10 Tips to a Successful Online Marketing Campaign
Sales and traffic growth are two marketing goals every website strives to achieve and continually improve on. Organically, these will be achieved through higher search engine rankings which intrinsically depend on the quality of your website. On the other hand, paid advertising can significantly drive targeted traffic but this comes with a huge budget. In this post, we examine the basic considerations that should guide your growth strategies and drive your online marketing success.
The Key Steps in Planning Your Online Marketing Campaign
One of the mistakes website owners make is to presume that the internet space guarantees success and all that is necessary to make money online is to have a website. This is erroneous. To succeed in online marketing, you must begin with planning your campaign. We do not intend to take you through the generic business planning model documented in business literature but will pinpoint some critical decisions you need to make in planning for business success.
1. Set Your Goals
Goal setting is fundamental in business strategy planning. Whatever you will do should be examined within the context of the goals you have set and how it could help the attainment of these goals. Your goals could be a long and endless list but it will be helpful to state them clearly for every team member to understand. Here are some couple of goals most businesses will seek to achieve:
- Increased sales. This would involve an increase in actually completed orders. You will want to reduce abandoned and incomplete orders and reduce the number of sales inquiries that did not result in a sale.
- Market leadership. You want to stand out as the market leader in sales, innovation or some other metrics.
- Increased leads. Here, you could seek to achieve a certain percentage increase in lead generation.
- Brand awareness. Here you seek to promote your brand to grow its awareness level so that confidence and trust is built in your brand as a reliable provider of the services you provide.
2. Define Your Target Audience
All your services and the offerings you will make are tied to your target audience. Your target audience can better be defined as your market and their likes, behaviour, purchase pattern, spending pattern, perception; all of which will define your success. Understanding your target audience will help you avoid their dislikes and clearly help you implement a successful campaign.
3. Analyze Your Business Environment
It is critical to analyze the environment in which you will operate to determine the success factors, the dos and don'ts and to evaluate how each action can affect your goals. Check competitors ratings to determine how your content quality ranks comparatively. You will also need to evaluate the best practices in the industry that are yielding results for competitors and develop an approach that out-performs your competitors.
One critical aspect of the business environment which you must take into consideration is the legal environment. First will be the legitimacy of the business. You will also need to comply with cookie laws and privacy laws. If you sell products that will be physically delivered, you may be required to clearly state your terms and conditions, return policy, and payment modes. It is important that you comply with legal issues to avoid a severe penalty from regulators.
4. Decide on a Marketing Budget
Marketing here is used in a limited sense to mean promotions. This will cover the cost of advertising, lead generation, sales, website maintenance and upgrades. Most important will be the advertising budget which will help promote your content and business. How much you spend on your website promotion could be affected by the business life cycle. At initial launch, you may need to spend more to create awareness. At maturity, you may reduce advert expenditure without much negative impact on sales.
5. Develop a Content Strategy
You need to decide on the areas you will focus your content, how often to publish fresh content and so on. Keep in mind that it is far more important to publish quality content than duplicated and spammy content. Bearing in mind that Google and other search engines are very interested in fresh and quality content, you need to pay attention to content relevance to your target audience, originality and quality. Quality content will earn you more links, popularity as you are likely to get better placement in the search engines and that will help your business popularity and brand awareness.
You will also need to pay attention to the freshness of your content. Publishing fresh content on a regular basis is a good idea. We recommend that you work with a schedule for publishing fresh content and do well to stick to it. Overtime, Google will understand your publishing schedule and know when to crawl your website for fresh content. Google sees content like humans see food. So when you are able to publish consistently, you are essentially telling Google when to revisit your website in search of fresh content.
6. Adhere to SEO Best Practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like the easy road to cheap promotion. Well optimized websites get better ranking in the search engines and that increases both traffic, sales and revenue to the business. But SEO has rules. Attempting to cut corners can seriously hurt your SEO efforts and destroy whatever ranking gains you have achieved.
Here are a couple of SEO best practices you must comply with:SEO - What Search Engines Love and Hate About Websites
1. Avoid aggressive link building
Even though you could be building links legitimately, you must avoid pursuing an aggressive link building effort. An aggressive link building effort which could include building internal links on your own websites, updating existing content with new links could be misunderstood by Google as a spammy activity which is not intended to improve the usability of the content and add value for users. That could cause a penalty and lead to ranking losses and you need to avoid such practices.
2. Do Not Over Optimize
Over-optimization commonly comes in the form of keyword stuffing, exact match domains and keywords in titles and content and they raise the red flag of Google. You can learn more on how to use keywords in website content and how to handle issues of exact match domains and keywords in content.
3. Do Not Buy Links
Avoid the temptation of link purchases or other forms of unethical link building like link farms. Not every link will help your website ranking. Beneficial links should be obtained naturally and should add value to the content. Some experts have argued that links to related websites are more beneficial and we tend to agree with that because it is more valuable to the content when links are gotten from websites that are related, offering similar content, talking about similar topics and making reference to an article because it further explains a point. When links are not related, they tend to have been paid for and Google seriously frowns at such links.
7. Do Not Be Desperate to Rank
In desperation to rank, you could make several mistakes which eventually hurt our SEO efforts. You could make the mistakes of over--optimization, hurt your website user experience signals, use the wrong keyword combinations or make some other mistakes which can hurt your ranking. So it is important to carefully choose your content, test them with relevant metrics before implementing them on your website.
8. Use SEO Metric Analyzers
SEO is a serious issue and understanding how the search engines view and interpret your web pages is not something we will recommend you do with rule of the thumb. It is always good to use expert analytical tools that can help you understand your SEO and give insights into what changes are necessary.
Here are some SEO tools you need to work with:
Semrush SEO Tool
Semrush tool offers some 55 features that can help our Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign. Here are some major features of the Semrush tool.
Keyword Research: Helps you get the right traffic to your site by helping you generate the right keywords for your content.
On-Page SEO: Helps you improve your website health and search engine performance. Will help you with the right website titles, content, page description and so much more.
Competitor Analysis: This feature will help you understand what your competitors are doing to win. It will equally give you insights into what you should be doing and possibly how you can outsmart your competitors.
Content Marketing: Semrush tool is such an amazing tool that can help you with your functional and beneficial content marketing strategy. It offers data on the best strategies that can lead your campaign to success.
Grow Your Local SEO: Semrush tool can help you optimize your website to stand out in local search, get more traffic from within our locality and increase your chances of success.
Rank Tracking: Tracks how your target keywords are performing daily in your target locations. Such data will guide you on whether to consider if it will be necessary to add new performing keywords to your content.
Content Optimization: The Semrush tool gives you personalized recommendations on how to optimize your content.
Majestic SEO Tool
Majestic is great for link analysis. Because link building remains a top ranking signal, using the majestic tool for link analysis and improving link quality can be of great advantage. Unlike Ahrefs, SEMrush or Moz Pro, Majestic is all about backlinks.
Majestic Trust Flow: Majestic offers a trust flow score between 0 to 100 that indicates the perceived trust of a website based on the quality of its backlinks.The higher the website trust flow, the more likely it is to rank at the top of search engines. Generally, you can increase your website trust flow by publishing high quality content regularly. Google has stated that it does not rank websites based on the Majestic Trust Flow Measures, however, we have found the trust flow measures to indicate a website trustworthiness based on the quality of external links directed to the website and this correlates with Google's ranking position. In other words, the more a website's trust flow increases, the better its ranking in Google is likely to be despite the fact that Google does not use the metric in ranking calculations.
Majestic Citation Flow: The citation flow on the other hand measures the number of links directed to your website. The higher your citation flow, the more links you are getting. Note that you could be getting more links which may now add to your trust flow. Again, Google has stated that it does not use the Majestic Citation Flow in ranking websites. However, because Google backlinks in ranking, the Majestic Citation flow could help us understand how likely a website will be assessed and ranked based on its link profile.
Ahrefs is very useful in analysing a website link profile, popularity and content performance. It will give you a precise idea into your website health and keyword ranking and deliver the reports straight to you via email.
You can use the basic features of Ahref for free. Ahref ranks websites strictly based on their backlink profile. As of now, the number one position goes to Facebook and that is followed by Twitter. Youtube ranks third.
MOZ offers lots of powerful content marketing tools. However, Moz Trust and Moz Rank are two powerful and popular tools within the MOZ suite you will find really useful. They are both very helpful in measuring website performance.
You can measure your website performance with these tools here.
MozRank ranks websites on a scale of 0 to 10. 0 being the lowest, 10 being the highest. Basically, its all about backlinks and the more backlinks you get to your website, the higher its MozRank.
MozTrust on the other hand is a “global link trust score.” Essentially, it’s not about the volume of links but the quality of links. Increasing your MOZ trust therefore will depend on whether you are getting backlinks from trust sites like government sites, education sites, research labs, and other authoritative sites especially from those that are related to your industry.
9. Project Your Brand Message and Values
People will make decisions about your brand, product or service based on the message communicated in your content. Let your message stand out to reflect your business values. You need to make your communication visible in your offering and activitie.
10. Unique Selling Proposition
Your USP crafts your very essence and communicates why customers should want to do business with your company and why people will want to patronize your business. It could be your money back guarantee, return policy, product quality, assurance of support and other forms or messages that draw people to your business. Your USP is your special selling point.
Designing and implementing a successful online marketing campaign means achieving your online marketing goals. This does not come accidentally. It requires planning, budgeting, strategizing and carefully monitoring, evaluating and implementing controls. While in the online marketing space may seem easy and not strictly guided by a strong legal framework, successful websites are actually those who play by the rules.
Google has become wiser and its algorithm can smartly detect moves that attempt to out-smart it and gain unfair advantage over competition. Such moves are more likely to come with a penalty and ranking drop. Sometimes, it could be as severe as a delisting from the search engine.
The smart way to be successful will therefore be to work with expert recommended tools, some of which we have listed in this article, and carefully implement the recommendations. That way, you will see a gradual gain in ranking.