The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2015 - (Page 58)

ONLINE PL ANNING MARKETING How To Get Your Online Marketing Efforts Back On Track O BY BRIAN BLUFF ver the past 18 months we have audited the online marketing efforts of over 175 distributors and manufacturers. For the most part, these companies are in the same boat - digital marketing has become more difficult than a single person or skill set can handle and the company doesn't have a plan. The aim of this article is to describe our approach to creating a winning digital marketing plan. We all know, or should know, that a good online marketing program today requires technical SEO, participation in search and social advertising, engagement with your customers and prospects through social media, creation of quality content, and promotion of your content through social media and lead nurturing (aka smart email marketing); but without a plan, these are simply disparate tactics. You need a vision, a strategy and a plan. So as we put a bow on 2015, and plan for 2016, let's make a difference, let's generate great leads through online marketing and let's start now! Here's the approach we developed over the past 13 years. Establish an Online Marketing Performance Baseline Never ever start changing things until you know how your online marketing programs are performing now. This has to be the single most important thing you can do and the phrase 58 MHEDA | themhedajournal.org "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" definitely applies. I can't tell you the number of times we've seen companies tear down seemingly underperforming websites only later to find out that their old, ugly and outdated website was ranking for some really important keyword, or that people visiting the website, while not filling out a form, did frequently pick up the phone and call the company. Tear down the old site without knowledge of what's working and a plan to salvage the best parts, and your underperforming program just got worse. Use Google Analytics to document form conversion rates and the number of search engine visitors landing on important pages. Google Search Console, formally known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a good way to understand how many of your website pages Google has in its index, and to identify any problems Google has found on your site. We also use a program called BrightLocal to assess the condition of local search programs. All of this takes more than an obligatory 30 minute glance at an automated report. It requires taking the time to understand how your programs are performing and a willingness to dive deep into the data and audit the important aspects of your digital marketing program. Assess the Competition Hands down the best tool for assessing your online competition is SEMrush. We've got the paid version, but you can do a lot with the free version too. Below you'll see data I pulled from SEMrush on five forklift dealers serving the Chicago area. Number of Ranking Keywords By URL Search Engine Position URL1 URL2 URL3 URL4 URL5 Top 4 15 5 1 22 24 Position 5-10 34 8 1 83 62 2nd Page 90 25 0 94 64 Number of Google top 20 positions for five websites competing for the term "forklift dealers Chicago" http://www.themhedajournal.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2015

President's Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor's Note
Ask Your Board
MHEDA University Calandar
MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
@WORK
MHEDA’S 2016 CRITICAL IMPACT FACTORS
COLLABORATING TO GET THE JOB DONE
Industry Pulse
HOW TO GET YOUR ONLINE MARKETING EFFORTS BACK ON TRACK
BACK TO BASICS
PRIVACY AND SECURITY
A TREASURE CHEST OF EMPLOYEE TRAINING
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
FACING INFLATION
MATERIAL HANDLING M&A: 3 REALITIES IN TODAY’S INDUSTRY
PRICING THE FORGETTABLE LAST FIVE PERCENT
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
TEN MORE REASONS WHY YOU CAN’T FILL JOBS
Index to Advertisers by Product Category
The Last Word

The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2015

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