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.

Content Marketing

Content Optimisation

There is a good chance that by now just about everyone that runs a business will have heard about content optimisation. However, few business owners completely understand how content optimisation and targeted content marketing can work to transform their business.
Optimising your content correctly can be a very effective inbound marketing tactic that will help you to attract, engage with, and keep your customers happy and eager to learn more. You can achieve this through the regular delivery of high-quality content that provides your website visitors with great value and useful knowledge.
By consistently offering high-quality, targeted, regular and fresh insights and information in this way, you will be giving your business great staying power. Your website will remain prominent and popular in SEO searches when compared to your direct competition that doesn’t use content optimisation. Your business website will always remain as a preferred go-to source of information for your target audience long after your competition has dropped off the search engine rankings.

Content OptimisationEffective and practical content marketing

Content marketing is one of the world’s most effective digital marketing strategies that you can use for your brand. By using well crafted and informative content that is SEO optimised, your business can attract and engage with more quality leads and turn them into loyal repeat customers because good content marketing strategies can drive conversions.
Marketing industry research shows that business owners who make the effort to deliver consistent high-quality content experience customer conversion rates that are nearly six times higher than those who don’t focus on content marketing.
Even though delivering consistent, well-optimised content required a lot of time and effort, in the long term it more than pays for itself by leading to more sales conversions and customer retention numbers.  For time-poor business owners, it makes sense to hire industry experts such as M3 Strategic Marketing to perform this essential task on their behalf.

Content optimisation as a traffic magnet tool

Having effective and targeted content will help to bring more traffic to your website. When you post consistent new blog content that is engaging and helpful, you can use it as a tool to help bring in more traffic to your site over time. The marketing experts are clear on one thing – if you want to improve your site traffic, publish high-quality blog content more consistently and on a regular schedule.

Building trustworthy brand awareness

Building your brand awareness is a very important task. If you have done your customer demographic research properly, you will know that there are customers out there that are a perfect fit for your business. However, until they get the opportunity to learn about your brand you will remain invisible to them.
By creating and sharing useful content that delivers great value to your target customers, you will be able to engage with them and they will learn to trust your brand name and image. By building trust in your prospective new customers you are building a relationship that will lead to them being happier to buy from you.
You can continue to build your brand awareness and trust by continuing to use quality content to engage with and educate your customers further. This helps to keep your customers loyal to your own brand once they have purchased your products or services.  Consistent, fresh content will keep them engaged with you rather than losing interest and moving on to one of your competitors.
If you are interesting on learning more about content marketing, or simply wish us to start writing on your behalf, please contact us now.

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

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”

 

Client website visitor numbers revealed

Many companies are happy to blow their own trumpets by showcasing testimonials, and writing case studies. But at M3SM we decided that we would put ourselves to a real test and see exactly what our average statistics produce.
We were both  surprised and delighted at the results.
Ripped paper, space for copyWe took all the companies we work with to increase sales using SEO, and some of those companies also use Google Paid advertising and email marketing too. We removed those who we could not do a full and direct comparison with, and then looked at the statistics, warts and all for all July 1st 2015 to June 30th 2016 as compared with July 1st 2014 to June 30th 2015.
This left just over 40 companies who have been with us since at least 2014.
We did not remove any figures, we did not “embellish” or  “enhance” any of the figures that came directly from Google Analytics. This report is based on real and honest fact, as delivered by Google Analytics, and we are more than happy to share this with you.
Here are the FACTS revealed: 
1 – Increase in visitor sessions.Ripped paper, space for copy
On average, clients working with M3SM see an increase in visitor sessions of 319.10%
Question: If your website saw a 319% increase in traffic, would it be of value to you? 
Perhaps you run an e-commerce website, in which case, seeing that kind of increase may increase the number of sales your website takes.
Let’s put this into numbers. Let’s say your website receives 10,000 visitor sessions a year (192 a week or 27 a day). An increase of 319% would mean you now receive 31,900 visitor sessions a year (613  week or 87 a day).
2 – Increase in conversion rate.
On average, clients working with M3SM see an increase in website conversion of 29.60%
Again let’s put this into numbers. Let’s say your website conversion rate is 1%. At 10,000 visitor sessions a year, this means that 100 people a year will convert into sales leads or orders (whatever your conversion goal may be). An increase of 29% would mean that your conversion rate is now 1.29%, meaning that those 10,000 visitor sessions turn into 129 conversions a year.
The combination of 1 and 2 combined.
So, if you have increased the number of visitors to your website AND increased the conversion rate (i.e. to number of customers who buy from your online shop, or the number of phone calls or emails into the office asking for more details) then the benefits are obvious. but lets look ate the figures again:
10,000 visitor sessions at an increase in traffic of 319% means 31,900 visitor sessions.
100 conversions at an increase in conversion rate of 29% means 129 conversions.
Put the two together and an increase of visitor sessions to 31,900 with an increase in conversion rate of 29% would see 411 conversions.
So a combination of website visitor sessions increasing, and conversion rate optimisation would mean an increase in converting sales leads or orders of 411%

Penguin is the designated name that Google has given to a series of algorithm changes designed to battle spam link tactics and monitor the quality of links to a website. The Google Penguin program started in April 2012 and immediately had an impact on website owners and the digital industry. Sites that were deemed to be breaking the rules by over-reliance on poor quality or spam links suddenly dropped from the Google search results, many of them are still struggling to recover.
3d Penguin offers you his magnifying glassWhilst there have been several updates over the last few years, the Penguin 4 update expected in 2016 is expected to make significant changes again. Penguin 4 is rumoured to be a ‘real-time’ update to the algorithm. This means that the Penguin portion of the algorithm will always be ‘on’ and updating. This means Google can analyse link profiles more quickly and will help keep sites from ranking well if considered poor quality.

So what can you do to be ready for Google Penguin 4?

The first priority is to analyse your website’s link profile and check whether those links pointing to your site are natural and beneficial. Are some obviously paid for or from incredibly low quality websites? If so, then these links could actually harm your website and you need to get rid of them. This can be done manually by contacting webmasters and asking them to remove the link, which can be a very time consuming process, or alternatively submit a disavow request to Google listing the links to your website that you don’t want it to consider.
At M3SM we have tools to analyse your current website link profile and can devise a plan to address any issues you may have with the quality of your links.

And then what?

Once any ‘spammy’ links are removed businesses should then have a plan to build decent, high-authority links to their website instead. ‘Good’ links will always remain one of the most important ranking factors for search engines.

How can M3SM help build ‘good’ links?

Here at M3SM we have always used ethical techniques to build high quality links naturally.
There are many ways to do this but important examples:

  • * Content – by creating real value for your website visitors with unique engaging content that offers solutions to people. The content may take many forms – blogs, whitepapers, videos, infographics – but the more valuable your content, the more links you’ll build.
  • * Partner with customers, suppliers and industry bodies. Links from relevant websites in your industry will carry credibility for your customers and the search engines.
  • * Business Directories will often provide a website link with your business listing. These listings are often free to complete and will potentially direct relevant industry visitors to you website.
  • * Social sites / Forums – if you have relevant content, comments or opinions there are now many online platforms where you can connect and link.
  • * Local organisations – particularly useful for local businesses – many societies, charities, sports clubs etc. are pleased to link with businesses involved in the community.

So if you want to understand how to benefit from Google Updates and Penguin 4 in particular please contact M3SM today. Working with you every step of the way, we’ll analyse your business and develop a bespoke plan to maximise your business.

Did not publish my review

It was announced on the BBC News site this morning that an alarming number of businesses are creating fake reviews on the web, or cherry picking reviews in order that only the good ones show. Fake reviews damage trust and so it is important that we can understand how reviews work and how we can be sure the reviews on the site are real.
Let me give you an example. Many years ago I spoke to a company in Aylesbury, England who had previously engaged the services of an SEO “expert”. They were doing very well locally and were very pleased with the results. However, as soon as they decided to stop with this SEO “Expert” their local results plummeted.
On investigation, we could see that their web presence locally had been enhanced through the use of fake reviews. The SEO “expert” (it makes me very angry to call him this) had simply created 10 fake reviews a month, using exactly the same words, just creating a new user.

How do YOU spot fake reviews?

When you are looking for a product or service, it may be a holiday, or white goods or… well anything really, you may want to look online and read about other peoples experiences with the company you are looking to buy from, or the product itself.  We need the reviews to be real, honest and therefore trustworthy in order that we can all benefit from these crowd-sharing tools.

Our top tips for spotting fake online reviews are:

  1. CHECK THE SCORE – If someone has 10/10 every single time, they may be cherry picking. Don’t get me wrong, some people really are very good at what they do, but when you see this, it is time to look at multiple review sites to see if it is similar across them all. So, if on one review site the company consistently scores 10/10 yet on another they score 5/10 then you know these reviews are probably not real.
  2. CHECK THE REVIEWER – When you look at the review, you can generally find out a little more about the person making that review, and often you can see the other reviews this person has made. If this person has made many reviews and they are all great, then this person is either very easy to please, only rates and never critiques, or is fake. Generally, as individuals,  we stick to a few Social media and Review sites. If your reviewer is appearing on multiple review sites and giving the same reviews over an over, they may have a lot of time on their hands, or they are not real people.
  3. CHECK THE RESPONSES – Often a fake review is just that, no engagement. Simply put, when people create a fake review, why would they then sign in and comment? Some fake reviews of course can be created by family and friends, and then a comment may be added, but as a rule, fake reviews do not get feedback.
  4. CHECK FOR CHERRY PICKING – This one is a tough one, how can you tell if a company is hiding (not publishing) bad reviews? When comparing other review websites, you can often find comments made about companies where they actually say “I commented on… the did not publish”. As you can see from the screenshot, a simple search will identify if this is the case, simply add in the company name or product name to get more relevant results.

Did not publish my review
It is important for you the consumer to keep review sites honest and reliable, so please SHARE these tips and educate your friends and family in order that we can all benefit from the knowledge shared by real people.

KEEP OUR REVIEW SITES REAL!

How to get on the first page of google

This is a question that gets asked over and over, and if there was a simple answer, then everyone would be doing it and we would be out of business.
Google run its impressive search Engine based on Algorithmic Calculations, and these calculations are tweaked at least once a day. So the answer is – there is no quick fix to get on the first page of Google.
HOWEVER…
How to get on the first page of googleWhat if you understood what Google is looking for, and how it’s business operates, then would you stand a better chance of understanding the process?
Of course you would! So, the question should not be “How do I get on the first page of Google”, but should be “What can I do with my web presence that means Google is more likely to show my website in the search results for a relevant key word or phrase?”
When thinking about the Google business, what do we now about our own business, and every other money making business in the UK, indeed in the world? The end game is to make money, it’s that simple.
How does Google make money? through it’s paid services such as Google Adwords.
When Google is asking a company to use and pay for its services, it is competing with the other search engines, and therefore needs to offer value for money. With any paid for advertising, whether on or offline, then the value is achieved through relevant reach. If you were to write an Advertorial in a relevant and targeted magazine, you would want to understand how many readers there are, so you can understand the potential reach. On Google, that reach is measured by user numbers.
So the more users on Google, the better their offering to the paid elements of the search engine, and therefore the more money they are likely to take.
Now we need to consider why a person would continue to choose Google as its preferred Search Engine. That’s simple, Google provide the results you are looking for, that are relevant to your search query, in a speedy way.
So, if your website helps Google Achieve this goal, then your website is more likely to be shown within the search results for a relevant key word or phrase for your product or service.
To do this, you need to provide relevant, fresh and engaging content that Google is prepared to show.
Relevancy – Stick to keywords that relate to your business – do not start discussing what you did at the weekend with the family (unless it is 100% relevant) on your blog.
Freshness – Write content on a regular basis, plan ahead by using a content plan.
Engaging – Make sure you are writing something that your target audience will be happy to read, something useful and helpful, something they may want to bookmark or indeed share socially.
If you need help, or simply wish to discuss this in more detail, please drop us a line on info@m3sm.co.uk
Thanks