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Optimisation v Optimism

SEO and other animals

Over the years, there have been umpteen articles on SEO, Penguins, Spiders, Bigger penguins, panda’s and all sorts of other creatures I’m not going to go on about here.

Does it mean anything? Is it relevant? What if the internet’s down, this all means jack shit.

While it’s true that a well optimised site exposes your business to the masses.  Should so much emphasis be put on meta tags, page titles, keywords alt tagging, XML site maps and a list of all these other search engine related things that a lot of people don’t get. If you are one of these people that doesn’t get it, or are just late to the party, fear not. You should read this SEO in a nutshell post by David Robinson. I’ll also embed this video for those of you that care.

Imagine if there was no internet

Now that you know what SEO is, think about the question.

Imagine the internet goes down for a week, day, month. What do you do then?

Do you have any non digital marketing collateral? No? Now what would you do? Hopefully if you have Youtube videos there are DVD’s, if you have stories, testimonials, case studies or any of the other recommendation any digital agency will tell you to have, you should have these backed up with hard copies.

You should have something else

Yes, SEO is a vital part of the marketing mix, but it’s not the be all and end all, if the internet ceased working tomorrow, you are going to have to start prospecting, direct mail, all the other old school stuff that seems irrelevant now. It’s not irrelevant, it’s just evolved.

I am not saying the net will go out of date, but if you have good content it wont matter what format it is.

Not content marketing..content

SEO has to be part of your game plan, but the content is what matters, I’m not even talking about content marketing, Consider the value it provides. You could have the best optimised shit website in history, but it’s still a shit website.

Follow the rules and trends but make sure it means something to audiences, putting SEO above content is is more optimism than optimisation.

Consider the impact of PPC on your offline goals.

I’ve decided to rehash this post as its relevant to work I’ve been doing lately. This scenario may be familiar to millions: You haven’t had any sales on your site, but your spending tons on Adwords. What are you missing?

Take a look at this picture of an experiment on an E-commerce site. What does it show?

Analytics screen shot

what is this even showing?

A decrease in web traffic

All it shows is less hits on a website once Adwords was paused. To some it looks like the site is doomed.  If I was to show you a conversion for E-commerce sales and monetize this then it would look even worse. This is a real problem for SMEs the world over.

What’s more important… Traffic or leads? What impact does ad words have on overall business? 70 percent of the visitors are new. 1,886 unique people have seen this site in 7 weeks. 50% of them are from Adwords. How would a business cope if it got that many extra phone calls? Or that much passing trade… most SMEs would need more staff to cope with that. Anyway, what happened was: 15% of website visitors from the campaign requested a call back – for information on high ticket items.  The number of times the website was cited under “how did you hear about us” increased by 5%. This is all linked.

So what?

If the sales team that deal with these inquiries can convert, you’ve returned your investment. Just because a goal isn’t met in your E-commerce site, does not mean something else hasn’t improved – make sure you see the bigger picture. Many people are researching online but purchasing offline. Consider the impact of your digital activities on offline activities and you might just realise your efforts are working.

How can I track this?

It’s difficult, half the time you rely on other people to do make your metrics work. A lot of web agencies will tell you now that they can put  a phone number on each advert and port it to your phone, whilst this works, you rely on the agency. Consider having an “adwords phone” where you use one number for all ads, or make sure that the adverts go to a unique landing page.

What is the point of Facebook?

I get frustrated sometimes just like everybody else with lack of followers or traffic, whatever.  So I type “What is the point of Facebook?” into Google.  The first two post are of sceptical bloggers. How is that going to help? Sometimes Google should really do something about negativity in the algorithm.

The first one from the confidence cafe lady having a rant in 2011. Then from the skinny artist one, who, I’ll add, sounds like a lot of people when they first approach social networking as a marketer. Welcome to our world.  The latter has loads of Facebook fans by the way. Wonder what they think now?

Anyway, the point of Facebook?

What’s the point in anything, why have I got a blog? Why are you reading this post?

Depends where you are coming from, if you’ve been to university, moved countries and been around a while and gathered a lot of contacts then it’s a great tool for keeping up to date with all these people personally.   Sure there are other ways to connect and if you really wanted to stay in touch you would. But nobody wants people to know you are not really that interested. Do they? that’s why we follow people.

Obviously I don’t need to list all the features of Facebook on here, do I?  But from that point of view, if you don’t like  baby posts, weddings, marathons (showing my age here) or what I had for dinner posts then switch it off.

Marketing with Facebook.

From a marketing point of view, you can send your offer or promotion to all your followers, all in one place, and just because your audience is small doesn’t mean your offering isn’t being seen by other people. I previously wrote about social networking anxiety in it’s not you its them.  Besides you can automate social networking a lot of it and take out the pain.

Sure it’s a head ache growing a following, a fan base, having more channels to communicate with. Not to mention frequency, after all, one post to all your followers will never be enough, it’s like firing arrows into the dark. You have to post the same post multiple times for maximum exposure. That’s another story.

Do I have to do Facebook?

No of course you don’t, you don’t have to do any social network if you don’t want to. Find and stick with one that works for you. But if you have a site of content and of value, whether that’s music, art, writing or awesome opinions, people will find it eventually, if they want it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again quit worrying about your credibility on social networks and focus on the primary objective, whatever that was in the first place. Why? because cream always rises to the top.

As for the point of Facebook. I could go on and list loads of features advantages and benefits, but what’s the point? It means different things to different people.

What does it mean to you?