The 2013 digital checklist

Now that the festive season is almost over, it is time to think about business again and start planning your digital marketing activities for 2013.

2012 was a real digital rollercoaster, if only just for Google unleashing its wild animals on the search market. And if you’re familiar with this market you’ll surely have heard of Panda and Penguin more than a few times this year. Add this to changes in users’ behaviours with multi-screen browsing and even stronger social media presence, and you have the perfect recipe for a digital headache.

However Mahon Digital is here to help, so here are a few pointers for your digital marketing strategy for the New Year

Onsite SEO still matters

You thought that optimising the pages of your website with titles, descriptions, keywords, anchor links and everything else was a thing of the past…then think again! Too many website owners neglect onsite optimisation to follow digital trends, and this can be very costly in the long term. So whatever you do in the new year, please make sure that your onsite SEO is up to the best standards.

Link building has changed

Too many companies still rely on outdated link building techniques or employ grey/black hat agencies (read “unethical” or “shady”) to try and get backlinks to their website. With link popularity having such an impact on rankings, it is time to think seriously about how you approach this activity. The two main words here are “quality” and “relevance” – without good links from relevant sources your link building activities will only have limited results. And now the one million $ question: how do you get these precious links? By having a clear link building strategy including a mix of (good) directory submissions, social bookmarking, integration of social channels, content syndication, reviews…

Content is STILL king

In the early days of SEO, the sentence “content is king” was coined to emphasize the importance of quality content on a website. Well this is still true in 2013, but not only on your website and instead across all your marketing channels – social media, blogs, forums. Content marketing was one of the buzzwords of 2012 and it will continue to grow in popularity in 2013. Good content will not only help you get backlinks but it’ll also help you build authority and ultimately drive traffic and hopefully sales. So establishing a clear content marketing strategy for your business with clear objectives and performance metrics by channel should be on your list this new year.

Conversion rate optimisation aka CRO

While this is not really a new thing, it is something that still has to reach all online businesses. Conversion optimisation is aimed at helping your website convert better by testing and adjusting key conversion points (like the purchase funnel, contact form). This can take the form of a simple A/B test where you compare the performance of an existing page vs. a new page, or it can be a complex Multi Variate Test (MVT) with several elements and combinations of a page being tested at the same time. It is all well and good to drive traffic through good SEO, but if your website is not optimised for conversions, then your ROI will remain low. SEO and CRO should be used in tandem to get the best results.

Go mobile

2012 has very much been about the rise of the tablets and mobile customers. M-commerce is growing every day, and if you’re a retailer you could be missing out on a lot of revenue by ignoring this market. So while you may not want to go for a full mobile website, why not consider some mobile campaigns in the upcoming year 2013 with dedicated mobile friendly landing pages? Or use responsive design techniques to ensure your website displays well on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Know your numbers

Whatever digital tools you decide to use in 2013, make sure that you can measure the results using web analytics software. Knowing how each channel is performing will help you refine your digital strategy and get a better understanding of what is working (or not) for your business. Digital marketing and SEO are not exact sciences, so understanding the numbers is key to success.

We hope that these tips can help you in the upcoming new year, but as ever the Mahon Digital team is here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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