Web3 Good Search Engine Marketing Search Optimization, Test and Measure, Or Die!

Search Optimization, Test and Measure, Or Die!

Search Optimization

 Search Optimization, Test and Measure, Or Die! : Recently I met the owner of a small ladies clothing and accessories boutique in Pensacola, FL. Her store lease was about to expire and she made the decision to close her business after struggling with falling sales over the last few years. “Enough was enough” she exclaimed and finally folded her tent and went home. This decision, incidentally, came as a surprise to many of her best customers.

I asked this former shop owner what forced her into making such a dramatic decision in her small retail business. Her response: “The Internet. I couldn’t compete. It killed my business!”

Little did she know that the Internet was not the cause of her store’s failure at all. Her business closed because she ignored the importance of having a tested strategy for marketing her business online. Yes, she had a website. Yes, she had a Facebook page. Yes, she did some email marketing occasionally.

What she did not have was a clear understanding of what was actually working well online for her and what was not. As a consequence her online “strategy” was to wear herself out supporting each component (website, Facebook, email, etc.) whether they were all making any difference in store sales or not.

Test and Measure. Or Die. Slowly.

The moral of the story about the former shop owner is that if your business is developing – or is planning to develop – an online marketing strategy for 2014 it must include a means for measuring and testing the effectiveness of each element of the strategy.

    • How does you website rank in a Google search? If it ranks somewhere after the first page of results then why? If it ranks on the first page then why?
    • Which keywords were used in a search result to achieve a first-page ranking and why? Was a suspected high-ranking keyword actually used in a search by thousands (or millions) of potential visitors in the last 30 days? Or was it used by less than ten visitors?
    • How many websites are competing for the very same keyword? Is it really worth your time and resources to compete for that popular keyword also?
    • Is the competition ranking higher than your site? If so then why? What is your successful competitor doing that you need to be doing online? Or, if the competitor is ranking poorly what do you need to avoid doing to keep from suffering the same result?
    • How many human visitors landed on your website over a set period of time (day, week, month, quarter, year)? Which hours of the day, day of the week, week of the month, or month of the year does the site get the most total number of visitors? Why might this be important to know?
    • Do certain pages get more traffic than others during specific times of the day, day of the week, week of the month, or month of the year? Why does this happen and does this information represent a consistent pattern of interest in a product or service?
    • Where in the country (or the world) did these visitors come from? Why did they visit?
    • Which pages on the site were visited the most (and likely the most important to the average visitor) regardless of day, week, month, or year? Why? What conclusions can you make from this behavior?
    • How long did most visitors stay on your site or on a specific page? What conclusions can be made from the difference between 5 seconds on a page and 3 minutes on the same page? What did (or did not) interest the visitor?
    • Did the visitor use a smartphone or tablet to visit your site? Should those visitors be automatically redirected to an easier-to-read, mobile website?
    • How many subscribed with their email address to your regular newsletter or requested sales coupons to be emailed to them every week? Are those email addresses being automatically stored in your customer email list for a future email marketing campaign?
    • How many visitors clicked on a specific website link? Does that signal an interest in a specific product or service?
    • How many visitors landed by mistake? Why did that happen?
    • How many visitors were led to your site by your new sales brochure? A new outdoor billboard? A magazine advertisement? A newspaper ad? An online ad? A search engine listing? An email marketing campaign? Can this tell you how effective each of your online and offline ads really are?
    • Is your Facebook page actually producing revenue for your business? If so, then how do you know? Or, has your company’s Facebook page simply become an online gathering place filled with low-quality sales prospects?
  • Bottom Line: Is your social media strategy producing measurable, positive results, i.e. sales revenue? If not, why not? What should you be doing to improve your social media strategy to achieve a measurable return on the investment in time and resources?

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An online marketing strategy in 2014 means much more than just having a website. A company website that is rarely updated actually defeats an otherwise well planned strategy. Having an “active” Facebook page with lots of “Friends” and “Likes” is great, but how much revenue did all that activity generate for your company? You may even have a Constant Contact™ or iContact™ email marketing account. But does anyone actually open your emails when they hit a customer’s Inbox? If so, how many and do they ever buy anything from you?

Everything must be measured and tested consistently for their effectiveness and contribution to your company’s bottom line. Otherwise, you could wind up like the former retail store owner in Pensacola, FL who will never know how close – or how far – she may have been to keeping her store open and thriving.