One of the biggest challenges of helping clients with their online marketing efforts is to quantify an increase in business. There are several ways to track different online metrics, but the biggest question is:
“Is my phone ringing with new customers (clients)?” Equivalent questions could be:
- “Am I getting more e-mail opt-ins?”
- “Am I getting more people following me on XYZ social media property?”
- “Am I getting more walk-ins to my store?”
- “Am I getting more attendees to my live event?”
- “Are people ordering more from my website?”
The challenge for an internet marketing consultant is to manage expectations from the beginning of the conversation. There is only so much that can be addressed by the marketer who is brought in from the outside, especially if the business does not have an in-house marketing director or other salaried staff member in charge of marketing.
Here is a quick breakdown of topics to discuss with any online marketing consultant or agency when it comes to various ways to make your phone ring:
- Do you have a defined web page (e.g. home page, inner page on your website, YouTube video) to send your prospective audience?
- Is the audience you are trying to reach:
- a first-time prospect who was NOT referred by anyone previously?
- a first-time prospect who was referred by a current customer/client?
- a current customer/client to whom you are asking to purchase something new?
- Do you have a simple, easy to understand request (“call to action”) for this person to follow?
- Is there at least one (or more) method of tracking the activity, including ratios?
- If you are going to use online paid advertising, have you narrowed down the web properties (or search engine keywords) on which your ad(s) will appear? If so, do you have strategies in place to prevent your costs from getting out of control?
- Do you have a method(s) to have this person join one of your lists in case he/she/they do not choose to do business with you at this time?
- If so, what reasons have you given the person to join your list(s) if he/she has not done so already?
- If you are getting targeted traffic to your site, but you are not getting phone calls – or at least joining your list – then what are you going to change first:
- the headline?
- what the emotional benefit (not feature) is that you are offering?
- an appearance change (font style, color, placement of the offer)?
- something else?
- If you are choosing search engine optimization (SEO) as a strategy, where are you ranking right now? For which keywords/phrases? How much of a ranking improvement do you need?
- If your website needs lots of work (on the website + link building to the website), then do you have another web property that you don’t mind ranking on the first page of the search engines in the meantime (aka “Next Best SEO“)?
These are just a few of the questions to discuss in your initial conversations with any SEO agency or internet marketing consultant. If you are interested in getting answers to these questions – and many more – to help you make the phone ring, then you are welcome to contact us. Thank you.