Engage - Plug and Play
Welcome to Engage, your portal to better marketing

by Brad Girtz

If you are running a business online you probably have a list of keywords somewhere you are trying to rank for. The problem is that many businesses get their keyword list but struggle to choose the best keywords to target. This is completely understandable. Unless you are a digital marketer, keyword lists will probably look pretty foreign to you. So how do you sort through hundreds of keywords to pick the winners?

 

The key to finding the killer keywords is to understand the searchers intent. Take the below keywords:

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by James Ward

Wordpress is one of the largest and most common website platforms in use today. For many people it is the only experience they have using a website backend or creating online content. That is why the latest Wordpress update is so important. It is called Gutenberg and it is a huge change from the traditional Wordpress updates. To help you understand more about what is coming, we put together this blog.

 

 

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by Brad Girtz

Google Maps are a common feature on websites across the internet. Having one on a contact page is practically universal these days. However, a new decision from Google is about to change all that. As of June 11th The company has started charging for the use of their maps. That means any site with a Google Map may incur fees to Google, depending on the number of times pages with maps are loaded.

Will my site be affected?

Sites that use the Google Maps are all subject to charge. Charges will be based on usage. So the first 28,000 times a Google Map is loaded on a site each month are free. After that Google charges $7 per 1,000 page loads. If that is confusing don’t worry. What it means is that Google counts every time a user visits a page with one of their maps on it. Once the number of pages visited reaches 28,000 per month, Google start charging.

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by Emma Moody

SEO is the cornerstone of online marketing. It determines the amount and the quality of your organic traffic, and can drive the cost of your PPC advertising up or down. However, common misconceptions about SEO practice can often lead to business owners excluding SEO from their digital marketing strategy. Vetoing such a vital tool and overlooking a valuable traffic channel can be extremely detrimental to the bottom line of any business. If you’re guilty of sighing whenever SEO is mentioned by your marketing team, we’ve included 8 common SEO misconceptions to challenge your thinking.

SEO misconceptions

1) Value can’t be tracked

SEO results are a little trickier to pin down than some other forms of online marketing. However, it certainly can be tracked. Plug & Play use acquisition cost modeling to attribute organic conversions and events to marketing spend so you can see your return on investment for each pound spent on SEO.

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by Gabrielle Richardson

Schema holds a special place in the heart of every SEO expert. It is one of only a handful of things that are not direct SEO ranking factors that we all care about. Unfortunately it is also one of the least understood by business owners. Don’t worry though, we are here to fix that now.

What is Schema?

At its core, schema is a way of helping search engines understand structured data. Anyone who has data in a highly organised format, like prices, addresses or product names has structured data. Since most sites have at least some form of structured data, it became important for search engines to find a simple way of recognising and categorising the different types of structured data. With that in mind, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex all got together to create the universal markup called Schema.

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by Brad Girtz

You woke up this morning, only to find that some unscrupulous competitor has started bidding for your brand terms on Adwords. Now what? That is a question that we at Plug and Play Design have answered many times. To help business owners and marketers, we have put together this helpful checklist of ways you can deal with a competitor bidding on your branded keywords.

PPC brand terms

Before we get started it is important to understand a competitor bidding on your brand terms is not against the rules of most major PPC providers like Google and Bing. That means you cannot just contact the advertising provider and get the ads taken down. However you still have options.

Step 1: Ask Them Nicely To Stop

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by Brad Girtz

Paid search, social advertising and SEO are familiar to most online businesses. Companies everywhere use some combination of these three tactics to drive more customers to their site and sell more goods or services. Unfortunately the effort to win customers often stops once someone lands on a website. That means many sites have a poor user experience which can drive potential customers away and cost a business money. It can even hurt SEO and make paid advertising more expensive.

How do you use conversion rate optimisation (CRO) to improve your business?

Step one is matching a customer’s initial experience to the landing page.

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by Brad Girtz

With the recent scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, many people are asking what online companies know about individuals and how are they able to collect data. With that in mind we decided to help users understand what companies actually know and what data they have access to.

How Do Companies Collect User Data?

There are a number of common ways most companies are able to collect data on users. The first is search queries/interest. So if you are using Google to search for something or spending time on a company's Facebook page that activity is noted as potential interest and tied to your online identity.

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by Brad Girtz

Anyone who has used the internet has seen Google My Business (GMB). Unfortunately, most people who have seen it don’t fully realise what it is. So just to make sure we are all on the same page, Here is a quick explanation.

Google My BusinessGoogle My Business is the box of information Google displays in the SERPS when you search for a company name or brand. It includes links to the companies website, images, directions, contact details and lots of other great stuff.

If you are still reading this, congratulations, you are in the small minority of people who want to do more than add their address to Google My Business. This is such a powerful tool and yet most people use it once and then never look at it again. That is a bigger mistake than giving a toddler a shot of bourbon and handing them a nail gun. GMB is crucial for local SEO and reputation management. Never looking at it means you are abandoning your reviews, ignoring free advertising opportunities and letting strangers edit your business information.

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by Brad Girtz

Search engines and businesses have long been in love with reviews. They help new customers trust you and provide a valuable piece of data on how well you deliver goods or services. Google even uses online reviews as part of their rankings algorithm. With star ratings or other ranking systems, reviews also provide a shorthand to help consumers choose where to spend their money.

With this in mind, which review service should you use? Since there are currently no sites that review review sites, (million pound idea?) it can be very hard to understand which reviews you should be aiming to get. Before you slam your laptop closed in despair and move on to something else, let us help you find the best review site for you.

Paid or Free?

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by Emma Moody

Online business is booming. In 2017, Ofcom reported that 76% of adults owned a smartphone, making smartphones the most widely owned internet accessible device. Consequently, it is not surprising that the number of mobile searches now exceeds those made on desktop. We’re in a changing world. Our smartphones have become a part of everyday life and the online world is having to adjust… and fast.

I’m sure that nobody will be shocked to hear that Google’s influence on the online world is vast and far reaching. With Google leading the mobile first initiative, encouraging secure and responsive browsing, as well as providing local search with results geared towards mobile users. In the new year, Google revealed their next step towards fulfilling their mobile first goal. In July this year we will see mobile site speed become its own official influencer in the Google algorithm.

So how will this affect you?

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by Brad Girtz

Finding the right place to maximise your advertising dollar used to be easy. You either bought space in a publication your customers liked or you advertised on a billboard near a busy street. Now your advertising budget could go to any one of hundreds of online advertising platforms. Choosing which of those platforms is right for you can be a daunting prospect if you are not a seasoned online advertiser. Thankfully you are currently reading the Plug & Play blog and we are seasoned online advertisers. So let’s break this down for you so you can go back to running your successful business rather than worrying about online advertising.

Your Customers Know What They Want

The biggest player in the market is Google. Have you heard of the 800 pound Gorilla in the Room? Well they are more like King Kong on the Empire State Building. Google are great at a number of different things so they will most likely be your first port of call. If you are a traditional service business or you have a well defined product, Google Search advertising is your best bet (Bing also offer a similar service). You can very effectively target people when they are out there looking for exactly what you sell.

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by Krystyna Coyle

Branding is a tricky exercise. You want a brand that is respectable and memorable for all the right reasons but there is no clear roadmap to get you there. At Plug & Play we are branding experts so we decided to share some interesting branding facts to help you get your creative juices flowing. So sit back relax and enjoy some branding based fun.

  • Don’t skimp on budgeting for branding or it will come back to bite you.
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by Gabrielle Richardson

I started at Plug and Play almost exactly 5 years ago, as an Account Executive. Now I’m our Operations Manager and split my time between scheduling our resources internally and managing client projects. The variety of different projects and clients keeps things interesting. Our ever changing industry means that our solutions are constantly evolving and there’s always more to learn.

My day starts with a strong cup of tea whilst checking my inbox, going through emails and responding to any queries that have come in overnight. A big part of my job is keeping on top of emails, ensuring that everyone gets a quick reply and that client requests are sent to the right member of the team to action.

Our workload is split into three; current web projects, digital marketing for retained clients and ad hoc pieces of work for clients who have a website that we support and maintain. Scheduling this in with our team and keeping clients up to date requires a lot of juggling! For me, this means that the morning is usually busy checking in with the team, making sure everyone is on track for the day and knows what they are due to deliver on.

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by Brad Girtz

Google has begun testing a new feature in their SERPs. They now include a “people also searched for” section bellow an individual link in the SERPs. This becomes available when you click on a link and then hit ‘back’ to return to the SERP.

This new feature is similar to the traditional “people also ask” section added at the top of some SERPs.

rich snippets

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by Emma Moody

Update: The poultry panic that was #KFCCrisis has subsided. Chicken is back on the menu and the fried paradise that is KFC is no longer operating on a wing and a prayer... without the wings. Thankfully the company that strikes fear in the hearts of  chickens and heart disease sufferers had one more PR coop. They released this update on the weekend. 

KFC update

One can only hope they learned a lesson about depending on a single supplier, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Ok we are out of puns, we promise. 

It may have caught your attention that KFC aren’t having the best of weeks. However, their PR wizards are doing anything but winging their communications. This is plainly any marketers nightmare and big fry marketing teams work tirelessly when planning their campaigns to avoid this kind of disaster. And yet, KFC’s reaction?

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by Emma Moody

For most online businesses, there are two main ways to receive an inbound lead: a contact form enquiry from the website or phone call. However our experience as an agency has shown us that while almost 100% of our new customers track their contact form enquiries online, fewer than 5% track their inbound calls. So why is this? Well, call tracking is one of those technologies that people usually don’t realise is relevant to them. Many of our new customers report feeling that their business is too small to be tracking calls and that the costs outweigh the benefits, especially when contact form tracking is free.

call tracking

As advocates of call tracking, even in small businesses, Plug & Play believe that the insight gained by tracking all inbound leads by far outweighs the monthly fee. By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with all of the information you need to make a decision on whether call tracking is for you and your company.

So first thing’s first… what is call tracking?

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by Brad Girtz

If you have never worked at an agency before you might not know quite what to expect. This is especially true for graduates or people just joining the workforce. With that in mind, Plug and Play have come together to give you a window into the life of a digital agency employee. Think of us as your agency shirpa; we’ll help you understand what life is really like in an agency.

Flat Corporate Structure

The first thing most people notice is the flat corporate structure. Unlike many more traditional businesses, a digital agency doesn't have much of a corporate hierarchy. You usually find there are a few directors, a few managers and then everyone else is on the same level. This makes Plug and Play, along with most other agencies, very nimble. We can adapt quickly and we don’t need a big book of rules and regulations to keep the company operating. It also means if an employee wants to change something or try a new approach they can.

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