“We will always strive for expertise.”

The above statement is one of our core values, and if you’ve ever paid a visit to Bring Digital HQ, then you’ll see it stamped clearly on our wall for all to see. We believe knowledge is power and we simply love to share.

You may recall that in 2015 we started offering free training events at Bring Digital HQ. If you don’t, be sure to go back and check out the origins of #SchoolOfBring.

After hosting these events on a regular basis, and seeing them attract more and more local business owners each time, we decided to step it up a notch. Our boardroom was becoming a little cramped, so we broadened our horizons and decided to educate the northern capital of Manchester.

Taking place at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce in December, there was certainly a festive feel in the air.

Let’s learn about PPC…

Our Commercial Director, Lee Frame, was the first to take to the stage to talk about all things PPC. Going back to basics, he first discussed exactly what PPC is, and then went into some hard-hitting stats about why businesses need it.

– Did you know that for highly commercial terms on Google, paid ads get 65% of all clicks?

– And that PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors?

– And, on average, businesses make $2 for every $1 they spend with Adwords?

With those numbers in mind, Lee makes a compelling case for PPC.

One of the most important nuggets of information that was gleaned from today’s session, was that it isn’t enough to just set up a PPC account and let it run itself. It requires constant care and attention; someone should be dedicated to running your account, whether that’s controlling spend or adjusting keywords, in order for you to make the most out of your money.

To wrap up the PPC session, Lee took our attendees through exactly how they can build a PPC strategy, in just four easy steps.

Step one: Targeting the right customers – Keywords, keywords, and more keywords! Never underestimate the importance of figuring out what your target customers are typing into Google. How else are they going to find your business?

Step two: Building your account – When it comes to your account, don’t be afraid to dig into the granular details, otherwise you might find yourself drastically overspending! Get registered with Google Adwords (it’s free!), use Google Keyword Planner (your new best friend) to get estimates on search volumes, and then create specific adverts for groups of keywords.

Step three: Ensure your adverts are relevant – It’s quite simple really; if your ads aren’t relevant enough to the keywords, your clicks will cost more. Exact match keywords are therefore essential.

Step four: Optimise your account – Don’t just throw money at AdWords and leave it! Continue to optimise and tweak your account in order to get a better ROI. Check out some free ad extensions to help improve your click through rate, and keep a close eye on which keywords are performing well.

Next up, it’s technical SEO…

After a quick break, everyone was back in their seats, ready to tackle the wild and wonderful world of SEO. This next topic was split into two: technical SEO came first, and the more content / PR-focused side would come after lunch.

Our Senior Account Manager, Nick Boyle, stepped up next. With nearly 10 years’ experience in the field of SEO, he was perfectly placed to educate on this ever-changing industry.

Again, we started off with some compelling facts and figures…

– There are more than 3.5 billion searches processed on Google every single day

– But did you know that over 183 million of these searches are happening in the UK?

– Finally, 86% of adults in the UK use a search engine to find out more about a product or service

Once we’d covered the basics, Nick launched straight into dispelling some myths and misconceptions, and setting the record straight about SEO, to help the businesses present decide whether or not it is the right path for them.

SEO is great for… Ecommerce business / Lead generation

SEO can struggle for… Low quality websites / One-off product retailers

SEO needs… Long-term investment / A strong partnership

SEO won’t… Provide a short-term ROI / Run automatically

And just like PPC, Nick discussed exactly how you can create a brilliant SEO strategy that is most likely to give you results.

Step one: Targeting the right customers – Exactly the same as PPC; know exactly which keywords you are going to target and map out a strategy.

Step two: Making your site accessible – If Google can’t find and access your pages, your customers can’t either! A scary thought indeed. To solve this issue, get yourself registered with Google Search Console and check if any errors have been identified. You can also ‘Fetch as Google’ and check to see how many pages have been indexed.

And with those two steps, so ended part one of the SEO presentation. After lunch, Nick informed the attendees that he would be covering content and PR, and that technical SEO needs to work hand-in-hand with them in order to succeed!

And we’re back with content and PR!

Content and PR makes up the second half of the SEO presentation and so after lunch, we were straight back into it by covering how these two wonderful disciplines fit into your SEO strategy.

Step three: Ensure your content is relevant – To put it simply, Google won’t rank your content if it doesn’t deem it relevant to what your customers have been searching for. So, in order to get you ranking, map out the keywords that you want your landing pages to rank for. Use a free Moz account and use their on-page grading tool to discover how well-optimised your pages are.

Then, focus on the seven key areas of on-page optimisation…

1. Internal linking

2. Keyword selection

3. Meta description

4. Header tags

5. Title tags

6. Content

7. Alt-tags

Step four: Building and attracting high-quality links – By having high-quality links pointing to your website, you are showing Google that you are a trusted, authoritative and recommended brand. Using your Moz account (again!) take a look at your competitors by entering their URLS into the Open Site Explorer. Check out who is linking to them to find your target list, and then create valuable content to be linked to.

And with those last seven pearls of wisdom, that was a wrap on all things SEO.

Last but not least, social media marketing!

Rafi kicked us off with some fun facts all about social media marketing

– More than 3 billion people use social media worldwide

– In the UK, over 32 million people use Facebook every day

– There are between 12 and 15 million active Twitter users in the UK

 Organic social media

Rafi went on to explain that social media is split into two: organic and paid.

Organic social media for businesses is very similar to the way that you probably run your personal accounts. You post as and when you want, without paying for any promotion, and accumulating followers in a more natural way.

So here are a few of Rafi’s top social tips for maintaining a strong organic presence…

– Branding – Your social media represents your brand, so make sure it features strong imagery throughout, and your tone of voice should slot in here

– Content – Solely posting products or aiming to sell is a big no-no. Quotes, facts, statistics, and quirky pictures should all play a part in your strategy

– Community management – Engage with the people who like your page. Chat with them, respond to questions and complaints in a timely and friendly manner

– Posting – Don’t just post once in a blue moon! People like regular content that shows a personality behind the brand

Organic social does have a downside – it is becoming harder and harder for brands to grow their presence organically – but there is a solution…

Paid social media

Paid is the answer, and it is perfect for brands who are looking to accomplish a wide range of goals. It is incredible how granular you can go when it comes to targeting; you can pick your audience by job, age, relationship status, interests, annual income, location, and so much more.

And just like with our SEO presentation, Rafi was here to set the record straight about paying for your social media…

Paid social is great for… Pushing offers and promotions / Generating awareness

Paid social can be a struggle for… B2B / Un-responsive websites

Paid social needs… Investment / A good strategy

Paid social won’t… Work for everyone / Convert at the same rate as PPC

We live-tweeted the entire event, and we received some incredible feedback from the people in the audience. Check them out below, and then keep an eye on our social media and our digital marketing training event page to see when tickets for our next training event go live. The next one is all about website design and development so it isn’t one to be missed!