Everybody knows that online marketing is necessary for just about any type or size of business, from a one-person consulting business to giant corporations. However, “online marketing” encompasses a whole lot of different venues and methods. Even if you have the time and resources to do everything, where do you start? Which are the venues and methods that are most effective and should command your initial attention and efforts? Experts in online marketing can help us with decisions like this with the help of highly successful and growing companies that market extensively online.
Recent research and surveys of three groups were conducted with interesting results. The three groups were:
- Internet marketing experts and consultants.
- Companies with high growth rates.
- Companies with average growth rates.
The three groups were asked about which online marketing tools were most effective. There were 15 tools checked in the survey:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Web Analytics
- Usability Testing
- White Papers and eBooks
- Email Marketing
- Company Newsletter
- Pay Per Click
- Online Video
- Banner Ads
The top 13 of these all saw the experts considering them most effective, and the high growth companies coming in second, considering them highly effective. In all of those, the average growth companies considered them less effective. In fact, for all 15 tools, the average growth companies were lowest on the “considered effective” measurements. The effectiveness ratings were highest to lowest for both experts and high growth companies in the order listed, and only in the last two, Facebook and Banner Ads, did the high growth companies consider them more effective than did the experts.
Let’s consider the big picture here and how it should influence your decisions and the order in which you put these tools to work for you. SEO and Web Analytics are at the top of the list for a great many reasons, and they’re related. You can’t know what’s working for you in Search Engine Optimization unless you’re using Analytics to track results. So, these are both important tools that are employed in your Web presences. The third item should guide us to which Web presence to attach first…blogging.
Blogging is the vehicle, with SEO and Analytics being the maintenance and super-chargers to get the most out of your blogs. Blogging has evolved a lot since the early days when businesses recognized the SEO value of regular new content. However, that value is still there, with Google and the other engines rewarding newer content and visiting sites more often with robots when new content is regular. An interesting thing about the results of the blogging tool question is that only about half of the average growth companies considered it a valuable tool. It was about the same for Analytics.
It’s not hard at all to feel really confident in drawing the conclusion that most of the tools on this list contribute to the success of the high growth companies, separating them from those with average growth by a significant margin. Another interesting conclusion is that Facebook should move down on your priority list, as should Banner Ads. If you were to prioritize your activities by starting to blog or increasing your blogging in conjunction with good SEO practices and measuring results, you’d be on the right track. Then roll in the others as you can.