Where do you start when you're feeling overwhelmed?
I have a webiste that is approximately 6 yrs old. I used to be able to throw money at Google adwords and people would come to my website. That's not the case anymore and I am paralyzed by not knowing where to start or who to ask for help. Where do I begin with social media, SEO, content, blogging, email addresses, etc.?
There's no question that marketing today has become a tangled web of options for many business owners. Unfortunately, not all of the available options for marketing online are effective for every business. \In your circumstance, this is what I would recommend.
In order to eliminate the feeling of overwhelm, clear your deck of all the competing marekting solutions. Start fresh by taking a new look at your business and the role your site plays.
1. Find 10 friends, colleagues, or associates that you know will provide 'unvarnished' feedback. Send them an email with your website link and ask them to get you feedback on their experience when they visit your site. Tell them you only want objectivity (your feelings aside) so you can understand what they like and what they don't. This will give you a starting point to understanding what is working and what it not.
2. Think about what you want your site to do? Sounds basic but all the traffic generation and SEO/PPC tactics won't do much if your site is not structured to deliver the results you want. If your site offers information, content marketing is what you want. If you are a reseller of someone else's products, PPC might be a better alternative.
3. Think about who you want to attract and where they might be before they find your site. Facebook and Yelp might be grerat places for auto prepare or restaurants but might do very little for people looking for telecom services.
4. Stay focused on the conversion aspects of your site. Page one placement and traffic are great things but only if its the right traffic and people are encourgaed to do something when they get to your site.
Google continues to change the rules in order to keep integrity in the search process. If you consider the questions above and narrow your marketing focus, you will get better results and spend less for it. You will also feel more in control of what you know works and less overwhelmed by the endless number of choices to promote.
Hope this helps.
I built my own website on WordPress two years ago. I'm on my fourth version now, I'm finally happy with the way it looks. Those two years taught me a lot about SEO, and digital marketing.
I use plugins to customise my site. I recommend you Google Yoast SEO for some good tutorials and articles about SEO.
I made it into the top 3-5 in all my chosen SEO categories very quickly once I mastered SEO. I never paid for AdWords, in fact my browser blocks them for me. Twitter is fantastic too.
I'm going to largely side with the comments from John Watson. If you're feeling overwhelmed with the depth and breadth of technology complexity and the shifting quicksand of "social", focus on what YOU do best and find a consultant(s) to help you with the technology and how best to use it to support your core business.
When you feel overwhelmed there is only one thing you can do.
Take a small piece of the problem, and fix it.
Rinse and repeat with another small piece.
Keep going; don't stop
If you are feeling overwhelmed, that is when you need to stop, take stock of your situation, get clear on priorities and make a plan. If you can do it yourself great, but if you can't, seek help.
The internet is far more complicated now versus 6 years ago. Mobile devices are a big part of the decision making process as are social media and search. But as important as these factors are, they still might not be the most important first step.
My best advice is to get some advice. Talk to a marketing coach, a Virtual CMO or someone who is not trying to sell you a new website or some tactical implementation. Then make a plan and move into action with greater confidence and a clear sense of implementation priorities.
1st I would recommend "learn with Google" to get you back in the seo swing of things. Then go to YouTube and look for WordPress tutorials. As for social media, depending on your product or service I would start with FB, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. And you can also do a search for custom page templates for your social media pages.
I would recommend working with a business coach or a digital marketing specialist to develop your digital marketing strategy which should be aligned with your business plan.
Ask. The more you ask the right questions from the right people, the more correct answers you will get. Once you have got the answers do as someone here already suggested by taking one piece at a time, fixing it and move on to the next piece. The best way to eat an elephant is one piece at a time.
Hi. Everyone has given you great answers. I'm sure if you take time to read through, a solution you are best comfortable with will come to you. I will just add that feeling overwhelmed is a part of the progress. What you can do now is take a step back and remember you why. Why did you start your website. What was it to achieve and to whom. When you do remember, start slowly with a plan you can execute, maybe redesign your website interface, then move to the next issue, find your audience and keep them. Most of the worlds best sites, started with friends, families and colleagues. Do not let an ambition to have the best and most public site keep you from seeing the reasons why you operate. Good luck
I just want to say I am overwhelmed in a great way by this community. !st time posting and so happy I did. Thank you all so much, I appreciate all of you. A lot of great information, advice and resources.
Hi Paul! So much good advice here. Here's my take on the matter: first, get some altitude and clarity, which can start with a good old night sleep, since the brain tends to find solutions quicker after you've given it some "defrag" time, that means reordering all the bits of information and gaining more space for the re-thinking process. I also strongly recommend meditating, answers that you cannot receive in rush-mode can come to you more easily.
Then grab your usual planning tools, a pen and a planner, or a digital organizing software, like a simple Microsoft Word, Open Office or an online solution, like, say, Mindmeister, and build (or re-draw) a business map. If you've done that in the beginning, you know there is power in having this layout of all the things related to your business/company/product. Write down everything you know. As you do that, things will start to come up, from what needs to be changed, to what can be added to create more value, what type of strategy you need to apply from here on then. It will take you some time, but it will be worth it. After you feel you've completed this map, take some time off, then revisit again. The best solutions will emerge from this process, and you will easily be able to identify which is best for the current situation, and in what order you should take the next steps.
That being said, the social bit will always start with type of brand you are representing. That is what dictates everything else, from the look of the facebook page, to what is the best time period to have your posts show up in your target's news feed, to considering a mobile presence, etc. As these social mediums grow "older", the users tend to gravitate more towards one or the other. You can stagnate on facebook while trending on twitter, your product might be marketable on gentlemint, while gaining little visibility on pinterest, and so on. When you feel like there are segments to which you can't get to, ask for help. There is a lot of free advice on the internet. If you do want more consistent work, then consider hiring someone, maybe figure out an information/products exchange if you can't afford paying them in full. As long as you can both agree on what's fair, I think there are people out there who would like to help you.
Hope these bits are useful. Wishing you all the best!
Have a chat with a marketing services provider, who can guide and advise you on priorities, timelines, etc. If you don't know of one in your area, there are a bunch of them on MosaicHub.
My advice? Start with your site. From a digital standpoint, everything else you do should be geared to push visitors to the site, so that's where you should concentrate your efforts in the short term.
I've had a quick look at your site. From a technical viewpoint, the main issue that you need to address is that it's not mobile-friendly. This will become an issue from April 21st when Google starts factoring-in optimization for phones and tablets on mobile search. The site seems to be built on a third-party website hosting framework (BigCommerce) - those guys should be your first port of call.
At the same time as your site refresh should be a review of your on-page and off-page SEO. Be careful when engaging SEO service providers: Check their credentials and get some customer references beforehand. SEO best practices are constantly evolving and many techniques that were commonplace a couple of years ago are now frowned-upon by the major search engines.
You should see a traffic increase just by doing the above. Check your site analytics (I see you have Google Analytics already installed on the site) together with Google Webmaster Tools to learn more about what keywords each page is ranking on.
The above should get you started. Your next steps will be governed by needs analysis, timeline, resources and budget. Speak to a marketing services provider for advice - that's what they're there for :-)
Free-social media tools offer you the possibility to try and finally to select the most appropriate communication-channel matching your business needs. Plus, some of them can be connected...;-)
One thing I have noticed and I have tried this on two different computers and both IE and Chrome. When you open your site you get a notice that to run properly you have to install cookies and it asks for an ok. I think that would cause some people to leave your site. Once you allow the cookies it is a unique site.
Take a few deep breaths, there is help out there. Where are you and what is your available monthly budget? I can refer you to someone I trust.
Check in with your local SCORE chapter - score.org.
Free, confidential support for SMBs.
There is a huge migration away from raw seo - that is search engine, while content sidebars are chock full of untoward economics. Go directly to Twitter and Facebook for your adverts. Boosting posts is a good way to reach people who hang out there hours every day, and not on the 'raw' net.
Start by short blog postings. If you have something worthwhile to say, you'll have plenty of followers. Worked for me.
It sounds like you need a good strategy so you can tackle the pieces one step at a time, but with steps that are focused in a clear direction. Without knowing more about your business it's hard to give any further direction. If you want to talk, let me know. My area of expertise is helping business owners get strategically aligned with their goals. I am a strategist, not a tactician, so my first thought is always to try to line up the pieces focused on the greatest opportunity. If you start doing "stuff" - blogging, SEO, email...without a plan, I fear that you'll get more overwhelmed and frustrated.