Turny http://turny.co Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:24:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 How to Choose the Perfect Domain for Your Website http://turny.co/choose-perfect-domain-website/ http://turny.co/choose-perfect-domain-website/#respond Wed, 21 May 2014 09:50:13 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=973 If I asked you to think of a website, what would come to mind? For me, it’s Nike.com – but it could be virtually anything, from Utoronto.com, to this website, Turny.co. Each of these website addresses are domains. They offer a simple and memorable way of accessing a website, allowing visitors to type your domain […]

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If I asked you to think of a website, what would come to mind?

For me, it’s Nike.com – but it could be virtually anything, from Utoronto.com, to this website, Turny.co. Each of these website addresses are domains. They offer a simple and memorable way of accessing a website, allowing visitors to type your domain name into their internet browser, instead of typing out your site’s IP address.

A domain is hugely important to any online business. It helps visitors find your website, and creates a crucial first-impression about your business and brand. It becomes a huge part of your online identity – and as a result, choosing a domain for your website should never be taken lightly. Thankfully, this article is here to help. We’re going to cover the basics, and look at the best-practices of buying a domain – and with our help, you should be able to choose the perfect domain for your website.

 

New vs. Aged

There are two types of domain available to your website – new and aged.

New Domains

New domains have never been registered before, and they’ve never been used on a website. If you have a unique company name, it’s likely that the domain of the same name will be unregistered; usually allowing you to buy it for somewhere in the region of $10.

Aged Domains

Aged domains have previously been owned and used by another person. Whilst this may seem like a hugely negative factor, aged domains are incredibly powerful tools for SEO. If the previous owner of the domain ran an active and popular website, it’s likely that the domain will have dozens of backlinks from other reputable websites. Buying these types of domains allows your own website to benefit from these backlinks, often giving you a huge head-start in your SEO efforts. Unsurprisingly, these types of domains are relatively hard to find, and hugely popular – often selling for thousands of dollars.

 

Branded Domains

Your domain needs to accurately reflect your business, first and foremost. If you have an established brand identity, your domain should directly relate to your brand name – making it as straightforward as possible for prospective and existing customers to find your business. Domain names that aren’t congruent with brand identity can be incredibly confusing for web visitors. Anybody searching for Nike online would be reluctant to click-through to a site with a domain different from Nike.com, for fear of entering a fake or fraudulent website – and the same applies to your visitors.

If your brand name is taken, you have 3 courses of action:

1. Change your brand name.

Online presence is hugely important to any business, and if you’re willing to rebrand, it could be worthwhile in the long-term.

2. Buy the domain from the owner.

The current owner of the domain may be willing to part with it – but popular and successful websites will need to charge thousands of dollars to make the changeover cost-effective. Some unscrupulous parties also buy domains with the sole intention of selling them back to businesses at an extortionate mark-up; making this an expensive option.

3. Modify the domain

If the existing domain is unlikely to interfere with your own online efforts, it may be easiest to modify the domain slightly. This is most easily done by adding a descriptive word into the domain – turning Nike.com into NikeClothing.com.

 

Using Keywords in Domains

Several years ago, it was common-practice to buy domains that contained a ton of your chosen keywords. The keyword density of your domain name would impact search engine results – allowing websites like cheapnikesneakers.com to easily rank for lucrative search terms.

This practice has become redundant in recent years. Search engines have wised-up, and realized that domain names don’t always reflect the content of a website. After all, there’s nothing about Nike.com to suggest sportswear – but the content of the website would still be hugely relevant for anyone searching for the phrases ‘tracksuit’ or ‘sneakers’.

Domain keywords no longer have an impact on SEO.  Website visitors are also likely to view keyword-stuffed domains as suspicious and spammy, and avoid clicking-through – so stay away from keyword stuffed domains.

 

Domain Length

Domains can be a maximum of 67 characters. To put that into context, this sentence is only 50…

…andthissentenceiswhata67characterdomainwouldlooklikeinpractice.com

Longer domain names are harder to remember than short ones – especially when you include lots of generic words and punctuation. It’s easier for your prospective visitor to forget part of your domain name, or rearrange the words, which is likely to prevent them from ever finding your website.

As a general rule, opt for the shortest domain name possible, whilst still maintaining your brand identity. The shortest domains are the most competitive, and often incredibly overpriced – but it’s still possible to buy a short and uniquely branded domain for a reasonable price.

 

Top-Level Domains

The .com, .co, .ca and .edu part of your web address is known as the top-level domain (TLD). If Nike is the street address of a business, .com is the area code – the broader, more generalized part of the web that your site inhabits. There are increasing numbers of TLDs available to choose, and each reflects differently upon your business:

.com

The most common type of TLD, and the easiest for your web visitors to remember. .These domains are used throughout the web, and unless you’re a regional business, they should be your first choice of TLD.

.ca

.ca is a regional TLD, and used to represent Canadian businesses. If the majority of your business takes place in a particular country, choosing a regional TLD can be a great way to associate yourself with the local area – but if you operate on an international basis, you may be sending the wrong message.

.edu/.gov/.org
Commonly used by educational institutions, government organizations and charities respectively.

.biz/.net/.info/.expert/.golf

There are hundreds of top-level domains available – but unless they make your website easier to remember, it’s best to stick to a basic .com domain.


 

For help in choosing the perfect domain for your business, get in touch! We offer a range of services and training sessions, and we could help you to get your website up-and-running as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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5 Ways WordPress Will Make Your Life Easier http://turny.co/5-ways-wordpress-will-make-life-easier/ http://turny.co/5-ways-wordpress-will-make-life-easier/#respond Wed, 14 May 2014 07:48:19 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=970 WordPress is responsible for over 65 million of the world’s websites, with businesses as huge as CNN, UPS and TechCrunch using its free software to manage their web presence. With an intuitive interface, powerful functionality and a library of thousands of plugins, WordPress has made website creation easier than ever – and as these 5 […]

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WordPress is responsible for over 65 million of the world’s websites, with businesses as huge as CNN, UPS and TechCrunch using its free software to manage their web presence. With an intuitive interface, powerful functionality and a library of thousands of plugins, WordPress has made website creation easier than ever – and as these 5 points prove, it could make your business life a whole lot easier.

 

5. Manage your site from the Dashboard

There was a time when managing a website required a degree in computer science, and the backend of your site was a complicated jumble of code and jargon. Thankfully, WordPress reinvented the way site admins controlled their websites – and thanks to its intuitive, user-friendly Dashboard, anyone can run a successful site.

The WordPress Dashboard is the central hub of your website, allowing you a look under the hood of your pages. Every imaginable aspect of your site can be edited from within the Dashboard, with links to the entire site’s infrastructure contained within the user-friendly navigation bar. There’s no need to hunt out root directories, or log into your web host – and everything, from posts and pages, to website appearance and plugins, can be managed from one screen.

Multiple users can be allowed access to your site, with their admin rights controlled from your own account. As a result, it’s easy to work with writers, designers and colleagues, and allow them to improve your website without any unnecessary hassle. The Dashboard also allows for plugin integration – meaning that crucial tools, like Google Analytics, can be accessed directly from your own website.

 

4. Boost your search engine rank

WordPress and SEO work perfectly together – at least, according to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Webspam. In an interview in 2009, he advocated the use of WordPress for content management, saying that it takes care of ’80-90% of the mechanics of search engine optimization.’ The system’s search engine-friendly setup makes it a breeze for Google to explore your site, allowing you to rank you content as efficiently as possible.

Better still, there are hundreds of fantastic SEO plugins available to improve your ranking strategy – and by tweaking your titles, tags and keyword densities, you can turn your WordPress site into an SEO powerhouse.

 

3. Save time with advanced publishing tools

WordPress is, at its heart, a content management system (CMS). It’s designed to help you fill your website full of content, in the quickest and easiest way possible – and thanks to a comprehensive selection of publishing tools, blogging and article writing has never been easier.

WordPress has a built-in word processor, offering all the functionality you’d expect from Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. Posts can be written, edited and formatted from a single interface, with live previews available for tweaking layouts, font design and other visual elements. Media files can be seamlessly integrated into your content, with videos and images easily embedded through shortcodes – 1-click buttons that add all the necessary HTML and CSS to your content. If you’re not afraid of tweaking the code, you’re also able to directly edit every element of your content’s HTML through the Text editor – with real-time previews able for checking your handiwork.

Managing your site’s content is also simplified by WordPress, with editorial features that allow you to schedule post publication months in advance. With a saved draft in your WordPress, it’s a simple process of clicking the drop-down publication menu, and choosing the ideal date and time for your content to go live.

 

2. Make web design a breeze

WordPress’s live visual editing capabilities aren’t restricted to content – and thanks to a pioneering WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) system, tweaks to your layout and web design can be previewed before publication.

Individual page design can be tweaked through the same interface as your content – and thanks to a selection of thousands of design templates, it’s even possible to live-edit the design of your entire site. Themes are pre-made and customizable site templates, available from WordPress, independent designers, or through your own professional web designer. They take complicated code out of the equation, and allow you to change the design of your website at the click of a button. Thanks again to WordPress’s incredible dashboard, every aspect of your theme can be tweaked to your heart’s content, and previewed before publication. There’s no need to risk broken code, or ugly design – and everything from your navigation bar to your page footer can be edited.

 

1. Access your site from the cloud

WordPress uses a browser-based interface, allowing you to login and access your site from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows you to publish content, edit designs and engage with your audience anywhere; from a hotel on the other side of the world, to your local office. Cloud-based software also allows you to back-up and protect your content in seconds. There’s no need to transfer files to hard-disks or USB drives –and thanks to easy-to-use plugins, like WordPress Backup to DropBox, you can automatically back-up your entire site to the safety of the cloud.

 


WordPress is one of the greatest tools in your digital arsenal – and used correctly, it can save you and your business a ton of time, energy and resources. If you’d like to get the most out of your WordPress installation, and uncover the advanced functionality that most users don’t know about, get in touch! We’re WordPress experts, and our digital training sessions can help you unlock the full potential of your business website.

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9 Tips for Building Effective Relationships with Influential Bloggers http://turny.co/9-tips-building-effective-relationships-influential-bloggers/ http://turny.co/9-tips-building-effective-relationships-influential-bloggers/#respond Fri, 09 May 2014 19:33:23 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=950 The old adage it’s who you know is, at least in blogging, truer than ever. There’s nothing to stop a business from building a market-beating blog; but a bit of backup from influential bloggers can make the process a whole lot easier. To help you build professional relationships, we’ve compiled 9 killer tips – each […]

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The old adage it’s who you know is, at least in blogging, truer than ever. There’s nothing to stop a business from building a market-beating blog; but a bit of backup from influential bloggers can make the process a whole lot easier. To help you build professional relationships, we’ve compiled 9 killer tips – each designed to get you in a blogger’s good books, and foster a seriously effective relationship.

9. Content Curation

Top bloggers are bombarded by networkers on a daily basis. To stand-out from the crowd, start off with a more subtle approach. Content curation is the act of sharing and promoting third-party content alongside your own. By choosing material relevant for your audience, you can foster social media engagement without a ton of blogging and promotion. Sharing and promoting content from other bloggers is a fantastic way to get noticed – and the more social shares and traffic your endorsement creates, the better your chances of getting to know an influential blogger.

8. Social Media Engagement

Social media is a powerful tool for engaging professional bloggers. Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to engage directly with their articles, thoughts and opinion. You can reply to their shares, jump-in to existing conversations and even send them a personal message. As long as you don’t cross the line between engaging and spamming, your target blogger will quickly recognize you as a vocal and active proponent of their cause. If you’re looking for an efficient way to engage bloggers, check out LinkedIn Premium. Their InMail feature guarantees you a response to your messages – making it perfect for seeding an effective relationship.

7. Interview Posts

In your quest for effective blogging relationships, why not earn some unique content for your own blog? By reaching out to influencers with a list of interview questions, you create an extra level of incentive for your blogger to respond. They benefit from new traffic, backlinks and a boost to their online authority; and you earn yourself some unique quotes and expert insights. Try and avoid generic questions, like ‘What one blogging tip can you share with my audience?’ – and opt for questions that will ignite a blogger’s passion, and spark their interest. Where will blogging be in 10 years? What do you hate most about the industry? Who are your favorite bloggers?

6. Blog Responses

A lot of blog content is informed by personal opinion – and you’re entitled to a response. By replying to a blogger’s article, either through comments or your own post, you can initiate a dialogue between yourself and your target blogger. For a great example, check out Mark Schaefer’s infamous Content Shock post, and Sonia Simone’s eloquent response on Copyblogger. Sonia doesn’t pander to Mark’s theory, and she doesn’t even agree with his hypothesis – but she does provide fair, insightful and engaging feedback. If you scroll through the comments’ section, you’ll soon come across Mark Schaefer himself: and the blogging relationship begins!

5. Becoming a Loyal Customer

Tons of bloggers offer fantastic products and services – from insightful eBooks to marketing consultations. Buying these products will often put you into direct contact with a blogger, affording you an intimate channel of communication. As you’ve also contributed to the blogger’s bottom-line, and added to their business, your relationship will start off on fantastic footing. There’s no sense in buying a product that you won’t use – but with a ton of fantastic resources available, becoming a customer is a viable way to build an effective relationship.

4. Product Reviews

Getting hold of a blogger’s products offers you another bite at the relationship-cherry. Whether it’s a free resource or a thousand dollar software package, you can use your product insight to review their offering. By spending some time and effort getting to know the product, you can create a detailed and honest product review. Positive review’s offer fantastic social proof, increasing the likelihood of a blogger getting in touch with you for a quote or testimonial. Negative proof can have a similar impact – encouraging the blogger to find out how they can improve their products. Either way, you’ve fostered an effective relationship.

3. Helping Them Out

Blogging isn’t easy – and even the most experienced of bloggers will run into problems on a regular basis, often venting their frustrations across social media. If you happen to come across something that you can help with, let your blogger know. If your blogger wants to revamp their contact forms, link them to a perfect WordPress plugin; and if they’re looking for a Wall Street trader to interview for their latest post, put them in touch with someone suitable. The same applies to any technical issues you discover. If their blog’s loading time has taken a dive, or you’ve tried to click-through a broken link, let them know. Even if you aren’t able to offer any direct help, the blogger will be grateful that you’ve brought a problem to their attention.

2. Guest Posting

Whilst Matt Cutt’s vendetta against paid blogging campaigns continues, genuine guest blogging is alive and well. Value is the key to successfully soliciting a guest post – and as long as you can pitch a killer post idea, targeted at the blogger’s audience, you’ll stand a great chance of getting it accepted. It’s a great way to open dialogue, and an even better way to add value to the blogger’s business by sharing your insights, and adding value to their community.

1. In-Person Networking

It’s an old-school method, but it works. If you attend digital marketing and social media conventions, make an effort to do some in-person networking. Listen to keynote speeches, take notes, and offer some feedback to bloggers. Chat to people about your passions and interests, and before you know it, you’ll have cemented some truly effective professional relationships.


To find out more about business blogging strategy, check out our Digital Training Sessions – offering everything you need to build effective blogging relationships, from guest blogging best-practices to an exclusive list of influential contacts!

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How to Install Google Analytics on your WordPress Website http://turny.co/install-google-analytics-wordpress-website/ http://turny.co/install-google-analytics-wordpress-website/#respond Wed, 07 May 2014 06:51:44 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=961 Analysis is the secret ingredient in a successful marketing campaign – and using Google Analytics is the most effective way to understand your website’s performance. Even with its intimidating power and confusing interface, setting up Google Analytics on your WordPress website has never been easier; and armed with this helpful guide, you’ll be on your way […]

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Analysis is the secret ingredient in a successful marketing campaign – and using Google Analytics is the most effective way to understand your website’s performance. Even with its intimidating power and confusing interface, setting up Google Analytics on your WordPress website has never been easier; and armed with this helpful guide, you’ll be on your way to powerful business insights in no time.

 

What is Google Analytics, and why do I need it?

Analytics brings the power of Google’s web expertise to bear on your website; offering you access to your site’s crucial statistics, trends and data at the click of a button. All of your marketing campaigns can be supported, critiqued and analyzed with Google Analytics – allowing you powerful insights into the success of your business’s online presence.

 

What does Google Analytics monitor?

Unique visitors and traffic

To some extent, digital marketing is a numbers game –and the more traffic you can drive to your site, the better your chances of creating new customers. Analytics reveals these numbers, allowing you to view your site’s unique visitors and website traffic. You’ll also discover more about your audience – from their geographic location, through to the type of web browser they use to view your site. Knowledge really is power – and in this instance, you can use Analytics to improve your website to better suit your audience.

Visitor engagement

Analytics allows you to understand visitor behavior. Bounce rates, popular pages, peak traffic hours and onsite search queries will allow you to understand why visitors browse your site – and help you to plan your next blog post and website redesign.

Referring websites

Most visitors to your website won’t travel directly to your homepage – they’ll be referred by another site. Search engines (like Google, Yahoo! and Bing), social media sites (like Twitter and Facebook) and direct links from third party websites will all refer traffic to your website, and understanding these traffic sources will help you to improve your marketing. Analytics will reveal the most active referrers – allowing you to see which of your social media sites are performing well, and which need improving. You’ll also be able to gauge the efficacy of your SEO strategy, thanks to referral stats from the major search engines.

A/B Split-tests

Google Analytics has an additional feature, allowing users to create Google Content Experiments. These experiments are, in effect, A/B split tests. Analytics will allow you to publish multiple variations of your web pages, and make each version visible to different cross-sections of your audience. By monitoring each variation’s traffic, engagement and conversion statistics, you can test different titles, images and page layouts – and identify the most effective pages for customer conversion.

 

Creating a Google Analytics account

As with every Google product, Analytics requires prospective users to register for a Google account. If you’re already in possession of an account, it’s as simple as signing-up to Analytics with your email address and password; but users without an existing account will have to sign-up with Google first.

Google Analytics sign-up page

Google Account sign-up (with Gmail)

Google Account sign-up (without Gmail)

After signing-up, Analytics asks for a few details:

  1. Account name

This can be anything, and it’s used purely for your own personal reference.

  1. Website URL

Your website’s address. It’s important to use the right subdomain – either http://www.mysite.com or http://mysite.com.

  1. Time zone
  1. Country of residence

 

Embedding Google’s Tracking Code into my WordPress Site

After filling in a few details, Google’s appetite for information will be satisfied, and you’ll be presented with special tracking code, and a UA code.

Your tracking code should start and end with the tags <script> and </script> - and your UA code should closely resemble this example: UA-12345678-9. Make a note of both of these codes – as to get Analytics functioning properly, we need to embed this tracking code into our site. There are two main ways to achieve this – and both are incredibly quick and easy.

 

Method 1: Direct Embed

To get Google Analytics working, the tracking code has to be embedded into every single webpage – but before you begin to panic, there’s an incredibly efficient way to achieve this. Armed with your tracking code, navigate to your theme’s header.php file. Typically, this can be found through your admin menu, under Appearance and Editor. Once you’ve found the file, search for the <body> tag – and paste your tracking code in.

 

Method 2: WordPress Plugin

If you’re uncomfortable taking a look under the hood of your WordPress site, don’t worry. Thanks to Yoast, installing Google Analytics can be achieved through an intuitive, straightforward and free plugin.

Google Analytics for WordPress

Start by downloading the plugin, and installing it into your WordPress directory. When activated, you’ll be able to access the plugin’s full features from the Settings section of your dashboard – and once you’ve navigated to Google Analytics, you’ll be greeted by some set-up instructions. Select Manually Enter Your UA Code, and paste in your unique UA code. The plugin will automatically insert your tracking code into every webpage – so once you’ve made sure that header is the default placement option, click Update Google Analytics Settings, and you’re done.

By using Yoast’s plugin, you’ll also be able to access key analytics stats and metrics from your WordPress dashboard. There’s no need to navigate to the Analytics webpage, and your traffic, visits, visitors, top pages and more will all be visible from your site’s backend!

 


Getting Google Analytics up-and-running has never been easier – but to get the most out of its advanced functionality, it might be worth seeking some expert help. Visitor stats are only scratching the surface of Analytics potential, and by learning how to properly use A/B testing, and Analytics’ advanced tracking and campaign features, you could significantly boost your business’s success.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Analytics, and unlock its true potential, check out our Digital Training Sessions for Google Analytics – and get in touch for the latest advice, expertise and training!

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SEO for Beginners: How to Rank Higher with Keywords and Backlinks http://turny.co/seo-beginners-rank-higher-keywords-backlinks/ http://turny.co/seo-beginners-rank-higher-keywords-backlinks/#respond Thu, 01 May 2014 14:44:31 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=946 Search engine optimization (SEO) has never been more important. Almost 90% of people use search engines for product research; and with 33% of all search engine traffic going to the #1 spot in Google, ranking well can make or break your business. In order to get your business from SEO Zero to SEO Hero, we’re […]

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seo-keywords-backlinks

Search engine optimization (SEO) has never been more important. Almost 90% of people use search engines for product research; and with 33% of all search engine traffic going to the #1 spot in Google, ranking well can make or break your business. In order to get your business from SEO Zero to SEO Hero, we’re comprehensively covered two of the most important aspects of SEO strategy: keywords and backlinks.

 

Keywords

Keywords are the phrases used when searching for information and products through a search engine. The keywords that appear in your content will influence which search terms your website is visible for – so an intelligent keyword strategy is essential for SEO success.

Short Tail

Short-tail keywords are the basic words and phrases that make up the majority of search queries. In a niche like footwear, your short-tail keywords would be words like shoes, boots, socks and Ugg boots. These simple search terms drive a lot of traffic, and as a result, they’re likely to be hotly contended by dozens of businesses.

Long Tail

Long tail keywords are the longer, more obscure phrases that make up a much lower percentage of overall search terms – think Size 10 boots, Nike Air Max and Converse for sale in Toronto. These search terms are typically modified by additional qualifying terms, like price, location and description. Whilst long-tail keywords drive much less traffic than their short-tail counterparts, they’re also much less competitive – and often easier to rank highly for.

Keyword Density

There was a time when Google determined a page’s relevance to a particular search term almost entirely from its keyword density. Pages that contained more mentions of a keyword were deemed to be more relevant than those with a lower density – and Google would rank the page higher as a result.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before this practice was abused. Site owners realized that increasing their keyword density to ridiculous levels gave them a serious advantage in the search engine results – and in pursuit of a hallowed #1 spot, website content began to resemble this:

We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com – Google

In direct response, Google overhauled their search engine algorithm. Instead of shooting up the rankings, websites with super-high keyword densities were instead penalized, classed as spam and removed from search engine results. Nowadays, keyword density is less important in determining a page’s rank – and as long as your content has a clear title, topic and direction, you shouldn’t worry about your density.

Traffic vs Competition

In a perfect world, your business would rank for all the major short-tail keywords in your niche – as they drive the most traffic. Unfortunately, unless you’re the biggest firm in your industry, this isn’t going to be easy. Bigger businesses have bigger budgets, and can afford to buy traffic, create content on a daily basis, and generally dominate the search engines.

Thankfully, long-tail keywords can actually be more lucrative to pursue. With less competition for these keywords, your business could rank for dozens of long-tail terms for the same cost as a single short-tail. Long-tail keywords are also more conducive to making a sale – as somebody searching for Converse for sale in Toronto is more ready to buy than somebody searching for shoes.

When choosing your keywords, focus on the traffic of your keyword relative to its competition. The most lucrative phrases occupy a sweet spot of low competition, and high traffic. They aren’t always easy to find, but they do exist – and with a bit of perseverance, your business could rank for dozens of high-selling terms.

 

Backlinks

Backlinks refer to the hyperlinks that lead from external websites to your own site. These links play a crucial role in SEO, giving Google, Yahoo!, Bing and co. an insight into your website’s popularity and legitimacy.

PageRank

Backlinks are based loosely on a principle known as PageRank. Created by Google’s co-founder, Larry Page, the PageRank (PR) system allocates websites a score, reflective of its popularity and authenticity. PR is determined by Google, and dependent on a huge number of factors – but generally speaking, trusted, established websites with tons of backlinks, unique content and visitor activity will score the highest PR.

Backlinks can pass PR from website to website, and a link from a high-PR site will actually boost your own PageRank score. Take advantage of this fact in your linkbuilding, and seek out links from the highest-scoring sites. Unfortunately, this works both ways – so it’s crucial to avoid links from obviously spammy websites!

Contextual Links

Once upon a time, all links were created equal – regardless of where they came from. This meant that websites could seek out backlinks en masse, approaching websites from any industry and attempting to solicit a link. Obviously, this wasn’t great for user experience, so Google made a concerted effort to reduce non-contextual links.

Nowadays, a link’s importance is determined by its relevance to your own site. Returning to our footwear example, obtaining a backlink from a dog training website will have virtually no impact on SEO – but obtaining a legitimate link from Nike.com would hugely affect our efforts.

Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the words and phrases that contain a hyperlink. Prior to Google’s Panda update, it was good practice to keyword-optimize your anchor text wherever possible – but in an attempt to eliminate backlink manipulation and spamming, Google now favors a diverse anchor text profile. Alongside your optimized anchor text, make sure to include branded anchors, non-descriptive anchors and even naked URLs.

  • Keyword anchor: Converse for sale in Toronto
  • Branded anchor: TorontoConverse.com
  • Non-descriptive: Click here!
  • Naked URL: http://torontoconverse.com/

DoFollow/NoFollow

Hyperlinks can be divided into two categories – dofollow, and nofollow. Dofollow links pass PageRank between sites, and Google incorporates them into their analysis of a site’s importance and relevance. In contrast, nofollow links share no PR, and Google intentionally ignores them when crawling a website.

Nofollow links are designed as a protective measure, allowing websites to prevent any negative implications from linking to potentially suspicious content. They also act as a great way of deterring comment spammers – by discrediting their links, and removing the incentive of blog commenting. Whilst it may seem like a good idea to obtain as many dofollow links as possible, Google disagrees. It argues that any legitimate website would have a mixture of do and nofollow links – so to avoid penalization, don’t shy away from nofollow links!

 


Developing an informed, responsive and comprehensive SEO strategy is the key to creating a successful online business. If you’re looking to improve your business’ visibility, dominate the search engine results, and stay one-step ahead of the search engine’s algorithms, get in touch – and we can help you develop a marketing-beating SEO strategy!

 

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How to Use Content Marketing to Create an Irresistible Brand http://turny.co/use-content-marketing-create-irresistible-brand/ http://turny.co/use-content-marketing-create-irresistible-brand/#respond Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:00:54 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=932 Content is the cornerstone of modern marketing. Instead of forcing your message onto a reluctant audience, your business can use content to attract visitors, leads and sales. Better still, with its low costs and high rewards, content marketing offers an incredible ROI. So how can your business get started with content marketing?   What is […]

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content-marketing

Content is the cornerstone of modern marketing. Instead of forcing your message onto a reluctant audience, your business can use content to attract visitors, leads and sales. Better still, with its low costs and high rewards, content marketing offers an incredible ROI. So how can your business get started with content marketing?

 

What is Content Marketing?

For a succinct definition, we need look no further than Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute:

‘Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.’

In other words, businesses attract customers, instead of forcing their products and service onto a reluctant public. There’s less of a need for expensive ad campaigns; no need for invasive phone, email and web marketing; and lower costs and greater marketing efficacy as a result.

 

How does it work?

Content marketing relies on 3 core tenets: value, relevance and consistency.

1) Value

For content marketing to attract people to your business, your content has to be valuable. It has to offer something – be it advice, guidance, interest, intrigue or controversy – that your target audience genuinely care about. Thankfully, value isn’t hard to create – and with a bit of effort, and a bit more strategy, you can create truly irresistible content.

  • Problem solving content: Whether your website visitor is looking for advice, opinions or products, they’re trying to problem-solve. If your content manages to answer your visitor’s questions, and solve these problems, you’ve created genuine value.
  • Market-beating content: Your content can improve upon existing content, adding greater depth and detail than anything that’s gone before.
  • Emotive content: If your content can elicit an emotion, from delight to disbelief, you’ve created material that people care about.
  • Convenient content: Most of the web’s useful information is spread across dozens, even hundreds, of websites. By compiling resources and information together, you create value through convenience.

2) Relevance

Value is completely subjective, and one man’s trash may literally be another man’s treasure. In order to attract the right type of people to your business, your content needs to be relevant to your target demographic. A ‘Complete Guide to Local SEO’ is a perfect piece of content for attracting small business owners – but it’s no help if your website sells bespoke leather shoes.

3) Consistency

Selling requires trust – and most of the time, wowing a new visitor with a stunning piece of content isn’t enough to ensure a sale. Your business needs to regularly impress, and offer its visitors valuable content time and time again. This consistency builds trust between brand and visitor. It implies an understanding of a visitor’s problems, and a desire to put their needs first. In other words, the more value your business offers to a visitor, the more value you can expect in return.

 

Types of Content

‘Content’ can be a bit of an ethereal concept, with dozens of conflicting definitions floating around the internet. As Google’s Avinash Kaushik explains, the reality is much simpler:

‘Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.’

Virtually any medium can be used for content marketing – as long as your target audience will engage with it. There’s no sense in creating a technical whitepaper for a teenage audience, in the same way that blog posts may be too casual for the technical director of a digital security firm.

Blog Posts

Blog posts are the heart and soul of thousands of successful content marketing strategies – and the stats explain why. HubSpot surveyed over 7,000 businesses, and reached the conclusion that blogging businesses generate 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages than their non-blogging counterparts. That means more traffic, more leads, and more sales.

Guides

There’s a lot of crossover between blog posts, articles and guides. Whilst a typical blog post probably clocks-in at 500 words, a guide might be more comprehensive and in-depth. Some subjects (like content marketing!) can’t be adequately covered in a short post, and may require multiple blog posts, or a longer guide. There are benefits to both approaches – and the ‘right’ choice will depend upon your target audience, and how they prefer to engage with content.

eBooks

eBooks allow businesses to show-off their expertise in the most in-depth and insightful way possible. Typically several thousand words long, an eBook acts as an authoritative resource on your chosen topic – often containing analysis, commentary, quotes, references, images, illustrations and statistics. Creating such valuable resources requires an investment of time and energy – but these efforts are quickly rewarded. By placing eBooks behind a CTA or contact form, you can trade your content in exchange for select details about your visitor – perfect for long-term lead-nurturing.

Whitepapers

Whitepapers tend to be super-technical, and require a relatively high level of specialized knowledge and expertise. Whilst whitepapers will offer low appeal to the everyday website visitor, they’re a powerful a tool to use with more sales-qualified leads, and audiences from specialized fields.

Videos

Sites like YouTube allow you to quickly create, share and embed videos. These videos are perfect for visually illustrating your content, and help to add variety to your content plan.

Infographics

Another visual medium, infographics make use of eye-catching design elements to create engaging and easy-to-digest content. Whilst infographics can’t contain as much information as a post or guide, they’re extremely easy to share and engage with.

 

Content Strategy

In order to attract the right people to your website, and engage with them in a productive and profitable way, your business needs to define its content strategy.  This strategy will vary from business to business – but you should always address the following 4 elements:

1) Buyer Persona

Who are you targeting with your content? What are their ‘pain points’? How can your content solve these problems?

2) Sales Funnel

Which part of the sales funnel are they in? Are they new leads, looking for basic information? Are they sales-qualified, and looking for technical information and case studies? Tailor your content according to their progression through the sales funnel.

3) CTAs/Landing Pages

How can you tie your content into your own sales funnel? Which offers, promotions and CTAs will you use to nurture your leads?

4) Distribution Channel

Which distribution channels will lead to the most productive engagement? Do your leads prefer social media, email or blogging? Choose a channel that resonates with your audience.


 

Content marketing is one of the most effective, and ­cost-effective, marketing channels available to your business. If you’re looking to benefit from one of the best ROI’s in digital marketing – great! Why not check out our services, and get started on an incredible content marketing strategy?

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Social Media: How to Choose the Right Network for Your Business http://turny.co/social-media-choose-right-network-business/ http://turny.co/social-media-choose-right-network-business/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:30:12 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=923 Successful leveraging social media is crucial to a digital marketing strategy. From Facebook to LinkedIn, these sites allow businesses a cost-effective way to engage with their target audience, and generate relevant leads. However, with so many social media sites to choose from, how can your business be sure that’s its chosen the right network to […]

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Successful leveraging social media is crucial to a digital marketing strategy. From Facebook to LinkedIn, these sites allow businesses a cost-effective way to engage with their target audience, and generate relevant leads. However, with so many social media sites to choose from, how can your business be sure that’s its chosen the right network to focus on?

This short guide will help you understand each network, and its typical user-base: allowing you to focus your efforts on the most relevant, targeted and valuable channel for your business.

 

Facebook

  • 1.2 billion users
  • 45% of users are male, versus 55% female
  • Average age of 41

With over a billion active users, Facebook is the mother of all social media sites. In the decade since its creation, the site has been gained global traction, and been translated into over 100 languages.

Once the reserve of technically-minded students, Facebook now caters to virtually every target demographic. Whilst the average age of its users is 41, the site has strong communities from all age ranges, and a relatively even distribution of male and female users. Facebook pages and groups serve as vibrant hubs of niche-interest, and even the most obscure business should be able to develop a meaningful following through the site. As a result, Facebook is a viable distribution channel for virtually any business.

 

Twitter

  • 1 billion users
  • 45% of users are male, versus 55% female
  • Most common demographic: 18 – 49 years old

With its famous 140-character messaging format, Twitter is widely regarded as the home of microblogging. On a daily basis, a billion registered users follow and engage with their favorite brands, businesses and thought-leaders.

Twitter’s unique format makes it perfect for businesses looking to promote their content to a larger audience, allowing videos, articles and posts to gain wider exposure through the site’s #Hastag system. Twitter is a significant source of referral traffic for many businesses, and it’s relatively easy to grow a large (and relevant) following. Like Facebook, Twitter has a billion users, and a relatively even gender-split. However, Twitter is home to more college-educated people than Facebook (making up an estimated 70% of its audience), and its large student populace accounts for a slightly younger demographic.

 

LinkedIn

  • 238 million
  • Graduates are LinkedIn’s fastest growing demographic
  • Despite this, 79% of LinkedIn users are 35+.

LinkedIn’s modest user-base of ‘just’ 238 million may seem paltry when compared to Twitter and Facebook – but its highly specialized nature makes it a powerhouse for B2B lead generation. As a network geared at the business professional, connections made through the site are much more likely to result in sales – with LinkedIn offering 4 times the conversion rate of Twitter and Facebook.

LinkedIn’s users tend to be highly-educated, with students and recent graduates accounting for most of its current growth trends. Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn’s industry-specific groups are some of the most vocal and active, offering businesses an effective way to engage with their target audience. As a result, LinkedIn is the social media site for B2B businesses – but if your company targets non-professional consumers, it’s probably not worth the time investment.

 

Google Plus

  • 300 million users
  • 70% of users are male, versus 30% female

Google is a relative newcomer to the social media family, but with search engine powerhouse Google driving its growth, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Plus’s demographic skews distinctly male, with tech-related businesses and users the most vocal and active. However, this user-base is diversifying rapidly, and hugely engaged communities can be found in areas from photography to marketing.

Engaging with G+ offers a few extra incentives, as content shared across the network often finds itself benefiting from improved SEO. Google’s Authorship scheme is also inextricably linked to the site, and businesses with an active Plus profile could benefit from a rich-snippet next to their search engine results (typically an author bio and image).

 

Pinterest

  • 70 million users
  • Pinterest is home to five times as many women as men.

Clocking in at a meager 70 million users, many businesses have written-off Pinterest as a waste of resources. However, women account for five out of every Pinterest users, making it the perfect social network for businesses looking to target a female audience. In particular, businesses from industries relating to cooking, DIY, design, fashion and home décor have a huge advantage – as these areas represent the site’s most popular interests.

Pinterest is an inherently visual site, and fruitfully engaging with the site requires some degree of design knowledge. However, once that hurdle is overcome, your business can expect greater referral traffic, and greater expenditure from that traffic, than even Twitter and Facebook. Not bad for only 70 million users!

 

Youtube

  • 90 million unique users per month
  •  87% of users are male, versus 13% female
  • Most popular demographic: 18 to 29 years old.

Youtube is the 3rd most popular website in the world, with over 90 million people watching, liking and commenting on its videos each month. This popularity is proving to be lucrative for many businesses, as they focus their efforts on creating a valuable video-channel for their target audience. How-to guides, case studies, news, opinion pieces and, of course, viral humor videos, all contribute to an engaged audience, and significant website traffic.

Estimates of Youtube’s gender split vary, but most sites estimate that it’s a male-dominated network, with a greater male-to-female ratio than even Google Plus. This demographic is also the youngest of most social networks, with most users between 18 and 29 years of age.


 

It’s important to discriminate between social media networks – and pursuing too many risks diluting your efforts, and undermining the value of your engagement. It’s far better to fine-tune your strategy, focus on a handful of networks, and make your social media marketing count. Each network caters to a specific demographic, and to choose the most cost-effective and lucrative site for our business, you need to ask:

‘Which site will allow me to engage with the right audience, in the right way?’

Think about who you’re targeting, and how they approach social media. Do they use it to find valuable information? To seek out inspiration? To network with influencers? Your social media strategy needs to reflect this information; and you need to pursue engagement on their terms.

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The 6-Step Digital Marketing Startup Checklist http://turny.co/digital-marketing-startup-checklist/ http://turny.co/digital-marketing-startup-checklist/#respond Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:43:14 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=913 Don’t know where to start with digital marketing? Don’t worry – we’ve covered 6 crucial steps to starting up your own digital business. 1. Buying your domains A domain is the name and location of your future website – and if you’ve already got an established brand, buying your domain is a straightforward process. There […]

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6-steps

Don’t know where to start with digital marketing? Don’t worry – we’ve covered 6 crucial steps to starting up your own digital business.

1. Buying your domains

A domain is the name and location of your future website – and if you’ve already got an established brand, buying your domain is a straightforward process. There a range of affordable and trusted suppliers to purchase domains from, and it’s as simple as finding your desired domain and purchasing it. If you haven’t got an established brand, or your desired URL is already taken, you’ll need to choose a new domain. There are a few best-practices to follow in choosing a domain:

Simple and memorable

Short and sweet web addresses are more likely to be remembered than long and complicated ones. Similarly, misspelled or uncommon words, punctuation and obscure top-level domains can all hinder your website’s visibility. In other words, avoid awesome-shoez.net and opt for awesomeshoes.com instead.

Branded

Brand names are usually unique – allowing your website to benefit from a clear identity, and a monopoly on traffic for your chosen brand name.

Avoid keywords

The days of keyword-stuffed domains are long-gone, and a website URL along the lines of freeshoescheapshoes.com screams one thing only to potential visitors – SPAM!

Notice how I wrote ‘domains’, plural? In order to protect your brand in the long-run, it’s a great idea to buy up common variants and misspellings of your chosen domain. It costs a few dollars to do, and it prevents anyone from imitating your site at a later date.

 

2. Choosing a Content Management System (CMS)

A domain without any content isn’t useful to anyone – so you need to find a platform to help you create and display your articles, products and blog posts. With almost 70 million websites using its user-friendly interface, WordPress is an incredibly popular choice. It’s the world’s leading CMS, used in 19% of the all websites in existence; and it’s perfect for a fledgling digital business.

WordPress allows anyone to create an effective, attractive website, regardless of technical knowledge. As well as offering a host of built-in functionality, WordPress also features a Plugin Library. It’s bursting at the seams with free applications, each designed to provide a host of professional features and benefits, and integrate seamlessly into your website.

 

3. Designing your website

First-impressions count in all areas of life – but on the internet, they can make or break your business. Your website design has a huge impact on website traffic, visitor trust, click-through rates, and overall user-experience. As a result, your website design needs to be carefully considered; and reflective of your brand, products and mission statement.

There are three main ways to develop your website design:

 Hire a designer

Getting in touch with a specialist website designer will allow you to develop a site from the ground-up. You’ll be in full-control of every visual element, and you’ll have the benefit of professional expertise backing-up your decisions.

Code it yourself

This is only viable for business owners with a serious understanding of HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript – and even then, it’s a time-consuming and stressful experience. Having said that, a small working-knowledge of basic code is always helpful – so check out CodeAcademy for free tutorials and lessons.

Purchase a WordPress theme

WordPress is designed with design-novices in mind, and for as little as $20, you can purchase a complete WordPress theme to redesign your website. They’re incredibly easy to use, with installation often as simple as dragging-and-dropping your theme template into the right directory – but they can be slow, badly-optimized and used on hundreds of other identical websites. As a general rule, you get what you pay for – so be willing to pay extra for the most unique, attractive and effective themes.

If your budget allows, hiring a designer will ensure that your website is professional, functional and completely unique – but installing a pre-made WordPress theme is another viable option. Importantly though, this is not an area you should cheap-out on – and an unattractive, poorly-functioning website will kill your chances of digital success.

 

4. Setting up Social Media profiles

Social media networks can drive a staggering amount of targeted traffic to your website. Once you have a functional site set-up, complete with content, you’re able to offer value to prospective customers – and you can start developing a social media following.

It’s crucial to avoid spreading your efforts too thin. Instead of blasting the same content across 20 networks, it’s better to focus your social media engagement across a handful of the most relevant sites. Research your target audience, and discover which sites they engage with – think LinkedIn for business professionals, and Facebook for small business owners.

 

5.  Installing website analytics

With a fully-functional, well-designed website, and an engaged social media network, you can expect to see some traffic heading towards the site. Great! But… what should you do with it? Where are the leads coming from? What are they looking for?

Analysis is the key to understanding your traffic, and marketing to them effectively. Google offers an incredible suite of free-to-use resources and applications, and they can offer you powerful insights into your traffic and leads. Best of all, they can easily be integrated into your WordPress dashboard, for easy-to-access metrics and insights.

 

6. Building Relationships

Last, but by no means least – you should begin building relationships. Digital marketing is, first and foremost, a process of connecting with people. Whether it’s through your great content, incredible customer service or professional opinions, your business can build a genuine relationship with potential customers and powerful influencers. Use social media, email, Skype, whatever you have at your disposal – and begin talking to people.

 

Useful Resources

Domains

CMS

Design

Analysis

 


Even if you’re completely new to the world of digital marketing, setting up your first business website doesn’t need to be complicated. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, leverage these resources and links, and develop a digital marketing strategy to tie it all together – and your business will be well on the way to digital domination!

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Digital Marketing 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Your Business Online http://turny.co/digital-marketing-101-beginners-guide-marketing-business-online/ http://turny.co/digital-marketing-101-beginners-guide-marketing-business-online/#respond Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:40:28 +0000 http://turny.co/?p=905 Digital marketing allows businesses of all sizes to generate huge amounts of exposure, interest, leads and sales. When implemented correctly, it offers a huge potential return, on a relatively small investment – allowing even the smallest of businesses to ditch their underdog status, and compete with industry-leaders. If you’re looking to kick-start your online presence, […]

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digital-marketing-101

Digital marketing allows businesses of all sizes to generate huge amounts of exposure, interest, leads and sales. When implemented correctly, it offers a huge potential return, on a relatively small investment – allowing even the smallest of businesses to ditch their underdog status, and compete with industry-leaders.

If you’re looking to kick-start your online presence, it’s important that you understand the component parts of digital marketing – SEO, Content Marketing, SMM, Email, Design, Branding and Analysis –and, most importantly of all, the strategy that ties them together.

 

SEO

Before anyone can buy your products, they first have to find your website. Search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo!, represent the first port of call for your prospective customers. Visitors type their questions and queries into the search engine, and the most relevant, helpful and trusted webpages are shown in response. Google alone sees 12.5 billion searches each month, from 1.2 billion unique visitors – and with 33% of all search engine traffic going to the top–listed pages in Google, search engines offer an incredible opportunity to drive visitors to your website.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your business visible in these search engines. Whilst the determining factors that influence search engine ranking are shrouded in secrecy, there are a few crucial metrics that have a definite impact on your website rank:

  • Keywords – the relevance of your website text to chosen search terms
  • Backlinks – the number of external hyperlinks to your website
  • Popularity – your website’s traffic and engagement

Further Reading: Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO

 

Content Marketing

Most website visitors aren’t looking to buy a specific product – they’re looking for information, to help them understand their problems, and identify the best products to solve them with. Filling your website exclusively with product information, testimonials and reviews will attract only those people who already want your products – but to attract new customers, you have to create problem-solving content.

Content marketing allows you to populate your website with relevant, helpful content, and actively attract visitors to your site. You can pre-empt the needs of your prospective customer, answer their questions and ingratiate them with your business. You add value to the visitor experience, and in turn, receive more value back – in the form of increased sales revenue.

This style of marketing relies on the creation of valuable content – and do that, you need to understand:

  • Buyer Personas – Your target audience, and their demographic information
  • Pain Points – The problems and issues that motivate your buyer personas
  • Content Types – The type of content that will best address their pain point. Blog posts, guides, Whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, and YouTube videos are all content.
  • Distribution Channels – What’s the best way to reach your target audience? SEO? SMM? Email?

Further Reading: KISSMetric’s Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

 

SMM

Social media sites allow people to network with friends, family, colleagues and peers – but they also allow your business to build a relevant and engaged following of prospective customers. By sharing your helpful content across different social media channels, you attract people with an interest in your advice, industry and products.

With so many social media channels available, it’s crucial to avoid spreading your efforts too thin. Your Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy should focus on the networks that are most relevant to your target audience, and engage with them in a helpful, genuine way.

Further Reading: Getting Started with Social Media

 

Branding

Your digital brand allows your business to stand-out from your competitors, and creates a personal, identifiable style to unite all of your digital marketing efforts. Your strategy needs to address the visual elements of branding, from color schemes to logos, but it also needs to address your digital identity. Your business needs to develop a personality, and a tone of voice through which you can talk directly to your visitors, in terms they’ll understand.

 

Website Design and Mobile

Your website design is crucial to the conversion of your traffic and leads. Every element of your site needs to work together, to direct the flow of user attention and engagement from page to checkout. Website traffic is worthless without conversion, and developing a design strategy is paramount. In particular, it’s crucial to focus on:

  •  Choosing the right WordPress Themes and Plugins
  • Landing Page Design – Specialized webpages designed to encourage your visitor to take a particular course of action.
  • Calls-to-Action – Your desired course of customer action, from email subscription to product purchase.

Smartphones and tablets are driving increasing amounts of traffic to mobile-savvy websites, with mobile traffic up almost 200% since 2010. Mobile devices have a variety of different screen sizes, resolutions, operating systems and browsers, and your standard website won’t function the same on a desktop as it would a tablet. To get the most out of the mobile market, you need to develop a mobile-responsive website, short-form content, specialized CTAs – and a strategy to tie it all together.

Further Reading:  The Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Web Design and The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing often evokes images of bought mailing-lists and junk folders, heaving with spam. Thankfully though, with a bit of intelligent strategy, email marketing can allow your business to engage with leads in a personal and productive way. Whether it’s a newsletter, blog summary or special offer, you should treat your emails as an extension of your content marketing – laden with strategy, targeting and opt-in marketing.

Further Reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing

 

Analytics

With so many strategies paramount to digital marketing success, it can be hard to determine which areas need refining, and which channels are thriving. Analysis of your strategy is crucial, and periodic measurement of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will allow you to judge the success of your marketing efforts, and the efficacy of your strategy.

 


Successful digital marketing isn’t just reliant on understanding these tactics – it’s reliant on properly coordinating them, and tying each of these elements together with a cohesive digital marketing strategy. No one element is more important than another; and the success of each tactic is inextricably linked to the success of the others.

To learn more about digital marketing strategy, why not check out my digital training sessions? I cover every aspect of digital marketing success – from WordPress 101, to advanced website monetization – and I’ll show you how to create an effective strategy to tie it all together!

 

 

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