Why You Need A Website Audit

Website Audit western mass

Your website should have all the information on your company so that potential customers can make educated decisions before purchasing your product or service. Just like a car, your website should be inspected and tuned up on a regular basis. Whether it’s not showing up in search engines or having a high bounce rate, optimizing your website will help with the success of your business. Search engine optimization can improve your search engine results and create higher sales conversions.

Before you begin optimizing your website, whether new or it has been live for some time, you should run a website audit. An audit outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the website, helps inspect the technical backend of the website, on-page and off-page elements to optimize result positioning, increase conversions, and more. The website audit must be performed on a regular basis to ensure the long-term success of the website’s performance. The audits are really important as it helps keep the SEO strategy updated at all time.

Why Have An Audit

So, why do it? It outlines the technical performance and health of the website, so you can create practical tasks to enhance the online visibility. The results of the audit also helps create an ongoing SEO plan for improving lead generation and sales conversions. The audit helps identify possible errors in the website, such as broken links, duplicate content, or negative backlinks that might be damaging the website’s performance. Once these errors are identified by the audit, your SEO experts can create strategies to recover the traffic that the website lost.

Website audits also help identify the algorithm changes to the search engines. This is because all search engines tend to update the algorithms from time to time and SEO audits help outline what adjustments can be made to cater to these algorithmic changes. While running a full website audit is recommended, there are variations and parts of the website audit you can do separately.

Types of Website Audits

A website audit is a full analysis of factors that impact a websites visibility for search engines and ease of use for users. But a full website audit is not always necessary, below are some of the most common types of audits you can run on your website:

Technical Audit

While good quality content and backlinks will help get your site ranked, if there is a technical issue on your website, all your efforts could be a waste of time. Technical audits focus on best practice for site visibility and ensuring that all website meets all search engine requirements for crawling and indexing.

SEO Audit

An SEO audit measures how well your website is optimized for search engines. It includes analyzing of keywords, website links, traffic behavior, goal conversions, meta descriptions and data, and image and optimization.

Content Audit

Content is often reviewed as part of an SEO audit, a stand alone content audit can also be helpful, delivering strong insights into what messaging and tone of voice is converting and what isn’t.

Signs Your Website Needs An Audit

There are many reasons why your website may need an audit. Here are just a few:

  • Users can’t navigate your website properly
  • Images are not properly tagged
  • Your website is not mobile friendly or mobile optimized
  • Your website takes too long to load
  • Customers have a hard time contacting you
  • Your competitors are outperforming you in search engine results
  • Certain pages on your website are not getting indexed in search results

The overall purpose of a website audit is to give webmasters a complete and detailed analysis into their sites health, performance and speed. So, when are you performing an audit on your website? If you are looking to have an audit done to your website, or have questions about doing an audit, contact us today.

5 Tips For Higher Engagement With Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories Tips

Instagram Stories should be a part of your social media marketing strategy. Stories and Reels have both become very popular elements of the app. The Stories feature of Instagram occupies that key, top of the feed real estate. It can be a great way to connect and engage with your audience.

Many brands and users are just re-posting their regular feed posts to Stories, which Instagram says users don’t particularly like. They state, “We’ve seen from research that people prefer to see original photos and videos in Stories from the people they care about.” So what are you doing to utilize Stories and to increase your engagement on Instagram? Here are five tips you can begin to incorporate.

Show Up in Real Time

A good social media strategy will include a lot pre-determined content. The Stories features gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience in the moment. Be authentic. Share photos and videos of your day. Highlight some of the things that are going on behind the scenes of your company. You can also utilize stories to share your story, how you got started, who you enjoy working with, why you do what you do, etc.

Utilize The Full Screen

Regular Instagram posts in the feed show up on just a fraction of the screen. Even when you share a regular post to your Story, it takes up only a part of the screen. On organic IG Stories, the media takes up the whole screen. Why not use all that real estate to highlight your product or service? Zoom in on the details and let customers know what you’re working on! You can create tutorials and become a leader in your industry.

Use Stories Features

Incorporating Stickers and text over your photo or video in Stories has a higher probability of a user engaging with the piece of content. Add text to encourage users to take action, like a promotion or sale. Stickers, like Poll, Survey and Questions, allow you to instigate engagement from your audience, while other Stickers like Music, allow you to overlay your Story to a track that fits your messaging.

Expand Your Reach

Checking in with the location feature and utilizing hashtags in your Stories will help expand your reach to users who may not be following your account. Did you know that when you add your location to your regular Instagram posts, it improves performance? You might very well experience the same thing when you add a location to your IG Stories. 

Save to Highlights

Instagram Stories stay up for just 24 hours. The only way to avoid this is to save them to your Highlights.  When you do this, the Story will stay there until you decide to take it down, if you ever do. You have the opportunity to highlight your Stories by topic or category. You can create branded covers for those Highlights, whether it’s your company’s colors or titles for each Highlight.

As Stories continues to grow it’s presence on the Instagram platform, creating a strategy will allow your brand to reach and engage with potential customers who go to Stories first before scrolling their feed. With the algorithm always changing, having content at the top of the feed in Stories will help your brand stay in the forefront. Contact us today if you have questions on how you can use Instagram Stories to grow your business.

5 SEO Mistakes To Avoid in 2022

SEO Tips 2022

Just like social media, search engine practices tend to change over time. If you’ve been struggling with search engine results, or you are planning on launching a new website, there may be some common mistakes you may be forgetting about. Here are the top 5 SEO mistakes to avoid in the new year:

Not writing enough quality content

The length of content is an important factor when it comes to optimization and has been correlated with SERP rankings. Search Engine Results Pages (or “SERP”) are Google’s response to a user’s search query. SERPs tend to include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs and video results. More words equals more results. So if your content is too short (less than 300 words), then you may need to revisit those pages.

You don’t have an optimized image on each page

One of the biggest items people forget to optimize on their website are their images. Image optimization is the process of creating and delivering high-quality images in the ideal format, size, and resolution to increase user engagement. First, they give search engines important contextual information. Second, optimized images speed up page loading, which increases user engagement and search engine rankings. When design elements are common somewhere else, don’t reinvent them by creating new UI patterns. UI (User interface) design is the process designers use to build interfaces in software or computerized devices, focusing on looks or style. Designers aim to create interfaces which users find easy to use and pleasurable. Making users think hard to learn how to navigate through each page is not what you want.

You have duplicate content

Duplicate content is a big red flag when it comes to search engine optimization and can result in a penalty from Google. Duplicate content confuses Google and forces the search engine to choose which of the identical pages it should rank in the top results, regardless of who produced the content. There is a high possibility that the original page will not be the one chosen for the top search results. All of the content on your content should be completely original.

Your content is not optimized for your target keywords

Keywords are are important to show search engines that they content you created is relevant to the search query. Targeted keywords are the phrases that your target audience and visitors use in search engines when they are searching for a solution or information related to your business. Targeted keywords are usually phrases, not individual words. Including your keyword in your title and in the first 100 words of the page are ways you can start utilizing your target keywords.

Your page load speed is too slow

Page speed has been a ranking factor for a couple of years now. What’s more, each year, its importance to your site’s SERP positions is only growing. Whether it’s desktop or mobile, many users leave websites if the it takes too long for the pages to load. The average page load time is 8.66 seconds, although the recommended speed time is 3 seconds. In the summer of 2021, Google rolled out the Page Experience update to enhance its algorithm. Pages that load faster deliver content quicker, and in that, satisfy the user’s needs quicker. If a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away and choose a different search result. Increasing bounce rate is not what SEOs are looking to do!

Search Engine Optimization should be a focal point in your 2022 marketing strategy. Have questions on the article or interested in learning more about our Website Audits? Contact us today.

2021 Holiday Marketing Guide

2021 Holiday Marketing Guide

For many businesses, the holiday season is their busiest. The most successful holiday campaigns you see and love begin their planning stages as early as summer or fall. There’s no holiday magic when it comes to successful campaigns, it’s all about strategizing and planning. Whether it’s freshening up your landing pages, creating brand awareness, finding others ways to target new customers and everything in between, the list of tasks seems endless for small businesses.

As the holidays approach, here are things you need to consider for your brand and campaign:

Audit previous holiday marketing campaigns

No how things change from year to year, you can still learn and prepare from past success. Look back at statistics from previous years to understand where you were successful and where you could use some improvements. Analyzing your previous strategies and campaigns will help you avoid making similar mistakes.

Identify holiday strategies that make sense to your audience

No holiday marketing efforts are created equal. Definitely don’t copy competitors’ strategies. The key to a successful holiday marketing campaign lies in knowing your target audience. If you are targeting younger customers, like Gen Z or Millennials, consider utilizing platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, get creative with gift ideas to draw your customers in.

Keep things simple

It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday planning. However, it’s better in the long run to start small with your holiday campaigns. Even larger retailers who have been around for decades often refer back to the basics during the holidays. The holiday season is not a good time to try new things to attract customers. Think about the amount of bandwidth your team has and the amount of support your operations will have during the holidays.

Be prepared for the competition

With so many promotions around the holiday shopping season starting as early as this month, marketing is as important as ever to draw customers to your business. Make sure your campaigns help you stand out from the crowd and clearly communicate the benefits of shopping with you over your any other business.

Create a real reason to buy

The holiday season is known for discounts that can only be found once a year. When creating your holiday marketing plans, make sure you’re clearly incentivizing shoppers to visit your store. The holiday season isn’t just about creating revenue, it’s also about establishing relationships with customers who will hopefully return to purchase your products in the off-season. Make sure that customer retention is top of mind during any marketing decision you make for the holidays.

Don’t forget about your existing customers

A lot of businesses are always focused on attracting new customers, that they forget about the ones they already have. Chances are that the visitors who come to your website during the holidays will be a healthy mix of new and returning customers. The pathway to purchase for a repeat customer looks very different than a new customer, so make considerations for both while building out your marketing and website materials.

Use video marketing

Because of COVID-19, people are consuming as much as four times more online video than they were prior to the pandemic. Think about ways to incorporate video into your holiday marketing materials. Create video advertisements for tv, streaming services and your social media networks. You can also utilize video for organic content that you can share on your website, emails and social media channels. It’s a great way to dive deeper into your product or service to make it an easier buying journey for your customer.

Keep your website up to date

Your website is the face of your company, even on any other day of the year. It’s where people go to learn more about you, familiarize themselves with your brand and to potentially purchase your products or services. Make sure your website is user friendly, updated with the holiday campaign, and ready for the traffic and activity. Ensuring your website has a smooth user experience for mobile and desktop will help prevent your business from losing sales.

Whether you’re a large company or a small business, one of the most common mistakes brands make during the holidays is late planning. Start planning now, optimize your content, keep your customers in mind, and don’t forget about establishing lifetime value with your brand long after the holidays. If you are stumped with planning your holiday campaign, reach out to us today!

Instagram Expands Reels to 60 Seconds

Instagram Reels 60 seconds

Instagram announced that their Reels length limit is being extended from 30 seconds to 60 seconds for all users.

Instagram has been experimenting with longer Reels for some time now. Last September, Instagram extended Reels from 15 to 30 seconds. And given that TikTok now enables the upload of longer clips (up to 3 minutes), and YouTube Shorts (another TikTok competitor) can also be up to 60 seconds in length. It was only a matter of time before Instagram followed the trend and extended the length of time users had to upload to Reels.

Instagram already enables longer video uploads in its other elements. Regular feed videos can be up to 60 seconds, while you can also upload longer videos in 15-second snippets to Stories, and hour-long clips to IGTV.

The extension of Reels clips starts to bleed into IG’s other functions, which maybe makes it a less definitive option within the broader Instagram experience. It can give more users the capacity to create longer clips, or re-purpose the same posts that they’re already uploading to TikTok and YouTube Shorts anyway. By moving in line with the other platforms, Instagram seems to be welcoming more cross-posting, which will give it more content for Reels. The only problem is that it may also make for a more repetitive experience across apps.

Instagram is currently experimenting with a new, TikTok-like display format for Explore, which does mash all of the content into a single format. That will certainly help your page get discovered, but what about all the other publishing options Instagram has?

Will you be posting longer Reels? Is Instagram becoming too much? Let us know in the comments below.

Facebook Launching Newsletter Platform ‘Bulletin’

As a way to keep creators on the network, Facebook announced their new newsletter platform, Bulletin. The new site will be a place for writers and podcasters to publish content and build a subscriber base right on the platform itself.

As this new platform is in development, Facebook is testing tools and features with a small number of selected writers but shares an overview of what’s to come.  

Facebook explains Bulletin as:

“Through Bulletin, we want to support these creators, and unify our existing tools with something that could more directly support great writing and audio content — from podcasts to Live Audio Rooms — all in one place. We respect the work of writers and want to be clear that anyone who partners with us will have complete editorial independence.”

Source.

With Bulletin, creators will own the rights to their content and subscribers list, although the platform will still be dependent on Facebook’s infrastructure. For example, subscribers don’t have to have a Facebook account to access free content but they will need to set up an account to use Facebook Pay for any transactions and subscription fees to the creators they follow. An account seems to also be necessary to enjoy some of the subscription perks, such as being a member of special Facebook groups. Bulletin will also be on a separate site, but its articles and podcasts will appear in users’ Facebook News Feed and within the Facebook News sections for distribution. 

In addition to writers, Bulletin also wants to attract podcasters to join their platform as well. Their announcement says Bulletin will include tools that allow the distribution of podcasts, including those that are hosted elsewhere, with additional audio features that remain unspecified for now. A great way for podcasters to expand the reach of their shows.

Creators will have access to Facebook’s existing tools like Facebook Live and Audio Rooms to connect with their audience and keep the discussion going with some moderation tools like turning off comments or allowing only paid subscribers to comment altogether. The biggest perk for now joining Bulletin: Facebook says it won’t take a fee from creators “at launch,” and writers retain full ownership of their work and subscriber list.

Bulletin is a direct answer to the growing popularity of Substack and other newsletter products. Substack is used by a number of major writers and the company has been courting talent with guaranteed payments. Twitter also recently purchased Revue, another newsletter platform, though it hasn’t done very much to integrate it into the social network yet. Substack takes a 10 percent cut of subscriptions, while Revue takes a 5 percent cut.

Facebook has been trying for a while now to keep creators, of all kinds, on the platform. This new tool is just another way Facebook is looking to incentivize these creators. Will you be using Bulletin? Let us know in the comments below.

You Can Soon Publish Instagram Content via Desktop

Instagram Desktop Digital Scoop

In development for the last few months, Instagram is testing the capability to publish posts from your desktop with a small group of users. Something marketers have been waiting for! 

Some users are now seeing the desktop posting “+” icon in the top bar of instagram.com. When clicked, that then enables users to upload images or videos directly from their computer hard drive. Once you add your media, you then have access to all the same in-app options for editing posts, including image formatting tools and filters. You can then upload them, direct from the site, giving you another way to manage your Instagram content and process, which will make life much easier for those who manage multiple accounts.

Instagram has been slow to implement features on desktop. Direct messaging only became available last year, for example. Instagram has been building out its desktop functionality over time. Last year, it also added the capacity to view live streams from the desktop version of the app, while it also improved the Stories viewing experience on computers.

However, users have been able to upload content and IGTV to Instagram feeds from desktops since 2019 via Facebook’s Creator Studio app. The Creator Studio, available for only business accounts, doesn’t provide access to all of the regular Instagram editing tools, which could be another advantage of this new desktop option.

At the moment, the updated feature doesn’t allow Stories or Reels uploads, but additional tests have shown that IGTV uploads are also in the works, which likely suggests that full posting functionality is coming in the near future.

The option to upload from the desktop could be a big boost for social media managers who are looking to streamline their workflow, and more easily publish graphics from other editing tools. Unfortunately, just like everything else that Facebook does, it’s not available to everybody just yet. Instagram says that this is a small test for now, with a view to further expansion soon.

Will you use the desktop version when it becomes available, or will you continue to manage your account via mobile devices?

Signs Your Social Media Needs An Overhaul

Social Media Overhaul

Your social media marketing and overall digital strategy is an investment of time, money, and effort, so we understand when businesses are disappointed when they don’t get the results they were looking for. It sometimes can be difficult to figure out what’s gone wrong or to even realize that your what part of your strategy, if not all of it, is letting you down.

If you’re wondering if something is going wrong with your social media pages, here are some of the six signs that your social media strategy needs an overhaul.

Your Return On Investment Isn’t Good

It’s always good to see some tangible results for your social media campaigns, but are your marketing efforts achieving the best possible ROI? What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) do you have? What is the ultimate goal? To know if you are getting your ROI, you first need to know what your investment is: time or money. Not every business is looking to sell products on social media, but building brand recognition,

Social media isn’t something you can do once and hope that it will yield the results you’re after a short period of time. To be successful on social media requires time and effort. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is just posting content for the sake of posting and not contemplating how it adds value to its audiences. When you are posting just to post, you can expect lower reach engagement on your posts. With all platforms having their own version of analytics, you should be evaluating what content resonates best with your audience. If engagement is low, this is an indicator that you need to switch up your approach. Whether you decide to do it yourself or outsource this task to social media marketing professionals, a revamp is one worth investing in.

Seeing little to no traffic is a huge red flag. If you’re seeing poor results, this indicates that your social media efforts are not actually driving any traffic to your website or converting into sales. If your business is receiving traffic, but your conversions are limited or non-existent, this can also be another indicator that either your campaigns or your content need an adjustment. Calls-to-actions are a possible factor that might need adjusting if you’re not seeing conversions. Strategic placement of your CTAs are vital to achieving success.

Everything Is Done Last Minute

Sometimes businesses have to throw campaigns together at the last minute, and that is ok. But if this is a regular occurrence and your main source of developing content and advertising campaigns, this could be hindering your page performance. It takes time to create competitive and effective social media strategies. Also, in order to have a cohesive approach to your digital strategy, it’s important you plan ahead, knowing what you’ll promote, what topics you will cover and how you’ll get the right messages out through your content. Content marketing calendars help businesses plan ahead and stay ahead when it comes to content and campaign development.

You’re Don’t Know What Your Data Is Telling You

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to run a campaign and have a vague idea of what you’d like to achieve in terms of results.; knowing for certain what indicates success to your campaign is important. In order to know if your social media campaigns are successful, you need to analyze the data. Important data points can be measuring comments, conversions, or content reach – it all depends on your goals. What pieces of content are working to reach your goal? Which ones garnish little to no traction? Looking at your data shouldn’t happen just once, it’s an ongoing process. If you’re unsure of how you should approach analyzing your platforms, this may be another indicator your entire social media marketing strategy needs a revamp.

Your Marketing Strategy Is Not Multi-Channel

It’s important to consider the fact that your audience may not exist solely on one social media channel alone. A disjointed marketing strategy can also come across as an inconsistent brand image which also won’t work in your favor. If you want to maximize your chances of reaching as many potential customers as possible, diversifying your social media channel choices within your strategy is the most effective way to ensure you’re doing this. Where are your customers spending their time? Is it Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? All of the above? If your service or product attracts a wider array of demographics, one channel simply won’t reach them all. When you are on multiple channels, it’s important to not share the exact same content on all the platforms. How a customer engages with content on Facebook may be different than how they engage with content on LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other platform they may be on. Each platform is its own channel to communicate to your audience, so each platform should have its own content strategy.

You’re Not Fully Committed

A successful social media strategy needs dedication and regular attention. It’s not something that you can play around with within your free time and ignore when you’re busy with other projects. Instead, it requires ongoing care and attention if you want it to flourish. The frequency of your content distribution depends on your audience and your message. You don’t want to annoy people by clogging up their news feed with a post every hour, but if you only post once or twice a month, then you run the risk of being forgotten. If you find that your social media marketing keeps falling to the wayside, then it’s time to look at getting some help.

Overall, there are many signs your social media marketing strategy needs an overhaul and many reasons that your current strategy isn’t serving your business. If your business hasn’t seen any traction in your social media marketing efforts in two to three months, contact us today. A social media audit is a great way to see where your current standings are and where you may need to go.

LinkedIn Data Breach Exposes 92% Users | Digital Scoop 030

LinkedIn Data Breach Digital Scoop

It has been reported that LinkedIn has been hit again with a security breach over the 4th of July weekend that exposed the data of 700 million users which, if proven true, would mean that 92% of the site’s users would have had their data compromised. Reports say that the data breached include phone numbers, physical addresses, geolocation data, and inferred salaries. LinkedIn denies that the data was breach and says in a statement:

“While we’re still investigating this issue, our initial analysis indicates that the dataset includes information scraped from LinkedIn as well as information obtained from other sources. This was not a LinkedIn data breach and our investigation has determined that no private LinkedIn member data was exposed. Scraping data from LinkedIn is a violation of our Terms of Service and we are constantly working to ensure our members’ privacy is protected.”

Security experts say the information has been posted for sale on the dark web. Among the data out there that’s been spotted by security experts:

  • Email addresses
  • Full names
  • Phone numbers
  • Physical addresses
  • Geolocation records
  • LinkedIn username and profile URL
  • Personal and professional experience/background
  • Genders
  • Other social media accounts and usernames

LinkedIn said no passwords were stolen, but security experts there’s enough information out there for criminals to create a fake identity of a person.

Have you experienced issues with your LinkedIn account? Let us know below! Stay up to date on all things digital marketing by subscribing to Digital Scoop on YouTube!

How To Build Your YouTube Audience

Grow YouTube creative Strategy agency Springfield ma

There’s no denying that video marketing isn’t going anywhere. And while popular social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and even your own website are great places to invest, YouTube remains the giant in the space, with individuals spending a billion hours each day watching videos on this platform. So with all those users on the platform, establishing an audience should be easy… right?

Growing a YouTube channel these days seems to get harder and harder. Your business and brand need to cut through the noise, but how do you do that? Here are some tips on how you can grow your YouTube channel.

Create and Establish Your Brand

Having strong branding, by maintaining consistency between thumbnails, titles, colors, graphics, and fonts, will help your channel stand out when your videos are shown to viewers within recommendations. These efforts should be happening across all of your digital platforms. By establishing your brand guidelines around visual representation, you can better establish your brand, and ensure people know your material, without even having to look at the channel name.

Build Your Channel Around an Audience

Just like in any other form of marketing, you need to consider the audience that you’re trying to reach, and what they want to see, both now, as well as what they will want to view in the future, in order to keep your posts relevant and keep viewers coming back. You should think about who you want to watch the channel. In order to continue to grow your channel, you should continuously be attracting new viewers, all while keeping those previous viewers coming back for more.

With many people now on YouTube, there’s much more content available now than ever before, which means that in order to stand out, you need to be creating content that’s either better than what’s already out there, provides them with what they are looking for, or has a unique angle that people can’t get anywhere else.

Do Your Research

Watch lots of videos. Just like in any other strategy, or even when you start your business, you want to conduct market research and competitor analysis to see who’s out there doing what. Look into the frequency of other channels are posting, the length of the videos, design styles, and more to see what you need to do to get started. Pay attention to trends, but don’t have all your video topics be about trends. While you may get quick new views, the goal is long-term and is to build your audience, grow your subscriber count.

Be Consistent

One of the most essential ways to grow your audience is just showing up. In order to build repeat viewership, you need to post consistently, to a schedule, in order to become a part of their routine. YouTube Creators need to stay true to the promise that was first delivered in their clips, and that this is especially true when first establishing your channel. If you tell your viewers that your videos will release weekly on Thursdays, then you need to make sure you have a video scheduled each Thursday. It is ok to evolve your approach to your channel and content, as long as you are aligned with your audience.

Optimize Your Videos

One thing that gets overlooked is making sure you optimize your videos. From descriptions to titles and tags, there are many facets when it comes to optimizing your videos, and your channel. Include things like links to your website, social media, and email newsletters from your video descriptions. Fill out your channel bio and let your new audience really learn more about you. Google does own YouTube, so the better the optimization, the better the search results will be for your videos and channel.

Overall, growing your YouTube audience relies on the content that’s aligned with who you want to target and consistently showing up for them. If you are new to YouTube or are looking to grow your staggering channel, contact us today.