Now that we are almost a month into this pandemic, we are starting to see what the temporary normal looks like. At the commencement of COVID-19 it was sheer panic and fear of the unknown. Now we are getting to the stage of understanding that things are probably going to stay how they are for a little while (at least 3-4 months).
Here at Digital Eagles, we have been working with over 130 clients throughout this period. Our team of Digital Strategists and Delivery Specialists have been on the front line working with every single customer to understand their requirements, their business position and how we can plan to help them through and out of this challenging period.
Here’s what we know:
- Your business has been closed down and cannot trade throughout this period.
- Your business has been impacted, but you know that with cuts and optimisations you will get through this challenging time.
- You are lucky enough to be seeing peak demand for your business.
We thought it would be helpful to get marketers and business owners to get advice first hand from our specialist team. Some of the questions we are being asked frequently are the questions that we will attempt to answer for you today.
Head of SEO - Shanaka Thanapathy:
As a small business owner what are the 5 things that are most important to increase rankings in my local area?
- Claim your Google My Business Account. For tips on how to do that click here
- Generate as many Google Reviews as possible. Now is a great time to go back and ask your customers to support your business. Did you know that over 97% of all customers consult reviews before making a book or purchase? For more information about simple ways to generate reviews click here
- Optimise your titles on your website. Most CMS’s / Web Platforms will allow you to log into the back end of your site and name the titles of your page. This is the best way for Google to know what that page on your website is there to do.
Digital Marketing Agency in Melbourne | Fly with Digital Eagles Marketing is the title that we use for the homepage.
This is how it’s reflected on Google.
- Make sure you have an SSL certificate on your website. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This is a form of encryption that shows google that your site is safe for users to leave their information in a secure way. Especially if you are an e-commerce business and have customers transacting on your website, it’s critical. The below screenshot shows what users may see when visiting your website.
- Speed Matters. Ensuring your website loads in under 3 seconds is important. For every 0.5 seconds that your website takes to load your bounce rate will increase exponentially. To see how long your website takes to load you can visit: https://tools.pingdom.com/
Social Media Manager - Bianca Giles:
- Communicate business changes and update your customers with what’s happening. An honest update with how your business is doing and how you plan to commit to your audience for the time being will serve you well. If you are a restaurant owner or cafe owner and you are now providing takeaway or delivery, social media is a fantastic way to keep you customers updated on your services.
- Create content that is going to be a valuable resource to your customers. If you’re unable to market your products or services right now, focus on sharing content that aligns with your brand values with the goal of retention. For example, If you are a hair salon and you have chosen to close, your clients are going to need tips and advice for a home hair care and maintenance plan. Staying in touch with your audience will keep you top-of-mind for when they are able to use your services again.
- Content planning. If you have never been a big user of social media, now is a great time to start as your customers are spending more time online. In fact Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage due to Covid-19. There are a lot of free social media planning tools that are available to help you get started. Here’s a couple of resources that might help you. For those who have already got a handle on their socials, I recommend rethinking your current content strategy to tailor to the needs of consumers right now. Many campaigns might need to pivot or be saved for another time.
- Boost your visibility and go live! LinkedIn live is huge right now and we’re seeing huge reach gains to live videos. If you’re in the B2B space and you can offer valuable content to your audience about your industry, don’t be afraid to go live. Use the opportunity to teach something or answer people’s biggest questions and build a stronger connection between your brand and your community. However, be prepared. Do some cold run throughs before you push the live button and also make sure that you are very confident in the topic that you want to talk about.
- Refresh and clean up your socials: A lot of customers that we are working with have very old content, outdated images, missing information. Create yourself a checklist to work through your social media channels with a view from your customers eyes. Have you connected your online store to Instagram Shopping? Is your cover photo updated on Facebook? Are your hours of operation updated? Have you got all of your products and services listed on Google My Business and Facebook? If you find yourself with free time, updating your imagery and video content will be a great investment to make to your brand.
Head of CRO (Conversion Optimisation) - Dave Hyman:
- SPEED SPEED SPEED - A fast loading website = a high converting website. With Australia’s average page load speed being 12 seconds, which is beyond crazy, it is even more essential in 2020 that your website is loading at an appropriate speed. Ideally, you would have your website loading below 3 seconds, but taking a range of external factors into consideration, we at Digital Eagles always aim for a sub-6 second load speed. For every 1 second load time over 6 seconds, Google has stated that it decreased conversions by 7% and it makes sense, when was the last time you waited over 10 seconds for a page to load?
- Sliders don’t convert. This is a common problem, more than likely you or your web development agency have purchased a pretty theme and have plugged in some nice looking images into a banner with a button saying “find out more”. This isn’t good enough anymore and doesn’t create a strong enough Call To Action to convert. The reason Sliders don’t convert is because they are sending too many messages, having a bunch of different images floating through whilst a potential customer is navigating is overwhelming and often leads to confusion. We suggest having 1 single image in your banner with a strong Call To Action for best performance.
- High quality Images + Videos on product pages - This is specifically for ecommerce websites, but having top level content is always a must to help with conversions. At the end of the day, you ALWAYs have competition and if they are presenting their products or services better then you, they will more than likely win. This means that having amazing quality images and video content, specifically on product pages of your website, could be the difference for someone who is just “casually browsing” to become an actual customer.
- Create Unique Value Propositions - By creating a compelling argument for why you are unique and how you offer a better service than others in your industry, you significantly improve your chances of earning your audience's trust and this will lead to better conversions. Creating unique sales propositions can often be a tricky thing to do, but highlighting these in a prominent position on the website can help with a customer decision making process and it can give them an understanding of your points of difference early on in their journey.
- Social Proofing is crucial. When was the last time you bought something without checking a customer testimonial or review online? We all carry around a handheld computer in our pockets now, so the ability to check up on people’s experience 2ith a product or service is easier than ever and you need to use this to your advantage. Offer as much social proof on your website as you can, video testimonials, written testimonials, review sections and google review plugins are some easy wins here that will help verify that your offering is legitimate and also promote the trust of existing customers who have enjoyed using your product/service.
Head of Paid Search - Darren Vassallo
- Think like a local. If you have seen a decline in leads and sales Google Ads could be a fantastic way to get your business in front of more new customers. Google now has a local maps ads option for businesses. Most local service based businesses will enjoy being able to work on the local community, so use it to your advantage. Most customers that are searching for a business will prefer to contact local businesses. Here’s an example. The search query here was “Panel Shop Narre Warren”. PJ’s Panels is based in Narre Warren and has a 4.5 Star rating, my guess is that they are getting a good return off this search query.
- Use Google Shopping. If you are running an e-commerce business Google Shopping could be a great opportunity to open up more exposure to your products. Google knows that showing customers a view of the product directly into the search result will drive more impressions and more clicks to your product pages. Below is a screenshot of “Men’s Laptop Bags''. You can see to the left of the screen google is showing examples of mens laptop bags available for purchase online.
- Track your goals: A lot of customers that we work with don't know that you can actually track a lot of performance metrics in Google Analytics. ROAS: return on ad spend = How much has been invested divided by the revenue generated. Enquiry Goals: How many forms or phone calls have been submitted from the google ads that you’re running. We can derive CPL (Cost Per Lead) from this. CPL = Money spent divided by leads generated. To see if you have Google Analytics setup follow this guide.
- Negative Keywords: Definition. A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren't shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match. For example, when you add "free" as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you tell Google Ads not to show your ad for any search containing the term "free". On the Display Network, your ad is less likely to appear on a site when your negative keywords match the site's content.
- Geo-targeting. Start with a small localised region, so you are able to test the market with a smaller budget until you know what works. There’s no point running a broad campaign across all of Melbourne when you are still trying to work out what keywords and ad groups are going to work for your business. Start with a 5-10km radius in your location targeting.
I hope these tips have provided you with some real valuable insights and inspire you to take action through these uncertain times. One thing I know for sure, if you do nothing, then nothing will change.
If you have any questions for any of our experts please don’t hesitate to contact us at https://www.digitaleagles.com.au/contact/ for a free 45 minute strategy session.
Thanks for reading.
Ryan Jenkins - CEO / Founder (Chief Eagle)