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Keyword research forms the basis of any website, and in a hyper.competitive industry like travel, it’s even more important. You don’t want to fall into the trap of launching a website and not knowing the search terms you are targeting – it’ll be a long uphill battle if you do. In this post, we uncover the tips that will help you identify the best keyword opportunities.

 

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is about understanding a user’s intent when they conduct a search and what they're looking for in a site. It’s the process of understanding the motivations behind your potential customers then applying that knowledge to your site for SEO benefits.

 

For example, you wouldn’t launch a product to market without doing your consumer research beforehand. Keyword research is consumer research within the search-engine context. The benefits of continuous, thorough keyword research have positive impacts throughout your business and can provide insights to your customer base you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

 

travel research

 

Keyword research also has a large impact on the type of content you publish, your URL structure, title tags, meta descriptions and much more. Just look at the example above and see how these two similar keywords could alter your content strategy.

 

Go long-tail

An easy pitfall is to target fat-head keywords that have extremely high search volume and just stop your research there. Although these search terms look attractive, they will most likely be targeted by large, brand-heavy websites, making it nigh-on impossible for you to rank on page 1.

 

As you can see above, the fat-head keyword dubai holidays has only large, recognised brands at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). And while it’s possible to rank for this term, it would take heavy investment and wouldn’t be advised for smaller websites.

 

Smaller businesses looking to improve their travel SEO can thrive on targeting long-tail travel keywords that are more specific and used by a smaller number of users. To do this, compile a list of phrases or topics that your target market is searching for and then map out other phrases that can come from these root keywords. This will leave you with a selection of long-tail travel keywords for which you have a higher chance of ranking on page 1.

 

Taking the dubai holidays (90,500 searches/month) keyword, there are plenty of long-tail phrases that can stem from this. Some examples are things to do in dubai (14,800 searches/month) best restaurants in dubai (2,400 searches/month) and best places to eat in dubai (320 searches/month). If you continue this process of generating related phrases, you'll find that all these long-tail keywords can easily add up to the number of searches conducted with the fat-head keyword dubai holidays.

 

Answer The Public and Soovle are two great free tools for generating suggestions for long-tail keywords for you to target.

 

Keyword planner is your friend

After compiling your list of long-tail phrases to target, the best, most user-friendly tool to gather search volumes is Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner – get started here. The Keyword Planner works much like a search engine, in that you search for your keywords and you’ll be given a set of results.
Google

 

Not only will the tool return the search volumes of your already discovered long-tail keywords, but it will also generate similar keywords you may want to target. As you can see below, there are hundreds of ideas that you can add to your master list of keywords – all just from the keyword dubai holidays.

 

There are other tools and software great for conducting keyword research, like ahrefs and SEMRush, which have their own versions/methods of generating search volumes and keyword ideas. Regardless of which tool you use or are most comfortable with, the process of finding the keyword you want to target and therefore the best ones for your site remains the same.

 

The keyword process in short

  1. Identify what your target searcher's intent is
  2. Generate a list of long-tail keywords that you are interested in, using Answer the Public and Soovle
  3. Put them through the Google’s Keyword Planner/ahrefs or SEMRush to evaluate difficulty and search volume
  4. Take note of new keyword ideas generated by your chosen tool and repeat the third step.

 

Keyword research is incredibly important to websites because it’s the basis of the content you will produce and the direction your site will take. Furthermore, robust keyword research can have a positive impact on your business as a whole, as it provides you with more information about your target market. Lastly, it’s important to remember that good keyword research will be continuously undertaken, as searchers' behaviour online changes and so will a website's targeted keywords.

Orphaned pages are pages on your website that aren’t linked to by any of your other pages. If no internal links are pointing at a page, not only does it make it unlikely a site user will ever find it, it also means web crawlers like Googlebot may not find it either, and it prevents link equity from being passed along.

Link equity helps to show search engines that a page is important, so if none is passed it could appear that your content isn’t important. If users can’t find the page, it won’t get read and won’t convert, so might as well not be there at all.

When adding new pages to your site it’s important to make sure you’re also adding internal links to pages from other related content, to avoid creating orphans.

If you need to identify and fix existing orphaned pages, or pages which have become orphaned as a result of other content or links being removed, there are straightforward ways you can do this.

1: Make sure your sitemaps are up-to-date

Aside from the obvious fact that your pages are unlikely to get indexed if they aren’t in your sitemap, having a sitemap that includes all the URLs on your site will make your life a lot easier when it comes to finding orphaned pages. To identify which pages aren’t being linked to, you need to have a full list of which pages exist on your site in the first place.

If you’re using Yoast SEO or a similar plug-in, your sitemaps will be updating automatically. If you’re still using a CMS that requires manual sitemap updates, check with your developers to ensure the most recent version is live.

2: Find the orphaned pages using a crawling tool

The easiest way to find orphaned pages is by using a straightforward SEO tool like DeepCrawl or SEMrush.

You can use the search bar to find the orphaned page list, or look under Source Gap > Sitemaps > Orphaned Sitemaps Pages.

SEMrush’s site audit tool files orphaned pages under ‘Issues’, and then ‘Notices’. Here, you’ll see a list of any URLs that appear in your sitemaps but which aren’t currently subject to internal linking.

Both of these tools can also be connected to your Google Analytics account. The ‘Orphaned Pages in Google Analytics’ section for both tools will show you any orphaned URLs that are still being crawled – these are pages that are still driving traffic to the site.

If you’re not sure that your sitemap contains all the URLs it should, in DeepCrawl you can also go to ‘Pages Not in Sitemaps’ and use filters to show only 200-code, indexable URLs with 0 links in from other site pages. These may be URLs that have been deliberately excluded, but you may also find URLs that need both internal linking and to be added to your sitemap.

3: Executing an internal link plan

Once you’ve downloaded a full list of all the orphaned pages on your site, it’s time to filter through and see which pages need linking, which need redirecting and which need deleting.

A common cause of orphaned pages is the creation of temporary pages such as seasonal sales or promotions, which aren’t removed once the event has ended. There may also be older versions of pages that should be redirecting to a newer version, which may put you at risk of keyword cannibalisation.

Low-quality or expired pages which aren’t ranking and bringing in traffic should be removed or redirected to suit, while useful pages that serve a purpose and offer value to the user should be linked wherever possible across your site.

Put together a link plan, listing which URLs need links pointing to them and which pages and anchor text these links can come from.

Once you’ve plotted out which pages should be linking to your orphans, get the links in and live as quickly as possible.

Other notes

If you don’t have access to SEMrush or DeepCrawl, you can also find orphaned pages using a slightly more manual exercise through ScreamingFrog’s SEO Spider. Simply download the full URL list from your sitemap and then use ScreamingFrog to crawl your site from the homepage.

ScreamingFrog works in the same way as Google and Bing – by following the links it encounters as it goes along. If there are no links to a particular page, ScreamingFrog won’t find it.

Put your sitemap URL list and ScreamingFrog URL list into one spreadsheet and check for duplicates. Any URL it hasn’t found, and therefore is not duplicated, is an orphan.

Check for orphans regularly

Even if you’ve meticulously resolved all your orphaned pages and are moving forward with a thorough internal link plan, it’s still possible that a future audit will flag new or different orphaned URLs.

If you aren’t confident in doing your own site audits, Ad-Rank can help you monitor and resolve everything from orphaned pages to status code errors. Fill in this quick form to get a free SEO audit of your website.

Big brands like Coca-Cola, MTV and American Express are all winning the content marketing battle and it's fair to say that money talks when it comes to content.

There are some that feel content marketing is a ticking time bomb that isn’t sustainable, while others view it as the obvious successor to TV advertising. Whatever you think, it’s clear that as digital channels evolve, content marketing is growing and maturing. (more…)

Digital PR is often a lengthy process, but can ultimately be broken down into three key steps - the planning and creation, pitching and distribution and tracking and measurement.

We've rounded up 30 of our favourite tools, each of which attempt to make the whole process just that little bit easier and ultimately pave the way to digital PR success. (more…)

Digital marketing has grown to become a fundamental part of any business.

While its landscape may seem difficult to navigate at first, there are plenty of tools available that promise to make things just that little bit easier. Still, deciding which are of genuine value to your business can become a task in itself.

Join us as we run through 150 tools that aim to contribute to digital marketing success - from content planning and creation to optimisation and analysis.

 

Content creation tools

 

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1. Beegit

From $79 p/m
Beegit is an online content production platform that allows teams to collaborate on projects with the use of tagging, version control and file status notifications.

 

2. Canva

Free
Canva users can quickly create attractive documents and designs, with an intuitive drag-and-drop system that bypasses the need for expertise in graphic design.

 

3. GIMP

Free
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. This free tool is an alternative to Adobe Photoshop and is fairly advanced for an online image editor.

 

4. Grammarly

Free
This plug-in checks for over 250 types of grammatical, spelling and punctuation mistakes and helps to ensure that copy is always of the highest standard.

 

5. Kuia

Paid
Kuia allows users to create interactive charts, quizzes and calculators that can help to illustrate data for use within content.

 

6. Meme Generator

Free
This online meme creator allows users to browse popular memes or create their own – a must-have for anyone who knows what a Doge is.

 

7. SurveyMonkey

Freemium
SurveyMonkey is a free tool that lets users create and distribute surveys, from simple polls to in-depth market research.

 

8. ThingLink

From $20 p/m
Thinglink allows users to create visual content that is interactive, adding rich media links to images and videos.

 

9. Feedly

Free
This free news aggregator tool is useful during the research and creation stage of new campaigns and can help to ensure that content is relevant at the time of publication.

 

Content hosting tools

 

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10. Blogger

Free
Google's web-log publisher is completely free and allows users to host and share text, images and video online.

 

11. LinkedIn Pulse

Free
Anyone with a LinkedIn profile can use LinkedIn Pulse for free. The aim is that users can expand their reach by sharing content that is valuable and relevant to their industry.

 

12. Medium

Free
With Medium it's free to publish stories and ideas, with the aim of getting your content seen by a global audience.

 

13. Rebel Mouse

Paid
Create, publish and share content on one platform. Rebel Mouse aims to increase organic traffic over time.

 

14. Squarespace

From $12 p/m
Squarespace's stripped back interface is designed to make hosting slick and stylish blogs, websites and e-commerce pages a more simple task.

 

15. Vimeo

Free
While less famous than Youtube, Vimeo's slick branding and high quality video content can often give an edge to websites during video hosting.

 

16. WordPress

Freemium
Wordpress is the most widely used Content Management System (CMS) out there. Benefits include a clean and intuitive interface, and a plug-in architecture that aims to provide the simple addition of complex functions and features. To find out more about why WordPress is so universally popular, check out 101 Logical Reasons Why WordPress Is The Best CMS.

 

17. Live Journal

Free
LiveJournal is a free, classic content creation and sharing site - aiming to offer versatile tools that can be used on all sorts of blogs, writing and promotional material.

 

Email marketing tools

 

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18. Dot Mailer

From £250 p/m
Dot Mailer aims to offer effective mail marketing software for businesses of all sizes, with automation features included.

 

19. Get Response

From $15 p/m
Get Response allows you to create and distribute emails, newsletters and surveys in one place. There's also the option to create lists of subscribers, with the aim that campaigns will reach the right people every time.

 

20. Litmus

From $60 p/m
Litmus enables users to track and test emails, ensuring that they are fully optimised and able to be viewed on any device.

 

21. Streak

Freemium
This plug-in works with Google Mail and aims to make Customer Relationship Management (CRM) a reality within your inbox.

 

22. Mailchimp

Freemium
MailChimp is an email marketing platform that allows users to send emails, manage subscribers and track results.

 

23. Newzapp

Paid
This email marketing software has campaign management features enabled and is targeted specifically towards bigger brands and businesses.

 

24. Pure360

Paid
Pure360 allows users to personalise, target and automate marketing emails, with the aim of ensuring that all content gets the high level of coverage it deserves.

 

25. ReachMail

Freemium
With even the free version of ReachMail offering users 15,000 emails per month, this tool is useful for those needing to create, deliver and track messages in bulk.

 

26. Vertical Response

Freemium
Vertical Response allows users to create, send and track emails simultaneously. It also offers features to make sure that messages look great across a wide range of devices.

 

27. Wired Marketing

From £14.99 p/m
Wired marketing has features to organise and manage email campaigns, alongside real-time analytics that help to track their progress and effectiveness.

 

Link building tools

 

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28. Buzzstream

From $24 p/m
This web-based software aims to help marketers build and grow relationships by researching prospects, offering effective outreach solutions and managing link building projects.

 

29. BuzzSumo

From $99 p/m
Buzzsumo has been built to help users find the biggest trends in social media, alongside tracking down key influencers in relation to a specific topic.

 

30. Citation Labs

Paid
Citation Labs has a range of features dedicated to building valuable links for your business, including an innovative co-citation tool.

 

31. InkyBee

From $79 p/m
Inkybee is a suite of tools that aims to connect users with influencers, before sharing content that is valuable and relevant to their audience.

 

32. NinjaOutreach

From $49 p/m
Ninja Outreach aims to offer blogger outreach software that is easy to navigate, allowing marketers to directly connect with the influencers that matter to their business.

 

33. MuckRack

Paid
MuckRack aims to help users find journalists and key influencers in their field, before closely managing media lists and organising contact information.

 

34. Bitly

Free
This free link shortener not only comes in handy when sharing links across social media, but also tracks engagement on each link that you've created.

 

35. PitchBox

From $95 p/m
Pitchbox is an influencer outreach platform that delivers automated follow-up and intelligent templates, aiming to provide users with personalised outreach options.

 

36. Traackr

Paid
Traackr offers tools to manage and monitor influencer relationships, with the aim of building valuable connections that stand the test of time.

 

PR outreach tools

 

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37. Cision

Paid
Cision offers PR software that encompasses media monitoring, media list building, distribution and analysis.

 

38. eReleases

Paid
eReleases offers help and guidance for writing press releases, alongside features which aim to easily distribute content to relevant journalists.

 

39. PR Max

From £108 p/m
PR Max is a comprehensive press release distribution tool, offering a vast media database alongside management and organisation features.

 

40. Response Source

Paid
Response Source offers users a way to connect with journalists and PR professionals. The aim is to distribute press releases or journalist enquiries at the click of a button.

 

41. PR Underground

From $39 p/m
PR Underground brands itself as an affordable press release distribution service. Releases are sent to Google News, social media and over 100 global news sites.

 

42. Vuelio

Paid
Vuelio users can access media databases, media monitoring, press release distribution and media analysis all in one place.

 

43. ReleaseWire

Paid
ReleaseWire is a comprehensive content distribution tool that aims to connect brands and businesses with relevant journalists.

 

44. Prezley

Paid
Combining CRM with PR, Prezly is an online press room that aims to get content seen by the journalists that count.

 

45. PR Web

Paid
PR Web aims to be an effective tool for companies who need to distribute press releases on both a local and a global scale.

 

46. Newswire

From $159 p/m
Newswire is an integrated platform that gives users the chance to distribute and track releases all in one place.

 

47. Help a Reporter Out

Paid
Help A Reporter Out aims to connect data sources and journalists, enabling the two to work together in order to create unique and valuable content.

 

48. Gorkana

Freemium
Gorkana's basic features are free to use and allow marketers the opportunity to connect and share content with journalists on a global scale.

 

Research tools

 

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49. Answer The Public

Free
A free tool to discover which questions consumers within a specific field are asking, Ask The Public aims to help users create content that is of genuine value to its audience.

 

50. Google Keyword Planner

Free
A tool featured in Google's Adwords, Keyword Planner allows users to quickly look at average monthly search volumes, according to location, for the benefit of keyword research.

 

51. Google Trends

Free
Examining the biggest Google trends of the minute could prove useful when performing keyword research, or for brainstorming blog content that's relevant to public interest.

 

52. Hastagify

Freemium
Hashtagify is a comprehensive search engine with data on hashtags, influencers and Twitter usage patterns.

 

53. Moz Keyword Explorer

From $99 p/m
Moz's keyword explorer is a new tool that analyses keywords across several metrics. It also analyses the first pages of SERPs and offers further keyword suggestions.

 

54. Open Site Explorer

Free
Moz's Open Site Explorer can be used for researching backlinks, identifying link building opportunities and discovering any potentially bad links.

 

55. Quora

Free
Quora is a community-based question and answer site with an archive information linking to content and digital marketing terms.

 

56. Reddit

Free
Reddit is a user-generated news site, where members' votes decide which stories are promoted on the front page.

 

57. Trendspottr

Freemium
Trendspottr not only predicts emerging trends, it also aims to recognise future viral content and key influencers.

 

58. Ubersuggest

Free
Ubersuggest is a free tool that identifies new keywords not listed on Google's keyword planner.

 

59. Market Samurai

Freemium
Market Samurai aims to be an effective tool for generating, planning and narrowing down keywords. It hopes to save users hours of time and has all of the data stored in one app.

 

SEO measurement tools

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60. Screaming Frog

Freemium
Screaming Frog's SEO Spider Tool aims to crawl a website in the same way that a webcrawler does, retrieving important information which can then be exported and utilised in technical and on-page SEO.

 

61. Search Metrics

Paid
Search Metrics is designed to offer in-depth analysis, reporting and forecasting of the latest trends in content marketing and SEO.

 

62. WooRank

From £49 p/m
Woorank is a measurement tool for businesses of all sizes. Check real-time SEO standings and make changes to content that could potentially optimise performance.

 

63. Authority Labs

Freemium
Authority Labs tracks website rankings across a wide range of platforms, including Google, Yahoo and Bing. Results are updated daily so that any necessary changes can be made quickly.

 

64. BrightLocal

From $29.99 p/m
BrightLocal will test a site against local competitors and track directory citations – aiming to be a superior option for local-based businesses.

 

65. Majestic

From £29.99 p/m
Majestic is a marketing search engine and backlink checker that aims to issue clear and digestible summaries for your site.

 

66. Moz Local

From £84 p/y
Moz Local aims to ensure that your business is getting the highest possible visibility from local search engines.

 

67. Moz Pro

Paid
Moz Pro is designed to combine all of the best features from Moz, ensuring that users always have a wide range of data to work with.

 

68. MozBar

Free
This free toolbar not only lets you know the DA of the site that you're visiting, but also allows you to instantly track whether hosted links are follow or no-follow.

 

69. RankTrackr

Paid
Accuracy, speed and simplicity are RankTrackr's 3 main principles, aiming to deliver a well designed SEO tracker made specifically for professionals.

 

Site testing and optimisation tools

 

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70. Readability

Free
Readability aims to remove online clutter and present copy in a clear, easy to read format - allowing you to focus on getting the most from your copywriting content.

 

71. Siteliner

Freemium
Free for standard package users, Siteliner searches for everything from broken links and duplicate content to redirections and page ranks.

 

72. Unbounce

From $49 p/m
Unbounce allows for the testing of online landing pages. These pages can be built, published and optimised all in one place.

 

73. User Testing

Paid
User Testing allows you to watch first time users on your site and receive feedback. It's a free service that aims to provide a fresh pair of eyes to look over any problem spots you may have overlooked yourself.

 

74. Xenu's Link Sleuth

Free
This is a pretty effective link crawling tool, especially across large sites. It’s great for hunting down 404s and redirects that might have otherwise been missed.

 

75. DeepCrawl

From $50 p/m
DeepCrawl collects data from your site and puts it in a report, flagging technical issues and notifying you of any major problems. This tool is the perfect starting point for ironing out even the biggest of wrinkles.

 

76. BrightEdge

Paid
BrightEdge invests in the idea of content performance marketing, where content is optimised based on numbers and targeted measurement.

 

77. Optimizely

Paid
Optimizely uses the intuitive A/B testing technique, which is designed to directly compare two versions of the same web page in order to determine which performs better.

 

78. Yoast

Paid
Probably the most well-known SEO WordPress plug-in, Yoast offers users the ability to assign keywords across pages and optimise page titles and meta-descriptions.

 

79. Raven Tools

From $99 p/m
Raven Tools markets itself as the No. 1 online marketing platform for reporting and optimisation. There are over 20 tools to choose from.

 

Social media management tools

 

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80. Hootsuite

Freemium
Hootsuite allows you to schedule and manage social media updates across all of your primary accounts, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

81. Buffer

Freemium
Buffer is another comprehensive social media management tool, with the option to schedule posts across Instagram, Google+ and even Pinterest.

 

82. Facebook

Free
Facebook is a social networking platform with over 1.65 billion active users worldwide. Connect with colleagues and stay in touch via instant messaging or groups.

 

83. Google+

Free
Google+ and Google Business can have a significant impact on your organic traffic when used correctly. Both are essential for maintaining traffic and rankings.

 

84. LinkedIn

Free
A professional networking tool with over 100 million active users, LinkedIn allows users to connect and share content with professionals in their area and across the globe.

 

85. Twitter

Free
With over 310 million active users, Twitter is an absolute must-use for getting your content noticed. Every brand, business, news site and big-name celebrity are using Twitter, so there's no excuse.

 

86. Twuffer

Free
Twuffer allows you to schedule regular Tweets to your account, and only takes a few seconds to set up. Set up a week or month's worth of Twitter activity at once and manage your time more effectively.

 

87. YouTube

Free
YouTube is a video sharing site that works as a distribution platform for individual content creators and large companies.

 

88. Social Flow

Paid
Social Flow aims to analyse real-time data to ensure that your social media content is posted at the best possible time.

 

89. Sprout Social

From $59 p/m
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool that allows users to schedule, publish and analyse content across a wide range of social sharing platforms.

 

Social media monitoring tools

 

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90. Crowdbooster

From $9 p/m
Alongside Crowdbooster's in-depth analytics tools, the site also gives recommendations on how to optimise social media performance.

 

91. Fanpage Karma

From €49.90 p/m
Fanpage Karma provides unlimited Facebook analytics and reports, all in one place.

 

92. Followerwonk

Freemium
This comprehensive Twitter analytics tool allows users to analyse engagement and reach, while also searching Twitter bios and connecting businesses with relevant influencers.

 

93. SharedCount

From $40 p/m
SharedCount aims to track how many times certain URL's have been shared across social media, as well as checking their overall engagement.

 

94. Simply Measured

Freemium
Simply Measured offers social media analytics across a wide range of platforms. The data collected aims to be both relevant and in-depth.

 

95. IFTTT

Free
IFTTT is an acronym for 'If This, Then That'. The software aims to connect apps and devices in a way that is organised and easy to manage.

 

96. Klout

Freemium
Brands are able to monitor social influence by using Klout's 'score' feature, which rates the impact of social media profiles from 1-100.

 

97. Quicksprout

Free
Quicksprout offers a huge range of resources that aim to help you understand your social media influence, as well as improve upon it in the future.

 

98. Quintly

From €129 p/m
Quintly is a social media management tool that tracks engagement across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.

 

99. Riffle

Free
Riffle is a free plug-in that enables users to learn more about competing Twitter profiles. Discover more about their engagement rates, who they're tweeting and which hashtags they're using.

 

Task management tools

 

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100. Basecamp

From $29 p/m
Basecamp is a leading web-based project management and task organisation tool, with features including to-do lists, schedules and the tracking of milestones.

 

101. Asana

Freemium
Free for teams with 15 members or fewer, Asana aims to give users the chance to not only record and track the progress of tasks and projects, but also to download relevant data to analyse later.

 

102. Bitrix24

Freemium
Free for small businesses, Bitrix24 is a social enterprise platform that offers the benefits of a united workspace alongside a range of handy task management features.

 

103. Evernote

Freemium
Evernote aims to allow for the seamless management of projects, tasks and ideas across multiple devices.

 

104. Google Calendar

Free
As well as having a visual record of day to day tasks in one handy place, Google Calendar also allows you to set up meetings, invite colleagues and manage RSVPs.

 

105. Momentum

Free
Momentum is a personalised dashboard designed to eliminate distractions and encourage inspiration, focus and productivity.

 

106. Redbooth

From $5 p/m
Redbooth is a task management system that allows users to assign and monitor work in progress, access shared files and communicate instantly via live chat.

 

107. Toggl

From $49 p/m
Toggl is a time management tool that combines a simple timer feature with a powerful timesheet tracking calculator.

 

108. Trello

Free
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to task management, but Trello is simple and works well as part of an agile work flow. There are plenty of plug-in options, too.

 

109. Wrike

Freemium
Wrike is a project management system that aims to give users full control over their tasks, with the added potential to connect with team members from across the globe.

 

110. Wunderlist

Freemium
As both a powerful team management tool and a sleek way to organise projects, Wunderlist ticks all the boxes for task management.

 

Team communication and file sharing tools

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111. HipChat

Freemium
HipChat is a hosted group chat and video communication platform, built with the intention to connect groups and ensure seamless team collaboration.

 

112. LastPass

Free
LastpPass is a password saving and sharing browser plug-in. Whether it's a content management system or a shared social media account, giving users a password via LastPass has an added level of security.

 

113. Skype

Free
Skype is a text chat, audio and video calling service that aims to connect with others around the world, either via individual or conference calls.

 

114. Slack

Freemium
Slack is a real-time messaging, archiving and search tool designed to be used by teams of all sizes.

 

115. Quip

From $30 p/m
Aiming to be more than just a content creation tool, Quip enables teams to document, discuss and organise work on a communal platform.

 

116. Box

From £3.50 p/m
Box offers secure file sharing and storage features, alongside intuitive content management features.

 

117. Dropbox

Freemium
Dropbox is a cloud storage tool that enables users to sync and share files across their own devices, as well as with friends and co-workers.

 

118. Google Drive

Free
Google Drive is great for sharing files that more than one person needs access to. Files are easier to manage and multiple people can work on them at once.

 

119. JumpShare

Freemium
JumpShare aims to offer free and unlimited file sharing for documents of all sizes.

 

120. WeTransfer

Freemium
WeTransfer enables users to send files of up to 2GB in size to the email addresses of colleagues and clients.

 

Tracking tools

 

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121. Advanced Web Ranking

From $49 p/m
Advanced Web Ranking aims to provide clear and concise ranking reports, with helpful summaries available daily, weekly or on demand.

 

122. AHRefs

From $99 p/m
Research backlinks, organic traffic and keywords with AHRefs, in order to measure and optimise the reach of content.

 

123. IceRocket

Free
IceRocket specialises in the real-time search of mentions and aims to ensure that results are always relevant and up-to-date.

 

124. Mention

From $29 p/m
Track real-time brand and company mentions across the Internet and on social media. 40 languages are covered and users can respond to mentions immediately from the dashboard.

 

125. Segment

Freemium
Segment delivers customer data with one API, before sending it to integration platforms for further analysis and data warehousing.

 

126. Serpfox

From $10 p/m
Unusually, accurate keyword trackers are hard to come by. Serpfox is by no means perfect - reporting, for example, is perfunctory compared to some other paid options - but the data is usually pretty solid.

 

127. SocialMention

Free
SocialMention searches user-generated content, including blogs, comments and news. Search for any term and receive real-time results at the click of a button.

 

128. Tagboard

Paid
Tagboard aims to give users the chance to track popular tags online, find relevant content and connect with key influencers within their field.

 

129. Trackur

From $97 p/m
Trackur aims to offer quick and easy social media monitoring, insights and data in one place. Other features include sentiment analysis tools and attractive white label branding.

 

130. TrackMaven

Paid
TrackMaven works across an impressive 15 digital channels, aiming to provide detailed tracking and analytics reports for each.

 

Web analytics tools

 

ana1131. Clicky

Freemium
Clicky offers real-time web analytics, offering users the potential to identify and react to issues that are harming their blog or website's traffic.

 

132. Crazy Egg

Paid
Clickmaps and heatmaps help to point out the average user journey towards a conversion. CrazyEgg aims to provide an in-depth analysis that can lead to site optimisation and a higher engagement rate.

 

133. Google Analytics

Free
Google Analytics is a must-have analysis tool that plugs into any site and provides a full break down of visitor information.

 

134. Google Search Console

Free
Another of Google's free services, Search Console monitors and maintains a site's presence in Google's own search results.

 

135. HotJar

From €89 p/m
With access to heatmaps and visitor recordings, HotJar also enables you to host polls on your site in order to understand what is preventing audience engagement.

 

136. Kissmetrics

From $120 p/m
Track, analyse and optimise campaigns in one place. Kissmetrics helps to make the most from your marketing strategy by identifying what works and what doesn't across a wide range of platforms.

 

137. Mixpanel

Freemium
Mixpanel is considered to be the world's most advanced tool for web and mobile analytics, aiming to offer a simple interface that eliminates the need for complicated Structured Query Language (SQL).

 

138. SEMRush

From $69.95 p/m
From SEO and PPC to video advertising research, SEMRush is a tool designed to help content marketers wanting to access in-depth analytics in one place.

 

139. SumoMe

Freemium
SumoMe is all about building traffic and generating a buzz around your site, while in-depth analytics highlight the pros and cons of your current marketing strategy.

 

140. Woopra

Freemium
Woopra allows users to track customer activity in real-time, encouraging brands to take action immediately and provide the best customer experience possible.

 

141. Visual Website Optimizer

From $49 p/m
Visual Web Optimiser generates heatmaps and aims to set up effective website usability and conversion based tests, all in one streamline plug-in.

 

All-rounders

 

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142. ClearVoice

Paid
ClearVoice aims to provide a complete content marketing package, with software to create, distribute and manage engaging content time after time.

 

143. Content Marketer

From $9 p/m
Like the swiss army knife of content marketing tools, here you can find outreach email templates, help with scheduling campaigns and tools to help users find relevant influencers.

 

144. Contently

Paid
Contently allows content to be created and published all in one place. Users are able to work with top creative talent and closely manage the distribution and follow up of campaigns.

 

145. HubSpot

Paid
HubSpot is an inbound content marketing tool, focused on helping brands to attract visitors to their site and convert interest into sales.

 

146. PixxFly

From $49 p/m
PixxFly has a wide range of features, including content research tools, client management features and detailed analytics reports.

 

147. SharpSpring+

Paid
SharpSpring+ aims to combine some of the most powerful customer analytics tools with features to help with content creation, delivery and data research.

 

148. MeltWater

Paid
This social media monitoring tool combines features to help users analyse customer data, as well as to engage with consumers by creating consistently valuable content.

 

149. Conductor

Paid
Conductor is varied a content marketing suite. It works on the premise that in order for good content to get found, creators must be engaged with exactly what it is their customer is looking for.

 

150. Eloqua

Paid
Eloqua is a marketing automation tool that enables users to plan and execute campaigns in a way that engages the right audience.

 

So there we have it - 150 tools that aim to make digital marketing a less painful process. We'd love to hear some of your favourites, or you can contact us to discuss how our digital marketing solutions could be of benefit to your business.

We're well into 2016 and we've already seen some big changes in how the digital marketing landscape is looking, particularly around local and paid search.

Despite this, the core areas of digital marketing still hold true. Here are 101 tips that will help your business, whether you are operating on a small or larger scale, and help get you the results you need from your online marketing over the coming years.

 

SEO

 

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1. Move to a secure server

By using a Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, found at URLs beginning with https:// (as opposed to merely https://), you are able to provide your customers with peace of mind regarding their sensitive information. SSL indicates that a two-key encryption service is being used,  safeguarding any commercial transactions made, and any personal data being transferred, for example when logging into an online portal. Google indicated early on that https and online security would become a factor in search, calling for "https everywhere" back in 2014, and it's now baked in as part of its ranking algorithm. What's more, that extra assurance can make all the difference to your prospective customers.

 

2. Remove exact match anchor in footers

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing – the same rule applies to SEO. If you use exact keywords in your anchor text for footers, you will be guilty of over-optimisation. Google has become increasingly savvy to this and your rankings will suffer as a result.

 

3. Get rid of keyword-focused landing pages

The same principle of over-optimisation discussed above in relation to footers also applies to landing pages. For example, avoid landing pages with the titles: “Plumber in London”, “Plumber in East London” or such like. This reads awkwardly for the customer, and will potentially lead to a loss in rankings. Think of the user first, and the rest will follow.

 

4. Longer, better copy!

Semantic keyword targeting is getting better and Google's knowledge graph smarter every second. Write naturally and in detail, inserting keywords without disrupting the rhythm of the editorial. Not only will this make for a better and smoother reading experience for the user, but it will sit better with Google and future-proof your content as well.

 

5. Optimise for mobile and across devices

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YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and it's no surprise that mobile has taken over from desktop as our preferred device to get online driven largely by our love of Social Media and video. Google itself has been very vocal about its intention to promote sites which have mobile capabilities and content optimised for speed (take the Google-backed Accelerated Mobile Pages project, for example).

 

6. Page load speed

Google loves content that loads fast, as will your users. In particular, time to first byte is essential when dealing with page load speed as it has been shown that this correlates to higher rankings. Every second counts as even a one second delay has been shown to mean up to a 7% drop in conversions. A user’s first impression of your site makes all the difference, and if they are being made to wait around, they’re unlikely to come back and you may lose out to your nearest competitor.

 

7. Focus on sharing your content with influencers

Building links and a social rapport is important, but even more important is who you’re building this rapport with. Find out who has the influence and leverage this. Seek out authoritative authors (Google ranks individual authors, too) and attempt to build contact with them, whether it’s through sharing a blog or establishing a mutual partnership.

 

8. Freshness isn’t necessarily best

Blogging every day isn’t necessary if you haven’t got anything to say. Google can see when content is not engaged with, so make sure you only upload and update when you have a relevant and valuable message. Having said that, you’ll still want to keep your updates regular.

 

9. Focus on fewer, harder-earned links

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It’s no good gaining links from poorly ranked sites. In fact, an overabundance of cheap and unhelpful links can actually detract from your SEO performance. Think quality not quantity. One juicy link from a well-trusted, authoritative site can make all the difference.

 

10. Monitor everything

This can’t be stressed highly enough – on-site housekeeping is imperative. Check for broken links, duplicate content, faulty media, etc. Make sure your site is in full working order – the more regularly you check-in here, the easier it will be to respond to issues faster so that you can fix any problems before they’re noticed by the user.

 

Paid Search

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11. Do ad copy testing religiously

Ad copy testing is often overlooked. It is one of the best ways to improve click-through rate (CTR), and also helps benefit your quality score (QS). Improving your QS also helps you bring down your costs per click (CPCs).

 

12. Get more visibility on best performing ads

If something works, keep doing it! Invest slightly more on the best performing ads to gain greater visibility. As above though, testing is crucial to make sure that your return on investment (ROI) is acceptable and that the extra outlay is worth it.

 

13. Pause the lowest performing ad

After testing has allowed you to determine which ads are performing better than others, pause the one which is languishing at the bottom of the league table. This will free up funds to try new alternatives. And hey, if they don’t work out, you can always go back to the previous ad; this way your performance will always be improving and you'll keep up with any changes in the ad auctions to stay competitive.

 

14. Link your analytics accounts

If you use Google Analytics, link it with your AdWords account. Having the data flowing freely between AdWords and Analytics saves so much time and hassle it is pretty much a no-brainer; not only is it more efficient, but it will also keep your site in good order and help you optimise for conversions.

 

15. Look for keyword variations to seek extra traffic

Running searches on top-performing keywords could open up new avenues of traffic that you didn’t know existed. Potential keyword variations can be tested out to see if they generate more visitors to the site. Even with RankBrain launching in 2015, around 15% of all searches made daily in Google are still brand new to the search engine, so there's always opportunities emerging. Keep searching!

 

16. Increase mining for negatives

Since Google has changed the rules that govern “exact match,” don't assume that you are eliminating traffic you don't want by using only exact match. Continue to run query reports to find any potential negative keywords, and eliminate them to avoid wasted spend.

 

17. Target similar audiences

When it comes to network targeting, you can expand your potential customer base by targeting audiences similar to the ones you've already acquired for your business – segmenting by demographics, consumer interests and even online behaviours. For example, if you already target 19-25 year-old males from the UK, and they are a profitable audience for your products, why not consider expanding to 25+ year-old males? This may sound simple but is something that is overlooked by many businesses who are happy with what they’ve already got. Always be hungry for more.

 

18. Go local

There have been so many changes in the last couple of years aimed at improving the local search user experience. If it is appropriate for your business, make the most of these; localised searches can be very powerful and cost-effective if done correctly.

 

19. Consider tighter, smaller keyword sets

With changes to Google broad match and exact match, long-tail keywords have all but been killed off for small budget advertisers. Consider going for a small, well-researched group of keywords that fit within your budgets.

 

20. Make sure landing pages are relevant

There’s no point in having great copy and spending a small fortune on ad placement if the landing page when clicked on is not relevant to the ad itself or what the user is searching for. Too many businesses simply direct traffic to their homepage and not the page relevant to the ad.

 

21. Get involved in automation and scripts

There are huge amounts of time to be saved by making good use of features like automated functionality in AdWords. Automation rules are open to all and can help manage bids, budget and ad copy parameters without the manual processes. Paid services like Instant Customer are also great for coordinating and automating all of your marketing strategies with one tool.

 

Content Marketing

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22. Write down your content marketing strategy

This may sound overly obvious, but a lot of businesses still only have content strategies in their heads. Have regular meetings with all major stakeholders to review and refine, and stay agile in 2016 to make sure you’re on the same page and that you’re sticking to your strategy.

 

23. Scale your content marketing

Tools such as Rallyverse are great for mapping out your content marketing strategies. Rallyverse recommends conversations, content and topics that you can get comments on, based on the keywords that you supply.

 

24. Know your audience better

If you know what your audience wants, providing it becomes so much easier… which in turn, makes your audience love you even more. Produce more targeted content by surveying your email database and social audience to find out what they would like to know about. This can take the form of an emailed questionnaire or a social media app.

 

25. Create a subscription model

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Do not underestimate the power of subscription. Even in a world of social media, having people's email addresses is still vital for direct contact with your customers. Use your content to collect customer data by getting people to give their email address in exchange for useful downloads or access to valuable parts of your website. They key here is offering real value to your audience and building a rapport based on mutual trust and transparency.

 

26. Map out your content key performance indicators (KPIs)

Keeping a handle on your KPIs will allow you to constantly track how well you're doing. Again, it sounds simple but many still don't do this when it comes to content. Is your clever, lovingly-created content getting any cut-through? Make sure each piece of content you create fits with one of your overall business goals – whether it be profit margins, growth rates or customer satisfaction index.

 

27. Get involved in real-time content marketing

Follow relevant breaking news and get that blog post out there, post a video reaction or update your website with a relevant offer. You’ll be amazed at how much more responsive an audience will be to something that is happening right then and there.

 

28. Quality, not quantity

Reduce the quantity of your content and increase the quality. It’s no good flooding your site with content if none of it is relevant or engaging. People are far more likely to come back if they have interacted with something they felt was useful or beneficial to them.

 

29. Do more testing

You can never analyse enough! Compare the data you get from A/B test content topics to see which one works best and feed that back into your content strategy. That way, the topics which are more popular can receive more attention, while those which do not attract interest can fall by the wayside. Content management platforms, such as Adobe Marketing Cloud, have sophisticated tools designed to help you test your content.

 

30. Consider your markets

There’s a big world out there, and the internet has made it incredibly small. Should you be thinking about creating content to be consumed in China or the Middle East? Expanding into other markets could help to develop and grow your business exponentially.

 

31. More integration

Don't just think about social media, PR and email marketing in silos. Think about how they can work together to make the most of your content production. There are great tools out there (see Hootsuite, MyLibrary, Simple Share, among others) which can help to dovetail your various strategies seamlessly, reducing your workload and maximizing their effect.

 

Social Media

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32. Analyse past content to improve posts

Use tools such as BuzzSumo to see which content has performed well. From telling how many views, likes and shares a piece of content has garnered, you can tell what your audience like and what they don’t. View it as a form of customer survey… without actually having to bother anyone.

 

33. Be social

It’s called social media. It requires interaction. Acknowledge others, don’t simply broadcast. Engage with your audience; if they feel that they have a voice and that someone is listening, they are far more likely to keep coming back.

 

34. Understand social analytics and insights

If you’re a newbie to the social media aspect of things, take the time to familiarise yourself with how the back-end of the sites work. Ultimately, investing such time will pay off, since you’ll be able to keep track of what’s going on behind the scenes on your social media accounts.

 

35. Ask questions

Again, giving people a voice will keep them engaged and feeling valued. Sure, likes and retweets are great, but what you want even more is a personal interaction. This can also take the form of subtle surveying, to get a clearer idea of how you can improve and meet your audience’s needs better.

 

36. Different networks need different content

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While it might save time to update all of your networks with the same content, remember that people could be engaged with you across all of your social networks. If they see repeat content, they’re unlikely to be impressed. Different platforms can be seen as individual communities – not all content will be suitable for all target markets.

 

37. Manage negative comments

It might be tempting to sweep criticism under the rug by deleting negative Facebook comments, but it will not endear you to those who wrote them. Instead of alienating your audience, show that you value them by responding respectfully and in a timely fashion to all comments, both positive and negative. This will demonstrate your integrity to those who took the time to leave their thoughts and the wider audience as a whole.

 

38. Stop marketing to your audience

If people feel that you are only trying to sell them something, they will be much less inclined to trust you. Using media – be it TV, video, audio – to share information and provide meaningful and useful content, rather than to push your message, will significantly improve your social campaigns. In this method you can win your audience’s trust, which will make them more likely to buy from you when the occasion arises.

 

39. Market where it’s most necessary

Tools like 33Across analyse social media habits in conjunction with marketing efforts, giving you the knowledge of where your ads will be most effective. That way, your content can remain informational and helpful, whilst your ads are strategically positioned to garner the most attention. This is beneficial to the consumer as well, since they are exposed to more relevant products.

 

40. Never forget to monitor your success

If things are going well, it can be tempting to rest on your laurels and expect the progress to continue. However, things can change quickly. The best way to keep fans interested and engaged is to measure what is working and what your customers really connect with. Then, you can adapt your strategies to accommodate more of their tastes.

 

41. Offer exclusive deals to your social media followers

By offering exclusive deals to your followers and no one else, you can show them how much their continued support is appreciated. This will help to keep them feeling valued and a result, keep them coming back for more. More importantly, by offering voucher codes you will be able to track sales and ROI.

 

42. Make sure you’re posting at the right time

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When is your targeted audience most active online? Use your analysis to find out their habits and then release your content at these specific times. Engagement and success levels can be directly affected by what time you post the content.

 

43. Don’t be afraid to post content more than once

If you feel you may have missed part of your audience by posting in the morning rather than the evening, for example, don’t be afraid to re-post. This can have the added benefit of those who have seen the content at an earlier time directing others to it when they are reminded of its value.

 

Public Relations

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44. Invest more in research and survey

It might sound simple, but the best way to present a likeable image is to first find out what people like. The money spent on researching and surveying your clientele and your audience may seem like a lot, but you will reap the benefits when you are able to target more effectively as a result.

 

45. Make a good first impression

Make sure your brand is unique, eye-catching and informative, drawing customers in at first glance. You’ll never get a second chance to turn people’s heads like you will the first time they interact with you, and the first impression is make or break time. Don’t let the opportunity slip.

 

46. Measurability is the key to success

How can you know if you’re doing well if you’re not clear on what it is that you’re doing? Having a specific strategy with quantifiable goals will enable you to measure your progress and continue striving to improve. These goals should incorporate such aspects as the audience you wish to reach, the information you wish to impart, the way you wish them to feel and how you want them to react in a behavioural sense.

 

47. Integrate PR with wider marketing channels

Make sure your PR interlocks with all aspects of your marketing. Too many brands still fail to integrate their PR with SEO and social teams and this is visible in the results they achieve. You can gain a better return on activity by implementing an integrated content strategy underpinning everything.

 

48. Position yourself as the expert

Thought leadership remains important. This basically entails positioning yourself as an expert in your chosen field, meaning that people will seek you out for help rather than you chasing them. You can achieve it by promoting individuals in your business, creating and sharing thought-provoking content and by building up your press relationships. Making yourself available to the media is key, this can include speaking at events.

 

49. Maintain a blog

Your easiest route to audience interaction and building is through an accessible medium such as a blog. If you regularly post insightful, well-written articles that not only engage and entertain but also give information and enrich the reader, you’ll be seen as the expert in your field in no time. Inviting well-respected and influential guest bloggers onto your site is highly recommended, too.

 

50. Compile an FAQ

Think of all of the most commonly asked questions you hear in your day-to-day dealings. Compiling all of these together in an easy-to-access list on your website will elevate your status in your specific niche and also save you time in having to respond to the same questions countless times.

 

51. Change up your pitches

The last thing you want to become is predictable. Keep your content and your pitches fresh so that your audience remains engaged throughout. If the user senses a pattern emerging, or a certain way of phrasing that is geared towards sales, they will become suspicious, disillusioned and bored. This also applies to the questions you want to ask your audience.

 

52. New social platforms could emerge

Bear in mind the ever-present possibility that new social platforms could emerge at any time. Look at how sites like Facebook have grown… and how quickly ones like MySpace have fallen by the wayside. Don’t get left behind when it comes to capitalising on such sites’ popularity and user base.

 

53. Multiple screens, multiple methods, one story

Keep track of all of your various strategies of attack, but have them coordinated. Whether its social media, email, podcasting, blogging, ebooks or another platform, you want to remain consistent and congruent across the board.

 

54. Don’t be shy about emulating others

If something is working well for your competitors, there’s no reason you can’t do it too… just focus on doing it better. Take an effective idea and put your unique and personalised stamp on it to ensure you are the one reaping the benefits.

 

Native Advertising

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55. Build a good relationship with your publishers

Having a strong working relationship with anyone you come into contact with in the digital marketing world is desirable, since a rapport will smooth the gears of operation. All this comes down to building a close relationship with the editor and publisher of your native ad, which could pay valuable dividends in times of need.

 

56. Capture long-tail traffic

Native ads provide another advantage over traditional display: long-tail organic traffic. Because they are at home on the sites in which they are placed, they can appeal to a more niche audience and thus offer a direct route in to long-tail traffic. Traditionally, long-tail was not cost-effective due to the outlays in comparison to the people reached. With native advertising, this is not a concern.

 

57. Have a strategy for pushing content

Native advertising isn’t a quick campaign. It’s a strategy that will need long term investment. Plan out your extended approach to this form of advertisement and make sure you factor it into your budget for the long term.

 

58. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

As with the tip above, native advertising is a campaign which will require significant investment and thought. Therefore, don’t simply place all of your content on a single channel and expect that to solve all of your problems. Hedge your bets by scattering it across several, and check constantly which are the top performers.

 

59. Consider retargeting

Retargeting is a way of allowing your message to reach the right people. Tools like AdRoll are designed to allow you to continue to advertise to people who have landed on your site as they navigate around the web. It brings native advertising to a much wider domain, and can be invaluable in expanding your sales opportunities.

 

60. Encourage a conversation

If people are interacting with each other on your site, it will drive up traffic with no effort on your part. This is what you are aiming for; get the ball rolling by asking questions where possible to generate a discussion. You’ll find that once people start answering you, others will respond to them and your traffic will lift spontaneously.

 

61. Be consistent

Consistency across all media is key. Though you are integrating your advertising natively into a site to look natural, you don’t want to lose track of what the rest of your media is doing. Re-evaluate constantly to ensure you aren’t sending out mixed signals.

 

62. Be true to yourself

The easiest way to maintain consistency throughout all of your strategies is to have them remain true to your core message. Once you start straying from who you are and what you represent, your message will lose its power. Always make sure your advertising, wherever it is placed, is saying what you want.

 

63. Be transparent

If you want to earn your audience’s trust, you need to be transparent about the promotional nature of your features. Consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the concept of native ads, so any attempt to mislead will not go unnoticed. Provide relevant content, be upfront and honest, and your viewers will be much more receptive.

 

64. Be a good storyteller

Viral content is the Holy Grail when it comes to digital marketing. Things that people are more likely to share are things that make them laugh, that make them think, that evoke strong emotions or that are positive. Steer clear of negativity. Once you understand what people are more likely to share, you can be more confident in creating consistently viral content.

 

65. Keep it snappy

Include no more than one idea per post. The internet generation unfortunately suffers from short attention spans, and you need your posts to be consumed easily and consistently, wherever they are placed. Short, sharp and to-the-point posts grab attention and don’t run the risk of putting your audience to sleep.

 

66. Test repeatedly before you dismiss ideas

Run your tests repeatedly before concluding on what really works and what doesn’t, as the first time can always throw up an anomaly. Consider the potential variables, and don't dismiss a valuable suggestion or solution just because you didn’t get the response you’d expected first time round.

 

Email

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67. Make sure your email design is mobile-first

This is imperative. Mobile email is increasing at a rapid rate; in the first half of 2014, 49% of users accessed their email via mobile, and this figure is expected to rise to a whopping 78% by 2017 (with some industries already seeing this percentage or higher). Smartphones overtook laptops in 2015 as UK internet users' preferred device to get online, and most check their email at least once per day. Make sure you’re not missing out on a big chunk of your email subscribers opting to open and engage with your content on mobile.

 

68. Consider alternative languages

Consider where your email database lives. Do you need to use languages other than English in your email marketing? If you have a mishmash of nationalities on the same database, you may want to look at splitting it into different segments. Making yourself understood comes before any other considerations.

 

69. Explore email payment services

Using a service like PayPal can revolutionise the way your email marketing works. With the ability to invoice or send funds to an email address linked to any account in the world, transactions become that much easier, thus opening up new revenue streams.

 

70. Increase your multichannel marketing

Don’t just rely on a solid email marketing campaign; there are plenty of other avenues to explore. Your customers will appreciate it if you give them the option of how you communicate with them. Is it email, Facebook, SMS? You can also use all three to market simultaneously, ensuring your message gets through.

 

71. Strip out long-term unengaged subscribers

These are people who will never convert into customers but have been too busy or disinterested to opt out. They'll be costing you money and time in terms of sending emails and database space. Send them a final “Come Back” campaign and if that doesn't work, take them out of your database.

 

72. Follow up on everything

After the first transaction is made, send a short email or message thanking the customer for their business. One week later, send another asking them how happy they were with the service. A month later, prompt them for more business (gently). Following up on existing clients is just as important as making new ones.

 

73. Don’t pester, but do reach out

If someone opts out of your service or unsubscribes, don’t try to persuade them to stay. This will only annoy and alienate them and make them determined never to do business with you in the future. Instead, thank them for their business in the past and tell them how you hope they’ll come back in the future… and that you’ll be waiting with open arms when they do.

 

74. Increase relevance with list segmentation

Instead of sending the same offers and updates to everyone on your list, try timing your emails around the sales cycle and triggering correspondence at key moments in your relationship with each customer. By understanding where your customers are in the sales process, you can improve conversion rates, reduce customer defection, and improve customer sentiment and loyalty.

 

75. Make your emails image-based

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A 2015 study showed 66% of customers said they preferred to receive emails with lots of images rather than text. Give the people what they want and keep them engaged by breaking up hard-to-digest chunks of text with colourful and attractive images.

 

76. Send in the morning

Though it’s advisable to experiment with different times of the day for your marketing strategies, when it comes to email, morning is almost certainly when you’ll want to get your messages out. Open rates before 9am are often double what they are after lunch, and people are more engaged and attentive when they are fresh after the first cup of coffee than when they are drowsy after a meal.

 

77. Invest in more email automation

Automation can mean that emails are sent at the perfect time for the customer be it a welcome email; a post-booking or post-experience email; a dropped-out-of-basket email. Invest more now for better engagement rates.

 

78. Get involved in real-time

Base an email around a local news story or event for increased open rates; people are far more likely to open a mail and read it to the end if it engages and interrelates with something else they have just read or heard about. It will also show that your business is at the forefront of things, reacting to real-time events and with your finger on the pulse.

 

79. Try adding video to email

Email service providers (ESPs) like MailChimp offer ways of embedding video into email. Experiment with implanting video into your outgoing emails; leverage the advantage of standing out from the mass of text-based emails, and wowing your customers with one of the most engaging and easy-to-understand communication mediums around.

 

User Experience

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80. Do it

The single biggest tip for CRO in 2016 is: do it! So few organisation actually engage in a consistent UX optimisation strategy that it will be a huge step to simply commit to one. SEO services are going to be following up on CRO and conducting user tests over the next couple of years in a big way – don’t miss out.

 

81. Don't use a free tool

There are several, very powerful CRO tools and platforms out there but they don't come for free; free tools simply do not do the job. Paying for a tool is very good value and they are geared towards allowing quick and easy test implementation. Tools such as Usabilia will allow you to get feedback about the architecture of information on your website, while Olark is great for live chat on-site, allowing you to fix problems in real time.

 

82. Your website is not perfect

Anyone that believes this is misguided. The biggest web companies spend massive amounts of money on CRO and now it is available to businesses of all sizes at relatively low cost, so there’s no excuse. There’s always room for improvement… the trick is knowing where and how. CRO can help with this.

 

83. Use a heatmap

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Source: City University Interaction Lab

If you don't know what is wrong with your website, set up a heatmap test and get an idea of where people click. Are they clicking where you want them to? Are they clicking somewhere you didn't expect? Heatmapping will create questions CRO can answer.

 

84. Be patient

Depending on the traffic, it can take several days for a test to gain statistical significance. It is important you give all variables the chance to get there without rushing to any conclusions. As mentioned above, anomalies happen; and you don’t want your strategy to be thrown off by one.

 

85. Don’t be too complicated

Over.complicating tests can dramatically increase the time it takes to achieve statistical significance. Keep tests simple, quick and actionable. Instead of trying to micromanage all areas with one test, identify the problem areas with a simple test. Then you can zone in on the details.

 

86. Be bold

Don’t limit tests to small groups or test insignificant details as it will only lengthen the tests. The braver you are, the quicker you will see results. Obtain results from a large sample pool and then be decisive in your action. Change doesn’t have to be bad.

 

87. Accept failure

Experiments that do not make an improvement will happen. The key is to take this information on board and move on quickly. A failed test still tells you important information about what does and doesn’t work on your site. Indeed, a failed test can be invaluable in ruling out avenues that shouldn’t be pursued, so you can devote your time and energies to ones that do.

 

88. A null result is not a failure

If you test something you believe will make an improvement and it makes no difference, this does not mean it has failed. It just means that it hasn’t made things worse; and, if you think it makes the site look better, then that is as good as a win!

 

89. Implement winners quickly

Capitalise on what you know by putting it into practice straight away. There’s nothing like striking while the iron is hot, and if you upgrade before your competitors it could make all the difference to the customer. There’s no time to lose!

 

90. Retest, retest, retest

Just because something wins, doesn’t make it perfect. Once you have implemented winning results, come back and retest again, to see how you can make it perform even better. There’s always room for improvement.

 

Analytics

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91. Upgrade to Universal Analytics

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Google's Universal Analytics tracking solution is now the defined standard, and if you are still using classic, upgrading all of your applications is a great idea. The software is very powerful, and upgrading your tracking code to Analytics.js will open up a whole new world of attribution, conversion funnels and instant plug-and-play functionality with a seemingly endless list of 3rd party tools and services.

 

92. Hire a Practitioner Consultant

Web analytics, as a discipline, is constantly evolving. It’s a full-time job keeping up with all of the latest developments in technology and protocol, and trying to save money by figuring out problems on your own will cost you in the long run, since you’ll end up wasting time grappling with things you don’t understand.

 

93. Take advantage of free-trial periods

With so many exciting and powerful technologies out there these days, almost all of them with some sort of free trial period, so it makes sense to take advantage and find which works best for you. But…

 

94. Install a tag manager

One of the biggest sticking points stopping companies from capitalising on free trials is the slowness with which changes to tags are deployed on the live site. Google Tag Manager is a great tool which allows you to get round this problem by wrestling control away from site developers and back into the hands of the analytics professional.

 

95. Stick to the recommended setup instructions

While there are many temptations to deviate from the recommended instructions (in order to save page load time, for instance), these small details generally have almost no perceivable effect. Examples of such needless tweaks include putting the tracking code in the footer or hosting the JavaScript in a bundled file. If you keep it simple and by the book, it makes it so much easier to fix issues and get support when they come about.

 

96. Consider running more than one Analytics account at the same time

There is no reason why you can't have data for the same page or website going to different Google Analytics accounts. If you want to give analytics visibility to a person or organisation for one part of the site and not to another, this is a great way to do this. After all, the accounts are free, so there’s no drawback in setting up as many as you need. Just keep your setup clean and check for a correct implementation of tracking code across your site.

 

97. Trial and error is time-efficient

Whilst case studies and white papers can afford insight into the effectiveness of tools or practices, there is no sense in waiting for one to come out before making your own decisions. It’s much quicker (and more rewarding) to make mistakes yourself and learn from them than to wait for an industry expert to tell you what to think.

 

98. Use exclusive offers and track their redemption offline

One way to gauge customer behaviour is to offer printable vouchers, coupons and offers, available only online, and then track who is redeeming them. By collating such information with the data given by the customer, you will be able to understand more about behavioural patterns and tailor your marketing accordingly. Explore methods of tracking different customer behaviours, such as call tracking and you will get a clearer view of where your customers are seeing your offers and their preferred methods of getting in contact with your business.

 

99. Don’t overestimate the capabilities of web analytics data warehousing

The data involved in warehousing efforts is often too abundant to be controlled efficiently and too shallow to be of much use. It is frequently too anonymous and too granular to be helpful, and merging online and offline data can be a nightmare. The advent and evolution of big data has only exacerbated this problem. Unless you’re very comfortable in this niche, stay well clear.

 

100. Get your Search Console working for you

Just as you might link up your AdWords and Analytics accounts to enable richer insights, make sure you have set up and linked all of your Search Console properties as well. Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, will provide you with organic search data, notifications on your site's performance in search, potential warnings about your site, newly acquired links and more.

 

101. Re-evaluate your metrics

If you’re not dispensing with at least one quarter of your measurable success factors (or metrics) on an annual basis, you’re refusing to allow your business to develop. Constantly re-evaluating the direction in which you’re
heading and the steps you’re taking to facilitate it will allow for natural growth and evolution.

 

So, there we are! It's quite a list, but we're sure we've missed a few. If you have any suggestions for other tips to kickstart your digital marketing, or would like to find out how our services could be of benefit to your business, feel free to get in touch.

Content Marketing can be a tricky thing.

You have to create good quality pieces but at a high volume, making idea generation somewhat tricky. Hitting writer's block can be a real problem, but if you’re feeling like you are about to run out of ideas, there are some online tools that can help you. Here are just a few to get you started:

Delicious

Signing up to Delicious is easy. Just log in with your Twitter or Facebook account, (a traditional email signup is also available), and look for the Discover button on the left. This will bring up what’s creating buzz on the web and can be used to tailor content to the top trends of the day. The smart search functionality of the platform ensures you don’t waste any time getting the information you want. It can also make sure you keep your content fresh, avoiding over-saturated topics and duplicating articles. You can even search on the go, as Delicious is available on both the App and Google Play Stores.

Google

Google has three useful tools that can aid you in content creation. They are:

Google Keyword Planner – A great way to search for keywords and concepts that relate to your central idea. Keyword searching is a great way to come up with seed ideas which you can then expand into full pieces that truly relate to your core topic, resulting in meaningful pieces that will engage with your target audience. Keep an eye out for long-tail keyword terms as you may miss out if you don’t do a more detailed search for these terms.

Google Trends – Keeping a piece relevant can be difficult. Many marketers miss out connecting with their audience because their content is not relevant enough. Using Google Trends can help solve this with powerful tools that can track trending keywords and phrases during specific timeframes, or even in certain regions of the world. If you’re facing writer's block, a quick search on trending news pieces can spur your imagination and end that nasty rut.

Google Webmaster Tools – Instead of checking what is trending on Google, have a look at which keywords are driving traffic to your own site. This is key in finding out what readers are looking for and a great way to expand your content offering.

Quora

Quora is a next level Q&A site, with millions of people writing the answers to topics posted for everyone to see. Having a quick search through the public feeds can give you insight into what your audience is curious about and can give you ideas on which topics need addressed. Writing some quick answers to the questions posed by users is a great way to spur ideas and get the creativity flowing. Being able to tailor your feed is also useful, as there are many niches are available to choose from, ranging from super broad to extremely specific. Ultimately, Quora can help you write what your audience is curious about, helping drive more readers to your content.

Trello

Many marketers have no problem coming up with content ideas, but getting these approved and developed can be a pain, taking up more time than is necessary. Trello can help alleviate this annoyance and really flesh out your content ideas. The software allows you to do a plethora of things that can help, negating back-and-forth email threads and streamlining your content calendar. You can organise your dashboard until your heart’s content, creating tabs for things that need to be done, things that are complete and current projects, alongside possible ideas and future topics. It is a great way to track your progress over time and see where parts of your process can be improved.

We can all struggle to come up with fresh content ideas, but hopefully these incredibly useful tools can stop writer’s block and lead to exciting and highly engaging pieces for your content marketing strategy.

Brands that develop great content often spend a lot of time crafting the content itself but then forget about making sure it’s seeded properly.

Once they've created their masterpiece, they simply push it off into the vast oceans of the internet, like a Viking funeral boat, expecting it to rise to the heavens all by itself.

Creating exceptionally high quality content takes a lot of thought, creativity and time. Unfortunately, none of this matters if your content never sees the light of day. Creating good content is just half the battle. Without a clear strategy that has been devised at the point you are working on your creative, you will struggle to gain good results – traffic, links, likes and shares.

Before creating your content you should be questioning who you are targeting and how your creative will engage them. You should also be thinking about how you can reach the influencers you need to endorse and share your creative.

Nowadays, with the explosion of content marketing, journalists and bloggers are inundated with emails saying ‘I thought this might be of interest to you…’ making blogger and PR outreach ever more challenging. You only need to type ‘Christmas infographics’ into Google to see the problem content marketers face. Although outreach is still a very effective way to gain exposure for your creative, paid promotion is a great way to reach wider audiences that can amplify your content.

Here I list some of the most effective content promotion platforms you can use to increase content exposure:

Promoted Tweets
Promoted Tweets on Twitter give you the opportunity to gain impressions and further engagement with your target audience. Look for current re-tweet and tweet trends as these will enable you to tweet content at the right time, ensuring maximum sharing and amplification.

Facebook
Facebook is a tricky beast to master for content promotion. It can come back to bite you, so you need to ensure you are using it in the right way. It's an excellent channel for promoting informational assets, however a degree of caution must be exercised. In order to ensure the best amplification, you need to make sure that your ads are promoted to a highly targeted audience.

Outbrain
Outbrain is one of the leading content discovery platforms on the internet right now. Readers of stories on news and entertainment sites see links to related articles and 'trusted' content. Outbrain will take your content and link to it where appropriate, increasing your exposure.  The program has been installed on more than 100,000 sites, with a network of 700 premium publishers that include Rolling Stone and CNN, helping amplify your content to large audiences.

Reddit
Simply put, Reddit is the largest content aggregator on the internet. It’s definitely not something you can afford to ignore. While Facebook and Twitter are great for finding places where people share their interests, Reddit is far more rooted in the online forum world. It tends to draw the most passionate people from niche interest groups. For the best outcome, you should pay attention to ‘subreddits’, which are individual forum threads pertaining to a certain topic. It’s a superb way of interacting with really niche communities.

LinkedIn
If you’re looking to spread your content around in the B2B arena, look no further than LinkedIn. It’s the best platform for B2B networking and making introductions and getting your brand or service noticed by other companies. You can also seek referrals for your content as well as your services.

Stumbleupon

StumbleUpon has been around since 2001, way before Facebook or Twitter. It works by having users tell the service what their interests are. This can range from palaeontology to philosophy, from Southern Hip-Hop to Baroque-period classical music. Then, every time the user clicks the ‘stumble’ button, they will be taken to a completely random site based on their interests. For B2B marketing, this is a total blessing. Interest-generating content can be optimized with StumbleUpon to appear right in front of your target audience, who are looking for the information that you’re pushing.

Zemanta

Traditionally, Zemanta is used to gain ‘natural looking’ links from all kinds of domains. However, if you use it in the right way, its content discovery platform can be utilised as a content distribution channel. If your content is hot, Zemanta will recommend it to publishers and bloggers, who will in turn share it with their audiences.

Regardless of what platform you use to promote your content, remember that there are always standards and best practices involved with each platform. You should always favour smart promotion over aggressive promotion and don't rely solely on organic sharing via social media platforms. Make sure you do plenty of research into how to effectively share your brilliant content.

Producing a steady flow of high-quality content is sure to be beneficial for your blog.

However, simply publishing a blog update won’t ensure you get the most out of your content marketing strategy. There are many on-page factors such as keyword optimisation, meta-descriptions, social share buttons etc to consider before you even think about off-page activity.

All of the above require work via WordPress so it’s important to understand where one can gain a helping hand, either with development or the inputting of content.

It is difficult to choose just five as there are so many, but here is our selection of the top most useful WordPress plugins for your blog.

1.     All-in-One SEO Pack

This is used by most bloggers as it is widely regarded as being the best SEO plugin WordPress has to offer. If you do not have it installed on your blog, do it now (new versions of WordPress come with this plugin already installed). It is an automated tool that does the hard work for you by optimising meta-titles, descriptions and keywords for major search engines.

2.     Akismet

When your blog gets indexed by Google, there will come with it a steady stream of infuriating spam. Akismet is a great plugin that protects your blog against this. It easily identifies spam comments and blocks them from littering your blog. Problem solved!

3.     Google XML Sitemaps

As any webmaster or blogger should know, having a site map is essential if you want yours to rank highly on major search engines such as Google. It allows their spider crawlers to easily index the pages within your site. Google XML Sitemaps makes the process easier for crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and relay the information more proficiently. After each new post it generates a new site map automatically.

4.      Better WP Security

Better WP Security simply does what is says on the label: when it is downloaded, all you have to do is click ‘activate’ on each security feature that you wish to be enabled on your site, and as if by magic, your site is as secure as Alcatraz. It runs on a simple principle of Obscure, Protect, Detect and Recover. For the pros there are various advanced features for you to manage.

5.      W3 Total Cache

This is probably the best plugin on WordPress for speeding up your blog. When a reader visits your blog it creates a new database query in PHP. This results in a fresh copy of your site being displayed to the visitor. If you have lots of visitors, then your servers will be put under a lot of pressure. W3 Total Cache stops this from happening by generating a cached copy of your site and displays that to the visitors instead. This puts less pressure on the server, allowing more visitors to view your site at once without compromising your landing page speed.

These are our pick of the five best WordPress plugins for your blog. Make sure you add them to help ease use for your readers and back-end management for your blog. If you’re going to invest in time-producing content then you are missing a trick if you don’t optimise the back-end content and make your page easy to share via social media.

Content creation isn’t an easy task. With technology advancing in huge strides each day, it’s getting more and more challenging for companies to create innovative, unique content for others to consume.

There has been shift of emphasis, in terms of quality of content over quantity. You could have all the content distribution in the world; it won’t matter one bit unless the content is good, though. There’s a difference between information and content – the latter has to be useful.

 

Luckily, there are a range of content creation tools at your disposal to help you create engaging content that works. These are some of our favourites.

Coming up with high quality, original content isn’t an easy feat. It’s particularly frustrating when you do have the vision, but lack the know-how to bring your content to life. Fortunately, these tools exist for that reason alone – to allow yourself to give birth to your ideas as intended.

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