This may come across as a completely self-serving comment, but I have found that most businesses under-invest in web marketing. And I’m not just talking about local companies that struggle to come up with any marketing budget at all. My agency, Pole Position Marketing, has worked with businesses of all sizes, and we have found that even large companies that have money to throw around under-invest just as much as the small guys.
The value of web marketing is in the ROI. It’s not enough to break even. You want to increase your revenue in multiples over what you’re investing–all while maintaining a nice profit! If the ROI isn’t there or comes slower than the business hopes (or often needs) then, the inevitable result is the plug getting pulled.
If that is, was or may be you, don’t pull the plug just yet. In fact, I’m going to make the case that instead of pulling the plug on a (relatively) small web marketing campaign, you might want to open the floodgates on it to move from a trickle of ROI to a deluge of new revenue coming at you like a tidal wave.
Web Marketing Rarely Works in Drops: Turn on the Hose
A lot of businesses only want to focus on one area of web marketing. Social media is the sexy beast for the moment, but it’s certainly not the only avenue that gets star attention. We also get people coming to us for link building, content development or just old fashioned keyword optimization.
Focusing on any one of these areas will often make a dent, but it’s likely just that: a dent. It’s kind of like putting wheels on a car without an engine. It’ll roll, but only while being pushed. Or putting an engine in a car without a steering wheel. It might go really fast, but good luck with that brick wall up ahead.
You get the point.
SEO needs social media, which needs content, which needs a user-friendly website, which needs conversion strategies, which needs sensible navigation. One without the other has some benefit, but a lot is falling through the cracks. If you’re trying to fill the bucket, you want to plug the holes at the same time (if not beforehand). And it helps if you’re not trying to fill it one drop at a time as well.
Web Marketing Rarely Works in Small Quantities: Breach the Dam
It’s not infrequent that clients come to us with small budgets while wanting big results. They are open to doing “whatever it takes” to get the results they want. Everything except increasing the budget.
SEO is as much about the knowledge and skill levels of those practicing it it as it is about the time they invest. In fact, when you consider the price of SEO, don’t look at it as buying hours. Look at is as buying the knowledge, skill and experience. You can find SEOs that charge $100 and hour or less, but they don’t come with the knowledge or the ability to get great results.
But that’s not to say that just because someone charges $300 an hour they are better. Many aren’t any better, they are just over charging. The best are those that have proven they are worth what they charge.
But I digress. We’re talking about how much investment (time, money, knowledge and skill) is needed to succeed. If your SEO is trying to oversee your social media, on-page optimization, website architecture and your content strategy, you can bet that there is a good deal of time that goes into those efforts. The larger the investment, the more room the web marketer (or marketing team) has to build out those efforts. When investment is limited they have to make cuts somewhere.
Ultimately, you’re getting to your destination but at a much slower pace than you probably want. I like to tell my clients that we start at zero and get to awesome. Their investment in us determines how quickly we get to awesome.
Web Marketing Works When You Open the Floodgates
I’m certainly not saying you need an unlimited web marketing budget. That’s not where I’m going with this. Every business has a budget, and the marketing always needs to stay within that.
What I am suggesting is that you assess your current web marketing efforts. See if there is anything that your budget is not allowing for that is needed for your success.
If your web marketing team is telling you that you need to engage in social media so their optimization efforts have a better chance to succeed, it’s time to take note. If your social media efforts are going well, it might be time to amplify that by expanding into a web marketing campaign that works in conjunction with it. If your site architectural issues are massive and you’re looking at months of time to fix, it may not be a bad idea to get the ball rolling on some other areas at the same time in order to build a stronger marketing campaign.
Don’t look at the cost of your web marketing as much as the expected return on investment. Even better, take a look at the goals you want to achieve and determine what is needed to get there.
Your web marketing team should be honest with you. While many are willing to take anyone’s money, regardless of what the result will be, the best web marketers will go a long way to make sure you are fully informed (and educated) as to what you should expect for your investment.
If a client’s expectations are far different from ours, we won’t take them on until we are both on the same page. Even then, clients who say they understand often prove otherwise when they don’t feel like the results are coming quick enough.
If your web marketing campaign isn’t performing as you expect, it might be time to regroup and assess whether or not you’re investing enough to get those results. Whether it’s that your web marketing team isn’t up to the challenge or it’s you, you need to know. If it’s not you, then it might be time to move on. If it is you, then it’s time to open the floodgates and give your web marketing campaign a serious shot at success.
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