Having grown up in an era of no mobile phones or internet, learning to navigate the world of social media and online marketing isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do for someone like me who remembers having only three channels on TV.
On joining Hybrid Legal in January, I was tasked with developing our online presence by promoting our website and social media pages. Like many people, I had used most of the platforms before both personally and professionally. I also had some experience in web content management having been an editor once upon a time, but online marketing hadn’t been my main bag.
I started off with some great ideas, posting on our pages and adverting our website but the numbers and hits were slow to rise and this frustrated me. I spoke to people who seemed to be having success with their own campaigns and picked up some useful tips here and there which I then implemented but still I was disheartened by the lack of pace.
I realised that I needed to take a fresh look at our current position, develop a new strategy and start the journey again. I needed to put the required amount of work into it rather than haphazardly jumping around with no real plan in place and hoping for success.
I knew I needed to go back to the start and concentrate on our website as that is where we wanted to direct our social media enquiries to. Luckily Hybrid’s website was well designed and is full of good content but no matter how good the site, there is always room for improvement. Why spend a considerable amount on something if you aren’t then going to show it off to the best of your ability?
Almost by chance, I attended a seminar given by the Digital Garage from Google UK. Although Google have recently had a huge fine slapped on them by the EU over abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service, I still use Google every day, as do 60-70% of internet users, and I had no idea that they offer free online courses on social media and generally improving digital visibility. You can even gain a qualification in Google! This was the game changer for me. It literally unlocked a wealth of information and is the first stop on my digital journey. Through the Digital Garage I gained awareness of the following valuable tools:
Google Trends – this tool conducts keyword analysis and research of your site, enabling your business to create useful and high quality content. It can basically help to optimise your website.
Search Console – this verifies your website, and tests how Google reads it, i.e. how it ranks, which is key for when your customers are searching the web.
Google Test My Site – a function that tests your website’s mobile friendliness in terms of scale and user experience. 50% of people will leave your site if it doesn’t load within 4 seconds. This common issue could be keeping your customers away and losing you business daily. ‘Test my Site’ will generate a report explaining what you can easily fix.
Google my Business – this is where you can claim your free business listing. It can be used effectively to market locally in your areas of choice and considering 95% of internet users are searching locally, this is ideal for online visibility, as long as you remain active with it.
Again, all of these services are completely free and available to anyone wanting to enhance their online presence. Most of us use Google. It seems like a no-brainer to learn how to use it properly!
By Anita Rouget