Online marketing is something that can be hard to gauge. One company can have very different goals than another, and therefore rating yourself against other companies can sometimes be very disheartening. Other times you might be in a new fronteir, and rating against “competitors” might make you feel incorrectly confident. Do you need 500 view per month to reach your goals, or 5 million? Without any idea what you should relate yourself to, or what your website goals are, it’s hard to tell. This post will give you a total breakdown on how to build your own online marketing plan, and also test it. That’s right: you’re not only going to be building a ground up marketing plan, you’re also going to test your plan to make sure it doesn’t suck.
This is, by far, one of the biggest mistakes I see people in online businesses make. THEY DO NOT TEST ENOUGH. You need to test. You need to be making mistakes…. but you also need to be catching those mistakes, and fixing them. If you’re not testing your website , then you’re missing out on tons of data that you can use to almost effortlessly get more business. If there has ever been a free lunch (or something close to it) it is setting up testing for every site and page you create, to make sure that you know who goes into your website: and who goes out.
I will also cover in detail exactly how to a) develop some ideas for how to market your site. And b) how to actively test those ideas before you even get them into your plan. This isn’t some type of divination, but really just a shoot from the hip look at exactly how certain online marketing ideas will perform, and what type of time, money, and energy will be needed to make those marketing ideas effective. There are a multitude of wonderful, powerful tools out there that will help you look into many different key words, ideas, and even full paragraphs, and see how they will fare in search engines, how many people will be interested in them, and even how the ideas are trending in search, month to month. The best part about this? They’re Free.
I’m glad you’re going to take this step in learning how to dive into creating a plan for your online business. Let’s get started.
Step One: What do you sell ?
A lot of people think this is a stupid question. But many of you might not even be able to answer me well. It’s something that you need to think about, though. Here’s how you answer:
Think of your ideal client: Why is he buying from you, and what problem do you solve?
Here’s an Example: “My ideal client is buying from me because they need to learn to needle point easily. They no longer have to search around book stores for old books on needlepoint, or have to piece together bad youtube videos.”
There’s no question that this person sells a course on needlepoint. Now write out yours.
No really, I’ll wait.
Now read it out loud.
Does it make sense? Do you know what you sell just by reading that?
Good! Now you have your value proposition. You did it.
Your brain is probably lighting up now with ideas about what you could write for a marketing plan… people you could market to and ideas for blog posts, facebook posts and such.
You’re close. But let’s keep those ideas popping and head on over to the Google keyword tool.
NOW: What’s the word that you use to define your business? What’s the catch phrase? What is the phrase that really describes what you sell? Can you pull it out of the value prop you wrote above?
Great! Type it into the keyword planner and look at what comes out.
You probably will end up looking at something that is flooded with competition. You’ll see 100k views, tons of competition, and average CPC (cost per click) at $10-$30.
This is only the first step, and exactly why I slowed your idea shower down a moment before. Now let’s dig a little deeper.
Go ahead and take that list and sort it by competition: Lowest to highest. What you’ll see now are some keywords that are reasonable. Go ahead and crack that open(click on the arrow next to your best word). When you click on that you’ll get a list of basic words. Now add those words to a keyword group. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost anything! This is just a great way to keep track of the words you want to SEO for.
also if you decide to use PPC later, now you’ve saved them and are ready to create a campaign in just a few clicks.
From here: Go into the google keyword idea generator, and plug in your best ( lost competition, highest search volume) word.
This will do something amazing: Google will instantly take those strange words and link them to great phrases: many of these phrases will make a lot of sense.
From here, Go ahead and take the phrases that make the most sense and type them back into google. Who is the competition on those? Take a look. You might even want to write down some competitors, as a really easy way to get an idea of what marketing is working is by looking at competitor sites! Work your way down the list of phrases that make sense to you in this manner…finding new ones, searching, and re searching as you go, and you’ll end up with a good 10-12 phrases that make a lot of sense to your business, and with competition you think you can break into.
If you’re wondering what level of searches are acceptable to you, or what competition: this is where you need to start thinking with the end in mind.
Let’s say that you’re running a side business selling those needle point courses. You’re looking to use this to build yourself a $1000/month income (this year) and see if you like the business. Your course sells for $20. That means that you need to sell 50 courses a month. The top search term in google gets about 50% of all searches for that phrase. Your goal is to get in the top 10.
If you make it to the front page (let’s say to number 10) you can reasonably expect to get around 5-10% of total searches for that phrase. Therefore, let’s go look for phrases that will add up to enough total searches to get your site those 50 sales.
If you have no idea how well your site will convert, shoot for 1%. That means you need 5000 impressions (site visits) a month to get your 50 sales. So take the 5% of total searches you’re expected to get, and multiply that by how many searches your phrase list gets in total.
That means you need to get a grand total of 100,000 front page searches per month to reach your goal. This may seem crazy, but all you need to do to get this is follow the math, and get yourself a good list of phrases and search words to use.
NOW: Have you got your list? Great. Take a break for the night and come back tomorrow. You did good.
You probably feel either a little empowered at this point, or a little confused. That’s ok. Go ahead and take stock of where you are.
Do you have a list of 50 keywords you need to rank for? 500? 1000? Whatever it is, add them all to a keyword group so that you have your list saved in google. This may be helpful later if you decide to use adwords to reach your goals.
Now you’ll probably notice that these words are separated into groups. These groups often have a common theme, such as “How to needlepoint” which might have 50 or so different permutations of that in the search. This means that you will rank for all associated words if you just rank for the base word. This is huge.
But how do you rank for the word? How do you get to the front page? Maybe I need to back up a step.
There are two ways to get to the front page of google for any word: you either buy your way onto it, or you use Serach Engine Optimization.
SEO is simply telling google that your site is very pertinent to the keyword you want to rank for. How do you do that? By being more comprehensive and interesting than other sites.
So how do you want to do it? Money ways or work ways? Its up to you, your product price point, and how much capital you have up front.
You can of course do a mixture of the two, or split the market and use money for one word that might be hard to rank for, and go for low hanging SEO fruit in other territories.
So let’s take a look at what the split might mean, how to calculate whether or not PPC is for you, and look into how you choose what split to use, or to go completely in one direction or the other.
What is your product price point?
If your product is free, then it might not make sense for you to try and use Adwords, unless you’re trying to just buy up a list fast or something of the sort (don’t do that, though…come on man)
If your product has a fairly high price point ($100+) then you shouldn’t have much fear using google adwords. Adwords will give you a great place to quickly acid test landing pages, and will be the most effective way to start to move your product quickly, and at a fairly good profit on many words. When would this not work? When the keyword groups are over $5/click. If you’re in this territory, you probably either want to look for another keyword group if you’re going for PPC, or you want to look directly into SEO.
If your product is consulting,(hourly, pay per contract) then you want to look into SEO anyway. Writing compelling and interesting information about your craft is an excellent way to build credibility, and you should be doing it as often as you have the time to. Guesting on other sites, being published online, and offering comprehensive information about your craft will help people better understand what you do, and how you can help them. Use PPC for webinars, special deals, and events, but focus on using SEO for your site. You’ll thank yourself later.
What pushes people to buy your product? Do people look for credibility? Just a low price? Are they focused on what type of materials are used? Get a feeling for why people buy more or less of what you’re selling. Go to the websites that are currently ranked on google for your keywords and get a feel for why they’re there. Do they offer the best content? Is it the best product in the class? A brand name? What part isn’t being offered right now? Is there no good content in regard to this keyword? Can you write or create some better content for the front page to display? Do you think that a good Ad could draw a good portion of business form this keyword? Then look into SEO there.
Decide on your PPC budget. Look at the words you want to use PPC for (if any) and decide on a budget. Google will tell you an approximate number of page views based on that budget. Add those up, and remove them from your monthly page impression total you’re shooting for.
For the remaining keywords, you either need to replace them if they’re too hard to break into, or you need to get ready to SEO them. The best way to SEO is to create real, real good content for the front page to share. Use A tool like Yoast SEO (link) that will help you understand what your keyword density needs to be in your blog post, how many pictures you’ll need. Now write out some blog post titles for those items. Or some page ideas. Once you have about 5 for each keyword group. Take a break. You done good.
The next day, go ahead and write out a calendar with one blog post each month. Write one blog post each month. Just one. And each blog post should be long. It should be comprehensive, and informative as shit. Make sure that it’s exceptionally helpful to your target market. Are you answering questions for them that they’re actually asking?
After you write your blog post, you need to get pitching. You know those sites you see on the front page when you search this keyword? I bet at least one of them has a bunch of articles on it written by a bunch of different people (see: news sites). Email these companies and ask if they’re looking for guest blog posts about what you’ve written. Link to the blog in the email to minimize back and forth. You want to do this because one way that google ranks your content is by how many people share it. Therefore having content linked to from other sites will indicate to google that not only does this content look pertinent to their algorithms, but other human beings think it’s pertinent, too. This is claled “backlinking”
Do this each month, and track your pageviews, and use the Yoast SEO tool to see yourpage is ranking for target keywords, and also to check special SEO indicators to make sure your page is setup ideally fo ryour target keywords.
Now you should have a list of ocmpiled keywords, a list of sites that will be interested in posting your content, keywords (see: titles for blog posts) that you want to rank for, and a little bit of fire up under your ass. check all off the list.
This is your marketing plan. Now you need to get to work on it. BUT FIRST. How do you test not?
Jetpack for wordpress. This is a great simple tool that will show you a dashboard of views on each of your website pages. Its simple to setup, and also has a small security suite. Install this first to give you a great overview of your site.
Google Analytics. Install this using a small shortcode provided at their site. This will give oyu incredible tools and allows you to test just about anything happening on your site. For the purpose of this, we’re going to use its site wide abilities, and A/B testing so that we can test two competing pages against another. Dont use the plugins for wordpress, they slow your site. Just log in if you want to check stats. Analytics is another post in its own, so let me know if you’re interested in a blog post about that as well.
Yoast SEO. Install this to test and tweak you SEO for each page and blog post. very intuitive SEO tool that I’ve used for years. utilize this to ensure that your site is getting as much out of google as it can.
Utilize these tools to track your page views, where they’re coming from, and whether or not they’re getting to the decision step and buying ( or calling you, filling out a form etc) If you’re not converting 2-5% ofyour traffic, you need to lok at your site’s flow and user experience. If you’re getting more, then keep doing what you’re doing!!
as you post more blog posts, you will see more and more traffic come in. continueto work those seo words, and go back and do mroe research for new words about one every 3 months this way you’ll always know where you stand in your keyword world, and you’ll have new words to attack!!
Let me know if you found this useful, or what tip and tricks you use to build a marketing plan for a website.