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Here's some internet best practices that may provide valuable information to help you navigate the sometimes confusing internet marketing world. These are actual results from a tried-and-true Atlanta marketing firm.
Internet Best Practices Showcased
First - remember that inbound marketing is a cost effective way to grow your business. Simply put, inbound marketing is about attracting potential customers to your online presence and then converting them. Your online presence might be a website, a business Facebook page or perhaps your LinkedIn profile. Attracting leads via inbound marketing methods is typically less expensive than trying to do so via traditional outbound marketing (TV advertising, radio, print, billboards, newspapers, etc.).
Second - Content is still king. Remarkable or compelling content is the attractor. Providing useful information and making it easy to find is a best practice. Search engines like Google have voracious appetities. Producing consistent content and featuring it on your website or Facebook page is a solid strategy that will pay off in more visits. It may not happen overnight, but content will attract searchers and search engines over time.
If you have a new website - expect 12 -24 months to invest in content to begin to attract sizable visits online. Established websites can see results in a few short months.
Third - frequency helps. Publishing web content, whether in form of static web pages or blog posts, more frequently tends to help the cause. This is especially true if the information is rich and provides answers or solutions or perspective. TIP: don't skimp on words. Blog posts with 600+ words tend to perform better than shorter word count blog posts.
The Truth Is In The Numbers
Numbers don't lie, people do. That sounds harsh. But take it from this Atlanta marketing firm - marketing effectivness can be measured and should be. Rely on analysis and actual results to guide your marketing spend. TIP: this is the most important best practice - measure your marketing activity and use the data to determine what works and what doesn't.
You may hold your financial advisor or personal trainer to the same accountability - what do the numbers show. Any marketing firm worth trusting your marketing dollars to uses a marketing software package to measure activity. Campaigns can be measured. Actual marketing ROI can be calculated if you, the business owner, close the marketing loop by accounting for actual customers obtained from marketing efforts.
Below are some graphs and charts of actual results which measure the effectiveness of inbound marketing efforts.
Marketing Metrics That Mean Business
Here are some recommended marketing measures to make sure you're tracking. Doing so will lead to knowledge and will guide your marketing decisions in the future.
Start with a keyword strategy. Look for phrases (keywords) that will bring target customers to your online store. Refine these keywords over time. Use a software that will help uncover recommended keywords to guide future content strategies (blogs, web pages, etc.).
Here's an example of some keyword recommendations that this piano retail business may want to focus on in the future. It displays the keyword, the number of visits so far that month, the current rank for that keyword by this website, and a difficulty score (score from 0-100, where lower numbers correspond to opportunities to get traction whereas higher numbers are more competitive and harder to get ranked for in the short term):
Use numbers to track activity such as visits, or leads or customers. This is important. Trends over time indicate whether you're internet marketing activity is producing results. Below are site visit trends and also conversion measure segmented by online activity. The important thing to note is that this business has closed the loop in marketing by tracking actual customers obtained from marketing efforts. This is crucial if you want to ensure marketing dollars are being spent effectively.
Finally, it pays to dig down into the campaigns themselves. Which offers on your website are engaging visitors? Remember, the truth is in the numbers. Don't simply go with your gut. Look at the effectiveness of your Calls-to-Action (CTAs). Below are results of clicks resulting from variations of different CTA campaigns. In some cases there are A and B versions while one campaign has 3 versions: A,B, and C.
Using versions to test effectivness is a wise idea. Over time, smart business owners will use the most effective campaign. Just below the CTA data chart are figures for Landing Page conversions.
Use marketing metrics that track business. Numbers don't lie. Sometimes people will lie to make you feel good about your marketing spend. Find an inbound marketing agency that will deal in the truth - the numbers. It makes for good business decisions.
What software are you using to measure your marketing effectiveness? Share your thoughts now.