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Are You Web 3.0 Ready? 12 Steps For A Successful Social Media Audit

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Are You Web 3.0 Ready? 12 Steps For A Successful Social Media Audit

Web 3.0 is here. Have you considered a social media audit?

Look in the mirror and ask, “Is my social media stuck in a Web 2.0 world?”

A social media audit is like a health and wellness check-up for your brand’s digital marketing results, business outcomes, public relations, and brand awareness.

Here are 12 tips for conducting a social media audit in a Web 3.0 world.

1. Schedule It

Instead of waiting until a potential problem is detected or failing results appear, proactively schedule an audit for your brand, a quarterly checkup, and an annual exam.

A social media audit will create an efficient and actionable update to an existing social media plan or a reset to a new social media strategy.

Social PR Secret: Keep your team accountable and transparent by scheduling the social media audits on a calendar with all stakeholders invited.

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Follow the SMART method of goal setting when it comes to social media audits. Keep it.

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable.
  • Realistic.
  • Timeframe.

Like any action item tied to successful outcomes, it is important to access your social media audit’s requirements including:

  1. Create a timeframe. Set aside a realistic amount of time to complete the audit.
  2. Allow for research into new technologies and innovation.
  3. Know what resources are needed to complete the social media audit.
  4. Understand what team members or outside consultants need to be involved in order to achieve a successful social media audit.

2. Include PR, SEO & PPC, And New Innovations Of Web 3.0 In The Audit

Working remotely or living behind closed doors in the social media marketing room leads to dehydration and loss of healthy nutrients in a social media marketing plan.

Public relations, search, and PPC will add depth, optimization, and vital content to a social media plan.

Combining marketing agendas gives a sense of synchronicity and supplements social media planning with aligned business goals and objectives.

The emergence of Web 3.0 technology and innovation is impacting all areas of digital marketing including social media.

Web 3.0 is defined as the next generation of the internet only operating in a more decentralized environment.

This means marketers and brands can be less reliant on big techs, like Google and Facebook, and focus more on community, creators, and even crypto.

Social media marketers should have a third eye on new social networks bubbling up from Web 3.0, NFTs, virtual worlds, and how physical worlds blend with digital worlds.

“It’s also important to consider if all of your digital marketing is connected with your social strategy by evaluating relative to the digital marketing landscape,” says Krista Neher, CEO, and Founder of Boot Camp Digital.

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3. Grading Scale

A process and methodology for a social media audit are essential for long-term success and efficiencies.

Whether it’s your own process using Excel, a template from a third-party source, or a platform such as Sprout Social, using consistent methods puts science behind the historical comparisons.

Considering 45% of content professionals say they’re challenged with managing content production workflow, Sarah Collins, Chief Marketing Officer at Landscape Management Network, shares her approach to a social media audit.

social media audit scaleScreenshot taken by author, March 2022social media audit scale

4. Headlines & Grades

“We start with competitors and look for ‘who’s to beat.’ Then we write the headline for what each competitor’s strategy appears to be. We map it on a quadrant to determine the white space for the brand we represent,” says Collins.

Taking the quantitative and qualitative factors, Collins breaks down a social media audit approach like this:

  • Quantitative considers competitors, community size, engagement, native channels (including Meta insights, analytics), and paid channels (such as Iconosquare, Cubeyou, Nuvi, Rival IQ).
  • Qualitative analysis content, paid social via Rival IQ, and engagement.

Looking at your competitors on social media, see what they are missing and what you can do that they are not doing.

social media audit methodologyScreenshot taken by author, March 2022social media audit methodology

5. Website & Blog Assessment

Check the relevant website and blog pages to check for social media factors, including:

  • Shareability.
  • Meta titles and descriptions.
  • Formatting.
  • Keywords.
  • Visuals.
  • Content performance.
  • Links.
  • Accessibility.
  • Integration with paid media.
  • Behavior.
  • Security and privacy.

Questions To Ask

  • Do you have a newsroom to feature media coverage and press releases on your website?
  • Are your blog posts and pages easy to share?
  • Do your titles and descriptions make sense in a share?
  • How about those visuals? Are they shareworthy or boring?
  • Have you experimented with the most popular types of content: videos, reels, augmented reality, filters, avatars, and Artificial Intelligence-enhanced content?
  • What is the best performing content? (You might be surprised and want to rework the content strategy.)
  • What is the top-performing social media network in Google Analytics?
  • Are you integrating chatbots into your home page?
  • Is there a place for 3D or immersive content?

6. Social Media Channel Review

This is where you want to review each channel, including this checklist:

  • Page/profile optimization.
  • Cover and profile image use.
  • Visual assets.
  • Video optimization (i.e. playlists, featured, etc.).
  • Frequency and timing.
  • Content types/mix.
  • Comment sentiment and response time.
  • Live video use.
  • Engagement.
  • Branding.
  • Optimization.
  • Chatbots and messenger use and strategy.
  • Augmented reality use.
  • Virtual reality.
  • Creator coins.
  • Web 3/NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
  • Audio experiences such as Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse.
  • Community platforms such as Discord.
  • Security and privacy.

Integrate social media with your email marketing strategy.

Optimize email marketing by running retargeting campaigns. Share your email newsletter content on social media, including social media share opportunities within email marketing content.

Explore metaverse types of channels, including:

  • Spatial.io.
  • AltspaceVR.
  • Horizons Worlds.

Tap Into Employees On Social

Don’t neglect to audit your customer-facing employees’ LinkedIn profiles.

Are they representing the brand well? Are they posting valuable content and building meaningful relationships?

“It’s no longer enough to focus on your company pages alone. You need to equip your team with the right strategies to build their personal brands on LinkedIn,” says Mandy McEwen, Founder & CEO of Mod Girl Marketing and Luminetics.

Considering four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions, LinkedIn is a gold mine right now for B2B organizations. The brands leading the pack to invest in building a tribe of industry thought leaders.

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“I like to see how they handle the customer service on social media feeds,” says Melissa Fach, Lead SEO Content Manager at Kelley Blue Book & Autotrader.

Fach adds, “Many brands are using chatbots and Messenger wrong. They respond to everyone the same way. Chatbots will be a huge problem in the future if brands don’t start paying attention. Right now, it may look like they don’t care.”

Social PR Secret: Consider adding a chatbot strategy or SMS to your audit checklist.

See what the competition is doing and how you can improve social customer service, better serve website visits and improve messaging outreach using chatbots.

Social VR Secret: Consider investing in an Oculus headset and start exploring virtual worlds and landscapes to see where virtual reality content fits your social media strategy.

7. Competitive Social Media Review

Compare your brand’s social media channels with at least two competitors or like-minded brands.

Create a spreadsheet and make notations of:

  • Publishing trends compared to competitors.
  • Creative.
  • Frequency.
  • Content types.
  • Influencers.
  • Engagement.
  • New social networks.
  • New technologies.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Employee/team personal brands relate to your business brand and how they influence social media positively or negatively.

8. Content Style, Messaging & Optimization Analysis

This is an opportunity to see how well your content feeds social media results. Look at the overall content style and brand voice.

  • Is your content robotic and informal, or is it personalized and conversational?
  • Does your content reflect a strategic content calendar, or are you winging it?
  • Are you using hashtags effectively to maximize reach?
  • Is your social team considering trends?
  • Are you paying attention to the latest features, bells, and whistles being introduced by channels? Make sure you are not using what worked last year versus what is performing the best this year.
  • Be sure to claim social media profiles as new networks pop up so you can control the brand name on each channel.

Look at each social media network as its own search engine.

Social PR Secret: Brands need to optimize for each social media channel just like they would optimize using keywords, links, and images for Google.

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Treat each channel like a search engine and optimize your content, images, video, and profiles.

“I look to see where social shares lead to,” says Fach.

“Is it helpful content versus something salesy? Offer a solution that will help the person – most brands make a promise and lead the audience back to misleading content. Avoid the bait and switch type of social content.”

Persona Review

When conducting your persona review, you might find your brand does not have any persona. Now is the time to add personas to your social media marketing regimen.

Every brand usually has several types of audience personas to target. If you don’t have personas, start with a template from xtensio or Hubspot.

Social PR Secret: Have a persona review with your team. Add insights, interests, and more details to make each persona as authentic as possible.

Remember to have one of the personas represent your brand’s targeted journalists, reporters, and media influencers.

Metaverse PR Secret: As we enter the Web 3.0 era, consider creating avatars to represent and interact with each persona (companies like Genies) or even as easy as using Bitmojis and Facebook avatars to interact and engage with your personas in a meaningful way.

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9. Social Media Distribution & Publishing Assessment

Brand to self: “I’ve created amazing social media content! The only problem is it’s not getting exposure, reach, or results.”

Check to see the content channels and ensure the channels line up with your audience.

Consider additional distributions such as:

  • Press Releases.
  • Medium.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Guest posts.
  • Events.
  • Conferences.
  • Trade shows.
  • Webinars.
  • Lives.
  • Podcasts.
  • Audio experiences such as Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Discord.
  • Communities such as Facebook Groups and Discord Servers.

“Make it easy for your team to share social media posts to their personal social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter,” says McEwen.

Your employees’ personal social media channels are an overlooked distribution channel that can dramatically impact social ROI.

Social PR Secret: Content distribution is a critical step in social media success.

Many brands publish once and move on to the next piece of content. Guy Kawasaki’s famous advice for social media distribution is to publish, rinse, and repeat.

10. Visual Asset Audit, Including Video and 3D

Today’s social media visual trend mix includes all of the following:

  • Live video.
  • Vertical video.
  • Square images.
  • Stories.
  • GIFs.
  • Memes.
  • Infographics.
  • Augmented reality content.
  • Lenses.
  • Filters.
  • Text overlay on images.
  • Filtered images.
  • NFTs.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Digital goods and advertising.
  • Avatars.
  • PFP (picture for proof) and profile pic.
  • Livestreams in digital experiences.
  • 3D content on social and websites using platforms such as Threedium.

Make sure your video is optimized for each channel. Check out this cheat sheet for digital video optimization.

Match up today’s social media trends as to what is working and trending compared to your brand’s use of visuals.

Are you behind the times? Using last year’s famous trends? Are you keeping up with the Web 2.0 transition to Web 3.0?

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Now is the time for a visual facelift to stay up to speed on what your audience is expecting and engaging in.

Sift through the trends and compare your visuals with this checklist:

  • Types.
  • Optimization (i.e., alt tags, titles, descriptions, playlists).
  • Web/blog visuals.
  • Social.
  • Stories.
  • AR/VR.
  • Metaverse.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Virtual events like Fashion Week in the Metaverse.
  • Emerging tech such as virtual beings, holograms, NFTs, avatars, and using artificial intelligence.

“Make sure to keep your team up-to-date on the latest digital marketing,” says Neher. “Social media is always changing and evolving, so invest in yourself and your team with training, conferences, and events.”

Social PR Secret: Social media and digital marketing skills are the #1 in-demand skills for marketers. Investing in your skills future-proofs your career.

11. Dig Deep & Set-Up Accurate Tracking

You’ve got to be real when it comes to social media auditing.

Social media is full of “fluffy” metrics, such as likes and comments, commonly known as vanity metrics. These metrics types don’t really tell us a whole lot of meaningful insights.

“If you’re looking to dig a bit deeper and correlate actual ROI and money being made because of your social media efforts, you need to get nitty-gritty when defining your goals and metrics on social,” says Ashley Ward-Segura, Vice President Of Global Operations at TopHatRank.com.

One of the best ways to track an actual purchase from a social media post is to do any of the following:

  • Use UTM codes within your social media posts with shortened links to product pages.
  • Track the referral source in Google Analytics or Semrush.
  • Create a unique promo code that you only share on a social media network. (Make sure you use a unique one for each social media network to track which network gives you the most purchases.)
  • Leverage the power of QR codes.

Maybe purchases aren’t your thing, and those 500 likes are the gold mine for your business. That’s totally fine!

What’s important is defining a realistic goal, something actually measured from social media, and giving yourself a realistic timeline to do so, says Ward.

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Let’s not forget that not everything is quantitative – there is the power of qualitative data.

It’s called “dark social,” meaning not everything in social can be tracked. Just because it’s not trackable does not mean it is not happening or having an impact.

12. Third-Eye Chakra

Consider bringing in a third-party outside source to review or facilitate a social media audit.

This independent insight can unlock fresh perspectives and ideas while also identifying problems and blocks your in-house team might not be able to see.

“We often conduct social media audits for brands already doing a great job,” says Neher.

“The outside perspective allows businesses to better benchmark and get a fresh set of eyes. Even businesses already doing a good job benefit from expert advice.”

A thorough analysis of the data is also key, says Neher. A strong social media audit from an outside consultant should include the following elements:

  • A clear understanding of the business goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • A deep dive into the analytics to review performance to date.
  • Competitive analysis and data to support performance vs. competition.
  • Industry expert best-practices assessment to determine opportunities.
  • Addition of new trends and features to enhance results and performance.

Conclusion

Get on the scale, and see how your brand weighs in.

Are you overweight on Web 2.0 and lacking any muscle in Web 3.0?

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This could be a social media health issue.

Brands that choose not to adapt to the rapid innovative changes moving away from the reliance on big techs like Google, Facebook, and Apple will have a lower survival rate.

Keeping your social media marketing healthy creates the most opportunity for audience retention and attention.

This is the Web 3.0 era of the social media community, creators, and utility.

It’s where your audience has more of a say so in your success than you do.

Adapt or die.

More Resources:


Featured Image: apghedia/Shutterstock

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Website Organization Best Practices For Law Firms

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Website Organization Best Practices For Law Firms

Reaching the top of the law firm search results can be intimidating. Focusing on site architecture is an essential step toward creating a top-ranked search presence.

Virtually every aspect of search optimization, from content to user experience, depends on a site architecture that makes it easy for site visitors to find what they’re looking for and is flexible enough to accommodate adding more topics should the need arise.

Accomplishing this requires a deep consideration of site navigation to make the important sections of the site one click to two clicks away from the homepage.

Website architecture is a part of what’s known as the internal linking structure and can also include how information is organized, which means the content.

Google’s John Mueller emphasized that internal linking is important.

Mueller said:

“…internal linking is super critical for SEO.

…it’s one of the biggest things that you can do on a website to kind of guide Google and guide visitors to the pages that you think are important.”

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Mueller also said that internal linking is an opportunity to tell Google which pages are important, thereby indicating what the site should rank for.

“You can decide to make things important where you earn the most money or you can make things important where you’re the strongest competitor or maybe you’re the weakest competitor.”

This article will introduce three fundamental elements of site architecture that can contribute to higher search performance.

Website Architecture: Page Organization And Links

Let’s take a few moments first to discuss website architecture and why the user experience (UX) segment is important for getting ranked.

The Importance Of Website Architecture To SEO

You already know that SEO content and your website structure should be constructed for people over search engines.

However, it just so happens that what is good for users is also good for Google.

So, all the most important aspects of an expertly crafted site architecture will contribute to a better user experience and make the site easy to understand for Google.

A well-organized website will be easy for users to get around.

From the homepage, they will be able to access a host of other resources that are located just a few clicks away.

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And that point is important.

You don’t want to bury important webpages multiple clicks away from the homepage or not have anything on the homepage that links to them at all.

Google’s web crawler will have a hard time finding those pages, and the pages will likely not rank very well (and probably no one will ever actually see them).

Another benefit of well-organized website architecture is that the internal linking spreads PageRank around the website.

If your local service pages all link up one level to your main service page for bankruptcy, business, or whatever kind of law you practice, you are telling Google that that primary service page is important, optimized, and worth ranking highly.

So, now you know why you need to put the time into organizing a straightforward and tidy website architecture.

Aspects Of Effective Law Firm Website Architectures

It’s important for any business in any industry, but now, let’s look at how law firm websites should structure themselves for maximum organic results.

Main Navigation

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Your website’s main navigation must be concise and clear in its layout since that is what potential clients will use to get around your site to see your services.

You must organize the navigation in a logical, top-down way. A “Services” or “Practice Areas” tab should drop down to a menu showing organized columns of your legal specialties.

Any kind of “About Us” or “Our Firm” tab can break down into a few sections that perhaps provide a history of the firm or state your organization’s mission.

Law firms are known as service-based organizations.

Instead of hundreds of product pages with little descriptions, your website should ideally feature:

  • A homepage.
  • As many main service pages as necessary to describe what your firm does.
  • An informational content section.
  • A contact page.
  • An “About Us” section where you profile your attorneys and profess your firm’s values and mission statement.

Those are the essential elements of a quality law firm website, but how do you structure them on the site itself and link among them?

URL Naming Conventions And Structure

I have reviewed the importance of getting your main navigation and internal links correct.

Next is an overview of the importance of creating a simple but informative URL structure for the pages on your website.

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It is vital to get this right because you aim to tell human users and search engines alike what your pages are about through the structure of your pages’ URLs.

The general advice on creating URLs is to remove excess words and include some keywords to be as descriptive as possible in the least amount of words.

Your URLs should reveal what will be found on that page.

Keep it simple.

Look at these examples:

For a blog post, make the URL a simpler version of the actual title.

So, your post entitled “10 Great Ways To Succeed In Business On A Budget” might be:

While you’re at it, be sure to add canonical tags to your URLs on the back end.

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That way, if there’s a chance a page could be picked up using multiple terms, Google knows where to direct people.

Information Architecture: Content Organization

Create A Descriptive And Helpful Homepage

The homepage needs to do many things, such as inspire trust, make it easy to contact the business, plus serve as an effective entrance to the rest of the website.

How is this accomplished?

Focusing on what will help users the most is the best approach to creating the best home page.

There are four communication goals:

  1. Communicate what the general topic of the law practice is (i.e. of the entire site)
  2. Describe what the top major topics of the business are
  3. Make it easy to reach all the major specific sections of the website
  4. Use keywords that users would use

General Topic of the Law Practice

Businesses are said to be organized by verticals. A vertical market is simply what kind of business it is serving.

So the first goal of the homepage is to communicate what vertical market the law firm serves.

In the legal profession, typical verticals can be:

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  • Bankruptcy law.
  • Corporate law.
  • Criminal defense.
  • Estate planning.
  • Family law.
  • Etc.

A law firm that is focused on family law can use that as the description for the topic of the entire site. Because most law firms serve a geographic region, that information is also used as part of the general description, the overall topic of the website.

So if the website is a family law attorney based in Springfield, Massachusetts, then the home page of that site should communicate that information from the title tag of that webpage what that vertical market is.

Family Law Attorneys - Springfield MA - Example Law Firm

The job of the homepage is to rank for that general term. It’s the job of the inner pages to rank for the more specific areas like child custody, divorce, pre-marital agreements, etc.

Describe Major Topics of the Business

The second goal is to describe the different areas that the business serves, for example:

For example, suppose the website is about personal injury in City A.

But now, it must also describe very briefly (and even link to) the specialties within that personal injury vertical.

Examples of Specialties Within the Personal Injury Vertical

  • Motorcycle injury.
  • Medical malpractice.
  • Car accidents.
  • Brain injury, etc.

Link to Major Sections of Site From Homepage

Third, it’s super important to link to as many of the inner sections of the site that correspond to the specialties within the legal vertical that the law firm serves.

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This can be done from the top of the page navigation menu. And it can also be accomplished from somewhere within the body of the homepage.

Keywords

Top takeaways about keywords and the homepage:

  • Always use the words that your potential clients tend to use.
  • Organize the webpage according to the most popular reasons why clients tend to call. If most calls are about slip and fall, list that as the first practice area. If the next most popular reason for calling is a brain injury, then make that the second section. This makes it easy for most site visitors to find what they’re looking for.
  • Use images that contribute to communicating your message (this breaks up the page and makes it easy to scan).
  • If possible, A/B test using user experience analytics like Microsoft Clarity to identify pain points that site visitors might encounter. An example of a pain point can be if site visitors are “rage-clicking” certain links or areas where they expect to find links.

More reading on keyword research:

Client Reviews

Next, remember that you are a service-based company that must rely on customer reviews to gain traction in your geographic area.

You should devote a block of your homepage to displaying five-star customer reviews with brief blurbs praising the legal services you provided.

Those reviews will help to generate trust among new visitors to your site.

Homepage Internal Links

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Related to the main navigation is the internal linking you do in your homepage content.

You already know that homepages should not be loaded with written content, but small blocks can briefly describe your service areas and link to them using keywords.

That internal link structure is vital. Everyone knows homepages are important; Google does, too.

The pages you link to from there are going to be easily crawlable. They will also be easy for actual human users to get to.

Color Scheme

Colors matter on a website.

The use of colors can affect the choices that site visitors make.

  • Visually contrasting colors are best for call-to-action elements.
  • Blue conveys trustworthiness and authority.
  • Always check if the color choice has sufficient contrast for color-blind site visitors.

Law firm websites looking to convey auras of professionalism should avoid bold, vibrant colors in favor of lighter schemes.

Create Above-The-Fold Content

Website architecture is generally considered internal linking, but I include information organization into the site’s architecture as well.

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Above the fold is a way of saying in the main block of visible content.

With a law firm website, you don’t want to get too fancy or obtuse with presenting your content.

Users come to your site for help with their legal troubles, and those people are probably worried and hoping they can trust you to help them.

Reward their effort in visiting your site by making it clear that you are there for them.

Do this by presenting your most important content in the first block of content that is visible to site visitors.

Don’t make users dig around to find the information they need, like that service page explaining how you have helped thousands of people declare bankruptcy or that blog post showcasing your knowledge of recent tax-resolution cases.

Depending on how your homepage is organized, present some links to those service pages, a contact form, or some reviews to establish trust right away.

Sticky content is a good idea, as well.

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Videos, forms, and surveys get people to stick around your homepage longer than they otherwise might, so don’t rule out those elements.

Whatever you feel is most important to your firm, make it one of the first things users see upon arriving on your homepage.

Essential information presented above the fold is necessary for well-made website architecture.

Final Thoughts

A law firm that performs quality work on behalf of clients needs to be able to reach every site visitor and convert them into a client.

The best way to accomplish that is to organize the information on the website in a manner that makes it easy for site visitors to quickly scan the homepage and find the exact topic.

That makes it easy for search engines to identify what the entire site is about and, consequently, may begin ranking the inner pages for the more granular search queries.

Identifying the best user experience for site navigation will always make it easier for the site to achieve maximum search performance.

More Resources:

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Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock

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