Internet marketing

Digital marketing first strategy

By Business, Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Technology No Comments

A digital marketing first strategy recognises that the world has changed.

Everyone carries smartphones around with them, don’t they?

A smartphone is, in effect, an extension of the human brain. Need an answer to a question? Ask your phone. Need directions? Use one of the Maps services. Bored? Listen to some music or play a game. Need to communicate with a colleague? Email, instant message or phone them, regardless of where you are.

We have become so used to smartphones that we take them for granted. What is more, we are starting to expect a similar immediate response from the world around us.

We hail cabs via Apps and look for jobs within LinkedIn. An increasing number of households are starting to have AI capabilities (Amazon Echo, Google Home).

To what extent is this increasing digitisation of our society affecting businesses?

The answer is that ‘it depends’. Email, smartphones and websites are ubiquitous. A digital strategy, central database (CRM) and integrated digital marketing system less so.

This is surprising, as the cost of customer acquisition via digital marketing is lower. In addition, the chances are that your competitors are currently working flat out to digitise their businesses.

What does a digital marketing first strategy look like? It includes a written plan, buy in and a holistic approach to online brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention.

It sees things from the customers’ perspective (as marketing always has done). The perspective, however, has changed with the new way in which consumers and business decision makers research products and services before they purchase.

It takes into account online brand reputation, starting with the results of a search for your enterprise / what you are selling.

If you are not showing up for a reasonably wide range of search terms on page 1 of Google, this is a negative message.

Once the customer has found you, they want to learn, or take an action, or buy then and there.

To what extent do you offer customers the opportunity to learn about what you do, how well you do it and what your customers think of you?

In my case, I have a community of several thousand business people and marketers who discuss marketing issues via The Marketing Compass, I give talks and I write blogs and books on marketing. I publish an e-newsletter and I am active within social media.

Regardless of the type of enterprise that you own / work for, the principles are the same. Sharing knowledge online, keeping track of contacts and customers via a legally compliant database and making yourself visible in an interconnected world works surprisingly well.

It is helpful for you to ‘become your customer’. Try searching for the items that you are marketing, both on a desktop / laptop and also on a smartphone. See your website as if you are looking at it for the first time. Fill in a contact form. Try calling your own company.

Does everything work? How does it make you feel? What could be improved?

We all need to keep learning about the digital world as it currently stands and the changes that are coming.

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” ~ William Gibson, author

If you would like to discuss this subject with me, email me or call 01628 773128 within the UK or +44 1628 773128 if you are calling from outside the UK.

Internet marketing consultancy services

Digital marketing tools

By Internet marketing, Software 3 Comments

Here is a list of digital marketing tools including several which are free.

Advertising management

Adroll – Self-service online advertising platform for running online ads, advert retargeting etc. – Frank’s brain is connected to Facebook, Google and two million other websites. Frank takes care of the setup, optimization and reporting for your ad campaign. (Should marketers be worried about losing their jobs?)

Google Ads – From time to time Google offers a free trial of their advertising service.

Appointment scheduling

Calendly – Take to toing and froing out of client appointment making.

Animated GIF maker – is an easy to use website where you can upload GIF/JPG/PNG/APNG/WebP files and convert them into an animated GIF.

Audio recording

Audacity – Free, downloadable voice recording and editing software. Great for podcasters.

Garageband – Mac podcast production tool as a free alternative to Audacity.

Broken link checker

Brokenlinkcheck – find those broken links in your website.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

Capsule – Free for up to 250 contacts, then inexpensive to run. Integrates both ways with MailChimp.

Email marketing

MailChimp – Comprehensive email marketing platform. Free for the first 2,000 subscribers.

Test email Subject line – Handy online tool for seeing what the email subject line + Sender name + Preheader text will look like.


Get Emoji – Emojis can be used in email subject lines and social media, amongst other places.

Forms (website)

Optinmonster – Lead capture, email marketing signup and more. Works with MailChimp.

Wufoo – Website form creation platform. Works with MailChimp.

Grammar checker

Grammarly – The free writing assistant. AI-powered Chrome browser extension that checks grammar, spelling and punctuation in Gmail, Outlook, Google Docs, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.

Hashtags – Monitor the performance of hashtags, see suggestions and identify Twitter influencers.

Image file compression

TinyPNG – Compresses PNG and JPEG images which help to improve website loading speed, newsletter performance etc.

Landing pages

Unbounce – Landing pages, popups and sticky bars.

Language translation – AI-powered translation service.

Google Translate – Google-powered translation service.

Podcasting – Free podcasting distribution service.

Libsyn – For podcast distribution.

Sales leads

Leadfeeder – Leadfeeder tells you which specific enterprises have visited your website, how to contact them and what content on your website they’re looking at. Leadfeeder integrates with many CRMs and communication tools such as MailChimp.

Search Engine Optimisation

ahrefs – Long list of professional tools to grow search traffic. Learn about your competitors and more.

Alexa – Keyword research, website audit, competitor website analysis, backlink checker etc.

Google Adwords includes the Google Keyword Planner: get keyword suggestions directly from Google.

Rankitor – SERP rank monitor. Easy to understand.

Yoast – WordPress SEO plugin used by 10 million+ websites. The free version is good the paid version is better.

Social media

Crowdfire – Socal media management platform. A good place to start.

Buffer – Social media management software. The free version allows you to upload 10 posts. I use this for my Twitter account. 10 posts = 2.5 days. So you could use Buffer first thing on Monday morning and during Wednesday lunchtime in order to Tweet four times a day during the business week.

Sprout Social – Social media management and engagement, customer care, advocacy and analytics.


Smart Survey – At the time of writing, there is a free option.

SurveyMonkey – Comprehensive online survey platform (no longer free).


Thirsten – audio to text transciption. Makes voice text searchable.

URL shortening service – Easy to use and provides basic stats.

Video conference + webinars

Zoom – Start for free and host up to 100 people. Tons of features.

Video hosting

Vimeo – Professional-grade video hosting platform.

YouTube – One of the benefits of hosting your videos within YouTube (which is owned by Google) is that you will improve your chances of being found. It is the world’s 2nd most used website, according to Alexa (the 1st is

Website broken links

Brokenlinkcheck – see which of your website links are not working and keep Google happy.

Website CMS

WordPress – Free to use website CMS (Content Management System) used by a third of the world’s websites.

Website loading speed test

Pingdom – Find out how long your website takes to load, from various places around the world.

Website stats

Google Analytics – Website analytics service provided by Google. Shows website visitor metrics and other stats in detail.

Jetpack WordPress plugin – Jetpack includes website analytics.

Which digital marketing tools have I missed? Please reply below and let me know!

Click the box below if you would like to share this post, via Twitter:

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO keywords

By Internet marketing, SEO, Websites No Comments

Search engines analyse the words on a web page, in order to learn what the page is about.

They do this by using bots (AKA crawlers).

Having found a web page or blog entry, say on a gardening website, the bot will ‘read’ the content, look at the SEO meta data and decide that this page is all about lawn care.

It will file the page amongst the millions of pages that it has found on this subject.

On this basis, ‘lawn care’ would be a keyword phrase, containing two words: lawn + care

Luckily for the website owner, ‘lawn’ is clear.

People think of the word lawn and associate it with a grass-covered area, probably within a garden.

The word ‘care’ has many other associations, besides lawns.

Therefore the website owner would need to think of synonyms such as:

lawn maintenance, lawn upkeep, lawn repair, looking after my lawn

They could use this website:

It is a good idea to have an up-to-date list of keywords.

Include the name of your enterprise, brand names, products, services and geographical places that you operate in.

Think about the phrases that your target markets are likely to use within the search engines and include these in the list.

As this list is meant for you, organise it in alphabetical order.

Print it out and keep it somewhere where you can see it.

When you are writing content for your website, refer to your keywords list.

As time goes by, refer to Google Analytics and use the information there to refine your keywords list.

Nigel offers SEO consultancy and SEO training.

WordPress plugins – how many can you have?

By Internet marketing, Websites, WordPress No Comments

There is not a clear cut answer to this question.

However, in general terms, the answer is: ‘the fewer, the better’.

The Marketing Compass recommends that you don’t have more than 20 plugins (there is a WordPress Group there). Even this number feels quite high.

At the time of writing, there are some 50,000 WordPress plugins available.

Popular plugins include Akismet (anti-spam); forms (numerous plugins offer form creation capabilities); Google Analytics (so that you can get analytics working throughout your site): Jetpack (site performance and many helpful features); MailChimp (email marketing); Yoast (which helps with SEO); and WooCommerce (ecommerce).

There are 7 plugins in the above list and it is easy to keep adding new ones. This happens when you think of something that you would like to do within your website. I know, as I have nine WordPress websites.

The challenges of having too many plugins start with website loading speed.

This is a Google SEO ranking factor.

If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load you have a problem.

Many website visitors will not hang around waiting for your site to appear.

What is more, plugin conflict can occur: i.e. one WordPress plugin can upset another plugin. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to backup your website before you start working on it.

Nigel Temple is a digital marketing consultant.

Increasing conversion rates

By Internet marketing, SEO, Success, Websites No Comments

Digital marketing definition of conversion rate

The percentage of website visitors that reach a given goal, i.e. reaching a specific web page; filling in a contact form; making an e-commerce purchase; registering as a user; subscribing to your newsletter; downloading a free trial; or asking you for more information.

The big question is: do you know what your conversion rate is for specific areas of your digital marketing process?

To increase conversion rates:

  • Increase the amount of website traffic that you receive by using more of the 300 promotional techniques that are available to you
  • Have a website that loads as quickly as possible
  • Write in the language of benefits, not the language of features
  • Pay more attention to your headlines; if they don’t like the headline the rest of the content is a waste of time
  • Pay more attention to the structure of your webcopy; I have spent 30 years studying this and I offer webcopywriting training – how much experience does your website writer (or writers) have?
  • Include social proof i.e testimonial statements, case studies etc
  • Include a guarantee that you will deliver whatever is promised
  • Consider the design of your page: does it work in relation to the conversion that you are trying to achieve? For example, is there too much clutter and too many distractions?
  • Ensure that optin boxes, forms etc are highly visible; ideally they should be visible when the screen loads; if this is not possible include signposting
  • Include more calls to action and make them stronger
  • Minimise the number of fields within enquiry forms
  • Did you know that green is the most effective colour for Buy Now buttons?
  • Test different approaches and variants
  • Continually measure what is working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly
  • You can measure sales, sales enquiries, contact forms filled in, registered users, number of downloads, number of unique visitors, number of pages read and many other things.

If you need help with conversation by all means get in touch – click here.

Promotional mix categories

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, Promotional techniques No Comments

36 Promotional categories
There are 300 ways to promote your business. They are divided into promotional mix categories. An example of a promotional category is Advertising which includes adverts in newspapers, magazines and online, i.e. via Google AdWords.

Choose your promotional mix carefully, as it is a good idea to stick with it (stop / start marketing doesn’t really work).

Many of the techniques available to you are free, some are low cost and others require a budget.

Here is a list of the 36 categories (which we discuss within The Marketing Compass community:

  1. Advertising
  2. Alliance Marketing Partners AMP
  3. Articles
  4. Audio recording
  5. Authorship
  6. Celebrity endorsements
  7. Channel marketing
  8. Corporate clothing
  9. Corporate identity
  10. Corporate hospitality
  11. Customers
  12. Direct mail
  13. Email marketing
  14. Events
  15. Internet marketing
  16. Location marketing
  17. Media relations
  18. Mobile marketing
  19. Networking
  20. Packaging
  21. Point of sale
  22. Printed matter
  23. Professional selling
  24. Promotional gifts
  25. Referrals
  26. Retail
  27. Sales promotion
  28. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  29. Social media
  30. Sponsorship
  31. Telemarketing
  32. Vehicle livery
  33. Videos
  34. Website
  35. Word of mouth
  36. Writing

With regards to the last category, copywriting used to be a specific skill, used within the advertising industry. With the advent of internet marketing, the ability to write clearly, combined with an explosion in innovative software means that writing is a promotional device in its own right.

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.

Internal website links are important

By Internet marketing, SEO No Comments

Links (sometimes called backlinks) coming into your website are still a good idea. However, from an SEO perspective, they are not as important as they used to be.

On the other hand, links within your own website are definitely important.

Anchor text should be part of your SEO link building strategy.

Anchor text is the text contained within a hyperlink. The search engines analyse this. For example …or… The Marketing Compass impartial marketing advice.

Search engines examine anchor text in order to figure out what the destination web page is about.

They are doing their best to help the searcher. Think of it this way, Google would like to know as much as possible about the subject of the page to which the link points.

Therefore, inserting keywords into anchor text helps search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo to do a better job.

Have you noticed how Wikipedia uses anchor text? One topic leads to another and yet another. It is tempting to keep clicking there, isn’t it?

Wikipedia is at the top of page 1 for millions of items and I have no doubt that its extensive use of anchor text has helped it to get there.

If you are interested in SEO, here are 12 SEO tips. I use these tips regularly.

Here is a tip for you: having written a web page or a blog, go back through it and think about other relevant pages or blogs within your own site that you could link to.

If you have an easy-to-use CMS (Content Management System), such as WordPress, you will be able to do this without getting involved in the HTML code.

This blog is based on an entry within The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia.

What is inbound marketing?

By Internet marketing, Marketing professional services, Marketing strategy, Psychology No Comments

The vast majority of your market is not looking to buy your product or service today.

Or tomorrow, for that matter.

A small percentage is actively looking.

Inbound marketing brings these people to you.

The result is more sales enquires and sales.

Inbound marketers share information with prospective customers via digital marketing, in creative, interesting ways.

The information needs to be helpful and informative.

The problem is that many enterprises do not wish to share their knowledge.

“We have never done this before!” they exclaim.

“Why should we give away what we know for free?” they ask.

The counter-argument is that their competitors are already out there doing it.

Sharing knowledge sure beats asking strangers if they would like to buy from you (I know, as I used to do this for Rank Xerox when I was a young salesperson).

Besides, I have found that the more I share, the more I have to learn.

Here is an entry within The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia regarding inbound marketing.

Here is a blog regarding Push versus Pull marketing.

How to structure your knowledge

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, SEO, Writing No Comments

If you are a subject expert, you may have written a single book, several books or a series of blogs. You may have slide decks, course handouts or articles that you have written. You have probably answered questions via email and during meetings.

The information surrounding any given subject is continually expanding and you may have considered creating a knowledgebase, wiki or encyclopedia.

For some time, I have been in this position and I have looked at a number of ways of achieving this. Finally, I opted for a premium WordPress plugin called Enclyopedia Pro.

Here is the project so far:  The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia

There is a long way to go, as I have several thousand entries to add.

I am finding that this project is making me think about my subject area (marketing) in new ways and how everything fits together.

There is an SEO benefit from publishing your knowledge.

Personally, I do not have any problems with sharing my knowledge. I wonder whether you feel the same?

Stepping out of the shadows

By Customers, Internet marketing, Social media No Comments

If you want to generate better results on social media, engage with people. You can do this via Likes, Comments, Shares and Messages.

When you do this…

Be interesting. Be positive. Be inquisitive. Be yourself.

I have noticed that many enterprises don’t engage, they only broadcast. For example by continually sharing their blog posts.

Think of it this way. Do you prefer to be shouted at or to have conversations with interesting people?

Many people don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

I quite understand this, however, when it comes to promotion you have to step out of the shadows and start interacting with customers.