Naughty and Nice Digital Marketing
In honor of the holidays, we’re discussing some naughty and nice ways of managing digital marketing.
Bad Website vs. Good Website
Your company website is a primary component of a digital marketing mix. Ensuring that it best represents your business is crucial to effective engagement and growth. Here are key components of a website that determine if you are naughty or nice.
Your website needs to be responsive. It should look good across many platforms, such as a phone or a tablet. If not, you could lose important traffic. With over 50% of all web traffic coming from mobile, your company needs a mobile ready website.
Don’t have a separate website for mobile and desktop. You want a site that changes to fit each screen that the visitor is using. It’s helpful to design your website for mobile first since most of your traffic is most likely mobile.
Don’t use Java or Adobe Flash unless absolutely necessary. It creates security holes and a lot of devices don’t display them correctly.
Tell Your Story
A nice website will immediately identify what problem your company can solve for the visitor. It will also clearly state why that person should do business with you over any other options. Then, the website should outline what steps need to be taken to work with your company or get more information.
Naughty or Nice?
A nice website will look good across devices. It will provide a clear message and tell the visitor exactly what your intentions are. A good website should be easy to navigate and get to the point with options to learn more if they want more information. Finally, excess plugins and tech, forget it. Automatic naughty list.
Messy Backend vs. Proper Management
A lot of times, when we take over a new website, we find a lot of issues. The WordPress platform and plugins are not updated, there are unnecessary plugins, and no firewall. These are all things you avoid with proper management.
Keeping WordPress and plugins up to date is important to best guard against new security threats. Updates also provide performance and feature improvements to ensure the best user experience.
Installing and monitoring a firewall on your website helps guard against hacking. It’s the best defense to ensure that your site doesn’t get taken down or infected.
You’ll want to monitor comments to reduce spam and abuse. We’ve seen some naughty websites that have hundreds of thousands of spammy comments. Not only does it look bad to visitors but Google may also see it as spammy and penalize your website in search results. Some spam posts may even link to viruses.
Moderate or disable comments depending on your need.
Naughty or Nice?
A poorly maintained website may work for a time, maybe even years. Inevitably, something will go wrong such as lower search rank to outright hacking and data loss. A nice website will be properly maintained and orderly, ensuring that your business stays on the virtual map.
Blackhat Practices vs. Valuable Activities
“Blackhat” SEO only focuses on the search engine results using manipulative techniques and not visitor experience. Nice or “whitehat” SEO adds value to visitors and long lasting, positive search engine rankings.
Blackhat SEO (Naughty)
Blackhat SEO is something that Google fights against every day. Using these techniques may work in the short term at the cost of user experience and possible future penalities. Techniques such as keyword stuffing and unnatural backlink building will get a website on Google’s naughty list. Not a great place to be.
First of all, provide value. Make sure that when people come to your website, they see things that are valuable and related to their search. Address topics that your prospective visitors might be searching for on Google.
From a technical perspective, there are things that need to be done to ensure the best search engine results. Some important ones include:
- Improving a website’s speed
- Using common search terms in an article or webpage
- Properly utilizing headers
- Webpage structure
There are many more best practices to ensure maximum search engine results. None of them involve blackhat techniques. All of them have long term benefits.
Social Media Posting Services vs. Social Engagement
Naughty social media marketing companies charge to throw out content that isn’t engaging anyone. They post regularly but with little benefit. Social media posting is not just about posting sales, it is about engaging an audience.
Nice social media marketing starts a conversation and engages with people. Respond to comments, complaints, or anything related to your business. Ask questions. Develop a company personality.
Naughty or Nice?
Social media marketing takes time and effort. None of it can be done for $100-$200 per month. You are better off spending that money someplace else.
No Metrics vs. Data Collection (and Action)
Many business owners don’t know how many visitors their website gets. That basic number is incredibly important. A company cannot neglect user metrics and expect to operate most effectively.
Digital platforms give us a wealth of information when implemented correctly. Not gathering the most basic data handcuffs all future marketing efforts. Implementing data collection takes very little effort.
Even if you never look at the data, begin to gather it. Have it ready for when the time comes to use it. Even better, begin to understand the basic metrics. Number of visitors, demographic info, devices they use, what terms they are searching for. This can help you make important, and sometimes expensive, business decisions.
Naughty or Nice?
Install Google Analytics. Setup Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. Install the Facebook pixel. Check your traffic numbers. Ignoring crucial business data that can be gathered by your website will do your business harm in the long run.
Steps You Can Take to Stay on the Nice List
- Review your website. Ensure that it gives a clear description the problem you solve and why someone should do business with your company. Then, tell them how to do it.
- Review the backend of your website regularly. Keep it up to date, backed up, and secure.
- Stop any blackhat SEO services immediately. Begin developing good, valuable content. Review the technical aspects of your website to ensure Google likes what they see.
- Stop spamming your customers with promotional social media marketing. Engage them or do nothing at all. Certainly don’t pay for garbage posts.
- Setup analytics. At least begin gathering the data for later use. Better yet, begin familiarizing yourself with it so that you can act on it.
We hope that you stay on the nice list this season. Have a Happy New Year and good luck in your business.