Importance of blogging

As the New Year looms ever closer, and this next one being a new decade too, marketeers all over are rethinking their strategy for the year. In the case of M3, we do the same, not just for us, but for our clients too.

This year we have been back to basics and revisited our Business Model Canvass. A lengthy team meeting over a working lunch helped us identify where we want to go as a business in 2020, and moreover what we want to be reputed for.

This we based not only on our strengths and great SEO and Paid Ads results, but also profitability, PITA (painfulness) factor, internal skillsets, and the type of business we really want to work with.

In addition we calculated our actual cost per hour at a capacity of 80% (which in truth is realistic for most companies, but feels like we are working at 180% capacity at times here!). This helped us identify which services we wish to promote this year.

Our business model for 2020 unearthed a particular strength in Search Engine Optimisation for our clients, and in particular for the health, manufacturing, engineering and recruitment market sectors (although in truth, we can produce excellent results for most business sectors).

Our business model not only identified that we are excellent at SEO and Paid Ads work for our clients, but also that we are very competitively priced for what we offer within our SEO packages and Paid Ads management fees.

So a campaign to promote our SEO and Paid Ads services is now underway, with SEO, Paid advertising and Email marketing being at the core of every campaign, we want to be known as the Search Engine Optimsation (SEO) go to company in not just Northamptonshire, Cheshire and the surrounding areas, but UK wide.

The Challenge with offering SEO Services

The problem we face is that people are unsure of what they really need, and some do not know what SEO or Search Engine Optimsation (Or sometimes called Search Engine Marketing) actually is, how it works and what it does for companies. People really do not understand what their money spent with us does for them unless we explain it by showing results.

The truth is that if we were to sell it as it is, people would never buy. The reality is that SEO is when a company like ours works with a company like yours to try to get your website found for the search terms that people are typing into Google to find products and services just like yours. So in fact what we are selling is a dream, rather than an actual hard product. In addition, because there are so many elements around that affect what we do (for example, your competition may do something that affects your results, Google may change its’s algorithm again, or the keywords that we researched a few months ago may change as people move around and start new jobs etc.), this means there are no guarantees either. In fact Google will tell you that if anyone guarantees that you will be found first on Google, then do not trust them as it is impossible to guarantee this.
So we have to show the value in what we do.

SEO Company that offers value

So when we work with a company like yours to get you found as high as possible on Google, we work through a number of things with you which include:

  • We research the words people are typing in right now to find products and services that you offer.
  • We look at your website to see if once we drive the right kind of traffic to your website, that it will convert into sales or enquiries.
  • We do the technical work on your website to ensure that the structure of the pages we are optimising will work for Google.
  • We look to improve the links pointing back to your website. We do not get masses of irrelevant links, but a few good quality and relevant backlinks that relate to your specific products and services.
  • We look at your Social Media posts to see how they can be improved for search.
  • We look at your content on the website and work with you to enhance this as well.
  • We report on all our activities undertaken, what we have achieved, and what may require more work.
  • We continually analyse what has worked for your specific website and adjust our campaigns accordingly.
  • We continually make recommendations that will help you improve not only your position on Google, but also tweaks to improve conversion based on factual analytics.

And all this for a reasonable, affordable monthly price.

We are not like the others! We don’t consider ourselves to be your SEO Supplier, but we do consider that we are an extension to your team, working with you to get the results you need to grow your business.

We are not the cheapest option, but we do offer great value for money.
If you are looking for a great SEO company to work with, in the Northampton, Cheshire and surrounding areas and further afield across the UK… then please do not hesitate to call us and we can talk things through with you.

Don’t be an SEO sheep, stand out from the crowd. We look forward to hearing from you.

Call 01604 328899 or email tracy@m3sm.co.uk

Content Strategy

Content is important for so many platforms, especially within the digital space. The success of Digital Marketing is heavily reliant on not only the type of content that is created and distributed, but also how that content is optimised.

The digital space is continually inundated with blog posts, pictures, video content, infographics and cutting through this noise is important for any company’s success.

You might be thinking, “why does the web really need me, as a business, generating a lot of words, videos or images and distributing it?”. Well, here are 3 key reasons why you should be a part of the “Content Generation”:

1) It will engage with your target audience and market: It will make them interested in the topic you are discussing or promoting. Good quality blogs, videos, images, and infographics will ensure that the people you most want to reach are actually hearing about your business products and services.

2) It’s is easy to share: Having blog posts that your target audience will want to share (whether through Social Media, Email or Word of Mouth) can be instrumental to growing your audience and business.

3) It can be analysed and optimised: The importance of analysing the content your company produces should never be underestimated. If you do not know which article, video or image is successful and which is not, then how can you improve? Therefore, spending time learning how to properly analyse the content you have created, distributed and shared and also ensure you have KPIs in place that you measure against.

There are 3 key reasons why content is so important for digital marketing. So often it is said that “Content is King” and for your Digital Marketing Strategy’s success, it needs to be an integral part of the plan.
If you would like to learn more about how to make the most of your digital marketing strategy, M3 have a range of resources to help.

Do not hesitate to get in touch if you need guidance, support or a helping hand in the creation and implementation too.

We work with companies up and down the UK and further afield to help them define a Digital Marketing Strategy, sometimes delivering training so they can continue in-house, and sometimes implementing that strategy as an integral part of your team.

We are flexible but always professional, exceptional and successful!

We are looking forward to working with you.

When it comes to content and SEO what exactly is it that Google is looking for?

What is the best length of content you should have on a page?
Should the content be written for SEO or for people? 
Even as an SEO expert company, everything changes so quickly that it can be hard to keep up. However, we are resolute in our continued development of our team, and ongoing learning is an everyday essential part of our job, and our knowledge is something we love to share.
Delivering training courses, webinars and seminars are all in a days work for us, and we simply have to be ahead of the curve. So with that in mind, let’s answer a few of those questions.
What exactly is it that Google is looking for?
We can of course only make an assumption here, but as a business, Google would be looking for market share, and to do that it must give the very best user experience to those who use Google as it’s search engine. After all, if Bing were better, then we would all be using Bing and Binging instead of Googling.
So, if you can imagine that to give it’s users the best experience, it should only show relevant websites to its queried search terms, and also websites that are secure, mobile friendly and quick to load.
That’s what we aim for when we are looking to optimise a clients website. Security, Speed and Mobile Friendly sites get ranked more easily than those which are not on https, are not mobile friendly and are very slow to load.
When we watch the changes happening in our SERPS results, we reverse engineer everything to work out what the latest change is all about, and in 2017 Website Security, Speed and Mobile Friendliness were key for SEO.
What is the best length of content you should have on a page?
This is one with an answer that you will all very much dislike us for. When you look at all the research, and we look at our own websites and the length of content on the pages and posts, it is obvious that the more the better, and in fact it seems that 3000 words is optimum. For now anyway). So get writing!
Should the content be written for SEO or for people? 
We think this is obvious, but we get asked this all the time, so perhaps it is not so obvious when you are not in the SEO and Content “Loop”, but content should be created with the user in mind, not for SEO. When you write about a subject on your website, that is related to your website, and you understand it, are passionate about it and can offer real insight and value to your client or prospect at different stages of their customer journey, then Google will easily be able to determine what is great content and what is not. In addition, if you are writing for people, then it will be more easily read, more engaging and more likely to be shared with colleagues or friends and family.
Remember we said that Google would most likely be looking at User Experience?
Well given that Google also have access to Google Analytics and Webmasters relating to your website, they can see how many pages that visitor has viewed, how long they spent on each page and therefore how engaged they were. This is key in determining if your site is relevant to a search query – after all, if you land on a website and it is not relevant – you flip straight off again.
We hope this helps and makes perfect sense, but if you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to make contact 

Trusted Digital Media Advisers

Trusted Digital Media Advisers

Yesterday two members of the M3 team went to Google in London for a days training with a view to gain an additional qualification as a Google Certified Trusted Digital Media Advisers.
The day started with the usual networking, and then a quick overview of this new initiative from Google. In fact, this was the launch event where around just 100 Google Partners from across the UK came together to learn new skills and hopefully gain the qualification. With 2 places per agency, this means that there are currently only around 50 agencies who would have been given this opportunity.
With education on SERPS (SEO), paid advertising and other methods of ensuring our customers can make the most of the digital age and the opportunity it presents, this was an intense boot-camp style day.
The benchmark was set high, with all the Google employees who attended the event sitting the exam just the day before, under the same conditions we ourselves, we are pleased to announce that both Gemma and Tracy passed with flying colours. In fact, even beating some of the Google team scores!
With all the knowledge gained from the day, and the ongoing Google insights, M3 have decided to share that knowledge at a regular monthly event, details of which can be found here:
Digital Masterclass Events
If the uptake is good, Google have promised to attend an event here, so please pass on the link to anyone who you feel may benefit from a training session or two on the latest from Google.
Thanks, and looking to see you soon…
Tracy and Gemma
Trusted Digital Media Advisors – as Certified by Google
Trusted Digital Media Advisers

As a Digital Marketing Agency, M3SM can offer a variety of services to enhance your business, our hashtag tips can also promote your business to a wider audience on social media. Hashtags are a prominent part of today’s online society and provide a great opportunity to get your posts noticed by a vast amount of people by categorising content. They make your company and content discoverable to your own followers as well as others engaging with a common theme or interest that you may be discussing. Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram are three platforms that are huge advocates of the hashtag trend and will most definitely boost the visibility of your chosen posts and as a result will further promote your business. M3SM can help you make the most of this simple promotion method and could massively enhance your reach! blog-970723_640

Days of the Week Hashtag Tips

Using different hashtags depending on each day of the week has become a popular trend, both for businesses and personal use. Here are some hashtag tips and examples of what tags to use and how they can be adapted to suit your particular content:

  • #MondayMotivation or #MotivationMonday – Annihilate those monday blues and provide viewers with an upbeat post to start their week off, whether that be a motivational picture quote or an offer they can’t refuse!
  • #TransformationTuesday – Show off how your company or business has or can transform customers lifestyle or mindset. This hashtag also gives opportunity for more health and exercise posts to get seen on this day, so if your company promotes health and well-being then make the most of this hashtag and post on a Tuesday.
  • #WednesdayWisdom – This hashtag provides an opportunity to give your viewers a smart business trick or hack, or you could even supply potential customers further information about what your company offers and how it could benefit others.
  • #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT – The most popular day of the week hashtag used and viewed by millions of people across the globe. Use it to show something you or your company did in the past and how your company has grown. You could also explain products or services your company offered previously and ask viewers for feedback to initiate engagement.
  • #FridayFunday or #FridayFeeling – Celebrate that the weekend is here and post something funny or exciting to leave viewers on a positive note as they approach the weekend. Incorporate upcoming news or what your company plans to offer which could benefit viewers and give them something to think about over the weekend before the dreaded monday blues come back around.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags – More Hashtag Tips
Research (courtesy of LinchpinSeo) suggests that tweets with hashtags receive 2X more engagement than those without. However, using too many hashtags in your post may hinder your engagement. Twitter’s own research suggests that if you use more than two hashtags, your engagement drops an average of 17%. It is also important to double check what other contexts your chosen hashtag might be being used for. Before you post your own version of the hashtag, make sure that you have the same understanding of what the hashtag represents as the rest of people using it on the platform, otherwise some embarrassment could arise. You should also provide viewers with an opportunity to engage and start up a conversation or discussion with your company or others also viewing your post is also a good method of promotion. These conversations may spark interest and give your company ideas of what your target audience are looking for in regards to your business or services.
Lastly, using hashtags on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn will not give a very good response or amount of engagement. Viewers may be put off by too many hashtags on these platforms as they cannot engage with them the same way as other social media sites, such as Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus so be careful where you place your hashtags!
As mentioned previously, hashtags have a huge impact on the amount of engagement you receive on your chosen social media platform. It gives the opportunity for hundreds of more viewers to read your post even if they don’t follow you, they just simply type in your hashtag and up pops your post. Businesses and companies most definitely gain huge amounts of visibility and promotion through this technique and it is so easy to do and even better, it’s free!
To find out more about M3SM and the services we offer, you can contact us on info@m3sm.co.uk or follow our social media. Follow us on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Voice Recognition and Search

Did you know that 20% of mobile searches on Google are done using Voice recognition?

What does this mean for you? 
Your website is probably optimised for search in the traditional way, but now is the time to start thinking about the different ways people will search for products and services just like yours.
If you are Business to Consumer, the average of 20% is probably higher. But even Business to Business need to take Voice search into consideration.
You will have seen the adverts for Alexa and Google home, you may have your smart phone connected to your car via bluetooth, you will have questioned Siri on your iPad.
In each instance, when you search for information, you speak it. The way we speak to our smart devices is very different to the way we type.
We will show you some of the queries that are making an impact for our clients right now!

Questions people speak to search

When people are on the move, we are finding they are asking their smartphones to find “near me” places.
Let’s look at traditional types searches.

With voice recognition, the wording changes completely, and the above typed search queries are now spoken as below:

  • Find a hotel near me
  • Find a Chinese restaurant near me
  • Massage therapist near me
  • Find a car repair shop near me
  • Pizza delivery near me
  • Carpet cleaning service near me

You can see that people are asking questions of their device, and so comes a dilemma for your website.

How do you get found for these type of queries?

Google is all about presenting relevant content (not just words, but images and videos too) to the people who are searching, Google is looking for well constructed web pages that are safe and secure, quick to load, mobile friendly and are relevant for that particular search query. It want’s to showcase new, fresh and original content as much as possible too.
You need to ensure that you are writing original content that is genuinely of interest to people. Please note that I am saying of interest to PEOPLE, not to Google. Your readers determine a part of the Google algorithm but showing an interest in your webpage and others leading from that page.
If you are finding this interesting, for example, you may look at other pages of our website, and this web page engagement lets Google know that the page was interesting and therefore relevant to that search. If I had optimised this page just for Google, you may find it boring, and will literally bounce straight off the page and onto something more interesting elsewhere.
Within your content, you may be able to answer some of the questions people are asking.
It’s not just near me queries, but others too such as:

How does ??? What is ??? What does ???

Questions can be answered by way of content that helps your business not only get found, but become a resource of valuable information too.

Answering questions helps clients and prospects understand your knowledge, and therefore you become the “go to” company of choice.
Content is still king, and we can’t see that changing any time soon.

British Water Workshop – At Google.

Today saw M3 Strategic Marketing taking over rooms at Google in St Giles, London.
When British Water asked us to deliver a workshop all about Google to their members, what better place to hold it than at Google’s London H.Q. in St Giles. Being a Google Partner means that Google support us from day to day, which in turn means we can deliver that expertise direct to our clients, in this case British Water.

British Water Google Micro Moments
Google presenting “Micro Moments”

A full day of training on Synergistic Marketing, which pulls offline and online together, was delivered by Derek Bourne of Waterbourne Ltd, Michael Spence and Tracy Spence. In addition, Google delivered a presentation all about “Micro Moments”and played the “Higher or Lower” game with the audience too.
The room was bursting at the seams and British Water had a reserve list of people waiting in the wings, and no one cancelled at the last minute.
The workshop itself was jam packed with useful insights, suggestions of tools to help the companies in attendance, hints, tips and the questions flowed.
British Water Workshop at Google
Michael Spence – Moments of Truth

Unfortunately, the day itself was marred with the terrorist attack on Westminster that same afternoon, just a mile down the road, but it did not stop the learning.
British Water have asked us to deliver the same again but near Manchester, and we will also be delivering a series of smaller, more detailed workshops targeted at different levels of knowledge a little later in the year.

Thank you for an excellent training workshop on Digital Marketing yesterday. I think most attendees were overwhelmed with your knowledge and it is clear that we could have delivered a full day or two day training course!
Lila Thompson – International Director, British Water

Google SEO

Recently, Google released a new video all about SEO and how to hire an SEO expert near you! What is interesting is the number of SEO companies who are now actively sharing this video exclaiming that all along they have been Optimising websites using Google Best Practices and with you as a customer in mind.
Well, we totally agree and are also going to share this “How to Hire an SEO” video with you.

What is also interesting are the number of “SEO” companies who are not happy to share this, and we think this is very telling.
As a business ourselves, we want value for money and to work with companies who understand our business and want to help us grow and grow with us. We want  to work with companies who are transparent, honest and talk with us.
Why would our clients be any different? 
As Google says, SEO is not just about rankings and getting clicks on a website, if that were the case, my job would be easy. I could just sit here clicking away. But, SEO is all about the user experience from the starting point of their specific customer journey, to their onsite experience and ultimately the sale and even after sale service.
We work with all our clients to understand their business and their potential clients, to identify who wants what information at different times of their experience with our clients website, and to make that journey as simple as possible.
We are not about clicks, but we are about converting your website visitors into loyal customers, giving you lifetime value from each sale we achieve as a team.
Please do watch the video and contact us if you have any questions at all or simply request your FREE SEO web audit by clicking here >>

Google Adwords Partner Expert

As a Google AdWords Partner we are exposed to a lot of training and Paid Advertising Intelligence that other agencies are not privy to, and this helps us help our clients grow their businesses. So when the Giant in online advertising Google suggests a meeting at your premises, we didn’t say no. However, never to miss an opportunity, we arranged to meet at their offices in St Giles, London. This meeting was to discuss specifically about our own business, and to determine what else Google needed to provide us to help us grow.
Specifically in the meeting we discussed Gmail Advertising on Google, as both ourselves and Google see this is a great way forward for many of our clients. It is currently not common and so the costs are also a lot less than perhaps other forms of paid advertising on the Google networks. In addition we discussed the importance of having a strategy for each client to determine the very best route, the ideal landing page, and the best keywords too.
With any paid adverts, you need to consider what pert of the customer journey your prospect is on, what they want from your website when they land on it and what tactics you need to employ to convert that click into a sale going forward.
For example, if someone is searching the query “How easy is it to get a business loan” they will be less likely to convert into a sale than someone who is searching “Business loan for van”. With this in mind, the landing pages should be very different and the strategies should also be different. The “How to” query should take you to a landing page that gives you ideas as to what documents you may need (a checklist perhaps). Because people who land here are likely to go away and find these documents, then we would also recommend a re-marketing strategy from this page. Whereas, those who are being more specific, they already know what they want, and so a quote form or calculator would be more appropriate. Here if they complete the form, you already have the information to enable you to make contact and perhaps close the deal, and a different re-marketing strategy should be implemented for those who did not complete the form (abandoned the process).
If you are looking at your online paid advertising and are serious about getting results, then look to M3 Strategic Marketing to help you devise a Google AdWords Strategy before you take the plunge. Using M3 will save you money n wasted clicks and get the most from your Google AdWords Spend.
Contact us now on 01604 328899

According to Hubspots recently released 8th Annual Report, the inexorable rise in the use of mobile technology is increasing the importance of inbound marketing methodology, suggesting even that in the next few years traditional marketing and sales as we know it will no longer exist. So what changes in Inbound Marketing for 2017 do businesses need to make?
What is inbound marketing?  Wikipedia define inbound marketing as “the promotion of a company or other organisation through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.”
inbound-mark-jan17
 
Changes in technology and buyer behaviour are making it more difficult for traditional sales approaches as 57% of salespeople feel buyers today are less dependent on salespeople during the decision-making process.
Instead, 62% of buyers turn to search engines and 48% to websites, according to HubSpot Research.
“Technology has really shifted the power from the rep to the buyer,” says Brian Halligan, Co-founder and CEO, HubSpot. “Salespeople today have to transform the way they sell to match with the modern buyer.”
So how should we as business owners respond to the changes in inbound marketing?
We should engage potential customers with the content they want to read in the places where they want to read it.  Two out of three adults use social media to keep up with the news and over 2 billion people use Facebook to search for content every day.  Over 60% of marketers are planning to produce more Blog content in 2017.
And we should aim to educate and inform rather than sell, sell, sell.  More buyers are using customer reviews and case studies to inform their buying decision.
For more information on how M3SM can work with you to improve your inbound marketing strategy for 2017, please contact us today.

Importance of blogging

 

Did you know that over 60% of Marketers are prioritising Blog posts for 2017?

In the past there has been some debate as to whether the importance of blogging is still relevant in today’s social media marketing environment, but most businesses recognise blog posts as a key part of their marketing strategy. Regardless if you are a small business, or a multinational company, blogging is integral to your online content marketing strategy.

Why are blog posts important to your business:

  1. Blogs drive traffic to your website – the more targeted and relevant the content in your blog, the more relevant the additional visitors that your website will receive. Make your website blog the main foundation for other social media platforms. Don’t forget to add links to your blog to direct readers to specific pages on your website.
  1. Blogs improve your Search Engine rankings and fresh content is key to your website being more prominent than your competitors. Use keywords in your articles. List out the keywords, topics, and categories you want your business to be found for and use these words, and related expressions when writing your posts.
  1. Blogs help position your brand as an industry leader – well written articles demonstrate your company as an authority and expert. By posting topics which resonate with your market and show your knowledge, you are emphasising the product or service skills needed to succeed in your business sector.
  1. Blogs aid in developing better customer relationships. Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customer. By connecting directly on your website and social media, your clients are able to get to know your business or product and you have an opportunity for interaction and trust.

A recent Roper Survey of business decision makers found that 80% prefer to get information about a prospective purchase from articles instead of advertising. The same survey found that 70% say content makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company and 60% say content helps them make better buying decisions.
Here at M3SM, we work closely with our customers to create and use targeted, relevant and unique blogging content.  If you need help with your Blogs please contact M3SM today at info@m3sm.co.uk

When Tracy from M3 Strategic Marketing heard about the NatWest Boost programme, she wanted to find out more, and after lengthy discussions with her local business development manager, Tracy started work on preparing a schedule of education for business seminars all about Digital marketing.

NatWest BoostEducation For Business Seminars:

  • Understanding Analytics
  • Web Conversion Techniques
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Paid Online Advertising
  • Email Marketing

After delivering the Analytics course in both Northampton and Milton Keynes and then the Conversion course in Milton Keynes, the feedback or these instructional and educational seminars was so good that NatWest asked if once the 5 were done, they could start all over again, to give those who missed it first time around, the opportunity to attend, and to encourage more business owners and employees to take advantage of this free Digital marketing training.
If you are looking to increase your knowledge on Digital marketing and other subjects, then contact your local NatWest Business Development manager and ask how the NatWest Boost programme can help you  grow your business.
Dates for Early 2017 as follows: 

  • Wednesday 22nd February 2017 – Nat West in Grange Park – 8am Start – “Website Conversion”
  • Tuesday 28th February 2017 – Nat West in Milton Keynes – 8am Start – “SEO – get found on Google”
  • Wednesday 22nd February 2017 – Nat West in Grange Park – 8am Start – “SEO – get found on Google”