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Digital Marketing - Value for Money?
With the explosion of digital – or online – marketing, you really are spoilt for choice when getting your message across, with many free options. So which do you choose? Where’s the catch? 

Generally, paid for tools offer you guaranteed exposure. Unpaid tools offer credibility and longevity, although they take longer to have an impact upon web traffic.
Examples of free digital marketing tools:
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Article placement
…there’s more - please ask for details.

Examples of ‘paid for’ digital marketing tools:
  • ‘Pay per Click’ advertising
  • Banner advertising
  • SMS (text messaging)
  • Sponsorship – page/webinar

Measurement and brand control is harder with unpaid tools such as guest Articles and Blogs, whereas results from paid tools such as SMS are more easily tracked. 

Often they work successfully together: Pay Par Click and Banner Advertising offer short term presence boosting web traffic and interaction whilst Articles and Optimisation take affect longer term. Both offer opportunities for careful targeting.

Good optimisation via site content will also enhance the ranking of the paid for (PPC) advert. The tools are therefore different but complementary, combining to drive traffic to your website.

The key areas to think about when you get receive a free, online opportunity are:

  • Targeting - will this channel reach your target customers? If not, you are investing your time in the wrong direction!
  • Longevity - how long will your information be live for? Can you stimulate a quick response by including an offer with a closing date?
  • Timing - when will your piece/activity appear? How does this affect the content? Some channels - such as search engine optimisation or guest articles - may not be able to provide a date.
  • Flexibility - can you change the content once it's live? Perhaps a different image or new information? 
  • Guarantee - most free online tools can guarantee appearance (pending agreements in some cases)
  • Control - content marketing, netwokring and social media offer good levels of control whilst remaining very cost effective - even free - options. Clearly the search engines will retain control over your website's ranking!

To summarise - yes - many free digital tools are worth considering... but not just because they're free! Take the time to find the right ones for your oragnisation... and good luck!
Not sure which are best for your business? Contact us at Decisions Marketing – we’re very happy to chat about online marketing.
The Google Hummingbird Affect

What is Google's Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is a completely new search algorithm, or process. It affects 90% of all searches. It was launched a month ago but only announced recently as part of Google’s 15th birthday. In fact, it’s the first completely new algorithm since 2001.

It’s aimed at making Google better at gathering information. It’s more user-focussed, indexing websites more often (identifying changes) and identifying spammy content, (‘keyword stuffing’ has long been ill-advised… even more so now). It coincides with Google Analytic’s encrypting of keyword data, which had rendered ‘Organic Traffic Sources’ almost useless – another nudge in the ‘don’t rely on keywords’ direction.

How will Hummingbird help?

It’s all about the user…  Google wants to be better at understanding what searchers really want and providing them with better answers. This new search process allows Google to understand user intent more closely. Understanding people will prepare Google for a future dominated by voice and mobile search.

Quite simply, we’re entering more conversational queries such as ‘how do I’ or 'where can I find’ rather than a string of key terms. Hummingbird will allow Goggle to provide us with more relevant results to our queries rather than simply a long list of relevant (hopefully) web links.

How will Hummingbird affect my website?

Anticipate the questions which people will ask. They are usually ‘open’ questions, starting with ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, when’, ‘who’ and ‘what’. Then use these phrases together with relevant keywords within your site. Try this post as an example.

In marketing, the customer is king and relevant, helpful content is the way to gain favour. This ‘best practice’ approach has always meant creating a more advisory than ‘salesy’ style to information and messages you want to promote. This is ideal for Hummingbird! It also offers harmony between copywriting and optimisation for websites - at last!

Remember - always keep your aims in mind before jumping on the latest seo bandwagon. Hummingbird is perfect for guides, downloads and advisory wording. How will you ensure that this transfers into the original goals you have for your website?  

If you'd like to discuss this further, please contact us.