Don’t Settle for Lackluster Digital Marketing
Written by Amy Hinman
Too often, we see businesses try to cobble together their digital marketing efforts and expect strong returns across the board. While we understand why many companies are reluctant to invest fully in a holistic digital marketing strategy, half-measures involve substantial risks that could hurt your brand and your bottom line in the long run.
In this blog, we’ll outline some of the most common obstacles to digital marketing success and offer several recommendations for investing wisely with a limited marketing budget.
Your PPC Budget Is Too Small to Compete
Pay-per-click (PPC) search advertisements are the listings that appear in the first few positions at the top, in the right-hand margin, and at the bottom of a search engine results page (SERP). For one of your ads to appear, a user must type a search query for a keyword you’ve selected to bid on as part of the search engine’s auction. Depending on the quality and relevancy of your keyword, ad copy, and landing page copy, as well as the amount you’re willing to bid for your keyword, your ad may or may not appear on the SERP. If it does appear and a user clicks on it, you will pay a set fee — hence, pay-per-click.
Pay-per-click can deliver compelling results because it lets you choose your audience as broadly or as narrowly as you’d like. And since PPC auctions occur in real-time, you can review your results whenever you’d like and optimize accordingly. Therefore, it’s imperative that whoever you choose to run your PPC campaigns checks your account(s) regularly throughout the day. If not, you could stand to lose a lot of money in a short time — especially in hyper-competitive industries like the legal field, where the average cost-per-click (CPC) for keywords can be extremely expensive.
So while entering the PPC marketplace can be quite lucrative, it is not for the faint of heart or for those who are unwilling to spend money to yield tangible results. Still, even on a modest budget, there are several strategies you can take to get the most bang for your buck.
Know When to Invest in PPC Campaigns
There are some instances when your business might want to invest more heavily in PPC advertising. For example, launching limited time offers, fresh product lines, or new content assets that might not gain great organic traction within your desired timeframe (since increasing organic traffic generally takes time and sustained effort).
However, just because you’re spending more doesn’t mean you can slack on the details. In fact, if you don’t set up your campaigns optimally and with carefully planned content marketing from start to finish (in other words, from keyword to conversion page), you’ll only be wasting money.
Bid on Longtail Keywords
Another way to combat PPC budget issues is to avoid bidding on highly competitive (and expensive) root keywords and instead focus on long-tail keywords, which are usually more focused on conversions but with a lower search volume. For example, choosing a long-tail keyword like “How do I know if I have a personal injury case in Grand Rapids” instead of “Michigan personal injury lawyer” won’t result in a ton of impressions (the number of times your ad appears on a SERP), but those impressions will likely lead to high-intent clicks that result in more conversions.
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Your Blogging Is Inconsistent
Content marketing is the absolute best way to drive organic traffic to your website. Leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) best practices (like using proper header tags, linking to useful and relevant internal and external pages, and including your primary keyword in each page’s title tag) will help search engines crawl your site and help you rank highly on SERPs — without having to pay Google or Bing for paid ads.
But while organic traffic is technically “free,” it does require significant resources to pull off successfully and consistently. So, if you don’t have the budget, bandwidth, or drive to create and publish quality content on a regular basis, you run the risk of wasting the efforts you do invest. You need to establish a consistent posting cadence if you want to produce consistent results with a high readership and good user engagement. Sporadically posting subpar content will lower your ranking on SERPs and lead to a poor user experience.
If you take the opposite approach and choose not to create new and compelling content at all, you run a similar risk of poor organic search results for your webpages, blogs, and ebooks. Also, newsletter automation and social media engagement both rely on posting timely original content. So, without a stockpile of quality content resources to draw from, your content distribution channels will fail.
Rather than sitting by and watching your SERP rankings and organic traffic plummet, you should try to publish original, informative, and compelling content at least twice each month. Posting regular content that meets your prospects’ and customers’ expectations will send a signal to each search engine that you’re a significant player in your industry. In turn, your organic positioning will increase — as will the quantity and quality of your inbound traffic.
Remember, the two most important aspects of content creation are to post good material and to post it regularly. Quality and consistency produce great results.
Building a Cheap Website That Lacks Functionality
With a glut of build-it-yourself website options available, many organizations are tempted to skip a custom web build in favor of a cheap alternative. As your central hub for all marketing and sales activities, your website is an essential and dynamic asset, which means that cutting corners will ultimately cost you in the long run.
Three common problems that stem from failing to build a navigable, intuitive, and conversion-optimized website include less traffic, fewer conversions, and a poor user experience. Modern consumers are not going to take the time to interact with a website that lacks structure, ignores convention, and fails to observe digital design best practices. As a result, your digital marketing efforts will suffer across the board.
You know your marketing is working when people visit your website. You know your site is working when your visitors are engaging the way you want them to (increased page views, longer time on page, and higher conversion rates). And when you’re experiencing better engagement, you’re going to attract more prospects, close more deals, and experience fantastic ROI.
If you need a simple site with limited navigation and only a handful of product or service pages, an inexpensive site without much functionality might do the trick. However, when you need more nuanced functionality, a custom-built website is a must. Various plug-ins, integrations, and APIs (application programming interface) will not perform the way you need them to on a cheap stock site. Even if they do work, they will slow your speed to a crawl, which presents a host of additional problems.
When you invest in a custom website, you should be paying for good copy and design that are optimized for traffic and conversions, a user experience that allows your visitors to easily navigate and engage with your site, and easy-to-use tools that help you track, analyze, and report your performance. At LaFleur, these features are included in every web build, which means our clients can rest assured that they’re getting the very best return on their investment.
How a Reliable Marketing Agency Can Help
You might be suspicious of a marketing company touting the benefits of hiring a marketing company, which is fair. However, our clients can attest to the very real benefits of hiring our team to help them execute their marketing campaigns and develop their digital properties. We wouldn’t be in business otherwise.
Every member of the LaFleur team is an expert in their respective field, allowing us to deliver high-quality content, web design and builds, and PPC campaigns (and more!) efficiently. Even if you have a limited marketing budget, we can work with you to create a comprehensive marketing plan that produces fast, scalable, sustainable results.
LaFleur Marketing Is Committed to an Affordable, Holistic Digital Marketing Approach
If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to ineffective, chintzy marketing agencies, we’re here to help. At LaFleur, our top priority is creating digital marketing campaigns and collateral that work for you. We know how to craft and execute brilliant strategies to increase awareness and generate demand while working with you to stay on budget with custom solutions that exceed expectations.