New year’s on the threshold and as always, you are eager to implement new ways to compete in this fast-changing digital world. Definitely, you are researching hard to find out the trends and techniques that will give you fast results in 2017 unlike a few of those integrated in the previous year.
Do you know what did you lack to beat your competitors in all these past years? Is there any huge difference between their and yours marketing tactics? No. It’s some subtle moves that you didn’t have. The basic digital marketing steps are more or less same and you must be quite efficient in making them effective. But now, you have to learn the smart ones that get them ahead in the race and help to acquire the top position. Let’s start.
1. Competitor Analysis
First things first. When you are in a competition, it’s just not enough to do only your job. You also need to keep an eye on what others are doing. You have to try your best to find out your competitor’s strengths and weak points. You must have your own strong areas but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be good at what your competitors are not. Therefore, do make an analysis on your competitors and plant the first seed of your new strategies.
Now the question is how can you come to know what your competitors are doing? Well, there are a good number of ways to learn that. You can go manually and take the help of tools as well. The suggestion would be to use both the ways to understand the difference between you and the competitors.
To start the manual process, you need to compare the sites yourself. Find out the qualities that make your competitors’ sites more appealing. You also need to check which keywords they are targeting to get their landing pages ranked. This idea of keywords would definitely help you target more users.
SEMrush, ahrefs and Searchmetrics Essentials are very popular as competitor analyzing tools. Among them, ahrefs provides a deep insight on the positions of your website and your competitors’. Let’s find out how you can use it.
Suppose this is the ahrefs’ report of your competitor’s website.
And this is the report of yours. Let’s start the analysis and find out where you lack from your competitor and how you can improve.
The backlink profile analysis of the two websites clearly shows why the competitor’s website is ahead in the race. Apart from the domain authority, the competitor’s website is much better in various respects. While the ahrefs rank of your competitor’s website is 83, 569, yours is 175,992. Even the number of referring domains and organic keywords of the former website is far greater than your website. It has near about 20,000 more backlinks than what your website has. Most importantly, it has a good URL authority of 51 whether you end with only 16.
These are the areas that you primarily need to pay attention to. The tool can provide you with various other opportunities like organic search data, paid search data and content overview.
2. Solving Technical Issues
Technical issues often play the role of an obstacle towards digital success. If you are not a professional marketer, possessing some basic knowledge of digital marketing, then you are most prone to get affected with these issues without being aware of the level of the harm caused by them. Therefore, if you aren’t getting the result you expected, check the technicalities of your website now.
Check robots.txt File: The very first thing that the crawlers of search engines look for on your website is the robts.txt file that helps you disallow particular pages or search engines. It also helps search engines crawl and index your website properly. To check whether everything is alright with robts.txt file on your website, type the URL of your website followed by /robots.txt. If you find anything wrong there, you can change it from the control panel.
Check sitemap.xml File: The sitemap.xml file of your website helps crawler have an idea of the entire structure of the site, including all the pages it has. There are various tools that can generate sitemap.xml file for your website. You can also do it by using a plugin. To check the sitemap.xml file, type the URL of your website followed by /sitemap.xml. To change anything here, you also need to go the control panel.
Check the Broken Links: A broken link or 404 error generally occurs when the extension of the searched URL doesn’t match with any pages of your website. It may happen when a user mistypes a URL extension. But there are instances when the user types the right extension but can’t find the page he wants. Let’s find out why it happens.
Suppose you had a landing page, namely “digital marketing services” that’s been changed to ‘digital marketing solutions” during the remarketing procedure. The fact you have to know is that with the change of the design, content and title of the page, the URL got changed as well and the previous URL exists no more. Now, if a user types “/web-design-services” as the extension of your website, he ends with a 404 error.
To identify which links are broken and showing 404 error, you can seek the help of Google Search Console. After getting the URLs, your task is to redirect them to the present landing pages. You can resolve the issue using a 301 redirect plugin on WordPress. The manual procedure includes the coding part in the control panel.
Check Canonical Issue:
If your site opens with both www and without www, then it’s affected by the canonical issue. It may seem like a minor problem but it’s definitely a matter to be concerned. Due to this, Google will treat your website as two different websites and would find it confusing to rank a particular URL. Therefore, you should take steps as fast as possible to get rid of the issue.
To solve this, you need to go to the header part of every page on your website from the control panel and write the following code :
3. Customer Behaviour and Interests:
Knowing your customers is always the key quality of a marketer. It helps him present his product to his customers in a way they want. But with the aim to rank our websites in good positions we often ignore this basic marketing tactic. This year, let’s move back towards the basic. Let’s study the customer s’ behavior and get them interested.
Google Analytics probably provides the best opportunity to study your customers and learn the areas that they are interested in. Just by clicking on the “users flow” tab, you can get the whole idea about how your customers behave after visiting your site. You can come to know, which pages bring what number of users to your website. You can analyze their entire journey to the “contact us” page and from which pages the customers start losing their interest. Thus, it comes with a lot of opportunities to improve the areas that are not performing well and give a further push to the pages that have managed to attract a good number of users.
The above image clearly shows that most of the drop-offs have occurred right after the home page and the plugin page visits even after attracting 368 and 318 users respectively. Both the pages succeeded in forwarding a small number of users ending in 38 and 20 respectively. Therefore, the first and foremost attention should be paid on both the home page and the plugin page. They should be added with the looks and feels that can keep a user engaged and push further. Even the contents of the pages should be checked thoroughly and they should be made more engaging.
As a footballer can have interest in chess as well, your customers might have interest in other things that may not have any connection with your business. Knowing those interests and implementing them in your marketing strategy is another advantageous tactic. Now the question is how can you come to know about the interests of your customers? Google Analytics can also help you in this.
This is an overview of interests of the customers of a particular website. As it suggests, the maximum number of interested visitors of the website in the affinity category is technophiles. Whatever you update or publish on your website, will reach more users in the affinity category. That means if a blog gets published in the website, the maximum number of users it will reach are technophiles. Even it can attract a good number of users from business services/ business technology/web design and development as the users from these fields are most interested in the website.
This is a real treasure for marketers who believe in content marketing to get high engagement. A smart way is to write blogs connecting your business with these fields. Suppose you are a travel agency and you found that you get the most number of visits from shutterbugs. Therefore, you can blog on the places that are great for photography. You can also offer an opportunity for photographers to send you photographs to submit on your website. In this way, you can definitely attract a good number of genuine customers.
One of the most fruitful steps of digital marketing today is remarketing that’s a way to retarget your customers with the old contents once more. Suppose, you have a blog published on your website for about two years ago. It may happen that the new updates and trends introduced in the meantime have made the blog somewhat less valuable. Thus, your task would be to get it removed or remarketed with some updates and news that are in trend. It would help users and search engines find your content easily and thus, you will be able to bring the value out of a content that might have lost its importance.
5. Customer Interaction
Last but not the least, customer interaction can be a great way to engage users. You can start a chat service to clarify the queries of the customers who could bounce out of confusion. You can also communicate with your customers and develop a strong fan base through the social media platforms like Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Instagram etc.
This is it. If you are one of those who has not thought this way, or haven’t taken such steps before, this is the time for you. Put an end to giving others way to beat you and rank top. Let’s do something subtle this year. Let’s make it memorable.