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Email Sender Statistics Demystified

If you’ve spent any time among marketing automation, especially emails, you’ll probably notice email sender statistics. And you’ll probably notice a lot of ambiguity for how you can change your sender statistics.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard

The Basics

An email campaign report is made up of two primary components: email delivery statistics and engagement statistics. Both of these combine to create your overall email sender statistic.

 

Email delivery statistics are made up of hard bounces, soft bounces, marked as spam, and repressions.

A hard bounce is a failure to deliver. These will lower your sender status if you have too many. Try to keep these under 2%.

A soft bounce is a temporary failure to deliver. Two of these will not lower your sender status, but they become a hard bounce on the third failure, which will lower your sender status. Soft bounces are a warning the email might be invalid.

Marked as spam were emails delivered, but were flagged by the email provider as spam and placed in the junk folder.

A repression is an email that has been suppressed by the tool you’re using. Some software, such as SharpSpring, will automatically suppress emails that are “high risk”— those that have been bought and sold on lists heavily and are often blacklisted by spam watchdogs.

 

Engagement statistics are made up of deliveries, opens, and possibly internal clicks.

Deliveries are emails that were successfully delivered to the address.

Opens are emails that were opened by the client.

Internal clicks are when the person clicked on a link within the email.

You need low hard bounces, high engagement, and high volume in order to improve your sender status. Until you have sent multiple thousands of emails, you will be considered a low-quality sender for the safety of already-established high quality senders

 

Best Practices

You want to make sure your lists are clean before sending anything to them. Sites such as BriteVerify allow you to get detailed reports of how many emails will hard bounce or be repressed because the emails are associated with spam, and return you a clean list.

If the list has low percentages of bad emails, it’s safe to use.

When it comes to soft bounces, keeping an eye on emails that have soft bounced is critical. You can either manually check who has two bounces, or you can rely on an automatically-built list that remove emails from your lists after two soft bounces.

You also want to be making sure your subject lines are attention-grabbing and enticing to keep engagement up. Testing different subject line lengths, offers, keywords, and “sent from” addresses Having people open your emails helps establish you as a high quality sender.

Also segmenting your lists to those who primarily engage with your emails to send the majority of your communication to them, only doing infrequent mass mailings, helps keep your engagement statistics high.

All of this must be done over an extended period of time, with a large volume of emails. The amount of emails it takes to be considered a good sender fluctuates, but is multiple thousands of emails. Building up a reputation with a solid, reputable email provider is necessary to work your way up to proving yourself a good sender.

So What About Social Media?

Two businessman connecting puzzle pieces togheter with copy space

What a beautiful landscape! And what about your Social Media Landscape?

So what about Social media? Is your company social yet? Or have you tried it, but didn’t have the time to manage it, and now have some ghost page that gets little to no engagement?

Indeed, social media has now been around for a while but not all companies or professionals are online. More and more, companies want to see value in a network before dedicating a resource to social media. They’re anxious to know how many new leads and customers a post, tweet or update will attract. So where does one start? Or start again, if this is your second time around!

What is your landscape?

Well first things first, where are your customers? And your competition? What about market trends? Start by doing some research and answering these questions — ideally with a social media audit. The key is not to try and be everywhere, but to find the right place. An audit will allow you to have a full overview of your social landscape and identify your strengths as well as your possible area of focus. When doing an audit, work with professionals (like the PROSAR team!) to get insight, feedback and a strategic overview, without having to invest in all the tools. For more info on what an audit includes and how to start, take a look at one of my past articles on the topic: 4 Tips when doing your first Social Media Audit.

 

Now that you see the lay of the land, pick a direction

Now that you have an idea of where you are and where you should be, make a choice. Is it LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google+? Your audit would have given you an overview of what your competition is doing and how engaged your industry is with social media. Sometimes, it is possible that an industry or market is not using social media or might not yet see the need for it. This should not stop you from being engaged, and can even allow you to innovate in your field, but you will need to choose a particular focus. Do you want to improve communication with your customers? Do you want to reach out to new providers, partners or resellers? Perhaps you are in an industrial or manufacturing industry and want to be recognized as a reference in your field. Depending on your goal, you will be able to determine the best network for you. To start off, let’s take a look at LinkedIn. To learn more about the channels to consider and how to build your, check out our Online Marketing Plan blog.

 

The LinkedIn Landscape

Linkedin is a B2B focused platform. Beyond job searching, it is being used more and more as a way to connect with likeminded professionals and establish new business relationships. It is a place to create mindshare, position yourself as an expert or reference for your customers, and share knowledge through short articles that are then associated to your profile. If you have a strong team that is comfortable in becoming an ambassador for your company, and that you operate in the B2B space, LinkedIn could be a good opportunity for you to extend your reach quickly and start talking to CEOs, executives and other senior managers that are looking for information. If this sounds like your type of environment, here are the main things you need to consider:

  1. Create a company page

If you don’t already have one this is the place to start. Create one so your employees can tag the company in each of their profile. This will also be a good place for prospects to find information about your company and access the website from one central place on Linkedin.

 

  1. Create strong profiles

Profiles are an essential step when starting on LinkedIn. Prospects will click on profiles to learn more about the people and the company. Make sure your team has professional pictures, a good headline and an informative summary with engaging content.

 

  1. Craft your company message

Give your team a 1-2 liner to describe what you sell and your corporate mission. By using the same keywords, the team will reinforce this message and your brand positioning, as well as arm them with the terms they can use to find more info online and better understand your solution.

 

These first few steps will help you build your professional presence online and help you develop ambassadors within your company walls. ‘’Start from the heart’’ to improve your branding and help it reach its potential. Get in touch with PROSAR today to have your first Social Media Audit and an overview of your landscape!

Own Your Content

When you think of “content creation”, you probably think of a buzzword that vaguely means blog posts, maybe social media, but generally involving hours and hours of writing for somebody “over there” because content creation is a marketing task that can be cut when budget needs to go elsewhere.

What if I told you that you already have content created, live, and waiting for ownership— even if you’ve never had a blog?

Every piece of information you have on the internet, from your location to your contact information to your company description, is content. Each word you have put on your website or social media profile is an opportunity to build rapport and brand yourself.

 

Everything is Content

The internet relies on content to exist. Web design is to facilitate users reading content. Searches are to find content. If you have information on the internet, you have content.

 

Does Anybody Own It?

This is a question to ask yourself seriously before you begin evaluating your content. While it can be tempting to dodge this question so as not to take responsibility for bad content, answering it— at least for future endeavours— is necessary to improve your online presence.

Responsible for content doesn’t necessarily mean you write it. What it does mean is you create a standard for all future content, keep tabs on what content you have, and prune any unnecessary or outdated content.

 

Managing It

Once you’ve taken or assigned responsibility for your web content, it’s important to keep checking up on both the state of your content, and any rules that are being passed about web content.

This means:

  • Regular content audits to see what you have online
  • Pruning irrelevant content once it becomes irrelevant
  • Reading up on legal requirements such as AODA
  • Making sure all new content meets those requirements

While this looks overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be all done at once (or even all the time). You can schedule content audits based on how often you refresh your content— a slowly changing site can have yearly reviews, with yearly pruning. Faster changing sites might need every six months, or quarterly. Unless you’re constantly adding new things to the website, it’s unlikely you’ll need more than that

Legal requirements for content aren’t published too often, and by updating your content creation processes you can ensure all future content is compliant. Not to mention, having regular content audits means you always know what you have, and don’t have to make content you don’t need anymore up to regulations.

 

Benefits

By owning your content, you can start to evaluate every aspect of your online presence for its effectiveness, and start to think of why people visit your site. Is your content something people want to look for? Does it answer their questions? Does it help them trust you?

Looking over your content means you start to be aware of where you stand. Once you know where you stand, it’s far easier to take next steps and improve.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard

5-Minute SEO Check You Can Do Yourself

Give this a try. Google personalizes search results to individual searchers so the results of your test won’t perfectly scale up to all the possible real-world searches, but it will provide you with an idea of where you stand and where you want be.

Stethoscope on laptop keyboard to diagnose seo

Keywords You Should Be Winning

Write down five keyword phrases you feel that your website should absolutely be found for other than branded terms like your company name or product names. Be specific. If you sell regionally, include your region. If your product addresses a specific need, describe it. For example, “monitoring software” is too general because it doesn’t describe what’s being monitored. “Network monitoring software” would be much better, but one could even go further and add more descriptors such as “free”, “home” or “open source”.

Type Them Into Google

Perform your search and look at the first page of the search results. Are you one of the top three search results? If not, are you elsewhere else in the search results?

If your website is not on the first page, ask yourself if your website has content relevant to this search. If it does, why isn’t it showing up? If you don’t have relevant content, and the keyword phrase is truly important, then you’ve just isolated content that needs to be created. After all, you’ve got to have content about a topic if you wish to be found for that topic.

Are your competitors doing better than you in the search results? If so, you’ll need to find out what they’re doing right so you can act to better compete against them.

Does the search results page feature ads either above the normal results, or along the side? Are your competitors advertising there? If they are, they’ve likely done the math and consider it a good investment. You should consider throwing your hat in the ring as well; otherwise they’re getting visitors that you could be getting.

Does the first page search results page feature any Google+ page results? If so, is your Google+ page listed there? Are your competitors? If you own a local business, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a properly setup Google+ for local business page so you can be featured prominently in this scenario.

Happy With Your Result?

For the searches where you are on the first page, read your website’s search result listing. Do you feel the wording is relevant? Do you feel it will compel people to click on it? Is it more compelling than the other search results?

What specific web page are people being brought to within your search result? Is it the page you’d expect? Is it the best page on your website for your target audience to land on? Does this page satisfy their search and provide them with an excellent experience? Will they likely do what you’d like them to do, such as making a purchase or providing their contact info?

Improving Your Result

If you found deficiencies in your website’s SEO performance, they need to be discussed with your team. There may well be legitimate reasons for what you’re seeing, and that can be part of the conversation. If there truly are problems, shedding light on them opens up the possibility for generating ideas on how to overcome them. If you don’t have in-house SEO staff to handle this, consider getting outside help. A SEO expert can look at your SEO check, further develop the keyword list, conducting searches in a way that isn’t influenced by Google’s personalization of search results. This evaluation will provide you with a much better idea of your website’s SEO performance, and from there you can create a roadmap to get to where you want to be.

PHOTO BY SCANRAIL/ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES

sending dynamic emails

Get Personal With Dynamic Emails

Custom messaging is the future of Internet communication.

 

Custom messaging, or dynamic messaging, is content that changes and is served on your website based on a visitor’s characteristics. Imagine going to a website and having only the product or service pages that most interest you being highlighted on its web pages. Or receiving an opportune email about the product or service you are the most interested in.

 

A lead visits your site for the first time? Provide them a white paper or an educational document about your products of services.  A visitor’s site visit history indicates they are ready to buy? Offer a quote or testimonial to close the deal.

 

Custom (dynamic) messaging is all about providing content that is personalized to a visitor, helping to increase online conversions.

 

In this previous article, SharpSpring’s Dynamic Landing Page feature is discussed. Today, we discuss SharpSpring’s Dynamic Email capability.

 

sending dynamic emails

gettyimages/ FeelPic

Dynamic Emails help to significantly increase conversion rates as we are delivering messages that are tailored to the recipient.

 

Dynamic Emails are single emails with contain content that changes based on information that we have on a lead. As an example, let’s use a lead who is interested in services that a Marketing Agency provides. These services could be Branding, Website Design & Development, Digital Marketing or Creative Services. When a lead shows an expressed interest in one of those services we can change the content in your email to be specific to that interest.

 

When the lead fills out a form on your site for more information on the service in which they are interested that triggers an automatic email to be sent from your automated marketing platform, such as SharpSpring. Using a Dynamic Email, we only need to create one email that sends to all leads who fill out the form – however the content within that email will be specific to the interest of that lead.
Not sure where to start with Dynamic Emails? Here are some ideas:

 

  • Use the contact field “Has an Opportunity”, and then create Dynamic Emails with variable content based whether or not the lead has an opportunity associated to them.
  • Lead Status – If a lead is a customer, email may point to our support forum or provide an email address for support or “Manage Your Account”. If the lead is not a customer, include an email segment that directs them to Sales.
  • Create a custom contact field called “Has Provided Review”. If a Customer has provided a review, then we show an email segment that points them to a “refer a friend” page. If the customer has not provided a review, we include an email segment pointing them to a review forum.

 

 

 

Above view of business man working place. Cup of coffee, laptop, notebook and pen. Business, education or blogging concept.

3 Considerations for Finding Better Blog Topics

Whether you’re just starting your company website or you’ve been in the game for a while, it’s no secret that blogging has become a central component of content marketing. And, the reason why it’s become so prevalent is because frequent and regular company blogging can significantly increase your page ranking. In today’s rich information world, however, simply maintaining an up-to-date blog is no longer enough. To attract and retain clients your blogs should be written in an engaging and meaningful style; they need to stand out and be deemed worthy of reading. After all, pretty much all your competitors are writing blogs too.

So, when it comes to writing blogs for your organization what’s the secret? How do you factor in both quantity and quality?

To get the most out of your blogs, to rank high on searches and convert more leads into sales, here are three important considerations

1. Get a vision for how you want to house your blogs

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing yourself or you’ve hired a team of experts. Before coming up with topics you should be prepared to ask yourself what you want in your blog and to do some research. If you’re stuck on this, go see what your competitors’ and others in your field are doing, you need to see what they already have that could appeal to your audience. This will help you see how you can make your blog page and content unique and more attractive. No matter what stage you’re in, if you’re in the midst of changing or revamping your blog page, aesthetics also plays a huge role in strengthening and building customer loyalty. Once you’ve come up with a good vision of how you want to structure and design your blog page, only then should you start fleshing out blog topics.

2. Find topics by looking within your company, and your staff

Your blog page should serve as an informative, interesting, and even enjoyable, user’s guide. Every aspect and angle of your service or product can be explored in ways that make them relevant and meaningful to your audience. Your blogs should be written in such a way that it clearly explains and showcases all the great qualities that your organization has to offer. And, what better way to pinpoint all the unique aspects of your company than to at look at your staff for guidance? Your employees reflect all the different units that make up your company. From first-hand experience, they typically know what benefits your service/product has to offer and how the organization meets clients’ needs on a day-to-day basis.

Ask your team questions like:

What are some frequently asked questions from our clients?

How do we enrich the lives of our clients?

What’s a memorable conversation that you’ve had with a client or supplier?

There are additional benefits in talking to your staff: it will not only help you choose some hot topics for your blog, this in-house communication will also increase your overall knowledge about your clients.

3. Go to the heart of your company – the clients

The secret of some the most successful company blogs is that they’ve managed to get into the mindset of their clients. Every communicator appreciates the need to know their audience! Reading your blog may be a potential client’s first impression of your company, so be conscious of starting a relationship and be prepared to carry on a conversation. The key to choosing informative and engaging blog topics that speak to your clients is to pick up on typical buyer cues. This will help you hone in on specific company messages to promote within your blog. You can also get a better idea of who your company’s clients are and flesh out their personas. With this information you can  connect more personally with your audience through your blogs, making it more likely to get referrals.

Writing company blogs regularly and effectively can seem like an onerous task. However, with proper planning of blog topics, it will prove to be an extremely rewarding marketing tool. Put in the time and effort in a strategic fashion, and it will surely pay off! If you are producing relevant and readable material, you can define your brand as a trustworthy and valued online resource; and that is something that your audience will appreciate.

Whether you’ve chosen to write blogs yourself or to hire a specialized marketing team, these are simple in-house tactics that will help as you strategize your blog topics. Read more on how to convert your topics into blogs so that they take advantage of blogging tactics like SEO and link building in “Blogging for Qualified SEO,” “Content Creation for Link Building,” and specific writing strategies in,  “Good Content is FRUITFUL: Your 8-Point Checklist to Writing Content Worth Reading.”

image credit: Dutko / gettyimages

12 Marketing Automation Must-Haves

Marketing automation gives you the power to drive more leads, convert leads to sales, and prove your marketing ROI. It enables personalized, one-to-one marketing.

 

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Here are a dozen must-have features (and their functions) in a well-equipped marketing automation platform:

Read More

Content Creation for Link Building

I’ve spoken about blogging for qualified SEO before, and blogging is an important part of increasing the traffic to your site. However, simply generating the content isn’t enough to be ranking in search. On top of the creation, you have to integrate the content into your website. A simple way to do this is link building.

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credit: gl0ck / gettyimages

Benefits of Link Building

Link building basically means linking your content internally among your own pages. While it’s important not to go overboard— Google will penalize you for putting in too many links, as it realizes you’re trying to trick its algorithm— placing links in relevant portions of your website helps their ranking and drives leads deeper into your website, reading more of your material and, as a result, qualifying themselves.

When you combine link building with a visitor tracking system such as SharpSpring, you gain valuable insight to your website traffic almost impossible to gain without link building.

 

Content Creation Strategy

Link building needs to be a part of your overall sales strategy. Since the primary purpose of producing content is to drive sales, it’s important you work link building into all your online content. This covers your blog posts, along with social media and even the text on your website.

A good link building strategy will holistically address how links fit in everywhere your website, outside of pushing links to social media and inter-linking blog posts. It sets up content management as part of your overall marketing efforts, which, in turn, helps keep you constantly up to date.

 

Maintenance

Now here comes the tricky part— finding time. While the initial effort to do a strategy might be a daunting effort, the resulting maintenance doesn’t have to be. It’s more a case of being aware that it will continue to be part of your link building process.

As you generate content, establish how and when links will be shared, and develop a system where you regularly review what content you want to promote within your website. Depending on how quickly you generate content, you could be looking at reviews every month or every six. Whatever you decide, make sure you use the time to take an inventory of what you’ve produced, how it supports your sales, and adjusting as necessary.

The ABCs of SEO: A Project Manager’s Perspective

To say that there is a lot to know about SEO is quite an understatement. For not only is there a great deal of knowledge, skill and experience required to be truly competent at planning and managing SEO campaigns, but the rules keep changing. Google is constantly changing the landscape, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically, but each new algorithm can drastically influence the effectiveness of your efforts. Mastering SEO is like going to school, and the class never ends.

That being said — and acknowledging upfront my ignorance to the wild inner-workings of Google’s algorithms and how to tame them — this article deals with a top-level approach to SEO.

Whether you work for an agency, a small enterprise, an international conglomerate, or a non-profit organization, SEO is one of the tools you use to improve your online presence. If it isn’t, it should be. Virtually every organization these days benefits from a strong online presence, and SEO is an integral part of the online marketing mix. But what do you know about SEO and are you confident in how to approach it? Hiring knowledgeable people is an excellent first step, but you still need to be able to manage these people, as well as your company’s expectations.

Businesswoman chase her target for success by flying use balloon
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We’ll start with a quick clarification, SEO can include the following tactics:

– Organic: Writing strategic content (web pages, blogs, white papers, social media, etc.) to help your website rank higher in searches.

– PPC (Pay Per Click): Paying Google (and other search engines) for keywords and ads to drive interested traffic to your website.

– Advertising: Paying other websites and online publications for banners and other online ads to drive interested traffic to your website.

[NB  Paid efforts can also be referred to as Search Engine Marketing or SEM.]

Here are three important criteria for project managers when considering SEO. Your staff, contract workers or agency should be able to explain and address each of these areas to your satisfaction.

 

Accountability

First and foremost is getting results. So what do you need to provide I order for your SEO efforts to be successful? Your agency, or inside team need guidance and information to direct their strategy and tactics. Consider the specific campaign objectives, areas of focus, targeted markets (demographic, geographic, industry), content, keywords and budget.

Then, what should you expect from your agency or staff? They will quantify your objectives (how many leads, submissions, page views, clicks, etc. are required to meet your objectives), perform keyword research and assessment, create/edit targeted content, design/write ads, create an implementation plan, provide ongoing monitoring and reports with recommendations. Working as a team, you will constantly refine and add to the tactics and work closer to your objectives.

Note that SEO is not a quick fix. Attracting new traffic with content is essential and long-term, but may take months to have a measurable effect. Even PPC and ads, which can generate traffic quickly, typically take some time to consistently drive the right audience to your website. Moving the new web traffic through your funnel, or nurturing the desired behaviour (e.g. register for a course, ask for a quote), is also a process that takes time to prefect.

 

Benefits

A marketing rule of thumb is that no-one does anything with receiving some form of benefit. It may more altruistic than “What’s in it for me?,” but there needs to be some form of gratification or reward to encourage action.

Consider how your targeted markets will benefit from engaging with you and articulate that clearly and in a compelling manner. Look at each action you would like your new web traffic to take (e.g. clicking through to website, clicking on a CTA/banner, signing up for your blog or e-newsletter, asking for a quote) and provide some incentive to help them along the path.

 

Congruency

Some see the ultimate objective of SEO to drive more traffic to your website; of course, it’s more sophisticated than that. Increasing traffic is a step towards developing business, so certainly it is important, but you need to attract the key audiences that fit your ideal personas. So, if you’re an organization that is focused on serving parents of elementary school kids, you’ll only be successful if a good portion of that new web traffic fits that demographic.

Beyond the audience you attract, your SEO initiatives must represent, and ideally promote, your brand (which should already take into consideration your mission vision, etc.). Organic, PPC or advertising all revolve around content. Ensure that the tone, vocabulary and information presented all embrace your organizational brand and culture. Even if one of those parents mentioned above does not click through to your website, you’ve had an awareness and branding opportunity to positively position your organization in their mind; maybe next time they will click through.

And, of course, your SEO efforts need to flow with any other marketing and advertising campaigns your organization is running. Not just from a brand perspective, even theme. You may be able to increase the effectiveness by leveraging the theme from an existing campaign.

What would you add to this list of important criteria for a project manager to consider when employing SEO? Add your thoughts to comments below.

SEO Plugins: Do they Help or Hinder?

What if the only thing your tax accountant could do was add?

What if the only thing your auto mechanic could do was change spark plugs?

What if the only thing your doctor could do was provide band aids?

I ask you these questions so you can consider how important it is to recognise limitations and to be careful about not getting lulled into a false sense of security. SEO plugins are very popular. Many people believe SEO plugins are all that’s required for SEO success. Although it’s true that SEO plugins are helpful when used properly, there’s a danger they’ll hinder the effectiveness of your SEO, and possibly of your overall marketing efforts.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock-482951451

SEO Plugins Are Good for Helping with Specific Tasks

Many content management systems, such as WordPress, don’t give you ready access to control the properties of your website that could help you influence your performance in the search results. That’s why there are SEO plugins. They provide you with this extra functionality.

With them, you can do things at the individual page level such as:

  • Implement a title tag that’s different than your page title.
  • Implement a meta description tag without having to go into the html code

Some SEO plugins also provide advanced options such as:

  • The creation of XML sitemaps so search engines can more easily discover your entire website
  • The creation of specific instructions for how search engines are to crawl and index your website

SEO Plugins Don’t Replace SEO Strategy and Actual Work

To create an effective SEO strategy, one needs to understand what potential clients are searching for. This involves an understanding of their needs and how the website’s offerings meet those needs. Then keyword research can be done to bridge the two. Without keyword research, the keywords implemented into your on-page SEO elements are baseless and possibly ineffective. Skipping the keyword process and jumping to on-page SEO elements is like putting the cart before the horse.

SEO plugins often provide feedback, such as scores, that are meant to reflect a web page’s SEO strength. This is fine as long as we remember to recognise the limitations. This tool can’t factor in how the page is meant to fit within an overall SEO strategy. Case in point: People often forget that you not only want your search result to appear in front of a lot of eyes, you also want a lot of people to click through to your website, and to be satisfied with what they get when they arrive. An automated SEO score may give you a poor score for not putting your keyword in your meta description, but the true priority of the meta description is to provide the best possible sales pitch to entice people to click on the search result and move on through the sales process. This can be done with our without the keyword.

There’s something else you need to be aware of.  Be very careful about using the advanced features of SEO plugins. Changing these settings could cause serious unintentional consequences, such as making your website invisible to search engines. If something like this were to happen, and it’s not immediately traced back to the SEO plugin setting, a lot of time and money may be spent trying to resolve the problem.

SEO Plugins Can Hinder Marketing Efforts

As mentioned, the lack of proper keyword research before implementing on-page SEO elements can cause problems. Here are some more:

  • Time gets wasted – If the person who gets tasked with this doesn’t have a decent understanding of SEO, their time will be spent trying anything to get a good score or a green light. This is time that would be better spent doing other marketing activities.
  • Marketing messages get restrained or derailed – the person tasked with this could make changes to page content that will end up disrupting the journey you intend the visitor to make towards becoming a customer.

Nobody wants to see bad scores or red warning lights, even if there’s a reasonable explanation. This, as we can see, can lead to problems. It helps in moments like this to take a step back and look at the big picture. Truly successful companies know that every decision and every action must properly align with the overall mission of the business. If they don’t, then why do them? Will fussing to make all the SEO plugin’s lights turn green contribute to the success of the company? I think not.

So, Help or Hinder?

SEO plugins have the potential to do either, or perhaps both at the same time. Therefore I recommend using them to do specific tasks, but take their “analysis” or “advice” with skepticism. Don’t take it literally, or you may compromise actual quality.

Keyword research is so fundamental to effective SEO, it really ought to be done by someone who knows what they’re doing. In regards to on-page SEO, if you don’t have access to a SEO professional, it’s a good idea to provide your staff with a guide regarding on-page SEO best practices so they can have the proper context for the various tactics.