Planning for the future – part two

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Last week we delivered a blog that looked at how an in-house web manager could potentially plan for the COVID-19 release by increasing our online visibility in the hope that we can find some sort of opportunity from this period.

We all understand that the internet is a must through these times but now that the government has slightly eased the situation, meaning some of us can start looking to the future once again, it has become even more dominant in delivering the visibility that will drive potential customers to our online platforms. We should ensure that our social, email, video and website all work together in a combined process in order to support each and every aspect of your online exposure.

Lets have a quick think about this. Without teaching anyone to ‘suck eggs’, the idea is for people out there who are looking for the products and services that we supply to find us. Do the research yourself – go to Google and put into the search bar what you believe your potential clients would look for. Not your business name but the main products etc. For example, if you are an estate agent in Bethnal Green then go to Google and search for something like ‘house sales in Bethnal Green’. If you’re there then great, if not then there is a hole.

Lets not forget that every single search produces a new list so, using the same hypothetical business as above, ‘house for sale in Bethnal Green’ is a brand new search term and will therefore produce a different set of results.

If your web presence is in the first ten listings then people can find you; if it’s lower, or not there at all, then it needs work. You must also remember that if it is in the first place but has a tag next to it that says ‘Ad’, then you are paying for that position through the Google paid search system.

OK, now we have looked at the need, let’s understand how an agency can help with this visibility. The last blog looked at items your in-house team could implement, but many of us do want professional help so let’s look at what they should be analysing.

Any agency that works with multiple clients across a variety of channels and in a mixture of industries means they should be in the best position to learn from data. No matter if they are delivering SEO, PPC, CRO, Email, or simply providing consultancy on data and analytics, as an agency they will have access to a huge amount of information. This has potential to be overwhelming and because of this, your requirements should be broken down to separate questions:

1. Are services / products changing?
a. What from/to and for how long initially?
b. Is delivery paused/available/partially available?
c. Is there leftover stock that needs clearing?
d. Are there opportunities if we cannot sell as normal?

2. Are goals changing?
a. How are forecasts changing?
b. Has the quantity versus quality balance changed?
c. Do we need to do more to attract and nurture potential clients?

3. Is budget changing?
a. How is media spend effected?
b. Are there areas that perform well that should be pushed further?
c. Are there areas in which we are prominent that do not perform?
d. Are the channels being used the right ones for meeting goals?
e. Are any services at risk of being paused or deferred?
f. Are there changes that could be made to continue driving performance?

4. Is resource changing?
a. Client-side, has the team setup altered/reduced?
b. Which resources are likely to be dropped/reduced to handle these issues?
c. Will these changes impact the need for implementation?
d. Will these changes impact the work to drive performance?

5. Is the market effected?
a. Are there similarities between client changes and what is happening in the market?
b. Are we seeing competitors decrease spend or change tactics?
c. Are we seeing a change in user behaviour?
d. Are there changes in what and how people are searching?

6. Is website use being effected?
a. Do new users have the same intent as returning users?
b. How is performance by site section affected?
c. How does this compare to other clients in the same space?

The above list will ultimately help to inform a strategy that, in turn, should deliver an increase in online visibility. Once we have an improved visibility, we can then look at how we improve the conversion of our web portfolio. In other words, more bang for your buck!

One area most companies will be worried about is the cost of this. Many agencies charge a huge premium to deliver these services but that is not necessarily the case here. Some agencies will provide the strategy and services you need for a campaign fee that is affordable.

As for an idea of what their campaign looks like and the costs it would incur – that bit will cost you nothing and you can always say no.

Lastly, don’t get tied into a contract that means you can’t get out if you’re not happy. We all understand that a campaign will need time to work, but don’t allow yourself to be trapped for a year! It should only take around 3 to 6 months for you to begin seeing results.

It would be great to look at your campaign and show you what we could provide, so please do get in touch with Pure Digital at any time for a completely free, no-ties analysis.

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