Every serious business owner is aware of the need to get their message in front of customers in the online world. Most know that the best way to do this is to off load the SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Social Media Marketing and PPC (Pay Per Click advertising) to professionals in the field who can ensure that the cost of customer acquisition and retention is appropriate to the needs of the business and helps it grow.
When approaching a specialist Digital Marketing company, they will be able to help you decide on just what you are looking for from each campaign, for example is it new customers or building brand awareness or growing a mailing list? We spoke to Glyn McCarthy from The Search Equation, check out their website here, and he mentioned several things that caught our attention that are likely to not be on the radar until pointed out.
One of the first things he told us was that a number of sites they have helped in the past did not realise that before coming to them the money they had been spending was “going into a black hole since they were penalised by Googles algorithm updates”. If your site has fallen foul of the Panda or Penguin updates, as an example, then there is nothing you can effectively do to pull it up the rankings until those issues have been dealt with. A full site audit with these in mind must be carried out before any other actions are done to ensure that the effects of your campaign will be realised. Blackhat practices and links to known spam related sites need to be cleaned up.
A second point that is often apparently ignored by web site owners is the link to social media. Although many pay lip service to social media and send out the occasional tweet there is a huge benefit in having a consistently linked and managed profile across appropriate platforms. Few businesses take the time to address just where their customer personas actually spend their social media time. Sending out tweets at a time when your buyers are rarely online or to an audience that prefers Facebook or Instagram is a poor return on investment. Taking the time to investigate the right places and right formats is a big differentiator between businesses that win and those that do not. Taking a look at your competition if they do not have video, as an example, on their site and it is appropriate for your market it can boost credibility, view time and customer acquisition to new heights.
The third aspect is creating a local presence. It can be very tempting for businesses to get carried away with the ability to advertise and be seen globally but if your company provides a service to a specific geography only and does not ship to the whole world then this is sub optimal. Google provides ways of optimising local businesses in results and taking advantage of this can pay dividends in terms of return on marketing spend. The best place to focus your attention is where your customers are.