03 Nov Targeting Consumers Online – Effectively and Efficiently (Without Ads)
In this article we will explain how we target consumers online for our clients. Our clients, for the most part, are primarily construction-related businesses.
The first thing to understand is that we are able to target consumers for our clients completely organically, that is to say without the need for ads.
A high priority item in our underlying strategy is related to search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing. It is worth noting that our strategy, however, goes even further than that. Ultimately, I could have called this article “Optimizing Your Online Marketing” as that is really what this is about.
Why Target Consumers
Why companies want to target consumers online usually falls into helping them achieve their goal of generating leads and sales. It is with these goals in mind that we do what we do. Ultimately it comes down to helping our clients generate sales. What we have done is to develop a strategy to do this by working backwards from this end goal. We apply our best practices and in doing so we have developed our very successful strategy.
Our Data-Driven Strategy
All of our client strategies are founded on the same principles. This does not mean that we use the exact same strategy for each and every client. We don’t. That is part of what makes our inbound marketing strategy so successful, the fact that we change it based on each client. Our strategy has been developed over the last 10 years. Over those years we had time to test various hypotheses and make adjustments accordingly. Testing plays a big part in our strategy. We never just do things based on what we think, but rather we do things based on data. Data is at the center of our client strategies.
Data For Research
In the various steps of our process, we need data and whenever we do we do research using the best data available. In the case of researching Google searches, for example, we use data provided by Google.
Data For Analysis
If we need to make a decision, we rely on various data and visualizations of this data to help us in our decision-making process. If we are analyzing a specific tactic then we use data which can show us whether or not something is successful.
Data for Measurement
Yes, we even use data for one of the more traditional uses for data, measurement. In fact, in our client dashboards, we include various data not only for us but in some cases we include data visualizations using lead and sales data. As part of being able to measure how effective our various tactics are, we need to see the lead data for our client. We even include sales data as, if you recall, that is the reason we are targeting people online!
Determining The Best Searches For Your Business
No matter which marketing channel we are discussing, it is important to understand what the “best searches” are for you. These are the searches which are conducted by people who ultimately are interested in hiring you.
This is one of the most important facets of targeting people online. The search engines, and mainly Google, should be your largest source of leads and sales. So it is very important to make sure that you are determining the best searches to target for your business with the search engines.
In addition to the search engines, it is important to understand all of your profiles online and what can be done to improve your exposure on each platform.
Ranking High for Searches
Our data-driven strategy is focused on organic exposure. This applies to the search engines as well as other places online. What we have seen, based on client data, is that the exposure from unpaid exposure leads to higher quality traffic. Because of this, we do not recommend paid exposure to any of our clients.
Ranking high for searches is extremely important with the search engines. Again, it matters which searches you rank high for. You could rank high for searches that do not matter and this would not help you achieve your goals. The process of Search Engine Optimization is complex and we will give you some information here. SEO requires an ongoing process which involves making constant improvements. We use the following process.
- Research – this includes researching what people are searching for and determining which searches you wish to target.
- Implement – this involves setting up a website to rank high for specific searches. This involves the content as well as how every page is configured.
- Measure – this involves using Google Analytics to track website traffic.
- Analyze – this involves using data from Google Analytics as well as lead data, sales data, and other data to determine how well things are working.
- Implement – same as 2.
- Experiment – this involves making edits to a website in a very organized fashion. Make changes along with notation of every change that has been made.
- Analyze – same as 4.
- Implement – same as 5.
This same organic strategy can be applied to other online platforms such as LinkedIn and Houzz to name two. Similar processes can be used in order to increase your exposure online using these other platforms, for example. Looking at Houzz.com, they do have a directory, which you can improve your ranking organically. For Houzz, or any other platform, it is important to understand how the order of ranking is determined. Once you understand how companies are ranked you can do the things which will improve your organic rankings. This is why we include our clients’ organic rankings on Houzz in their dashboard.
Just increasing your exposure does nothing for you unless you can convert this traffic into leads and then ultimately into sales. This is where calls-to-action come into play. Your website should include various calls-to-action which have been optimized over time. Minimize the number of fields in your forms as the more fields that you have the less likely it is that people will complete your form.
An important aspect of our data-driven strategy is the data. In order to get the most out of the data we create a dashboard for each one of our clients. We pull in data from many different sources including Google Analytics, lead data, sales data, Houzz data, and more. We know, since we have done this for a while, what data we need to see and how we can visualize it in ways that will benefit us. We provide access for each of our clients to their dashboard. They can access it 24/7/365. This way they can see measurable results. Measurable results in one place. All data in one place is key.
Conclusion: Optimizing Your Marketing Channels
We use a data-driven organic optimization strategy to improve our clients’ exposure online. Everything gets optimized. Search engine rankings, Houzz rankings, and even LinkedIn. Since there is so much data and since data is so important we have developed ways to visualize the data. We use the data to make further improvements for our clients.
When it comes to optimizing your marketing channels there are two key items to understand so you can leverage them. They are:
- The Most Important Searches for Your Business
- The Way That Rankings Are Determined
The better your understanding of these two items the better that you can optimize. If you do not understand either, or you try to take shortcuts the worse your performance will be.