06/08/20 // Written by AmbaWilkes

Answering Your Common Digital Marketing Questions

Digital marketing is an overwhelming landscape full of constant twists, turns and new trends. Always happy to support, we understand you may have questions on your strategy and where your budget is best spent.

Answering the most common questions we receive from our clients, this blog aims to shed light on some of the grey areas of digital marketing. From keywords to rankings to which channel suits your objectives, take a read to find the answers to your frequently asked questions.

Why do Outreach?

Amplifying your brand’s voice, building organic authority and supporting your SEO efforts – just a few of the benefits that outreach can provide your business. There is a common misconception that outreach is simply used to grow referral traffic and drive traffic to your website. While this is something that outreach can most definitely achieve, the fundamental purpose is to power your domain.

Obtaining natural, relevant and credible links from high-profile websites and authoritative blogs, targeted outreach can build your brand’s digital presence, improving your link profile and domain authority (DA) in the process. Outreach often works behind the scenes, boosting your SEO and content marketing efforts, making it more likely for search engines to rank your site higher.

How is Outreach different to Digital PR?

“Which one should I focus on? Don’t they just do the same thing?” While outreach and digital PR have similar objectives, namely link acquisition, boosting DA, driving website traffic and increasing brand awareness, the process is very different.

Outreach looks to build links that power your website and improve your page authority by targeting blogs, and industry specific websites. Digital PR on the other hand, works to find an opportunity for your brand, to get exposure and join a bigger conversation. It’s about thinking creatively to generate ideas that news sites and publishers will want to link back to and gain brand mentions.

These high DA publications such as Business Insider, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph are targeted because they ultimately offer big SEO rewards. Acquiring links on these sites will lead to increased traffic and brand exposure. While this may not offer the same direct impact as targeted outreach, it does have a greater overall effect on your site’s rankings.

Do I really need so much content on my website?

Google’s algorithm updates continue to place precedence on high-quality onsite content. But this need for content can sometimes work against your website design, styling and branding. A major 2018 change called the E-A-T or medic update cemented the need for businesses, particularly those in your money or your life (YMYL) sectors, to produce detailed, relevant content that satisfies search intent.

At its core, this update is about showing a level of expertise, authority and trust within the content displayed onsite. To do this effectively, and to cover all areas of a topic, content often becomes long-form, usually 2000 words or more. The thought of displaying this much text on your landing pages may cause you to shudder, but ultimately, Google is a text reader, so words are needed for the search engine to rank your website.  

The key is a balancing act between quality, in depth content that doesn’t disrupt your website’s design. A good agency will be able to help you compromise, taking both your branding and how the content will be displayed onsite into account. Led by your objectives, we always go back to what we set out to do which is often increase ranking, traffic and leads – something that content can go a long way in helping you achieve.

Why do I need to target these keywords?

You may have an idea of the keywords you want to rank for before appointing an SEO agency. While this is good, it’s also important to remember that how people actually search could be different to what keywords you believe you should target. It’s natural to categorise your products or services into terminology that your brand commonly uses, but just because you use this language doesn’t mean your audience does.

Fortunately, data provides the facts. Analysing search data, we can quickly see whether a keyword is worth tracking based on the search volume it receives. If no one is searching those keywords, they’re not worth using. For example, your business may prefer to use the word term ‘faux’ over ‘artificial’ (think flowers, leather, velvet etc.) because it sounds more luxurious, but it’s more important to reflect what users are searching to ultimately increase traffic.

Can I rank for that high-volume keyword?

High search volume keywords are the ones with the highest competition. In most cases, it won’t be worthwhile aiming for the vanity phrases with the highest search volume because, in reality, you won’t be able to compete and rank for it so well.

To ensure we’re covering all bases, our SEO experts take a blended approach to keyword research using a combination of high search volume and niche keywords within a strategy. While high-volume keywords may generate searches, there could be minimal purchase intent behind them. This often comes down to where the user is in their purchase journey. There is a whole path to conversion before that  conversion actually takes place and these stages are key to boosting your brand awareness – this is why niche keywords are so important.

Our keyword research is completed using a range of industry-leading and exclusively developed in-house tools which allow us to identify the keywords with the highest-ranking potential for your brand. Driven by this data, we can not only look at the search volume but also the opportunity as a whole and how you will fair against the competition.

Are they really my competitors?

Is your competition who you think they are? You’re likely to have an idea of who your competition is, or, who you are striving to compete with in your industry. But the online reality can often be quite different and quite surprising. This is where a specialist agency can really add value.

A fundamental part of your SEO strategy, we complete a competitor analysis before anything else. Using our in-house developed Competitor Analysis, we reveal your key online competition – usually unearthing a number of businesses who may not have been firmly on your radar. Digging into important SEO metrics to assess your starting position, we look at:

  • Ranking and traffic performance in the UK versus potential competitors
  • Market position
  • Competitor gap analysis
  • Site structure, hierarchy and navigation
  • Technical optimisation
  • Audit of link profile and domain authority gap
  • Opportunities for further growth

These findings form the building blocks of your strategy, identifying what needs to be done to get you ahead of your competitors.

Should we be trying the latest digital marketing trends?

Paid social? Check. SEO? On it! PPC? Why not? It can be overwhelming to understand where your budget should be used to generate the results you want. While new trends and channels can sound exciting, they may not be the right fit for your strategy.

Our advice is not to spread yourself or your budget too thinly. If you’re trying to do too much at once just to keep up with the status quo, your efforts will not be rewarded. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of so many marketing channels, but sometimes it’s more beneficial to get one channel right before building on this with more. Tools such as our Competitor Analysis are important in defining where your gaps are and as such, where your budget and our time should be focused in order to make real busines impact before moving onto a new tactic.

How long until I see results?

You invest money, you want to see a return – and we want this for you too! But it’s impossible to say exactly how long it will take before results are seen. Many factors affect it including your objectives, your budget, your competition, the industry and even what channels you use.

For example, if your focus is SEO, we know from our experience that title tag changes can give an initial boost to your organic ranking fast. But for the effects of SEO to truly start taking effect, ongoing maintenance is needed which, when done effectively, can drive long term value for your online presence. PPC, on the other hand, can be a much quicker win, but as soon as you stop paying, your presence in the SERPs will also come to a halt.

Why do my rankings keep changing?

Search engines are living, breathing and constantly changing machines. Always updating to find and display the best result for the user, it’s completely natural to see your organic position ebb and flow. The key is to stay calm and not panic.

SEO is a long-term game which is why we share monthly updates based on average positions to ensure we’re always giving a measured representation of your organic presence. This approach is taken to prevent knee jerk reactions, for example, your position changing from five to six over the course of a single week is quite normal. However, our team do track keyword rankings every single day and if a sudden drop is seen, rest assured it will not go unmissed.

What happens if I stop my SEO campaign?

“I’ve got to where I want to be on Google, why do I need to continue with SEO?”. The SEO landscape is always fluctuating and it’s not a one-stop shop to online success. A decline in your organic visibility will occur if optimisation is not maintained. But once you reach higher rankings in the search engines, with effective management, you can enjoy sustained traffic to reap long-term benefits.

Developing an effective SEO strategy and investing in your organic traffic also helps you compete with your competitors. If you choose to stop your SEO campaign, you may not see an immediate impact, but within a few months you will likely have dropped behind the competition. It is the ongoing management that keeps SEO effectively driving results.

Do I need PPC AND SEO?

As an SEO agency and PPC agency, we’re often asked which is better, SEO or PPC? The answer depends on a variety of factors including your objectives, your industry, your budget and your entire digital marketing strategy.

Starting with the gaps that need addressing, it could be that SEO or PPC are the best option to kick start your strategy. Additionally, you may be more drawn to paid advertising over organic and vice versa. But in many cases, SEO and PPC work best when integrated, driving results that are better than the individual parts. For example, PPC can teach us things we cannot see the same in SEO alone, such as which your highest converting keywords are. This insight can then be fed into your SEO campaign to drive traffic towards that keyword. Equally, by looking at the areas you’re not as organically strong in, we can use PPC to overcome this weakness whilst SEO improvements are implemented and help to drive a higher CTR.

Do I really need a branded PPC campaign?

You may fall into the trap of not investing in a branded PPC campaign because you presume you will naturally receive that traffic anyway. But branded and non-branded PPC campaigns can be just as important as one another.  

The benefit can be clearly seen by clients doing PPC and SEO with the same agency, at the same time. By simply turning off your branded PPC campaign, we can measure the SEO impact. Having control of both channels allows our teams to trial the approach with a level of flexibility and internal collaboration to drive the best result. If the data shows that your branded searches drop, it highlights that a branded PPC campaign is most certainly needed to drive an ROI.

Why don’t the organic rankings I see match my report?

If your monthly SEO report shows that your brand is in position one for “double glazed windows”, but you’ve just searched this term and you’re showing in position three, you may ask why. Simply put, your organic results are personalised to you.

The constant changes in the SERPs combined with Google’s personalisation can produce slightly different results based on the user. In our reporting, we focus on depersonalised data highlighting the average position that the majority of people are seeing. Rankings are just one factor of an SEO campaign and we always advise our clients not to get obsessed with their organic position. As long as the traffic is flowing to your website, this is evidence that the strategy is working.

Am I getting the most from my campaigns?

Driving traffic to your website, whether it’s through SEO, paid media, digital PR or outreach take time and money. Using extensive, in-house developed, intellectual property alongside industry leading tools and years of experience, we know how to generate measurable and impactful results for our clients.

However, it’s important to make the most of all the traffic you’re driving to your site, otherwise, your efforts are essentially wasted. For example, if your aim is to increase lead generation, you not only need to drive traffic but also have strong conversion points displayed onsite. Always looking to provide additional value, we don’t look at each channel in silo. Instead, we consider your website as a whole, taking into account potential UX improvements that could have a significant impact on campaign success. Whether it’s advising you to move your CTA higher up the page, create a new PPC landing page or exploring your onsite experience through a CRO audit, it’s just as important to invest in your website to achieve maximum ROI from your campaigns.

We have a number of in-house teams who specialise in particular areas of digital marketing. Our technical know-how combined with the outstanding support of our client services team means our campaigns really make a difference to our clients.

On hand to guide you through every step of your strategy, we are happy to answer any queries and questions you may have, no matter how big or small. Do you have a question that hasn’t been covered? Get in touch, we’re happy to help.