Before we get going, ask yourself this: how much of the following scenario describes your web presence?
You’ve got a website. You either built it yourself, or you had it designed professionally by a creative firm or freelancer. Your website functions well and looks pretty good, yet you aren’t getting any traffic. Or you aren’t getting enough traffic with respect to the popularity of your industry, or you aren’t getting nearly as much traffic as your competitors seem to be, despite the fact that you are considerably ‘bigger’ than they are in the traditional sense.
You’ve got a Twitter and Facebook account set up, and maybe even have secured a few friends and followers. You’ve invested in a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaign on Google and maybe you’ve even experimented with banner ads on various forums and sites in your industry. Yet despite all of your efforts, you’ve only seen minimal success online. And you’re frustrated as hell.
The reality is this: there’s a very distinct difference between deploying a handful of arbitrary tactics and hoping for the best and actually crafting a web marketing strategy based on facts.
Toward the end of a strategy presentation meeting with a client of Mindscape recently, we went into the phase of explaining the various tactics and techniques that should be employed in order to improve the success of their website. The dialogue is a little generic in the respect that there are only a handful of ways to effectively communicate the processes of article marketing, PPC advertising, on-site elements and calls to action, etc.
After the end of that segment of the presentation, the client was a little perturbed and voiced concern at the fact that this part of the strategy seemed to be less tailored to his business and more of a simple list of ‘to-do’ items that we recommend to every one of our clients.
He then asked how many of those tactics and action items were stuff we recommend to other clients.
“Well that depends on the client.” I offered immediately.
After a short pause, I went on to explain my initial knee-jerk response to his question. I told him that the descriptions of the tactics are, for lack of a better expression ‘generic’, but the strategy itself is derived by the fact that we literally spent over 100 hours of research dissecting the 1000-plus keywords relative to his business and his industry, scrutinizing the entities that are currently occupying the online space in which the client wishes to be more competitive. We analyzed buyer personas, identified the problems visitors are looking to solve, where they’re hanging out online, and how to reach them. We spent time considering the actions that the client ultimately wants the visitors to his site to take. We looked at how his current site was set up and devised a plan to make improvements to the website to enhance the overall user experience – and ultimately achieve the goal of the client – which is to get more conversions through his website.
Even though we did recommend about seven different tactics to employ that will greatly improve his chances of success, there were at least a dozen methods of internet marketing techniques that we didn’t touch on, as they were irrelevant to his business model and the chances of those being effective were marginal at best, and the client’s energy and resources would be much better spent in other areas of focus.
So, going back to the opening question, how effecting are your web marketing tactics? When you’re evaluating a particular course of action, are you taking into consideration:
Who your targeted visitors are?
Where they hang out online?
What problems they’re looking to solve?
What actions you’d like the to take once they arrive at your site?
Or, do you simply have a Facebook Fan page because someone told you you should have one? Are you on Twitter because it’s all the rage right now and everyone seems to love it? Are you paying $3 a click in a Google Adwords campaign for traffic from a highly competitive keyword? What are those visitors doing when they get to your site?
There are two camps with an internet presence. There are those who take the time to consider all of the varying factors that play into the decision making process and ultimately make calculated, informed choices – and there are those who set it and forget it.