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The S.C.L.E.P.A model of Online Marketing

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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As you may be aware I am a fan of acronyms, I’m also a big fan of blending two words together as well a la George Orwell’s 1984 Doubleplusgood fame, but that’s for another time, today I want to share an acronym with you for how to be successful with your online marketing endeavors.

S for Site – work on your webby end

All too often I come across sites that tell you they are something special, they are full of pictures, bold headings and statements of total awesome domination over whatever field that they hope to overlord… but…. they site is so badly designed and the way I have to navigate it is so clunky that instantly any trust I might have had in them is gone,quicker than the last sausage at an Aussy barbecue.

Have a think about good looking sites that make you want to buy or interact, then look at your site... different?


I could go on and on and on and on about SEO tweaks and tips but I will leave that for another post, however I will say the two most often forgotten things to do on your site is ,making your url address match the content found in the site, because you have a great keyword vehicle there, bloody well use it!

The other one to think about is the Alt tagging your images, This is giving all the images on your site a text name that the search engines can read.

Examples of not doing this can be found by typing image001 in to image search (can bring back some interesting results!)

C for content – Work on the thinky end

Doing your keyword research is really important here, you need to know what people are searching for and how they are searching for it in the engines.

If you include these search phrases into your content your much more likely to be showing up in the results.

If you have the opportunity to have your sites users add content to your site in comments sections, you’re having the world do all the hard work for you.

However I was told recently that a friend read that it takes about 250 posts on your site before you really start to get people commenting on your site. Something to think about when it comes to commitment to your site.

Making your content shareable is easy really, just think about what sort of thing you will share with your friends and associates on your Facebook and try to produce content that you would share.

I don’t really know anyone that will share a product listing of a Dewalt cordless hammer drill bit but, I would maybe share content about that drill bit if it was a story of ‘Dave the little drill bit who was on a quest to find the long lost city of hammerdrillania’…. if you catch my drift.

Branding a persona is also smart, have a look around the other blog postings on this site, you will see that there is a consistent theme of irreverent humor running through, this is an example of branded personality. It can work for or against you, you just need to be consistent with this tactic.

L is for links – work on the networky end

You can build traffic to your site as well as its page rank by acquiring links from other sites to your site, however you must give people a reason to give you that link.

Look to the C for Content section about how you can make your content interesting enough to link to.

Social media buttons are a must in today’s world, make it easy for some one to share your post, like your post, re-tweet your post, Digg your post and so on, the 5 seconds you spend setting up the widget to do this can be months of laborious work handed over to the public to do for you.

Guest posting on other sites can give you some really valuable links, so find blogs that are in the same vein to yours and email the owners to ask if you can write some thing for their site.

Include a like to your site within the body of the text and bob’s your Aunty.

Internal linking is an important part of your site, so have a link from the body of one post to another page, this can enable your site to not only have your home page ranking on a search from Google but you can take up the number 2 and maybe 3 spot as well… Why own one chicken when you can have the farm!

E for Engagement – work on the talky end

There is a lot of conversation going on online at the moment about engagement, there are books, podcast’s, blogs and so on that are devoted to the task of building engagement but put simply its about listening to your customers online and actually having a conversation with them.

Best book on it I have read thus far is Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

Get it, read it, know it and practice it.

Managing your brand mentions online is another form of engagement, if you keep your ear to the keyboard you can react to any positive or negative comments about your brand.

If you can fix a customers problem by jsut talking to them,you will create evangelists… not a bad tactic.

Most blogs have a user comment form on them and this can be a powerful tool to keep in touch with your customer base online, if you have time to reply to Sean’s comment about going hand gliding in east Botswana on Facebook, you can take the time to reply to comments on your site..

P for Promotion – work on the selly end

Promoting your website is just as important as building in excellent SEO tactics, so think about them, find leaders in the industry and where they hang out online forums for example and buy an ad there.

Build a pay per click campaign to get your ads where the general public are but if your smart, you should only have a PPC campaign in the first few months of your site, because the name of the game is to rank naturally for the keywords your buying… takes a bit of work but if your spending big moola on PPC then why not spend that same dosh on producing awesome contnet!

Dont forget your email though, its still a great motivator to make a sale, many people make a fair bit of money online only selling by email, so it still works.

A for Analysis – work on the statty end

Finally understanding what is going on behind the scenes of your site is absolutely crucial to being able to react to trends, changes and issues in the marketplace. I

f you don’t know what content is bringing the most amount of traffic to your site, how on earth will you know where to put the majority of your efforts?.

That post you wrote about the life and times of the American Guinea Pig and how they are genetically driven to quest for chocolate on your site drove 1000’s of views….. so why not keep up that theme? you wouldn’t know if you didn’t analyse.

Google is one of the best tools for keeping on top of whats going on.

Its pretty easy to learn Google analytics now days as there are lots of great tools, tutorials and training centers that can help you out… (don’t mind the shameless plug there)..

So that was another online marketing acronym for you to put into your swag, do you have any others that you think should be mentioned?

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