Everyone wants to improve their online business. The question is, what to do first, second, third, and so on. Here it is.
There are all kinds of blogs written on the subject, like The 7 Best Internet Marketing Workflows. Why 7? That defeats the concept all by itself. We want just 1 that is comprehensive, easy to understand and actionable.
I apply the following workflow to every project, big & small. It is a series of components broken into tasks, organized in a logical flow. Primarily, this helps the business principal see the scope of the project without necessarily understanding the esoteric components, which is a frequent point of failure for Internet Marketing projects.
This also compartmentalizes the Internet Marketing processes so that allocating resources and delegating tasks is easy. Providing all parties with visibility into how their tasks serve the overall goal. Lets outline the main components first, then add the task details.
- Web Pages
- Channels (inbound Traffic)
That’s it. You thought it would be complicated? Of course the devils are in the details.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.Peter Drucker
Lets start with Reporting. We need to monitor and report all three component areas in order to evaluate the efficacy of the entire Workflow. Good reporting is so vital to success that every task should be implemented with this one thing in mind – how do we monitor the change? If we can’t measure the results, we will create the opportunity for waste. Without good reporting, the entire project can become a black hole that sucks money in, while nothing comes back out.
It is not required that you know how to perform each task yourself, but you do need to understand the tasks in order to follow the Reporting as it points you to those areas in need of improvement, or where there is waste.
The Components & Task Areas
- Where do we get them?
- How do we know which are profitable?
Keywords are the foundation of Internet Marketing, no matter what you read online. Accumulating keywords is deceptively easy. Everyone thinks they can do it after “Googling it“. Choose too many keywords or choose the wrong ones, and it will be obvious only afterwards, that this area is where everything went wrong but you didn’t realize it until the end. Therefore it is important to get professional help when addressing keywords.
There is 1 simple way to get started to assemble your keywords; and then there are dozens of other online keyword services & apps you can spend your money on. Over the years I have found these services and apps create work and complexity. Rather than simplify our workflow, you have to learn how the service/app works, then maintain it, etc. We don’t need more work, nor complexity, nor cost. With enough experience you will find that you can accumulate keywords by simply looking in your Google Search Console > Queries. There they are, all the keywords you could want. Deceptively easy. The actual task of evaluating keywords occurs under Channels > Paid Ads below.
Once you have your seed Keywords, you have to determine how to use them. In all cases you will need to build Web Pages that will rank in Organic Search and provide the landing pages for your Paid Ads.
- Web Pages
Since building Web Pages is a huge resource drain, you have to be judicious with your Keyword vs Web Page implementation. Only someone intimate with the products and sales processes should direct which combinations of Keyword vs Web Page is wise to implement. Building a web page for a keyword that has millions of searches might be a bad idea if the product it sells has a poor profit margin. It might be more profitable to choose a highly profitable product which has a smaller audience. Nonetheless…
No matter how careful your selection and implementation of Keyword/Webpages are, inevitably you will have to experiment. Its the nature of the beast. It cannot all be determine in advance which Web Pages (and designs) will be productive. Just keep in mind that this area is where you can really waste money building pages that produce 0 (zero) clicks.
If it does not produce a click, its not worth doing.source unknown
Then there is the all-important Conversion of Visitors into Sales. All this work won’t mean a thing if the Web Page (or website) is not designed well enough to convert clicks into sales.
Web Design cuts both ways. Sometimes a pretty design reduces conversion rates, while a design that converts well may not be beautiful. Design should be entirely about, and measured by conversions. Choose your web designer accordingly.
But this is getting ahead of ourselves because technically speaking, conversion is the end-goal of all our effort – the final desired results of the entire workflow is a sale. But I include this under the Web Pages component because that is where Conversion is affected and adjusted.
Before we get any conversions, we need to get traffic to your Web Pages, these Acquisition methods are called Channels.
- Search Engines
- Search Engine Optimization
- Paid Ads
- Keyword Evaluation
- Social Media
- re Facebook , Twitter, Reviews
Your team’s SEO skills will determine how quickly and well your Web Page ranks in organic search engine results (which translates to “relatively free” visitor acquisition). Obviously SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a huge and esoteric component area beyond the scope of this post.
Paid Search is also an esoteric component area beyond the scope of this post. But it requires special mention. It is often mistaken that Paid Ads are optional – that you don’t have to pay to acquire visitors if you do the above SEO well and the resultant organic traffic solves all subsequent problems. That is incorrect.
Paid Advertising is a critical component area because its the only way in which we can evaluate keywords based on their cost/conversion ratio. PPC is the only way we can measure and eliminate costly/poor-performing keywords. Like gardening, we have to weed so that the garden operates at maximum yield. That requires constant maintenance. So you should view PPC as integral to your Keyword component area – not an option.
The optional consideration is whether you must pay to be seen while you wait for your web page to rank well enough (if ever) in organic search? You will have to pay until the Web Page gets a large percentage of the available clicks.
Online media campaigns (re Social Media, eMail) are also component areas beyond the scope of this post.
I think you are beginning to see those little devils we were talking about, so lets go back up to the surface – the 10000 ft view of the workflow – Reporting.
- Off Line activity (re. phone calls, leads)
- Actual Sales
Your Sales data and as much offline data as you can collect, should be integrated with your online Analytics in such a way that the dots begin to connect. Every business is very different in this regard so lets leave it at that. When done well, the merger of this data will produce your desired ROI feedback.
- Eliminate Waste
- Revenue (Profit) – Do more of that!
And this is where we eliminate waste and do more of those things that are actually contributing to the bottom line. In particular, we will revisit our Keyword (garden). Which may cause the creation of new web pages or indicate adjustments to web pages for increasing conversion ratios. etc.
Most mature organizations have developed many of the above task areas – or the organization is in a constant state of disarray (waste). In those cases we just have to put this workflow in place. Not always easy politically, but it is simple in concept. Many small businesses have no such infrastructure in place. If that describes you, no worries. Big or small, one methodical step at a time will get it done.