SEO is extremely important to your website. When implemented properly, it can help to ensure that your site ranks high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and is therefore more noticeable than your competitors. However, there may come a time when you need to make significant changes to your website, and those changes could have an impact on the success of your SEO. If you’re considering making a change to your domain name, then first consider the possible effects of this move.
Your domain name is an integral part of the identity you give your website when you create it. It’s this identity that will hopefully distinguish your site in a significant manner from the multitude of other websites that are currently online. Creating a domain name is, therefore, an important step in making your site recognisable online.
That being said, you might find that your domain name needs a change at some point. There are several reasons why this might happen.If your business is undergoing a process of rebranding and is changing its name, then you’ll need to change your domain name in order to match that new branding. Another reason might be that your current domain name hasn’t helped your site gain a sufficient amount of traffic, so a change might spark a little more interest amongst members of your intended audience.
Alternatively, the nature of your specific industry might have changed to the extent that your current domain name seems irrelevant, inappropriate or unhelpful when it comes to distinguishing your product or service within the relevant marketplace. You simply might not even like your domain name. Lastly, you might want to change your domain’s extension. It’s possible that you bought a domain name with an extension that wasn’t too well-known and you now have the opportunity to acquire a better one.
Whatever the reason, if you do feel a change is necessary then make sure you think it through beforehand. This is because changing your domain name will affect your SEO rankings. A change to your domain means that all links on your website will not work anymore. As a result, Google will not be able to categorise these ‘dead links’ and your content will subsequently not be ranked.
There are, however, a few steps you can take to minimise the negative effects of changing your domain. Firstly it’s imperative for you to create a thorough backup of your current website. Your next step before making the change is transferring your website to its new domain. Last, but not least, you have to inform Google about the changes you are making. Google will then update the domain and your listing will be up to date.
No matter your reason for doing so, changing your domain name will definitely affect your SEO rankings. As you’ve seen, however, there are ways of mitigating the negative effects of making that change. Follow the right steps and your new website domain will hopefully find itself gaining traction at a steady rate on Google.
Video content is an especially beneficial and versatile means of engaging members of your organisation’s target audience. In fact, it has proven itself popular amongst South Africans and is deemed a necessary tool. The Media Online notes the relevance of YouTube and how, as of November 2019, 42% of South African’s watch videos on their mobile phones. Meanwhile, South Africa Today highlights the need for more diverse forms of content, one of them being video, and also recommends the regular use and promotion of video content across social media channels. There are various reasons why video content is such a useful avenue for businesses to promote themselves. Here are three of them.
Video content is concise
One great thing about video content is its effectiveness in delivering information to viewers in a quick and concise manner. With one click of a play button an audience member can be given all the information he or she needs in a short space of time. The trick is to say exactly what you need to say about your product or service in the sufficient amount of time. If it’s Facebook you’re advertising on, then your videos can only run for 10 to 30 seconds, while on YouTube they can run for 30 second to a minute. If you can effectively promote your brand in that amount of time, then you’re on your way to piquing peoples’ interests.
Videos can tell vivid stories
With video content you’re able to use more than just words to convey a message to your intended audience. With striking visuals that tell a compelling narrative, you’ll be able to grasp a viewer’s attention with greater ease and more immediacy. Of course, time is once again a factor in your storytelling, but if you manage to tell a story that’s both visually exciting and relevant to your brand and audience in a limited amount of time, then you’ve done your job properly.
Videos are great for user experience
A concise piece of marketing with striking sounds and visuals already has a chance of engaging and appealing to members of your audience, but there are other ways in which video content is great for user experience. Firstly, once a video appears in front of an intended viewer and they click on it, they’ll immediately be immersed in the experience of it and won’t have to do anymore searching or scrolling to receive the information they need. The content is right there, being played in front of them. What’s more, videos are easily accessible on multiple devices, so a user’s experience won’t be affected if he or she is watching on a laptop or a smartphone.
A well made video advertisement will go a long way with consumers of your brand’s products and services, not least because video content is so easily accessible on a variety of devices and across numerous platforms. Provide your audience members with a piece of marketing material that immediately grabs their attention with striking visuals and sounds. Also make it concise enough that they receive all relevant and necessary information. Do all that, and you’re well on your way to increasing your audience.
As an agency that is deeply rooted in digital we felt it important to share our thoughts and tips around what to do digitally in a time where COVID-19 is having a grave impact on the well-being of people and businesses. We are facing challenging times with the economy expected to take a huge knock. As experts in digital marketing, we’re constantly questioning, learning and updating our clients on how best to represent themselves within this complex and shifting social climate.While online behaviours have and will continue to change, due to the evolving circumstances around COVID-19, there remain consistent human behaviours and advertising opportunities.
Here are a few of our thoughts on how to maintain your digital presence during this time:
If you are in the essential goods space, we recommend building a unique campaign around your enhanced safety measures and the benefits your goods will provide to customers.
If your business is linked to a charitable cause, that should be emphasised through organic content and paid social efforts.
Communicate what your business is doing to flatten the curve across social media
Now is the time for clients and agencies to put their heads together to plan and prepare for what the industry is going to look like after lockdown.
Depending on your industry, there might be a period during lockdown when activity will be paused, however if you have a presence online we would recommend not pausing all activity, but rather reducing spend and being selective on which channels you will be present on.
Work collaboratively with your agency to think outside the box around how to use existing channels differently.
As a business, you should receive support on how to explore other ad formats, leverage new features or think differently about existing features.
Post lockdown it would be advisable to re-evaluate your business marketing KPIs. Due to economic and consumer changes, current KPI’s should be re-evaluated to meet new needs, or perhaps new ones created.
To ensure business continuity, consider what is most relevant about your brand, products, or campaigns that can be supported by media right now.
Consider if all your creative elements — tone, copy, visuals, keywords, placements — are appropriate and relevant in this new environment.
Search is not coming to an end, consumers are still Googling and brands still have a role to play in showing up against relevant queries. We suggest scaling down on the level of spend if there is concern around whether your business can afford to show up when it is not sufficiently operational to fulfil this need.
This is a pivotal time to be bidding on generic terms for your business as the user has more time on their hands for research. You want to be there when they are searching your industry terms. Once the lockdown is over you can remarket to this audience.
A lot of your competitors will be taking a back step in terms of advertising, this is the perfect time to capitalise on competitor terms – they could possibly be cheaper.
Consider a search with display campaign – your ad will be visible on the display network as well.
Take this time to build up your audience list. With a smart campaign you can advertise your products across platforms, including display, to stay top of mind.
We recently received some interesting stats from Google around what is happening in the YouTube space. “Average global daily uploads of videos with “At Home” and “Workout At Home” in the title increased over 50% and 55% respectively from March 10 through March 15. Therefore creators are uploading new types of content for people’s changing needs.” Due to this surge in online streaming YouTube has committed to reduce its video quality in order to reduce its bandwidth consumption as the behaviour of content streaming has shifted from evenings to a full day, due to working from home.
YouTube is showing tens of millions of search queries each day related to COVID-19. Consumers remain open to brands, and although they might not show intent to buy now they certainly will consider your brand at a later stage.
SEO & Content
Be selective on what type of communication you put out in the market.
This communication must remain consistent with all stakeholders.
Build messages around support. Ensure your business is contactable despite being closed or having limited staff and that all stakeholders will be able to get in touch in various ways, whether it’s via your website, social or email.
Communication should be relevant to the concerns/issues of customers during this time. This being said, messages can still promote products or services if they are essential or to keep these products/services in the minds of people without a hard-sell approach.
Messages should include a reminder that once things are back to normal, your brand will be available and ready to serve as it did before.
No SEO strategy should be overhauled, but rather messaging and keywords updated slightly to tailor new messages around the current situation. Keep the message relevant to your audience and your strategy shouldn’t suffer.
Do not bombard your audience with messages, rather send updates as and when necessary, with your regular content going out as usual.
If you don’t want your brand showing up for content linked to COVID-19, Corona or Virus, programmatic display has the ability to ensure brand safety and tight targeting.
With a shift in content consumption towards indoor activities, health, finances and business, we do recommend you supplement optimisation with tailored messaging or reworked banners to offer relevant content.
If your business is seasonal, then this might be a great time to give your current customers a sneak preview of what is to come.
An after lockdown promotion can give users an idea of what they can expect in the near future.
A lockdown competition can engage customers to keep them entertained and connected with your brand.
Display is a great way for brands to connect with their client base, wishing for good health and, if they are ill, a full recovery.
Use display to offer prevention tips or curated content that will add value to customers.
Now more than ever with consumers having more time available to them, there will likely be an influx of users engaging on Facebook and Instagram. With these engaged customers, speak to their situation and push social responsibility, empathy and kindness over product and sale.
Facebook and Instagram are strong platforms that invite users to engage with comments. Be more sensitive in the communication you put out on these channels during this time. If you aren’t in the position to handle the possible influx of comments, we would recommend reducing social media advertising over this period.
Competitions and light-hearted social engagement could be seen as a good gesture to keep consumers’ spirits high and their attitude towards you positive.
Leverage this space as a business to show your opinion, and share and promote the content that you agree with.
Host virtual events using LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events, where industry experts share information and guidance with the LinkedIn community and your customers. These tools are provided to help organizations of all sizes find success.
Showcase how your business is future-proofing itself for after COVID-19, and users will be interested to know and share this.
In closing, we understand that during this time some industries will thrive due to the nature of their business while others may suffer. Consumer behaviour and sentiment will shift, and as an agency we believe it is crucial for us to work alongside businesses — with the knowledge and expertise we have — to brainstorm for the future, and focus on two things:
What is the business plan/strategy for after COVID-19?
What strategic changes can we, as an agency, support businesses with and put in place now?
So within your marketing roles in whatever industry you find yourself:
Do not hesitate to reach out to your agency whose intention it is to support you during this time
Avoid knee jerk reactions when it comes to media buying and planning that could negatively impact your business
Show kindness to yourself and each other, and know that no idea is a bad one in a time where new ideas are to be explored
Try not to be fearful in taking risks with your marketing ideas. We are all in this together and now is the time to remain empathetic and consider your social impact.
It’s hard to believe how serious the COVID-19 situation has become for South Africans. A month ago, it was some frightening thing wreaking havoc in countries far away. And here we are. Since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed on 5 March, the number of infections has risen dramatically, forcing schools, universities, and some businesses to shut down. As panic grows, more and more people are avoiding leaving the house even to buy food or essentials.
There’s a lot of understandable concern about how social distancing and self-isolation will impact SA retailers’ ability to make sales. Global brands such as Apple, Starbucks, Nike, and Adidas have already been hit by the outbreak. Many have responded by shutting down their physical locations.
Many businesses have executed their own communication strategies to inform customers how they plan to deal with the pandemic as well as sharing information on how customers can protect themselves. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to think about how you should keep your customers updated in these challenging times. Ideally, your crisis communication plan should include the following:
Information on any suspected or confirmed cases on your premises. Don’t reveal the identities of any employees
The preventative measures you plan to put in place, whether or not you’ve been directly affected. This should include details on how you plan to improve sanitation and serve customers should you decide to shut down temporarily
Information on how you are going to continue monitoring the situation
Clear, compassionate, and understandable messages
A link to a dedicated web page where clients can find the latest information about your response
Your communication strategy should use all channels available. Below are some examples of platforms used by big brands to get their messages across.
Landing page banners
Website and app pop-up messages
Dedicated pages e.g. FAQs
By creating a response plan and continuously monitoring the situation, you are reassuring customers that you are prioritising their safety, and keeping their best interests at heart.At TMI, we’re doing our small part to help lower the risk of infections and avoid crowded spaces, for the foreseeable future. We’ve encouraged social distancing by moving our teams to a work-from-home setting, however there should be minimal disruption to employees and clients in terms of communication and work delivery.
TMI once again proved its place amongst the most-noted and long-respected names in digital marketing after being voted onto a prestigious list by our industry peers.
In a tradition that’s been running for seven years, MarkLives recently released the results of its Agency Leaders poll for 2019, and we are pleased to announce that we’ve been awarded joint runner-up in the category “most-admired media agencies in South Africa.”
We’re in good company on this year’s list amongst The MediaShop, who claimed the first spot for the second year in a row, and last year’s runner up, PHD Media South Africa, whom we’re share the honour with. Agency executives and leaders evaluated agencies with the strongest reputations within their niche and across the industry, and based their vote on the agencies that displayed effective management and great creative leadership, and whom they believe will be their primary competition in the future.
We always want our teams to feel proud to be a part of TMI, so receiving endorsement and recognition for what we do is a true reflection of our success as an agency. We are extremely thankful for both the separate and collective input of each TMI employee to our dynamic agency. As we enter the new decade, we look forward to continuing our industry-leading approach to how we service our clients and develop our people in this always-shifting digital marketing landscape.