Google (2)

So you’ve decided to launch a content marketing campaign? But, now what? Firstly, before you kick anything off you need to determine what form of media your content is adaptable too.

Or perhaps a combination of formats may be better? By finalising this decision, you firstly need to conduct an audit into your business’ existing and previous content strategies. Once you have a clear picture of your existing strategy, consider how a magazine, website, app, video or other form of branded content would fit in. Only then can you kick on.

Creating persuasive content

It may sound a cliché but that’s because it’s true; creating persuasive content is vital. People have now come to the stark realisation that they ought to be regularly investing in and producing content which is relevant to their business, their industry, and the industries that their clients represent.

However, the reality is that many businesses are simply going out and producing content just for SEO or social media purposes, or just because they want to improve the conversion rate of their website. They haven’t really thought about making the content persuasive. It’s no good producing content for the sake of it. If you’ve got nothing to say then sometimes it’s simply best to keep schtum! The content needs to have a purpose. And it’s equally important to understand the psychology behind the content, in that you must be aware of how the reader is thinking.

The audience

You need to build up a picture of your target customer, setting out what you want to achieve with your adaptable content. The more specific your objectives are, the sharper the focus and your results will be more impactful. Also consider what other communications your customers receive from you and ensure that all your marketing — new and existing — joins up.

Website speed

You want your website to be fast because that makes it easier to use – simple isn’t it? And the easier it is to use the greater likelihood someone is to make a purchase. If you're designing a website, is site speed in there as a specification? There's a lot of great resources out there on site speed. It really ought to be one of those things, if you're redesigning your website, that you're thinking about specifying measures that you want to put in place to improve the speed of your site. However, you also want to be benchmarking the load time of your competitors as well.

There's no point in having a design that is infinitely better than your competitors if it's a lot slower to render and a lot slower for the customers to do what they want to do.

However, as websites become more complex, Google becomes more complex. Many of the fundamentals of SEO have just become standard. Everybody, to some extent, will probably have decent title tags and crawlable pages on their website. As that becomes more commonplace people are starting to spend a lot more time thinking "How would a search engine understand my website?" That’s the key.

Understanding changes in paid search adverts

There have been various changes to paid search adverts in recent months and if you aren’t aware of these drastic changes online then your marketing campaign is likely to be doomed to failure. They are big changes.

The most obvious one is a change in the layout and volume of adverts displayed on the page.

For what seems like forever, there were two places for paid search text adverts to appear, a few above the natural results and the rest down the right hand side. The problem was this never really worked on mobile with such narrow screens so Google decided to lose those displayed on the side bar. They included more above the natural results and some at the bottom of the page. It obviously worked because that’s the design being rolled out worldwide to desktop.

Four text adverts above the natural results, no text ads on the right hand side, and three at the bottom. This is quite the change, in the past you could have had 11 text adverts on a search results page, now seven is the maximum. But the right hand side won’t be left blank; it’ll be used for more creative ad-formats like product listings, the knowledge graph results, and other things it will no doubt be testing.

By Kelvin Newman, founder of the BrightonSEO