When it comes to Digital Marketing, a bigger budget doesn’t necessarily mean a better marketing strategy and amazing results, which is great news for the majority of small UK (and global) businesses.  The internet is more of an even playing field than the physical world, giving small business owners the opportunity to really compete with some of the bigger names in their specific industry with the adoption of simple tools and tips. 

Unfortunately, with Google reportedly looking at over 200 factors when determining a website’s position in the Search Engine Results Pages (or ‘SERPs’), digital marketing isn’t a quick, overnight job – it requires an investment of time and patience.  However, for those willing to take the time to learn and implement some relatively simple techniques, the results can definitely be worth it!

In this guest blog, DMIS walk us through why as business owners we need to look beyond SEO…

“Digital Marketing isn’t just about Search Engine Optimisation – that is just one part (albeit quite a large and time consuming part!) of a successful online marketing strategy. There are lots of other factors that can also influence a page’s position in the SERPs, including relatively ‘common sense’ changes that can help to improve the overall customer experience on your site.  For example, when you look at the pages that already list well on Google, Bing or Yahoo, they share a number of similarities – the majority are well structured and easy to navigate for the user; pages tend to load in a reasonable time, and your journey is likely to be unhindered by frustrating 404 errors, broken links and problems with images.

 

Battling against falling attention spans

A simple place to start with regards to customer experience is page-loading speed. A recent Microsoft study using Canadian subjects claimed that the average attention span of a human in todays ‘Digital World’ has gone from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015[1]. Indeed, the extent to which speed in general has become a necessary focus of the savvy business owner is highlighted by Harry Shum, Head of AI for Microsoft, who recently claimed that just 250 milliseconds difference in loading speed between two competing websites has been proven to result in a customer choosing one site over another[2].

 

So how can you test that your pages are loading quickly?

A tool like GT Metrix – https://gtmetrix.com – is invaluable for this. It provides a useful insight in to how well your site loads, and based on the GT Metrix scoring system a ‘good’ rating would be A, B or C (at worst). If your website scores lower than this and has a slow page load speed, there are certain things that you can do to improve your score:

1)         Optimise your images – i.e. reduce the size of your images, as large image files can take much longer to load

2)         Consider using a Content Delivery Network – a CDN holds cached versions of your website on multiple servers across the globe, and when someone wants to access your website they are directed to their nearest server to improve page loading speed

3)         Enable Gzip compression – this is a deliberate action taken to reduce the size of data to save storage space or increase data transfer rate

Another way that you can improve the customer experience on your website is to check for – and remove – broken links on your website. Broken links and error pages on a website can have a negative impact on browsing customers who can’t easily find what they are looking for and may choose to look elsewhere for similar products or services. There are a number of handy error reporting websites out there, like http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/  and we strongly recommend that you regularly check your website for errors.

 

If you’d like a free website audit report for your business website, to find out whether 404 errors and spelling issues could be having a negative impact on the customer experience on your site, email [email protected] today.  If you’re interested in finding out more about Digital Marketing, and want to learn how to increase a website’s organic visibility online with a relevant audience of potential customers, take a look at DMIS advice and website.

 

 

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/opinion/the-eight-second-attention-span.html

[2] https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/site-performance-page-speed-ecommerce