seo

Breaking News: Google Continues Cannibalising Search Results

So the recent change in how Google displays its ads on its search engine has already pulled up a number of interesting outcomes with agencies that manage large accounts reporting a number of standouts.

An increase in CTR of 16% across SERPs should be pretty concerning to folks in the organic space, and frankly to advertisers as well. I’m not saying these results are instantly stealing 16% of traffic from organic results, but there’s certainly been a migration as a result of this change; however significant or insignificant is yet to be seen. Aaron at EliteSem

That’s quite a big chunk and is echoed by what icrossing saw too with big increases in CTR for the new ad slot.

  • Positive click-through-rate impact for top positions (+5%) and PLA (+10%), as competition at the top right has been eliminated.

  • Negative click-through-rate impact for positions 5–7 (-8%) as they moved from top right to bottom of the page.

  • Negative impression impact for positions 8–10 (-69%) and click impact (-50%). However since this segment accounted for a very small percentage of impressions in the “before” period, their loss doesn’t represent a significant impact.
    icrossing

There’s no doubt a slew of these across the web. Look at any account with a large enough dataset and you’ll likely see similar patterns.

But what does this really mean for organic? It’s pretty obvious what it means for PPC. In the short term, for competitive queries the new position four ad slot seems to be doing a sterling job at stealing organic click share. If CTR’s are up across ad slots, then it follows that available click share MUST be down for organic, even if we account for the loss of side ads, right?

I was talking with a client yesterday about conversion rates on site.

We had all been a little perplexed in how conversions rates had dropped off of late and had tried a variety of things to identify and reverse.

We looked at the usual suspects of onsite changes, page speed, competitor activity, sector innovations etc and were doing a degree of head scratching trying to establish what was going on. Most channel traffic was up, organic especially. The view was that maybe rankings had decreased for competitive head terms (nope) or that direct and referral traffic had increased due to PR activity and that was impacting conversion rates due to lower buyer intent (a fact, but also nope)

The client noticed that the conversion problem had occurred around the 22nd of February, which funnily enough was around the time that Google rolled out its new land grab. Aha! The smoking gun.

What was really interesting (but surprising) was that the inclusion of this new ad spot, appears to have impacted the click through on high converting pages for competitive search terms. Effectively, for every competitive position attained, visibility has dropped by an order of at least one position.

Is it really the case that people collectively have jumped the shark and no longer care about ads in google as they once did? Has Google created such a neat and compelling ad product that users are now more drawn to the ad than they would be the organic result? Are the ads more relevant today even? Is all that SERP diversity of images, videos, knowledge graph, news results and the like just a massive pain in the Goolies? Are ads the quicker route for commercial intent!? Maybe!

Of course, I’m surmising and using the data witnessed from one account. It may not necessarily be the same for every commercial query and determining what is and what is not a commercial query isn’t a walk in the park either. Just because a query doesn’t have ‘buy’ or ‘book’ in the string doesn’t mean that it’s an informational intent type query.

It’s only when you begin to dig in to your conversion data locally that you’ll even begin to notice, and even when you have your aha moment you’ll be none the wiser as to how to fix it.

In short, the only fix that matters is, to gain increased visibility for your commercial intent queries, and the only way you are going to do that in “Google Four Ad slots” is to buy ads.

Sure, you can up your activity in your other channels and up your efforts targeting queries of lesser commercial intent and create more wow moments in your PR and general marketing efforts but make no mistake. Those organic opportunities are continually diminishing as Google seek to eat more of that organic pie.

For those interested, it might also be interesting to take a little look at CTR generally and look at a few of the tactics Google has taken over the years.

Looking at CTR historically

If you look at click throughs around positions over the years you’ll see that it’s an interesting picture. Many of us will have read the various click through studies  detailing how pos #1 gets x % position #2 y% position #3 z% tailing off the further you go down the SERP.

Here’s an old  graph from Internet Marketing Ninjas showing the optify data

This is old of course and came from the days when there was a max of two ads above the fold at the top.

However, it does show the general picture and variations over the years show similar curves and it’s pretty safe to say that with the advances in PPC ads since (smart links, stars, better ad copy, blah blah) that those numbers and their respective share has likely diminished since as ad clicks, knowledge graph type distractions have gained click share.

Eye tracking and clicks

Heatmaps show us that generally, much of our attention is taken by the space above the fold.

A page loads, we scan it, see what we need and click it and many of the studies produced have helped inform ad placement, nav placement, button placement and the like.

This eye tracking study below shows the google of old 2005 and the google of  2015.  The golden triangle versus the um…red guy with no arms and legs.

2005 versus 2015

What’s really interesting is the whole background colour change in the ad slot in the image to the right. Note the background is some kind of distinctive yellowish colour.

Do a search today, and that colour distinction is no longer there. The only differentiator is the word “Ad” and that’s diluted by other distractions like ad links and gold stars.

four ads hotels in london
four ads hotels in london

Many of the features that Google used to show for its organic results, user rating stars for example are now seen in its ads, but increasingly, not in its organic results.

It would seem that increasingly in the organic portion, attention is taken away at every opportunity. One could be forgiven for concluding that Google sought to confuse the consumer by continually shifting such features around and blurring the lines between organic and paid. After all, we aren’t stupid are we? We don’t need to see the ads with a clearly defined different background colour, do we.

Some might say that it would appear that if it’s commercial and you monetise it, then the Google of today wants you to pay for those clicks.

For businesses looking to seek visibility for commercial queries, they are effectively a pay for inclusion engine today. If you want visibility, then they want you to pay for it.

It’s a risk laden strategy. Altavista did the same in 1998 and killed itself.

Users didn’t want ads shoved in their faces and users left in droves, enticed by the thing that was all Googley.

Google aren’t stupid and have learnt from the mistakes of their predecessors. They do lots of testing and use feature creep to change things. Revolutionaries they are not.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions around the bait and switch tactics and overlaps of paid serps versus organics. There’s no reason why they’d seduce users with rich snippets, only to snatch them away and leave them hanging around in their paid results, no reason at all.

If you are seeing similar things in your campaigns, decreased conversions whilst organic traffic has increased, and it fits in with these date ranges, do let me know in the comments.

Postscript

Just to be clear, I didn’t personally identify the reason for reduced conversions. A team member at the client put forward the hypothesis and the whole 4 ad slot scenario seems to fit. I’d love to say who that is, but client confidentially and all that stuff… Hat tip Nick!

 

New Year – New SEO Products – Links, Audits and Reviews

Hello – I’m excited to announce the release of some really useful SEO products for 2016.

The products are aimed at marketers and business owners and lazy SEO’s who’d rather not do the work themselves.

Presently, there are three four to choose from but I’ll be developing more as time allows.

It’s a bit of a departure from the usual SEO product suite announcement in that none of these products are produced via automation or some clever backend api integration.

The reports created will of course use a suite of the best tools in the business. For starters most will use a combination of Kerboo, MajesticSEO, SEMRush, Google, Bing and Moz – we also use a few other top-secret ones too but if we told you what they were then we might have to tickle you to death.

The nature of the type of reports produced means that you’ll have to wait at least a few days for whatever you buy. Sometimes you’ll have to wait longer dependant upon what you’ve ordered and the number of others waiting for the same. Look for the status update on the product pages for the latest turnaround times.

As I said, there are 3 4 new products.

A manual link report product, an seo site review , a content marketing module and a bells and whistles audit and strategy report.

The products are all different and tailored to the specific client that requires them. There’s no template, no fluff, no sausage machine in action.

To go too much in to the finer details of each would be to spoil the surprise and delight of your purchase.

What I can say is that I love what I do and have been doing it for quite some time now (20 years OMG).  I’ll provide you with actionable insights that will make a difference to your understanding of your business and niche. I’ll give you ideas and inspiration and will show you how to fix any general silliness you’ve managed to find yourself doing. I won’t tell you about anything you know already and I won’t kill you with charts and lists and intangibles.

You’ll find phraseology like – “This part of your site is sub optimal and my recommendation is that you change this line of code to this line of code” or “An analysis of your market shows that you have some major content opportunities at hand, my advice is that you do X Y and Z as a priority…”

I hope not to have to write stuff like “The majority of your backlinks appear to come from a suburb of Afghanistan, whereas you aspire to rank in the bustling community of NYC…” I’d prefer not to work with numpties if I can avoid it, so if that’s you then erm…sorry.

There are rare occasions when it’s clear that there’s very little to say or add.

If you are one of these fortunate people then accept my apologies in advance as I decline your request. Why not go spend your cash on nice holiday or give it to charity instead?

That’s it! Happy 2016 to you!

Ps For the referral minded among you, there’s an affiliate program full of half decent commission for completed sales.

PPs. For a limited time, enter BoxMeUp at the checkout for an additional 20% off

What should you do if your website traffic falls off a cliff?

“OMG Our Search Engine Rankings Have Died!!”

First off, it isn’t funny, at all.  It’s totally traumatic.

If you’ve enjoyed months or years of traffic for keywords relevant to your business and it’s switched off overnight, then it’s truly going to impact you and your business. You have bills to pay, staff salaries to maintain and the loss of traffic is often truly devastating.

Second, they were never really yours anyway. They were always going to be subject to the actions and whims of another for profit entity.

Unfortunately, when it comes to dumb algorithms, there’s little kindness involved. If your website hits the thresholds that say rank this domain lower then you need to take action to reverse those aspects that may be contributing to your misfortune.

The search engine guidelines set out what is and what isn’t acceptable. Hidden text, spammy links, keyword stuffing being 3 top level well known no no’s. There are however a myriad of other no no’s which are often fuzzy and hard to pin down. We need to understand that ultimately, search engines (generally) don’t earn money from sites that use effective SEO so it’s no surprise that they’d make it all a little bit of a minefield. It’s easy to say “Make the best site for your users” but with only 10 spots available to have for each query, it’s understandable that companies and site owners will push the envelop a little to get ahead. It’s this process that often trips folks up which can often lead to ranking catastrophes. FUD is a powerful tool in dissuading the allocation of marketing budget

It’s important to differentiate between penalties and algorithmic shifts of course. Penalties are manually applied  whereas algorithmic shifts like Penguin  and Panda are changes to the way pages are scored.

What to do if your search rankings have disappeared overnight?

If you know what you are doing then it’s pretty academic. Why are you even here reading this?

If you don’t know what you are doing then don’t waste your time trying to figure it out.

You. Will. Drive. Yourself. Mad.

Employ an experienced seo specialist to look at the situation for you.

Algorithmic Search Engine Penalties

They should know if there has been a recent major algorithm change and will look at your website analytics to see if your traffic fall coincides with an algorithm change. If it does, then it’s usually either due to a Penguin or a Panda update.

If your website has been affected by Panda, then it is perceived to have a page quality issue. These might be due to spammy or thin content issues, or machine generated content that is considered to be of low quality.

Your appointed specialist should be able to honestly appraise your site and be frank enough to tell you that it’s lacking in quality.

If your website has been affected by Penguin, then you have a so called back link quality issue.

A backlink quality issue relates to the quantity and quality of the number of links to your website.

Sites that have acquired many links at once for example might be seen to be manipulating their link profile. Sites with lots of so called ‘money’ keywords in their anchor text might be another.

In the circumstances outlined; you’ll need to begin the process of fixing your sites on and off site issues.

The good news is that your appointed specialist will be able to help identify these and help you with a way forward, the bad news is that you’ll often have to wait until the algo has updated or refreshed before your site reappears for your keywords. Even then, there are no guarantees as with penguin for example, the link cleaning process may even remove links that offered value whilst retaining those that hamper. It’s critical therefore, to ensure that you use someone who has experience with these and the tools that help identify them

Manual Search Engine Penalties

In some cases, websites receive so called ‘Manual‘ penalties. These are applied by search engineers for what would be in their view egregious manipulation of the algorithm. There have been many cases of these over the years for all manner of organisations. They are a good PR tool for search engines as they send out the message that they are watching for exploitation of their resource and will punish those who try it on.

The good news is that you can clean things up and submit a re-inclusion requests whereby a search engine will review what you’ve done and reinstate your domain in search. The not so good news is that they may refuse it and ask you to try harder.

A friendly suggestion on the way forward

Finally, regardless of whether you have or have not had an issue; perhaps it’s time to take a long hard look at what you do and really ask yourself some honest questions around your content marketing efforts.

The web is only going to get more competitive, to rely on big profit driven corporations for non paid for sustenance is a little bit mad really.

The proliferation of platforms that are taking market share will only continue to grow. People are using an ever increasing level of device and apps to access information. Desktop PC’s, Laptops, Phones, Tablets, Phablets, Watches,  TV’s – Search engines are cannibalising content to keep users on site, social media platforms are doing the same pulling folks away from search engines in the process, maybe it’s time to act like search engines didn’t exist even; become the destination for your niche, be the best.

Good luck.

 

Adding links to the copied user clipboard and appending a link to the text

Tynt’s a great product, I like it it has a cool stats page and overall I think it’s a great innovation. Check it out if you don’t know what it does.

I wanted something similar that wasn’t dependent on a 3rd party service that I could play with and tweak and do so privately outside of the view of an external organisation like tynt. My starting point was this which I’ve tweaked a little to serve a purpose or two.

I wanted something that I could modify to my own needs and vary aspects that I considered important.

One of these was link building and another was to see what users were copying to gain additional insights that I might use to improve a project or two.

I wanted to give myself an option to help people share my content in ways that added context to what it was they were writing about or citing the content for and to enable an easy visual way for people to quote the source. Both by URL and a relevant hyperlink.

The methods below help me achieve these objectives.

Quite a few webpages have long page titles that might include brand at the front or back, and probably contain a phrase that’s important to what they’d like to rank for or how they’d like to be linked to.

In this regard, we might have a page that has a page title of “Great Hotels In London – Check out this fab resource of well priced places to stay in London from Hotelprovider”

A user copying a piece of text from a page like that, which employed the system below would, in addition to any copied text see a read more and source option when they pasted the copied text into word, or their blog, or facebook or twitter or email or wherever else it was they were using the copied info.

copied text
Read More:Great Hotels In London.
Source:http://www.theurltheyreferenced.com

We’d achieve this by using a hyphen or “-” as a stop word in the pattern aspect of our addlink() function below.

In this regard everything after the “-” would be truncated. We simply replace “wordintitle” in the function below with “-“.

Where a page title doesn’t have a hyphen, then the whole page title is used instead.

This is where it’s important to know your site structure and of course, desired outcomes.

We also include a #tag or anchor in the embedded url.

In the example I use #copied which I can then reference in my logfiles or other analytics packages.

If you use GA and you don’t want to or can’t go the ?UTM_SOURCE route, then you can enable # anchor tracking and even disable clicks that came from folks using internal anchors. You just got to mess around with your GA code a little.

Step 1 Slap in Footer before closing Body tag

<? $permalink=$_SERVER[REQUEST_URI];?>
<script type="javascript/html">
function addLink() {
var mytitle=document.title;
var pattern =" wordintitle ";

/*whatever word you put in the var pattern above will be the text 
that'll form the words in the pasted link 
so if wordintitle was 'horse' then everything before 
the word 'horse' would be used for the anchor text,
 else it'll use the full string of document.title */

mytitle= mytitle.substr(0, mytitle.indexOf(pattern));

if(mytitle === ''){
mytitle=document.title;
}
var selection = window.getSelection(),
pagelink = '<br /><br /> Read More:<a href="'+ document.location.href+'‪#‎copied‬">'
+ mytitle +'</a><br />Source:' + document.location.href,
copytext = selection + pagelink,
newdiv = document.createElement('div');
newdiv.style.position = 'absolute';
newdiv.style.left = '-99999px';
newdiv.style.background = '‪#‎ffffff‬';
document.body.appendChild(newdiv);
newdiv.innerHTML = copytext;
selection.selectAllChildren(newdiv);

window.setTimeout(function () {
shareTxt(); 
/* only need this if you are putting the info in a db comment it out if 
this is not the case */

//alert('Text Copied For You');
 /*uncomment the line above if you are not using the ajax 
shareTxt function */ 

toggle('copytoclip');

/* you can create a hidden div and put a fadeout notify message
 telling the user that it was copied to the clipboard i'd use
 jquery but it's not mandatory to show a message, 
could do stealth if it suits - if you do not have 
jquery or are happy with a simple alert then comment the 
toggle line out or remove it */

document.body.removeChild(newdiv);
}, 100);
}
document.addEventListener('copy', addLink);


function shareTxt(){
/* this function sends the data copied to your database for
 later reference */
var ajaxRequest;
try{
// Opera 8.0+, Firefox, Safari
ajaxRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
} catch (e){
// Internet Explorer Browsers
try{
ajaxRequest = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP");
} catch (e) {
try{
ajaxRequest = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
} catch (e){
// Something went wrong
alert("Your browser broke!");
return false;
}
}
}
var texti = window.getSelection();
var queryString = "?sharetext="+ texti +"&ref=<?=$permalink;?>";
ajaxRequest.open("GET", "shared.php" + queryString, true);
ajaxRequest.send(null);
}

 
function toggle(d)
/* this function shows your hidden div and then hides
 it after 800ths of a second */
{
var o=document.getElementById(d);
o.style.display=(o.style.display=='none')?'block':'none';
$('‪#‎copytoclip‬').fadeOut(800);
}
 
</script>

Step 2 Slap in SQL interpreter and create table

The page that the ajax sends the variables to firstly needs a MYSQL table for the data, so here is some sql below. Place this in to your sql interpreter in phpmyadmin for instance and it will create the necessary table for you.

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `copyshared` (
`cid` int(10) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
`ref` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
`textshare` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
`ip` varchar(32) NOT NULL,
`opsys` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
`zackmo` varchar(30) NOT NULL,
`hash` int(25) NOT NULL,
UNIQUE KEY `cid` (`cid`),
KEY `ref` (`ref`)
) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1 AUTO_INCREMENT=0 ;

Step 3 Slap in text file and name it shared.php

You’ll need some PHP to process the data and put it into the database. Enter your db credentials in the connection script and save it as shared.php then upload it to the root directory of your site

<? 
/* create a file and call it shared.php */
if($_GET[ref] and $_GET[sharetext] ) {
@ $db = mysql_connect("localhost", "dbuser", "password");
mysql_select_db("dbname");

$txt= mysql_real_escape_string($_GET[sharetext]);
$ref = mysql_real_escape_string($_GET[ref]);
$opsys=$_SERVER[HTTP_USER_AGENT];
$ip=$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
$insert="insert into copyshared values ('', '$ref', '$txt', 
'$ip', '$opsys', NOW(), '$hash')";
$qry_result = mysql_query($insert);
}
?>

Step 4 Slap in Footer after Javascript closing tag above

If you want to show a message div saying ‘copied to clipboard’ for your users then you can add a div that fades out like this.

<div id="copytoclip" class="ctc" style="padding:3px;position:fixed; display:none;
 bottom:15%; height:auto; margin-left:15%; margin-right:auto; vertical-align:top;
 z-index:5000; vertical-align:top">
<div align=center>
<img src="someniceimage.png"> 
<span style="position:absolute; bottom:25px; left: 0; max-width:100%; color: white;
 font: bold 18px Helvetica, Sans-Serif; letter-spacing: -1px; background: rgb(0, 0, 0);
 /* fallback color */background: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.7);padding: 10px; ">Copied to Clipboard</span> 
</div>
</div>

It has been tested (and works) on an ipad, a pc and an iphone. I’ve tested it with ie10, firefox, chrome and safari with no issues. I haven’t tried it with a droid phone.

If you decide to use the fade() function then you’ll need to have the jquery library installed (most domains use it these days so you shouldn’t have an issue with it)

Ultimately, there’s nothing to stop people removing the link created or the url, so it might work for good link building and it might not.

The good aspect for me (and this is where tynt might just be an easier option for you) is that I can periodically review what kinds of content snippets people are grabbing and then gain any insights presented.

Install Recap

To install, you need to create the table in phpmyadmin with the sql referenced above and upload/create shared.php on your server and place it in the directory of the domainroot.

You also need to open up a footer file or include you have that goes sitewide and paste the javascript referenced above along with the div content just before the closing body tag.

If you don’t want to do the ajax or db route thing then follow the instructions I’ve put in the code removing or commenting out the div aspect and the shareTxt() function.

That’s it.

Paying to Play in SEO

The Bad SEO  Rep Thing

SEO as an industry has for a long time now suffered with a terrible rep. The web is littered with case after case of burnt individuals recounting stories of being mislead at best and defrauded at worst – An examination of a lot of these tales will often reveal a well trodden path of company promised one thing whilst delivering another, usually in the form of not very much at all, or in extreme cases a nice page 6 ranking penalty from the Google monster.

Top 10 is it then Len?

I think it’s interesting that this happens, despite the wealth of info out there.  Google even publishes a guide to SEO, which for the DIY brigade, is a good little reference point. Yet the reality is that whatever way you dice it, there’s only ever really 10 organic spots to be had and unless you’re above the fold, you might as well not be there.

Sure, there’s Local,  Universal and Social and all that blah blah blah but let’s face it, if you aren’t ranking at positions 1 to 5  in a clean non obfuscated SERP then…need I state the obvious?

Continue reading

Just Another Social Monitoring Tool?

Not just another social media monitoring tool

I’m writing this post on an iPhone whilst watching Arsenal trail 2-1 to Stoke, a testament to the interconnected world we inhabit today. A world where we can interact w/ our networks from virtually anywhere, a world where the old constraints of modems and hard wired cables in a phone socket are but a bemusing memory of a place left alone in the roadmap of time.

Back then we usually had to wait before reading a response to a post or a comment. Facebook and Twitter, the proliferation of other nkotb like foursquare, gowalla, brightkite et al were just twinkles in the eye of their respective founders. Today all are becoming a mainstay of the online world, acting as sharepoints for the herds that flock to the power of their distributive connectivity; full of people chattering and networking, discussing themes and topics of their everyday lives. Lets face it, it’s nothing short of a technological social revolution; the web how it should be, as envisaged by the technerd visionaries striving to push it all that little bit further.

As a result of all this, quite a few of us have got excited by the opportunities that this activity presents. Never before has it been so easy to connect w/ people in their ‘moment’ never before has it been possible to identify so very quickly, people who are talking about you, your brand or topics and products important to your interests. The whole proliferation of listening tools that have sprung up is testament to the hunger and appetite for finding new ways of measuring, interacting and building relationships w/ those of import. Continue reading

Online PR – Off Site SEO – If there’s a difference it depends on who you are

Online PR or off site SEO?

I was talking w/ a colleague the other day about Online PR versus Off site SEO. Whilst chatting it became clear that in the minds of some people out there that a degree of confusion exists around the terminologies due in the main, to the many cross overs of both.

I thought it might be useful therefore,  to layout the benefits of each, and highlight what they do, and show the commonalities and differences of each, showing both how they may be perceived and the benefits of each of their respective approaches.

Continue reading

Holistic 360 Internet Marketing Are You Doing It too? Search..

Holistic Search Marketing

It’s been ages since I wrote anything anywhere near interesting or controversial so I thought I’d sit down and have a go and see where it leads me. 🙂

We often hear the word ‘holistic’ bounded about these days. Increasingly (and rightly so) companies are looking to connect the dots and put together the various pieces of their marketing puzzles.

The challenge for many is that they aren’t quite sure themselves, they are looking for people and companies who can sit down and explain to them what fits where and why.

How Does PPC affect Organic CTR’s?

Just recently I was having a discussion about PPC and it’s relationship with SEO in the SERPs, specifically, does a PPC listing help organic clickthrough (CTR).

It was very late and I’d had quite a few beers and was very stuffed with Chinese food but even so, we managed to get to a point whereby we discussed a variety of other questions which such a question begged, namely that it depends on the vertical, the user, the PPC position, the Organic position, the brand, the creative etc.

In other words, there is no simple answer other than yes, quite probably. PPC helps organic CTR.

The Pie is big with lots of flavours

I used this example because it’s relatively fresh in my mind and has a natural segue to the core question. SEO and PPC are indeed just a part of the online marketing pie – there’s also Online PR, Social, Affiliate and Display too – All are related, very few large corps can do one without any of the others as there are lots of inevitable overlaps and blur lines – It’s right today in these frugal times that marketing managers looking to maximise the impacts of their budgets, should be asking probing questions like – Should you do one w/ out the other? What aspects of each inform the other? Where should they target their budget to get the most bang for their buck? How will you track ROI for them? Which piece of the pie will deliver the most? Yet answers to these aren’t always as clear cut or as straightforward as we’d like. Many of them require scrutiny and analyses of the pieces used and the pieces that are likely to come into play. Not many big corps still really *get* online. Many struggle with the idea of a unified strategy, preferring to go with the segment that’s the most tried and tested.

No surprise there either, why would they direct positive ROI spend anywhere else – it’s all about ROI after all Rob you dummy!

Well yes and no. Yes because absolutely, if company X invests 100k and gets 300k of sales from a single Channel then the jobs a winner, it’s a no brainer, right? Yet no, because to do so is to take ones eye off of the ever shifting fluidity of the other channels out there. 2k On PR could deliver 50k worth of Organic Serp positions, as could 10k invested into Affiliate, Display or PPC. Whilst it’ll usually be on a case by case basis, there will be very few scenarios where wholesale investment in one channel would be a sensible online strategy.

Some of you reading this might be asking, “yeah ok, but what about offline” and of course you’d be right to ask too! Why wouldn’t a good agency consider offline, they’d be mad to ignore the impact of a good TV, Radio or Paper Media campaign. Your agency or individual (if they were any good) should be falling over themselves to get access to your analytics package to advise upon strategy or to demonstrate past impacts through retrospective analyses.

Yet how many today do? How many companies can actually sit down and give a coherent definitive overview and strategy and deliver on budget? My guess is not too many. It’s a good reason why that on many projects, you’ll find quarterly or monthly inter agency reviews, whereby agency A will sit down with client and agency B, C and D and all attempt to discuss the strategy w/ out giving away too much IP to probable or likely competitors. Yet for the companies who can provide that full 360 overview, who can clearly demonstrate how and why doing X will deliver Y to the bottom line, who can clearly show how aspect XXX strengthens the position of strategy component Z, the benefits and potentials to win new business is huge.

To state the obvious, it’ll be the companies who are demonstrating these traits and abilities who’ll grab the most market share – companies who invest in their people and think outside of the box with experience and insights are the ones who forward thinking businesses will want to trade with. Businesses that recognise that having six or seven different relationships to manage is a whole lot more time consuming and draining than one.

Companies like the one I work for (plug plug) who can step up and deliver, should do really well as a result. 🙂

css.php
%d bloggers like this: