Over the last 17 years I've been immersed in an industry swimming with agencies and marketing consultants who make promises they can’t deliver on simply for the sake of growing their revenue. And it's been an interesting experience.
Think about it…
I’m sure you’ve had your inbox stuffed by companies promising to get you to number one on Google for $19.95. Or boasting about how they’ll help your message “go viral” for $99.95, and any number of other misleading and ridiculous claims.
Regardless of the specific message you’ve received, if they’ve caught you at a moment of weakness, and you took them up on their offer, you quickly realized their offer was complete bullshit! Frankly, being exposed to this type of environment over the years has often made me nauseous and feel as though I needed to take a shower to wash off the “ick.” Unfortunately, I don’t see this stuff ending anytime soon. The digital landscape is going to continue to evolve rapidly, and ultimately lead to more of this filth.
Instead of sitting by helplessly, I’d like to offer some perspective that I hope can help you cut through the crap and ensure you’re asking the right questions.
Stop and ask yourself….
Is this a measurable business goal that will impact my bottom line?
Ranking number one on Google is great, as long as it’s for a keyword that helps connect you with people who don’t know you exist and have a problem you can solve. It doesn’t help you one bit if a company helps you rank number one for in searches for your organization's name. Since anyone conducting a search using your company name most likely knows how to find you already.
Also, if you have a website that has never produced a lead the entire time it’s been live, and you actually do receive a number one placement for a valuable keyword, you’ll get more eyeballs but no measurable impact. There’s a reason you’re receiving zero leads now, and amplifying that experience will likely lead to attracting visitors who will likely never return again.
Don’t fall in love with vanity metrics!
Bounce rate, time on site, and page views are metrics that are thrown around a lot in the agency world, that only tell a sliver of a sliver of the story. In my opinion, they are used heavily because companies can manipulate them to construct a story comprised of false indicators.
The only metrics that matter are the number of visitors, leads and customers that are produced by your website. Those are the variables that truly impact your bottom line and provide indisputable evidence as to whether your marketing program is working or not.
The next time you’re approached by an agency that is making ridiculous claims that they can deliver you to the “promised land” by getting you to number one on Google, ask them the following questions:
- How many new leads or customers will their promises deliver?
- Can they build a performance model to forecast the rate of lead / customer growth?
- Can they provide you with a list of companies they’ve helped achieve comparable results? And can provide the contact information of someone at the company?
I know what you're thinking, "these questions aren’t rocket science, why haven't I asked them before?" But I also know that the pressure you feel to perform as a marketer, can cause you to be reactionary, and forget to ask the right questions.
If you want to follow my advice and get more vistors, leads and customers based on your website content, instead of just tracking your Google ranking, let's have a conversation.