If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen that I recently attended a couple of #DigitalGarage sessions ran by Google in Glasgow. These workshops are free to attend and are part of a larger project that Google is working on to get people feeling more confident about online marketing.
While I’m aware this is not specific to publishing, I do think it is really important for us publishers to stay up-to-date with the latest in digital marketing. I plan to use what I learned from these sessions with my own blog and for my social media internship over at Linen Press Books. In the meantime, I’ve summarised some of the key points from the #DigitalGarage below but I highly recommend checking it out for yourself.
What is #DigitalGarage?
“Free tutorials from Google on everything from your website to online marketing and beyond. Choose the topics you want to learn, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.”
I attended live workshops but Google also offers free online training if there aren’t any workshops running near you. Sign up here and you can set goals, learn from experienced professionals, apply your knowledge, track your progress and stay motivated! If you are interested in a face-to-face lesson, then you can find out more about events (like the ones I attended) right over here. They’re in Glasgow until the 31st March.
What did I learn?
- You need to have a good website. Web platforms like Wix, Squarespace & WordPress make having a website easy and relatively inexpensive.
- Don’t be obscure with your domain name. Indicate what you do and where you are. If you are a UK based publisher, make sure this is clear in your URL.
- Think about where you’re hosting your website. These things can cause delay in your ping rate and search engines will penalise slow hosting.
“Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”
- Consider the speed and user-friendliness of your website. Search your website on testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com to discover how friendly your website really is. I won a Google notepad for The Fourth Month’s pingback speed and it was only 65/100. Not only does this link give you feedback on your website’s user-friendliness but it gives you advice on how to improve it. Tips include optimising your images with a free image compressor.
What does a successful website look like?
- Clear purpose and goals
- Clear layout and navigation – no clutter, minimalist as possible.
- Strong call to action – signpost, make it easy for the visitor.
- Fast page loading time
- Make mobile a priority – majority of users find you first on a mobile and remember most people won’t be seeing the desktop layout at all. Always consider mobile first.
- 38 million active social media users
- 1 hour 29 minutes average daily use of social media via any device (but remember younger audience = higher usage).
- People formulate an impression within 50 milliseconds of visiting your social media profile so think about your bio:
- Keep it relevant & talk about your business
- Keep it clear & consistent – say what you mean and stay relevant. Don’t promise them one thing and give them another.
- Show you personality & have fun – people buy from people
- Consider your audience! Remember who you’re selling to and research where they are. Fasted growing audience on Twitter is 65+!
Optimising your website
- Think about keyword analysis & research – what are people searching for? Set up a GoogleAdWord account and use Keyword Planner.
- Optimise your web pages – use the right terms in the right places. Put keywords at the top of the page, on your web address, in your title and as near to the top as possible but don’t repeat the same word over and over again.
- Check out google.co.uk/trends to find out what your customers are looking for. Know what to focus your attention on promoting and when. Use google analytics to find out where people are arriving and, importantly, where they’re leaving your site.
- How are people finding it? Adword? Organic searches? Social media? Email campaign?
- Achieving goals? What are your visitors worth to you? Maximise the value of your visitors to your site.
Collect data > create goals > measure insights > take action