Digital Marketing – Because It Works
There are many things that need to happen for a site to become highly visible in Google and you need a company that will take care of it without hassle.
But, you don’t want a company who’ll ‘do’ cookie cutter marketing based on a set number of services. That way lies (eventually) decline and stagnation. #becauseitworks #digitalmarketing
Online marketing is an ever evolving discipline and any company you choose needs to be able to be flexible and use the tools and tactics that best suit your unique needs.
There is of course always a standard base, or at least there should be. The base is about the only thing that is really similar for each business, as it starts with the website.
Digital Marketing Fundamentals
Build a strong base and the rest is easier. A strong base starts with a website that is easy to navigate, contains valuable content and is constructed with Google’s guidelines in mind. It must be fast to load and be totally flexible – so that it loads fast and shows well on mobiles.
That’s where we come in. We can help you build that strong base. There is, however, a second equally important part of the foundation for success in any business. That is your product or service and the customer experience you provide. The customer experience starts with the first contact, whether that’s on or off line.
Sadly, too many businesses pay lip service to putting the customer first, especially if they have shareholders to consider. But think about this. When you are a customer what sort of service and what sort of experience do you want? What would shareholders want when they are customers?
So, while we can help you build a strong foundation for your online marketing, you have to build the strong foundation within your business.
Remember, there is so much competition out there that you MUST stand out from the crowd, not by being the cheapest or the most expensive, but by providing an outstanding customer experience.
Once the website is configured and coded correctly so it loads fast, shows well on mobiles and has valuable information, you then need to build trust with Google and all the other places people might find you.
Digital Marketing – Brand Value
A study done last year to compare click-through rates from organic search shows there is a huge difference in CTR between branded and generic searches. This is why you need to rank number one for your brand. You’ll get an average of over 50% CTR for branded searches against an average 30% for generic searches. Source
Now here’s where it gets even more interesting (or confusing depending on your perspective!). For many years Google has defined searches by three criteria:
- Informational – people looking for information – the what/why/how/when and where of stuff. This can include info on TV series, films, recipes, famous people etc.
- Transactional – they’re ready to do something. Buy, sign up, donate, vote or whatever else you might want them to do when they get to your website.
- Navigational – they’re looking for a local place or possibly a website like an airport website. They know the airport name but not the web address, so they type the name of the airport. For local services and products, they might use terms like ‘near me’ or ‘locally’.
Naturally, you may think that you need to be found under the transactional phrases and of course you do. But, you also need to be found under the other terms too because you need to get their attention when they start their research, when they’re looking for information. You obviously need to be found when they’re ready to buy. You also need to be found when they’re looking for you (a branded search).
Ah, I hear you ask “A Branded Search? Where did that come from?” A branded search is where they know who you are and that they probably want to do business with you but don’t remember your website address or contact details. Think of it as a combination navigational and transactional search. So you most definitely want to be found for that.
That means that part of the foundation, the base of your marketing, is a strong brand. Your brand has to have a strong message that makes it clear who you are and what you do.
Then you need to have that message shine through every marketing message you create.
To continue to build the strong base that will underpin everything you do online, you need to show conclusively where you are. Why? Because more and more searches are being done from a mobile, looking for local results. The clincher is that 78% of local searches done from a mobile lead to an action. That is they call, they visit, they buy. Plus, that action happens within 24 hours. Source
That’s not all. 44% of retail minutes (people shopping online) are spent on a mobile phone, while 11% are spent on a tablet. So the majority of online shopping is done from a mobile device. When people are looking for you, your product or service from a mobile they want to know exactly where you are. Google knows this so it, too, wants to know exactly where you are. If it trusts the information, you will become more visible in mobile searches – which equals more visibility overall.
If your competitors are offering mobile coupons so should you. In fact, if your competitors are not offering mobile coupons then you should definitely be doing it. People love mobile coupons, provide them and people will begin to love you too!
To show where you are you need your webmaster to ensure you have the correct GEO tags embedded in your website. These are the latitude and longitude of your address and place you precisely with GPS coordinates.
Next you need your name, address and telephone number displayed in micro format data from Schema.org. This tells the search engines that out of all the information on your site, this is your address, your business name and your telephone number. This is often referred to as your NAP.
Then you need a G+ page. This is what used to be your ‘local map listing’ – which should have the same NAP information, along with your business hours, images, background information and specials. This page needs to be updated regularly and valuable content posted, not just sales info but market info. That is, links to interesting articles from other people about your niche market. Post articles, videos and images yourself as well as linking to informative content from other sources. When you link to other sources always make a comment on it.
You need to be listed in as many directories as possible, local directories such as a local newspaper with a ‘Local Business’ section, your local Chamber of Commerce and Yellow Pages.
You also need to be listed in mobile directories and GPS directories as well as national directories like Business.com.
Next comes review sites like Yelp, social location sharing like Foursquare and of course Facebook. All three of these platforms allow people to comment, leave ratings and share all this with their friends.
Yelp is primarily a review site, but it also allows people to ‘check in’ so their friends know where they are and send messages. Foursquare makes a game out of checking in and is a powerful tool if people come to you. It also encourages people to leave comments and ratings. Facebook is THE social media site and is to social media what Google is to search.
Facebook has ‘check in’ as well as ‘review’ and of course allows sharing, liking and commenting, which again is shared automatically with friends. Not only that, 95% of all Americans have Facebook accounts and the mobile app is the most downloaded app ever!
NOTE: This is very generic and for your unique business different platforms may work better.
Phew! Well now you have the beginnings of a great foundation what next? Now you have to let people know about it.
You need to send out press releases on a fairly regular basis, at least every three months, more if you can afford it.
You need to consistently post engaging and valuable content that provides your potential customers with the information they need to do business with you.
Content can be video, infographic, image, article, top ten list and especially what others are doing with your product or service – to give potential customers some ideas they may never have thought of.
Content must be posted regularly on all your platforms, your website, social media profiles and your G+ page. Google (and people) are looking for the latest info not something that was posted ten years ago. Although, where content is timeless, a different approach can be taken (call me and I’ll explain).
You must be consistent in your posting schedule, don’t make the mistake of posting in flurry of activity for a week or so, then do nothing further for a couple of months. This will do more harm than good as you’ll look like a spammer, at least to Google.
This is to both gain the attention of and help persuade consumers to do business with you rather than a competitor. What many local businesses do not understand is that your competition is not just the store in the next street. It’s Amazon, Ebay, Craig’s List, etc. All trusted by consumers and search engines alike. But there’s more. Do you sell shoes? So does http://www.zappos.com/, they make it easy to buy and have expanded from shoes into general clothing. They have reviews and a lot of information, this all goes to building trust and confidence with the consumer.
To compete with these giants you need to pull out all the stops, be creative to get attention, mind you, creative not shocking for the sake of it. A little controversy can be a good thing if, and it’s a big if, you can find a way to be controversial and relevant.
Chopping someone’s head off on video and posting it online is controversial and attention getting but, not in a good way at all. Before you decide to go with your ‘controversial’ idea, ask yourself if you’d be happy for your grandparents to see it.
Before you decide your work is ‘finished’ and you no longer need to do ongoing ‘marketing’, think about these facts.
The US Small Business Administration recommends spending between 7 and 8 percent of your gross revenue on marketing, if your gross is less than $5 million a year and your net profit is between 10 and 12 percent. This is because marketing and advertising drives profit not the other way round. Each business has its own unique needs, depending on the market, whether the business is established or new and whether it’s launching a new product that will need a ‘push’ to get the attention of consumers.
A survey by the US Small Business Administration shows that the majority of businesses spend around 5 or 6 percent of gross revenue on marketing and advertising, with some spending up to 20% and some as little as 4%. Source
This means that if your gross (turnover) is $1million and your net profit is in the 10 to 12 percent range, then your monthly marketing/advertising spend should be in the range of $4,000 and if your gross is $500,000 then your monthly spend should be around $2,000.
Naturally you then have to take your unique position into account. Are you in a very competitive market? In that case you might need/want to spend a little more. You might be a new business and need to spend more to get yourself in front of consumers. You may be a well established family firm with little local competition, in which case you may need to spend much less. You know your business and you have to make the decision.
All of the above and more is what we offer, depending on the special and unique needs of your business. However, there’s one thing we haven’t touched on that is of vital importance to your online marketing success and that is the rapidly changing online landscape.
Google and other search engines, including Facebook, are commercial enterprises and make their money from advertising. In order to get people to stay on the site long enough for advertisers to pay well, they have to give their site visitors a good experience.
To do that they have to provide relevant results. There’s nothing more frustrating to a person searching for a specific item than to get to a site and find that while they ranked high for the search phrase, they don’t in fact have the item. Or, they may have it but it’s buried somewhere in the site and is not readily apparent.
That’s why Google and all the others make changes. They make the changes to try and provide the most relevant results they can. To be successful online you need to keep up with the changes, those that are made public and those that aren’t. In the past, what has been approved by the search engines gets high jacked by unscrupulous marketers and then becomes something that gets your site penalised.
We keep up with all of that because that’s our business. You’re the expert in your business and between us, we make a great team.
Call us now to find out if we can help you dominate page one 602-336-9225
Just to finish this article nicely and because we know you’d like a little proof that digital marketing works, here is a screen shot of the results for just one client of this system.