SEO and AdWords: If you want to use the Internet to generate business, chances are, these are the first things that come to mind or the first things proposed to you by an agency / online marketer. For many, SEO and AdWords will generate great returns on an ongoing basis and all will be well in the world for a long, long time. If this sounds like you, then are you getting the most out of the Internet to grow your business?
The good news is, you can accelerate the growth of your business but to do this, you must start thinking like your customers.
Currently, you likely see your customer acquisition funnel like this:
In actual fact, in many cases, it’s more often something like this:
This is what we call an ‘Attribution funnel’ and it’s the most misunderstood/overlooked aspect of digital marketing – in my experience. These examples are ACTUAL examples from clients I work with so let’s look at what this actually means:
Customers don’t always just find you and then immediately buy, instead, there are multiple ‘touch points’ (stages) throughout the purchase decision as a customer shops around or considers their purchase – your job is to make sure you are visible throughout this process in order to win the business and if you’re only using 2 channels (SEO and AdWords) then you’re going to be missing out SIGNIFICANTLY.
Social media and ads in addition to any offline marketing work well to create awareness of your product/service and brand. This stage is the very beginning: At some point, a customer will develop a need for your product and service and if you’ve made them aware previous to this, you’ve really placed yourself in pole position.
For example: If you’re an accountant, creating ads targeting small businesses owners on Facebook with details of your services helps develop awareness of you to your potential clients before they know they actually need your services.
SEO and AdWords help your visibility – they help ensure that you’re there when someone wants to find your product or service at the consideration stage and at this stage, many searches tend to be informational meaning. This means your potential customer is assessing a product/service in order to decide if it meets their needs before looking around at alternatives. Once this is achieved, they move onto to considering alternative products and suppliers and at this stage, you have the opportunity to help influence their purchase decision.
Your potential buyer has found your product/service and is now looking at alternative options. During this process, there are a number of ways for you to influence them, including:
By reinforcing a consistent message which is targeted to the specific buyer relating to the product/service you are increasing the chances of winning their business.
After the above stages, your customer is ready to purchase. It’s likely, they’ll purchase from the supplier who does the best possible job of the above and if you’re only concentrating on SEO and AdWords and thinking: Searches Google > Clicks Ad/Organic Listing > Purchases then that’s not going to be you as often as someone else.
AdWords and SEO are two slices of a very big cake. The most successful businesses leverage SEO, AdWords, Social, Email Marketing and Offline and understand how each of these channels works together to increase your conversion rate and thus the rate of which your business grows.