I believe that digital marketing in general is confusing. So how do you know what works and what doesn’t? A lot of it’s just experiential or constantly trying new things to see what sticks and what doesn’t.
Ab Emam is Founder and CEO of the award-winning Web Development Group, a digital strategy and design firm. WDG provides web services, content and brand strategy, and enterprise-based technical platforms including Drupal and WordPress.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Emam shares his thoughts about SEO, credibility, and overall digital misconceptions.
Search me: SEO & content(2:25)
SEO is no longer SEO, it’s about content. How do you draft good content? Write good content? How do you create additional resources that link back to your site? It starts with email, social media, content.
According to an article in Search Engine Land, content should be your top priority for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Good content will help ensure greater search engine visibility. The publication’s Periodic Table of SEO Factors tool outlines the key elements to developing an SEO strategy.
Small businesses can get into the game as well. Odd Dog Media discovered that effective SEO for small businesses had three things in common: a map with their location, a click-to-call phone number, and a link to directions. Those factors converted 4x the rate of any other traffic source, illustrating the importance of the user experience.
Speak up (3:23)
I have three kids and we have Google homes everywhere. Every minute, somebody’s asking a question. “Hey Google, XYZ,” “Hey Alexa, XYZ.” If you are targeting that generation, you really have to start thinking about voice.
A Statista survey found that 43% of respondents use voice search because it’s quicker than a website or an app. In 2020 people conducted roughly half of all online searches through voice search. Marketers can best optimize voice search through customizing content and creating featured snippets. And it’s important to keep in mind that the average voice search result is 29 words long.
Furthermore people use voice search for a range of queries such as business information, deals and promotions—not just the weather. So be sure to take advantage of that. According to Voicebot.ai, voice commerce is the “biggest potential revenue opportunity that justifies the enormous investment being made in voice assistants.”
Good content never gets old (4:54)
Anybody can put up a website. If you want a $99 website, you go to Squarespace. If you want an enterprise-level website, you come to us. But even when we build these amazing infrastructures? If your content is not there, or it doesn’t speak to the right audience, you’re missing the mark.
A recent survey from ClearVoice explored the primary challenges of creating quality content. Two underlying issues stood out: time and resources. Emam stresses the importance of a good editorial team and content governance to be able to write for your audience.
That said, some brands are turning to brand journalism, an evolution of content marketing. Brand journalism is a more sophisticated form of storytelling, created by professional writers and former journalists, sometimes in-house.
Stay on target (6:03)
Personalization is the key to the future. It starts general with targeting based on IPs, geographic location, cookies. Or if you visit a website and then you show that related content. Start small and then think about the next thing.
Implementing the customer experience into your strategy isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. Even more than price and product, personalization has made CX the key brand differentiator between you and the competition.
More than ever it’s critical for brands to understand their customers and their behaviors in order to reach them and gain their loyalty. A recent report by Havas found that consumers wouldn’t even care if 77% of the brands they use disappeared.
Mission driven (7:17)
It gives us a purpose do work that has meaning, or do work that can potentially save a life, work that can inform someone to help someone else.
Brands are increasingly aligning themselves with purpose and causes. Edelman found that more than half of consumers want to see brands become involved in at least one social issue.
WDG developed an aggregated platform and adaptive interface for the American Red Cross to provide widespread relief information. WDG also created an interactive volunteer system across devices, from mobile to platform.
To learn more about WDG, visit their website, and follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter at @wdgtweet.
This interview was originally recorded in February 2020 and has been updated accordingly.
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