Contributed By: Patrick Scully
Job Title: Co-founder; Charlotte SEO Consultant
Company: Possible Web
STARTING SIMPLE; GETTING TO THE ROOT OF YOUR GOALS
The consumer’s path through the digital landscape of a growing internet is becoming clearer, but is still a relatively new journey. One thing is no longer deniable: As the internet has invaded our pockets and engaged our fingertips, suddenly information is available anywhere, anytime.
Furthermore, the consumer is using mobile devices and internet capabilities throughout the buying experience, reading reviews and seeking advice from friends on social networks.
Here is an illustration. When MapQuest and other mapping websites first became popular, consumers would research a business they wanted to visit, map the address, print out the route instructions and venture out into the world, hoping that the information was correct. Just a few years later the entire Google knowledge graph and map travels with us in the form of GPS apps and mobile search, seamlessly.
And with that initial click comes a wealth of even more information. For example, the business’s closest competitors, the business’s hours or whether an item is in stock, or comparative prices of services/merchandise both online and in local stores. Local search has gone from the desktop to mobile faster than anything else.
The takeaway? Getting found online used to be the key to online success; now it is only part of the process.
There is a lot of noise on the internet right now. It seems everyone with a blog is a digital marketing expert, filling Google search and Twitter feeds with “5 Best Ways to Do This” and “10 Ways Not to Do That.” It is easily overwhelming; very few are actual experts. You might find yourself feeling that there is almost no time in between reading advice articles to implement any information consumed.
There are definitely qualified digital marketing experts that you can read, follow and trust. You will know an expert by the amount of data they have collected and show off in their writings to back up their theories and ideas. Consume as much information as you want from as many sources as possible, but always remember it will apply to your business differently than it did to theirs. Your business is unique and should be treated as such.
Here is the single piece of expert advice to begin with: Start simple.
Forget about technical. Forget about digital. Forget about mobile, desktop and Google.
Think about your customer. Think about your goals.
Example: Is being No. 1 on Google your goal? Or is it getting more customers and growing your business? Probably the latter. The former is just a step in the process.
When you get to the root of your digital marketing goals, the strategy shifts towards a personalized consumer experience from a robotic solution designed and written to please search algorithms.
TAKING ACTIONABLE STEPS FOR REVENUE GENERATION
From when you build your website for your user to when you write your blog posts for your readers, the paradigm shifts. Suddenly your website changes from an online brochure to a revenue-generating online asset for your business.
So let’s break that down into several actionable steps so that implementing this advice is as easy as reading it.
- Figure out where you are starting from. Search online for your business name, click through your website on desktop and mobile, see what people are saying about your business online. Do you like what you see? Do you get a sense of a consistent brand message across all of your online assets? Was it easy to use your website on your phone and tablet?
- Think about your buyer profile and typical website user. Where are they when using your website? At home? At work? In the car? In your store? Brainstorm ways you can make this experience better for them (faster, easier, more value).
- Look at the way your website visually displays “Contact Us” in your main navigation. Does it look the same as the rest of the menu? Or does it stand out? Consider making it stand out with a different color or look. This simple edit has the potential to increase leads and conversions on its own.
- Pop open your social media pages (hopefully your business has them.) Keep Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and several others open in a few tabs and just click between them. Are you seeing a unified brand? A consistent message? It would not take a graphic designer very long to create a set of profile images to give your business a consistent professional visual appeal.
- Take queues from the world’s biggest brands. They have whole teams of the best marketers in the world working for them. Watch how they present brands in commercials, magazines, online. Listen to the messaging. You will notice them creating more value online than just having a website–with off-site blogs, online tools, high value social media feeds. With consumers as smart as they are, and with an overload of online resources to choose from, how does your business stand out? Think about creating more value with your online assets.
Also note that the longer you can get people to stay on your website, the more pages you can get them to click through, the better. Google measures both metrics as the amount consumers trust the information they are finding on your site. If they leave right away (“bounce”) your page may be viewed as an inferior resource to one that encourages readers to click on links, watch videos, read the next article in a series, fill out a form, etc.
Content contributed by Possible Web, Inc., a digital consulting group founded in 2012 offering productized digital consulting services to businesses of all sizes. Content written by Patrick Scully, local Charlotte SEO expert, co-founder and creator of the firm’s innovative inbound marketing services. For consulting contact him directly at 704-594-5796 ext. 702 or by email email@example.com or for more information visit possibleweb.com.