A new survey of 500 online marketers by Webmarketing123 seems to indicate that of the following online marketing approaches - SEO, PPC and Social Media - SEO has the bigest impact on lead generation. However, what's really interesting is that over 50% say they will increase their Social Media spend in 2012. The stats indicate that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation, with 57 percent of B2B marketers saying that SEO is their primary source of generating leads whilst 41% of B2C marketers say its their primary source.
Here are some other interesting stats:
53% of all participants say SEO makes the biggest impact on lead generation, followed by 28% for PPC and 19% for social media.
Here is an interesting infographic generated by Wemarketing123:
Two week's ago I delivered a presentation to the CIM Digital Bootcamp at UWIC in Cardiff on Google AdWords. I shared the platform with Gareth Morgan of Liberty Marketing and I spoke about what AdWords were, where you'd find them , what they were used for and calls to action. On one of the slides I asked people to consider their products and services in terms of problems and solutions (this is a copy of that slide).
As marketers, sales people, business owners we often feel that we have a good grasp of what our target market want and the keywords they may use to find us. However, I think that more often than not we are too close to the action to see the real picture. The words and phrases that we use may, and more often than not are, be completely different to what our target audience uses.
Sometimes we see solutions in terms of products and services. And this is where problems often lie. We know how to find our products and services on the web because we are surrounded by them and talk about them day-in-day-out. However, what we need to do is think outside the box and ask what the product or service means to our target audience.
Here's a good exercise. Ask yourselves the following questions and come up with the answers.
Why do people buy aspirin? (there should be a few reasons)
Why do people buy weedkiller?
Why do people buy a bluetooth headset?
Why do people want to join the gym?
Why do people buy Harry Potter books?
By asking ourselves these questions we may approach the buying and selling of our products online in a different way and even be more receptive to the needs of our target audience. Adopting this approach could (should?) also result in information being displayed differently on your website, the creation of newer and better user journeys on your website and even the creation of better AdWords and Social Media campaigns.
As anyone who reads this blog and follows me on Twitter and Facebook will know, I am a big advocate of Social Media . I deliver training courses and provide consultancy for clients on Social Media. I read about it every single day of the week and use its applications alll the time. I've bought the book and wear the t-shirt. However, I also believe that companies need to learn to walk before you they can run. Quite a few businesses and organisation have asked me about developing Social Media strategies, yet so many of them lack the basic foundation blcoks of an Internet and Digital Marketing presence. They have heard the magic words, "Twitter" and "Facebook" and want to jump head first this brave, new world. However, I would caution against jumping straight in.
Before you can run with Social Media, make sure that you can walk with the following:
is it built according to the needs of your target audience?
have you created a strong navigation system and added calls to action?
do your customers know what you expect them to do?
have your pages been optimised for the search engines: page titles, H1 tags, internal links, meta descriptions?
are you writing rich, relevant and fresh content for your website?
have you created quality inbound links to your site?
have you verified your site with Google?
have you added an XML site map to Google?
are you happy with the sitelinks that Google has created for you?
have you checked for errors that Google has identified?
have you verified your Google Places listing?
have you added in the right information for your business?
have you considered using Google AdWords? Are your competitors using it?
have you identified the right keywords and ads for your campaign?
have you set up conversion tracking on the 'correct' pages?
have you added the Analytics code to all pages of your site?
are you measuring the right metrics?
have you added a sign up form to your website?
have you figured out the right type of email l to send to your target audience?
are you sending out regular updates to your target audience?
In the majority of I cases I would say that if you're comfortable you have completed and/or carefully considered all of the above, then you should start looking at Social Media.
I often get asked which are my favourite social media and SEO websites. Well, they are quite extensive but here are a few that I regularly check in to to find out the latest trends in digital marketing.
Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land is a great place to head to for your daily fix of that is related to, obviously, search engines. Headed up by Danny Sullivan, probably the leading search journalist out there it covers not just all things Google but also mobile and social media.
Mashable Mashable was relatively unknown a couple of years' back but is now probably the leading online journal related to Social Media. Headed up by Pete Cashmore (who has a following of over 2 million on Twitter!), the site covers the latest news on subjects like: Social Media, Business Entertainment, Tech, Web Video, Mobile and Apple.
MarketingProfs MarketingProfs is a great resource for all manner of articles related to digital marketing. Admittedly, those who opt for the Pro account (costing, I believe, $149) will be able to access top-quality online seminars but there are a number of free articles on this site to meet the needs of people across many digital marketing disciplines.
As it says on the tin, Digital Buzz features: the latest digital ad campaigns, hot new websites, interactive marketing ideas, virals, industry news, social media, insights, and other great digital trends from all over the world. What more could you want?
There seems to have been a big hoo-hah surrounding paid content on the web recently. The bottom line is that Rupert Murdoch doesn't like search engines offering 'paid content' for free. Google today seems to have given in, a little, and will now allow newspapers to limit the number of articles any one user can read.
But can I not get around this by clearing my cache and searching again?
It does seem interesting that just as some advertisers are going all out to get Google to spider their content and ensure they get more visitors from the search engines - with the advertising revenue this can bring, others seem to want a bit of everything. They allow Google to spider their content and get away with charging top dollar for people to read the content!
In fact, recent reports do indicate that News Corporation has considered turning off the Googlebot. Well, why don't they go ahead and do that? It would be interesting to see how traffic to the Wall Street Journal would plummet. I am pretty sure that the Long Tail of search powers a healthy amount of traffic to this site every day. As Arianna Huffington said at a journalism conference yesterday:
Of course, any site can shut down the indexing of its content by Google any time it wants with a simple "disallow" in its robots.txt file. But be careful what you wish for because as soon as you do that, and start denying your content to other sites that aggregate and link back to the original source, you stand to lose a large part of your traffic overnight. But as they say in Australia: "Good on ya."
She goes on to say that:
Thinking that removing your content from Google will somehow keep it "exclusive" shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the web and how it works.
Anyway, if you'd like to view some of this paid content, you can try the following:
identify the URL of the article you want to read (just right click and select "copy link address") and
if you're using Chrome add "cache:" before the URL or
if you're using another browser type in "cache:" and the website URL into Google
I seem to be having a little difficulty getting picked up on the Google.co.uk website for the search terms "emarketing award" or "cim emarketing". As these words are pretty important search terms for finding my training courses, I thought I'd try a new tack and create a new website under the .co.uk domain name.
The new Marketing Tom Media promotional site can be found at www.marketingtommedia.co.uk. The site will included some added value articles on the emarketing award and pages optimised for the terms emarketing award, though the styling will be the same as this site and all product pages will link across to www.marketingtom.com. For added punch I have verified the site under Google Webmaster tools and changed the geographic preference to the UK. If you'd really like to help me out, please link to this site using the terms emarketing award!
Having just delivered a session on Search Engine Optimisation (as part of the CIM's Emarketing Award Course), I may have to inform the class of other tools that they may want to consider. They come via an article - 5 Tools For Keyword Brainstorming - from Ann Smarty, over at Search Engine Journal, and one of them - the MSN Clustering Tool - is certainly new for me.
If you can't be bothered to read the article, here are the quick links to these keyword research tools:
I just came across this extremely funny video - of Israel's Shpigler the Shark - from the Guardian. He offers some advice to Jerry Yang on how to negotiate with Microsoft. Here's a sample:
"Tell him: 'You have other options, go and buy a country ... let's see you monetise Liberia'". And on getting the biggest price - "negotiate each part separately ... tell him: 'I will give you Flickr for $2bn, in
the end give him Yahoo Mail for $40bn and he will kiss you lips."