Updating your website consistently is absolutely vital to staying relevant in the ever-growing and competitive online market. Here are five ways to do so that we at Waves Digital believe will help you greatly.
1. Visual Appeal
Your website appears as a direct reflection of your company. You need to put yourself as an expert in your profession and your business. First experiences are crucial for expressing this, so it’s important that you constantly update your website to remain on top of the latest developments in architecture. Similarly, if your web looks outdated and poorly structured, potential customers will subconsciously believe your company is also outdated and poorly structured. Your website should highlight your products and/or services in a positive light, encouraging visitors to learn more about you, potentially leading them to hire you or buy your products. Your website should also be designed to be easy to navigate on multiple device types. Regardless of whether visitors view your website from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, it should dynamically adjust for each of these devices. You don’t want to alienate any potential clients, so it’s imperative that you maintain a responsive design that accommodates all modern devices. If guests view your website from a desktop computer, notebook, tablet or mobile phone, it should be customized for each of these devices in a dynamic way. You don’t want to alienate any potential customers, so it’s important that you have a responsive design that suits all modern devices.
You read stories all the time about websites being hacked. Typically the most promoted models include a defaced homepage that reflects a horrible message about who hacked the website and why they did it. There are however many other sneaky ways hackers can use to compromise your website. They also break into your website’s infrastructure and use it as a spam server which can slow down the website to a crawl and eventually make you blacklisted. Blacklisting means adding your web address (domain name) to terrible lists on websites globally that block others from visiting your website and sending you emails. This might be a major problem for your company, as you can imagine. One of the most important things you can do to prevent your account, and your computer from being hacked is to guarantee that the information on your website remains up-to-date. Whether you’re using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or any other content management system (CMS) or even hand-coded scripts, you need to make sure such systems and applications stay up with modern technology.
Your hosting account is another concern — make sure that you are hosting a reputable company that cares about security. Sometimes some extra hassles come with convenience, but in the long run, they’re worth it.
3. Content Is King
First experiences can be influenced primarily by the website’s architecture, but that’s only the start. You must also interest them with great content once you’ve received their attention. Your written word should be interesting and important information regarding the products and/or services you offer should be provided.
This is a great opportunity to improve your content as you update or overhaul your website. Make sure you write an easy, tailored and successful script. Remember that your visitors can only engage you 2 to 4 seconds and hopefully become customers –it’s not only about graphics — you have to use keywords and phrases that grab their interest.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You need to update your SEO settings now that you have a beautiful design and well-written content so that people can find you. You could have read articles about Google modifying its software — any time the search engine changes itself, the website is potentially affected. SEO laws are constantly changing. You will keep up with the new iterations; the longer you wait, the better you get.
This is the perfect opportunity to change your SEO settings as you update the design and functionality of your website. This may include a re-evaluation of the newly-actualized content, but also upgrading the code behind the new design. When redesigning your website, it’s vital that your web designer looks at these options as he/she rebuilds your site.
5. Load Times
It is important these days that you receive your visitors ‘ attention within seconds of their arrival. While all four of the above points play a part in this process, none will matter if your guests are impatiently waiting for your website to load first. Loading times have become so important that even Google reward sites that load more quickly with better placement of the search results. Yes, that’s right-if your website loads faster than your competitors, Google will place you higher in search results. There are many factors that help load times, including image sizes, file system optimization, page caching, and even your web hosting account. All of these variables can be controlled using techniques. You must stop’ free’ web hosting, which is a large majority of the hosting providers, as you serve other locals and have lots of traffic on your website.
As well as the aforementioned points above; the timeline is also important. Updates to your security, SEO and content should be done at least monthly. Finally, moving forward; we at Waves Digital believe that these techniques and strategies when used within the correct timeline are vital in keeping your brand fresh, relevant, and ahead of the pack; so if you’re looking for redesign support, or transforming your digital presence entirely in 2020 – Waves Digital is right for you!
It’s 2020 and with the new year comes new strategies that you should implicate to stay on trend with the constantly evolving world of online marketing. Here are seven of those strategies; our team at Waves Digital believes will continue to keep your content fresh and relevant.
Use more video mediums
In 2019, video remained a common digital marketing tool and this year, too, it’s a must marketing strategy for keeping your target audience engaged.
“Videos are forming stronger bonds with customers, which in effect makes them more likely to buy a product.”
Video topic ideas can range from everything from, testimonials and product tutorials to a day behind the scenes at your office.
Case in point: Chris Savage, CEO of Wistia’s video software service, said Wistia has been paying close attention to the growth of streaming platforms and has seen more and more businesses take a page from the Netflix playbook, producing longer-form original content to create brand loyalty. That’s why Wistia created its own late-night-style talk show, Brandwagon.
2. Rethink how you view artificial intelligence (AI)
When marketers continue to accept AI and incorporate it into their marketing strategies, they will be able to free up their time from many of the tedious tasks and spend more time doing what people enjoy best.
Interpreting the data that AI gathers and segments will make a marketing strategy or break it.
Through thoroughly understanding how AI can be used to drive marketing efforts, and incorporating the human touch by manipulating data to reach audiences through human connexions and feelings, marketers can prove their 2020 and beyond strategies in the future. Educating yourself and others on your team on the application and benefit of using such software.
3. Customer data privacy must be a top priority
Thanks to two major issues: data protection and misinformation, social media have experienced a confidence problem in the last few years.
If your company hasn’t had a data privacy problem, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t concentrate on data privacy either.
The privacy paradox reveals that when it comes to data protection, customers have less confidence in brands, but are still more likely to give companies data in return for more personalized services. Making this a very important precedent going forward.
4. Maximize user experience through augmented and virtual reality
As Mariano Bosaz, Vice President of Digital Innovation at The Coca-Cola Company puts it, brands need to be important to a generation that does not see a distinction between “the online world and the offline, the reality and the augmented reality.” In addition, Digital reality and virtual reality are set to take 2020 by storm. AR will be crucial innovations to improve traditional retail experiences and reach on-the-ground consumers, and VR will be key to improving those online experiences. Definitely a technology to consider investing in ways important to your brand and industry.
5. Accept that your audience is constantly evolving
That which worked last year, this year will not necessarily work.
The conversational data regarding ads has dropped significantly in net opinion over the past year, according to Talkwalker, whereas new methods such as voice search and social media e-commerce drive more conversations.
That could mean switching from ads on search engines to more social-led marketing or voice search.
6. Create Incentive within your community to create content
Brands have to take advantage of that hard work by empowering their audiences to create content for them.
The user-generated content is responsible for 90 percent of purchasing decisions.
So it comes as no surprise that UGC is creating 6.9 times the effort that brand-created content does.
When putting your marketing strategy together, think about the opportunities that you can offer your audience to inspire them to create content.
7. Invest in original ideas and research
Investing in original research was one of 2010’s best marketing tactics; that doesn’t mean however that it is by any means an obsolete strategy.
“New data attracted links and it was beautifully presented, which made people share it on social media.” Coding Sans plans to publish at least three new reports with original research in 2020.
“Publishers want new story angles to cover on a subject even if they’ve covered it a billion times before,” he added.
“Having proprietary data allows us to have that unique angle and presenting it with graphics makes it easy for them to share. We look for writers and publications who cover that subject and present it to them as new research or a study.”
Finally, moving forward into the 2020s; we believe these strategies if implicated correctly could be critical in keeping your brand fresh, relevant, and ahead of the pack; so if you’re looking for marketing support, or transforming your digital presence entirely in 2020 – Waves Digital is right for you!
Pinterest is the most underrated social media platform ever. The truth is its a huge traffic generator when used correctly and can get your content in front of new audiences. Understand that Pinterest is used as a search engine so you can start to think of it in terms of keywords, links etc. Perfecting Pinterest can be daunting at first but with this guide, you’ll be set up and making waves in no time.
Setting Up Your Pinterest
Install Google Analytics immediately. Google Analytics generates detailed statistics about your site’s traffic and measures conversions and sales. You may be surprised about how much Pinterest is doing for you with no effort on your part at all. Install it before you’ve done anything that way you can see how you grow!
Switch to a Business Account. You need a business account in order to take advantage of Pinterest’s analytics feature and apply for rich pins. If you haven’t already, convert your account to a business account, just click “convert now” and follow the instructions on this page: https://business.pinterest.com/en
Apply for Rich Pins. Now that you have a business account, you need to apply for rich pins. A rich pin includes your name, icon and a link to your website when someone pins from your site. This adds credibility to your pins. Here’s how to apply:
First, make sure you have the “Yoast” SEO plugin installed and activated on your WordPress site. Then head over to their “features” tab and make sure the “Advanced settings pages” is enabled, most times this is already enabled.
Update Your Profile. Let’s get your profile not only bringing in new traffic with keywords but keeping them around to check you out once they arrive on your page. Choose a picture of you for your profile. Showing face will help people see the brains behind the biz so stop hiding behind your logo! Your description should include keywords that tell people what you’re all about and where you’re located. Invite your new followers to interact with you off the app by including a link in your description to an opt-in on your website.
Clean Up Your Pinterest Account! If you already had an account and you are not starting from scratch, rearrange your current boards so that the most important ones are at the top and easy to find. Give preference to:
Boards with links back to your own website
Popular topics your target audience is interested in
Move seasonal boards, current promotions, etc. to the top.
The 80/20 Rule
A lot of times Pinterest confuses first users and you can find yourself asking “how much of my own content should I be pinning vs. other people’s content?”
Your Pinterest page is not about you, it’s about providing a resource to your perfect client and every board and pin needs to be focused on them and their needs. At Waves, we recommend sticking with pinning 80% other people’s content and 20% your own. This will help to build knowledge, trust, and likability. Using this rule will have you perfecting Pinterest in no time!
Pinnable Content Ideas
Areas of Interest for your customers
A Basic-Pin Structure
Design – Use Canva (it’s SO easy)
Keep titles large and simple
Make it a rich pin so your website is included
Use keywords in your description
Include a call to action inviting people off the app and onto your website
Pinning to them exposes your content to everyone following that board. That’s why these are a quick way to grow your following. Collaborating with pinners that have a huge following immediately gives you access to their audience. Every time you pin to that board, their followers see your content.
Finding the Right Group Boards
Perfecting Pinterest requires using all aspects of the product. Use the site http://pingroupie.com which allows you to filter and sort existing group boards to find ones that might be a good fit.
Many boards have instructions/conditions for joining, so be sure to read the rules before you start pinning.
Don’t forget to think locally if that is your target market! Local pin-boards brings people together and creates a sense of community.
If there isn’t a group board you’re looking for, create one and invite others to participate! You’ll have others contributing content to your boards which saves you time and energy.
Use #makewaves so that we can see all of your awesome Instagram content. We’re all about creating a tribe over here.
Here are FIVE RULES to live by on Instagram to grow your brand and increase your exposure!
RULE ONE Always have a plan
We know, Instagram is always in the back of your mind. Is it right for you? Is it right for your business? Are you connecting with the right people? Are you sharing the right content to engage with your followers? We’re here to help! The secret? Planning!
Before you share your post, make sure to ask yourself, “Does this post fully capture my personality or my brand’s personality?”. Each post is a step in developing your digital presence. Your brand and business are designed strategically, and your digital platforms should too.
RULE TWO Show your face
Once a week you need to show your face. Some of you might be camera shy and we TOTALLY get it but it’s super important for people to recognize you and be able to put a face to your Instagram account.
RULE THREE Share your work
Don’t be afraid to share your work. You don’t want your feed to be completely filled with your work but share it intentionally with a purpose or goal.
RULE FOUR Share your work environment
You’re HUMAN and your followers are too! Don’t be afraid of sharing a behind the scenes look of your life, it can be awkward and we get it but more importantly, it allows you to better connect with your followers.
RULE FIVE Captions
Captions, captions, captions… One of the most time-consuming parts of sharing a post is coming up with a caption. If you’re ever stuck ask yourself, “How would I explain this photo to my friend? What would help them understand why it matters?” Your tone of voice should be consistent everywhere the more personal the tone the better.
The 5 Instagram Pillars
How do you want your posts to feel as a whole? it’s not just about the colours. The appearance of your feed will evoke a response from someone scrolls through your feed. What do you want that to be?
There’s more to your brand than your logo, colours, and font. How do people perceive your products and services? Is the tone easily communicated through a scroll on your feed? Make sure every photo and caption embodies the personality of your brand.
Let your creative juices flow! But be consistent! Make sure your images, tone, and writing are consistent. The goal is to have people recognize your post immediately.
You’re more than just your product or service. Your feed shouldn’t be the same thing over, and over, and over again. A simple way of diversifying your feed is choosing five different categories to focus on. Keep your feed diverse, fun, and interesting.
Quality will always trump quantity, especially when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. Make sure every post is the quality someone could expect from you should they hire you or purchase from you!
One Month of Instagrammable Content
We know how hard it can be coming up with your next social post. We wanted to make this month easy for you!
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is commonly referred to as a strategy, however, at the most basic level it is simply setting yourself up to be recognized by any search engine as relevant to a specific search.
What is a Search Engine?
A search engine is “a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.” as defined by the Google Dictionary.
Google is an example of a search engine. And so is Youtube!
Wherever there’s a search bar and the user receives relevant information is considered a search engine. The results you get are always based on the most relevant content to your search. This is where optimization comes into play.
In order for search engines to produce a list of the most relevant results for any search, they must search through their own database and determine which items are relevant. They do this by running the searched term through titles, paragraphs, image descriptions, essentially anywhere and everything that can be named.
The practice of optimizing doesn’t have to be complicated and actually doesn’t require a confusing or unique strategy to succeed. By simply not making any mistakes, you’re already more than halfway there. Optimizing just means making it the best you can, and having your website in a position to be picked the most often. This means avoiding uploading any images named “capture.png” or “download.jpg”. Also avoiding leaving any page titles blank, and/or using the heading 5 tag for all of a page’s headings.
Let’s say you own an online business for dog food. When a user goes onto Google and searches for ‘Dog Food’, Google then searches through every website looking to create a list of the most relevant websites for that user. If the title of your website doesn’t include ‘dog food’, then you’re most likely already out of the race, and this is because your website title isn’t optimized for this search term. After website titles, Google is now going to look through your website’s subpages, and see how many of those include ‘dog food’ as well. Then Google will index how many of your entire website’s headings include ‘dog food’ giving more importance to H1 than H5. Long story short, every piece of content, media, and item on your website needs to be named correctly and formatted correctly to look it’s best so that Google has no problem ranking your website for the user’s searching for your keywords.
Why it’s important
Optimizing your website is important because organic search (ranking on search engines based on keywords and not from paid ads) accounts for 73% of all website traffic on average.
Additionally, 71% of all website clicks are on Google’s first page and has been as high as 92% in recent years.
This shows how crucial it is to rank on Google’s first page of results, which is usually in the top 10. Of course, this isn’t easy to do. Most keywords you want to rank for, a lot of other businesses also want to rank for. If you want to beat out the competition for those top 10 positions, you have to make sure your website is not only flawless but that your website is also a proven relevant website for the keyword. This is where backlinks, traffic, and content marketing will give you an edge on your competitors. If other reputable websites are linking to your website, it tells Google that your website is also reputable, and that will help you climb the rankings. The same goes for traffic! The more traffic your website gets, the more helpful Google views your site to be.
Every search is like a new competition. Your website always needs to be as perfect as possible to catch the attention of search engines every time, to be chosen for a high ranking. If you’re below the top 10 rankings, you’re missing out on traffic and leads.
How it’ll grow your business
Improving your SEO results in users finding your website when they search for terms related to your business. The increase in traffic will be exponential because the more visitors your website gets, the more search engines see your website is reputable. This will, of course, increase your leads which leads to an increase in revenue. If your website isn’t optimized, you’re simply missing out on traffic and leads, which is not the way to grow your business. Make sure to make SEO the main focus for your marketing team and to have regular checks to ensure everything is set up the way you want it to be. Google and YouTube can’t read your mind, so make your website and channel obvious as to what they’re relevant towards and begin your journey to the top of the rankings!
What we do
At Waves Digital, we offer an SEO package that includes website analysis, keyword research and planning, and quarterly reports packed with info and recommendations to improve your SEO. We’ll identify aspects of your website that need tweaking, fixing, and rebuilding to be optimized, as well as plans and strategies to compete with keywords of your choice. And our reports? They’ll give you an update on where you’re at right now, the progress you’ve made, and recommendations on how to continue to improve.
There is a lot of different aspects that affect your SEO and depending on what you’re looking to be ranking for, there are likely changes you need to make to get your business in a position to rank for those terms. We simply help you identify those changes and help implement them to get your website or channel on track to climb up the rankings.
If you’d like to learn more about our SEO package, click here!