Interview with Justin Driskill, Founder of The Online Advertising Guide

Justin-Driskill-Interview-Hasty Insights
Interview with Justin Driskill – Founder of The Online Advertising Guide

In this interview, Justin Driskill, Founder of The Online Advertising Guide, talk about Digital Marketing Trends.

Question: Thanks a lot for being with us today. Could you share a few words about yourself for our readers?

Ans: Hi – sure my pleasure. My name is Justin Driskill and I’m the Editor and Founder of The Online Advertising Guide, a website that tries to make digital marketing simpler and more accessible for small businesses. I also work in the charity sector as a Digital Marketer and have a background in publishing and advertising.

Question: How did you come up with the idea for “The Online Advertising Guide”? Did you start the venture alone?

Ans: I started The Online Advertising Guide alone yes. Initially, it was just a repository for all the knowledge I had built up while working in Ad Ops. I had fallen into advertising and had stuck with it as it paid well and I was good at it (and it’s easy to like things you are good at). However, when I turned 30 I decided enough was enough and decided I wanted to use my powers for good rather than just carrying on with something I started accidentally.

So after I left my old job, and before I started my new career in earnest I decided to give myself a break. It was during that break that I realised I would possibly never use some of the more advanced knowledge about Ad Ops I had gained so I started writing it down. Once I began I started to realise how useful it would be to shed some light on how websites can actually make money from online advertising. Two furious weeks of working later I had built the first version of The Online Advertising Guide.

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Question: Can you please tell our readers some of the tactics you use in order to increase traffic using Digital Marketing? Is there any formula for doing that?

Ans: If your goal is increasing traffic, then the best channel is still SEO. I love the tactic I use because I made it up myself, and then after a few months, Googled SEO tactics just to check if I could be doing better and found that other people I respect had written my exact method down!

In a nutshell, it’s this:

  1. Go to Google Search Console (if you’re not signed up, do this immediately – all sites should be signed up to it!)
  2. Go to the Performance tab and look at Pages
  3. Order your results by impressions and add CTR to the report
  4. Click on the top page which has a CTR less than your overall average. This page will have the biggest potential, while also underperforming.
  5. Switch to Queries and take a look at the keywords which have high volume, but a low CTR. Optimise your page for 2-3 of these keywords.
  6. Use a spreadsheet to track the changes you make with this system. Write down the URL, the date, the keywords you chose, and the current CTR.
  7. Check that page again in 3-6 months and see if performance has improved (don’t optimise it again in the meantime – move down to the next page with a bad CTR instead). If not try again.

And, Repeat this as often as possible.

Question: Can you please share, how long it took your website to rank top of CTR and CPA calculation based keywords?

Ans: I honestly have no idea. I would dispute the idea that we rank top for either of those things (it depends on the country), but the pages which do well for those searches probably only took a few months to get a high ranking, and then a year or two to ‘cement’ themselves at the top of SERPs. As I said though, it depends on which country you are in so I’m still always working on improving their ranking.

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Question: According to you, what are the best ways to find low competition but high converting keywords for SEO?

Ans: The browser plugin Keywords Everywhere is my favourite tool for keyword research. It is free and amazing. It will only help you find low competition and low-cost keywords though. I don’t personally think you ‘find’ high converting keywords. (not new ones anyway – you can always look in your analytics to find keywords that convert).

If you want to get a “NEW” low competition but high converting keyword then find yourself a relevant low competition keyword and then build a great page for it. Make it a great converting keyword!

Question: Your favourite ways to generate traffic to your blog/website?

Ans: My favourite way to generate traffic is definitely Quora. It is certainly not the best driver of traffic, but I enjoy it far more than any other channel!

One of my friends is in IT and when I asked him why he liked his job he said that he just liked helping people. I was surprised to learn that it was nothing to do with computers at all! However, when I thought about my own career in digital marketing I realised it’s the same thing for me – I just like helping people. Quora is a great place to do that, plus you can add helpful links to your own site without people getting mad (as long as they are actually helpful).

Question: Best of all, list top 3 marketing channels do you believe to be the most effective in Digital Marketing?

Ans:

  1. SEO is definitely number 1. Google drives the majority of traffic across the internet in general, so SEO is easily number 1.
  2. After that, I would say Email as you are marketing to an already engaged audience, and it’s nice preaching to the choir sometimes.
  3. For number 3 it’s a toss-up between Paid Search and Social Media Marketing. Paid Search can be killer if you have the budget and know-how, but Social Media Marketing is great if you’re the right kind of person.

Question: Which are the other bloggers you follow and get inspired from?

Ans: We accept Guest Posts on the Online Advertising Guide and so I read an exceptionally large amount of submissions for that. When one of them is great, it really makes it worthwhile cranking through all the not-so-great ones. Regardless, reading such quantity really fills my blog reading needs in general.

Having said that I’m a big fan of newsletters in general – and they generally link to blogs of course! My absolute favourite is the Moz Top Ten for SEO, but I also religiously read the Google Best Practise emails. I also subscribe to the product emails of anything I use so I get loads of very niche blogs to read.

Question: Can you please list important 5 crucial social media marketing trends you see for 2019 that people should follow?

Ans:

5! Wow you don’t mess around. Ok…

  1. TikTok – once its advertising game is sorted then it’s going to be a big player in SMM.
  2. Video/Live Streaming – this deep into 2019 everyone will have noticed already how much more video we are consuming. This is a trend that’s here to stay so everyone should get stuck in.
  3. Meme’s & gifs about TV Shows. We’re about to have so many more TV streaming options than ever before with Disney+ leading the way. While memes and gifs aren’t new, the number of shows desperate for free advertising is going to explode so expect a lot more corporate content of this type coming our way.
  4. Smaller social networks taking off. This year was already meant to be about micro and local influencers (as they connect to their followers more deeply). Expect this trend to continue, with people fragmenting into smaller communities complete with smaller influencers ‘owning’ them. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a smaller forum, but they are generally much nicer experiences than giant social networks.
  5. More in your face advertising. With Facebook running mid-rolls, and YouTube playing two videos in a row, we’re already getting a lot more ads. Combine that with the fact that lots of influencers were fined this year for not declaring their sponsored posts. I think together that means that people will just start being extra explicit about their ads on social media – no more phoney reviews, just straight up BUY THIS NOW content in the middle of every video, whether direct from the creator or not.

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Question: What message or piece of expert advice would you like to convey to the strugglers in Digital Marketing and our audience?

Ans: Don’t fall at the first hurdle. It’s a piece of advice I got early on, and it’s really helped me more than anything honestly.

Don't fall at the first hurdle Click To Tweet

There will definitely be times when your digital marketing or website goes badly. Those are times to dig in, work out what’s wrong, and improve. Don’t quit. There have been so many times over the life of The Online Advertising Guide where I felt overwhelmed by some challenge or another. Facing them and overcoming them is what made me good at digital marketing. The good times are easy, the hard times are important.

Also… never stop learning. Read something on digital marketing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Twitter can really help with this – you should retweet something once a day as best practise anyway. When you are looking to retweet something really read the articles linked to. This will force you into a habit of reading a large number of digital marketing articles.

Thanks a lot, Justin Driskill for sharing your valuable journey.

Don’t forget to check Justin‘s website at ‘The Online Advertising Guide‘.

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