2021 marketing agency software stack essentials

2021 digital marketing agency software stack essentials

The key to running a digital marketing agency successfully is to use relevant tools and software. This allows the management and automation of many parts of your business, which in turn, allows you to focus more on providing value to your clients. 

Here are some of the best apps to use for running your business smoothly. 

FYI, this article includes some affiliate links to software providers which, if you click and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission off the back of at no additional cost to you 8) 

Project management software

There isn’t an infinite number of project management solutions out there that you can call robust enough for a large agency. While many options have extensive functionality and powerful performance, others come with limited features that make users unable to gain full control of their project while using them. 

Some of the basic questions to ask when choosing the ideal project management software for your agency are: 

  • Who will use this tool?
  • Is it compatible with your existing project management methodology? If changes are implemented in the system, will the tool accommodate the modifications?
  • What failures have been identified in the current system? Does the software solve the problem? 

Key players in the market for agencies include Monday.com, Wrike and Teamwork which cost from around £215 a month for 25 employees.

CRMs

Next in the list of must-haves is CRM software. Customer relationship management software provides a way for you to keep track of interactions with your customers and clients. Which software you will use depends on what you are looking to get out of it. 

Different software delivers different strengths in key areas. Ask yourself which area you need to focus on: 

  • Task management – helps users to assign tasks accordingly
  • Email marketing – email prospecting from within the software platform
  • Lead Scoring – allows scoring of leads to help divide work and focus efforts
  • Marketing Automation – useful for follow-up campaigns

Some of the most popular CRMs on the market today include PipeDrive, Freshworks and Hubspot which can cost anywhere from £75 to £410 for 5 seats.

Keyword tracking software

Your toolbox should also include keyword tracking software. Tracking keyword rankings is a critical component of your SEO campaign. As a digital marketing agency, you need to know your current website position for any keyword, and there are available tools for that. 

One to mention is SEMrush. Some consider it as the ultimate tool for tracking their website’s position for any keyword. It also helps them discover local competitors, which is an important feature if you are launching a localised campaign. 

Read more: How to track keyword rankings

Other main players in this space include Accuranker, ProRank Tracker and SERanking.

Collaborative social media software

If you are trying to build collaboration among your teams for a centralised social media campaign, there are management platforms for that. 

Some social media management software, like Buffer, is designed to help social media marketers and teams work effectively. Buffer has a wide range of solutions for analytics, engagement, publishing and team collaboration. 

Read more: 31 quotes about social media to get people talking

For teams to be effective, team leaders need a bird’s eye view to efficiently direct workflows for both external and internal projects across multiple channels of communication. 

Outside of collab features, it’s critical that the social software your choose can schedule across the range of platforms you need. For example, Tailwind is a specialist in Instagram and Pinterest marketing, whilst the likes of Social Pilot, ContentCal and Planable cover a broader range to include Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

What is SEO? A guide to search engine optimisation

What is SEO

Just what is SEO?!

You’ve likely heard the acronym bandied about marketing meeting rooms or on business forums. No doubt you’ve likely received dozens of spammy-looking emails from people claiming they’re so good at SEO they can get you on page one of Google for all your most important search terms too – for the princely sum of £10 and a cup of coffee a month. 

But what is SEO really? Is it just about getting on page one of Google? And if so, how do you even do that? Don’t you just ring up Google or spend some money on AdWords?

Let’s start with the basics:

FYI, some links in this article may be an affiliate link. If you do decide to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission as a result – at no cost to you. This helps us continue to run the website. 

What does SEO mean?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It describes a group of tactics and activities that aim to help a website rank better within search results, typically Google where the majority of Western search traffic in particular exists. 

But when you ask ‘what is SEO?’, whilst the above describes what the acronym itself stands for, the variety of work and understanding to really get to grasps with search engine optimisation is wide-ranging and ever-changing. It’s why truly great SEO specialists earn big bucks, and the importance of ranking well in search engines for traffic and revenue generation means there are probably 5 ‘SEO experts’ for every 100 websites online. 

OK, that’s likely an exaggeration, but it can feel that way sometimes. 

The different elements of SEO

Into the nitty-gritty. As noted above, there are many elements that go into an SEO campaign. It’s not just about blogging as much as humanly possible – no matter how many times you may have read that a couple of blog posts a month is the secret to everlasting Google search stardom. 

Here’s a look at the different aspects involved:

Keyword research

The first and, in my opinion, the most important phase of any SEO project is keyword research. Without understanding what it is your potential customers are searching for online, you’ll struggle to make sure your website is there when they want it. 

There are a number of tools out there to start conducting some keyword research with, with one of the go-tos being Google’s AdWords Keyword Research tools. Here, you can input the general theme of your website, and it will spit out some general suggestions. 

From there, you can begin to build a list of target keywords, based on monthly search volumes in your target regions, that you want to rank for. 

I tend to categorise keywords into three sets:

  • Primed to buy: keywords where the user is likely to want to make a purchase or take action. High intent.
  • Research keywords: these are search terms where the user is potentially looking to gather more information before taking action. Awareness. 
  • Long-tail: these are search terms which typically form questions for which you can create blog content to target.

From these keyword sets, you can start to map out where you plan to target these keywords across your website. Your ‘primed to buy’ keywords should be on prominent website pages. Your research keywords could be landing pages and, as noted above, long-tail search terms can help inform your blogging strategy. 

Content optimisation 

Once you know what keywords you want to rank for, the next fundamental of what SEO is is website optimisation. 

What you need to understand about search engines is that there isn’t an army of people at Google who read all pages on the internet and decide which ones they like best and which should rank highest. Search engines use crawl bots, and it’s these bots we need to appease. 

So, let’s think about a car insurance company that specialises in young driver cover. They have a webpage they want to rank for the search term ‘young driver car insurance’. 

They probably have a page already that says ‘Car insurance specialists’ and then somewhere down the page they mention they also do young driver car insurance. 

That won’t be enough for Google’s crawl bot. It’s going to analyse that page and think, OK, my Google user has just searched for young driver car insurance, but this page only mentions that specific phrase once. So, it’s likely this page isn’t highly relevant to the user, so we will throw it into page four or five of search results. 

Remember, page two of Google search results is the best place to hide a dead body. No one is going to see it, let alone click on it and convert. 

So what do you do?

Your landing page needs to scream to the Google bot, and the eventual site visitor, that you really do specialise in young driver car insurance. 

  • Page title = young driver car insurance
  • First line of website copy mentions young driver car insurance
  • Page URL includes young driver car insurance
  • Meta Description (the bit of page info that shows in search results’ needs to include the phrase too.
  • As does your page title. 
  • And you should be including the phrase numerous times, whilst still maintaining good reader flow, throughout the rest of your page copy. 

Now when Google’s crawl bots come to your webpage, they’re going to see the page title, URL, introduction paragraph, further subheadings and more in-copy mentions of the user’s search term. 

Great, this page is highly relevant to what the Google user is looking for. We’ll rank this page higher. 

Alas, if only that was all you had to do…

Technical website optimisation 

But just optimising content isn’t enough. Search engines want to deliver their users the best web experience, so they want to show them websites which are both relevant to their query, and also technically adept. 

Some key technical factors include:

  • Having an SSL certificate. This is a direct ranking factor and shows both users and search engines that your site is secure
  • Your website is fast. Slow loading speeds annoy users and they’ll leave your site before the content loads
  • Your website has a sitemap which helps Google’s crawl bots navigate your content and website structure 
  • Your website has fresh, quality content that isn’t duplicated from elsewhere online (or your own site for that matter)
  • Your website renders to the same URL. If both www. And non-www. versions of your site render a separate page, this can harm rankings
  • RESPONSIVE. It’s critical that your website is mobile-friendly. 
  • Check that your website is actually telling search engines you want to rank! Your robots.txt file might include a “Disallow:” across the site which will stop your site from ranking.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Technical SEO optimisation is a skill and speciality of its own, but it gives you a general idea of some of the key elements involved. 

Linkbuilding

In the offline word, a good way to assess whether a company is trustworthy or offer a great product/service is often by word of mouth. If two of your friends tell you they’ve had their driveway re-surfaced by the same great company,  you’re far more likely to engage that company to do work on your property than one you haven’t heard of before. 

In the online world, links do a similar job for search engines. If your website sells surfboards but no other website online is linking to it, that suggests to search engines your site isn’t particularly popular or trustworthy. Now, imagine that same surfboard website has 100 links, and 10 of those links are from really popular news websites? That says to search engine’s that ‘hey, this site must be really popular because all these websites are linking to it, including these 10 extremely-popular and trustworthy websites’. 

Now, here’s the crux. Google suggests that websites shouldn’t ‘build’ backlinks. Directory submissions, social syndication, guest blogging… there are plenty of ways to generate links to your site, but search engines don’t like it when you do. 

But that presents a problem for brand new websites in particular. If you aren’t meant to build links to your site, it’s going to be all-but-impossible to start ranking your website well enough to generate backlinks ‘naturally’ from other websites – the links you need to rank well in the first place. 

One of my favourite strategies in this situation is to analyse the backlinks of your competitors. Using tools such as SEMrush, you can analyse all the links pointing to your competitor and rank them by the most powerful. From here, you can start to try and replicate them. Some will be easier than others, such as directory links or people profiles. Others will be harder but more valuable, such as press coverage and in-content links within blogs on other websites.

Keyword tracking & performance tracking

Finally, you can begin to measure the fruits of your labour. 

Making sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you can begin to track your levels of organic traffic, including from which search engines you’re generating that ‘SEO traffic’ from. 

Don’t worry if you organic traffic levels start off really low, that’s naturally for all new websites. SEO is a long slog, but the potential long-term returns for the future are what keeps SEO’s driving forwards. 

The other critical thing you’ll want to monitor is your keyword rankings. Using specialist software such as Accuranker or SEranking, you can input your target keywords and see how they’re performing. Are you on page one yet in your main target territory? How are your rankings doing abroad? Do you have any pages that are ranking on page two and, with a bit of additional content and optimisation-focus, could get you onto page one and generating traffic?

Your keyword traffic software will monitor all this for you! 

Next steps & further reading

So, we’ve dived a little deeper into what is SEO and hopefully, you know a little more now than at the start of this article!

As I’ve noted above, this is by no means exhaustive but an overview. There are true specialists out there who deal with content marketing for SEO, who are tech SEO extraordinaire’s and those who have a flair for link acquisition strategies. 

Here’s some further reading to go deeper into the subject:

And to start tracking your success, here’s our comparison of the best SEO software.

30 SEO tips for new digital marketers

SEO Tips

Looking for SEO tips to kick-start your search engine optimisation efforts? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Search engine optimisation has often been viewed upon as some shady dark art – something Severus Snape may have taught if he were to become a teacher in the Muggle realm. 

But SEO is no longer the misunderstood acronym it used to be. Website builders, new start-up founders and SME owners understand why it’s important and have a general idea what goes into making a website that will rank well in search engines. 

If you fall into one of those categories then, to get you started on your way to SEO stardom, here are 30 SEO tips to start working through for your website!

FYI, some links in this article may be an affiliate link. If you do decide to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission as a result – at no cost to you. This helps us continue to run the website. 

  1. Know what you’re optimising for

You can’t start any SEO project without knowing what it is you want to rank for in the first place. Use tools like Ubersuggest and Google AdWords keyword research tool to find search terms relevant to your website and how many people are searching for them each month.

  1. Don’t always pick the keyword with the highest search volume

It can be tempting to target keywords with the highest search volume when conducting your keyword research. But these will be the most difficult to rank for and the most competitive. Instead, look for more specific alternatives that may be easier to rank for, but still hold high monthly search volume. 

For example, instead of trying to rank for ‘car insurance’, try ‘best car insurance for young drivers’ or ‘best car insurance for sole traders’ etc. 

  1. Find long-tail opportunities

Another keyword research tip is to look out for long-tail opportunities. These tend to be questions for which you can form a blog post of highly-specified landing page around. Using our car insurance example again, terms could include ‘best car insurance for new drivers’ or ‘how to reduce car insurance premiums’. 

Sometimes, long-tail keywords aren’t always from ‘primed to buy’ users, but they’re an opportunity to bring potential customers to your site and convince them that you have the solution to their query or problem. 

  1. Create an SEO map of your website

Once you’ve researched and selected your target keywords, create a map of your website and what pages you want to target these search terms on. It’s impossible to rank for everything on one page, and it’s far easier to rank for a single keyword by having a page dedicated to it.

  1. Ensure your site is just as good on mobile

Fast, responsive websites rank better than old-school sites that only care about catering for a desktop user. Most website builders come prepared for a mobile-ready experience, but check that it loads fast, buttons are nicely spaced and it’s easy to navigate on mobile as your site should be on desktop.

  1. Install an SSL certificate

This is a no-brainer for website SEO. Google specifically says it looks at factors such as having an SSL certificate as a ranking factor. They can cost around £60 a year, but it’s best to get that sorted now than further down the line.

  1. Include your target search term in the URL

It’s a lot easier to rank for a keyword if you include that keyword in the URL of a page. Google has got a lot better at understanding what a page’s content is about without having to be so specific but, it’ll be easier to rank for ‘car insurance for young drivers’ if your page url is yourwebsite.com/car-insurance-young-drivers instead of yourwebsite.com/page5. 

  1. And your first line / paragraph

When you’re optimising your webpages, make sure to include your target search term in the first line, or at least the first paragraph. This not only helps indicate to search engines that your page is relevant to a search query, but it also helps to give users exactly what they’re looking for. 

  1. Optimise title tags

Your title tag is the title of your page that appears in search results. Make sure your target search term is included in your title tag, and look to increase click-through-rates by including persuasive call-to-actions.

  1. And don’t forget meta descriptions

Like title tags, meta descriptions appear in search engine results pages too. Make sure your target search term appears here as well as informative copy to persuade clicks to your page instead of competitors. 

  1. Image titles and alt tags matter too

Search engines can’t see an image when they crawl your page, but they can read the image file name and alt tag. Include your search terms in both of these to help the likes of Google know that the image is relevant to what users are searching for.

  1. Include keywords in page titles

Your page titles, also referred to as H1s, H2s, H3s and so on, are prime real estate that need include your target search terms as well as variations of them. Your main page title, the H1, definitely needs your target search term in there. But try and include it in your subheadings too!

  1. Aim for about 10 keyword mentions per 1,000 words

There’s a fine balance to be struck between keyword stuffing and not including your keyword enough to rank a piece of content or landing page. The usual formula I try and stick to is 1 keyword mention per 100 words, or 10 per 1,000. 

  1. Reduce your image file sizes

Page load speed is a key ranking factor for Google, and one of the easiest ways to improve your page loading speed is by reducing image file size. If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that will automatically do this for you on the fly. 

A simple way to do this is to only upload images at the size needed. A little 400px x 400px graphic on a landing page doesn’t need to be a 2MB 5000px super sharp image! 

  1. Have a clear website structure

Clear website structures don’t just help users navigate your site, it helps search engines better understand your content too. 

The simplest way to create a clear site structure is within URLs. For example, instead of having yourwebsite.com/service1 and yourwebsite.com/service2, have yourwebsite.com/services/1 and yourwebsite.com/services/2. 

  1. Make sure your pages are indexable

A mistake that far too many marketers make when launching a new website is forgetting to turn off no indexing! This can sometimes be turned off by web devs so that the work-in-progress version of your site doesn’t start turning up in search results. But if you forget to tell Google that it can start crawling your site, it will never rank!

Right-click on your website and click ‘inspect source’. Do a quick search for ‘index’ and see where it says no index or indexable. 

  1. Check your sitemap and submit it to Google

An XML sitemap is really key to ensuring all pages of your site get crawled and indexed by search engines. Most website builders will automatically create one for you. Once you’ve created/found yours, submit it to Google within Google Search Console. 

  1. Track your keyword rankings

How can you tell if all your optimisation and off-site SEO efforts are working? By tracking your keyword rankings! 

Keyword ranking software such as SEMrush and Accuranker will check the position of your keyword rankings daily and show progress over time. Using software also helps to analyse how your ranking in different countries or geo-specific zones, such as your local area. 

Here’s a comparison of some of the different keyword tracking software options available, and here’s a look at how to track keyword rankings.

  1. Don’t forget Bing traffic

Bing carries a 6% market share of search engine activity globally. That doesn’t sound much, and many digital marketers don’t bother with it. But a decent chunk of your organic traffic may be coming from Bing – something you can see in your Google Analytics. 

Tracking Bing rankings is particularly beneficial in competitive niches, especially if you’re planning on running some paid ads. Yes there’s less potential traffic on Bing, but likely fewer advertisers too. Cheap clicks are calling!

  1. Write relevant blog content

Content is king in the eyes of Google. Original blog content is a great way to signal to search engines that your site is relevant, trustworthy and worthy of ranking. But content does more than just sending positive signals to search engines. A great content strategy can fill your social media channels, generate citation backlinks and form the initial entrance to your website for potential future customers. 

  1. Sign-up to industry websites

A great way to start building some authority for both your brand and website is to sign-up to industry websites. This can sometimes cost a bit of money in annual membership fees, but the links these sites generate can be really powerful and give your website a leg-up in search results.

  1. Analyse your competitors best backlinks

Not sure where to begin with building backlinks? The best place to start is often with your competitors. Using tools such as SEMrush or OpenLinkProfiler, you can paste the URL of your competitors and analyse a good chunk of their backlink portfolio. From here, you can see their strongest links and try to replicate them!

  1. Create internal links

Internal website links are almost as important as external links to search engines, and they’re far easier to create! Internal links within blog posts are a great place to start linking out to your key landing pages and begin building some page authority in the absence of killer external backlinks. Just remember to make sure they’re relevant and actually aid the user experience.

  1. Focus on your ‘almost there’ pages

Using your keyword tracking software, take a look at which search terms and pages are ranking on page two of search results. These are your ‘almost there’ pages. They probably won’t be picking up much traffic right now – after all, page two of Google search results is the best place to hide a body – but focusing on these pages by adding more content and creating some additional internal links can tip you over the edge onto page one. 

  1. Keep an eye on your domain authority

Domain authority is a metric which scores your overall site strength in the eyes of search engines. It’s not strictly something which search engines take much notice of, but it is a useful number for SEO marketers to track as it typically gives a good indication as to how easy it will be to rank content and landing pages in search results. 

  1. Create evergreen content

Creating content that will always be relevant and carry a steady stream of traffic to your site is always beneficial to both traffic generation and acquiring backlinks. This type of content is called evergreen content. 

  1. Create citation-worthy research-led articles

One of the most effective ways I’ve found of generating natural backlinks into blog content is creating research-rich articles. Other blog writers when looking for research to back-up their points will find your articles and link to it as a citation. 

  1. Run a digital PR campaign

Digital PR is not only great for some initial brand awareness, but it’s also highly effective at generating powerful backlinks from PR news aggregators and media sites too. 

Use Google Alerts to track mentions of your brand and monitor where you’re being mentioned. If the news coverage hasn’t linked to your site, reach out to that organisation and request adding one in! 

  1. Analyse everything in Google Analytics

You cannot improve what you don’t measure, and whilst keyword ranking software will tell you how your site is performing in search engines, Google Analytics will show you the fruits of your labour. Make sure you monitor bounce rates in particular. 

If you’re bringing lots of traffic into your site for blog content but those users aren’t exploring the rest of your site, add internal links or marketing panels directly into your blog content to turn those interested users into fully paid-up customers over time.

  1. Be consistent with linkbuilding efforts

Google’s official advice is to not build links, but for new websites, in particular, it’s going to be hard to get noticed or earn natural content reference links without getting your site some visibility in the first place. 

The key then for your linkbuilding efforts is to be consistent. If you blast a load of directory links in month one of site launch, do nothing for a few months then go again, that’s going to look spammy. 

The best approach is always steady consistency. Aim for 5-10 fresh ‘built’ links a month to get your site to a point where you do start picking up citation links for your articles. 

SEO tips – conclusion

There’s so much you need to do to really get to grips with search engines, rankings and website optimisation to start generating mass organic traffic. But follow these SEO tips and you’ll be well on your way to search engine dominance!

Searching for the best SEO software for your marketing team? Discover and compare the leading providers, including their functionality and pricing, all in one place right here.

How to track keyword rankings

track keyword rankings

Tracking keyword rankings is a critical component of running a successful SEO campaign. After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure!

Rather than simply Googling the search term you’re interested in and seeing where your website crops up, keyword tracking software allows marketers to track and measure hundreds of keywords in one go, see which pages are ranking for each particular search term and measure changes over time. 

So when it comes to tracking keyword rankings, the first place you need to start is with some SEO software

FYI, some links in this article may be an affiliate link. If you do decide to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission as a result – at no cost to you. This helps us continue to run the website. 

How to track keyword rankings

Before you can actually start tracking your keyword rankings, you need to understand what it is you want to rank for. 

There are two great ways to begin creating a list of potential keywords that your website is either already ranking for, or keywords you would like to rank for in the future. 

Step 1 – Google Search Console

If you have Google Search Console already set-up, you’re off to a flying start. Within GSC you can see for what search terms your website is already picking up clicks and impressions. You’ll want to add these keywords to your list of search terms to track. 

Step 2 – Keyword Research

Next step is to start researching what search terms you’d like to rank for. You can do this by first creating a list of what you think your customers are typing into Google. That could be anything from ‘the best walking boots for dog walkers’ or ‘black 4×4 alloys’. 

With this list, then head over to Google AdWords. Within AdWords, you can use the Keyword Planner Tool to paste in your list of keywords and it will generate a list of additional ideas – alongside the number of monthly searches for each of those terms. 

Remember to search using the correct country, or combining the countries you’re interested in picking up traffic from. 

Step 3 – Tracking your chosen keywords using software

The next step is to take your full list of keywords and adding them into a piece of software for tracking keyword rankings. Software like this will instantly tell you where you’re currently ranking for these terms, and track how they change over time. 

Software for tracking keyword rankings

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to keyword tracking software. Some are quite basic but do the job and don’t cost too much each month, whilst other options are more intensive, allow for geo-rank tracking and also include features such as website optimisation analysis and the tracking of competitor keywords too. 

Some of the best software for tracking keyword rankings include:

Accuranker

Accuranker is a dedicated keyword tracking tool and personally my favourite. I’ve been using Accuranker for nearly a decade and it offers really easy to interpret ranking charts. It’s also really easy to compare keyword rankings in different countries and benchmark against competitors. 

Pricing starts from around €99 a month to track 1,000 keywords and they offer a free trial too. 

Accuranker Free Trial

SEMRush

SEMrush is the industry-standard software for tracking keyword rankings, but it does a lot more than that too. 

Favoured by many of the industry’s most famous SEO experts and digital agencies, SEMrush includes functionality to track keyword rankings, analyse competitors, complete SEO audits, analyse backlinks and conduct keyword research – all in one place. 

Pricing is  €99.95 a month for 1,000 keywords with a free trial available to give it the once over. 

SEMrush Free Trial

SE Ranking

For a more cost-effective option which still packs in loads of features, SE Ranking is another great piece of software for tracking keyword rankings, analysing competitor rankings and generating reports. 

Pricing is only £53 a month per 1,000 keywords tracked and, like Accuranker and SEMrush, offers a free trial too. 

SE Ranking Free Trial

Searching for the best SEO software for your marketing team? Discover and compare the leading providers, including their functionality and pricing, all in one place right here.

46 digital marketing quotes

Digital marketing quotes

Need a good digital marketing quote for inspiration, to motivate your team or drop into a presentation? Then you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve scoured the web for our favourite digital marketing quotes that invoke further thought, warrant a ‘LOL’ or offer a word of warning for your future marketing efforts. 

Let’s get straight into it 🤓

Digital marketing approach

“Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.”
Elon Musk

“Think about changing the mantra from always be closing, to always be helping”
Jonathan Lister

“Mediocre marketers think in terms of campaigns. Great marketers think in terms of growth frameworks.”
Neil Patel

“Risk – calculated risk – is key to success online.”
Arthur Ceria

“The brands that can connect with the client in a real way will win”
Gary Vaynerchuk

“Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.”
Jonah Sachs

“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.”
Jeff Eisenberg

“Commit to a niche; try to stop being everything to everyone.”
Andrew Davis

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”
Tom Fishburne

“If you’re a good marketing person, you have to be a little crazy.”
Jim Metcalf

“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value.”
Philip Kotler

“In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”
Doug Warner

“New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.”
Ben Grossman

“It’s hard to find things that won’t sell online.”
Jeff Bezos

“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.”
Amrita Sahasrabudhe

“The modern marketer is an experimenter, a lover of data, a content creator, a justifier of ROI”.
Kim Walsh

“It’s not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it!”
Brian Halligan

“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.”
KB Marketing Agency

“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”
Brian Chesky

“Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.”
Chris Brogan

SEO 

“In 2004, good SEO made you remarkable on the web. In 2014, good SEO is a result of being remarkable on the web.”
Rand Fishkin

“Build relationships, not links”
Scott Wyden Kivowitz

“Think about what the user is going to type”
Matt Cutts

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”
Craig Davis

“One of the best ways to sabotage your content is to not tie it to your goals. Know why you’re creating content.”
Ellen Gomes

Social media

“Twitter is not a technology. It’s a conversation and it’s happening with or without you.”
Charlene Li

“The future of business is social.”
Barry Libert

“Why use social media? Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories, you tell.”
Seth Godin

“Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.”
Brian Solis

“Going viral is not an outcome; it’s a happening. Sometimes it happens; sometimes it doesn’t. Just remember, fans are vanity and sales are sanity.”
Lori Taylor

“Quit counting fans, followers, and blog subscribers like bottle caps.Think instead about what you’re hoping to achieve with and through the community that actually cares about what you’re doing.”
Amber Naslund

“Sell-sell-sell sales methods simply do not work on social media.”
Kim Garst

“Social media was designed to SHARE what you’re doing and who you are, not BE what you’re doing and be who you are.”
Richie Norton

Content

“Content is fire; social media is gasoline.”
Jay Baer

“Content is king.”
Bill Gates

“If content is king, then conversion is queen.”
John Munsell

“When it comes to content, the best marketers know that self-promotion is good!”
Kieran Flanagan

“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.”
Robert Rose

“You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.”
Beth Comstock

“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.”
Arjun Basu

“If you can’t explain it to a 6-year old, you don’t know it yourself.”
Albert Einstein

“Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem.”
Laura Fitton

“One of the best ways to sabotage your content is to not tie it to your goals. Know why you’re creating content.”
Ellen Gomes

“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.”
Doug Kessler

“Content is the reason search began in the first place.”
Lee Odden

“Make the customer the hero of your story.”
Ann Handley

Searching for the best marketing software for your marketing team? Discover and compare the leading providers, including their functionality and pricing, all in one place right here.

Why is SEO important?

why is seo important

The question of why is SEO important isn’t one I’ve heard for a number of years now. Since the days of clients asking me ‘So do you just call Google and ask them to put us higher?’, there has been a far greater and wider-reaching understanding of the importance of SEO or, the less dirty term we like to use these days, organic search. 

Yet there are still over 1,300 people a month in the UK and US who log onto Google each month and type that very question – why is SEO important?

So, in this article, we’ll look to answer that question. 

SEO is a gateway to your brand 

Now don’t get me wrong, there are numerous digital gateways which can expose potential customers to your brand. Facebook posts, PPC and good old fashioned word of mouth are core examples. Yet SEO is important as it can drive hundreds of thousands of people to your website every month, and not just when they’re looking to make a purchase. 

SEO is important because you can strategically create content which aims to attract users to your site, and those users can be rather targeted too. For example, how many reads do your current articles get? 10? 50? 1,000 because you boost them on Facebook?

Understanding the importance of SEO can supercharge these figures, especially when your on-site content strategy begins with keywords instead of what you want to write about. That’s right – the best way to bring people to your website in 2020 and beyond through organic search might not even be what you’re selling, it’s what you’re writing about. 

Writing content that’s designed to optimise around a long-tail keyword (think a question that’s related to your product or service), brings people to your website for probably the first time. What you do on-site and through remarketing can then turn these visits into paying customers.

SEO is the initial point of contact for all sales

Let’s talk cold hard cash – sales, business leads and enquiries. Did you know that even in the B2B world, people involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually get in touch with your salespeople? And that buying decision, for the most part, starts with a Google search. 

This fact alone should prove just how important SEO is. You could spend millions a year on traditional sales or advertising. But what if you could bring millions of prospects to you instead through understanding what they’re searching for online, and making sure your website has content tailored for those searches? 

In short, a focus on SEO will directly benefit your bottom line.

SEO is sustainable

One thing that 2020 has shown us, aside from how much EU economies rely on people buying their daily coffee, is that businesses with a strong SEO strategy are more resolute and can adapt and thrive through difficult periods. 

Why is that?

Because businesses that have traditionally relied on costly paid search or traditional advertising campaigns to generate business has struggled. Not all of them I grant you, but for those who have had to pull marketing pounds to support other areas of the business during the pandemic will have seen lead generation drop off a cliff and critical new sales revenue dry up. 

But what if those businesses had invested as much time (and sometimes money) into ensuring that every single relevant keyword to their business, they were ranking for? They could turn off the paid marketing taps safe in the knowledge that their well-optimised website would continue driving demand for their products and services. 

Read more: SEO research: the importance of organic search

SEO is important, therefore, because it is sustainable. It needs maintaining, it needs constant work, but the outcomes are for the long-term. Those 10 clicks that cost you £100 in AdWords could have been 10 clicks a month guaranteed from your SEO work. That’s £1,200 worth of traffic to your website each year for, essentially, free. 

SEO is easy to measure

Measuring campaign success has always been a bit of a sticking point for a number of channels. Social has gotten pretty good at fixing this issue, especially with the likes of Facebook’s offline conversion tracking. But do you really know how effective your PR campaigns have been? Or your roadside advertising? 

SEO is important because it’s easy to measure the impact of your work. Through SEO software you can track keyword rankings. Google Analytics will tell you how many organic visitors you’re generating and into what pages. Google Search Console will tell you what keywords are triggering a visit to your website too. 

Now, I’m not saying that how easy something is to measure is the be-all and end-all. But if you’re deciding your long-term marketing strategy, it’s a lot easier to track, optimise and improve of you can measure the outcomes of your efforts in detail. 

Searching for the best SEO software for your marketing team? Discover and compare the leading providers, including their functionality and pricing, all in one place right here.

31 quotes about social media to get people talking

quotes about social media

There are thousands of awesome quotes about social media, from the giants you’d expect such as Zuckerberg and Dorsey, to business evangelists and start-up entrepreneurs. 

Whether you’re looking for some social inspiration yourself, or want to pad out a presentation with some hard-hitting, thought-inducing quotations, here are 50 quotes about social media that will get everybody talking:

Social media quotes

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
Jeff Bezos

“Get in where you fit in and then focus on that platform.”
John Lawson

“When you say it, it’s marketing. When they say it, it’s social proof.”
Andy Crestodina

“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”
David Alston

“Conversations are happening whether you are there or not.”
Kim Garst

“It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.”
Amy Jo Martin

“I wish I knew how to quit you, Tumblr.”
John Green

“Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.”
Matt Goulart

“Don’t use social media to impress people; use it to impact people.”
Dave Willis

“Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing. ”
Chris Brogan

“How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?”
Donna Lynn Hope

“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.”
Seth Godin

“When you’ve got 5 minutes to fill, Twitter is a great way to fill 35 minutes.”
Matt Cutts

“Activate your fans, don’t just collect them like baseball cards.”
Jay Baer

“Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It’s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.”
Ryan Lilly

“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.”
Erin Bury

“Social media policies will never be able to cure stupid.”
Nichole Kelly

“My belief and goal is that every professional in the world should be on a service like LinkedIn.”
Reid Hoffman

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; what happens on Twitter stay on Google forever!”
Jure Klepic

“Fake news is a big thing in the field of Social Media Journalism. Fake news can be as simple has spreading misinformation.or as dangerous as smearing hateful propaganda.”
Fabrizio Moreira

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
Scott Cook

“99% [of my Twitter feed] is links, but 1% is me responding and 1% of a big number is a big number.”
Guy Kawasak
i

“The idea of Twitter started with me working in dispatch since I was 15 years old, where taxi cabs or firetrucks would broadcast where they were and what they were doing.”
Jack Dorsey

“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words ‘engage,’ ‘honestly,’ or ‘marketplace.’”
Jeffrey Zeldman

“Everyone is comparing lives on social media and wants the perfect body, perfect image, perfect outfit, perfect life – we’re striving for this perfection, and it’s so unhealthy because there’s no such thing as perfection.”
Emily Atack

“Recently thought of deleting my Facebook account and start using Twitter, but realized it’s not easy. Facebook has become like the boyfriend I no longer like but scared to dump because I’ve invested so much time in the relationship.”
Manasa Rao Saarloos

“Facebook is a discovery model platform. Its primary goal is to make the audience happy. So you’ll only get ROI if you create quality content for your audience.”
Kelly Hendrickson

“The dark side of social media is that, within seconds, anything can be blown out of proportion and taken out of context. And it’s very difficult not to get swept up in it all.”
Nicola Formichetti

“These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.”
Aaron Lee

“When it comes to social media marketing, you don’t have to post 3 times a day. It’s never about how often you post but the quality of your content.”
Janet Benson Amarhavwie

“When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many businesses fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They’re playing the sprint. They’re not worried about lifetime value and retention. They’re worried about short-term goals.”
Gary Vaynerchuk

Searching for the best social media software for your marketing team? Discover and compare the leading providers, including their functionality and pricing, all in one place right here.

SEO research: the importance of organic search

SEO research

When it comes to SEO research, 2020 has been something of a renaissance year for the misunderstood and likely most-important long-term digital strategy a business can look to deliver. 

As the Coronavirus pandemic surged across the globe, many firms had to scale back their paid budgets to support spending in other areas of the business. With fewer pennies to spend on company marketing cards, many turned to free advertising opportunities. Creating great new content, trying new methods of email marketing and, of course, SEO.

Search engine optimisation has grown from something shady linkbuilders did in their bedrooms to the sole focus of entire departments. It’s no longer a dirty acronym, and general awareness of its importance and the basics that can help create well-optimised website are reasonably well understood. 

What’s been interesting this year, as the below graph from Google Trends indicates, is that SEO is seeing another resurgence in interest. Why? Because, a lot of the time, it’s free. It can just require great content production and a thorough understanding of target keywords.

Google search interest in SEO over time

But, in my mind, many businesses are returning to organic search, or maybe introducing themselves to SEO for the first time, as 2020 has shown that websites which rank well in search results and can generate revenue from ‘free’ traffic are best placed to survive… and thrive.

What does any of this have to do with SEO research?

Predominantly, it’s about making a business case, or understanding how leveraging SEO can help balance falling clicks for websites that historically, and quite happily, relied on paid digital advertising to generate footfall and custom. 

If available SEO research can back-up the case to invest more resource into it, that’s going to help firms for which the pandemic has dealt numerous brutal blows gain some online stability in the future. 

So, let’s get into it:

Organic search presence matters for B2B

Insights from Google tells us that those involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they’ll actually perform an action on your website. Plus, nine in 10 B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purposes. 

For most firms within the business-to-business arena, this won’t particularly be news. Quite often our contact forms or sales follow-up process will capture that our website was found via Google. 

But the key takeaway here in terms of SEO research is how far down the funnel prospects are travelling just via search engines, before engaging with your business in any other way. 

So, whilst all those automated LinkedIn messages and social media campaigns may indeed get you somewhere – and it may be easier to directly relate that activity to an immediate sale or prospect enquiry – SEO is where your customers are typically turning to first when they actually need a solution. 

In short, your organic rankings are picking up primed-to-buy traffic. They’re searching for your solution, whatever niche or industry you’re in, so you best make sure your website is one of the first ones they see when they click the Google search button. 

Page one or nothing

You really could hide a dead body on page 2 of Google search results. That’s a long-used phrase in the SEO world, and it still rings true. Recent research from Backlinko shows how just 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page. 

But how do you know where your website currently ranks? Using SEO software is one way to track keyword research. But, just for now, try Googling what it is your customers might be searching for and see if your website appears! 

Organic SEO is more effective than organic social 

We’d all like to go viral (for the right reasons) once in a while, especially for our businesses. But most of the time that just doesn’t happen, and websites that try to rely on generating traffic naturally from posting across LinkedIn or Twitter may find their growth hits a plateau. 

Why? Because according to BrightEdge, SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media on average. 

Read more: 31 quotes about social media to get people talking

Why is that? Because organic traffic is cumulative. If you rank for 10 keywords that generate 100 clicks a month, you’re going to get 12,000 visits a year from those 10 terms. One organic tweet that gets 100 clicks, well, that’s great, but will that same tweet generate you 100 clicks month after month for years to come? 

SEO traffic is highly valuable 

Research from HubSpot here:

1 – 60% of marketers say that inbound (SEO and blog content, downloadables etc) is their highest quality source of leads, and
2 – SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate

As I mentioned in the intro, organic searches are often primed-to-buy. That means that people are searching for something they need, want to buy, or actively want to find out more about. That differs from, say, social or email marketing because through those mediums you’re trying to suggest to users that what you’re offering is what they need instead. 

Backlinks (generally speaking) get rankings

How you get a page to rank on Google typically depends on two things; how well optimised a page is for a given keyword, and how many backlinks that page has. 

Backlinks in the world of SEO is akin to a word-of-mouth recommendation. But instead of having five friends recommending a restaurant to you, it’s five websites linking to a restaurant’s website which suggests to search engine algorithms that the linked-to webpage must be trustworthy, have valuable content and be worthy of ranking highly in search results. 

Research from ahrefs shows us that, generally speaking, the more backlinks a page has then the more organic traffic it will get from Google, and that most of the top-ranking pages gain backlinks from new referring websites at rate of 5-15% a month. 

This is the snowball effect of SEO. If you can get ranking for one page, that one page should naturally pick up backlinks which will then support all your other pages (through increasing domain strength) to rank too, and they, in turn, will generate backlinks of their own.

But this is rarely a quick process. In fact, our final nugget of research – again from ahrefs – tells us that the average page in the top 10 of search results is at least two years old. 

SEO research – final thoughts

Hopefully, there are enough insights there to get you thinking about SEO and how you can utilise it for your business – or at least make a solid business case to begin doing so! 

SEO takes time and constant effort to start making an impact, but once you do, results really can start to snowball. 

Searching for the best SEO software for your marketing team? Discover and compare the leading providers, including their functionality and pricing, all in one place right here.

Welcome to Marketing Software Manager

Best marketing software

Very few marketing departments have the budget for a dedicated Marketing Software Manager – someone who’s on the pulse of the latest marketing software tech out there and can spend hours searching for and testing new software options.

That’s where Marketing Software Manager comes in. We’ve combined all our favourite marketing tools a world-class digital department will need to grow and succeed. From team comms and landing pages to social scheduling and keyword tracking, quickly assess all the options available in the category you need, see highlights from each platform and make informed buying decisions.

Start browsing categories here.