Published April 2018
They happen to all of us from time to time; sometimes at home, sometimes at work… Those days we should just have stayed in bed.
You can have the best intent. You can even do what is required to the letter; cross all your T's and dot all your I's, but destiny simply will intervene in some situations. This is how I feel from time to time with a few of my clients. Fortunately, it does not happen often, maybe once or twice a year, and it just so happened that it was time to happen again in March 2018.
A client of mine, who has been around for several years, sent me a direct email to express his concern over a drop in his traffic. I don’t think he meant traffic, because he would have had to assess actual server or Google data.
I believe what he actually meant was that his leads had dropped.
Now, I treat every client the same no matter what the situation, because I only really get called on to do one thing, at the end of the day, and that is to increase business.
This client wanted more leads.
Now, there could be a number of reasons as to why leads may drop, which may not be the fault of the client's website or marketing in any way.
There really are so many reasons as to why leads might drop.
Once you have ruled out some of the above possible reasons, you can take a look at own company marketing. I always follow a simple assessment process.
However, each platform requires a different assessment.
So, if he has Facebook, I would have to do one for that. If he has Twitter, I would have to do another one for that. Each platform would also require a different solution.
In this instance, it was a simplified assessment because all there was to check was the client's website.
So I go through some basic checks:
How does the website look compared to a primary competitor?
How many competitors are there?
Is someone offering a faster response time, or better price?
It turned out that this website was made two years ago – and at the time had basic S.E.O done and nothing since. Not a thing. So I raised this point as a concern. The client was under the impression that once S.E.O was paid for, it lasted forever…which, of course, is extremely wrong.
Which, of course, is extremely wrong…
Now, there is naive and then there is conveniently oblivious. I know for a fact my company would have pushed for S.E.O to be done on a regular basis, and this was probably rejected.
So, I advised on what needed to be done in terms of S.E.O, and also advised how Adwords can kick-start some immediate traffic and, therefore, leads. Almost like clockwork, I get the same reply from so many clients after presenting solutions: “can you guarantee results?”
To which I reply…
… Because I don’t manage Google.
No company can guarantee results for SEO, Adwords, Facebook or any other web based or social media marketing…
Any marketing of any nature that ever existed, actually…
So I tried to explain that marketing is placing yourself out there for people to see.
That is what it is.
You need to bear in mind that you have limited control over who sees you, and when they do see you, if they will even like you.
I, of course, can prove a track record… which most specialists can’t do.
How I manage it, I don’t know actually, I’m just very lucky.
So, the reason for this article is to address this repeated situation. So that the next time a client with similar concerns arrives in my mail box, I can simply share the link to this article.
That’s with the assumption that the article will be read. Few people bother to invest time into their own companies to do even the most basic research. It drives me batty.
For those who do read this, well done, and thank you.
I also want to offer you some tips. This article is, therefore, aimed to aid the business owners who actually want to do well on the Internet, and who is prepared to make reasonable investments and research the correct products for their businesses.
You have decided you need web marketing. So you engage with a few computer nerds … but the website designer or company you have approached started to waffle on and on and on about this and that, and you actually don’t know if they are making up words to sound clever….
Ignore them, let me make it nice and simple for you: in 3 simple sentences:
You are done.
1, 2 and 3.
In most cases, most people have already smashed the first point... and know exactly who their competitors are and who is taking their business.
Sometimes it is obvious as to why your competitors are dominating Google. It may be clear that they have a better looking website. They might have a chatty stream going on Twitter and have lots of engagement. But you still don't know what steps to take to crush them.
Onto point two.
We did not get to the moon by simply deciding we want to be on the moon.
We had to research, plan, research, plan… scrap the plans, more research, send a monkey, then finally… we made it.
Unfortunately, not all of us are rocket scientists, or computer nerds… and that’s okay… because honestly most of these people are introverts and dress funny… and I can say that because I am one of them.
Same goes for deciding that you want web marketing. You need to research and plan.
So, how do we tackle this? Unfortunately, it does require some nerds and industry tricks, because a layperson can only really see the surface of a competitor’s efforts. We need to assess the backend of their marketing and platforms, and this is where nerds have ways to take a peek into what your competitors, or even your competitors’ nerds, are doing in the background.
From research and assessments of a competitors marketing and platforms, you can almost create a bullet-point break-down of what you need to do better. You can then use this list to work out costs and time required.
And that, my friends, is how we get to the moon.
If you allow me to waffle just a little here to make a point…
There was a lot of debate on who got to the moon first.
Was it the USA or Russia?
That’s not as important as the fact that the USA spent millions of dollars reinventing a technology that could write in space because a ballpoint pen couldn’t work due to the lack of gravity.
You know what they ended up creating to solve this problem?
My point here is… you can either take advice from a specialist to avoid reinventing the wheel, or reinvent the wheel at own cost and time.
Use a professional and monitor their efforts and feel empowered to do so, because in just about every scenario or method of marketing it is simply a matter of increasing frequency + quality quantity.
Let me give a practical example.
If your competitors have ten pages on their websites and do SEO on them all once every six months, you need to have fifteen pages and do SEO every three months.
Why? Because it is a common belief that the more positive and relevant content your website has, the better it could rank for the related search phases. Because, Google thinks your information is more recent when it is updated more often, and, even better than that, you have more of it than the other site. So you get a better position. That is lift-off!
Google is not as complex as you might think. It's almost obvious how you can better your rankings.
Don’t believe me?
Try it. Here is a simple example, go to Google:
I guarantee the website that pops up the most as a search result has MORE pages on it about this search phrase than any other. But how do you beat Gumtree! I have already told you; frequency + quality quantity.
More … more … more … that is what is required.
If the competitor is posting pictures on Instagram about cupcakes twice a week, you need to post every day.
Each plan of attack will come with a different bill and account, and you need to choose platforms that your actual clients use… not just feature everywhere for the sake of it.
How do you know which platforms your clients are using? Again, look at your competitors. Or, just ask your existing clients.
More thoughts to have… or information to consider…
There are passive and active marketing platforms. Those that feature when a client is actively searching are active marketing options, like SEO and Adwords.
Passive, are those people who stumble on socially, like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Passive is great for brand awareness, active for catching new clients.
This is where a business owner decides to dominate the industry, or pick a niche and attack quietly from the side. A lot of this will come down to cost.
One thing for certain is that no matter what you decide to do, web marketing is NOT a once off product or service you buy. This is the biggest misconception in the industry. People think that they can fill up their car with one tank of petrol and be done with it for as long as the car is on the road. No… it does not work like that…I'm sorry.
So, now you know! And you can get going. But how do you decide who to use for web marketing services?
Well, you don’t eat a burger made by a vegan, do you? Unless you are a vegan, I guess?
The point I am trying to make, in other words, is that when buying SEO, check where the company actually features for itself on Google.
What is their personal track record?
How about Facebook? How many people actually like that company on Facebook?
Trying to sell you Adwords? Do they run Adwords for their own company?
Instagram… do they even have an account? What sort of engagements do they get?
Once you have selected a company, decide how much business you want to generate off the Internet. Be prepared to use 100% of your annual marketing budget on web marketing if you want to generate 100 % of your clients off the Internet…. And be prepared to share what the actual rand value is with the web marketing company. This will help them determine a roll out period for results and the aggression level of the campaign. Sometimes you have a destination in mind, but can't afford to get there in the first year due to budget … that’s fine. Work towards it, and bear in mind there are normally three costs with just about any marketing platform if done correctly:
Good luck, and may the force be with you.
Published April 2018