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Building a Digital Strategy

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Build Your Own
Digital Marketing Strategy

August 26, 2020 11:00 AM EDT
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Are you ready to get serious and build a Digital Marketing strategy for your business?

Angela McAfee and Tom Veltri of digital agency SEO Rocket will walk you through the time-tested system they use to design highly targeted plans for their clients. You’ll discover what you should know to get started; combined with the steps needed to drive your business forward with a custom digital strategy.

From start-up to Fortune 500, every business requires a map to keep their marketing directed towards the end goal – NEW business.

Read the Video Transcription here

Build Your Own Digital Marketing Strategy

I guess everyone is there. It looks like you are still coming in and it’s 11:00 o’clock. I’m going to go ahead and get started. Hi, I’m Angela McAfee with SEO Rocket.

Angela McAfee:

I am here today along with Tom Veltri. Yes, he is here today, and he is going to be here along with me today showing you the technical readiness SEO scorecard for your website. We are talking today about building your own digital marketing strategy.

We get a lot of questions about this. It doesn’t matter what size business you are. It is always important to create a plan, plan your work and work your plan, right? We have been in business as SEO Rocket as a digital marketing agency for about 20 years and we work with hundreds of clients. Every situation, every need, every business is always different. In this time, we’ve created a streamlined process that we really like to use to get to the heart of your needs. And, put that plan together for you that it’s custom. Today we’re going to let you get a sneak peek behind the curtain and we’re going to walk you through that you can either use it for yourself or at least understand it better when working with agencies.

We have an hour today, not an entire semester, which is what we probably really need.  I’m going to break this down, and go ahead and get started here, alright?

 Okay? So, Tom and I are going to talk to you about all these different moving parts. First of all is preparing for your strategy. We tend to ask a lot of upfront questions of our clients.  when people get started, they’re very excited or anxious and they really want to just make this thing happen. And, do we. But you always have to slow down in order to speed up to make it happen, alright?

This is the time where we say “Let’s just chill. Let’s ask a lot of questions.” There’s a method to the madness there. We’re going to ask you a lot of questions and ask you to ask yourself a lot of questions.

Step one, the stakeholder. This is the first question. This is your “Who?”.

Is it you or is it someone else? Who do you need to engage in the early stages of your planning to understand the value of all your marketing efforts? Why are you doing it? If you’re an owner operator, it could be me, myself and I, right? It could just be you. If you’re a Marketing Manager, it could be your Department heads or your Chief Executive. It could be anyone. Trust me, it’s very important that all the stakeholders be involved.

Anyone who has any kind of input on your budget or your timeline, or the goals that you’re trying to achieve with any marketing plan that you put together. It’s super important that they be involved from day one and that they understand the absolute value of these things. We don’t want someone to come in later. If you put all this work in and planning and say, “Yeah no. We’re not going to do that. That’s not important.” Or they poo pooed it and put the brakes on it for whatever reason. We really don’t want that to happen.  We want everyone to be involved if they have a stake in it.

I will say, what we’re finding in the new economy. dare I say “new normal” is that we’re seeing a lot of businesses as we all go through phases of opening and closing and reopening, etc. having hesitancy, and a bit of analysis paralysis. Everyone wants to be the Chief Financial Officer. You may want to kind of take the temperature on that and see who all really needs to be involved and really wants to be involved. Then, get all of those voices at the table heard so that they can hear all the information that is planned along the way.

Step 2 is your Need. This is your ”why”. We tend to break these into three “I’s”

Do your struggles sound something like “Hey, we built this beautiful SEO friendly website. We spent all this money on it. But it gets no traffic?” You don’t want that. That could probably be an optimization issue for you. Or “Our traffic counts are really high, yet there are no sales coming in.” Maybe your targeting is off. Whether it’s your paid search targeting, your SEO targeting or email targeting. Or, “Hey, my sales team isn’t getting any leads from this website, it’s just useless, right?” No, that may be your messaging.

This is the “why”. Why you really want to embark on a new digital marketing plan for yourself. We break these down further into the three “I’s”. First, being your Issue. What is the most important thing that you need your website to do, or do more of? It could be phone calls, contact form fill outs. If it’s branding, it could be that you want them to spend more time on the site. It you are Ecomm it could be more sales, hard sales.  What is that? What does that look like for you? And you really ask yourself that question?

Next is the impact. What impact is this having on your business? Are your sales slow? Is your visibility a wreck? Is your growth rate not as fast as you would like for it to be? If you’re looking to open a new location, you need more growth.

What could it be? Or, you just need to make payroll. What impact is this having on your business right now? Then, how important is it to get this fixed? Is this a major or minor issue?  Think about those things because this is telling you why you’re actually embarking on this digital marketing plan. While this is important to you and you need to do it. It all helps you get buy-in from those decision makers.

Step Three – Goals

These are your actual goals. This is your “Where” and your “When”, your actual goals. While we are doing this, we say we have these needs and we’ve gone through the impact or the issues. Let’s make sure that we know when we get there. What does that mean to us? Let’s put together what we call SMART goals.

I mean it, it’s simple, but it’s not easy. I’ll be honest with you. It’s hard to do and I get in trouble with my coworkers and my team if I don’t come back with answers here.  Go ahead and get these answers for yourself. I’m going to help you break it down here.

We like to use what we call “SMART goals”. Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound.

For those of you have done any business development or coaching work, you probably have come across this term before. Basically, it’s saying we need to know that we’ve succeeded and when we have.  How would we know that?  Let’s put together a specific goal.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re doing an organic SEO campaign, right? Right now, you have 20 contact form submissions coming out of your site every month. You’re tracking it, you can see through analytics or whatever that you are getting 20 contact form submissions a month. That’s where you’re starting. But you want to go to 27.  Now, you have a number is mind that is specific and measurable. You’re tracking it.  It isn’t a crazy change or extreme amount of difference. That is achievable. It’s relevant to your business because it’s increasing contact forms. That’s more leads and we want more leads! We’ve established that as a need. We know it’s relevant to our business. It will help our business. It makes sense for our business. And, it’s timebound. We want to achieve this within six months.

When you’re working within your marketing team or any agency or freelance vendors that you’re working with, now you can say “This is our goal.”. This is what we’re looking at. It is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

Everyone can then be in agreement and understand what we’re all working towards together. Now, I will this about your goal as far as that achievable and relevant thing goes, it is interrelated with your budget and your timeline. These things are interrelated.

Step 4 – Criteria for Marketing Tactics (Budget, Timeline and Technical Readiness)

Digital agencies have many tools in the toolbox. The marketing tactics could be SEO, paid search, social media, paid social ads, reputation management/reviews, newsletters, email, etc. Those are all tools in your toolbox.

These items very directly affect which tools that you can use or will use or should use in any type of digital marketing planning that you would put together.

First is very important and that’s budget – in both dollars or time. Depending on your budget and depending on your in-house talent, that’s going to be dollars mostly. I’m going to actually slow down on this one because this is where many people can get defensive because you’re talking about money.

First and foremost, I have to say your budget is what it is. It is important.  Unless you’re Amazon, chances are someone has a higher budget than you, right? Amazon probably cornered it. Ok, maybe Walmart too. Anyway, what you really need to know is – and be very honest with yourself here – is what are you able to feasibly commit to for a 6 to 12-month time period? When we’re planning our digital marketing, we’re looking at 6 to 12 months at a time. When you’re just starting out, that’s what you need to consider first.

Be honest with yourself. Be honest with everyone involved. This is a commitment. This is money that you are setting aside and saying I’m not going to touch this for anything but my marketing for this amount of time.

But people do get defensive because maybe they really don’t know what things cost. Maybe they haven’t done the research yet. Maybe they are just starting to tire kick and ask around and do their research, or they’re afraid of being taken advantage of. A reputable company is not going to do that.  I would suggest that when you’re coming up with this number that it be as educated as possible. You can start by looking at your average sale that you make in your business, whether it’s through your website or in your business location if you have brick and mortar locations as well as online locations. Look at that. Look at the average sale. Look at the lifetime value of a customer. Can you get them to come back and repeat buy? How does that look? Be observant and watch for those things, and then think about the value that the increased sales can mean to your business. Whether it’s increased sales or an increase in the number of leads that your sales reps then have to convert those into an actual sale. Think about the value of those things. Value is really important with marketing because you don’t always see it happen instantaneously. It could be over time with a branding issue, which isn’t always a tangible thing. How quickly do you need to achieve this goal?

A more aggressive timeline will require a more aggressive budget. Once again, your budget and your timeline or interrelated here. Keep those things in mind, alright?

If you are going to reach out to an agency, vendor, or freelancer to help you employ these tactics and they ask you what your budget is, once again, please be honest. The answer here is not “You tell me”. We hear that a lot, and I don’t take offense to it. But usually if you say that to me, I’m going to say “Alright, Cool, Let’s break this down.”. We’ve got to figure it out so I can tell you what can and cannot work for you right now.

Any marketing partner will really need to know where you are now (in your educated budget range), what assets you have to work with, and then how they can connect that to your goals. Because, I know that I can give you the most beautiful, aggressive strategy. But, if it’s not right for you right now and your timeline and in your budget, it’s wasting everyone’s time and you’re going to get frustrated.

We realize that not every company has these numbers, but it is well worth your time to make an educated guess here. If you need to reach out and get help with your bookkeeper, accountant, or business coach they can always help you walk through these things. Maybe a mentor through SEORE or some other organization.

They can really, really help you there. I suggest that you very much take this seriously because it really is a foundational piece of your plan, which is why I wanted to slow that down and give you lots of info there.

Timeline #2 is timeline. Your timeline is important because it is interrelated with your budget.

There are both long and short term from tactics that you can employ in your marketing.  Are fast results very important for you? Then, paid search is probably the way you need to go. Or, you’re very seasonal. Or   you’ve got a one-time thing that you’re trying to market and promote. Paid search may be the best tactic for you. Can you invest in the long-term commitment of ongoing effort that organic SEO requires? That delivers a better return on investment for you, but it’s a long-term strategy. You start now for things that will affect you. 3, 6, 9, 12 months down the road. Think about that. Your timeline is going to be interrelated. It allows for you and your marketing partners to come up and formulate the right combination for your needs as they are now.

 Remember, if you are very aggressive with your goals and your timeline, you have to be aggressive with your budget. I always have to remind people of this. That’s part of being relevant and achievable in your thinking. Ultimately every business’s situation is unique, and the plan requires consideration for each of these things.

Wow, we’re actually on time y’all. I’m excited! Seriously, this rarely happens.

Technical readiness is next. This is you looking at your site and getting it prepared for this marketing that you’re about to implement. You need to make sure that it is ready to go and up to the task of this promotion and this planning that you’re putting towards it. We need to make sure you’re ready to go.

This is actually ‘s field of expertise. He is our Sr. SEO Specialist here at SEO Rocket. He does all of our audits and analysis for our Flight Plans or strategies that we put together for our clients.  I am actually going to pitch this over to you, Tom, and let you get started.

 Tom Veltri:

Good morning everybody!  I thank you for being here today. As Angela pointed out, I’m the SEO guy. I’m going to tell you a little bit about how the sausage is made, I guess.

SEO has a tendency to be this big, mysterious entity, and nobody is quite sure what it is, but it’s really kind of – I’m the guy who looks under the hood when you have a problem. And that’s what happens when we do these technical audits.  My goal here today is to give you a very non-technical review of what I look for and why it’s important and what you should be looking for if you want to have a successful marketing strategy.

We’re going to look at the platform – Does it support publishing? Is it easy to discover? Does it have speed issues? Is it mobile friendly?

We’re going to take a look at your competitors. It’s very important how you stack up against your competitors. Keyword research. What are the best keywords for you? Are they realistic keywords? We’ll review content strategies.

A little bit about your audience and you’ve got owned assets, earned assets and paid media that you can use.

These are all part of your audience’s conversions as Angela pointed out before. you’ve got SMART goals that should be set up. Well, now we have to make sure that we’re converting on those SMART goals. And how do we do that?

Lastly, would be Measurement. How can we measure that these things are happening?

Platform – What to look at. From a technical standpoint we want to know if it up to date. We’re going to use WordPress as an example. Most of the sites we work with are built on a WordPress platform since it’s one of the most popular ones out there. Very rarely when I do a site audit, will I log into the back end of a WordPress site and see that everything is up to date.

It is crucial that you keep your plugins up to date. It’s crucial that you keep your themes up to date. Most of these things will not only be for performance to give you more features, but a lot of them are security patches, and you don’t want to fall behind on that.

In the most recent Flight Plan that I’ve done I found a theme that was no longer supported and had been out date for a couple of years now. That means at some point in time it’s going to stop working with the plugins that are out there because they’ve fallen behind.

Now, is this something? Yeah, I promised nontechnical. This may be a little technical. But, to my audience out there listening to this now, you may not be the person that actually does this. You may bring it back to your web developer. You may bring it back to your IT person or whoever built your website. But you should know to ask them to look at this stuff. “Hey, when’s the last time my plugins are updated? Hey, is everything up to date here?”  That’s something that you want to keep your eyes on for sure. Next, is it error free?

There are hundreds and hundreds of different types of errors that our tools can find. Some of the ones that are the most concerning and will make for a bad user experience would be broken, internal links or too many redirects, images that are 404’ing. It will not only hurt your user experience, but it will also hurt you in Google’s rankings. The more errors and stuff they see, the more re-directions that are happening behind the scenes, it dilutes the search engine value of your website.

One of the things we look at and why you should pay attention to it; make sure you don’t have too many 404 errors on this site and try to eliminate unnecessary redirects if you can.

Security is the next thing.  I’m sure everybody has seen the little lock that’s on there now. Google has gotten very, very serious about security now. They’re getting to the point now where it’s actually in red to alert you this site is not secure. Ask yourself, do you want to proceed?

These days I’d like to think that everybody has a secure site, but I still want across sites that are not. Not only do you want to make sure it’s secure, but you want to make sure it’s secure in the proper way. We’ve come across, a lot of sites that are secure but, a lot of these things within this site are not secure, you’ve got mixed content. That’s something that you want to probably take a look at.

Is your site mobile friendly?

Mercifully, most of them are now but I’m actually working on a site now that still isn’t. Google has a free test you can do a Google search for ‘mobile friendly tests’ that will come up and you can get an idea of how your site is rendering in Google. You want your site to be mobile friendly.

Several years ago, we reached the point where more searches were happening on mobile than they were on desktop. Even though that may not apply to your specific situation, Google is basing its rankings on how you perform on mobile.

What that means is you may have 80% of your people who come to you on a desktop but when Google looks to rank your site, they’re going to see how you perform mobile and they’re going to base your rankings mobile and desktop based on that performance.

Which brings us to our last item, is it fast?  You want to make sure that you’ve got a fast speed. Google’s got a site; it’s called Test My Site by Google and you could do a speed test on it. And believe it or not, they want your site to be 2.5 seconds or faster. Now the mistake people make with this is they go through that site or they go to a website and they type into website. The site comes up blindingly fast and think “Everything is good here. I don’t have any problems loading fast.”  But they are loading this on a cable connection, a fiber connection, of course, is going to be fast. The way Google’s looking at it is they want your site to come up in 2.5 seconds on a 4G connection. Not too many sites can do that. One of the last sites that I tested came up 9.9. That’s considered very slow. If you’re slow, you are going to lose traffic. People are not going to wait around for that, and you’re going to suffer in the rankings. Next slide, please.

Competitive analysis

 I’m gonna tell you all a little bit of a story. There are two guys walking through the woods. And all of a sudden, this big hungry bear comes out and starts chasing them. So, they’re running and, they’re running, and one guy turns around to the other guy and says, “We’re never gonna outrun this bear.” Well, the other guy turns around and says,” Well, I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun YOU.” And that’s sort of the way it is with your competition.

You need to be very aware and cognizant of how your competition is doing so that you can be better than they are at doing it. Basically, you’re not being measured against every single site in the world. You’re getting measured against the people you want to compete with. They’re competing for the same keywords that you are, competing for the same market share.

If you notice in this slide that there are a couple of different features on there. I hope you can see it, because it’s tiny, but there’s something called authority SEO score and that’s basically 1 to 100 score of how your site performs on a lot of things that Google holds near and dear to their heart.

If you’re competing against a site, if you’ve got a 20 authority score and your competitor has a 50, which is much higher, you’re probably not going to be able to compete for a lot of the keywords that they are. And all of these things are built around site speed, they are built around how many backlinks are coming in, built around how many pages you’ve got on the website. One of the things we do when we do a Flight Plan is to ask you for three or four of your top competitors and we will do a head to head analysis of these key aspects and show them to you. We will show you where they are, where you are and where your best hope to beat them will lie. It’s very important to look at what the competitors are doing. If you want to succeed.

Keywords

Keywords are always important. As I alluded to before. you may want to rank for a certain keyword which may or may not be a good keyword. Part of what we do is keyword research to find out not only what Google thinks your site is about, what you think your site is about. Whether your keywords are In line with what your site is showing, which we’ll talk about more in content later on, but also take a look at what your competitors are doing and, and more importantly, what’s working for them.

We have tools that will allow us to find out what’s converting well for your competitors, what’s getting more click throughs, and then you match that up to what you’re doing; what you want to do, what you think is relevant on your site and see where opportunities lie. Keyword research will take advantage of taking a look at the content on your site. We’ll take a look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for.

In the competitive analysis we did earlier, will be able to see where you stand or where they stand in relationship to trying to rank for that keyword, then, make recommendations for that as we go on.  Ideally what you want to do, and this goes to attainable goals that Angela spoke to before, you want to make sure that if you want to embark on an SEO plan you want to choose keywords that are going to convert for you, but you’re also going to have a realistic chance of getting on that first page. It’s a good that’s a big part of what we do in our analysis.

Site content.

 Many, many times I’ve had people ask me “Hey, can you submit this keyword to Google for me? I want to rank for this keyword. Submit it to Google.” Well, that’s not the way it works. You don’t submit keywords to Google, Google crawls content on your site and they decide what’s relevant for that keyword, what’s relevant for a phrase, and what’s not relevant for that phrase. It’s not a matter of submitting the keywords. If the keyword is so important to you that you think you want to rank for it, and if it’s been shown to be a good traffic generating keyword, you need to build content around that.

Quite often in those scenarios where somebody wanted me to submit a keyword, that keyword was very rarely or sometimes not at all, even on the site. If that phrase isn’t important enough to put on your site, then either your site is lacking and you need to change that, or the keyword really isn’t a good keyword for you.

Sitting back and analyzing the content on your site, is it compelling? Is it the right content that you want to be putting out there? Are you sending the right kind of message? Is it compelling?

These days you really want it to be shareable too because, ideally what you want somebody to find a piece of content that they find so valuable and  so intriguing that they want to share it with other people because that’s going to help you win that battle of getting all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed so you can compete with some of your larger competitors.

Can you publish content to your own site? Again, most people have WordPress sites which makes it very easy to add pages and blog posts. But are you doing it? A lot of times people will have a blog on their site and when I’m doing an analysis, I’ll see that the last time somebody put a post up was 2 1/2 years ago. Sometimes old content is more harmful than no content because Google also looks at things like how often your site has been updated.  It’s really important to get your Content strategy built around that solid keyword strategy and that would put you on a path to success.

Audience – Now we’ve got to speak about the audience.

You can build visibility to your site through various different ways. There are owned resources – email, social media. These are things that are really in your control to impact.

There is earned. Basically, links coming in from other people that have found something valuable and want to share – PR, news releases; if you’ve done something that’s newsworthy and somebody is going to put you in their post.

And there is paid. Stuff that will get you there quicker. You can do pay per click, offline advertising stuff that you’re actually paying to get.

One thing builds upon another. If you’ve got a good keyword plan. if you’re building up the content on your site, well then, this site should be a very important lead generating tool for you and building up its audience. You would probably want to support that with email, but you definitely want to support it with social media because before when I mentioned that ideally you want people to share content on your site. If you build it on your site and you put content on there, sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you want to, if you write a blog post, that’s very topical to something that is happening in the industry that you’re in, putting on the blog is great. Google will find it. You may get ranked well for it, but it’s much more effective if you can promote that through your social media and take advantage of that. Then, other people will share it, which starts to build into that second category of links. You may get somebody, pick it up and get real press on it if it’s really informative, but, at the least you may get some people linking to it, and this is all going to help you succeed in building that site up and getting stronger to be able to compete with your competitors.

If you’re in a hurry for it, there’s always paid search. You can start a paid campaign and literally get on the map with some of those keywords in about a week. But, the one thing to remember about that is why you may not have to do all the roll up your sleeves work that’s involved with building up the content and getting everything corrected on your site, doing the legwork will result in ultimately longer rewards for you and probably be more cost effective in the long term.

Paid search can get you on a map immediately. As soon as you stop paying for it, the spigot gets turned off and you may still be left with the site that needs keyword adjustment, technical adjustment, new content. Etc. All you’ve really done is delayed. A good strategy generally would be if you cannot wait the time it takes to do the things to build up your foundation, use paid to bridge the gap but, continue to do what you need to do to succeed with the site.

Now conversions!

I’ve got you to do all this work that you really don’t want to do, and you didn’t think I was going to tell you to do it in the beginning of this conversation. But you’ve done it.  What should we see? Conversions. Ideally you want to address the needs of your market. You want to create assets and resources that drive profitable curser action on this site. You’ve got great content now people are paying attention to it. It’s interesting. You’ve piqued their interest. They’ve got the desire now to do some sort of an interaction with you. You’re halfway there!

Now comes to the point of the action. You must make clear calls to action on your site. Once you’ve got that person there, you have to make it very easy for them to understand what it is you expect them to do.

If it’s a site where you’re selling something, well, that’s usually a little more obvious because you’re going to have a “buy now” button or something like that. But you’d be surprised again how many sites that their main goal is to get the phone to ring but you have to go searching for the phone number. You have to go to like a contact page. Well, that phone number should be on every single page of the site. Think about it, if you’re a restaurant and you want somebody to make a reservation for you, well, the chances are they’re going to be on a mobile device. So if they look you up they find your site and they can’t find that phone number immediately, it’s not like present right on that page, they’ve got to dig around through the contact form to find it,  well, they’re eating at the restaurant next door then because they’re not going to deal with that. They want instant satisfaction.

You really need to work on your calls to action to get the person to do what you want them to do. If you want them to fill out a form, make that form visible on the page, don’t make him go searching for it. You want to have all that stuff visible. Make it as easy as possible.

Now of course, how do we know this is working? Well, you need to measure it.

A wise person once said that you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Now you’ve done all these things, you’ve got your goal set up and you’ve made the calls to action very clear. How do we know any of this is working? How do we know what’s driving the traffic?

Well, most sites these days use Google Analytics. It’s a free tool. It’s a great tool. It’s a daunting tool to a lot of people, which is why you generally want to find out just the specific things that are germane to you and work with that but you want to have Google Analytics on your site. You definitely want to have goals set up because there are very easy ways in Analytics to be able to track whether a phone number has been clicked on, whether a form has been filled out and the reason you want to do that is you could now tie it back to looking in analytics to see what made that happen. Did that person come to you from an email campaign you sent out? Did they come to you from Facebook and click over from there? Did they come over from the search engine? And what page did they land on? This page is converting. This page isn’t converting.

Do I need to do something to this other page to make it a convert as well as the other one? These are all things that you can get within Google Analytics. You need to sign up for Google Analytics. You need to make sure it’s on your site. You may need to make sure it’s configured correctly, and you need to make sure that you’ve got goals set up and set up some easy KPIs that you can look at. Google will allow you to construct your own dashboard. You can put stuff that you’re interested in instead of having to wade through pages and pages of data that can be daunting sometimes.

What we do for our clients is we actually talk to them during our engagement and generate reports from a third-party tool to give them information that they’re interested in, then put it in front of them and make it easy for them to digest to see what’s working and what’s not working.

That’s the end of my time here, and I’m going to pass it back to Angela.

Angela

Thanks Tom! Great job. You have earned your whiskey and cigar on the patio time tonight.

We’ve talked about a lot of different things, a lot of different pieces to the puzzle, right? And, we’re at the point now where we need to put all these elements or all those questions that you’ve asked yourself and your department heads and such. All the stakeholders that are surely still involved at this point, right?

This is the time we put it all together and ask, what does this mean? Let’s evaluate our strengths, weaknesses, needs, goals, budget, timeline. All these things now come together.

I talked earlier about the tools in the toolbox for digital marketing. Let’s just go through a couple of examples since we’re actually doing really well on time, which I’m shocked about. We need to pack a lot of information in here because I want you guys to have very actionable, rich information.  

If you have a short timeline – This is your time to work on reporting. If you’re a local business, your Google My Business page is getting that completely fleshed out and accurate, and that’s where your reviews come in, Google reviews, which are hugely popular and used by viewers all the time.  Studies are showing that Google My Business reviews are your Google reviews or highly rated by both Google and by surfers who are maybe vetting you or looking for a business that offers your product or service. They value those highly. There’s a very important message so that you value them highly as well.

Paid search, you can do paid search and social media. It depends on what your needs are and kind of what your target audience look like. Bing tends to skew a little bit older audience. Social media you have the targeting by vicinity as well as interests and groups that are following and pages they’re following and things like that.  There’s some pretty fabulous targeting there.

And then Google. Obviously, it’s a much bigger, a wider range with 80% of people now using Google.  You have a great data range and is a really good place to start. You can do it yourself through Google Express which we don’t always recommend because it doesn’t give you the targeting that Google Ads itself does.  Obviously, your social media. That’s something where if you have an internal person who can help you with that or even an external person that you’re using to do this for you, or both working together on that on those are short timeline things that you can work on and get up and running. 

On the technical side, Tom’s done a fantastic job of explaining these things. There are a lot of things that you need to do for your site technically to have it ready for SEO, ready for your reporting, ready for user experience on your site so that those who do come to you will have a great time,  they will find the things they need to find you and convert more easily. That is something that takes a concentrated effort and also is ongoing as you add things to your site. Keep that in mind. SEO, like I said, that’s a long-term strategy that involves a lot of organic onsite work, offsite work, content work.  It is labor intensive and expertise intensive, but it also has a fantastic, very strong return on investment and its long term, and it has longevity because of that work that’s being done, that foundation that’s being laid for your site.

Google tends to change things with their algorithms or what they’re looking for, what they need, how they’re responding to the demands of consumers and searchers. As Google changes thing often, it will sometimes make us crazy so, in your SEO campaign, you have to change along with that and address those things also. That is what makes it a long-term strategy.

Tom

This is probably a good time to bring up the fact that Google, generally speaking, does not announce ahead of time, what they’re going to do but they have come up with their core metrics that they’re going to be looking at now. And, as I alluded to before, guess what – they’re all based on speed, mobile, and user experience.

Again, you guys out there have a heads up as far as your long-term, SEO goes that you need to get your site under 2.5 seconds loading and have a good user experience because these are going to be crucial elements of the core metrics that they announced they’re going to start looking at in 2021.

Angela

Right, right? Yeah, they rarely say “Hey, this is what we’re gonna do and this is what you need to do to respond.” And, when they do, this is your time to 100% pay attention to that and react accordingly.

When Google speaks, we should all be listening as marketers.

Also, PPC long term and short term; reviews, that’s a long term and short-term thing.

Content creation -Same thing, working with your writers. Google has spoken out about content being extremely important. Find your writers. Let them really get to know your business and work alongside them. Listen to what they have to say. A lot of times we work with writers on with our keyword research and looking at the user journeys or traffic on your site to see what content people are actually looking for that is applicable to your business.

Search engines – I can tell you right now whether you’re doing paid or organic work to promote yourself there they are looking a lot at content. Search engines want to make sure that what you were putting out there is useful and unique and, is applicable to your business. We take that seriously. I would consider it to be an ongoing thing. Not a once a year situation. So, adding what we call cornerstone content, which is evergreen content to your site is important.

Regular blogs too. If you have new things that could be news, it could be an announcement. Like, we announce our webinars on the site on our own blogs all the time. It could be something new happening in your industry or, just thoughts on different things happening in your industry or products or services, all of those things, even though they may seem light, it’s great information for users to have. It helps you with visibility, and it helps you establish yourself as an expert in your industry.  I don’t take them lightly. Continue to do those things on an ongoing basis so, the search engines really see that and love it.

As we’re putting all these elements to work, we’re trying to drive our strategy towards these SMART goals.

Remember being number one in Google is awesome but, that’s really an ego thing. It’s these smart goals. Everything that we’re driving towards needs to be applicable to your business. Like I said, phone calls, contact form fill outs, actual sales if ecomm. All those things are measurable, and they make an impact on your business. Don’t make it about ego. Make it about the end result here.

Number one in Google? Fantastic, but is it getting you the actual results you’re looking for? You need to go further and ask that next question.

We have finished guys!  I hope that everything that we have provided here for you today, all the information that we’ve given to you has been actionable and that you learned something.

This is now your opportunity to go out, go forth and conquer and put all these things together.

I wish you all the very best and I hope that you can use this in putting your strategies together.

I’m Angela at SEO Rocket. I’m one of the owners here of SEO Rocket and Co- founders and I would be happy to help you. Please feel free to reach out by email. You can find us through the SEO Rocket website.

We have another webinar coming up on September the 30th. Please join us next month for that that will be on local SEO strategy.  Whether you’re single or multi location business, we’ll talk about that. Zane Tuck, our local SEO specialist will be joining us next month for that and walking us through all the things that he looks for and what he does with all of our local and multi-location local SEO clients. We will talk about the things that we prioritize there that you need to look at and think about. If just applies to your business, please join us for that.

You can find information on that webinar as well as this one at seorocket.com. We post everything on our blogs. We will repost this webinar on our blog too if you want a refresh of the information. It should be up by Friday or Monday. If you want to share it with your friends, please do. 

The info on that webinar is on the home page and on the blog. We also post it in our social media. You can sign up for our newsletter and the newsletter will send you updates on all of our upcoming webinars as they’re announced. 

Questions

Oh, we did have a question somebody asked about ever worked with a business coach.

The answer there is yes. I have, and I highly recommend it, yeah.

Any other questions? We had one in our social media. Let’s see, how long do these things take? And I think we probably will have to answer that based on timelines. We have short term tactics and long-term ones. Yeah, it just depends on the tactic. That depends on you know, the competitive analysis, a lot of times will reveal that if you’ve got a 20 page site with 10 links coming into it and you want to compete with a 2000 page site with 1200 links coming into it it’s going to take longer than if you’ve got a little bit of more grounded foundation. It really depends on your specific circumstance and how willing you are to do the work that needs to be done to get there because it can vary. You should start seeing results in 3 four months and go up from there but, again it’s a process that’s going to evolve overtime, and it really depends on where you stand in relationship to your competition. That’s going to dictate in your specific case how long it’s gonna take.

We did have one more question that just came in while you’re talking, Tom. This is about budgeting. Scott says he’s working on a budget. Can we help him with that? Some quick tips there once again.

I would say look at your profit and loss statement every month. See where you are as far as income and outcome. What your expenses are and your income, and what you can dedicate every month to your marketing. Also, what makes sense for your business.  I would start there. I would think about the value, that any sale or lead has for you. Whether short term or long term, the value of 1 purchase and the lifetime value of that customer. I would think of that. Because you need to know once you commit to these strategies, whether it’s short term or long term that you need to stick with them for. You need to have that consistency, especially if you’re going for any kind of organic SEO work. You definitely are going to have be consistent with those things. Break it down. The way I handle it when I’m on calls with clients, I will just kind of say “What can we work with? How does this range sound to you? Are you 5000 to 10,000 a month?  Are you 1000 to 2000 a month? Are you 500 a month?” So, we all know what assets we have to work with and how I can help you.  Or not. Can we help you now, or later as things build? Again, ask yourself those questions.  What is comfortable and what are the value of those things? And I would always suggest starting with a Flight Plan wouldn’t hurt either.

Yeah, exactly. We do those Flight Plans all the time. They really help people see what their strengths and weaknesses are and where they need to apply those funds to have them use the most efficiently and get the best return on your marketing tactics that way.

We’re out of time.

Again, if you want any refreshers on what we talked about today. I would suggest going to SEO Rocket.com blog and see the webinar again. There’s a page on our site called “Working with us” that walks through a lot of this too. That will give you a nice guideline of the kind of questions we ask. Many of those were included in our talk today.

See you next time everybody! Have a great week!

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