Why SEO Is Like Leg Day At The Gym

The other morning I was checking my Linkedin feed for no specific reason at all, other than its a great B2B platform and I stumbled across a great little video which got me thinking, when was the last time I did any ground level SEO work on our work website? Probably months ago. So like the gym, I love doing cardio, strength and conditioning work but I’m not loving leg day so much. That’s a lie. I like doing leg day but I just don’t love it.

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The other morning I was checking my Linkedin feed for no specific reason at all, other than its a great B2B platform and I stumbled across a great little video on image optimization for SEO. This got me thinking, when was the last time I did any ground level SEO leg work on our work website? Probably months ago. So like the gym, I love doing cardio, strength and conditioning work but I’m not loving leg day ever. That’s a lie. I like doing leg day but I just don’t love doing it.

So I thought I would share how I go about doing some leg work on SEO for images. According to the video, images sizes on your website should be <50kB. This will help you speed up your website’s load time and Google is really looking favourably on this at the moment. Secondly, all images should have Image Alternative Text Tags which should describe the image in plain english e.g. A Photo of The Copper Coastline. This is so search engines can crawl your info/keywords better and in turn help you get up the rankings.

Here is how I do the leg work for image sizes:

  1. Download Screamingfrog app.
  2. Run the SEO Site audit for your website.
  3. Export the results.
  4. Open the CSV file in MS excel
  5. Apply a filter to the topline.
  6. Sort by largest to smallest image size. The cut off is 50kB. Anything over this could do with replacing.
  7. Use an image compressor for PNG files. I used this one. And Google Picasa for compressing Jpegs.
  8. Replace and delete the larger files.

I was horrified to find one logo PNG image that was 400kB! So after I compressed it became 5kB. So thats an awesome result. Imagine over a website how much load time you can save…probably not that much but it all helps thats what I like to tell myself.

Screamingfrog will also give you the statistics and results for the Alt Tags again making this easy but you have to put in the leg work.

Final tip. JPEG is okay for your website but PNG is better as it compresses a lot small in size without losing too much quality.

And don’t skip SEO day!

The 5 Email Marketing Commandments

Over the last couple of years I have fallen in and out of love with email marketing. By the way I am currently back in love with email marketing because it is my No. 1 most effective marketing tool.

On one hand we are being bombarded with crap email and that creates a lot noise that sometimes inhibits the great emails getting through to the end users. On the other hand I have seen some great emails that tick all my boxes. The objective of all great email campaigns is to realise revenue for the sender. I am assuming that everybody has access to an ESP (Email Service Provider) like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Pardot etc.

With that in mind I have come up with my 5 email marketing commandments:

#1 Gain Permission

Wether you have a Opt-in form on your website, app sign up, email enquiry form etc there are lots of ways to get that valuable email. I find a check box to opt in to marketing emails works the best. If the person is already a customer then you a legally allowed to send that person email marketing pertaining to your products. As a side note always make the statement that you never pass emails on to third parties.

#2 Segment

Segmentation is the basis of all marketing. Depending on your objectives for your campaign you might segment on the basis of gender, age, location, profession, industry type, previous spend or activity rate. The more you focus down the better you can tailor the content to get the customer to respond to your CTA’s (call to action) or links.

#3 Personalise the Approach

Dear Darragh, nothing makes me happier when I see a well designed email that has my name in the first line in the body as a salutation. Its obvious you have my details so do something well with them. I also like to see ‘Darragh, you exclusive offer awaits’ type subjects. But dont make a crapper offer I have already ignored previously…wow me. Also make sure the sender’s email address is a persons name and not an info@ or sales@ etc. People want to open emails from other people.

Also time of day is worth considering. It has to be a good time for your reader. B2B = Tuesday to Thursday 8.30 – 5pm. Friday opens are down around 8% due to people being out of office. B2C = 5.30pm – 8pm.

#4 Create Relevant Content

This is the hard part of email marketing and marketing in general. You have an interested or semi-interested prospect how do you keep them interested. Its by sending them content they actually want not crappy content that you think they want. There are several ways to come with great content. Be creative! Talk to your customers, sales guys, service people and get to the issues that people want to talk about. Offers, promotions etc are great but you have to limit these in order not to dilute your branding efforts.

The format of the email is important. Whats your open rate for mobile, desktop, tablet etc. Tailor your email to these or all platforms. Apple iphones account for approximately 50% of opens in B2C.

#5 Report & Manage Data

CTR’s, unique opens, unsubscribe rates these are the important ones to focus on. The industry stand for an Open rate is 15-20%. Can you link back purchases to your email campaigns? The last part of the reporting and managing data is to take off hard bounces off your email database. This will improve the quality of your data and in turn increase your KPI’s.

Have fun with email.

Keep the faith.

SEO website fix up and other stuff

This week I got stuck into analyzing the website from a SEO point of view.

This week I got stuck into analyzing the website from a SEO point of view. I used the Screamingfrog  app tool (free) to download CSV reports of all page titles, meta descriptions, H1’s, image alt tags. Then filtered the ones that needed fixing…which was most of them. Its unbelievable the amount of stuff that was wrong or irrelevant to SEO. Just goes to show you how many designers just sell you a website and give you little or very little advice on proper SEO techniques. Anyway that’s why Digital Marketing consultants exist so happy days.

While I was doing the fixes to the SEO stuff I also realised that some of the headings and content wasn’t relevant to Google’s algorithm. I was using Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, which is excellent as it tells me how rubbish my SEO was, for example no Meta Description is used, title too big, my keyword usage is too dense…but also tells me the readability of the content like a sentence has too many words, not enough transition words (due to, because etc), passive voice etc. Thus, I would highly recommend this plugin for WP CMS users.

So after about a full days work the website is now SEO optimized, the content is also relevant. Here’s waiting for the leads and enquiries to roll in. Hopefully a worthwhile exercise.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share this article from Moz with you. It shows you How to Use Search Analytics in Google Sheets for Better SEO Insights. I will let Moz talk you through it but at the end of it you have google sheet that will automatically update every month showing how you are ranking against your main keyword queries. That’s pretty awesome for a campaign manager!

Next topic is PPC.

Keep the faith.

SEO – I see the light

Week 2 of the Digital Marketing Professional Diploma.

SEO is all about keywords ….well its not all about keywords but you know what I mean. Keywords have always played a huge part of SEO. Remember stuffing as many keywords as possible into the under belly of a webpage a couple of years ago. Since then Google has undergone a number of Algorithm updates (including Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird etc) which mean that keyswords have to be included into the page name, url, headings (H1 most important), body of text image alt tags etc. The keywords not only have to match all these element but also must be relevant to the search queries, and also be readable to us humans.

Content is here to stay but it must satisfy the readers’ queries. So all these articles about 6 ways to do this and 10 things that help with and download our Ultimate Guide to Whatever…are being super helpful in order to get a page/website rank better….now I see the light.

Other stuff like CTR, sitespeed, social footprint, external links, user experience (UX) etc all help to get up the rankings too.

Marketer seeks validation

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

After 15 years as a qualified marketer (on paper) I have taken the decision to upskill and update my qualification in the dark art of digital marketing.

The last 10 years of this time I have seen the rise, the absolute rise and the meteoric rise of digital marketing. I would consider myself to be strong at most aspects of digital but I cannot say I can conquer all and I don’t think anyone really can. So no longer can I continue without some professional validation.

Nowadays, the speed of which marketing is evolving is insane. Digital marketing is now main stream marketing. Traditional marketing is now what goes on when you are not doing digital.

Like surgeons, marketers are required to constantly update and stay on top of their skills. We are never baked (Seth Godin).

Here’s to 30 hours of learning and a valuable piece of paper at the end of it (I hope). At least I will have a reference point to say I know digital.