Pick your Battles
Marketing Solutions differ for every business
Marketing solutions are not one size fits all. Every business is unique. Not only do small businesses cover a variety of industries, they also vary in size and specialty.
One of the most crucial elements of marketing is where you sit among your competition. Have you carved out a niche within your market? Are you just starting out? Are you successful with word of mouth but new to online marketing? Do you have money to invest in your marketing campaign?
Understand your Competition
Understanding your marketing position compared to your competitors is crucial to your success. If you want to rank for organic search results, the first question you should ask is whether or not this is feasible. In the car business for example, the top 5 organic search results for almost any make or model vehicle are dominated by massive third-party sites. If you are a small, independent dealership, the reality is that you are spinning your wheels if you think you can compete with these businesses. Am I being pessimistic? No, I’m being realistic. Take a look at the domain authority of these websites. Look at their backlink profiles. Check out their net worth. If you want to compete with these sites in search engine result pages, you better be a well-funded tech company, not a car dealership.
Does an example like the one above undermine all of your SEO efforts? No, but it does manage your reality. SEO is still important to your business. Regardless of your industry, your website should be formatted correctly and follow the basic fundamentals that lead to long term visibility. Understanding where you sit among your competition is important because it helps you find techniques that yield a higher ROI. Organic search results might not be attainable for a few years but AdWords might be successful in the interim.
In the tourism industry for example, let’s say you run a parasailing business. It would be great to show up in organic search results for “Parasailing Miami” for example. Unfortunately, SEO success isn’t an overnight affair. The top 5 search results might consist of 3 local parasailing companies, Trip Advisor, Yelp. What if the top business only has 10 reviews on Yelp? You might be able to do a push for reviews and rank first on Yelp in a month, effectively funneling business toward your service for customers who feel comfortable using this avenue. A heavy focus on reviews might get you to show up on third party sites even though your website itself is lacking.
Hire a Consultant
Marketing involves problem solving and the ability to recognize opportunity. At the same time however, businesses need to stay grounded and focus on return on investment for their efforts. Certain approaches may be effective short term while others may provide long-term yield. Some goals might be unattainable without an entirely different approach, expertise, and funding. Hiring a consultant can be crucial in helping you find opportunities for your business and navigate our digital landscape. The learning curve can be expensive and it helps to lean on someone who has already made the mistakes before you pay for them yourself.