We’ve all seen those P90X commercials. No? Well here:
Now before you go calling that number to order a set of DVDs, please finish reading this first. I get the feeling a lot of SEOs get into the motion of doing a few things, seeing some results, but never making an attempt to take their client to the next level. Be it the pay level of the client (which only means you should give your client more bang for their buck), a lack of drive or a lack of experience, when results begin to get predictable things, need to change.
Use effective tactics sparingly
Let’s be honest. Announcing a new page/section on a website might not get the same amount of attention as a merger deal. And an infographic might not be the right thing to promote at the same time you’re doing a contest (unless the two are related). Know what the client is promoting, when you’re promoting them.
When an infographic gets promoted, it usually draws one of two responses, “COOL! AN INFOGRAPHIC” or “Not another infographic”. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to react like the latter with each one I see. And that goes for some of the ones clients are requesting.But it’s our job as search marketers to help our clients (and ourselves) realize stuff like that should be reserved for special occasions. Not just for the sake of “doing an infographic”.
I’ll admit, the first infographic we did for a client did really well. Their traffic increased dramatically, but as with most infographics, it slowly dwindled. So, after seeing some success, the client wanted another. A small part of me was excited to do another – the rest was kind of apprehensive.
The second one did better in other social media outlets than the first one, but traffic tapered off even more quickly. It was plateauing. The next time around we pushed a press release about an infographic along with it. This time the initial spike was higher, but it tapered off as quickly as the one before.
You can have a great first day of promotion, but if it doesn’t keep going for at least a week it’s time to reconsider something else. If you find something does well with a quick powerful burst but won’t last more than three days, consider adding it as a kick-off to a marketing campaign, or use it sparingly.
Measure and Plan For the Next Round
Once you’ve gone through one month/quarter (however you schedule out client work) plan for the next one. What worked well? What could have been better? What didn’t you use this time around you can for the next? Does anyone have any new ideas?
The planning stages between cycles is when it’s time to get creative. By now you’ve got plenty of data on what you’ve done and you can use this to create a plan for the next push.
Use Online and OFFline Marketing Methods
I was browsing a client’s analytics the other day when I noticed a spike in their traffic. I checked the referrer and it was all direct traffic to a specific landing page. I quickly looked over the past reports to make sure we didn’t do any promotions for them. I then called their marketing director and asked them if they had done anything over that period of time. “Oh yeah, we sent out a mailer to 1,000 clients”. I slapped myself in the face.
This not only explained the spike but when I took a look at the page it was of an older version of the site. So if someone navigated from the landing page to the current site they would see a different layout. I would’ve liked it to have been consistent and furthermore, if we could’ve placed some social sharing options on the page, I think this promotion might have gotten even more traction if we had included a concurrent online promotion. As it turned out, that particular promotion was for existing clientele, so pushing it out to non-clients might not have worked out as well. But it got me thinking, how many times, when a link building campaign or site audit is done, do we as search marketers take the time to ask, “What else are you guys doing?”
Part of working in an overall search marketing strategy is knowing what the client is doing. What do their promotional landing pages look like? Are they running any contests in the near future that don’t yet have a place on their site yet? Would those contests or promotions do better if synced up with a link building campaign?
These are questions I intend to begin asking more frequently. I want the client to know we are looking at more than just their on-site structure; we’re looking at the entire performance of a site
in via all avenues. When online and offline facets of a business are working together, you know that it isn’t a site that’s is simple trying to game Google. It’s a business that’s promoting itself and growing.
Set a Pace You and the Client Can Work At
It’s easy to get excited when signing up a new client. But one thing is certain; each client will have their own pace at which they’ll want to get things accomplished. I know every client will initially say, “We want to steamroll this now!” But as soon as the first recommendations are sent or the first round of link building is set to go out, nine times out of ten, a phone call/email comes, “Hey, we need to get this verified, then we’ll go ahead with it” or “We’re only able to get part of that done this time. What areas are the most important that we can focus on for now?”
If this is the case, it’s best to just figure out a plan that will work for them and go with it. Hopefully the restraints that are preventing them from going full force with the grand plan will be lifted after seeing some success. So be patient, keep at it and eventually, better things will come.
Rinse, Repeat, Reset Goals
By the time you get to this point, you should have plenty of data to look at. If there’s one thing the queen of analytics has told us, it’s that “Data is valuable”. Take it, read it, share it, learn from it and improve on it.