Earlier this week I was interviewed on a program for small business owners. The host started with a very interesting question. She asked, “When it comes to Internet marketing how do you determine what should be done, and more importantly how do you determine what should be done FIRST?”
What an essential issue for every small business- KNOWING what to do NOW as it relates to your Internet marketing.
Here’s how I answered:
I always start with what I call SWOT Analysis. Let me explain what a SWOT Analysis is and why I always start with one.
The way I use it a SWOT Analysis is a simplification tool. I’m a huge believer in SIMPLIFICATION.
SWOT, S-W-O-T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
The way I apply this to Internet marketing is this-
We start with your goal or intended outcome.
The clients might say I want my website to generate qualified leads for my insurance agency, or generate customers to my tire shop, or I want customers to come and buy products from my online store.
So we identify the goal or objective and then look at the website and other Internet marketing channels like social networks and e-mail marketing through the SWOT lens.
We evaluate the “look & feel” of the website and measure that against both the visitors expectations and competitors websites. If our clients website does not match the visitors expectations that’s a Weakness.
We evaluate the content of the site, the headline and call to action. If the content is unique, compelling and differentiates you from your competitors that would be a Strength.
We will evaluate the Search Engine Optimization and if the clients site is not ranking well on their long tail keywords we will recognize that as an Opportunity.
Occasionally while evaluating the SEO we find SEO tactics had been used that violate Google policies- this is obviously a Threat.
Of course there are many different Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats but you get the idea. By clearly identifying the businesses primary objective and then evaluating all of the marketing elements of the website and marketing channels we can develop a list of “to do’s”.
This “to do” list is then prioritized in a way that allows the client to first pick the low hanging fruit. We start be focusing on the items that will add the most bottom-line profits, in the shortest amount of time and with the least effort.
What we don’t do is start with what is most popular in the moment. Just because Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest, etc. are popular and all the buzz right now that does not mean that’s where you should be focusing your time and money. Remember, most people find most websites, most of the time through Google and the other search engines.
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