So you hired the latest and greatest website SEO guru company to wave their magic wand over your website. They seemed legit, first among equals that have been assailing you nearly every day creating fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) The anxiety they bring happens to correspond with a measurable drop in leads and or sales. They tell you that they’ve struck gold and made it rain for so many other clients just like you. They’re familiar with your industry, heck they may have even made big bucks using their techniques in your industry. It’s all so compelling. So you sign on the line, pay out the money, and…
In fact, traffic seems to have dropped off the face of the earth! All of a sudden you cannot see your normal analytics and traffic numbers. They buy some time by telling you that it takes time. But, man, now the traffic is seemingly non-existent. The newly beautiful website that your prospects are now directed towards doesn’t seem to be working very well. “Let’s try some AdWords” is the recommendation. So you poor in some more money to prime the pump so to speak on some tasty keyword phrases in your industry and market. Whoa! That’s a big bill! As you get the first Google bill for those prime words. Now you’re really getting anxious. The phone still isn’t ringing. The traffic level isn’t any better and now all those new web pages that are supposed to make it rain sales for your company are looking pretty ugly to you. You yearn for something familiar. You yearn for some numbers that you were accustomed to seeing on your old website even if they are low. Panic! You pinch off the Google AdWords. You call another guy to see about getting a quick and dirty annulment of the recent web marketing marriage. What a mess!
A Common Tale
I hear this tale so often these days. The biggest reason is that small to medium business owners haven’t yet caught up with the times. The simple fact is that a critical mass of your competitors have caught up. They know all the secrets. The cat is out of the bag on all the stuff that would have given you a one up on your competition even a short time ago is now widely known and implemented. In other words, the SEO Ship has sailed.
NEWSFLASH: SEO and Optimized Websites Are Now Assumed
That’s right. At this point if your website isn’t lightning fast, mobile friendly, and optimized for rankings then you’re so far back of the pack you aren’t even in the race. The problem is that all these easy money web SEO gurus out there are still peddling their wares as if it’s three years ago and you got suckered. While it may very well have been true that you needed to have some updates, and optimization makeover work done, but the problem is that no longer is near enough to propel you to the front of the line for most. Have an SEO optimized site that uses SSL encrypted connections by default, is now the baseline. It’s the new normal.
What About AdWords, FB, and Bing PPC?
While it is true that you can still buy some impressions with enough money, unless you own your market and have very deep pockets, you’ll quickly realize that you cannot afford to play that game. PPC for many industries and many many markets has become mainstream and institutional advertising. In other words, the big boys have figured this stuff out and they now know how to play digital too. PPC can now be considered a part of a multi-million dollar budget that still includes outdoor, radio, television, streaming OTA, as well as direct mail and other online advertising and product placement. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. It was fun while it lasted for small businesses who had an edge for a short while, but that ship has sailed now. So what do we do? We go back in time to classic branding and marketing and PR that’s what. We read David Ogilvy and we apply what’s always been true about building a brand.
Marketing Has Come Full Circle
Marketing has evolved to a place it was before the Internet boom in many respects. At this point, all the serious digital tricks are widely known and they are being applied very well. The one thing that has changed is that the noise level for people’s attention is as high as it has ever been in the history of mankind. That is likely to continue an upward trend that is inviting a whole new way to filter and comprehend using artificial intelligence (AI) software in many forms without which we’d become paralyzed by information and data and advertising. But this is a topic for many other articles in the future. The point I’m making is that it’s noisy and getting noisier by the minute globally and who knows what the saturation point is? It’s like the whole world is standing outside, at the same time, talking very loudly. Each person is trying to be heard so all are universally raising their voices and the overall volume continues to increase. You start jumping up and down to get noticed, and for a minute it seems to be working until other realize that they too can jump up and down to get attention. Soon so many people join in the pogo routine that you again fade into the crowd. It’s a vicious circle.
Classic Marketing Is The Answer
I love the classics! Old movies. Old books. Old motorcycles and cars! Well, classic marketing is just as timeless as a 1955 Corvette. Trust me on this. The key to sticking out above the crowd, is to build awareness of what you do. You must be constantly chiseling away at obscurity of who you are as a company and really separate yourself from all others. Your customer prospects must feel a clear and distinct passion and advantage about your company and what you can do for them. They’ll even be willing to pay more for it too. Seriously. People want to do business with the best. How do they know you’re the very best choice? Because you’re constantly telling them. Because your previous customers are telling them. Because your employees and their family members are telling them. Your suppliers are telling them too. It’s just a giant love fest about your greatness! Of course they want to do business with you.
Time To Get Back To Basics
So go ahead and get that website optimized and working fast and looking really good on a smart phone or tablet. You still need to do that. Make sure you have content that falls in front of people looking for your products or services. That all goes without saying at this point. But, don’t forget to sell them once they do visit you! Engage your prospects. Continue to engage current and previous customers! And, most importantly, really figure out who you are and why it should be you that gets the business and not the other guys. Why are you number one? What makes you special? And, none of this mealy mouthed crap about we have high integrity and finest quality blah blah blah. Everyone else is already saying that too. What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)?
So Where Are My Website Leads?
Easy, they are calling the other guy who is on the ball and getting found quickly because they have separated themselves from others, at least for now. The customers are still there. People are ALWAYS buying. Do better about differentiating yourself and tapping ALL your assets the old fashioned way with new fangled techniques and methods and they will call you too. Just be sure to give them a reason why!
Good luck out there!