How much do you rely on SEO to drive traffic to your website and generate new business? If you are struggling to rank your site in the search engines then how much of your marketing resources do you spend trying to make this happen? If the answer to either of these questions is 'lots' then this marketing tip is definitely for you. Read on to find out more. At Brinn we've been around in the online marketing space long enough to remember the days when just building a website with a strong domain name and relevant content was good enough to get results. Fast-forward a few years and getting results was all about building as many links as you could... More difficult for sure but still attainable for most. Today though, things feel very different. Google has always made changes to its algorithm for indexing search results but this is now happening with increasing frequency. For business owners like you this means you can be riding at the top of page one this week, and languishing near the middle of that dreaded second page the next (even if you're using all of the correct and ever-changing tactics to make your site rank)... These increasing fluctuations make it difficult to make sound business decisions based on marketing activity. As an example, you might be generating lots of new business enquiries when you're in that top spot and then find business completely dries up when the inevitable drop happens. Growing your team, buying in stock or materials, investing in new resources - how can you possibly make sound business decisions when you're operating in such a 'boom or bust' environment? The answer is you can't. To build a better business with a smarter marketing function you need to change your approach.
Any good investor will tell you the importance of building a 'diversified portfolio'. Putting all of your money into just one high-risk stock is not for the faint-hearted and has a high chance of ending in financial ruin. Even if it doesn't, investing in a high-risk stock requires nerves of steel - an ability to ride out the volatility without making any rash decisions. SEO is no different. In fact, think of SEO as a high-risk tech start-up stock: fundamentally overvalued and prone to huge fluctuations! So back to the world of online marketing and what you need to do is build a 'diversified marketing portfolio' - a varied selection of marketing tools and methods that don't leave you overexposed to the fluctuations of your search engine rankings. A really clever marketing portfolio still makes use of SEO but has other tools in place that can be scaled up at immediate notice when search rankings unexpectedly drop.
CREATING A DIVERSIFIED MARKETING PORTFOLIO
The first step towards building a diversified marketing portfolio is understanding and accepting that SEO is just one of the many tools that you're going to use to build a better business. From now on you should treat it as such - casually observing trends in organic traffic coming to your site but not manically typing in keywords to Google every spare minute just to see where you are ranked! The next thing to do is to begin researching and testing other methods of online marketing. The keyword here is 'testing' - the ability to easily and cheaply test new tools is one of my favourite things about the online marketing space. For example, for 10 minutes of your time and as little as £5 you could test out Facebook advertising, for an hour of your time and as little as £10 you could test out Google AdWords and for a couple of hours of your time and for no money at all you could begin to test an email marketing engine such as MailChimp. The key here is to run lots of little tests to find out what might work for you - observing results all of the time and thinking about how easily you could make this tool an everyday part of running your business. I've listed examples of the marketing tools and channels you could test to build your new portfolio:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Social Media Advertising (paid ads or sponsored posts)
- YouTube Advertising
- Google AdWords
- Content Marketing
By the end of month 2 you will have built a more reliable and sustainable online marketing strategy. You will now have the tools you need to drive in a steady flow of relevant traffic to your website and you can even scale this up as your business begins to grow. The real beauty of this approach though is the new flexibility you have when it comes to your SEO strategy. When traffic from organic searches is low you can ramp up usage of other marketing tools, and when organic traffic is high you have the option to cut back on these activities knowing they are ready and waiting to be deployed the next time Google surprises us all with yet another update to its search ranking rules!
THE ACTIONABLE TIP
As you know, at Brinn we are all about giving you the tools and information you need to take immediate action. Having read this post I want you to commit some time this week to testing out a new marketing method - something you have never tried before. Use the list above as a starting point and run a small test as suggested. Once you have done this drop me an email to let me know how you got on. Good luck! Ryan