Digital 101: 101 Digital Tips over 101 Kilometre Ultramarathon
In February this year, I committed to share 101 Digital Tips during the course of my first 101km Ultramarathon, and film myself along the journey.
For some context, and if you’re understandably wondering ‘Why?’, click this link to find out.
Well, it took me 22 hours of relentless suffering, but I delivered for you!
To spare you from having to watch the video, I’ve put all 101 tips in the blog post below, with links to relevant websites and tools.
I hope you can find at least one insight that you can put into action today to help with your organisation’s website or digital marketing strategy.
PS – I’d like to thank those that donated to my Red Cross Bushfire Relief Campaign fundraiser. If you feel a sudden urge to donate now that I’ve delivered on my end, you can do so here.
Creative Director & Founder
101 Digital Tips
- FullStory is an app that allows you to record video of your user’s website sessions as they click around your website and they have a free plan. Amazing for picking up user experience issues. @fullstoryhq
- If you’re in the market for a CRM, the free version of Hubspot CRM has a tonne of useful features. Just install the script on your website to start collecting customer data. @hubspot
- With the free version of Hubspot you get access to a valuable little feature called ‘Prospects’, which can show you the companies that are visiting your website just based on their IP address. @hubspot
- Claim your business on Google Business if you haven’t already and create a process to regularly ask all of your customers to give you a review. @google
- Ensure you have filled out all aspects of your Google Business page, including contact details, website URL, open hours, photos and videos. @google
- Use the Google Street View mobile app for iOS & Android to take 360 degree photos of the interior and exterior of your business location and post to Google Business. @google
- Use a CDN or ‘Content Delivery Network’ like Cloudflare, which is free, or Amazon Cloudfront to speed up your website load speed, improving user experience, seo and ultimately conversions. @cloudflare @amazonwebservices
- Why is page load speed important?
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
Source: Neil Patel @neilpatel
- If your business is just starting out, Squarespace or Wix can be good options to build yourself a basic website quickly and cheaply in a matter of hours. @squarespace @wix
- You should test how well your website loads on slower networks like 3G and 4G to ensure it loads quickly and seamlessly. Google Chrome on Desktop has a tool built in to simulate this . @google
- Use Google Chrome for your primary web browser on your phone and desktop computer. It’s fast, secure, has a heap of useful apps and is now used by over 60% of all web users. @google
- WhatCMS.org is a website that allows you to find out what CMS (Content Management System) a website is using. This could be helpful if you’d like to see what CMS your competitors are using.
- Listen to the top Digital Marketing podcasts on Spotify. A few to get you started are ‘The GaryVee Audio Experience’, ‘Marketing School’ and ‘Smart Passive Income’. @garyvee @neilpatel @patflynn @spotify
- Listen to the top Digital design podcasts on Spotify including 99% Invisible, UX Podcast & Design Matters. @99percentinvisible @uxpodcast @debbiemillman @spotify
- When users first get to your website, they’ll be asking themselves… “Who is this organisation, what do they do, and how can they help me”. Answers to these questions should be clear just from landing on your homepage.
- The content you’re posting on social media should fall into three categories, either Inspiring, Educational or Entertaining. Inspiring content works best in the morning, Educational through the day, and Entertaining after-hours.
- Fill in all the forms on your website yourself on a regular basis to ensure that they are being sent and received correctly. It’s a common issue that they might not be working as you expected.
- Wappalyzer & Built With are handy little plugins for Google Chrome that tell you what platform a website is built on and what additional apps it is using.
- Answerthepublic.com is an incredible tool to help you come up with an endless list of valuable content ideas for your organisation’s blog. Simply type in a keyword for instant ideas. #answerthepublic
- ‘Sticky menus’ are navigation buttons that follow you down a webpage as you scroll, so they are always visible even at the bottom, saving the user from having to scroll back to the top!
- Call To Action buttons or CTA’s are prominent buttons displayed on your website to clearly convey what the next action is that you’d like them to take. For example ‘contact us’ or ‘download now’.
- One primary CTA per page is best so as not to confuse your users with too many options, and use a unique colour that is different to other colours on the site to help it stand out.
- The text or ‘copy’ on your page is often an afterthought, even though it’s the most important thing. Invest in a great copywriter.
- For those interested in digital design and business tips, a few accounts I follow that provide a wealth of valuable information for free are Chris Do, Michael Janda & Michael Wong. @chrisdo, @morejanda, @mizko
- Have a growth mindset! Digital is changing all the time, so you need to be willing to learn every day. Read ‘Mindset’ by Carol Dweck to learn more about developing yours. @carolsdweck
- Use Slack to streamline your team’s communications and reduce your email inbox clutter. Microsoft Teams is another option. @slackhq @microsoft
- Usertesting.com is a website that allows you to conduct specific tests on your product or website from real people in your exact target market, and get instant feedback. @usertestingofficial
- If you haven’t already, it’s time to move your organisation emails and documents to the cloud. Google Gsuite and Microsoft 365 are two of the best options. @google @microsoft
- Install Google Photos on your phone for iOS and Android to backup all of your photos easily. It even makes them instantly searchable via specific people, objects or location. You can even search for your dog’s face. @google
- The minimum size for a touch target on mobiles is around 1cm x 1cm. Any smaller than this and your buttons will be too hard to accurately press.
- Ensure that form buttons on your website can’t be double clicked allowing users to submit data or purchases twice.
- Use the Google Pagespeed Insights tool to get a score for your website based on how fast it loads on Mobile and Desktop devices. @google
- Breadcrumbs are a navigation aid to help orient people within a website. They’re especially important to help users understand where they are on the site.
- Don’t hide critical functions like search or login buttons within menus. They should be clearly visible on every page.
- To reduce the filesize of the photos and images on your website so that they load faster, run them through the free online tool TinyPNG.com.
- If you’re using icons for buttons, be sure to include a label alongside to reduce ambiguity. For example, don’t assume your users will know that a magnifying glass icon is a ‘Search’ button.
- In general, it’s best to limit the amount of navigation menu items to around five ideally, or seven maximum. More options than this you can give your users decision fatigue.
- Keep this quote from Mark Manson (author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck) in mind when structuring your website navigation… “The paradox of choice: the more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose, because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting.” @markmanson
- Be sure to use familiar interfaces and functionality on your website. If you confuse your users, they’ll leave.. The book ‘Don’t make me think’ by Steve Krug is a great reference.
- Systems and processes are critical for complex digital projects. A couple of books that taught me about just how valuable they are include ‘The E-Myth’ by Michael Gerber, and ‘Scaling Up’ by Verne Harnish.
- Avoid creating links on your website that say ‘Click here’. Link text should always explain what the user is going to get in exchange for their click, for example ‘View Case Study’ or ‘Call us now’.
- ‘Tooltips’ are small popups that offer more information when you hover over them on a web page. Typically they are designated by little question mark icons. Use them when elements on your page may need some further explanation for users.
- Google Fonts is an incredible resource that allows you to choose from almost a thousand fonts to use on your website, for free. The only slight downside is because they’re free, they’re a little bit overused.
- Purchasing a high quality premium font can be a great way to set your brand apart from your competitors online. A few type foundries we love are Klim Type Foundry, Grilli Type, Colophon Foundry & Hoefler&Co. @klim_type_foundry @grillitype @colophonfoundry @hoeflerco
- Polls and surveys can help give you a better understanding of the experience your website users are having. You could add them to a page with a high exit rate to try to understand why. Hotjar is a good option. @hotjar
- The longer a website page, the less likely someone is to scroll down to the bottom, so be sure to keep the most important content and messaging towards the top of the page.
- Royal blue is the default colour for links, so don’t make any other text or headlines blue if they are not a link, or you’ll confuse your users.
- As your website initially loads, show a skeleton of the content of the page as quickly as possible and progressively load from there. Text should load almost instantly and before images.
- Website form field labels should be outside the text field, not inside, so that users do not lose track of the data they’ve entered into various fields.
- Ensure your website forms have validation set up. For example if a user enters their phone number into the email address field, this should throw an error.
- The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were developed to help ensure your website is useful to all users, including those with disabilities. Go to w3.org to read them and see what you could implement.
- The three levels of WCAG are Level A – the most basic web accessibility features. Level AA – which deals with the biggest and most common barriers for disabled users, and Level AAA – the highest (and most complex) level of web accessibility
- Contrast between the colours on your site is critical to ensure it is legible to people that may be partially sight impaired. Go to ‘contrastchecker.com’ to test your colour palette.
- Your website must have an SSL certificate for data security and promote trust from your users. You can set one up for free using Let’s Encrypt. @letsencrypt @google
- Microinteractions are subtle animations on a website that delight the user and create a moment that is engaging and adds to a more positive overall user experience.
- Over 40% of customers switch brands due to poor online personalisation – try to incorporate personalisation into your digital strategy to avoid alienating your audience. @hubspot
- Quality photos are everything! Hire a professional photographer to take photos for your website, and make sure you’ve got the full rights to use them to across all of your collateral.
- Website buttons should have three states. One for when it’s inactive, one when the user is hovering on it, and a third for when it’s clicked or active.
- Install the free Grammarly chrome browser plugin which not only checks spelling and punctuation, but also grammar. This saves us everyday.
- Ensure your Instagram profile features either a link to your website, or to Linktree – where you can feature links to a variety of different pages, all hosted on one page. @linktr.ee
- Surprisingly, professional-quality photos are likely to receive less engagement, compared to more candid shots, which leads to less reach. Keep this in mind when planning your content. @instagram @facebook
- Avoid editing the caption or location tag on your Instagram post for at least 24 hours after posting, as this is said to be detrimental to your reach. @instagram
- Post on social media at times that suit your audience to maximise on engagement. Check your analytics to see what days and times are most popular, and schedule your content accordingly. @instagram @facebook
- How you engage with your Instagram audience for the first hour after posting dictates your overall reach of that post, so be sure to like and comment back during this period in particular. @instagram
- As a general rule, you should post multiple times per day if your aim is growth (but this may impact engagement), or post slightly less often (a few times a week) for higher engagement but slower growth.
- Be sure to turn on ‘post notifications’ for your favourite social media accounts, to be sure you never miss important content.
- Use the Insights section of your Instagram business profile to review previous posts and plan future content – see what type of posts performed best, note your audience demographics and adapt your content strategy to align with your findings.
- Instagram & Facebook Stories are a great way to reach your audience on a regular basis and shows a different side to businesses, helping them feel more authentic and relatable than overly-polished feed posts!
- Customise your social media profile’s Call To Action button. Choose from common actions such as Book Now, Buy Tickets, Send Message and others to encourage conversions.
- Creating a ‘Tone of Voice Guide’ for your organisation will help your team align their language and content, so that messaging online is consistent, ensuring your brand image is strong.
- As inspiration when content planning, look at websites such as DaysOfTheYear.com for key dates and national holidays you can talk about in your content.
- Avoid overused words and keep your content varied by searching for synonyms on Thesaurus.com, or use Google by searching ‘synonym [word]’.
- When copywriting with the goal of conversions/sales, remember to include the 4 Ps – problem, promise, proof and proposal.
- Most websites have about three levels of hierarchy in their menu navigation. This keeps things accessible, while making sure the main menu navigation isn’t too deep.
- Develop high-quality content tailor-made for the individual characteristics of each specific social media platform whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. Great content is not a one size fits all.
- To ensure your videos get the most reach, upload them to all platforms individually, including Youtube, Facebook & Instagram. Don’t just upload to Youtube and share the link on Facebook. @youtube @facebook @instagram
- If you have premium video content for your website that would like to remain private, Vimeo Pro allows you to set domain level privacy for your videos so they can’t be shared or played elsewhere. @vimeo
- Update your Facebook business page’s URL from the automatically generated link to a custom vanity URL to make it easier for your customers to find your page. @facebook
- Facebook ads with over 20% text on the image risk being either disapproved or having their reach limited. Use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool to ensure your posts are safe. @facebook
- Customise your business page’s Facebook Messenger bot to answer FAQs to save your team’s time responding to these common enquiries.
- For e-commerce businesses, list your products in the Facebook Catalogue to allow users to purchase goods through the app. This streamlines the purchase journey, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
- Utilise Facebook & Instagram’s Live Video feature to achieve great reach organically. Live Video content has fantastic organic results, and the unscripted nature of it is captivating for your audience. @facebook @instagram
- Use Facebook Creator Studio to schedule and publish your Instagram posts and IGTV videos from your desktop.
- You can also use Facebook Creator Studio to bulk upload multiple videos at once, crosspost content to multiple Pages and schedule, backdate or save posts as a draft.
- Use Stripe to easily accept credit card payments on your website. It has a lot of powerful features including recurring billing, subscriptions and coupon codes built in and has no monthly fee.
- Don’t waste your time filing your emails into specific client or customer folders, use the search function of Gmail or Outlook to find the message that you’re after.
- Install Facebook Pixel on your website so you can more accurately monitor the traffic coming from Facebook to your site.
- Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder to add UTM tags to the links for specific posts or campaigns to see exactly how well they’re performing in Google Analytics. @google
- Make sure you’re using a password manager to store all of your passwords. Never print them out, write them down or store them in a spreadsheet! 1Password & Lastpass are two of the best options. @1passwordofficial @lastpassofficial
- Never use the same password online twice. Use a password generator to generate a secure 10 digit minimum mix of random uppercase & lowercase letters, symbols and numbers, and then store them in your password manager.
- Whatever CMS you’re using whether it’s WordPress, Drupal or another, always make sure you’re running the latest version so that it remains secure and up to date. @wordpressdotcom @
- Plugins offer additional functionality to your website, but they can open up security vulnerabilities. Ensure any plugins used are well maintained and always run the latest version.
- Too many plugins or scripts can make your website slow to load. Ensure any you choose to install are 100% necessary.
- Your website should be fully ‘responsive’ which means the design adapts for both mobile devices and desktop computers.
- Invest into good hosting like AWS (Amazon Web Services), it is just as important as the website. People tend to undervalue hosting, until their site goes down and they end up dealing with lost sales and brand damage costing them much more in the end.
- Avoid giving your administrator account the username ‘admin’. It’s commonly used as a default username, which means it’s one less thing for a hacker to get past.
- Make frequent backups of important data. Don’t always assume that your web hosting company is taking backups. You or your web developer should take regular offline backups.
- If you need to keep physical backups, and can’t use cloud storage, make sure you keep one backup offsite in another location to be safe in the case of fire or theft.
- Use Google Drive or Dropbox to free up space on your computer, and securely backup your files. Your files will be kept online in the cloud and only downloaded when you need them.
- Make sure that sensitive data is encrypted so that if there is a data breach, no information will be leaked.
- Never quit!