Stay the Course or Play it Loosey-Goosey?
Know that any good marketing plan is a living document. Over the next two years, your business and plan are likely going to go through several evolutions - and by the end of that time frame, your playbook may look nothing like the plan you wrote at the onset. Why? Think about this scenario: say SiteHealthAnalysis.com reviewed your site and these were some of the recommendations:
· Local SEO optimization – creation of local resource page on the site, claiming that floating Google+Local page, optimizing quality local listings
· Using a video content distribution platform to promote your resourceful “how-to’s”
· Writing better meta descriptions with calls-to-action and less duplication
A couple of those should be completed in the first 30 days from receiving your analysis, and the other behooves you to constantly adjust spend, targeting, and engage in testing to maximize return on investment, and still, may only provide great results for so long until replaced by a better or more economical alternative.
A detailed plan is helpful in that it takes some of the thinking out of your day-to-day, but if it looks too far into the future it’s true worth will be suspect. In most cases, it's better to create a thorough outline for a current campaign, but build some flexibility and checkpoints into it so your business can be responsive.
Waking up one morning and saying “today I’ll spend $10,000 willy-nilly on display ads” is at the other end of the spectrum from a rigid plan of action, and we don’t really recommend that either. This is digital folks so be agile, but also plan, measure, and adjust.
Goal Setting and Evaluation
It starts with goals. How much traffic do you need based on your present conversion rate? What is a reasonable goal for increasing that conversion rate over say the next 6 months by actively working on the website’s UX/UI? How many sales do you need to justify the expense of online advertising and developer costs? (We just chain our developer in the basement and only feed him Skittles, so never a worry for us.)
Some marketing techniques (like Search Engine Optimization) take time to succeed – so factor a reasonable timeline into your goals. And if you’re engaging in media work and PR remember these methods need to build momentum before payoff, but how nice the payoff is once your diligence bears fruit! Make pals with journalists and it will reward you in spades.
Before making adjustments to your plan on a hunch (admit it entrepreneurs, we get bored and like fiddle with things), take measurements at predetermined intervals and see how outcomes are measuring up. Each goal should have appropriate time intervals attached. If you’ve giving Adwords 60 days to figure out if the campaign is working, you’ll go broke. Likewise if you start frantically Googling your favorite keyword and looking for Page 1 results a week after adding some alt-tags, you’re not being very realistic.
Help Developing Your Marketing Plan
SiteHealthAnalysis.com is a good place to begin when you want to hash out your marketing plan. We’ve designed our website audit with the Business Buyer in mind, but honestly, it’s going to work for any marketing manager or entrepreneur looking for some practical, actionable insights to boost the website’s performance. Once you've got the analysis in your hands it should be easy to mesh it in with your own promotion ideas and strategies, forming a killer plan for marketing magic.
Additionally it’s good idea to write down the strengths of the business itself. Do you have the ability to easily adapt to changes? If so, how quickly can you do so? How much time can you dedicate to marketing, and what sort of budget is available? Answering questions like these will provide your foundation for the next step.
Once you've identified your strengths, it's time to honestly assess weaknesses. Take a look at the recommendations from the analysis and ask yourself whether these are things in your wheelhouse. If not, you can always outsource to a competent team, but you do have to make that determination and act upon it. In looking at other weaknesses, are there flexibility issues inherent to your business model? Perhaps you have a commitment to purchase the same product for a given length of time and can't sell different things, or you're worried that your budget isn't large enough to accomplish everything you need to do.
Obstacles can be worked around – you’ve gotten this far already haven’t you? You may be surprised at how well your strengths can cover for your weaknesses – and it all starts with a plan. SiteHealthAnalysis.com can provide some expert advice and help you formulate your best course of action whether you’re looking to buy a website or you need a fresh evaluation of your current internet business.