5 tasks for online marketing in 2015: Our own websites

Following on from third-party websites, paid advertising, social media and email marketing, we’ll now complete our five tasks for online marketing in 2015 with a look at what we could be doing with our own websites.

When I go to internet marketing conferences and talk to consultancies or advertising agencies, they often ask: “Why do you specialise in engineering and scientific clients? Surely they’re just like any other companies, except they probably don’t have as much money to spend?” If I hear this, I immediately know I’m talking to somebody who only deals with retail, travel or other consumer-facing businesses. They simply don’t understand the constraints under which industrial companies work. I’ve often replied: “How many of your clients are in control of their own websites?”, knowing that I’ll get a baffled look in return. “All of them, of course”, they’ll reply.

Yet of the 60 or so clients we’re currently working with here at BMON, I’d say a third have no control over their websites whatsoever. At best, they can send new copy to head office in Germany, France, the USA or wherever, and ask to have it added to the site. Another third put copy on their own websites but don’t have any technical or design input. Suggest to them that they install Webmaster Tools, or do something clever with Google Analytics, and they just say they’ll put it forward at next year’s international marketing meeting. I doubt if as many as half of our clients are completely in control of their websites.

So when I offer ideas as to how you might improve your own websites, I do understand that a lot of you can’t start taking the structure to pieces. That’s why I concentrate on the simple things, such as “on-page SEO” and content generation. These also happen to be very important, so they’re ideal for new year’s resolutions. If you want to tackle things in a different way in 2015, here’s a plan.

Pick out some searches which are important to your company. Don’t be too general: real buyers make very specific searches. Make those searches in Google, and find the ones where you stand a chance of a significant improvement. Best of all are those where you’re high up on the second page of results, because just a small jump in the rankings could put you on to the first page, and then the gloves can come off. If you’re already on the first page, an achievable rise of one or two places will of course make a big difference too. Ignore any searches where you just don’t figure in the first few pages of Google results – getting on to the first page isn’t within the scope of what you might be able to do here.

So, now we have some searches for which we want to rank higher. Set up a spreadsheet so you can monitor your progress in the rankings. BMON clients can use our weekly Google Search Monitoring service. Then pick a relevant page on your site for each search (preferably the one which is already showing in Google for that search), and get “optimising”. Sort out the title, headline, description meta tag and do all the normal on-page SEO. Then get writing. If you want Google to put forward your page as a useful research for a particular search term, it needs to be a great resource. Think: “What would a Wikipedia page on this search term say?” (There might even be one already, in which case you know your competition). Don’t expect to rank highly in Google if your page has 50 words on it.

Once all that’s done, rack your brains as to how you might get links to that page, from reputable websites. Work on this over the course of the year, as you monitor your progress up the Google rankings. It can be done.

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