Search – “To look or rummage for; to explore, examine. * n quest; pursuit; inquiry” – English Dictionary, Geddes & Grosset.
Ever since recovering from the dotcom bubble, the internet’s popularity has grown exponentially. It has become a one-stop shop for people to research, ascertain information and to learn. The world wide web has become and is an online encyclopaedia.
For many companies, the internet has become their safe haven. It is a place for them where they can create brand awareness, generate revenue and get a return on investment. Many techniques and strategies are used by companies to generate traffic towards their website. This is where Search Engine Optimisation comes into place.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is “The name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings” – http://www.redevolution.com. It is a marketing discipline that focuses on using organic (non-paid) methods to generate traffic to a company’s website. The best way I can explain SEO through music.
When a signed musician has a new single coming out, they may promote their song using these methods:
On the radio
By doing so, they are visible to their fans and target audience. If the single does well i.e. ranking high in the charts, this could lead to an album being released and eventually their own headline tour.
The main emphasis for the musician is to create brand awareness and generate traffic towards themselves. By doing so, this should help increase sales, therefore, enabling the record label to get a return on their investment. Makes sense right?
So in regards to the internet, the higher a website ranks in a search engine just like in the music charts, the more likely it will become visible to people online. This increases the probability of turning a viewer into a consumer of that brand.
So how is this done?
I have compiled a list below of SEO techniques and strategies that can be used to improve a company’s search engine rankings and maintain an edge over their competitors.
1.Long tail keywords
Keys words are important as they help web user’s find content that matches their needs. Using descriptive long tail keywords for a specific target audience or consumer can help generate high amounts traffic to a website.
2. Using Visuals
We have all heard the phrase “A picture paints a thousand words”. By adding clear, professional images to content, this acts as a powerful visual aid in increasing engagement. Images can bring the content to life and break it into different sections.
3. Quality not quantity
Links are essential in driving traffic towards a website. In search engines like Google and Bing, the algorithm picks up links especially third party links. This helps a website in regards to ranking.
Use quality links from highly regarded sources and place in content when needed. Search engines perceive lots of links that are not of quality as spam. So quantity is not key but the quality is.
4. Being Social
Sharing useful content on social media platforms is a great way to generate traffic to a website. This is because it can get web users attention which can eventually lead to increasing the chance of gaining more quality links. Web users can also see a company’s social media as providing resourceful information and go onto their website to learn more about the organisation.
5. Being mobile
According to statistics from Smart Insights, 80% percent of internet users own a smartphone. With the continuous rise of mobile technology, having a mobile friendly website is essential for SEO. To see if your company’s website is mobile friendly, you can click on this link here.
It should appear like or be similar to this:
If not, a company should work in collaboration with the technical team in making this come to fruition.
6. Breaking it up
Good formatting can be make or break for a person to view and stay on a company’s web page. Good formatting can consist of:
Keeping paragraphs to two or three sentences may make it easier for the reader to follow with their eyes.
Longer sentences are harder to read and at times unnecessary. When possible, break down longer sentences into shorter ones.
People online don’t read content – they scan. By breaking information down into subheaders it makes content easier to digest. By a subheader also being quite punchy and catchy it can keep readers engaged and want to stay on that web page.
If you have a lot of data encapsulated into a paragraph, such as graphs and statistics, it is easier for a web user to scan the information by it being put in bullet points.
7. Revamping and Republishing
By updating and amending old blog posts, this can increase organic traffic to a website. By streamlining web content, it can also increase the speed of a website. This is useful to a web user as a slow running website can become disengaging.
Whatever type of company you are, it is fundamental to KYC – Know Your Customer. Look at data such as Google Analytics and data on social media. This invaluable information can be used to see what content resonates with your target audience. A strategic plan can then be implemented in continuing to create content that helps drive traffic towards your company’s website.
What businesses have to remember is Search Engine Optimisation is like a science. Different techniques and strategies have to be tested until you find the right formula for your business. At times, you will have to adjust the equation in order to keep up with the ever-changing digital sphere.
It is about learning to be adaptable in order to get your brand’s story heard and always having a focus on delivering rich and informative content.
“Product distribution (or place) is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. An organization or set of organizations (go-between) involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user” (wikipedia.org).
This blog post has been written analysing the approach the world’s leading food company Nestlé uses in distributing its products to its consumers. Within this post the lineage of Nestlé will be look at, the advantages and disadvantages of its distribution methods and if there is room for improvement in distribution so the organisation can maintain its dominance in the food market.
The Nestlé Effect
Nestlé was formed in 1868 by Henri Nestlé who set up a sales office and by 1901, Nestle opened its first UK factory. The organisation is renowned for producing some of Britain’s best loved brands such as Kit Kat, Nescafe and Smarties. With around 95% of UK households consuming Nestlé’s brands and more than 2 billion products sold in the UK each year, the organisations dominance is clear. The way Nestle distributes its products can be accountable for its success.
The Distribution Channel
“ The term ‘channel’ is used to symbolise the flow of goods and services around the network” (Cannon, 1996).When distributing a product there has to be careful consideration from an organisation in deciding what channels /networks of intermediaries to use as this should be cost-effective but also meet its customers needs. The distribution chart below illustrates what channels are used by Nestlé in distributing its products to get to its consumers.
“Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale” (wikipedia.org)”. Manufacturers act as the catalyst in the distribution channel as they transform raw materials into finished goods – products. With Nestlé having 15 manufacturing sites in the UK, the organisation manufactures a wide range of brands such as Kit Kat and Nescafe. The manufacturers bring together the sugar, cocoa and other materials to produce the chocolate products. Cocoa beans are converted into chocolate bars and other finished products.
Intermediaries are “the link in the flow of goods from a supplier to a final customer” (Home Learning, 2009). When Nestlé’s products have been manufactured they are transported by truck (another intermediary) to retailers. Retailers help the manufacturer by making their products conveniently available to the consumer. As retailers act as “the middle men” in selling Nestlé’s products to the end customer, it is vital they are given support and Nestle provides this through the packaging, advertising and promotion of their products.
“Customers are the lifeblood of every company. A company that does not satisfy its customers needs will not stay in business over the long run” (Zikmund & d’Amico, 2001). As Nestlé buys in bulk from exporters and suppliers, retailers buy in bulk from Nestle. This is because Nestlé has a range of products and retailers can promote these ranges at different sizes and prices which enables customers to make a choice which suits their needs best. For example, on Tesco’s website there is currently a special offer on Kit Kat’s 2 finger milk chocolate biscuit – 21 pack for £2 when it was originally £3.49 saving the costumer £1.49.
Advantages of Nestlé distribution
The distribution channel Nestlé uses from manufacturer to retailer to consumer is successful. From the method used, the manufacturer benefits from a wide distribution it never owned thus making Nestlé’s products easily accessible to the consumer. With Nestlé having a fleet of trucks to transfer their products from the manufacturer straight to the retailer, it is the most efficient way of getting their products to the consumer and relatively low in cost.
Disadvantages of Nestlé distribution
“Globally, transport is responsible for approximately 20% of all CO2 missions” (www.nestle.co.uk). By Nestlé using trucks as a transport method to distribute its products, the organisation is helping to create more pollution from emissions not to mention more congestion on roads. However, Nestlé is fully aware of this and is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its transport and distribution activities. By maximising the number of pallets per load and the number of products per pallet, Nestlé has increased lorry loads to a total of 23 tonnes which has helped reduce the number of vehicles on road.
In conclusion, Nestlé’s distribution channel is effective and successful. However the organisation should look at other forms of distribution. Nestlé currently uses intensive distribution in every possible outlet so there is enough exposure for the consumer to buy the product, however using exclusive distribution could also be beneficial. By Nestlé having an exclusivity deal on some of its products with a retailer this may gauge new customers. However, there is also the risk of potentially alienating and losing existing customers.
For Nestlé to maintain its dominance in the food market the organisation has to focus on the logistics of distribution from customer service all the way to transport options and the only way this is achieved is through communication. Quarterly meetings with members of the distribution channel should be put in place. This will ensure everyone has the same objectives in distributing Nestlé products in a timely and efficient manner to the customer which will result in profit for the organisation and everyone within the distribution channel. “The creation of dialogue, communication as a two-way street, is the lifeblood of creating that vital strategic cohesion of the organisation, getting everyone on side” (Irons, 1997).