Let’s talk Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are brilliant, during my 1:1 sessions its something I always suggest using to help grow businesses and also build general brand awareness. They have become relatively more popular in recent years and the managers of these groups are becoming more and more creative in the way they curate posts to ensure they are adding value and helping others, which I totally love. Not using Facebook groups? Here are 3 reason why you should start.

  1. Many groups allow you to do an introduction when you first join which is fantastic for brand awareness. If you follow these groups on a regular basis, they may also share posts that allow you to share your Instagram and Facebook pages, yet again, a great way to build your following, business and grow awareness.
  2. If you’re a start up, new to an industry or just in need of a supplier, groups are a great way to find people and build great relationships!
  3. Another great way to grow your business is to collaborate with others but how do you find people to collaborate with, well via groups of course. I recently saw an amazing suggestion for a review swap and we all know how important good reviews are for your business right?

 

Inspired Coaching – The story so far…

Last week I completed my sixth Social Media Coaching session. The main digital channels I have been covering are websites, blogs, Facebook and Instagram (Soon to move on to LinkedIn).

To summarise, I work with small businesses and independents to help create digital marketing strategies to grow their businesses online. Ultimately, I train, advise and inspire!

Being a creative I thrive from variety so creating unique content for different businesses on a regular basis really excites me, not only am I achieving one my main passions of helping small businesses but I am also learning by the minute (Learning is very important to my personal growth). Although each session is very different, they all have one thing in common, they’re empowering!

When I first started my career after studying psychology at university, I worked in schools teaching children with disabilities via small group sessions and 1:1s in the classroom. The satisfaction I got from empowering others was something I never forgot and I am so happy to be able to return to this but this time being able to incorporate my 9 years of digital marketing experience.

Starting a new business I believe is very much a journey, so watch this space to see where this one goes…

SEO: The Basics

I have spent a lot of my time working on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). With a small budget, it can really be the driving force for bringing traffic to your website, so it is 100% worth spending a little time working on SEO. If this is something you are not familiar with, here is a very brief explanation of SEO.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to ‘rank’ higher in search engine results pages, therefore increasing the amount of organic (or free) traffic that your website receives. 

There are two types of SEO: On page/Onsite SEO and Off Page/Offsite SEO.

ON PAGE SEO

On page refers to your page copy i.e. Meta Description. Page Title. Alt Text. Heading Texts. Before looking at working on this type of SEO think about what key words you want to be optimised for. This should always be the first step to creating your SEO Strategy.

To win on page, make sure your pages are well structured (Making sure you use Headings H1 and subheadings H2) and use specific keywords (to avoid google getting confused about where to send traffic to). Also ensure every single page has:

  • Alt text
  • H1 & H2 (heading texts)
  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Keyword within the content

OFF PAGE SEO

Off page refers to creating an online and offline footprint away from your website. This is done through creating back links to your website from Social Media, Articles, Blog Posts, Discussion Boards etc. If you have valuable back links, google will know that you have great content that will add value to your audience, so you’ll rank higher.

To win off page you want  to link internal pages using the keyword that best defines that page and remember, the more relevant or legitimate the website your back links come from, the better you are likely to be ranked. If your ready to take the next step and build a strategy around your SEO, then Moz have a great article with lots more detail. You can read it here.

To Summarise

SEO is an ongoing process and requires time, so remember to be patient. And a few final words…

1. The first part of your SEO strategy is to decide which keywords to rank for, be specific, start with a broad list, and then whittle it down using Google Keyword Planner.

2. Once you have your list, keep a record of the keywords you are optimising for and where you rank and keep visiting these keywords so you have visibility of your position.

2. To remain at the top of the page, make sure your also use these keywords within the content on your website including in your blog.

3. Also work on getting quality inbound links. For example: By Guest Blogging for a website or working with trusted digital influencers.

4. Analyse and monitor. Monthly analysing will help you to change your strategy if things aren’t working, so stay open to change.

4 strategies to support your business growth online

There are hundreds of things you could be doing to help increase traffic and see that traffic convert into sales but if your a small company and budget is limited, it can be hard to decide which areas to focus on.

Bearing this in mind, I have wracked my brain and I have compiled a few suggestions, depending on what you want to achieve, each of the 5 suggestions is targeted at a specific goal. There are many more goals which might come up on the way but these are the ones that have worked for me.

GOAL – To build trust 
SOLUTION – Customer Reviews 
61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for e-commerce sites. (Source: Econsultancy). Invest in Customer Reviews – TrustPilot and Feefo are two platforms who can help with this, in my experience Feefo was definitely more affordable and don’t forget to ask for a shorter trial period if your not 100% convinced.

GOAL – To maximise access to your loyal customers 
SOLUTION – Email Marketing 
Do you have a database of customers? Do you send them regular newsletters? The advantage of newsletters, is those people who subscribe are obviously interested in your product, so are more likely to make future purchases. Make sure the newsletters are interesting though (and varied), you don’t want to bombard people with the same thing so they end up unsubscribing. Newsletter companies I have used are: Campaign Monitor, Campaign Master & Mailchimp. All of which have analytics, so you can check CTR and Open Rates. This will help you to create a clear email marketing plan.

GOAL – To give customers everything they need in one place 
SOLUTION – Detailed Product Pages 
Once your customer has reached your website, the aim is to make them convert. A great way to encourage purchases is to ensure your product pages are as detailed as possible. A good example of this is British Brand John Lewis. But if you can’t get them to buy, at least help them to remain on the website for as long as possible by linking products to other pages on your site that might help to convince a purchase. I have often linked products to stories written in the blog section or plan stories that can be linked to products.

GOAL – To build quality content
SOLUTION – Blogs 
We all know how important is to be creative with content and having a blog will help you do this but remember, it isn’t good etiquette to talk about yourself all the time, so think outside the box. This is where your content marketing plan can also really come in handy, and remember to keep the posts regular, if you share these on your social, you can also track how many people visit your website from your social channels via the blog post – a good way to see what interests your audience and plan similar content. If you can create content that relevant and interesting, you’re also likely to see an improvement in your page location on google.