Reflect back on 2009. How happy were you with your online marketing initiatives? Would you have done anything differently and if so, what?
Would you have spent more/less on Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? Would you have implemented a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, in an effort to make your website more Google Friendly? Perhaps you would have redesigned your website or given it a fresh look and feel? You possibly may have initiated a Social Media Strategy? What about spending more time on Google Analytics to determine which keywords performed best and then concentrate on those?
If any of these questions are hitting close to home, why not make 2010 the year of getting your online marketing plan in better shape across the board? While it can be overwhelming to even think about all of the above, let alone actually execute on them, I encourage you to take the next 11 + months to set an action plan in place with realistic goals and timetables.
It is helpful to first determine your goals, budget and exactly what you are trying to achieve in 2010. For example, if your goal is to improve the number of qualified leads being generated from your website, you will want to employ an analytics tool if you have not already done so. There are many tools available today from the simplest, to ones that incorporate all of the bells and whistles a marketer could ever need or ask for. You ought to research which tool is right for you and your business. That being said, Google Analytics (GA) is free; we utilize GA in-house, as well as to track the performance of client campaigns. Don’t let the fact that it is free fool you; it is extremely robust and comprehensive. With GA in place and coded correctly (this is a mission critical piece of the puzzle) you will be afforded the ability to track each of your online marketing efforts. This is especially important when it comes to budgeting. In order to utilize your online advertising dollars as wisely as possible, you need the insight that comes with an analytics platform in order to ascertain which keywords converted into qualified leads for you and which did not.
Other things to ponder…How much traffic are you generating from your Pay per Click (PPC) efforts and what is your ROI? If you feel you could be spending too much on paid traffic and not getting the results you want, you might want to revamp your PPC campaign. Think: new keywords, ad copy, match types, landing pages, perhaps even a new bidding strategy altogether.
You also should take a look at your organic efforts. Is your site optimized for natural search? Do you have sufficient, relevant content to support the keywords you are wishing to show up for in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s)? Do you have the proper architecture in place? Is there anything that might be preventing the search engine spiders from indexing your site? While SEO can take many months to garner results, it is well worth the time if you intend to maintain a long term online presence.
Don’t let another year go by wishing you had taken the time to assess your online marketing strategy. Dig a little deeper and come up with a new and improved strategy for 2010 that will bring you the results you want and deserve. Happy New Year!