Doesn't it seem like online marketing, social media, search optimization, and blogging are in the news daily with just about everyone trying to figure out how to make it work for their business? Most of the available content provided by trusted sources is really good – but how are you to make sense of it with limited time and industry knowledge? When you look internally, who has the depth of knowledge and experience within your organization to create the comprehensive plan, engage the appropriate internal stakeholders and measure results to prove value of your investments of money and time?
I invested a month trying to answer those questions diving full-time into learning as much as I could about the business of online marketing and whether or not all the search engine optimization (SEO) hype was real. I studied articles from the leading SEO websites, read the tech-savvy magazines, invested hours watching webcasts and consumed articles printed only yesterday talking about the latest advancements in Google search analytics that every business “needs-to-know”. There is so much information available it made my head spin!
With this in mind, here's my list of 10 questions to answer when evaluating your online strategy:
- What is your plan to capture website traffic in search results?
- What keywords are best to invest in for paid search versus organic (non-paid)?
- Do you have an on-page SEO strategy in place?
- Is Social media relevant in the business world?
- What's the business value with Facebook or Twitter accounts?
- Where does your company’s blog fit into the plan?
- Who is selecting the topics, keywords and consistently writing your blog?
- Is your blog adding PageRank value to your company's website?
- Who manages the optimization of your online links that are oh-so-valuable in the search algorithms?
- How are you going to measure those results to continue investing next month?
What I found is the business of increasing web traffic, converting traffic into leads and measuring those results with accuracy is huge and seems to innovate on a weekly, if not daily, pace. It’s not only important to have an active and well planned strategy, it’s critical to winning your share of the web.
The tough question: as a business whose core competencies are not SEO or online marketing related, how are you to stay competitive? And is it OK to ask for outside help answering the above questions? Yes – and I would argue it’s critical to ensuring your company’s success by partnering with experts who will help you create a strategy that’s tailored to your needs and execute with measurable results.
What do you think?
I welcome your feedback and suggestions on additional questions to consider when evaluating a strategy.