Online Marketing Necessities

If you want to get the most out of your online marketing data, there are a few things you’ll have to do:

  • set up your website tracking
  • clearly define your website goals
  • test your audience’s preferences
  • create high-quality content

Tracking

First, set up your tracking for your website. My tools of choice are Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. If you don’t know how to code in JavaScript, your abilities will be limited. But once it’s up and running, you’ll be able to track everything from page views to product purchases.

This is important because it shows you what the major activities on your site are. From here, you’ll get a sense of what’s most important to your visitors.

Goals

You have to clearly define the business goals of your website.

What are the main actions that you want your visitors to take?

Here are a few examples:

  • newsletter subscription
  • contact forms
  • product purchases
  • blogs read
  • blog comments
  • phone calls
  • emails
  • event registrations

Acquisition Channels

If you know what you want people to do on your site, and you have everything tracked, you’ll be able to find patterns in the behavior of your most valuable visitors.

For example:

  • the channels they use to get to your website: search, direct, social, email, ads, referring websites
  • the devices they use: web, phone, tablet
  • the time of day that they visit: weekdays, 12-2pm, in the summer months
  • the category of pages they visit: a certain product line or brand

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to focus your time on the best acquisition channels. Look for places where you have good relationships with influencers and organizations, especially in your industry. They’ll share your message with their audiences, which is a huge vote of confidence when they have credibility.

Testing

Once you know what you want, where to go, and who to know, you can start testing the format and subject matter of your content.

For example:

  • blog posts: case studies, interviews, etc.
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • pdfs
  • infographics

Test all of these formats to see what gets the best response with your audience, and then find out what topics are important to them. From a business perspective, you’d like to be helpful by addressing pain points that affect the industries you serve. But at the same time, you also want to stand out as the most consistent provider of the coolest, most interesting content in your field.

There are two main ways of doing this:

  • Content creation, which is hard and long.
  • Content curation, which is quick and easy.

Content Creation

If you know what your audience likes in terms of format and subject matter, then content curation can be a great way to get fast attention via social media platforms.

You’re saying “Hey everybody, these are the fields that I’m involved in. I hope that you value the content I’m sharing and that you’ll grow to like me one day.”

However, you still want to create your own content so that you can drive people to your website. You want them to come to your website so that they can learn more about what you do, what makes you an expert, what you’ve done for other people, and how you can help them solve their problems better than anyone else can.

The goal is for them to give you their contact info or get in contact with you. Hopefully, this will end up in a sale for you, either online, by phone, or by email. But also, you want people to come to your website because it’s the only place that you can track and study their behavior, which will help you get a better understanding of what works.

If you want fast attention, you can hop on the latest trends with your unique expert opinion. If you want predictable long-term value, go for evergreen content.

If you have old blog posts, select the best evergreen ones and optimize them for search engines (aka do SEO). This will not only give you a fast way of getting your content into rotation for social media and your email list, it will also give you a sense of what you can expect from SEO in terms of the speed of seeing results. It could take months to see improvements. You have to measure and see.

Once you know what works across all channels and formats, use your tracking to tell you where you should make adjustments. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work. If you ever see your progress level off, start brainstorming. Get ideas from competitors or even experts from outside your industry until you can come up with something new.

Keep learning, testing, and growing.

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