You look at the clock … 1:07 am. Half asleep, it’s time to call it a night. As you close your laptop, you slump back in your chair, head spinning. Despite hours of hard work, you feel more overwhelmed and frustrated than when you started. Unanswered questions flood your mind.
“Why don’t we show up for these keyword searches? Is what I’ve been doing the past three hours actually SEO, or am I just wasting my time? Should we try a pay-per-click strategy? Maybe blogging or adding more website content? Using social media? Ugggh.”
You know this issue isn’t going away…but it’s time to call it a night. Your head hits the pillow, but you’re still theorizing about what it takes to make page one of Google…and outrank your competitors….
Okay, so maybe you don’t spend night after night on your laptop trying to crack the search engine codes, but perhaps you’ve asked some of these questions about your organization’s web presence. And, if you’re like many of the business, schools and nonprofits our online marketing team talks to week after week, the SEO (search engine optimization) topic is a source of ongoing frustration throughout your organization: C-level leaders just want results, marketing directors are interested in reporting that ties activities to returns, sales team members want leads, tech teams want tactical clarity on priorities and content updates, and content developers just want returned phone calls and emails…and the can just gets kicked down the road.
Of course, not all organizations are staffed internally to manage their online marketing, but even among well-staffed marketing departments, having the plan, tools, team and time required to effectively attract and convert new customers online remains just out of arm’s reach. Maybe it’s because online marketing changes so quickly. Maybe it’s because they’ve been burned before by gimmicks and fly-by-night SEO companies. Or maybe it’s because it’s just new territory.
Regardless of the source of your online marketing angst, if you’re frustrated by your organization’s current SEO or pay-per-click strategies, consider the following four reasons that outsourcing your online marketing may be your best move.
Reason 1: You Need an Online Game Plan
Perhaps you’ve seen the recent Ford Fusion commercial. You know, the one where the guy says, “I wonder what these nuts are for?” as his aboveground pool bursts and his kids spill into the yard.
If you’ve ever tried to put something together without directions, you know the outcome often leaves a lot to be desired. Directions are part of a plan to get you where you want to go. Your online marketing is no different. An experienced online marketing agency can help you objectively and realistically evaluate where you are and assess what it will take to get you where you want to go. The path forward should mapped out in an online marketing game plan. For example, at North Star Marketing, we begin each client campaign by developing an initial three-month game plan to fix indexing problems and grab the low-hanging fruit. Then, every quarter, our team meets to review results and outline the next phase of the plan with new objectives and tasks for the upcoming quarter. Plans are then reviewed with our clients and tweaked as needed to ensure we remain in sync with their goals. This sort of fluid, adaptive approach means your organization is systematically staying up to date with online marketing trends that impact your results.
By choosing to extend your online marketing department with a reputable agency, you gain a team dedicated to making sure things happen on purpose, on time, with outcomes that can be measured. It’s a matter of planning and executing, and without a game plan, there’s little continuity in execution. As the old saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” So, plan to win!
Reason 2: It Takes Tools to Make a Thing Go Right
If I could tweak Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s lyrics for the world of online marketing, it might go something like this … “It take tools to make a thing go ri-ight, it takes tools to make it out-of-sight.”
Without the proper tools to analyze keyword rankings and traffic data, it can be very difficult to monitor reports and make the required changes you need for success online. Partnering with an experienced online marketing agency puts you at an immediate advantage, as series online marketing agencies live and breathe performance and tracking. They have to report to their clients what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how it’s working.
Online marketing agencies have deep experience working with dozens of businesses on inbound marketing, using many of the most intelligent performance and analytics tools available. More than likely, they’ll have subscriptions to keyword tracking services and the training required to use them to your advantage. Not only do you gain this intelligence, you save countless hours learning Google Analytics, Adwords, SEO software and other various reporting tools. Having the right outsourced marketing support team with the right tools (and the knowledge to use them) should have a big impact on your campaign’s performance.
Furthermore, because the technology driving online marketing changes so rapidly, it’s important to leverage software that stays current with industry trends by design. A reputable online marketing firm will make substantial investments in these tools to make sure their SEO and paid-search teams stay current. For example, at North Star Marketing, we use numerous web-based applications that monitor our clients’ sites and notify us if there are compliance issues that could be impeding solid returns. We can then address the issues and check with the applications to affirm Google, Yahoo! and Bing can efficiently index and rank our clients’ sites.
Reason 3: You Get a Dedicated Team of Experts
Online marketing requires a complex array of talents, much more than any one person can possess with depth. Chances are, you don’t have the expertise on your team to cover all the areas needed to execute a well-planned online marketing campaign. Expertise in areas like SEO, Paid Search, Analytics, Content Marketing, Programming, Design, Social Media, Email Marketing… the list goes on and on.
Outsourced online marketing support that a professional inbound marketing agency provides gives you an entire team of online marketing experts, frequently for less than the cost of a full-time marketing director. Not only will this decrease your staffing overhead, but you get a diverse team of well-rounded professionals working on your online campaign and dedicated to its success.
Let’s get a bit more specific here. It takes a marketing strategist to determine how the online marketing objectives will align with the organization’s overall strategic objectives: markets, products, trends, etc. It takes a content developer to generate original, organic content to flow throughout the site to attract the attention of the major search engines. This person must be up-to-speed on what Google, Yahoo! and Bing expect for optimized content. You need a technical person to get the content on the site cleanly and in compliance with search engine expectations. And you may need a graphic designer for brand alignment. You need someone skilled in analytics to determine how the recent changes are impacting your results and converting to leads. And then you engage the entire process again to tweak and iterate for better returns.
As you can see, it takes a village to plan, implement and optimize an effective online marketing strategy. It is certainly possible to find and employ all of these people full time, but usually this is only feasible for large organizations. And yet, many global organizations still choose to outsource significant components of their online marketing strategy to third-party inbound marketing firms
Reason 4: You Don’t Have the Time
You’ve probably come to the conclusion that without a clone (or, maybe an army of clones), your wish list of online marketing plans will remain just that … a wish list. Time is your most valuable resource, and, if you’re like most busy professionals, you’ve got better things to do than scour industry blogs for the latest SEO tips.
If done well, online marketing can take numerous hours per month to deploy for your brand. Outsourcing your online marketing can free you up to focus on things you do best. If you engage a reputable, professional online marketing agency, you should find that you get better results faster with a dedicated inbound marketing team that is focused on executing the plan.
Get Some Sleep
If you’re tired of being overwhelmed and frustrated when it comes to marketing your business online…there is hope! Partnering with a trusted marketing agency to expand your online marketing support can translate into better online results for your company…and more hours of restful sleep.
Give us a call to learn more (336.229.6610), or click here to start the conversation.