It’s that time again, a new year to optimize your site, increase brand awareness, and increase your return on investment (ROI). Below is a list to help all online marketers for the New Year.
- Multi-channel testing. Test new marketing channels every single month. No matter your budget, you can test. Set a realistic budget for each test and do it. Have you tried: paid search, retargeting, search engine optimization, email nurturing, 15 second video commercials, guest blog posts, writing “how to” articles, affiliate marketing, looking at your referring sites in analytics and trying to partner with the sites bringing traffic/conversions to your site, etc… How about these 2nd and 3rd tier engines and display companies: 7Search, Advertise.com, Linkedin, Business.com, Infolinks, Looksmart, or Bizo?
- Website testing. I will not go too deep into this because I just wrote about website testing – Web Analytics Testing a Common Sense Approach. What actions do you want your customers to take once they find your site? Then add informative content and help your customers find what they are looking for on your site to increase your ROI.
- Know who your customers are and who your customers are not. Through analytic reports and testing you can find out a lot about your customers. Where are they from, what pages do they visit, which pages do they bounce right off of, what path do they use to get to the cart, the numbers of days before they buy, and more. Ask frequent users for a case study and/or a testimonial. Find out why they chose your product/service and what they are using it for. Use social sites like Facebook and Twitter to build relationships and use your email lists to take surveys. All of this may sound overwhelming, so be realistic. You can hire a team to do this or you can allocate one person to spend less than one hour a day on your social sites. Creating a survey through SurveyMonkey is relatively easy. Try creating a survey to just your employees to practice and go from there.
Be open and always remember a complaint is not bad, it is a gift. Complaints are gifts your customers are giving you so you can improve your product or service. If complaints continue to come in, fix the problem. The problem is not the social sites they are posting on, the problem is your product or service. Let them know you are aware of the problem and fix it!
- SEO is not dead and never will be. Optimizing your website for the search engines is an ever-changing skill that cannot be left idling. There are some proactive tasks you can take to help you increase or maintain your rankings.
a) Social sites are your friend. Those weekly blog posts, 10 second tweets, Facebook discussions, Linkedin updates, etc… create chatter. Even if the sites do not give you weight for the backlink, Google, current customers, and potential customer still see those posts. Let social and SEO work together.
- Start branding you, create your personal brand. I am finding out, marketing yourself as an expert not only helps you, but helps your company. I will admit that this is an area I am definitely lacking and need to focus on in 2012.
People are going to look you up in various industry and general search engines to review the search results and see your profile on Linkedin and social sites. Start speaking at local meetups and as you become more comfortable speaking, move up to larger venues. If you appear to be an expert in your field, it adds credibility to you and your company.
- Create and implement your plan. Brainstorm with your team. Get ideas of other things you can do to improve your brand awareness and ROI then create and implement a plan. Without this step, all of your time and effort were for nothing. Write down everything you want to do. Put the easier quick wins at the top, then prioritize from there.
These next 2 steps are a MUST! a) For each task, assign it to someone. There may be others involved in the task, but one person must be assigned the overall responsibility to get it done and b) add a realistic “completion by” date. Meet weekly to discuss the expected and current progress of the tasks.