The marketing landscape has changed for the better. With powerful mobile technology people are more informed than ever before with access to the most relevant information at their finger tips at all times. Kids have been born into a world where search engines drive economic activity like nothing else before it. That’s all they know and that’s how they will find your business.
Because everyone is so informed now, bombarding them with advertising with last second deals doesn’t work anymore. Most of us are now ok with taking our time, gathering information and making an informed buying decision. The worlds information is at our fingertips at all times so why would anyone fall for that flashy in your face deal when there could be a better one around the corner? Search engine optimization is a more subtle way of reaching out to the people who are looking for you.
SEO is both art and science. It’s science because you’re constantly researching, testing and applying statistics about your customer base. It’s art because you have to find out how to speak to them in a way that they want to buy from you without being pushy.
2016 is a fresh start for you and your company. SEO is a never ending game of king of the hill. You can catch up to the companies ranking in the top three spots for your business if you implement a strong digital marketing plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail as there are thousands of other companies out there who are more proactive. Here’s how you can catch up to the businesses that have embraced SEO positioning yourself for both short term and long term success.
The Only Constant in The Universe is Change
We’ve all heard this one before but most of us still fight it. Much like the universe is always in motion so is SEO. We’ve all heard the horror stories from angry and frustrated business owners reaching the top spot only to tumble down the rankings when Google releases an algorithm update.
In anything in life there can only be one at the top. There is only one super bowl champion, one president, one PGA champion, one WSOP main event champion, one Taylor Swift, One Kanye West and so on.
You get the point but what do all these people have in common? They can only be number one for so long! There is always an opportunity to overtake the top spot and always people gunning for it. Your business can get to the top of the rankings as well through careful planning and focused implementation.
It’s the same thing in the digital marketing and SEO world. Once you get that top spot you have to hold it. It’s like A Game Of Thrones but even geekier if that’s possible. When Joffery Baratheon claimed the Iron Thrones there were already plans for others to overtake it just like when Robert, his dad, claimed it before him. Once you get to that top spot you need to adjust on the fly to maintain it.
Because Google’s algorithm is constantly shifting and changing you need to have a plan in place at all times. Throwing a bunch of Spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks doesn’t work anymore. It takes a highly focused, conversion minded mentality to succeed in today’s digital marketing world while making adjustments on the way.
Here’s what you can do to plan for a successful digital marketing strategy in 2016.
The Information Age
We live in the information age. There is so much information that most of us don’t even know what to do with it. Think about what it was like during medieval times when they used a Raven to send messages back and forth?
Imagine if a princes in another Castle 500 miles away caught your eye. It would have taken days for you to send a love letter by Raven. What if the Raven died on the way or a wanderer put an arrow through it along the way? Princess whats her name never would have gotten that letter and you would have been left wondering why she never responded.
Now we can simply fire up a messenger app, send a few emoji’s and figure out right away whether or not she is open to our advances.
While your customers aren’t always looking for princesses they are searching for the most relevant information that can guide them to a solution. They can pull up a Google search with what they’re looking for in seconds and know with a single snap judgment who they want to buy from.
All the information we need is at our finger tips but more isn’t always better. We need to look for quality information to apply to our digital marketing plan.
Just like SEO companies research your company you should research them. If you take the time to research an SEO company you’ll understand the process more and also know what to look for. Understanding how information travels back and forth will help you understand how to position your business for the most success. It can also help you understand how to relate to the people who are your most frequent clients or customers.
What are you Goals?
When we talk to clients their goal is to be ranked number one. The number one strategy sounds great on paper but it isn’t realistic. As a business owner you need to decide what you want to rank number one for. What do you offer that can bring in the most revenue right away? Once we win that area for you then you move on to the next area and build from there.
With the constant changes to Google’s algorithm the one thing that sticks out is how much weight local search carries. You want to have a strong presence in your own city first and foremost and expand from there.
Aiming for an easy win that can generate an immediate return on investment can put you in position to profit even more down the road. Ranking number one everywhere in the world isn’t possible unless you’re a big company like ESPN or FIFA. If you search “Soccer” or “World Football” a result with FIFA in it will pop up at some point.
This isn’t realistic for a local clothing company, pizza place or bar. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money. You can win your city and prosper ranking number one for all the search terms that matter in your own back yard. Targeting your own city and devloping a strong local presence can pay off big.
What Aspect of Digital Marketing Do You Want To Focus On First?
SEO isn’t a broad term used to describe all areas of your digital marketing strategy. It has multiple different areas. Each area takes a full team of SEO experts to do successfully. More often than not we get clients who get confused with PPC (Paid Per Click) and organic search rankings. Keywords and research apply to both but most think if you rank for one you can automatically rank for another.
Each one takes a different approach and strategy to do successfully. Successfully implementing a PPC campaign doesn’t mean you’ll automatically do well in the other. What you learn from one you can readily apply to the other but each area takes your full attention.
Ideally you want to apply both PPC and organic to your digital marketing strategy but that isn’t always realistic right out the gates. Most business owners take the wait and see approach. They want to see one work before they commit to the other.
I don’t blame them as some have been burned by bad SEO companies who didn’t deliver on their initial promise. If you choose the right team of SEO experts you can do both effectively creating a powerful one-two punch of digital marketing. It’s like the knockout blow of SEO.
PPC can bring about an immediate return on your investment. You can have leads come in right away in the form of phone calls or walk ins. Organic is oftentimes more of a long term strategy with lasting effects. With PPC you can turn it on and shut it off whenever. With Organic you can create something that can generate leads and revenue for you that lasts.The best way to approach organic is through a strong content marketing plan. You can realistically create one article or other piece of content that can convert for your company for years after you’ve posted it. With PPC you always have to pay every time you want to place yourself in front of people.
It’s All About People
When we talk about digital marketing and SEO strategies with our clients they are usually all in on PPC and content marketing. What they usually leave out is social media and often times it’s a huge mistake.
The best SEO approach is holistic. When most of us think of social media they think of their teenage daughter sharing pictures of laser cats or updating their status with a picture of their Chipotle Burrito.
That may have been how it started but now social media carries a lot of weight in SEO. Twitter made a deal with Google at the start of 2015 to start indexing more of their Tweets.
This sends social back links to Google’s algorithm which creates more ways for people to find you. Social media is also a way to get your company in front of the people who matter the most. Your Twitter profile can become a powerful lead generation system that can convert your fans into leads which can then turn into sales. Believe it or not thousands of companies are converting on Twitter and generating revenue every single day.
Across every social media platform you can hand pick which companies you want to follow. You can also tune yourself out from the things you don’t like. As a company you can place your content and website in the areas that matter where people are receptive to dealing with you instead of tuning you out.
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
No one really wants to grab a handful of spaghetti covered and marinara sauce and throw it against the wall. Do you really want to wait around and see what sticks? It’s more fun when engaging the people that matter the most to you. Using the Spaghetti on the wall approach can also cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Old school advertising was in your face and annoying for most people. What if you could market yourself to people who were actually enthusiastic about your business and open to talking to you?
You can if you understand your buyer and the journey. The journey consists of multiple different phases. More often than not by the time they become a lead or make a purchase they have gone through a research and consideration stage.
If as a company you figure out and understand what this looks like then you can find a way to communicate with them at every phase.
There aren’t very many over night sensations in the SEO world. Unless you have a huge financial backing most business owners will have to take the slow and methodical approach. This can scare business owners away from diving into SEO and digital marketing head first.
While it takes time to establish yourself in this world you can still have an increase in revenue and sales right away. As your company website is adjusted to become more appealing to search engines you’ll see a spike in online traffic, leads and phone calls. Your website will jump up in the rankings and sometimes dip. This is called the Google dance in the SEO world.
The important thing to take away is that you have to commit to the plan and see it through. If you jump ship early or mid way you will have wasted valuable time and resources. You could also lose all the momentum you gained to rank and slowly dip in rankings.
If you’re interested in an SEO analysis and need help implementing a digital marketing plan click the link below.