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Fast or Slow? Achieving the Correct Balance of Pace to Maximise Your Online Marketing Strategy

May 15, 2013 ark-com

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Online marketing is frequently referred to as a strategy of speed. It could be creating an email newsletter in a mere matter of minutes from simply loading the content to “send” button pressing.

Or perhaps the quick and simple Google AdWords experience. Just pick a keyword, settle on the right region and write your ad. Then what’s left is to just load up a credit card, pick a daily budget and within minutes you are advertising on the inter web.

Some would argue that fast paced tactics like these are not the most thought out. And they could well be right. But still – even with some planning before, during and perhaps a review of results after – we are still talking days, not weeks, from idea to action.

So is this speed symptomatic of every tactic available to you as an online marketer? Well thankfully, in the interests of variety, it’s not. I see two very basic groups of tactic delivery “speed” – those like the two mentioned before that can be done at speed – and those that meander along at a more pedestrian pace.

Both have the ability to produce great results once used correctly. But it’s the smart online marketer who realises that by mixing both “speeds” into their tactical plans that they will achieve the best results. So let’s look at the two groups in a bit more detail. First up the tactics ideal for those in a hurry.

Fast Tactic #1 – Google AdWords Paid Advertising. As I mentioned before, there are probably less than a dozen or so decisions you need to make before setting up your first Google AdWords campaign. For those driving the tool themselves, Google reduces this list down even further to make it easier still.

This allows the germ of the paid advertising idea to start early Monday AM and by midday people could be clicking on your ad. Note, that slight rushing sound you can hear in the background is Google’s finance department sucking sips of money from your credit card each time people click your ads.

Fast Tactic #2 – Campaign Based Email Marketing. This tactic is a natural fit for those who already own a permission based opt in list (I know building this takes time but for simplicities sake I’m leaving this tactic in here with the assumption that you have this already).

Done properly this tactic can be the fastest of the fast. Subscribers are usually more likely to be engaged with what you are offering than those arriving to your website for the first time. Just create the right offer, present it in a form ideal for email screens and then correctly send it so that a) there’s a good chance it will arrive and b) when it does you will be able to track what occurs next.

Fast Tactic #3 – Search Engine Optimisation. This is a tactic that lives in both the Fast and Slow lanes. It’s speedy part is the alteration of the site’s Meta Title and Meta Description content. These small pieces of text content can have a disproportionately large affect on a site’s ability to rank.

For me these three are the trifecta of speed. You have probably heard of them all, and may have even delivered a few for your website. Immediate gratification is such a driving need that many online marketers focus on just these, thinking that’s all there is.

This is of course a shame for them, but good news for you as it lets you work through the “slow” list of tactics that reveal the true opportunity online. Let’s now work through a few of these.

Slow Tactic #1 – Website Analytics. This can be the king of slow. First you need place a piece of scary techno code on every page of your site and then wait for your data to build into something sizeable to derive insight from. Work a bit than wait. It’s a common theme for the other slow tactics ahead.

But don’t let this put you off. Sometimes great things do take time. After a few weeks of the code living on a reasonably busy website you will be able to see information where there was once previously blank screens and you be able to answer questions like these:

What type of job does my website do at converting the traffic it receives? How much traffic does Google send to my website? How much do I make for every $1 I spend with Google advertising?

These are not small – nice to know – questions. Answered accurately, they can help you curtail any loss making advertising and reveal gaps in your Search Engine Optimisation efforts.

Slow Tactic #2 – Search Engine Optimisation. OK so here’s one of the many dirty little secrets of this tactic. Good work here = ongoing content creation. I have talked before of how 18 months ago this may not have been the case. Nevertheless for now, and based on what Google suggests the future will provide, you can expect to be creating content for your site, each month ahead for a very long time. If not forever.

This is slow, laborious and hard work. I know. And this will be exactly what your competitors will be thinking too. Some will shirk away and scuttle off to the appeal of paid advertising, forever happy to pay their “Google Tax” for traffic.

Whereas others, not afraid of some hard work, will dive into the task with vigour and stick with it. These marketers will be rewarded with good rankings. Forget about achieving organic rankings for free. Creating good content costs but the payoff is there if you see it as an investment that returns organic visits that arrive on your site with no incremental costs.

Slow Tactic #3 – Website Optimisation through Split Testing. If Analytics is the king of slow then this must be the queen. So say that during your “report peering” time you see that your converts at 1.5% when the industry standard is 4%.

You also find a page on the typical pathway of the conversion process that is responsible for part of the problem. The next step is to create some alternative content and then run a simple A/B split test to see how it performs compared to the original.

Again, it’s time to do the work and then sit and wait. Depending on the amount of traffic your test page “sees” this could be a week, a month or even a quarter. Anyway, once there’s enough data to draw a statistically valid conclusion then you can pick the winner and move on. Slowly, slowly you will push the conversion rate upwards as each winner, wins a bit better than the last. Brick by brick you will be creating a high converting website. Something that once achieved, could dramatically change your future online.

I’m running out of space here so I’ll have to pass on two other slow but effective strategies – one in paid advertising, the other in email marketing. Like the others, they are winners too that can create long lasting positive effects.

It would be very simplistic to think that “fast” tactics bring immediate results while the “slow” produce lasting insight. Nevertheless, the allure of speed is such that the majority spend more time implementing “fast” than they do “slow”.

If this is you, then why not decide this month to head over to the “slow” lane and apply one of the tactics that I have covered here. Contact the team today to learn how we can help.

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