RTD Insights: Phil on Web MarketingRTD
I’ve been at RTD for 9 years now, and my role has really developed since I started. At first, I began in a much more junior role and now with the experience I’ve gained and knowledge I’ve taken on board, I’ve worked my way up to being Web Marketing Manager. This means that I manage the Web Marketing team and oversee all ongoing projects, ensuring that everything is running as smoothly as possible.
When I first started, the techniques involved in Web Marketing were basic compared to today’s standards. Although content is as important now as it was in 2008, the requirements to rank in terms of SEO with content has drastically changed. With this change I have taken on board new skills and a better understanding of the best ways to generate results through Web Marketing.
There are now multiple platforms to use for Web Marketing, each one changing and evolving every year. The evolvement of the digital industry allows us to utilise a range of tools and discover what can be used and how they can be used to build a great return on investment.
One example is SEO. This has changed quite drastically over the years with the continuous introduction of new algorithms and search functionality. Firstly, Semantic Search has had a huge impact on the way content ranks within search engines. Google has a greater understanding of the relationship between words, meaning that it is able to understand the context behind every piece of content.
Not only this, keyword competition has increased significantly over the years. This means that it has become much harder to achieve first place positions within search engines. In recent years has also come the introduction of Google Answer Box. This means that people no longer have to leave Google Results pages to get the answer they desire. Although at first this may seem like a bad thing, it has been proven to improve traffic to sites shown within the answer box.
Another thing I strongly believe is now crucial in Web Marketing, is social media, as it has now become a much more focal point for companies and their Web Marketing strategies. Over half of the UK population have a Facebook account, meaning that over time it has become a great marketing tool for companies to advertise their business and showcase what they do. It has become a unique and efficient way to directly connect with existing or potential new clients.
Aside from the Web Marketing tools I’ve mentioned above, I strongly believe that having a website is an essential asset for SME’s. In today’s word, having a website is a sign of trust. Without one, many people won’t consider you for your services or products that you offer. The web has become so heavily relied on for information now that if you don’t have a site on there, it’s your competitors that are going to be getting the new business. Websites are also a contributing factor in helping improve customer service and support. With the ease of access available through having one, it’s much easier for people to get in touch with you.
The marketing sector is an ever-changing environment. We have to ensure that we are always up to date and offering the best services possible to our customers. This means that we have to adapt to all marketing shifts and trends that come around. Over the last 12 months, we’ve been working hard to keep up to date and offer the most relevant products to our customers, as this builds on the value of our service to them.
Different industries offer a different set of challenges. The key phrases we try and get is entirely dependant on how competitive a market place is. This ultimately helps us to find a way that is going to get the customer the best results long term, and ensure that they are ranking for the right searches.
Despite different industries being affected by different things, there are certain events that can really impact all kinds of businesses. Mobilegeddon is a good example of this, however I am going to talk about Voice Search which really changed things a few years back.
As mobile search took over from desktop search in 2014, phone manufacturers began working on different ways to provide the best possible service to the phone user. One of the things they introduced as a result, was Voice Recognition. This included things like Siri and OK Google, and it completely changed the way people search.
This shift in search behaviour needs to be accommodated for, as the way people type differs to the way people speak. For example, if you’re looking for local restaurants, you may type something like “Italian Restaurants Warrington” whereas using Voice Recognition, you may ask “Where is the nearest Italian Restaurant?”. By not accommodating for this search behaviour you run the risk of potentially losing out on valuable traffic.
As the digital world changes so much and so often, it’s important to always be making plans for how Web Marketing will work in the future. With our recent rebrand, we have shifted our focus more towards the best way to get results for our customers. Our current aim is to generate leads for our customers with the ability to track and report on this.
I also want to put more emphasis on educating our customers. Though key phrase positions are still important, they are not the primary indicator as to how well a site is performing. Due to personalised search, results vary from one person to the next. By educating our customers on statistics that matter to their business, it would put us in a better position to show the results they’ve gained from the work completed.