How do I prioritize my investment and effort
for my online marketing?
If so, you are not alone. That’s a common question I have encountered with DFW area SMB budding entrepreneurs, owners, and executives.
The days of “build it and they will come” are long gone. Today requires a solid digital marketing strategy.
Yet, digital marketing is a broad field making it hard to separate the details from the big picture and where you will get the most value.
To help answer your question, and help provide that big picture, here is a short list of the five top digital marketing areas to prioritize around and budget for.
Some points you will read may seem “obvious”, but skim through them – there are new twists in some cases that you need to be aware of.
Adopting these key elements in your digital strategy will give you a leg up on your slower SMB competitors and put you on your way to driving more revenue through your thriving digital channel.
In this, Part 1 of a short series where we will explore each of these areas in a little more detail, we address the first two priorities you should consider.
“Well, Duh!”, you say. Yes, that seems obvious. But, did you know that, in 2017, almost a third of SMBs do not have a website?…
29% of small businesses do not have a website … Those earning less than $1 million a year are about 30% less likely to have a website than higher-revenue companies
Clutch – Small Business Website Survey, 2017
Perhaps a good many of those Dallas area small businesses think having a Facebook page suffices. They may even be having some success with that.
If your competitors think so, let them happily continue. Meanwhile, you will quickly establish a website (if you didn’t already – bravo if you did!) and have an advantage on them with your own platform to leverage (one that a third party cannot arbitrarily take away from you!).
It is YOUR brand’s digital showcase.
You’d be surprised how many DFW area businesses have websites that don’t match their physical brick and mortar brand. I drive by a Plano business every day that has signage and a logo very different from what is on their website.
Your website visitors (potential future customers) should come away with your story, a simple/clear idea of what your business does, and your value proposition.
And, definitely, their experience should be coherent with your physical branding.
In marketing lingo, this is a “Call to Action”. Whether it is to sign up for a newsletter, to phone for a booking, or to make a purchase, not asking your visitors to take the next step, is leaving money on the table for your competitors (who do ask).
70% (of the 200 small business websites evaluated) don’t display clear calls-to-action for anything on their home pages
Online Marketing Coach, 2014
Be clear about what you want them to do and provide a simple path to get there. Test until you have the right message at the right location on your website that performs best with your target audience.
You may have heard that mobile search has now overtaken search on desktops.
Mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%)
Smart Insights – Mobile Marketing Statistics Compilation, 2018
Your customers may well be part of that majority, and you want to make sure your site is as attractive and usable on their mobile devices as it is on their desktop.
That means more than just rendering your desktop site on mobile, but that it is optimized for the smaller screen real estate.
Just as importantly, Google is using this as a ranking factor for their search results – an advantage for you (on BOTH mobile and desktop searches) if your competitors are slow to adopt “Responsive” technology.
Google is already factoring in SSL for ranking (Secure Sockets Layer – a way to encrypt information passing between the user’s browser to your website’s server – it shows up as the “S” in the “HTTPS:” prefix on your website address).
But, as of July 2018, browsers such as Google Chrome will be flagging websites without a certificate as “Not Secure”.
This may not prevent visitors from filling out sign-up forms or making purchases on your site, but it WILL reduce your website’s credibility, reducing your traffic and/or conversion rate.
There is more to it than getting the certificate associated with your website, but a good web developer will help you with your migration needs (ask us if you have questions).
To answer questions about your website and its visitors, and to build highly effective marketing campaigns, you need data.
Google Analytics (GA) is your answer. It is free and provides extensive data for you merely by installing a snippet of code onto your website (a quick and easy process).
Time and money are your scarcest resources. You want to make sure you’re allocating them in highest-impact areas. Data reveals impact, and with data, you can bring more science to your decisions.
Matt Trifiro, CMO at Heroku
With GA installed you will be able to answer a number of questions, such as:
This can be further broken down by factors very useful for understanding and segmenting your visitors:
With this information in hand, you can design marketing campaigns to more effectively target and engage your audience, and determine which avenue is best to reach them (e.g. via search, or via a social media platform).
Afterwards, you can measure your campaign’s success at reaching your target market, and adjust accordingly.
Search still represents the biggest single share of traffic for most websites.
As of 2017, organic traffic (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo search) represents, on average, 41% of a website’s traffic.
Wolfgangdigital – eCommerce Report 2017
This requires attention to maximizing your traffic from the search engines. The challenge is that SEO is an ongoing process with payback coming from consistent and sustained effort vs an immediate return.
And, you now need to keep in mind that an increasingly larger share of your audience may be coming to your site through their mobile devices.
BrightEdge research found that the same query on the same search engine generated different rank in mobile and desktop 79% of the time
BrightEdge – Mobile Research Paper, 2017
ALSO, with the growth of voice controlled devices, such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, along with the built-in voice capabilities of our mobile devices, a significant proportion of those mobile searches will be voice-search.
20% of queries on Google’s mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches
Google SEO Sundar Pichai, 2016
The good news is that the factors that optimize your website for search engines generally have not changed.
It is the same mix of relevant content, quality backlinks, website performance, and onsite search friendly configuration. Building and tweaking these still are effective for helping your business be found on the search results pages.
If your target customers are geographically nearby, or if you have a Dallas area small business with multiple locations (perhaps, in your case, small and medium-size businesses in Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Dallas, etc.)…
…then you will really want to take advantage of Google My Business (GMB) and other directories like Yelp, Bing Places, or other local business referral directories your audience may be using. This is one key piece to your “Local SEO”.
If you’ve ever done a search for, say, “bbq restaurants near dallas, tx” or “dentists near frisco, tx” (or our favorite, “seo near plano, tx“) in Google maps, then you already know the value that comes from being registered and verified in GMB. If you haven’t yet, try it out now to see.
GMB Signals represent a 19% factor in Local Search.
As of this year’s survey, the new #1 factor is…
** Proximity of Address – to the Point of Search **
Moz – Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, 2017
There are a few details to take care of when setting up GMB. Be sure that your business name, address and phone number (NAP) is correct, and is consistent across all online references to your business, especially your website contact information.
Bonus: You can now post weekly to boost special offers or other promotions you have on the go. This info will show up in BOTH search results and maps results – a nice boost to your Local SEO.
So, now you have the first part of your Digital Marketing Strategy: Two key elements for any small or medium-sized business (anywhere, but we are definitely targeting those in North Texas – Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Frisco 😉 ) are having an Attractive Digital Presence and ensuring your Website is Ready for Search, including Local SEO.
You also have some detail of what this would entail.
In Part 2, we discuss the next two elements: Provide Authority and Trust, and Extending Beyond Organic Search.
See you at the next post!
Kash Data Consulting provides SEO and Social Media Marketing services to medium and small businesses in the Dallas area, including the Plano and Frisco districts.
If your business is in the DFW area and you need some advice on your Digital Marketing Strategy, give Kash a call.
Several local businesses have worked with Kash, and have provided some great reviews. Check them out here.
For more information on our approach for our local clients, read this:
[content_box style=”blue-grey” title=”Choose Kash Data Consulting LLC”] Kash Data Consulting LLC is a Digital and a Search Marketing firm specialized in providing exceptional SEO site and social media marketing services in Dallas, TX – serving Richardson, Plano, Addison, Frisco, Allen and other nearby communities. Our SEO experts have several years of practical experience in Dallas Search Engine Optimization implementations. [/content_box]