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Blogging & SEO

10 Steps to Create a Successful Launch Plan for your Business

Whether you’re launching a completely new brand, or a new product for your existing brand, it’s important to have a plan in place to create as much noise about your launch as possible. Hit the ground running and start as you mean to go on – your launch plan doesn’t need to be complicated or super time consuming, it just needs to be effective. Read on to discover my 10 simple steps to create a successful launch for your business…

1. Plan your content

Successful Launch PlanThe first step to your successful launch is to plan exactly how you’re going to do it. This step almost essentially comes last on this list, but it will also be the first thing that you should do. Once you’ve read ahead to understand all the different types of content that you should be creating for your launch, it’s time to sit down and create a launch plan.

Your launch should go off with a bang from day one, and last a whole week, to make sure your entire audience sees your launch and has the chance to interact and engage with it. Using a spread sheet or print out planner, outline exactly what you’re going to be doing on each day, including your social media posts, email marketing, competition promo and more. Create a schedule and stick to it, or even better, schedule all of your content in advance of your launch, and keep on top of interaction and engagement.

2. Create a blog post

One of the easiest ways to promote your new business or product, and provide your audience with everything they need to know in one place is through a blog post. Create a blog post that announces your launch. Tell your audience how they can benefit from this new service or product, and let them know how they can invest.

Consider linking in any additional launch activities in your blog post too, such as your launch competition and your social channels to strengthen each different method you’re using to promote your launch.

Starting with a blog post about your launch from day one is great, as you can drive traffic through to this during your week long promotions from different channels.

3. Create a social buzz

Successful Launch Plan

You can start to create some excitement on social media ahead of your launch, to ensure your audience is engaged when the time does come to start promoting your new business, product or service. A week in advance, publish a few ‘sneak preview’ style posts or explain that you’re working on something new that you can’t wait to share with everyone.

When it comes to your week long launch, publish something everyday to keep your audience excited about what you’re doing. Ideally you want to get people off of the social platform and onto your website, so use links to direct people to find out more – this is where your blog post comes in, but remember to keep mixing things up, so direct them through to the blog post one day, and to your website home page or new product listing etc another.

4. Offer an amazing opt-in

This is the ideal time to capture your audiences’ email addresses and encourage them to stay engaged with your brand, throughout your launch and beyond. Ready for going live, create an amazing opt-in to encourage anyone that lands on your site through your launch to subscribe to your mailing list. Your opt-in could be anything from a downloadable guide, checklist or workbook, to a challenge or printable gift such as a print, postcard or digital product.

Add a pop-up to your website to capture your visitors and convert them into subscribers. Avoid putting people off with immediate pop-ups though, wait until someone has been on your site for around 30 seconds before you invite them to subscribe. Make sure you write an amazing snippet of copy to convince them that they need your freebie in their lives too!

5. Get others involved

There’s nothing like word-of-mouth to spread new launches like wildfire. Think word-of-mouth in the digital age though, by getting others to share your content on their social media and tag you, or publish a guest post on their blog and link back to your launch blog post.

Agreeing and arranging guest posts and other social accounts to promote what you’re doing can take time and negotiation, so set this in place as far in advance as you can. This will also give you time to prepare any content that you might need to supply. If you’re just getting started you might need to offer something in return to seal the deal, such as a guest post swap, or offering to promote something they are doing on your social media in exchange for the same.

6. Create a launch competition

Successful Launch Plan

An amazing way to get your current audience really engaged with what you’re doing is with a launch competition. In addition, if you run your competition a certain way, you could also massively extend your reach and get loads more people excited about your launch.

Consider running a week long competition via Facebook and Instagram. In order to enter, ask that the user follows/likes your page (if they don’t already) and tags three people they know would love the prize. Consider what your prize will be carefully, as it needs to be something that your dream audience would love, in order to attract your target market. This might be the new product that you’re launching, or a service bundle if you’re a service based business. Make sure you reply to everyone who enters to keep increasing the engagement on the post.

7. Notify your email subscribers

If you’ve already been working on building an email list involve them with your launch too. Nobody likes to be bombarded with emails everyday, but a sending a couple out to your list during the week is a great way to cash in on your audience that are already engaged with your brand. Notify them of your launch, and encourage them to get involved with your competition too.

8. Promote your news in Facebook groups

Successful Launch PlanFacebook grounds are ready made audiences, just waiting to hear about your exciting news. While it’s important not to seem self-promotional or like you’re spamming the group, lots of groups would be happy for you to share your success.

When it comes to promoting your launch via Facebook groups, come at it from a personal achievement angle. Let the group know that you’re really excited about it, and that you’d love to hear what everyone thinks.

9. Reach a greater audience with pins

Generate more traffic to your launch blog post using Pinterest. Create multiple graphics and start to pin them ahead of your official launch to encourage some repins. Make sure you set everything up so that when people find your pins they can easily click through to your blog post, and don’t forget the keyword rich description too.

10. Allocate a small budget

You can make your launch go that little bit further by allocating a small budget for Facebook and Instagram ads. This will help you extend your reach and drive more people through to your website, through to your competition, blog post, opt-in and your new product or service. Create your content in advance for your ads, and keep an eye on them and tweak where needed during your launch week.

Now that you have a launch plan in place, what are you waiting for? If you’ve had success with a recent launch, share your experiences and advice here…

Three Easy Ways to Boost your SEO and Drive More Traffic

on-site blog

Google is a key driver of highly targeted traffic. When your dream customers and clients are looking for you, whether they know it or not, you want them to find you. Highly competitive and seemingly tricky to navigate, getting to the top of the search engine results for your targeted keywords is gold dust, and can have a greatly positive impact on your business.

By being in the right place at the right time(at the top of google), you can save yourself a lot time and money. Imagine no longer having to reach out to your potential customers, instead, they come to you. This is all possible with SEO, and I’m going to share with you a few key things that you can do to boost your search engine rankings and start to drive more traffic…

Getting Started…

Easy Ways to Boost SEO

SEO can be tricky to get your head around, which means many entrepreneurs often over complicate things. In implementing simple methods, SEO can become easier, manageable, and can help you drive highly relevant traffic to your website.

Putting some time aside to work on your SEO is important though. It’s likley that your competitors are working on

1. Rework old content

Remember to focus on one key word or phrase per page. Whether it’s a blog post or a landing page, you can rework your old pages to start bringing in new traffic. Make sure your focus keyword on each page is still going to deliver when it comes to brining your target audience to you, don’t be afraid to change the focus to generate more traffic.

Once you have settled on the focus keyword for each page, use the Yoastplugin or similar to ensure your content is properly optimised. Follow the recommendations in terms of readability and keyword density, and make sure that your images are optimised for your focus keyword too.

In addition, consider rewriting your page title and meta description, to improve your click through rate. The title tag and meta description for each page aren’t just for search engines, they are also an opportunity to sell your content to the user. The more clicks you get through to your content, the higher Google will rate your page.

It doesn’t end there though, once you’ve got someone to click through, it’s important to encourage them to read the entire post and engage with your content. A longer dwell time is also an indicator to Google that your content is really special and should be found by as many people as possible.

If you’ve already got lots of content on your website, try reworking it to start to increase your website traffic. You want to make the most out of the time you’ve already put into creating lots of engaging and interesting content for your audience, so make sure it’s working as hard as it can be.

2. Add an on-site blog

If you don’t have an on-site blog, consider introducing one to grow your audience further and drive more traffic through search. An on-site blog is a proven way to increase search engine results and increase the number of search terms that your site is found for.

If you don’t have a lot of time or budget to put into this it’s OK to start small to begin with. The key to increasing your search traffic with a blog is consistency. The posts that you publish should be strategic, adding value for your dream customer, as well as considering search trends. Start by outlining your target keywords, consider content trends, and think about what your customers might want from you. Your content should provide information that they can’t find elsewhere, while remaining highly relevant to your business.

Your on-site blog will help Google gain a better picture of what you do. With every post you publish, you’ll be strengthening that understanding, helping Google to direct users to your site when they are searching for what you do.

For further guidance on creating an on-site blog that works for both the reader and search engines, read my guide ‘Getting Started With Your Lifestyle Brand’s On-Site Blog’ here.

3. Make sure your site speed and design is up to scratch

This is so so important. I can’t tell you how many businesses that I’ve seen fall short because of this. If your site speed is slow, or your site is difficult to navigate on either desktop or mobile, or both, Google will automatically derank you because of this.

As mentioned above, how people behave on your site matters too. Google measures absolutely every move a user makes on your site, to gain a better understanding of how popular you are, and whether other users might benefit from finding your site first, above your competitors.

If your site is slow, difficult to navigate, or not appealing in design and function, you’ll find that your bounce rate is high, and your dwell time low. You want to ensure people are staying on your site, clicking through to your other pages, filling in your contact form and signing up to your mailing list. Not just for Google either, of course you want those that find your site to interact with it fully, to buy what your selling, or to contact you to inquire about your services. Of course you want the traffic that you bring in to convert, but you also want to send all those positive signs to Google that your site is worth ranking highly.

Use theGoogle PageSpeed Insights toolto determine whether your site is running as quickly as it could be. When it comes to functionality, use your Google Analytics to understand where people are dropping off your site and how you might be able to improve their experience. You might even consider asking a few friends to use your site, and write down anything that they found difficult, such as not being able to find the button or page that they needed.

It will be well worth hiring a web developer or speed specialist to help you improve your customer experience and site speed. This will ensure that all the hard work you’re putting into publishing quality content and optimising your site for keywords will pay off.

Summary…

The above might look like a lot of information, but it boils down to three simple key steps. You can implement these three steps in as little as a few working days. Spending a little extra time on your content, website functionality and speed could start to bring in lots of traffic that you’ve been missing out on.

If you have lots of blog posts and landing pages that aren’t delivering, start here and work through each page to improve it’s visibility. If you have a lot of pages that need a revamp, try setting aside one afternoon a week to slowly work through everything.

If you’re yet to introduce an on-site blog, consider implementing this as soon as possible. Again an afternoon a week can go a long way to increasing your search traffic, by populating your site with highly relevant content that your audience will love.

Finally, make sure your site is up to scratch. Pay an expert here to help you ensure that your site works perfectly for both the user and search engines.

What are your experiences with SEO? Do you have any tips or ideas of your own? Comment below, or submit any questions you might have here…

Getting Started With Your Brand’s On-Site Blog

on-site blog

An on-site blog can be an extremely powerful tool, and could be the solution to take your content marketing to the next level. Whether you’re yet to create an on-site blog for your business, or you gave blogging a go, but quickly ran out of inspiration or time, I’m here to tell you that a strategic and creative blog could help you reach the goals that you’ve set out for your brand.

Read on to find out how an on-site blog could benefit you, as well as discovering easy to implement strategies to ensure your blog is a success…

 

How Lifestyle Brands can Benefit From an On-Site Blog…

on-site blog

A blog could transform your traffic, and has the ability to triple your traffic and more. Here are a few benefits to introducing a blog to your website:

1. Improves SEO

When it comes to increasing your search engine rankings, and being ranked for multiple terms and queries, an on-site blog is key. Think about it, for many businesses there are lots of search terms your dream client or customer might find you through, but how can you optimise your site for all of them when it’s only made up of 10 pages? An on-site blog enables you to create searchable content, adding it to your site regularly, building a stronger picture of what you do for Google, as well as providing you with pages that can be optimised for key search terms.

2. Makes driving traffic through Pinterest easy

Pinterest can be an impressive driver of traffic, but so many brands and businesses are not utilizing this amazing tool. This is specifically true for lifestyle brands, as there is a huge audience on Pinterest surrounding fashion, beauty, interior design, health and fitness, bridal…and all other lifestyle industries. When you have an on-site blog that has great content and visuals, you can drive highly targeted traffic to your blog posts using Pinterest.

If you would like to implement Pinterest marketing for your business, you can download my guide ‘How to Triple your Website Traffic with Pinterest’ here.

3. Adds value to your dream customer

Creating content that your dream customer will love will bring them to you. A creative and strategic on-site blog that provides answers, ideas and inspiration that your ideal customer is looking for is a great way to drive traffic without initially trying to push a sale. When you’re a product or service based website, an on-site blog presents a fantastic opportunity to drive traffic through social media without publishing content aimed at making sales.

Of course ultimately you want the traffic that comes through your blog content to convert, whether that’s a mailing list signup or a sale. An on-site blog is a great way to build your audience and specifically target your dream customer, by providing them with value. This in turn will result in a growing and engaged customer base, and of course more sales.

 

How to Create Blog Content that will Make an Impact…

on-site blog

Creating blog content is all well and good, but it’s important to be strategic about the content that you create in order to see a great return on investment. Here are a few steps that you can take to ensure your on-site blog is working as hard as possible.

1. Plan ahead

Look into where your weak spots are when it comes to your search traffic. Are there any key search terms that you’re not ranking for? Think outside the box and consider all of the ways that your customer might be searching for you. Write a list of all of the keywords and phrases and create a content plan to incorporate these keywords and phrases into.

Depending on how many keywords and phrases you need to cover, your plan could be anything from three months to a year. Focus on one keyword/phrase per post, and create content consistently to cover all areas, once a week or more if possible.

2. Consider trends and seasons

Take notice of content trends. What’s working well on Google, what are your competitors doing, what’s receiving the most shares on social? You want to create content that people are actually looking for, and that will add value to them. In addition, consider seasonal trends, dates and occasions to plan for – make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to boost your traffic.

3. Push content through social

Make sure you share all of your blog posts through social. Don’t just do this once though. Did you know that around only 6% of your audience see each post you publish. That’s a tiny amount! Because of this, it’s totally OK to re-share your content several times. If you’re worried about repeating yourself, just create a new visual and caption each time you share a blog post to keep pushing traffic through to this piece of content.

Where possible, create evergreen content. This is content that won’t date or become irrelevant, and provides the perfect opportunity to be re-shared throughout the year to keep your audience engaged.

4. Utilize Pinterest

Make sure you pin all of your blog posts to your Pinterest boards to make your content work even harder. You can repin posts several times, you just need to create a new visual each time.

5. Create a content calendar

Creating a successful on-site blog does require regular commitment and strategic planning. In creating a content calendar you can set out a clear strategy and a timeline to stick to. You might find that you need to put aside one day a week to create all of the content and the visuals that you need to make the most of your on-site blog, but in planning ahead you can make the most of the time that you have to put into making your on-site blog a success.

Consistency is key when it comes to your on-site blog. It takes time to build traction and start to generate interest. If ever in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they want from you. Test things and work towards a strategy that delivers results. When you get it right, an on-site blog can create amazing results for your lifestyle brand.

Have you seen great success with an on-site blog for your brand? Comment and share your experience, or post any questions you have below.

Why You Should Optimise your Website for Voice Search

With the number of devices offering voice controlled search on the up, you could be missing out on a whole lot of traffic if your site isn’t currently optimised for voice search.

With Google’s Voice Search, Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alex and Google Home, voice search is on the up. Currently, 50% of online searches are carried out by a mobile device, and 20% of those searches are voice searches.

Optimising for voice search is clearly important, as why wouldn’t you want to tap into that extra source of traffic? It doesn’t have to be super complex or take you ages to put into practice either.

Let me show you how to optimise your website for voice search, in just a few simple steps…

 

The Techy Bit…

Voice search is considered to continue to grow, with an estimated 50% of all searches being carried out via voice by 2020. That’s not even that far away…

The first step is to get your head around how voice search actually works, so that you can make sure your site is pinging up as a top result when people search by voice.

Voice search has two key elements – NLP, known as natural language processing, and text-to-speech technology. The tech behind it isn’t actually new, and it’s been in use since 2002. What is new is how mainstream smartphones are now, meaning we’re now using voice search more than we ever did previously.

When someone carries out a search via voice, the question is entered into a database, and then the algorithm gets to work matching the question to highly relevant answers. When it comes to Google, instead of showing the standard search engine results page (or SERPs), the answer box is shown. It is here that the NLP comes in, to help work out what the user’s intent is, and the context of the request.

 

How Voice Search is Different

At this point you might be thinking ‘how can I optimise my site for voice search? What’s the difference between doing that and optimising for normal keywords?’. The answer is that voice search queries tend to be a little different to typed queries, so in order to optimise for both typed queries and voice queries, you have to think about how people might search for things if they were speaking, instead of typing.

Voice searches tend to be more conversational, which does differ from text-based searches. As an example, if I wanted to look for a specialist fashion brand that provided clothing to those under 5”3 (like me!), I might search for ‘petite fashion brand’. If I was asking via voice search, I might say something like ‘find a fashion brand that offers a petite clothing range’. See, there’s a difference, a subtle one, but a difference that matters.

If you’re still not convinced of voice search, here are some stats, and everyone loves stats, right?

  1. 1.43% of people use it because they find it quicker/easier
  2. 2. 42% use it while they are driving or at other times that they can’t search manually
  3. 3. 38% find it a more enjoyable way to search.

 

Optimising for Voice Search

Optimise your website for voice search

Optimising for voice search ensures you’re not missing out on a whole lot of traffic. The more people that are able to find us when looking for our products our services, the more sales, conversions, bookings etc.

Here’s a few things you can do to make your site more searchable via voice…

 

1. Create new content specifically for voice search, or improve your current content

If you’ve worked on your on-site SEO before, it’s likely you’ve focused on a few target keywords, and optimised your content for these. You need to do the same again for voice search. If you’re not sure about disrupting/changing your current content, create a few new pieces of content specifically designed to drive traffic through voice search.

Consider your services and/or products, and think about what someone might say if they were looking for you and what you do. Make a note of these search phrases and create some content around that, such as blog posts.

 

2. Create lists

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to creating content for voice search, lists are a great option. Include questions (that people might use when searching for you) and answers in your list style posts, as an easy way to include your voice search phrases in your content.

 

4. Focus on long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords (search phrases that include five or more words) should generally be part of your SEO strategy anyway, but they are particularly important for voice search. Think about phrases and keywords that your customer might use in conversation, and focus on these.

 

5. Make sure that your mobile site is up to scratch

Your mobile site is super super important anyway, but if the mobile version of your site isn’t top notch it’s unlikely that you’ll rank well for voice search. You can use this tool to check if your website is mobile friendly, and understand what you might need to change to optimise for mobile.

 

If you’re yet to optimise your site for voice search, try introducing a few new blog posts to open up your search traffic. Just a few hours effort could encourage traffic from voice searches, and over time you can build up your content further to cover all areas of your business.

Have you already optimised your site for voice search? Comment and let others know how you got on, and if you have any further tips and tricks….

How to Create More Impact with your Content

Create more impact with your content

Content marketing is certainly a buzzword when it comes to building and growing brands in the lifestyle industries. Because of this, it can feel like you should be creating unique content to put out everyday. When you’re creating content for the sake of it though, it can lose all meaning. Soon you’ll find yourself becoming overwhelmed as you try to come up with new ideas all the time. Meanwhile, you’re also underwhelmed by the level of impact your content creation is achieving.

Does this sound familiar?

I’m here to tell you to stop what you’re doing. As you end up going round and round in circles, making little progress, think about whether you could be doing something differently…

Let me show you how flipping what you do on it’s head could create the impact that you’ve been looking for…

 

Create Less Content, Share More

This approach is actually really simple and effective, you just have to change your mindset when it comes to content creation. Here’s how:

Instead of putting all your energy into creating endless content streams, focus on promoting that content. If you currently spend eight hours a week producing three or four pieces of content, and one hour promoting it, flip this round. Instead spend two to three hours a week producing content, and the rest of your time promoting it. This will result in more traffic, more eyes on your content, and more conversions, which is probably what you’ve been working towards all along.

 

The Fear of Oversharing

Create More Impact with your Content

Where we are going wrong is assuming it’s only acceptable to share a new piece of content once. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to promoting your content, social media, your email list and your own website should be at the forefront of your strategy.

What most of us do when we create a new piece of content is share it once, on just a few platforms, and leave it to get swallowed up by the rest of the noise. Of course this results in just a few clicks, maybe a share, maybe one conversion, but your content could be working so much harder.

Algorithms, the time you post and a bunch of other factors mean that around only 7% of your followers see your posts. This means that even if you share the same content ten times, you still won’t reach your entire audience. When there are so many users that could benefit from the content you’re creating, it only seems fair to make sure that they get the chance to see it.

The same goes for your email newsletters – only a small percentage of your mailing list will actually read each email that you send out.

Finally, you could be pushing your blog posts and opt-in freebies harder on your website too. Every time you create a new blog post, link back to relevant blog posts and freebies within it, to grow your email list and keep people engaged with your content. I’m going to do it myself at the end of this post.

You can also be sure that I’ll publish this post several times across my social media, and not just in the coming weeks either. This blog post is evergreen, in that it will be relevant for a long time. The more content you can create like this the better. This leaves you with content that stays relevant to your audience, that you can keep sharing so that everyone who might find it helpful will find it.

 

Repurpose your Content

I’m not necessarily saying that you should re-share the same blog posts and freebies with the same images and captions over and over. For anyone landing on your Instagram feed this isn’t going to look great. Instead you should repurpose your content.

This means creating new visuals, captions and emails, to ensure your feeds still look interesting and relevant, while making the content you already have go further. Don’t be afraid to share the same piece of content several times in one month, or to promote a freebie you created over a year ago. All of the content you have created could be working so much harder for you, and as long as it’s still relevant to your audience, it can continue to bring in leads even years after you’ve created it.

 

Focusing your Content Marketing Strategy

Now that you have changed your mindset when it comes to content creation for your business, it’s time to pin down your strategy. You can create a set routine for each week, which will ensure you make the most out of your content, with minimum effort. It might look a little something like this:

– Spend an hour creating a content plan for your week. This should include your social media posts, your email marketing, and time to produce just one new piece of content.

– Spend 3-4 hours creating a new blog post or freebie. Focus on quality, rather than quantity, and if possible create a piece of content that you can share for a long time to come.

– Next create content for your social media. Create new visuals and captions to promote older content, as well as for your new piece of content. If you are publishing on average two social media posts a day across four channels, this shouldn’t take more than an hour or two.

– Schedule all your content. I can’t stress enough just how much time this saves, plus you’ll never forget to publish a post as it’s all automated. Sit down and spend an hour scheduling all of your content across your various channels, don’t forget to use your analytics to find the best times to post. You can even schedule Pinterest pins and Facebook group posts, so that you don’t have to anything manually.

– If an email newsletter is part of your content marketing plan for the week, include a section with a link to a blog post or a freebie. The whole focus of the email doesn’t have to be on this piece of content, but when you’re emailing your mailing list about something else, it’s always a good idea to include a little push to a relevant piece of content at the end.

Remember to keep things interesting – don’t just focus on promoting via your various channels. In regards to social media, if you publish posts daily consider this approach: Three content promo posts, two inspirational/motivational post, two product posts and two posts that features you.

Change your focus and you’ll start to see the kind of response you’ve been looking for. Stop focusing on creating, and instead focus on promoting. Don’t be afraid to push your content out to your audience again and again. If you’re happy enough to publish a piece of content on your website, you should be happy enough to put it in front of your entire audience. The only way to reach your entire audience is to promote it multiple times. Do this and you’ll really start to see just how powerful content marketing can be…

 

If you’d like to learn how you can triple your traffic using Pinterest and take your content marketing to the next level, you can access my free guide here:

How do you approach your content marketing, and what have you found success in? Comment and share your own experiences…