The Digital Marketing industry is always full of change, new opportunities and myriad ways to spend your hard earned marketing budget.
Every week my inbox is full of this method or that method that promises to dramatically improve traffic to my website, get my website to number one on Google, drive awesome increases in my online sales or to allow me to earn thousands of dollars a week working from home.
We all know that most if not all of this unsolicited mail is “flim flammery” of the worst type peddled by snake oil salesmen who couldn’t lie straight in bed….
But, as most of us know, some things do make a positive difference to our marketing ROI and, thankfully, through consistent testing and measurement we have the figures to identify exactly what some of these things are.
Now I am not saying these things work for every business. In fact, I strongly believe the opposite. Sometimes there are external factors that make one or more of these strategies ineffective.
That said in the vast majority of circumstances we have found the following to be the “winners” in 2014.
So, counting down, as in all good awards shows we have in order…
6. Facebook Retargeting
Put simply Facebook Retargeting ensures that anyone who visits your website with a Facebook account is shown advertisements for your product or service in their Facebook feed.
If someone was interested enough to visit your website, however, did not take an action at that point in time, then Facebook Retargeting will remind them when they access their Facebook account that your business exists.
In some cases this may be sufficient to drive a positive decision to contact your business.
Facebook Retargeting is a very inexpensive way to drive new leads and sales with the added value of building your brand.
5. Data Analysis
As you probably realise Google’s servers have an extensive record of search history in your industry by your potential customers over a long period of time.
This data can be collected, collated and analysed to identify what those customers are searching for and the relationships between the keyword phrases in those searches.
The objective of this exercise is as follows;-
- To understand what your customer is searching for and to present that information to them in a way that gets a lead or a sale
- To allow Google to understand that your marketing campaigns, website and pages on your website constitute an accurate and informative presentation of the information their customers (people who search on Google) are looking for when they search.
We call this process Data Analysis.
The benefits of point 1 (above) are obvious. Show your site visitors what they expect to see and answer their questions accurately and clearly and, if they intend to buy, then the chances are that they may buy from you.
The benefits of point 2 (above) are, perhaps, less obvious.
Our Data Analysis process identifies opportunities for longer tail keyword phrases that will drive search traffic to your site that your competitors may not have identified.
This information allows us to construct our organic and paid marketing campaigns in such a way that we can be very sure that you will get more traffic and more leads / sales.
It also helps Google see your website and / or your landing pages as an authority which can improve their position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and reduce your cost per click for your paid marketing campaigns.
Have no doubt at all that Data Analysis should be a key component of your success online.
It may not appear as sexy as that 2 door sports coupe, however, it may just be the ute you need to cart your tools and equipment to the work site…
And another little kicker for Data Analysis moving forward – voice based search (Siri, Ask Google) from mobile devices is becoming more and more popular – a trend that will continue to grow.
Voice based search drives longer tail keyword search and longer tail keyword “gems” are regularly unearthed during the data analysis process, further increasing the effectiveness when using data analysis to drive your broader marketing campaigns.
4. Bing Ads
Bing Ads is the main competitor to Google Adwords in the Pay Per Click Marketplace.
It is owned by the mighty Bill Gates Microsoft empire and ads are delivered on their Bing search engine (which competes with Google).
New PCs come configured with Bing as the default search engine (not Google).
How many people (especially those who are more mature – with more disposable income) would even bother changing their default search engine?
Siri on the iphone comes configured with Bing as the default Search Engine (try changing the default – not for the technically limited I assure you) so voice based searches (a growing trend which will become the norm on mobile) do not use Google.
So we know there is a growing search volume on Bing.
And the good news is you can pay as little as 10% of what you pay on Google for your clicks.
This will not last forever as sooner or later your competitors will wise up to the bargains currently available to the astute marketer.
Bing currently holds less than 10% of the search marketshare in Australia, so it will not be a home run derby for every business at this point. It is certainly worth a try however, at a fraction of the advertising costs when compared to other more prominent competitors.
Lower advertising costs generally always lead to a lower cost per sale for your business!
3. Google Adwords
Google sells advertising.
They are consistently finding ways of selling more advertising and / or charging more for each advertisement.
This is not going to change anytime in the near future.
We all know when we do a search on Google that the paid advertisements are across the top and in the right sidebar.
Do a search on a mobile device and often paid advertisements are all you will see on your screen until you scroll down the page.
Being there won’t guarantee you a click, however, with a well constructed and optimised Google Adwords program it will certainly help drive a positive ROI from your combined digital marketing spend.
The more refined the search (see our comments above re voice based searches) commonly the more serious the searcher is about engaging with a solution to their problem.
Delivering an advertisement in Google Ads that “speaks” very precisely to that search drives better qualified visitors to your site.
Better qualified visitors = better qualified leads = a higher percentage of sales.
2. Organic ROI
At the end of the day we are all looking for the best return on investment from our marketing budget.
Whilst OD have had a big year with the introduction of our in-house Paid Web Marketing team we have never wavered on the potential of Organic Web Marketing to commonly drive a similar or better ROI.
Whilst some may not consider Organic as “immediate” in terms of results our facts show that it still contributes a very competitive (often better) ROI than paid marketing.
Organic search results are the gift that keeps on giving.
The search terms that drive traffic to your website often continue to harvest, long after our crop has been laid.
A sustained and targeted digital communication strategy will drive your site’s authority upwards and over time allow you to rank for hundreds, if not thousands of connected search terms on an ongoing basis.
Conversely, if you turn off your Paid Web Marketing campaigns then you simply get no more leads until you turn it back on again. Nada, nix, nothing!!!
A good digital marketing strategy includes both Organic and Paid Marketing in combination.
And the winner is…
1. Custom Landing Pages
No one denies that it costs money to drive qualified traffic from your paid traffic generation initiatives be it Google Adwords, Bing Ads or Facebook.
The traffic that we can generate for your business can be very specialised indeed down to the industry, product / service, features, benefits etc etc.
Sending those clicks to the homepage or a generic page on your website is not taking full advantage of the investment you have made.
In fact, you are almost certainly leaving money on the table by taking this approach.
A Custom Landing Page is a single web page that is tightly coupled with a specific audience pocket in Google Adwords, Bing Ads or Facebook.
These audience pockets are typically driven by precise differences in contextual reference to your products and services.
The person that clicks on that add is taken to a custom developed landing page that delivers very closely on the “promise” of the ad and the search term your prospects have typed into the search engine.
The page also includes the following default features to help convert that click into a very well qualified lead;-
- A very low distraction Ratio. The distraction ratio is the number of things you allow a site visitor to click to navigate away from the landing page as a ratio of the thing you most want them to do. The ideal distraction ratio is 1:1 e.g. either click on a buy now button, call us, fill out the form etc – BUT ONLY ONE OF THESE. On a standard website page there are so many links for distraction (like the page’s menu). On a custom landing page we remove as many distractions as we possibly can.
- Focus on conversion. Everything about a custom landing page is built to convert the page visitor into a lead. The text (or copy), the visual elements, positioning of elements on the page, colours of various items etc etc. This is a science.
- Measurement for ongoing improvement. The important elements on a custom landing page are measured to drive improvement.
If you want to know more about how a Custom Landing Page is laid out and the reasoning behind it take a few minutes to read this recent article on Custom Landing pages.
So What Next for 2015…
As we turn off the TV with our remote control and get up from our comfy chair to switch off the lights for 2014 we start to focus on what will be the things that will drive Digital Marketing in 2015.
We have some ideas we will share with you in the new year so, until then, have a very peaceful, safe and happy holiday season from all here at OD…