According to a 2018 study, around 87% of shoppers will research products online before making a purchase. This means that your online presence is more important now than ever before.

Your business needs to make a positive impression in the digital world, and the way to do this is with a successful digital marketing strategy.

1 – Identify your target market

Targetting everyone would be an expensive task for any business. So the first task is to identify exactly who your target market is.

Are they Affluent Achievers or people of Modest Means? Women, men or both? Young or old? Once identified, you can develop campaigns that will appeal directly to these consumers.

TOP TIP: Documents such as the Acorn Demographics Definitions User Guide (PDF) may prove very useful.

Performing this task will help you plan campaign budgets and focus funds on areas with the greatest ROI.

When you know your target market, you should also map their customer journey. How did they become aware of your business and how do they make purchasing decisions?

These insights can help you identify ways to convert and retain customers.

2 – Set goals

Your digital marketing strategy needs to be goal orientated and realistic. Goals need to be achievable.

Larger, broad-reaching goals should be broken down into smaller steps.

Keep all your goals SMART:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timed

Setting SMART goals will not only focus your efforts but enable you to measure the success of your actions.

3 – Create interesting, dynamic content

In 1996, Bill Gates coined the now infamous phrase ‘content is king’, and to this day those words still hold true.

Content (Text, images, video) needs to engage with your audience otherwise your efforts will likely be fruitless.

Your content should make readers feel that they haven’t wasted their time and have come away with something of value.

This means your content should entertain, contain unique insights, or help solve a problem.

You also need to look at how you distribute your content. Blogging can be a very beneficial marketing tool, but you should also make sure that blog posts are being shared across your social media channels.

social media marketing strategy

4 – Use a multi-channel approach with social media

There’s no doubt that social media is great for marketing. If you already run a business, chances are you are using at least one social platform to promote your services and products. Just be careful not to focus your strategies on one channel over all others.

Use as many social media platforms as you feel are appropriate for your brand.

For example, if your brand has a focus on video content, you will want to set up a YouTube channel and perhaps have an account with Vimeo. You should also have a presence on social platforms that use video to engage viewers, such as Instagram and Facebook. However, if your target audience is predominantly older, you may decide not to use TikTok or Snapchat.

TOP TIP: Even if you don’t plan on using many social channels, it‘s worth registering for all of the biggest platforms. This helps you protect your brand.

Try to get the same username for all of your channels and use a service such as to check availability before registering.

Make sure that your branding, logo, and tone of voice is consistent across all platforms. Keep your social media profiles updated regularly with fresh and relevant content.

You should also pay attention to new and emerging trends, including live streaming and augmented reality, as well as new platforms.

The importance of User Experience in your digital marketing strategy

5 – User Experience

Once you have created great content and used it to drive visitors to your website, you must make sure that the UX (User Experience) of your site is up to scratch.

Factors such as page-load speed, ease of navigation, and readability have a huge impact on user experience, so make sure that your website is performing as well as possible.

The average user expects a webpage to load in 2-3 seconds and studies have found that user drop-off rates increase exponentially with each second of delay, so the economic impact of a slow website could be catastrophic.

Make sure all images – including logos, product photos and social icons – are optimized for quick loading. Also, make sure that any background video elements have a still-image fall-back for devices with a poor connection.

TOP TIP: Have your web agency check the items featured here to see if anything can be done to make your website load as quickly as possible.

6 – Do-It-Yourself or not

It’s understandable that many business owners wish to take care of their own digital marketing, but the key to the success of any strategy is being realistic about the resource available.

The question to ask yourself is ‘Do we have the time and people-power to dedicate to this task?’

If the answer is no, you may find that you miss post deadlines resulting in some important channels being neglected.

If you feel that this is a strong possibility, you may need help from a digital marketing agency to keep your strategy running successfully.

7 – Audit your marketing strategy regularly

Auditing your strategy on a regular basis is an absolute necessity.

Your digital marketing strategy shouldn’t be set in stone or restricted in any way. You should be able to assess which areas are working for you, which are not, and adapt the strategy where necessary.

If you regularly audit your strategy, you can tailor it to produce better results and performance.

In conclusion

In a post-Covid-19 world where many consumers are now forced to find products and services online, it is essential to have a digital marketing strategy for your business.

Many businesses are finding it hard to recoup lost money from high street sales and are relying on their website to attract new customers.

With this in mind, the time to review the effectiveness of your digital marketing and website is now.

Your process should be to:

  1. Understand your target market
  2. Set achievable goals
  3. Create content that is of value to potential customers
  4. Use a multi-channel approach with multiple social platforms
  5. Review and improve the UX of your website for visitors
  6. Employ the services of a marketing agency if you do not have the resources in-house to action your strategy.
  7. Audit your strategy regular

If you have the resource to handle most of the strategy yourselves, but would like assistance with your UX improvements, feel free to get in touch with us at ANCODE. We’re always happy to discuss new projects.

How to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Shopify Website

How to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Shopify Website

In order to build a successful brand in today’s e-commerce landscape —merchants need to possess empathy, hospitality, service design, anticipation and know their audience. The best way to improve your conversion rate is to listen to your customers needs. The best way to evaluate user needs is to conduct a heuristic evaluation of your Shopify store. Ask yourself. What ARE the customers objections? Do we have a clear sense of them? If not, run a survey and ask them what held them back from purchasing. Where can we address their issues and objections? Issues and objections can be squashed through strategic placement of copy throughout the site. Examples of placement include the announcement bar above the header, on the product detail page, and in the mini cart / or cart page.

Heuristic evaluations are checklists that involve running through a series of criteria for a properly-working website and assessing whether yours meets them – or what you can do to improve. As a merchant selling online with a strong strategy, it’s important to create an e-commerce experience customers won’t forget with the quickest path to purchase. When performing a heuristic evaluation on your site, you’ll need a series of heuristics to go by. Here’s a good list that we use for our clients, that you can use for your site, all focused on keeping the customer moving towards conversion.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

1. Does checkout work the same on every browser and on every kind of device?
2. Are there rendering errors? Check google analytics to check which browsers have a lower conversion rate – there may be a lurking bug with that specific browser.
3. Does layout work well across a variety of screen sizes? Try resizing the homepage, product page and collection page windows from large to small while watching every detail of the page, or use Google chrome inspector to mimic different device widths.
4. Is the site equally fast on every browser and on every platform?
5. Have you minimized the number of form fields necessary to complete a transaction? For instance, we always eliminate the company form field, and unless it’s necessary for the merchant to collect a phone number or they partake in SMS marketing, we suggest that they don’t. Another one that merchants think they need, but actually don’t, are order notes. Unless you are selling heavy items or items that include lots of gifts, remove this field.

eCommerce Shopify Mobile Checklist

1. If there is hover on desktop, is there a fallback for touch screen? Animation and motion are trendy for desktop, but if it’s slowing down the mobile experience, then we recommend eliminating.

Evaluate Your Shopify Web Design

1. Does your value proposition match your business goals? Is this communicated to the customer? For instance, if you have sustainability practices, do you communicate this on the product page?
2. Do you speak directly to the customer? Use “you” instead of “I”
3. Do you allude to the customers pains, and offer your product as a solution to those pains?
4. Do you have custom landing pages to pitch to alternate market segments?
5. Do you have lifecycle emails (we prefer to use Klaviyo), or automatic emails, configured to upset people to other products? Do you have the bare minimum of automatic emails set up – for most merchants, we recommend: A. Welcome Email. B. Abandoned Cart Email C. Browse Abandonment 4. Post-Purchase Email 5. Thank You Email. 6. Back in Stock notification email
6. Is the popup email asking for the email address actually providing them with value? There needs to be creative copy and a compelling call to action. Try swapping the word “Subscribe” with “Unlock Discount”

Gather eCommerce Research Insights

1. What is the bounce rate? How can u improve this number?
2. Are people clicking and scrolling where u want them to?
3. In user testing, did any issues come up with the navigability of the site? Or ability for people to successfully complete their transaction?


Does My Local Business Really Need a Website?

Does My Local Business Really Need a Website?
Top 5 Myths About Getting A Website

Do you remember the last time you used a phone book? It was a convenient tool back in the day for looking up business listings because of those infamous “yellow pages”. But now, since Google and Yahoo became popular, those days of thumbing through the book almost cease to exist. So why continue to spend money and effort into advertising in there?

Today, the success of small businesses drives the American economy and yet many of those businesses do not have a website! I know, from personal experience, that small business owners are among the busiest people, and I have heard that they do not have the time or budget to have a good website developed. This needs to be reconsidered! Thousands of customers are constantly searching the Internet looking for products and services to meet their needs. And, more often than not, they will judge whether or not to do business with your company on the basis of your website. Here are some small business website myths revealed:


Myth 1: It will cost thousands of pounds (GBP) to create a website

There are plenty of excellent websites that can be produced for under £10,000 and can help drive customers to your business. However, the more pages of information that you want to share, the greater the investment.


Myth 2: I don’t have the staff to update the website

This is definitely a legitimate concern with small business owners. Having an out-of-date website, that is rarely updated, is possibly worse than having no website at all. But many Content Management Systems (CMS), like the ones used to build most of our clients websites, are so good now that it is an easy task to update the website.


Myth 3: My competition does not have a website so why do I need one?

The other variation to this is “My business isn’t the type that needs a website.” Two words: Not true. In this information and technology driven society you need to have a presence on the Web. It could mean the difference between your business getting new customers or having them go somewhere else for products or services.


Myth 4: I can get away with a simple, free website

I often see that a company has created a ‘brochure’ website. It has a Home page, About Us, Contact Us, and that’s about it. I actually had a few of my clients come to me with their “brochure” sites they made on those web building sites asking for an overhaul. Their original sites were not engaging to their customers and they didn’t accurately portray their business.


Myth 5: All of that search engine stuff (SEO) is too hard to figure out

SEO or search engine optimisation refers to using the words and phrases on your website that your customers will use when searching for the products and services you offer. Let’s say you are a flower shop and there are several competitors in your area. A family is all of a sudden unhappy with your competitor because the wrong flowers were delivered to a loved one and now they are searching for a new shop. They go to Google and search the type of business you are (flower shop) as well as your area. It is good to make a list of possible words and phrases that your customers may use to find you and use that list to optimise your website. Having optimised keywords will bring your site higher on Google and Yahoo and is fast becoming the single most important thing that can help your business.


So if you are a small business and have a less than great website or no website at all, you are missing a great opportunity to be there when potential new customers are looking for your product or service. And you are also missing an opportunity to tell your story in a fun and engaging manner. Customers are looking for what you have to offer. Will they find you?

30 Digital Marketing Quotes to Inspire You in North Wales

30 Digital Marketing Quotes to Inspire You in North Wales


North Wales welcomes opportunity and a chance to take another perspective. As a digital marketer, you may have faced challenges and accomplished success. Hopefully, you learned much about what worked and what didn’t. To inspire you in the New Year, take a look at these 30 enlightening digital marketing quotes.

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne, Founder of Marketoonist

This short piece of advice is so relevant in today’s digital marketing landscape. Consumers are savvy. They are very aware of what’s an ad, whether that be a banner on a website or paid search. The modern digital marketer needs to find ways where marketing is a natural conversation; not an intrusion.

“The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.” –David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising, Founder of Ogilvy & Mather

This quote has new meaning in the digital marketing world, as it’s really a reminder that you must understand and know your audience intimately. Otherwise, you’re not relevant to them. And treating them like they are stupid, which is often the result of a condescending tone, certainly isn’t going to find you any favour.

“Without facts and principles, data is useless.” –Bob Hoffman, Writer, Speaker and Type A Group Partner

Digital marketing creates and requires data. But just having data isn’t going to change anything. Data must be accurate and have context to be actionable.

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” –Seth Godin, Bestselling Author and Blogger

No matter the product or service you provide, there is a great chance that it’s a commodity, or at the least, you have many comparable competitors. Thus, differentiation has to take another route. That route is content. When your brand tells a great story, consumers begin to trust and like you. That emotional response is key to conversion in the modern marketing world.

“Content is fire; social media is gasoline.” –Jay Baer, Bestselling Author, Marketing Expert and Founder of Convince & Convert

This quote shows the relationship between content and social media. Content doesn’t matter if it’s not distributed and consumed, and social media can’t survive without content.

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” –Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson

This quote supports the idea that for marketing to work, it must be interesting. Don’t be the interruption to what someone wants to consume, be consumable instead.

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” –Wendy Piersall, Author, Blogger and Artist

Google ranks your content based on the actions of others. It doesn’t reward you simply because you are using popular keywords. It is much more interested in seeing that users read, share, and engage with your content.

“Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” –Chris Brogan, Chief Executive Officer of Owner Media Group

Consumers need to trust you. Trust comes from relationships and how your brand has treated others. Without this trust, it’s nearly impossible to make meaningful conversions.

“Does your content lead readers on a journey, or does it merely stuff them as leads into a pipeline?” –Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs

Content should be a journey. It should hit users at all the stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. If your content doesn’t continue to inform and be relevant, users will get turned off. A pipeline is only as good as the quality and readiness of leads.

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”–Andrew Davis, Bestselling Author and Keynote Speaker

Content is the key to revenue. It’s the most important thing you create to develop relationships. Without it, you’re just throwing darts at a moving target.

“Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the Web.” –Rick Levine, Author of The Cluetrain Manifesto

Does your brand have a voice? What are the attributes of your voice. Authenticity should be one of those. Without authenticity, your brand’s voice won’t ring true to audiences.

“Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” –Jon Buscall, Chief Executive Officer of Moondog Marketing

Content marketing is not a one and done. It’s a constant factor in everything you do in digital marketing. Never treat content marketing like it’s not an integral part of your digital marketing plan.

“Content is not king, but a president elected by the votes of those whom it aims to rule.” –Raheel Farooq, Teacher, Writer and Voiceover Artist

This quote has such power. Many digital marketers think of content as a king, ruling everything else. Success of content is rather something that the community and audience decide.

“90% trust peers on social networks (even strangers); only 15–18% trust brands.” –Danny Brown, Award-Winning Marketer and Author

This quote represents the power of social media influence. If the masses say its’ good, it’s believed. If a brand says so, there will always be scepticism.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” –Simon Sinek, Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker and Marketing Consultant

The “why” of your brand matters a lot more than your features and benefits. If your “why” is compelling, users will stick around to learn more.

“Every email is a customer survey of your target market, by testing they vote on what resonates best with them.” –Kath Pay, Founder and Senior Consultant at Holistic Email Marketing

Email still has a great role in digital marketing, but you’ve got to bring value to inboxes, not noise. Understanding what users respond to allows you to get better with every email.

“You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything.” –Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of General Electric

This quote reminds marketers of the power of simplicity. If you can’t quickly tell a user how something will change their life or solve a problem then it’s unlikely you’ll make the conversions you desire.

“One of the best ways to sabotage your content is to not tie it to your goals. Know why you’re creating content.” –Ellen Gomes, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Marketo

Don’t just create content to create it. There needs to be a goal. What action do you want users to take after reading? With goals for your content, it’s rather meaningless.

“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.” –Amrita Sahasrabudhe, Vice President Marketing at FastMed

One of the few certainties in digital marketing is change. So, you can’t become complacent. But you also should count out previous successes. It’s a test and learn world.

“Mediocre marketers think in terms of campaigns. Great marketers think in terms of growth frameworks.” –Neil Patel, New York Times Bestselling Author and Marketing Expert

It’s very narrow minded to think on the campaign level. Think holistically about growth prepares you to continue to evolve your marketing to fuel growth.

“To continue winning the internet marketing game, your content has to be more that just brilliant, it has to give the people consuming that content the ability to become a better version of themselves.” –Michelle Stinson Ross, Director of Marketing Operations at Apogee Results

Great content is a pillar of digital marketing. The content must be relevant and interesting, but often it needs to be inspirational. Your content should answer the user’s question of “How will this improve my life?”

“Stop selling. Start helping.” –Zig Ziglar, Author and Motivational Speaker

Have you noticed how “selling” has become a negative word. No one wants to be sold. Users want to find solutions and build relationships. Your job as a brand is to educate and inform. If you do that well, selling happens naturally.

“We must move from numbers keeping score to numbers that drive better actions.” –David Walmsley, Chief Customer Officer at House of Fraser

Metrics do matter, but there is a lot of confusion on which ones. Gathering numbers just to “keep score” is fruitless tactic. Look at numbers, and learn from them. Any meaningful metrics will drive action.

“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”  –Milan Kundera, Novelist, Playwright and Poet

In modern business, regardless of industry, a successful company focuses on innovation and telling the stories of that innovation. Everything else is simply the result of these actions.

“Companies that speak in the language of the pitch are no longer speaking to anyone.” –The Cluetrain Manifesto

Always selling is not a conversation a user wants to hear. If all your content is pitch focused, you’re forgetting the why and the how of your brand. Seek to counsel and educate first; that’s what will ring true for audiences.

“I want to do business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege, not a transaction.” –Andrea Mignolo

Speaking to a potential customer is using their time. Approaching with respect for that fact will put you in a better position from the beginning of any interaction.

“Design like you are absolutely right, then optimize like you were wrong from the start.” –Jordie van Rijn

Making strong choices requires having the utmost confidence in your decisions. Being open to criticism and ready to change on the fly will keep those choices working.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” – Benjamin Franklin

One of the simplest marketing methods in history.

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”–Edwin Land

Strong choices require failure. Failure makes you stronger. ????

“Instead of one-way interruption, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the right moment that a buyer needs it.”–David Meerman Scott

The beauty of digital marketing is that the conversation is no longer a unidirectional spray of messaging. We want to engage customers at exactly the right time.

These 30 digital marketing quotes offer great insight into the current state of digital marketing and beyond. When thinking about your strategies and tactics for the New Year, keep these quotes in mind, as they may help you stay on course, facilitate new ways of thinking, and be the solution to your audience’s challenges.

Great Tips for Writing SEO Friendly Content


Like all other kinds of writing, SEO writing is also a skill that every writer must specialise in. There are many other factors one should consider when writing engaging content that Google will love. When you write SEO friendly articles, there should be only one motive in you. That is to create content that people love reading, sharing, linking and interacting with, in various ways. This is the key to get your post ranked high by Google rankings and thereby becoming the top related post in the search engine. Here are some great tips that you can follow for great content that Google will not miss!

Write Useful and Engaging Content for SEO

If you need your article to retain in terms of quality and quantity, write an interesting one. This will attract visitors to your site who will find this very useful and entertaining. They will even be inclined to share your post or link it on social media. Plagiarised, low-spun and rewritten content don’t attract SEO rankings anymore because they fail to provide users with something valuable. So, creating fresh content is the key to make Google fall in love with your post and rank it high.

Choose Keywords Wisely

Keywords are a priority when it comes to SEO writing as they are what will optimise your content. Here, it is important to select certain keywords after a good research on your topic and place them properly. You can use Google Trends or Word Tracker to get to know what keywords to use in your article. Ensure that you don’t overuse them but place them scattered throughout the content. Your content should have a flow and make perfect sense after placing these keywords.

Optimise the Images for Better SEO Ranking

Images can enhance the quality of your content and make it look more interesting. Here, you can use the keywords to name your images and optimise them for a better ranking. Also, remember to optimise the size of your image as the loading time of your images will also have an impact on SEO. Quality, averaged-size images that are well optimised will make your content high ranked on Google search engine.

Your Content Should Be Shareable

When people come across really interesting content, the next thing they would want to do is share them with friends. So, it is important to make your piece of writings easily shareable on social media. As your content circulates around different social media, it will increase in popularity. This will improve the interaction among visitors while driving traffic to your website. What a great way to let Google know that your article is simply top-notch to be top-ranked!

So, these are the main tips that you should keep in mind when writing Search Engine Optimised articles. Give your readers something valuable to read, and they will reward you with a higher rank in Google. Remember to proofread your article at least twice as people don’t like grammatically incorrect writing. So, write an engaging, quality article while placing the keywords appropriately. Then, make use of images for better optimisations while linking your article. If you need your writing to be a killer piece, make it easily shareable on social media, and you have done your job perfectly!