Having an Online Marketing strategy has become absolutely essential for any business. Just getting a website commissioned is not good enough. You need to find and continually work to attract targeted users to your site, in order to convert those browsers into paying clients of your business.
The Internet landscape and search engines constantly update their search algorithms, users change the way they consume and interact with online information and a thus an online marketing strategy that worked well 12 months ago will not be perfect now and can suddenly stop providing results overnight.
Many business’s first reaction may be to panic at thought of the amount of business that is being missed, some won’t even know if changes had impacted them for better or worse and others will sit around cussing Google for their meddling.
The truth is, the search engines are not always at fault and sometimes it would be more prudent to look closer to home to find out where the blame lies.
You are not tracking your results.
Last month your online marketing efforts resulted in a 12% increase in search traffic, 150 new subscribers to your newsletter, 35 new inbound calls, 16 email enquiries resulting in 11 new appointments and 6 new sales.
Now the numbers will vary depending on the niche that you work in but the point is if you don’t know your numbers then stop investing in marketing and advertising until you know where you stand.
If your online marketing has resulted in 2 profitable sales then if you doubled your investment would that result in 4 sales, 8 sales 16 sales, 32 sales etc. On the other hand, if you are not getting any sales then there is a problem and you need to find the bottle neck in your marketing system before you waste another penny.
You cannot manage what you cannot track and without those numbers you are doing your online marketing, and ultimately your business, a huge disservice.
Your Reputation Precedes You
Type in the name of your business and or the name of the your business in the city that you operate. What do you see? The majority of search results will pull up the most relevant results. Some of those results maybe from past clients who have left comments about the service that you provided or lack there of.
People trust what other people say online so you need to make sure that the comments and reviews reflect your business in a favourable light. If they are negative then people may take one look at the reviews and simply move to your next competitor.
Your past and current customers are the biggest advocates of your brand. Ask them to share their experiences about how your business helped them. This in turn will provide an insight to future users of your business how they too could benefit from using your products or services.
Your Website is Not Relevant
Is your website helpful? Does it provide sage advice to questions your users ask? Is it easy to navigate? Does it look and feel fresh and modern?
User demands change and a website that was designed to satisfy users five years ago may not be sufficient today. (Think the increase in mobile use as an example, something we will talk about later in this post)
If you have analytics use it. If you don’t have it then install it. Google Analytics is free and can help answer the following questions that might give you an idea as to where your website is going wrong.
Look into how long people are spending on your site, what pages that are visiting? What pages they enter the website on and what pages they leave the website on? Is there a certain page on your website that people spend longer on than most? Is there a way you could capitalise/engage that group of people to take some form of action; sign up to a newsletter, share this information on social media, provide an offer?
You Are Targeting the Wrong Users
Being the authority for branded keywords related to your business is a given. However this only helps people who already know about you find you. Think about the benefits of your services and products and the questions people would ask if they were looking to solve those problems and develop a search engine optimisation strategy that includes content be that blog posts, articles, videos that provides people with the answers to the problem they are looking to solve thus increasing the relevance of your businesses services. You may find a whole new audience that are interested in your products.
Search Engine Optimisation is Not Relevant
Search engines have a very complex algorithm that they use to calculate the search engine rankings of a page for a given keyword term. Pages are presented with the most relevant first. There are many contributing factors as to how the search engines calculate this but one of these is the number of references/backlinks pointing back to your site from authoritative and trustworthy domains.
This means if someone else in your niche finds your website helpful then they point their readers to it by inserting a hyperlink in their article or post. By doing this the search engines can see that your content is trustworthy and will send their users to benefit from the great value it offers.
Problems can arise when the links pointing back to the site are from less than authoritative sites or are from sites that do not offer any relevance to what your site talks about.
If search engine optimisation is part of your overall online marketing plan then think quality over quantity, every time.
Your Website is not optimised for Mobile Browsers
Having a website that is not optimised for mobile browsers is like having an office or a clinic on the second floor without having a lift. You will immediately lose out on a large part of the potential market.
Mobile is very important not only because everybody has access to a mobile phone but a lot of people also have access to tablets or smart devices that they can now browse the internet on.
If when that user lands on your site if they can’t read the text because it is too small or they can’t navigate easily between pages because the buttons are too close together or they can’t see all of the screen. They will leave that website and go somewhere else.
Google has made it very clear that sites that do not confirm to their mobile policies will lose out on search visitors.
Read this post about checking to see if your website is mobile friendly or not.
Your Not Social Enough
The world has gone social and to reflect that shift by the user base the search engines place more emphasis on how popular your content is. In other words is your content being shared across social media; Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus etc. By having your content shared it shows to the search engines that the content is valuable to other people and this helps with your rankings.
An example of this is would be if a new restaurant opens up in your town, eventually by the restaurant serving great food, having a friendly atmosphere, and providing an excellent customer experience the restaurant will start to be mentioned by word of mouth to other people in and around the local area.
Social media just mean it can happen quicker. Instead of the word of mouth referral being the next time the bump into their neighbour in the street people are now taking picture of their food, or the party of people at the restaurant and sharing it immediately to their local social following. Therefore instead of a one to one referral there is an instant one to many referral.
Include social media share buttons on your website giving people to tell all their friends and connections about your website if they find something that really engages with them. Also, make an effort to interact with your target audience on social media and encourage conversation and sharing of your content.
There is a Complete Lack of Consistency
Online Marketing is not a set it and forget it strategy. There are too many changes implemented daily for that to happen. That is not to say that you have to adapt to all of them because even businesses with the largest budgets in the world would find that too difficult. Focus on providing the user with an excellent experience, through great content and interaction and you will find that your website becomes a magnet for targeted clients resulting in increased sales.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community