The most common error we see when we look at new client’s online estate is that they they have been spending on SEO, sometimes for years and focusing only on ranking or visitors and maybe dwell time.
As a member of the Digital Community, I put my hands up and say that these mistakes were initiated and perpetuated by SEO consultancy firms. Initially it was innocents back in the late nineties and early part of this century, but now it is either extreme foolishness or outright fraud depending on the circumstances.
An example I have seen; an american client in the food industry trying to attract visitors for a range of deserts, fell foul of the Google spelling algorithm which makes a best guess and sent them tens of thousands of visitors who were interested in barren sandy regions.
Every day we have people trying to attract a client for accountancy services in London who end up with tens of thousands of visitors from Mongolia, Gujarat, and every corner of the globe. if I were getting paid by the word, I could write a very long list of common situations where people are attracting the wrong traffic while blissfully unaware or simply not knowing if there is anything they can do to improve on this situation.
Here is the thing; Online marketing is no different form any other sort, you need to be seen by large numbers of people who have a need for your product or service, then …
The important part of this funnel stage is to attract large numbers and to make sure they are likely to need or want your proposition. Now we both know that a Mongolian Horse farmer is never going to hire a London Accountant, or a Birmingham Lawyer. That’s not in question is it. On that basis then surely it is first f all important to focus efforts as much as possible on the local marketplace.
Once again I will put my hands up and admit that the SEO community do regularly recommend gaining links in far-flung places and there is still an argument for this within reason. That argument is that Google algorithms still see the world as America and the rest and therefore gives near enough equal weight to a link form South Birmingham and one from Kaza .. I cant spell it. This is why SEO experts will seek “trust based” links far afield just to please the nice Bot and then (hopefully) revert to building realistic targeted business relationships and links form sources of genuine potential traffic that fits the simple qualification criteria we established earlier.
Any marketer serious about driving business will have a segmentation startegy to divide these prospective customers into useful groups that help her communicate effectively and will establish a qualification schema to mark the various stages she perceives in the journey of whittling away those who will never qualify and building the relationship with those who may until a small group of MQL (markeing Qualified Leads) or whatever term she selects are ready to be approached and sold to or are ready to receive a killer offer that sends them to the checkout.
If you are indeed serious about getting your online marketing under control, it is essential that you revisit strategy just to clarify that you are on the right track, or make small changes, establish and refine a conversion strategy and only then, focus your SEO and advertising activities on sending the right prospective customers to your tested and refined landing pages to begin the process of nurturing and converting customers.