In this SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy guide, we walk you through planning, researching and implementing a strategy
Learn about digital strategy in 12 minutes
Learn what key Google Analytics need to be measured for managing digital strategy.
After reading eh SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide, you will be able to plan a digital marketing strategy for your own business with search marketing as the content. This Guide is part of the SEO Cape Town Guide You will be able to piece together a digital marketing strategy and apply each piece practically until we assemble the bigger picture. We are also going to help you align your off-page channels for value.
Discovery and Planning
Any digital strategy begins with research and discovering the context or environment that surrounds the current digital marketing strategy, or lack thereof. If you have no digital marketing strategy in place then, you will still have to conduct this strategy due to basic environmental analysis. Don’t worry, we’re going to do it together in this SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide. This always sounds so daunting, but in 2018, it’s easy. Trust an SEO Company
There is a magnitude of tools available, and many of them are free and from Google. One of the tools and the most powerful tool is Google Analytics. Google provides this tool, free of charge, but if you are planning to do things seriously, you seriously need a Google My Business Account set up.
To get going if you don’t have Google Analytics installed, just Login to Google My Business and follow this post’s instructions for placing the Google Tag.
Important Analytics to look at:
The Content tab. Here we can see how many site visitors down the funnel, actually access lower levels of content in terms of navigation hierarchy. You would be surprised at how little of your site visitors don’t even read those blogs that you spend so long creating.
Also, look at the drop-offs, those pages where its the end of the road for a user, where they obviously left the site. This is crucial to working out how to convert more visitors to the object you created the website for. Why are they dropping off?
What is the dwell time? This can be accessed through custom reports, just hit the plus sign and select dwell time. The dwell time is the length of Time a visitor spends on your website.
Look at the bounce rate. The bounce rate is considered a rate of bounces, a bounce, being when a user hits the back button immediately after landing on a page.
Look at organic traffic vs paid traffic. If they are more or less the same or the paid traffic is more, then your SEO needs serious attention. This SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide will do the trick!
If you already have data tracking in place you can move to the next step.
Do you already have an idea of what you want to improve? At the very least you would want to improve your traffic volume, bounce rate, and conversions.
Now we need to create a framework to implement the strategy. We begin by developing an objective. An objective must be measurable and meaningful to your bottom line.
These objectives need to also have a time limit on achieving them. KPI’s key performance indicators. These are metrics that are used to measure the whole strategy. They are quantifiable objectives with a time limit. The idea is to craft the perfect KPIs.
Examples of KPIs:
Increase traffic volume by 20% in 6 months
Increase the conversion rate in 6 months.
Everything we do from this point will be to achieve the two KPIs above.
SEO Cape Town SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is highly overlooked and is a fundamental tool for digital strategy. SEO companies in Cape Town use this technique all the time.
SWOT is an acronym, in case you don’t know, that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The easy way to think about it is that strengths and weakness emanate from within your business and directly relative to your resources and leadership. Opportunities and threats are related mainly to your competitors.
Which keywords are they not targeting? Do they have a long-form content strategy for SEO or not? Look at what is in your digital business environment, perhaps there is a new online resource that will allow you to achieve outcomes without hiring more staff, through marketing automation let’s ay. This would be an opportunity.
Once you have a good idea of your SWOT situation, begin to align digital marketing channels with your strategy.’
Selecting channels for your SEO Cape Town Strategy
Let’s decide which channel we should use to achieve the KPIs. In order to increase traffic, we would look at Search Engine Optimisation, Google Ads and potentially Email Marketing with a content marketing strategy in place. The combination of channels is endless. In this SEO Cope Town Digital Marketing Guide, we choose SEO, PPC and Email marketing.
Social Media is an excellent source of traffic, that can be augmented with Facebook ads. Email is, however, free, and search marketing and SEO used by potential clients or conversions, already in their buying cycle.
We first begin with the Audit. The audit becomes our blueprint or springboard as we at BrandSeed like to call it. It becomes your roadmap and it allows you to manage the deployment of the strategy efficiently. At the end of the day this a full-blown commitment.
Use the SEO Cape Town Guide, to look at your website’s on-page SEO, off- page SEO and keyword selection. Objectively analyse this according to potential future strategies.
Keyword Research for SEO in Cape Town
Keyword Research is the next, vital step to this strategy. If your business has been doing reasonably well online already, then you could use your data and previous keyword searches to help find additional or better keywords. Search Console shows which keywords user clicked through to your site with.
If you weren’t doing very well before, or if you are launching a new site, then we begin with what keywords competitors are using. Look at their site’s title tags, in the titles of the main pages off the main menu at the top of the page.
Take these keywords and test them with Google’s keyword planner tool. It’s free and the straight from Google itself, making it the ultimate resource in terms of keyword research,
There is a lot of great software out there but you always come back to Keyword Planner for the final say.
Test these keywords for volume and for user intent. We need volume because if we apply statistics to estimate we need large enough population sample for it to count favorably. User intent is important because we want users arriving on our site to want to buy. Think about 5 % of 10 people, which is half a person versus, 5% of 10 000, which is 200 people.
Start with the largest keyword volumes, with the highest probable user intent matched with the goal of your website.
It is important to realise that you should provide keywords for all steps in the user’s buying cycle, but in reality, depending on what resources you have available, you may want to target users deeper down the buying cycle. These keywords are easier to rank for, but also represent users that are ready to buy! We look at this step carefully when deploying our SEO services in Cape Town.
An example would be:
Black charcoal BMW 3 series payment plan
SEO companies in Cape Town use personas, you should too!
The idea is to create personas according to the data from Google Analytics or any other data you may have available, according to the keywords you have selected. At the very least, you could interview a couple of past clients, telephonically. Try to add substance to the raw demographics.
An example would be for BrandSeed:
Mike, 39, is the CMO of a large corporate company in Cape Town. They are very successful, but don’t really understand what Digital is about, but are aware that in order to stay competitive they will need to find out. He is wise enough to want to see real case studies and wants tips and advice to make day-to-today decisions. He has been tricked before, so he is wary of companies that promise miracles but delivery nothing.
SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide – Design
There is a good chance that you will decide that you will have a redesign or overhaul your current website to offer a better chance of reaching your target audience.
It is important at this point to obviously take into account what you deified persons would respond well to in terms of website content and what the best structure would be to achieve the highest conversions.
As ultimately we website that does not rank, will not be found, It goes without saying that you should make sure that your design is aligned with the latest technical SEO best practices. In this SEO Cape Town Digital Marketing Guide, we are exploring strategy, so if you need the finer details, check out our Mobile First SEO Guide.
The idea is that the design supports high performance, so that the site loads quickly and looks beautiful, follows an intuitive flow and that the design resonates with the target audience.
Conversion rate optimisation must be taken into account when planning the design. Sometimes your idea of what you wanted, will be drastically changed by the best practices of conversion optimisation.
What off-page SEO factors will have to be thought of? Off-page SEO includes Facebook and other social media channels, but also your My Google Business Account and Linkedin. Any sites that are linked to yours where you have a presence. This also includes backlinks of course, still considered one of the top 3 ranking factors at the time of writing.
Plan to use your off-page channels in a way that syndicates your content effectively and garners more attention from your target audience. If you offer B2B services, for example, you make sure that all your posts are shared to your LinkedIn business page, but also that your content would suit executives and their needs.
Facebook offerings excellent targeting. Now that Facebook has moved to monetise their platform more and more, you really will have to pay to boost posts, for example, to build your community initially. The budget for this facebook sub-strategy should be factored into your plan.
Now that we know how the site will look like, where its presence will be shared via other channels, and we have planned for the best conversion rate optimisation practices, its time begin creating the website and content for the on-page and off-page syndication channels.
The content will need to be closely aligned with the chosen personas. Think about how do we make these folks’ days better. Examples from the Conversion Code by Chris Smith, are transcripts of keynote addresses, how to guides for using a product for extended applications or just your day to day pain point solving content. The idea is to become an industry expert or resource for your target audience.
When content is closely aligned with its target personas, SEO improves naturally, as usage metrics improve. Dwell time and bounce rates are measured keenly by Google’s Rank Brain. When your persona matches your content, dwell time goes up and bounce rates go down.
Also, at the end of the day you want to attract your target audience to your site, keep them there long enough to convert into customers or followers. Read our content marketing guide for SEO here.
If you own an SME or if you have you work for a large enterprise sized company, you must create content on a regular basis. Today, with the advent of smartphones becoming so advanced, there is no excuse. Look at Eric Reno, as an example, who uses his smartphone and records his pearls of wisdom, on the job, from his day to day work running a leading roofing company. The fact that he uses his phone makes the content more authentic. There is no excuse!
It is imperative to plan for content output. Create a content editor’s calendar, where each publishing date is already pre-planned according to certain dates. This will allow your content marketing department or yourself to create higher quality content but also to follow and maintain a certain frequency. Google monitors the frequency of content output with this new Freshness update.
Search marketing SEM:
So, now that you have created all this excellent content. Where are all the customers? SEO takes 6 months before you see major gains, even if you have done everything perfectly.
We use search marketing to get around this. We use Google Ads, to get your company to the top of Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) in the meantime while you eat for all of that hard SEO work to pay off.
In fact, search marketing offers the opportunity to test certain keywords, immediately. By deriving paid traffic for certain keywords, we can test the user intent early. We do not have to wait an entire 6 months to know if it works or not.
Organic SEO still offers the highest ROI. Paid search, however, still has its place. Many users select the top rankings, those being ads, without even realising that they are ads. Therefore, even if you are on high position on the SERP, you should always run ads and especially for your own brand name.
To better understand PPC, read our Adwords professional article.
Setting up PPC:
The same principles apply to landing pages for PPC as they do for organic SEO. Make sure the user intent of the keyword, is aligned with your chosen objective, and then make sure the design, titles, and content is aligned with that user intent too. This way you have the highest opportunity to achieve higher quality scores.
Over time higher quality scores mean lower costs for bids and more ad exposure. Over time this can mean thousands of rands or extra revenue, especially over a year.
If you get sustained, low quality scores, rather remove those ad groups or keyword, ad, landing page combinations. Google takes the mean or average of your account, by including keywords with lower quality cores you drag down your whole account average.
You should do split a/b testing to find out what the best possible landing page would be designed like. By making incremental changes, according to the data, you can slowly but surely drill down into the perfect landing page.
How to retain users?
As part of the SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide, we look at not just how to bring traffic to your website, and how to convert the traffic but also how to retain the traffic that is not yet deep enough down the buying cycle to convert.
The content marketing strategy will again, play an important role here. If your content was well enough aligned with the personas you should have had conversions and subscriptions. Both, offer the opportunity, to begin with email marketing or following on social media.
In this SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide, we are focusing on email as it a crucial part of the content marketing strategy but also it offers the greatest ROI.
Even with all the social media channels in the world, our private method of accepting correspondence is still email. We need emails to download apps, register on websites and to be identified in many instances on the web. Email is still our most prolific touch point in the digital world.
At the very least emails should remind our subscribers of new content that is being produced according to the content marketing plan. Some email marketers use fancy words like drip marketing, where an element of automation and spaced repletion come into play, but just informing users of free useful content will do the trick in most cases.
Marketing automation is, however, crucial to lead generations and sales in terms of e-commerce. It also frees up management or an entrepreneurs time. Great marketing automation platforms are mail chimp and campaign monitor. Both offer a free lower level subscription.
With automation, you can set emails up that follow, a narrative in terms of how the user interacts with your brand and the content shared in the interaction. On signup they can get an introductory email, then a month later, informative email with regards to service or product, then related products and so on. The idea is for the relationship to play out as valuable to the consumer.
The idea is use channels like email to prove consistent value for the user. To reaffirm the value proposition in the experience of interacting with your brand. To build one term customer relationships.
SEO benefits from direct visits, again measurable under Google Analytics. Users eventually know your brand so well they enter your domain name directly into the browser, this, in turn, is exceptionally good for RankBrain that will then rank your website higher. This effect becomes a snowball effect.
Although we looked at important metrics in Google Analytics at the beginning of this SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide, we now revisit Analytics as part of the continuous cycle of a digital strategy.
Did you achieve your KPIs?
If you did, just continue with this cyclical strategy as it will build upon itself. If at page view depth, bounce rates and dell time. Look at under the audience behaviour tab under content. See where the users dropped off, where their exit pages were. Restrategise, and repeat this cycle.
Also, revisit the content drop-offs, under content under Google Analytics, redesign or repurpose this content. Also look at where the user dropped off in the conversion funnel.
A conversion funnel is each successive step that a user takes, page by page, to fulfill the objective of the website. This is especially important for e-commerce sites, as for example in some instances, users will abandon their shopping carts. What triggered this behaviour? They were so close! Start to see your website as a laboratory. There is a reason behind every aspect of behaviour.
The idea is to become deeply aware of your site users’ journeys through your site. The insight that this monitoring give you has endless applications, from enhancing content offerings to increasing conversions and ultimately sales or subscriptions.
You may want to enhance this basic strategy with social media platforms such as Instagram or produce more videos on youtube and use it as a social media channel, after all, it is also the second largest search engine in our world.
We have gone through our very own basic strategy cycle for SEO, SEM, Content Marketing and Email Marketing.
To recap, the SEO Cape Town Digital Strategy Guide’s process is as follows:
First, a discovery analysis of your current position against that fo your competitors. This usually will be in the form of an SEO or search marketing audit. Plan which off-page channels you will utilise to syndicate your on-page content, in off-page practices.
Engage your target audience through amazing content, brought o your website by SEO and search marketing. Retain a percentage of this traffic by email marketing to them, and then measure whether you achieved your KPIs or not.
Use the data that you have collected from this experience to optimise your campaigns before continuing with the cycle once again.