Top 30 Digital Marketing Tips for 2016

by Kate Lett

It’s a new year and the Lett Direct team has put together “30 Best Digital Marketing Tips for 2016” that will help you increase your web results. While not in any particular order, these suggestions are being made to help you improve your digital marketing programs.

  1. Mobile Search is Different – Try using a voice search with your mobile device. Notice how you phrase your search query differently as compared to if you were typing it.
  1. Page Load Times Need to be Fast – With the continued increase in mobile search, the importance of page load times will also continue to increase with the engines.
  1. Consider HTTP/2 – Would you like your site to lad even faster? Would you like your server to be using fewer resources?  Would you like a boost in your search rankings (organic & paid)?  Then you should check out HTTP/2, which is the latest update to the HTTP protocol by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT); and it’s fully supported by Google.
  1. Be Social Sharing Friendly – Find out which social media sites are best for your brand/products and make sure you have social sharing buttons for them on every page of your site. Enable your customers to spread the good word about you.
  1. Content is STILL King – Recent changes to the way Google processes search queries are placing more importance on accurate content and less reliance on backlinks.
  1. Hash it Out – Social media posts with hash tags get many more views. Enough said.
  1. Use Visuals – Make sure all of your pages have images, including blog posts. Pages with images are more likely to be read.  When shared socially, posts with images get more views.
  1. Maintain Optimization Synergy – Optimizations for organic rankings can also help optimize your google feed and create higher degrees of relevance for paid search campaigns. This means higher quality scores and lower bids for keywords.
  1. Put People First – It can be easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of the Google algorithm, but at the very core, Google is trying to deliver the best experience to users. Their entire business model depends upon it.  If you do your best to create the most helpful information for searchers in the most easy-to-view way, Google’s algorithm changes will continue to reward you.
  1. Win Some and Learn Some – Take advantage of being online. Don’t be afraid to try new things.  Take calculated risks and take notes when you do.
  1. Fail Faster – Ensure that your audience sizes and PPC budgets are large enough to allow you to fail faster. If something isn’t working, it’s better to know about it sooner rather than later so that adjustments can be made.  With a budget that is too low, it may take weeks to determine something doesn’t work as expected.
  1. Review PPC Performance by Day & Time – With any PPC campaign, there are likely to be peaks and valleys throughout the week when you are reaching the optimal audiences as well as seeing the largest sales volume. Cutting back on ad delivery during off-peak times is a quick way to boost account performance.
  1. Encourage Your Target Audience – Consider creating specific calls-to-action in your PPC ads whether it be signing up for a newsletter or making an actual purchase. It may seem trivial, but by explicitly telling users what you want them to do you greatly increase the likelihood of any click resulting in a conversion.
  1. Review Search Queries Regularly – By regularly reviewing search query reports from the search engines in your PPC accounts, you can easily see what visitors to your site are specifically interested in which will guide you when building out new keyword lists. In addition, you can also discover potentially irrelevant searches that are triggering your ads and add these as negative keywords as an optimization tactic.
  1. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) – This commonly underused feature lets you modify your paid search ad messaging as well as bids for users who have been to your site previously and are once again searching for products or similar to yours.
  1. Ad Extensions (A PPC Must-Have!) – If you don’t have ad extensions set up for all PPC campaigns, your performance is mostly likely taking a hit. Sitelinks and other extensions are not only a way to add more content to your paid search ads while simultaneously pushing your competitors further down the page, but their inclusion is now also a variable used when Google calculates quality score (higher quality score = lower cost-per-click).
  1. Social Media, Not a One Size Fits All – What works for one brand may not work for yours. Understand the different social media platforms to determine which will be the best fit for your brand.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and test.
  1. Interact with Customers – Use social media to interact with customers. You want to be seen as an approachable brand.  Comment on their comments and thank them for ideas.
  1. Resolve Issues Quickly and Humbly on Social Media – Make sure you have an employee checking and responding to any complaints on social media quickly and effectively. Other customers will judge you based on the responses.  This is an opportunity to display your integrity.
  1. Checkout the Competition – Buy the same item on your own site and your top competitors’ sites. Adjust your ordering process/checkout steps to be more user friendly and streamlined than your competition.
  1. Do the Math on Coupons – Coupons can entice customers to buy, but they can also train your customers to only buy when they have a coupon. Do the math to determine what your promos are truly costing you (see The True Cost of Giving Promotional Discounts).
  1. Google Analytics – Ensure your GA account is tracking properly. This is the best information your digital marketing team has to help improve campaign performance.  Do not rely on web sales data from your backend.
  1. Attribution Modelling – In 2016 design a custom “time decay” attribution model for your website. You’ll likely find that direct traffic is being overvalued and email, PPC and organic are being undervalued, sometimes by a great deal.
  1. Retargeting – If you’re not running a retargeting campaign through your PPC program you’re missing out on a good opportunity. This is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers at a relatively low cost and it’s also a great way to get the word out about sales and promotions you’re running.  Be sure to have short and long term audience lists.
  1. Be the First to Say “Hello” – New eMail subscribers that receive a well-timed eMail welcoming them to your list largely shows more long-term brand engagement. Take an extra second to confirm your welcome eMail is optimized.
  1. Test, Test and Test Again – Explore what engages eMail subscribers more by testing the color and copy of CTA buttons.
  1. Different Goal = Different Message – Try sending dynamic content to target specific eMail subscribers based on their behavior. In one email, tailor your content to include universal information for everyone and additional personalized content targeted by various data fields, such as purchase history.
  1. Make a (Mobile) Impression – When designing an eMail, take mobile platforms into consideration. Think compelling images with bold headlines.
  1. Re-Engage eMail Subscribers – Send a Win Back email targeting subscribers that haven’t engaged with you in the past 2 or 3 months. Bonus points for including an incentive to rejoin the party, like Free Shipping or 20% Off Your Next Order.
  1. Last, but not least…hire Lett Direct for all of your catalog and web services!