local SEO

4 Ways To Get More Customers With Local Search SEO

One of the easiest ways to attract highly targeted traffic and get more customers to your startup is by optimizing it for local SEO. Local SEO is an aspect of search engine optimization that enables you to “inform” Google that you want your website to be displayed when users from a specific location are looking for information.

To understand this concept, let’s take a quick lesson on how Google works.

Google 101: How Google works.

This infographic about how Google works show that Google has a complex, powerful algorithm that decides the result that will be displayed each time someone makes a search.  However, in order for the result to be relevant, Google sometimes considers the location of the person doing the search. For example, of a user in Nigeria searches Google for “hotels around me”, her result will be different from someone doing the same search in Dublin, Ireland. Each of them will find a result relevant to them. The big lesson here is that Google results are designed to vary according to location of the user,

The good news for your startup is that if you have identified where the majority of your users are based, you can "tell" Google to display your website to visitors searching from that region only. This way, you can be sure that your website visitors are likely to turn to your customers. Unfortunately, if your website does not specify your target audience, you are giving Google a hard time to classify it and you will end up losing valuable traffic and business leads.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your local SEO.

Here are the top 4 simple tricks I have uncovered that you can use to make your website become more "visible" in local results, especially when someone is searching for information about your business.

 

1. Use Google Search console.

One of the free Google tools I mentioned in this post (number 15) is Google Search Console. It is a powerful SEO machine and one of its functions is that you can use it to notify Google what you want your site to rank for. The “country targeting” feature enables you to specify a primary location in Google search result that shows your pages.
You can achieve this in 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Go to Google Console. Firstly, you should add your website to Google Search console if you have not done so. You can easily set it up using this guideline.

Step 2: By default, your site is configured for international exposure, you should change it to Nigeria or your preferred country of choice. Visit the “search traffic” console and click on “international targeting” to modify it to your country of choice.

Step 3: Save your setting and Google will position your website to be more relevant to searches from your country of choice.

2. List your business on Google My Business.

Another local SEO strategy is to configure your site for Google My Business. According to Google, “listing your business with Google My Business makes it optimized for local searches”. You can find more information about this and how to set it up on their official support forum.

3. Publish content that your local community will find useful.

If you have a blog as part of your traffic generation strategies, you should write posts that your expected local audience will find useful. These guides on LocalizedDigital and SEOMechanic share insights how to use this strategy to drive traffic to you your startup.

While writing blog posts might seem difficult at first, its impact on your business is high. Take for example, our team at ProbityBooks; a local invoicing and accounting startup experimented with this concept by publishing a post that is locally relevant to our community of users. The post ended up ranking on the first page of Google ahead of 50 million results, within 10 hours of posting. The post also drove a sizable traffic to the site.

The major key to this strategy is that your content must be have information that is relevant to the local community. You can use tools like Google Trends or Google keyword tools to track keywords or searches that your local audience are interested in. You can also search online forums like NairaLand to understand some of the pain points of your local market and publish a content that meet that needs.

4. Use Structured data and Open Graph markup

According to Google, “When you use structured data to markup content, you help Google better understand its context for display in Search, and you achieve better distribution of your content to users from Search”. This rich snippets provides more information that enables Google to display it for locally relevant searches and enables the content eligible to appear better in Google Search.

If you use WordPress, you can easily download a plugin to fix this or you might need to go ask your developer for assistance.

Conclusion (Will local SEO bring real ROI?)

If you take action on the 4 recommendations above, you will see improvement in your website ranking for local search on Google. I am sure Implementing these tips has the potential to yield a big impact to your business. Try any of the steps and let me know how it helps your traffic by leaving a comment.

 

Author’s Bio:

Wole Ogunlade is a growth strategist for early-stage startups. His growth strategy helped VoguePay 2.5X user growth in 3 months. He is available as growth advisor for well-funded and early stage startups. His latest project is #HackGrowth; a meetups for startup founders and growth marketers and he is serving as mentor for Tony Elumelu Foundation programme for entrepreneurs (TEEP)


build email list

10 Ways To Build Your Email List

Email marketing is a high-impact and low-cost way of delivering your marketing pitch to current customers and some prospects — if, you have a great email list.  A mailing list that is short, scanty on information, full of errors and redundancies, or just not on-track with targeting can be worse than having no data at all.

If you're working on building an email list or you've run out of ideas to do so, here are 10 simple ways to grow that email list:

Check out these ten simple ways to grow your email list for effective email marketing!Click To Tweet

Ask visitors to sign up

You know that pop-up that comes up when you visit some websites? Well, you can have that on your website too. Usually, you have to offer them something valuable to encourage a signup like good content, a discount code or freebie etc. You also need to ask to verify the email address to make sure it exists. Here's what ours looks like:

Subscribers only access

Create a content or offering that is too good to pass up for your customers and ask that they subscribe before they are qualified to access it. Make sure it’s too good to pass up. If not, you'd probably just get laughed at, lol

Online Contest

Promote an online contest, like a free giveaway and have entrants sign up or submit using their email address. We tried this once at Localized Digital with our free hosting giveaway. Worked like a charm

Social Linking

Sync social media platforms to your website so when users share content on your site, you can automatically get their social media login information which is usually a valid email address. You can also make your comment section social media enabled so that when people comment you can get their information.  Check out other ways to integrate your email marketing efforts to social media here

Build with your blog

Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email when they want to to leave comments and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.

Optimize your website for opt-ins

If a customer or prospect visits your website, they’re already at least somewhat interested. Don’t miss the opportunity to add them to your email list; include email registration forms on every main page of your site, as well as on the pages for popular products and services.

Daily Deals/Freebies

Daily deal sites can be useful for retail or local service businesses e.g Deal of the day on major e-commerce stores in Nigeria. Offer your discount (daily deal) through the site for a limited time and ask anyone who wants to grab the deal to provide their email address in exchange or put an email barricade i.e if they don’t provide their emails they can’t access the deal.

Give them an option

People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell social media and blog advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about social media, info about the blog or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.

Create a teachable moment

Are you an expert in something people want to know about, like weight loss, home improvement, cooking, etc.? Promote an exclusive online email course available only to subscribers.

One last pull

If a visitor gets through your entire website without opting in, grab them one last time before they go. Set a pop-up to appear asking for an email address whenever someone is about to navigate away from your website or blog.

Building an email list takes time and effort but if done right, it is critical to marketing success in this digital age. 

Have you tried other ways to build your email list? Tell us!


email social

Integrating Email Marketing to Social Media in 5 Steps

Email has always been one of the best sources of quality customers for almost any online business. From ecommerce to blogging, your email subscribers tend to be more loyal because they've permitted you to sell to them. Which is why it's usually regarded as a core traffic source for most businesses.

While email marketing and social media are singularly effective, they can exceed marketing goals when combinedClick To Tweet

Knowing that only a few people make buying decisions based on information from a single medium, it is of essence to integrate multiple channels so as not to miss out on other opportunities and the natural rhythms of the buying cycle. While email marketing and social media are effective on their own, when combined, they can exceed marketing goals and give desired results. Here are a few ways to integrate your social media accounts into your emails and get more;

Include Social Icons in Emails

While this may sound like an obvious one, it’s important to include social icons in your email campaigns. Don’t stick a tiny icon at the bottom of your email; people rarely take conscious note of that. You have to be loud and proud of it, stick it boldly at the top of your email.

Including your social icons alone isn’t enough neither, your emails should always have Call-to-actions (CTAs) that will nudge your readers into clicking on your social media icons. Don’t be afraid to tell them to take an action, you could tell them to share this email using their social media profiles or even comment. You can also send dedicated emails telling your audience why they should follow you on Social media.

Get Sign-ups on Twitter & Facebook

Facebook and Twitter ads now enable you add email “sign-up” buttons. All you need is media platforms with content, image and CTAs. Make sure that the content will compel people to sign-up.

Upload your Subscriber list to Social Networks

Having a social media presence puts a face and a name to your brand. Following your audience on social media will give you a better idea of their requirement and desires. You can find them by uploading your subscriber list to your social network. There are different ways to upload subscriber lists on different platforms;

  • Twitter:

    For Twitter, the best way to start is to link your email address with your Twitter account, that way, Twitter scans your email contact list. You can also upload a CSV file of your email contact list under the “Twitter Ads” tab.

  • LinkedIn:

    LinkedIn allows it’s users to search for email addresses. You can also upload a list of contacts to broaden your and network LinkedIn will contact data. Once the list is matched you can connect with them all at once or select one by one whom connections are added to your network you can send them an invitation to your product.

  • Google+:

    Upload your subscribers list to Google+ via ‘Open Your Address Book’. Upload your list and create a segmentation by splitting contacts into different circles.

  • Facebook:

Facebook has an elaborate feature that doesn’t just allow you add people but also allows you choose how you plan to add these people. With the “Custom Audience” feature, you can roll out a targeted Facebook ad and increase follower-ship for your company Facebook page. You can also upload a CSV file.

Run retargeting ads on Facebook and Twitter for loyal email subscribers

Here’s how retargeting works; you install a tracking code on your website and this in turn allows your ad platform to cookie visitors, then show them ads on other platforms (like Facebook). If you create a targeted email campaign for your subscribers, then retarget only the ones that clicked through, you eliminate guesswork.

Blindly running ads is an easy way to spend a lot of money, however, matching intent and interest with targeted ads is a good way to make a lot of money.

Create an exclusive social group for your email subscribers

Doing this can build strong relationship with your subscribers. Some people even go as far as creating a whole new app. The guys at TechCabal did it with Radar. But you can always start with a Facebook page. The key is to ensure your page is ACTIVE, flowing with innovative ideas to keep your group members engaged and active. By doing online activities like contests, free giveaways, quizzes and video blogs, you can learn more about the members, and thus build a strong bond. This is a hugely underrated tactic.

Have you tried any of these suggestions already in integrating your email marketing with your social media efforts? Tell us about it below!


youtube

5 things to do before you create that YouTube Channel

YouTube is basically the new tv, and with the constant upload of content, every single video is fighting for a viewer’s attention. This makes it a tougher situation for anyone looking to start a channel, however, with consistency, many YouTube channels have made it out of the crowd.

Before creating a YouTube, you should consider or answer some of these questions…

Want to start a YouTube channel? You should go through this checklist first, it could save you some stressClick To Tweet

Why do you want to start a YouTube channel?

What is your main objective for starting a channel? This is the first question you’d have to answer. It'll play a huge role in ensuring your commitment level and dedication do not nosedive.

Are you looking to become intimate with your customers? Or do you just want to jump on the YouTube bandwagon? This is actually very important because every other platform like Facebook and Twitter have integrated videos into their features. So you have to ensure you have a solid reason for opting out of using those and creating a YouTube channel.

On the other hand, if your answer to this question is something like “I just want to go viral and make tons of money,” you may want to rethink things. Yes, sometimes people luck out and go viral with a random uploaded video but you can’t bank on this. For most people, finding success on YouTube takes time and effort, so if you aren’t ready to put in the work then you may be sorely disappointed.

What’s the theme of your videos?

What do you want your channel to portray? What’s your underlying theme? Have you decided what you’re going to make videos about? The possibilities are endless—you can make videos about your business, your customers, your staff, or behind the scene’s of day to day activities. However, it’s important to note that when it comes to building a subscriber base it’s best if you stick to a specific topic or niche, because, like earlier said, YouTube is populated already.

Is this a niche that you’re actually interested in?

When you end up choosing a theme? You have to be sure it’s something you can sustain over a long period. Once you lose that buzz around your videos, your viewers somehow will sense it. A big mistake that many people make when starting a YouTube channel, a blog, or really creating any sort of online content is that they choose a niche or topic because they think it will be popular and not because it’s something that they actually care about.

When Toke Makinwa’s Toke Moments started, vlogging wasn’t a big thing in Nigeria, there was skepticism all around it, but her consistency has made her a force to reckon with.

Hence you should keep in mind that once you start creating your videos, you’re going to be fully immersed in the subject that you’ve chosen to make videos about, so it better be something that you’re passionate about.

What audience are you targeting?

What do you know about your audience? Their demographics; their viewing patterns? What part of the country they are viewing from? etc. Knowing your audience will influence the time you post your videos, the regularity, the topics based in the overriding theme etc. Do a bit of research and create a profile of your ideal viewer. This will help you streamline the content and style of your videos. You also need to find out if there’s another YouTube channel with the same target audience as yours, you need to study them, pay attention to people’s comment about them and see what you can do to stand out from them.

How are you going to measure your success?

What parameters will you use to measure the success of your channel? Your parameters may differ depending on your reasons for starting the channel, which you already answered above. A certain number of views? Number of subscribers? Amount of traffic driven to your website? or becoming a YouTube partner within a certain period?

You can monitor your progress by seeing how close you are to your goals and when you reach (and ultimately surpass) them, it’ll be time to celebrate! However, it’s very important to note that success does not come overnight, you have to be very patient, consistency does the trick when it comes to hitting your online targets.
Do you have a YouTube channel? Feel free to share your initial experience with us below!


Google alerts

Using Google Alerts for your brand and getting the best results

Google Alerts is a special feature from Google that gets personalized search results delivered to you. Typically these search results are gotten from keywords that you want Google to help you track online.

Google Alerts is one of the most versatile online tools. It allows you to listen to conversations you may not be aware of. Conversations that involve you or your brand (and maybe even your competitors). As you manage your online presence, it’s important to listen to what people are saying and how they are saying it.

You want to know if other sites are linking to you, quoting you, supporting you, or complaining about you. You want to know what your competition is up to and how they are faring. Enter Google Alerts, the free online tool that lets you track keywords and phrases effortlessly so you never miss another important conversation.

As a business owner, you can use Google Alerts to keep tabs on who’s mentioning you, your product/service, or website. You can also use it as a sort of writing prompt. If you set up alerts for specific keyword phrases related to your niche, you’ll see results from others and can get a feel for what’s being talked about. You can build on those ideas or maybe see what’s missing and fill in that gap with your own article.

Another way Google Alerts can help your brand is by stalking your competition for you, You can get first-hand updates on what your competition is up to and be proactive. It will also help you know when a rival brand is rapidly gaining more traction than you are.

Enough of the intro, let’s show you a step by step approach to creating a Google Alert!

A step by step guide to creating Google Alerts

Google Alerts

Step 1: Go to http://www.google.com/alerts/

Step 2:  Sign in if you have a Gmail account. If you don’t have a Gmail account, you can just start filling out the Google Alert form.

Google Alerts

Step 3: Enter the search terms you want the Google Alert to track, separated by commas. You can edit this later if you find you have too many or too few terms. If you’re not sure what to track, start with your name and your blog’s name. You may also want to include keyword phrases related to your brand and your niche.

Step 4: Choose the type of results you want Google Alerts to find and share with you. You can choose from the following:

  • News
  • Blogs
  • Video
  • Discussions
  • Books
  • Everything (so you can track it all)

Step 5: Choose how often you’d like to receive your Google Alerts. If you’re tracking a timely project or news story, you may want to choose as it happens. But if you’re just keeping tabs on something that mildly interests you, but isn’t critical, you can choose once a week.

Google Alerts

Step 6: Choose how many results you want to get. You can receive “only the best results” or “everything” depending on your needs.

Step 7: Choose where you’d like the Google Alerts delivered. If you have a Gmail account, you can receive them via gmail. If you’d rather not, you can receive them via RSS or another email account.

Step 8: Click the Create Alert button and finish.

That’s all you need to do. I find it amazing that this feature is free!

Extra tips on using Google Alerts

There are a few simple tips that can help you refine your results on Google Alerts. These tips also work while searching on Google. To show these tips, lets start with a simple search for the keyword "digital marketing". Here's what I see

digital marketing

 

Including more relevant results:

Use the '+' character to only get results that include a particular word in your search. Here, I'm going to try "+nigeria" notice how the results change to show articles related to Nigeria

 

Eliminating irrelevant results:

What I'm going to do next is eliminate irrelevant results showing up here, for example, the results about sports and beer. So I'm going to include "-sports -beer" in my query. Here's the result of that

digital marketing and nigeria minus sports and beer

 

Now we have a much more relevant stream of results. You can continue with this process and keep fine tuning the results you see in real time. Last tip

Get more precise with your base keyword:

When you put in a keyword like your name, take mine for example Osaze Osoba, you ten to get topics that have both these words in their content, irrespective of arrangement. Here's an example:

osaze osoba

 

In this case, the last three posts have shown up simply because they have the words "osaze" and "osoba" in them. But obviously those guys aren't me. So to fine tune this result, I'm going to type in "osaze osoba" with the quote marks instead. Here's what happens

osaze osoba phrase match

 

Notice how all irrelevant results are now taken out? For a result to show up now, it must contain exactly Osaze Osoba in that order. This is called phrase matching. You can use it in filtering out a lot of irrelevant results.

Go ahead and try this out, especially for your name and the name of your brand, it could provide a lot of insight on the kind of content being published about you online. Let us know in the comments box below if you're facing any issues refining your results.


emotional targeting

Using emotional targeting for brand messaging

Emotional targeting is when a marketer communicates to the target market using powerful emotional triggers. Emotional targeting takes place on two levels - understanding an audience’s emotional triggers and then implementing the insights on your website or marketing campaign. You need to investigate and understand which emotional triggers will affect your target audience and drive them to take action. For this you will have to dig in to understand your users' behavior. What sort of messaging affects them? How does your product make them feel? And so on. Then you can pursue the triggers that you see are the most successful in customer engagement.

Visual Storytelling

You must have seen MTN and Coca-Cola serenade our web pages recently with videos. The fact that I can even remember these ads out of the million and one web ads I see every day tells you something's unique about video ads. Visuals do the trick, they stick. A good visual message stimulates people’s senses. It can create fear, elicit pity, or showcase friendship. Font styles make a difference, too. People consider a clear, readable font as trustworthy.

To make visual storytelling work, however, you can’t simply slap a few stock photos onto your blog or social media posts. Just as headlines and calls to action must be crafted carefully, your visual content deserves more than a second thought. From screenshots to actual photographs, think about how to convey emotion to your audience. Do you need a wide-angle shot? Will a big red arrow show more impact for the viewer? In addition, be aware of diversity in your visuals. Cultural shifts happen within our society. Not everyone will be on board with your company’s inclusiveness. But don’t let that stop your brand's progression.

Here are a few tips to help in Emotional Targeting…

Memorable Experiences

Memories are precious moments in our lives.

We remember graduating from the university, our first break up with our first romantic partner, or even that embarrassing moment when we flopped a presentation. These experiences evoke us to think about how we felt at that particular time. To harness the power of memorable experiences, associate your brand’s experience with your customer’s life events. For example, transfer the same emotions customers felt when they got married or bought their first home and you're on your way to emotional marketing.

Psychological Triggers

Emotions determine our everyday decision-making. We buy when we’re sad. We buy when we’re happy. However, most brands miss the opportunity to develop an emotional link with customers. They focus on product features, rather than understanding the feelings behind the purchase. This is where emotional targeting comes in.

In 2014, Facebook “revealed that it had manipulated the newsfeeds of over half a million randomly selected users to change the number of positive and negative posts they saw.” This controversial psychological study found that people mimic the emotions expressed in online content. So, if people read a positive post, they are more likely to respond positively. With that in mind, prepare your product / service to develop digital marketing campaigns ingrained with psychological triggers. For instance, happiness induces people to share. So when targeting, the theme of your content should generally revolve around these emotions...

Joy

The one video ad a lot of us have come to love and sing along with is Coca Cola's "Taste the feeling" campaign

Few things in life are as sweet as joy. And equating this emotion with your brand can most certainly drive recognition. Whether it’s an ad that evokes excitement over a new offer or shares a hopeful sentiment to brighten a prospect’s day. When your audience feels the warm fuzzies, they’ll undoubtedly feel compelled to pass it on.

Nostalgia

You don’t need to make your audience weep with sorrow to tap into this emotion. Instead, opt for sweet sentimental. Take, for example, this commercial from Coca Cola that makes use of familiarity and ends on a positive note. More often than not, a relatable story that tugs at the heart strings also inspires action. This is the essence of emotional targeting.

Amusement

Laughter is a powerful reaction that increases the production of endorphins and helps reduce stress. Using humor in your marketing can offer your audience a reprieve from the dull messages filling their inboxes. It can grab their attention and keep them coming back for more. Don’t be afraid to throw in a line of playful quip into email copy. But steer clear of lewd or offensive jokes that could land your brand in hot water.

 

Overall, the best way to appeal to your audience’s emotions is to be authentic. Make an effort to get to know your subscribers through data, and tailor your message to their wants, needs, and behavior. By combining personalization with emotional targeting, you can make a lasting impact on each and every prospect and customer.


Content Marketing tools to make your work easier

Content marketing is fast becoming standard practice. It can be all too easy to focus solely on results when you’re working on your digital campaigns. But without the right tools to source and track your content, you'll be heading down the drain and expending unnecessary resources.

We have drawn up some top Content Marketing tools that you should be using to boost the performance of your campaigns.

Buzzsumo

buzz sumo

 

Buzzsumo is an effective tool for knowing which online outlets are talking about topics most relevant to your business. It’s perfect for checking how your content is performing. Just enter the URL of the content into the search bar and you’ll see the social shares it’s acquired. You can also view the backlinks that the content has acquired or that of your client.

It saves a huge amount of time spent on trying to find targeted articles to contribute to. It can also be used when creating your Content Marketing strategy. Type your chosen topic into the search bar and you’re instantly shown the existing content that’s out there. This shows what is and isn’t working and will hopefully inspire you to create something even better now that you’re armed with information on how to make it more effective.

 Copyscape

 

Copyscape is best for fighting plagiarism; making duplicate content a thing of the past. You buy credits, depending on your budget. Then simply copy and paste the content you want to check into the text field. Next, click ‘Search Private + Internet’. This clever piece of tech will instantly identify any lines of text that have been duplicated and provides their location. What’s more, you can also compare the two versions of the content.

This is great for checking if your content has been scraped so that you can proactively work to prevent a Google penalty for duplication. A trap many Content Marketers fall into is unintentional plagiarism. It’s all too easy to read a piece online when researching for your own work, only for the odd line or phrase to accidently wheedle its way in. Copyscape helps to eradicate these instances and ensure that your content is 100% unique.

Ahrefs

 

Ahrefs is a wonderful resource for Content Marketers. You can use the ‘Content Explorer’ to search for a topic relevant to yours. It then shows you a list of content that has gained the most social shares. This effectively allows you get into the mind of your proposed audience. You can see their behavioral patterns when they come across different stuff online and then use this to boost your marketing strategy. Ahrefs is also a brilliant tool to use when news jacking. Again by typing in topics relevant to your client, you can see the posts out there that you could potentially add a comment to. You can also filter by date and location to make your search more refined.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite content platform

 

Hootsuite isn’t just a social media scheduling software. It’s also an aggregator tool, making it an essential tool for Content Marketers. You can add a whole host of social media platforms to the software and assign each one its own tab. That way you can keep up-to-date with all your social platforms in one place.

Hootsuite provides you with the capability to add streams to your dashboards. This way you can keep tabs on not only the latest industry updates, but also your social media activity and interaction. This is perfect for analysing how a social media campaign is performing, for example tracking a hashtag connected with a competition.

These are just a few Content Marketing tools that have worked wonders. Have you used an effective tool that hasn’t made it onto our list? Tell us about them below!


optimize ecommerce

Improving Your Mobile Strategy with responsive design & Analytics

Think about the last time you purchased something on your mobile. Do you remember what the experience was like? Chances are it was relatively smooth, which is why you completed a purchase. On an average, if a sites takes over 5-10 seconds to load, we don't wait to see what happens. And that's putting it politely

The scenario painted above happens all the time with mobile marketers. As Nigerians, we're probably exposed to some of the worst mobile experiences. It’s not so difficult to find out why, our websites are not fully optimized considering the uniqueness of mobile web. People have short attention spans, they want the news in 140 character snippets, they want to shop with the click of a button — and they want infinite information accessible at their fingertips via smartphones and tablets. It's easy for businesses to lose potential customers with a complicated, slow or inefficient mobile website.

Our e-commerce space is populated. Which means if you don’t get your strategy right, your customers won’t think twice before switching to another website, it just takes a tap! There are essential metrics which determine your probability of success. In addition to who is looking at your site, and how they're navigating through it, it's also important to take into account where they're viewing your content — and mobile traffic, in particular, is a big deal.

In an increasingly mobile world, there's more than one reason why it's crucial to keep an eye on your website's mobile traffic. Below, we take a look at some of the most common reasons why this metric is an important piece of your overall analytics efforts. And what you can do to optimize your marketing with this knowledge.

A Responsive UI – User Interface

We don’t exactly have fast internet in Nigeria. Even with the so called 4G LTE networks. So you need a light website that fully loads all the components within the shortest possible time.  Responsive design is increasingly becoming the go-to solution for businesses seeking optimized mobile experiences. If your site is heavy on visuals, videos, products or "mobile commerce", then it’s a no brainer that you go responsive. Important questions like – which operating systems are the most common among your site traffic? Are more users visiting your site on smartphones, or on tablets? What is the overall ratio of mobile to desktop traffic? – can help you determine exactly what you need to infuse into your website.

Consumers behave differently on smartphones and computers, which have differing functionalities and capabilities. You need to analyse user behavior and experiences across the entire purchase funnel to understand the best move for your web or app design. Responsive design is good for most businesses for the following reasons:

  1. It's easier to maintain one site than maintaining a separate mobile website
  2. It's cheaper to build a responsive website than to build a desktop site and a separate mobile site
  3. Data analysis is also simpler on a mobile responsive website

Take the Localized Digital website for example, it is mobile responsive. Hence the same website shows well for both mobile and desktop traffic.

responsive-localized-digitalInsights

It has become very important for businesses to recognize recurring consumer patterns. Instagram recently released a new feature for business to see the demographics of people that view their IG posts. This has become very important for businesses to target their Ads and also review their strategy. When and how users view your content on mobile affects a number of decisions — everything from the length of your videos to where you place certain content. Tracking user behavioral patterns and page flow among mobile users informs your decisions for many of these adjustments.

Noting the metrics surrounding certain behaviors — such as time spent navigating the site or watching videos — also provides valuable insight into how to tailor your content to smartphone and tablet users. Perhaps videos should be front and center on your more "lean back" tablet properties, while directions and location information should be prominent on the smartphone app. If most of your customers come from Lagos, it also means you should channel your offline marketing efforts towards Lagos; if you want to consolidate on your gains or move in to another state to gain grounds. There are numerous decisions you can make via key Insights.

Here's an example of insights pulled by the Google Analytics mobile app.

get-details-from-insightsTweak Your Ads for Mobile

Knowing how your consumers behave on mobile should also heavily influence your mobile advertising strategy — where should your brand promote itself, and what message should these ads send?   As with ad strategy, mobile traffic analysis is also extremely useful when devising email marketing campaigns. Using Email marketing as an example to buttress why you need to pay special attention to Mobile optimization, here’s a "sobering" statistic from MailChimp; 69% of mobile users delete emails without reading if they're not optimized for mobile, and another 18% said they would go so far as to actually unsubscribe. The moral? Make sure your email newsletters are optimized. You can easily find free email responsive templates online.

Here's an example of a mobile responsive email from localized digital.

Localized digital mobile email responsive

How has your company, business or website effectively utilized mobile marketing, strategy or analytics? Tell us in the comments box below!


useful-google-tools

10 Useful Google Tools for Nigerian online Marketers and SMEs

I started referring to Google as “almighty Google” the moment I realized it was way more than a search engine. Google offers a lot of useful tools that can be of utmost help to marketers. The following are some of the top Google tools marketers should get familiar with.

1. Google Drive

Let’s start with Google drive, Drive starts you off with 15 GB of free Google online storage, so you can keep photos, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos – anything. Your files in Drive can be reached from any smartphone, tablet or computer. So wherever you go, your files follow. Yes! Google made life easier

And if you're a heavy user like me, you can pay as little as N400 for up to 100GB of space. You'd pay about half that when the FX goes back to what we had before now. And if that's not enough, you can get terabytes of data too.

Google Drive

2. Google doc

Google Docs brings your documents to life with smart editing and styling tools to help you easily format text and paragraphs.  Docs lets you collaborate better with team members. This tool can create and collect questionnaires for surveys by sending documents via a link or through email. You can also use Google Sheets to work on Excel type documents online.

Google docs save automatically, so as long as you're connected, every change you make gets saved to the cloud. That means you never loose changes over your system crashing or something weird like that.

3. Google trends

As the name goes, Google trends gives you adequate information on topics that are currently popular and are trending in your locality and around the globe. Google Trends is a very insightful tool for competitor analysis and we'd be pushing out a post to elaborate on this in the coming weeks.

Google Trends Home page

4. Google Analytics

As a marketer you need an analytic tool that can adequately keep track of how often your website gets visits or how long people are spending on your site. Google analytics is a free tool that keeps you update on important analytic information like demography, social Engagement, Technology Used, Mobile Information, Traffic Sources, Top Content and What Leads to Conversions.

Check out our post on how to use the Google Analytics app to get automatic insights into your website's data

check-out-analytics-insights5. Google Adwords

If you’re not getting enough organic search traffic to your website, then you might want to consider a paid search campaign using Google AdWords. With Adwords, you bid for the right keywords to get a considerable amount of qualified traffic driven to your website. The good thing about AdWords is that you only pay for specific actions, like clicks, purchases and the likes. Which makes it even more transparent and awesome :)

6. Adwords Keyword Planner

The Google AdWords Keyword Planner, though meant to help you plan your AdWords campaigns, can also help search for new keyword ideas and suggestions to help with your organic keyword search as well. You’d need to set up an AdWords account to use the Keyword Planner, but that doesn't mean you actually have to create an ad.

keyword-planner

7. Google Alerts

Want to be on top of your game with breaking news or other important information in your business category or your brand? Then you should set up your Google Alerts.

When you enter a search query, you will get a sample of the results you would receive and the option to have them sent daily to your email inbox. You can also use this to keep up with your competitors in your industry to see what they are up to.

google-trends

8. Google My Business

Google business gives you free advertising on Google, all you have to do is set up your Google My Business listing formerly known as Google Places. With this your business gets featured in search results with your office address in Google Maps when users search for a keyword that relates to you.

9. Google Webmaster

Want an in-depth insight to how healthy your website is? Well, all you have to do is setup your Google webmaster account. Google informs you about red flags that could prevent your website from getting search results and help you understand your visitors’ behavioral pattern on your site. If you have already set up your website with Google Analytics, you can easily add it to Google Webmaster Tools to start learning the following.

Configuration: This section checks your website’s settings on the web, including preferred domain canonicalization, sitelinks, URL parameters, change of address, and users who have access.

Health: Includes crawl errors, stats, blocked URLs, and malware alerts. I'd advise you check this ofteh

Traffic: The traffic section includes search queries (aka, possibly some of the keywords omitted from Google Analytics thanks to the keyword not provided, links to your website (a comprehensive view of your backlink profile), internal links, and +1 reports. +1 reports tells you the search impact of results showing your website’s +1 count vs. without showing it, +1 activity on your website, and audience demographics.

Optimization: This section includes your sitemaps, HTML improvement suggestions, content keywords, and other resources.

Here is also an overview of how Google webmaster tools works on optimizing websiteshttps://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp

10. YouTube

To wrap up this list, the last but not the least is YouTube. YouTube is a free platform to upload your testimonial videos and tutorials about your brand. This is a good tool for marketers to leverage on brand awareness as YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Be sure to create a channel on YouTube to put up your videos.

One thing SMEs need to know is that it doesn't take much to make a good video. In our video for example, this was my first run at Adobe Premier Pro (for editing), and I got a friend to help do the shooting (I paid her small money sha, you can't be stingy, lol). But I didn't hire a professional to shoot and edit at  a high cost, give it a go first!

Do you know any other awesome Google tools out there? Let us know!


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15 tips to getting email marketing right for Nigerian businesses

Email marketing, if done right, is a direct self-sufficient means of advertising and marketing. It is relatively affordable and provides quality leads and guarantees a high CTR (click through rate). Based on the rate at which people check their emails, now that is easily synced on their mobile phones, it is a really efficient marketing means. But a lot of brands fail at it. This is mainly because of the practice of sending out mass emails with little or no thought about tailoring content to fit a group of people. Some experts have even predicted the death of email marketing. But for now, since it's not, there are ways to getting it right. It only requires a certain amount of work to make your emails connect with your target audiences.

If you're targeting the millennials (20-35) who open their emails frequently, then here are 15 email marketing tips to help boost engagement:

Be personal

I’m not going to pay any attention to an email that addresses me as “Hi”, not “Hi Kemi,”. That way I already know it’s just a bulk email and I’m one of the numerous recipients of it. Your emails need to be written as though you're only speaking to one person, the recipient. Don’t use terms like subscribers or mailing list in your content, stick to just one person.

Skip the bait-and-switch

Corny email marketing tactics have made it difficult to let people know that you are real and honest. Also considering how many spam emails go out every day it's difficult to stand out in this pool. You have to make sure your email is clear and contains no falsified information. You only one chance so don't lose your audience. Here's a very tacky spammy mail subject line from Verve *there was no credit alert

verve email closed

Be Natural

In the process of been personal, try to be natural don’t use my name where a pronoun will suffice, that’s obviously a code. Even if you have to use names ensure it flows naturally with the conversation or content in this case. And if you brand is a personal one, write your email like you would speak. That's likely why the user subscribed to you in the first place, because he enjoys your content.

Create good content

Which brings us to creating good content. Good content means creating content that is relevant to your target audience. Your content might be good but if it’s not relevant then it’s not good. Your content should help your audience grow in some way, or it should give them some sort of new insight or perspective on things they did not know before. People tend to respond a lot better to content that focuses on helping them grow (infuse your product here) rather than directly try to sell them a product or service.

You don’t have to send an email

I can’t stress this enough, but if you don’t have anything to say then you don’t have to send one. Time is valuable and your audience will prefer you email them only when something important comes up (your audience will appreciate this). Sending unnecessary emails will send you straight to spam after some time.

Engage their mind

Statistics, numbers and facts gives your audience some thoughts to ponder on, you can use that to your advantage to attract and hold your reader’s attention. Use facts where possible, and ensure that you do proper research so you give the right thing. Trust me, you don't want to look like the blockhead that said rubbish about something I care about.

 

Unique discount

You can use this medium to offer discount and promo codes that can only be got from clicking out directly from the newsletter. Or give something totally free in the same manner. Make sure you deliver on such and that'll set the stage for further interaction and increases trust.

Simplicity

It is possible to attract attention with clever headlines, but you need to keep it simple to hold their attention, be effective and stay on the topic. Also, keep it short and sweet. Take Hygeia's email subject line for example, (In less than 15 seconds) just sells it to me

hygeia-subject-line

Learn from others

Subscribe to other few good email list (not necessarily competition) preferably a global brand and do your best to emulate them. Using them as a yardstick will help you get better.

Don’t be too salesy

You know your TA (target audience) and which type of marketing approach works best for them. When developing your content remember not to overdo the selling pitch, take it from an angle that will either enrich, entertain or improve their lifestyle. When last did any of you open Konga's email with these kind of headlines? In my head I'm saying "errr... what deals? Cornflakes?"

konga-subject-lineSpell out benefits

“What is in it for me?” That’s the question on most people’s mind. From the start speak to them as if they asked you directly. Most times people are concerned with how it benefits them directly. Writing along those lines will ensure you tap into that self-interest pool.

Here's an example from iThemes Security, a WordPress security plugin

ithemes-proNudge a little

Try to develop a sense of urgency when writing. Offer them something then set a limit or times they have to respond, this will push them to make a decision faster than when you leave it blank. Here's an example from Shoptomydoor

urgencyEmbed Links

By inserting links and hyperlinks throughout your email will increase the probability of one of those links getting clicked and bringing you a new client or customer. But this doesn't always work. One school of thought is to include a single Call-to-action (CTA) for better engagement. To determine which works better for your brand, run A/B tests.

Use a P.S (Photo Script) Line

A P.S line help drives home the point you were trying to make all through your email or serve as a reminder or summary of your whole email. It should also contain your call to action and not be more than one paragraph. P.S lines can help build the desire for the product you are marketing and create and an additional sense of urgency.

Email marketing requires research and lots of patience. You might not get it right the first few times but realize your mistake from each attempt and make it better on the next. A good email marketing campaign can produce traffic, subscribers, and sales. If you don’t take shortcuts you’ll be glad at the result of your efforts.

Let us know what your experience has been like with email marketing.