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Why you need a Long-Term Digital Strategy for your Business

One of the biggest issues I have with my Nigerian clients is that they don’t particularly think long-term. Everybody wants results right here, right now. Social media isn’t even helping matters with the instant gratification. How else would you explain why a lot of e-commerce stores aren’t invested in an SEO and blogging strategy? A lot of businesses in Nigeria just create websites and leave it there excepting orders to magically appear.   But I get it. It can be hard to think about a long-term strategy for a side hustle especially if you don’t have any plans to extend it into the main hustle just yet. Still, it is important to consider a long-term strategy for your business even if it doesn’t get there. Whether you like it or not, the internet is here to stay and is not going away anytime soon. If you have decided that you want to invest in a digital strategy for your business, you need to have a plan. You need to create a strategy outlining your goals and all the efforts it would need to achieve them. [bctt tweet=”Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is part of life – @Ebun_Oluwole ” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”] Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Perhaps the most important thing about an effective digital strategy is consistency. No matter how little you’re putting into it, as long as you’re consistent, you will get results in the long term. A lot of people sometimes prefer to test the waters with social media before plunging in completely. But the problem is you can become complacent and forget your goals. This is why it is important to set defined goals from the onset to keep you focused and accountable. Need I remind of the numerous benefits you can get along the way: A recurring and diversified income Brand authority Thought leadership Influence But perhaps, you’re struggling to stay motivated and you need to be constantly reminded of your goals, positive affirmation helps. You need to place them where you can see them every day. You can use a vision board or just have them in strategic spaces like on your desk or on the walls of your office. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is part of life. Don’t be afraid to think long-term because of failure. Even if you do fail, do not stop there. Pick up the important lessons and move on to the next one! In conclusion, to get the reap the incredible benefits of a digital strategy for your business, you need to think long-term.  

Top-level website changes that will turbocharge your business SEO

[bctt tweet=”Every business needs an SEO strategy, why not share with changing how your website looks” via=”no”] Every business that will grow beyond the street corner needs an SEO strategy; a way for it to get found online. Why? Because online is where 67% of Nigerian buyers start their purchase journey [PDF]. So, your SEO and profitability are not only equally important, they also go hand in hand. What is SEO again? Why do you need it? If you can’t answer these questions, eead Uche Offokoja’s SEO primer; “Is your business ready for SEO?” to get a quick refresher. __ It’s impossible to cover the nuances of SEO in a 1000-word article. If we are being honest, 10,000 words, and we’d only be halfway there. What you’ll read in this article are fundamental aspects of your website you can improve to start ranking on Google, getting seen by your consumers and making more sales. Start with a website audit The first step to creating an SEO strategy is your website audit. Doing this lets you know the specific elements of your website to improve. A professional SEO service will provide a more in-depth outlook for your website complete with SEO competitive analysis, wireframe recommendations plus a search audit. But a great way to do this on a shoestring budget is to use the SEMRush tool. It’s a free tool that will give you an interactive snapshot of your current SEO efforts; your top organic keywords and their positions, what other sites are competing for your position, backlinks and more. A basic audit of one of my favourite websites; Copyblogger.com, returned this: (All traffic to copyblogger is organic and the leading keyword is “how to write an article.” The data points are interactive and you can dig further down to extract more insights). These insights are useful for your content strategy (more on this later) and possible website upgrades to improve usability. Optimize your site for mobile As an extension of your website audit, examine how you are doing on mobile. Google ranks mobile-optimized websites higher in SERPs (search engine results pages). But more important is the implication of this on your visitors. More than 55% of all searches now come from mobile, and if your consumers can’t use your site on mobile, they won’t stick around. To get a good sense of how your website does on mobile, use Varvy. (Copyblogger.com is optimized for mobile, although the site latency on mobile needs to be optimized.) The relationship between brands and customers is not an equal one. Customers have the leverage and you have to be there for them as they navigate their social and transactional realities. To do that is to be available on their mobile phones where they spend a third of their waking lives. I’ll leave Tom Fisbourne of Marketoon to drive the point home; “A well-loved brand that isn’t optimized for mobile may not be well-loved for long.” Speak to your developer about responsive website design to improve your mobile-optimization. Tweet: When last did you do a website audit? Never? Find out why you need one here Develop a content strategy The number of visitors to your page and how long they stay (their dwell time) also affect your ranking. Useful content with high production values is one of the most effective ways to attract and keep traffic on your website. A content strategy doesn’t mean you start a podcast, a webinar and an email autoresponder series at the same time. Start with blogging… Companies with blogs have 97% more inbound links (Source) B2B marketers using blogs generate 67% more leads (Source) Small business with blogs generate 126% more leads (Source) Start your content strategy with keyword research. This helps you figure out real questions and ideas that matter to your consumers. The Google Keyword Planner or the SEMRush tool will come in handy here. Some general ideas for your content strategy: – Develop content for humans and make your content helpful. – Your content strategy should include your content matrix, content calendar and an operational calendar. – Annotate your content with header tags, add outbound links, make your content readable (avoid walls of text), use alt texts for your images, and compress image sizes to reduce latency. – Finally, distribute your content. Suss out a robust distribution strategy that will ensure your content reaches your desired audience. You could, for instance, start sending weekly email to your list or create a social sharing strategy. Are you using popups? Pop-ups: online forms that keep you away from your heart’s desires. Only a few people are a fan. That’s why Google is cracking down on websites that have pop-ups. Such websites rank lower in search engine results pages. Speak with your developer to remove any pop-ups on your website and explore alternative lead-generation elements, including stationary banner ads, stationary sidebar ads, behavior-driven pop-ups or notification style ads. The idea is not to get rid of lead-generation, but to present decent usability. Improve your site architecture Finally, how easy is it to navigate your website? When visitors can’t find what they want on your website, they often leave right away; leading to high bounce rate, leading to low ranking on Google. As a general rule; your website should not take more than four clicks to get to the deepest level. LIke this: The fact is; site architecture is not only great for usability, it makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index your website. While SEO is not the goal in itself (sales and profitability are), you’ll often need SEO to get you there. The ideas here will get you right on your way. — This article was written by Gbenga Onalaja. Gbenga is a Content Strategist at Wild Fusion, Wild Fusion is Africa’s leading Digital Marketing Agency.

Is my business ready for SEO?

[bctt tweet=”Without SEO, your business is basically invisible. You need to be visible!” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”] Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of refining your website using both on and off-page optimization techniques so that it will be indexed and ranked by search engines, naturally. – Digital Marketing Institute If you have had a hard time understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization), let’s start with a visual exercise. Picture this -you have a wonderful store with all the best offerings, only…your store is invisible. Not just that; millions of your potential consumers pass by daily looking for just what you offer. Crazy right? Yes, that’s exactly what your business is without SEO. You need to be visible! Take results from a Wild Fusion Digital Center 2016 channel effectiveness study, for instance; 63% of Nigerian consumers use search engines to research and buy products. This puts Search right at the center of the purchase funnel. You need to ensure your business shows up when people search for the services you offer. How SEO Works Ever wondered how search results show up? Let’s talk spiders! Google has an inventory or index where it stores keywords and information regarding the websites they originate from. This index is populated by search engine spiders who crawl the web. When they get to your site, they populate the index with keywords from your site. As people search online they are actually querying the index. What Google then does is to present the most relevant results of the search from its inventory. So basically, if Google doesn’t have you in their index, there’s no way you are showing up in the search results. This is why you need to optimize your website for search engines. Ranking on the search engine … Page 1, Page 2..Page 10 Ranking is website positioning in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). Your ultimate goal would be to rank on page 1 and even better, be the first result. Like the saying goes ‘the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google search engine’. As crazy as that sounds, the reality is that search engine visibility is a clear indicator of good marketing, it also lends credibility to your brand. [bctt tweet=”Search engine visibility is a clear indicator of good marketing & lends credibility to your brand” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”] SEO is a continuous effort. Every day, businesses similar to yours are competing for the same keywords, trying to convince Google that they are more relevant. Google considers a number of factors when ranking websites, but today we will highlight two. Content Relevance You want to ensure that your content is relevant. Start your content strategy with keyword research. This helps you figure out real questions and ideas that matter to your consumers. The Google Keyword Planner will come in handy here. Also, your content should be readable, you should avoid duplicating content at any cost. Mobile Responsiveness Nothing is more frustrating than getting to a site via your mobile phone and finding it’s so difficult to navigate. Think user experience when designing your site! – This article was written by Uche Offokaja. Uche is the Client Solutions Manager Wild Fusion, Africa’s leading Digital Marketing Agency.