I originally got into SEO because the idea of creating massive amounts of traffic for a website out of thin air was the most exciting thing I could imagine. It felt like being a superhero. That idea has since matured but the desire to affect huge change on web business has never died. A management consulting approach has come out of this drive for big results, today more than ever web businesses rely on complex teams of people working in unison. Changing websites like this is about affecting change with people.
There is a massive need to understand how businesses operate online
There was an interesting phenomenon I’ve seen as I’ve worked on websites from the one man shops all the way up to biggest brands in the world; they all are struggling to find certainty in how to invest into online platforms. There are plenty of public examples but let me assure you these conversations are happening at every level of online focused companies. Despite the interest very few companies have been able to reconcile the speed and variable rewards of online focused marketing. Everyone is looking for the same thing, that stable channel to invest in that gives a predictable and profitable result.
ROI driven online marketing investments exist
Can you guess the website?
So what does this ROI based marketing look like? It’s two parts:
- Get smart people who understand your business testing out opportunities for growth
- Once you find a potential engine of growth execute it
There is no expert who can help you skip this process. No one can guarantee you results in any marketing channel online. Smart people reduce that barrier and smart people with experience can turbo charge it but until proven every idea is just a test.
Tests are unfortunately not things businesses are used to investing in. In fact for most businesses this would be a significant departure from anything they have tried before. How do you get budget for testing? How do you justify spending a whole month figuring out things that didn’t work? These are great questions but unfortunately there is no single answer.
In startups I’ve found the biggest hurdle is investing in something without a concrete ROI attached. Established companies often struggle to execute upon likely successes. In both instances the answer is the same, talk to the people involved and find out why things are the way they are. Just as important is that they need to see and hear you appreciating their concerns. If you are going to ask for someone to do something far outside their comfort zone you better show them you have their best interest at heart.
1. Get smart people who understand your business testing out opportunities for growth
The reality is that most businesses looking towards marketing experts have already found an engine to drive their business forward and pushed it to the point of diminishing returns. That means the easy money is gone. Finding the next pivot for the business is going to be hard work no matter how you slice it. Even more challenging is that the business was originally setup to support a different channel, there may not be enough people, skills or resources in place to get started right away.
That said, how a business approaches this challenge determines their long term viability online. It genuinely is that important.
2. Once you find a potential engine of growth execute it
Interestingly enough, many businesses are in fact sitting on profitable opportunities. It sounds like it should be a simple problem but appreciate it’s not. You need to find out why things were set the way they are. The branding and PR teams don’t talk? Why?
How you affect change is to understand both the reality of the situation and how it came to be. If your ideas connect with a genuine business goal, respect the key considerations and can demonstrate your knowledge to the people involved; just maybe you will get to be a superhero.
If that all sounds fun shoot me an email at email@example.com about working with me at the Distilled New York City office.
Chris Warren is an SEO consultant in the NYC Distilled office. In his spare time Chris enjoys eating great food while talking about startups.