Digital marketing techniques
Several digital marketing techniques are available to organisations today, including but not limited to: SEO, search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, pay per click advertising, affiliate marketing and email marketing.
Digital Ninja Dojo will utilise a selection of these, opting primarily for the low-cost options while the company is launched and building its audience. SEO will play a key part in the marketing strategy for DND and off page tactics will be described later in the blog.
Social Media Marketing
Historically links were a great way to boost ranking in Google search results, but over time they have lost some value due to Google Bot algorithm enhancements, spam, duplicate content and several other reasons. Over the past few years, social media signals have been emerging as a ranking factor, as Google look to understand customer behaviours in greater depth. In a four-month period in 2015, indexing of tweets from the Twitter platform increased by 466%, still leaving approximately 96% of posts out of the Google index (Enge, 2015).
Despite only 4% of tweets being indexed, if this is combined with signals from other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram, Digital Ninja Dojo can create a network that maximises opportunity for content to be shared, increasing visibility and strengthening the company brand.
Although email marketing does not directly improve search rankings, I am intending to use it to encourage engagement and create behaviour in visitors that will see them visit the website regularly to consume the latest content. Capitalising on traffic who have subscribed to the website, I will send regular emails pointing members to the latest content and service offering. This will help to increase views, in turn boosting chances of interaction via comments and shares on the site, as well as on multiple social media platforms. It is this chain effect which has the potential to increase Google’s perception of the website, viewing Digital Ninja Dojo as an authority in its specialism and somewhere people can go to find quality content.
Off page SEO tactics
The Periodic Table of Success Factors produced by SearchEngineLand (2015) suggests that there are four success factors for off page SEO: trust, links, personal (visitor characteristics and behaviour) and social. Performance in these areas is influenced externally by readers, visitors and other publishers. Digital Ninja Dojo will be focusing on trust and links.
Search engines attempt to assess website authority through several methods baked into their complex algorithm. Singhal (2011) states there are several criteria the website should meet:
- The information should be trust worthy
- The content should be written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well
- Content should provide value to visitors
- Duplicating content on the web should be avoided
Customer experience needs to be at the heart of content creation, it should be up to date and meet the needs of recurring traffic. When the companies web presence is established and valuable content continues to be created, Google will build trust with the site and organic search results will begin to improve.
Outbound and inbound links pass ‘ranking power’ because search engines interpret these as votes of confidence. This is great for moving up in search results, but Google’s algorithm uses various metrics to determine how valuable the link is, including whether the linking domain is trustworthy, how popular it is and whether both linked domains have relevant content (Moz, 2016). As DND builds credibility and a following, it will be looking to establish strategic partnerships with The Tech Partnership, British Computing Society and other Educational bodies. If successful, this could lead to links from highly regarded domains, significantly improving the prospects for DND returning in search results at the right time, for the right reasons and the right audience.
Psychographics are the values, attitudes, interests and beliefs held by people and capturing these can provide actionable insight for a web master. Visitors to DND may enjoy reading topical content, they may find fulfilment by indulging in learning or they could be motivated by continuous personal development.
There are several ways to confirm this information about visitors. Interviewing members of the public or investigating web analytics through a tool like Google Analytics. The first option is not practical for this company, so investigating web analytics will be the approach to adopt moving forward. By regularly reviewing this data, DND will be able to understand the true motivations of visitors through their actions (Meredith, 2013).
As visitors respond to topics and service offerings over time, the data will be captured and enable a tailored email or interaction with that visitor, enhancing their experience with the company and providing maximum value so that they will return time and time again.