour is changing. The increased usage of mobile devices has led to the growth of ‘near me’ and local searches. With this trend set to continue, you can be confident that local SEO will continue to be an effective way to reach your target audience.
Use Local SEO to Boost Your Business
Now you know why local SEO is so beneficial to businesses, you’ll be eager to launch your first local campaign. But how do you get started? Most companies need to target numerous areas in order to reach users who are most likely to become future customers, which sounds like a lot of work!
While SEO campaigns can require a lot of work, they don’t have to be. At ClickSlice, we use a wide range of digital tools to streamline campaigns and enhance results.
With extensive experience and expertise, we can help to identify the critical areas you need to target. What’s more – our dedicated team will create, launch and execute cost-effective local SEO campaigns on your behalf.
To learn more, contact ClickSlice today on 020 3287 3638 or email us at email@example.com.