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Bibliography and Glossary

Bibliography

Science and Technology Committee (2016). Digital skills crisis. House of Commons, pp.3-5.

ONS (2017). Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), UK- Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/bulletins/youngpeoplenotineducationemploymentortrainingneet/feb2017 [Accessed 25 April 2017].

Williams, A. (2015). SEO 2016 & Beyond: Search engine optimization will never be the same again! (Webmaster) (Volume 1). 5 Edition. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Google (2017). Webmaster Guidelines – Search Console Help. [online] Support.google.com. Available at: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?utm_source=webmasteracademy&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=webmasteracademy [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017].

SearchEngineLand. (2015). SearchEngineLand Periodic Table of SEO. [online] Available at: http://searchengineland.com/download/seotable/SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO-2015.pdf [Accessed 27 Apr. 2017].

Ledford, J. (2007). SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible. 1st ed. Norwood Mass.: Books24x7.com, p.229.

Krug. (2006). Don’t Make Me Think. 1st ed. Pearson India.

Smith, P. and Chaffey, D. (2008). EMarketing eXcellence. 1st ed. Taylor & Francis.

Enge, E. (2015). Post Google-Twitter Launch: How is Google Indexing Twitter Today?. [online] Stone Temple. Available at: https://www.stonetemple.com/how-is-google-indexing-twitter-today/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Singhal, A. (2011). More guidance on building high-quality sites. [online] Official Google Webmaster Central Blog. Available at: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Moz. (2016). External Links – SEO Best Practices. [online] Available at: https://moz.com/learn/seo/external-link [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Meredith, A. (2013). How to Use Psychographics in Your Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/marketing-psychographics [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Glossary

DND Digital Ninja Dojo
HTML Hyper Text Markup Language
SEO Search Engine Optimisation
SERP Search Engine Results Page
Advertisements

Content Visibility

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.

Email marketing

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.

Trust

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.

Links

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.

Psychographic insights

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.

Content Justification

Keyword/s, phrases and themes

In SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), there is a common belief that if you think about the words people use to search and include them in your page, that it will rank better. However, according to Williams (2016) this guideline was more relevant before the Panda update was released for Google’s search engine in February 2011; Panda deters webmasters from optimising their webpages for search engines at the expense of visitor experience. Instead, Williams suggests focusing on the synonyms of those keywords and what the searchers intent is.

I have carefully incorporated words which are associated with ‘digital skills development’, as well as ‘ninja’ themed words to help with building the organisations brand:

keywords.png

I identified these words by analysing SERP’s (search engine results page), before using a tool called SEO Quake to quickly audit the top search results and view keyword/phrase densities.

Adhering to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines was an important part of content creation, not to rank high in search results, but so that the content would come across as professional and deliver value to visitors.

Target audience and influence on content

People are naturally uncomfortable with change so I wanted to create content that would engage a broad audience until further visitor analysis can be performed; by getting them interested and providing next steps to help them on a journey of digital skills development. To do this, I consciously included an impactful info graphic and a clear call to action.

The info graphic brings to life the exponential rate at which technology is advancing and makes the point that skills required to operate in such an environment are also evolving and people must adapt. This then leads to a series of questions for the visitor, prompting them to think about whether they are equipped to deal with this level of change at work and in life. If the answer was yes to any of these questions, the visitor is encouraged to sign up and become a member via the subscription box.

On page SEO techniques

SearchEngineLand (2015) suggests that there are several ranking factors and best practises that can lead to success when optimising on page content for users and search engines, where architecture and HTML play an important role.

Architecture

Google uses software often referred to as ‘crawlers’ or ‘Googlebot’ to index content across the web so that it can be stored and ranked by the search engine algorithm. Therefore, it is important that crawlers have access to all relevant web pages, this is controlled through a file called ‘robots.txt’.

The Digital Ninja Dojo robots.txt file contains the following:

robots.png

This is an effective configuration as it allows crawlers access to all the main pages, but blocks the crawler from scanning administration pages that do not need indexed or ranked by the search engine.

There are other reasons why you may want to disallow content to a crawler. If a page is under development, has a lot of outbound links, old content or private information, a webmaster may want to disallow those pages in the robots.txt file. Otherwise, there is a risk the crawler views the content as suspicious, spam or evidence of duplicate content (Ledford, 2008). This is something I will need to bear in mind whilst developing new content.

HTML

Titles and meta descriptions are extremely useful HTML elements that can be used to help Google’s algorithm index and represent a website in the most effective way.

Any one piece of content may have the same title as hundreds of others, which is why it’s very important to craft a title that is unique and descriptive. For this site, the main content has been titled ‘Train like a ninja for exponential change’. This helps to grab visitor attention by suggesting it is something they have not seen before.

DND.png

Meta descriptions allow a webmaster to suggest how a page will be described in search results. Above is the SERP for Digital Ninja Dojo, keywords are included in the meta description to reassure visitors they have found a site that contains relevant content.

Behavioural insights

Having researched keywords that people might use to come across the Digital Ninja Dojo. There is another method of optimising the site for customer experience, that is through behavioural insights. Krug (2006) suggests there is no stereotypical web user, but Chaffey (2008) has demonstrated that visitors tend to fall into three behavioural categories: explorers, hunters and trackers.

Explorers use a few key words to start searching against a topic of interest, such as ‘digital skills’. They tend to be click happy and therefore need a website to have simple navigation with easy to read content.

Hunters have a better idea of what they are looking for and may search for a key phrase such as ‘learning how to code for careers in digital’, they may even have a programming language in mind.

Trackers know exactly what they are looking for and have generally been through the process of exploring and tracking. Now they just need to locate the best source of information or company to service their needs.

Digital Ninja Dojo will be optimising content for explorers. This will allow time for the website to build up traffic and perform further analysis on the interests of visitors. I can then create tailored content that is in demand for ‘hunters’ or ‘trackers’.

Business Overview and Assumptions

Digital Ninja Dojo

Digital Ninja Dojo (DND) is a newly launched start up with the purpose of delivering personalised training for members of the public who lack digital skills.

This site represents the company’s newly established web presence, which will be used to acquire new members through attraction campaigns and retain them through the delivery of online content for subscribed users.

Assumptions

Need for the service

The largest assumption that DND made is whether there is a need for this service. According to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (2016), 12.6 million adults in the UK lack basic digital skills and 5.8 million have never used the internet. The Digital Skills Inquiry is laden with evidence and input from financial services, energy and education sectors.

Large scale organisations and government appear to be prevalent in the attempt to develop digital skills in the UK, which presents an opportunity for a start up to deliver something different and unique, but in a way that supports the Government’s overall strategy.

Sufficient demand

Digital Ninja Dojo is targeting people in the UK who do not have adequate digital skills to be successful in today’s workplace; where artificial intelligence and robotics are replacing roles performed by humans.

826,000 young people who are not in education, employment or training will certainly not be prepared for work in the digital world (ONS, 2017).

DND have identified two key segments within their target market based on age demographic, adults and youth (16-24) providing ample opportunity to make a difference and add value for people in the UK.

Profitability

DND is a low cost, not for profit digital start up run by its founder with support from a few others. Any revenues generated through funding or partnerships will be used to further its mission of closing the digital skills gap in the UK.