When looking to market your website, there are 3 key areas: SEO, Adwords & Social Media. I am often told, I only want to proceed "my way" because I have either tried or talked with someone else...
Having been 'in' marketing for 28 years and mentor of marketing I have some points of views from looking at the facts - i.e. the results of marketing from what hundreds of businesses are experiencing.
Starting with social media marketing, its my least favourite strategy. Posting often leads to nothing but wasted time.
With all marketing from experience it needs to start to show some form of 'encouraging' results within weeks or a month, even for SEO. That point of view upsets a lot of marketing service providers!
The challenge with every marketing strategy is in the majority of cases not the strategy chosen but the execution of it.
Most businesses have a website and it can and is a fantastic lead generation tool, however over 90% of all websites are very poorly executed. They are built by programmers more than marketers and so while they can look pretty, they fail to generate quality and high volumes of leads. The majority of websites fail in dozens of areas in how they are built from the design, to the wording, to the offers, to the page types and contents to the SEO on page.
The number one reason why marketing execution is poor is because the focus is on how great the business is, showcasing its products and services and the greatly overused use of the word "we" everywhere. This self-promotion focus is the primary reason why any marketing strategy will fail.
Keeping poor execution, in mind social media it why most businesses will fail with it. That and the very poor reach of any posts. These days you're lucky if 3% of fans/followers see any post from a business. Good execution can increase it significantly but that execution requires hours of research and investigation.
Rarely will I meet a business owner who can state their social media marketing is working for them. Less than 5% do.
This is the best way to lose $1,000,000 if ever you wanted to, and get nothing in return. No other platform (except for perhaps TV) can burn up cash for little result as fast.
Execution is the number one reason, however there's another big reason.
The allowable Acquisition Cost to buy a customer.
Talking to expert Adwords managers has revealed that it is very common to pay 25% minimum and up to 50% or 100% of the average sale value seen, just for the advertising cost.
How many businesses can afford to pay 25% or 50% of the sale value? Some can like high margin retailers.
As the marketing company is focused on "Cost Per Lead" and not "Customer Acquisition Cost" many businesses aren't making money from their PPC advertising.
Determining what the allowable acquisition cost is per sale/product/service is wise, before thinking of any PPC campaign.
28 years of measuring advertising results and profits on sales has shown 10% of the average sale value as being an excellent figure. If a business sells a product at $100 then it would be 10% of the sale value can go to advertising to convert the lead into a sale. This may require tracking all leads to a source, which is achievable although sometimes challenging.
Retailers can pay more than 10% as their rent is their primary 'acquisition' cost. In a service business, it has to achieve a net profit ROI on advertising spending so it can keep on paying the cash for advertising.
Excellent, highly experience Google Ads management providers can assist with lowering the acquisition cost of buying customers and they need to. If they only want to focus on Cost Per Lead then find someone else.
Google Ads can be very profitable, if you find a great management company. That's your greatest challenge.
I can only recommend 2 businesses after looking for many years. It's so complicated it needs a very focused company with many years of experience.
SEO is the most controversial marketing topic there is. Every business wants to rank number 1 and are willing to pay (gamble) on companies to assist them to achieve this almost impossible goal. So many promises are in the space on getting businesses to position 1 or on page 1.
SEO definitely works as a good strategy, for some but not all businesses and that's only if you can afford the learning curve and patience for results that can take months or years.
There are "white hat" and "black hat" methods that can be used with SEO. Look up these phrases to learn about them.
I don't like the 'lock-in for 12 month contract' approach of SEO providers as the business takes on all the risk with no guarantee of results.
The challenge with SEO, Google Ads or Social Media is not having a clue what's important to understand with any of them. So business owners pay for service providers with a lot of "hope" they will receive value for what they pay.
Ignorance is extremely expensive.
For 22 years I've mentored business owners on marketing principles, starting with how to measure their results. It's always where I start and if you're reading this post to try to identify what you need to know about the 3 main forms of digital marketing, I suggest you start with education.
Ask questions online in Google searches such as... 'how to measure SEO results', or critical ingredients of 'google ad results', or 'social media success ingredients'. Learn about marketing and even pay some money to learn from a mentor or from a course etc. You pay once and then benefit for years and years, but without education you risk thousands of dollars for years and years.
SEO starts with on-page work and that makes the biggest and fastest difference.
I like SEO because of its rapid improvements - i.e. 2 to 4 weeks to see a traffic increase, when well executed. That's if its started with on-page work first.
All 3 types of digital marketing can be successful for most businesses however, its 100% determined by the execution of the strategy.
That said, social media success doesn't mean every platform will work great for a business. Facebook is terrible for my business whereas LinkedIn is good. Choosing which platform to focus on is the first step with social media and asking if its even likely to be successful. You probably won't get a truthful answer from a platform 'expert' which are abundant these days.
Keep that in mind if you're considering spending money on any form of digital marketing and all the best with your success.
Is video a key part of your marketing strategy? Why or why not? Have you seen an increase in engagement since using video?
Yes, we do.
At the beginning of 2020 when pandemic and lockdown led to workload decrease, we decided to focus on our marketing activities. Making video was one of the priority directions. As a result, we created about 20 videos: a couple of promo ones, reflecting our philosophy, as well as several videos describing software solutions we developed.
All in all, these videos collected more than 5k views. We think this is a good result, because our videos are not for the broad audience.
Right now we have plans to create 1-3 new promo videos, 1 of which will be placed on our website's main page.
Summing up, I would say that, even though we do not collect many views, we plan to continue making video as a part of our online marketing.
What would be a good way to get more traffic coming through to your website? I would love to hear some of the tried and tested tactics that you have used in the past!
One of the ways I've had some limited success with is using e-newsletters (I'm thinking about rebooting my list due to some spam signups) but it has typically driven more site visits.
Another way I've tried is doing some guest blogging at other related blogs (locally). I haven't had the honor of guest blogging in any major news magazines yet (but working toward it).
Also when I post articles on other local businesses or interesting tools, I always include links to their websites and social media accounts. I also try to contact them in advance of me publishing the article. This has two advantages, 1. They know they are getting some press, 2. They are likely to repost or retweet the mentions to their own following (which hopefully drives some traffic back).
What success has your business seen as a result of using SEO, PPC and/or social media? I'm looking to hear testimonials about what worked and why within the world of online marketing.
To make SEO successful we have found that backlinks from credible online sources have pushed our organic listings higher. Google uses a pagerank algorithm to analyze a website's backlink strategy. Companies that are able to generate backlinks from websites with a high page rank will see their organic ranking improve.
For an effective PPC strategy, it is important to have conversion tracking set up properly. Google's algorithm is most effective when it has a KPI to optimize to. Whether it is a lead form submission or down funnel page view it is important to set up a conversion tactic that you can optimize the search campaign to. In addition, building a strong negative keyword list will allow companies to only spend dollars on search terms that drive results for their business. These lists can be built up over time by analyzing search terms and seeing which keywords drive spend but do no produce conversion results.
Finally, social media is a great way to improve SEO. Google will give credit to companies who consistently post on social media and drive engagement through these posts. Any blog that is posted to your site should be reposted on social media. Use social media posts to create conversations with your consumers or business partners.
I've been told for example, that for Facebook marketing, there is no way I can grow my page significantly without investing in paid advertising. Is this true?
There are lots of options for online marketing. Using SEO and SEM together is ideal as main search engines are constantly changing their algorithms for rankings so stop thinking of SEO and SEM as rival forces. When used together they are complementary services that help boost your marketing strategy and increase brand exposure. The key is to build brand awareness and trust in your brand or business which begins by getting your business name to appear in prospect’s searches. Seeing your brand name appear twice, both on organic and on paid results, creates more brand awareness and intensifies your businesses’ trustworthiness. Research shows that if there are two brands that have apparently the same products, people will be more likely to choose the one they are familiar with. When a brand is shown in organic results alone it only gets 60% of clicks, whereas a brand that appeared in both organic and paid search results, attracts 92% of total clicks. When paid listings are shown beside organic, the click-through rate of paid ads increases. This means that clicks increase for both organic and paid listings when they are both featured and do not detract from each other.
I'm looking to find the best resources to learn about SEO, SEM, SMO, etc. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Hi @Opal Daniels
As @Jennifer Lancaster and Uttam have mentioned, you can read all of the books and articles and do all of the courses, but the only way to properly learn digital marketing is to get stuck in and learn by doing. You’ll find that once you start working across different online channels and platforms, the things you learn in books and online will solidify.
That said, there are many great and free resources available to start learning about the different areas within digital marketing - many of which are free! Below is a list of some of the top picks:
Google Ads certification: A professional certificate awarded to those who demonstrate proficiency in Google Ads (from basic to advanced).
Google Analytics for Beginners: Google has a free video course created specifically for newbies to Analytics. It has 17 lessons and teaches you how the platform works, menus, reporting, dashboard functions and more.
SEMrush Academy: SEMrush is an all-in-one platform for digital marketing with over 40 tools in content marketing, reporting,SEO, social media and more. They have an awesome set of free courses and resources, AKA the SEMrush Academy which teaches you how to work the platform.
Moz Academy: MOZ offers courses in Keyword research, SEO and site auditing. At the moment the courses are free due to COVID-19, so it’s definitely worth taking advantage of!
SavvySME: We have some great articles written by our community members - many of which are experts in their field. It’s definitely worth browsing through various topics within digital marketing. If you get stuck, the community is also here to clarify any questions you might have.
What are the best courses for small business owners or entrepreneurs who want to learn the basics or delve deeper into online and digital marketing? Which are the best free and paid courses?
As Cate noted, choosing the right digital marketing course really depends on what you’re looking for. For example, do you want to gain a thorough understanding of a particular area of digital marketing? Or do you want to learn the basics so you can start rolling out different marketing strategies for your business?
That being said, some of the best digital marketing courses for small businesses today are:
Australian Academy of Digital Marketing
WordStream’s Growth Academy
If you’re looking for more bitesize learning, podcasts are a great option as you can learn on the go. Some of my personal favourites are:
Marketing Over Coffee
Social Media Marketing Podcast
Marketing School Podcast
The Hustle & Flowchart Podcast
How to rank high on Google and Apple app stores?
We are setting up an AdWords campaign and want to create a quick HTML landing page to test a specific market niche. What tool (online or local App) would you recommend to quickly create a page...
I recommend Landingi.com