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ICYMI – All the blog posts from June 2018

Country-specific sites or a single global one?
I recently came across an excellent article discussing whether international organisations should put their country-specific sites on their own domains, or under a single worldwide domain as directories.

Are you measuring views of PDF documents?
Of course it’s great if someone comes on to your website, completes an enquiry form, and you can monitor where they came from. But as I’ve remarked many times, that’s a dubious measure of what the effective sources of visitors to your website are.

Google descriptions drop back to two lines (aargh!)
It looks like we’re back to descriptions of 160 characters, so if that’s what you’ve worked to with your meta tags, it’s as you were.

How many links should my marketing emails have?
While the more links you give people, the more likely they are to find something of interest, there’s obviously a level above which the choice would be overwhelming. And it’s common sense that although more links might give you more clicks in total, the response to individual items would be reduced.

Google’s ‘Display Network’ needn’t be overwhelming
Not only can you target pages and sites by name, by keyword and by topic, you can also target viewers by interests, demographics, previous interactions (‘remarketing’), location and devices. And yes, you can combine all or any of those. So where to begin?

What does your site look like in the Nintendo browser?
In Google Analytics, there are reports called “Technology” and “Mobile” which give an insight into potential problems.

LinkedIn – a neglected free marketing opportunity
Set aside some time to maintain the news, as part of a regular checklist. Half a dozen items a month isn’t unreasonable. Updates need only be an image and a paragraph. Look at other companies’ LinkedIn pages for ideas. Here’s a really obvious one though: job vacancies!

Google Sites – a real time-saver for something temporary
Outside of work, I’m forever being asked by people if I can set them up with a website for this or that, usually some upcoming event. As a quick way of building websites, even if they’re only for temporary or internal use, the new Google Sites is very impressive.

Don’t be put off online display advertising
Online display advertising can be effective and cheap. If you’ve been burned in the past by a media salesperson convincing you that using one website could be good value, don’t let it put you off in general.

Don’t worry about duplicating your own content
Some people do believe that if they have the same page available under different URLs, they can get some sort of ‘penalty’ in the search engine rankings. The days when legitimate sites got poor search engine rankings because they repeated their own content are long gone.

Time to have a spring-clean of your page titles
It’s not uncommon to see a whole page of results where the titles are just the product, or the search plus two or three words (perhaps the manufacturer’s name). So maybe it’s time to have a spring-clean of your page titles, and to check that they’re really working efficiently for you.

Ubersuggest: there is such a thing as a free lunch
Neil Patel is threatening to shake up the SEO tools market by creating equivalents to some popular paid services and making them freely accessible to anyone. The cost to him is enormous, but he seems to have a plan, and in the meantime, we can all take advantage of it.

Online articles aren’t fixed in time
Have you got good background articles or blog posts on your website which could do more? Do they have a dull title which could be livened up?

Why great content is a great strategy for the future
Create content which people will want to link to and it won’t matter if links start to be overtaken in importance by social media mentions.

Keeping in touch via surveys
I get the impression that few companies are taking advantage of this low-effort, low-cost method of both undertaking market research and informing customers about what’s happening. The latter is an often-missed trick of sneaking in news disguised as a survey question.

Make sure it’s the right person
How much have you thought about the person who your product pages are pitched at? It’s easy to make the mistake of writing for the eventual user, when the products are actually bought by someone quite different.

Staying on trend
Google Trends is an interesting tool, which can be more useful in business marketing than you’d think. The ‘related queries’ section can also provide some interesting information, including alternative terminology.

Who’s sending your emails?
One of the effects of last month’s GDPR shenanigans was that many people (including me) took a hard look at the emails they were receiving. I found myself unsubscribing from a number which didn’t even send me “do you want to keep hearing from us?” emails.

In an Internet Minute…
A selection of things which are happening online in, well, a minute. Before you look, put these in order of how many are sent every minute. Then see if you’re right.