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How to improve bad digital marketing results

26 Mar 2015
By Andy

Andy’s latest Figaro Digital talk focused on how you can turn bad times into good with your digital marketing. According to several witnesses, the speech was so good that he actually ‘won’ the conference. You can find the full video here or read the summary below!


Unfortunately, people will always experience difficult results in the digital space. We’re going to explore what those difficulties might be about, what might be behind them and how you can turn them around.


Go to ‘the God of the internet’ – Google! Their starter guide points out that Google just wants good websites to appear in their search results. Download Lynx Browser, type in your website and it will show you what a search engine might actually see. You can also use SEO Toolbar and MozBar to see where you might be going wrong.

Using the SEO Toolbar Xray tool, you can see what Google sees in situ, an easy way for people who aren’t used to coding to identify any potential SEO issues. Screaming Frog is another useful tool. It lets you easily see missed opportunities, like if you’ve got missing or broken links, as well as crawl issues. MozBar, meanwhile, will show you where you’ve got duplicate title tags, the number of linking domains and much more. The SEO Toolkit by Microsoft will also pick up issues which need to be fixed.

If you get stuck using these tools, a web developer will be able to help you understand what it all means.

Another tip for onsite improvement: websites will sometimes encounter issues which send your users to a 404 error page, and these can be a problem in terms of the user experience. To turn this around, give your 404 error page a friendly intro and some helpful links.


Domain authority is about Google trying to work out how authoritative your site is. But low levels of inbound linking are more of a symptom than the cause. The reality is, if nobody cares about what you’re doing or saying online then you won’t have many links.

What does your business do and how is this reflected online? Use the ‘minus’ site search function (eg: atom42 to see who’s talking about you. Image Raider lets you do the same with your logo. Checks such as these will help you understand your brand’s online footprint.

Most importantly, though, authority is about adding value to your user. It’s not about telling people how authoritative you are. To really add value, stop thinking about how you can get more and start thinking about your ecosystem. What does it need and what are the people in your ecosystem interested in? Outside of your product, what can you do to add value? Then you can consider how to extract value from that.

Is what you’re doing online good enough to share? Think about how you’re using social to drive sharing and authority.

Searchmetrics’ SEO ranking factors study shows you what kinds of things are correlated with good rankings, and many of these are connected with adding value to users. Take a step back and think about how you can add value.


Think about your messaging across the whole journey. It’s very hard to stand out if everybody’s following the same guidelines. Instead of sticking rigidly to ‘best practice’ ads, think about doing something a bit different. Take a different angle on the issues surrounding your business.

Think creatively about your messaging and this will drive better results. Think about the messaging in the organic listings, as well as in paid advertising.


Conversion optimisation can take a lot of time and can be very costly. But the first thing to do is to be your own customer – this can yield so much insight. Just forget that you run the business and go through the process from start to finish. Read your own copy, or ask friends and family to do it. Whenever I ask my friends and family to critique what I’ve done, they’re always more than willing!

Take a fresh view and go with your hunch. For example, your homepage doesn’t have to show everything, so try paring it down to the bare essentials. Don’t give everything, just give the important stuff. A/B testing is useful, but sometimes going with your hunch can be quicker and you’ll often be right about what customers will respond to.

Crazy Egg is a tool which shows you exactly where people are clicking, broken down by source, which can give some added insights into the true journey consumers are going on when they use your website. Go through the conversion process and watch other people go through the process.

The conversion rate you’re getting might be anywhere from 1% – 3%. For the 97%+ people who aren’t converting, there are loads of things you could do. You could try to engage with them on social. Live chat is increasingly powerful, you can have triggered live chat appearing on the page, depending on which page they’re on and how long they’ve been there. If they’re not going to convert there and then, maybe they need a bit of time, so serve them with a remarketing message.

To summarise, stuff can go wrong in the digital space and it can still be ok. You just have to explore the real story and sometimes a bit playful with how you react!

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