Google has been releasing some big changes this year like the new mobile index, and there have been more and more algorithm updates which affect organic rankings. On average, there are 2.5 times as many updates in 2016 as there were in 2015.
Before anyone throws their hands in the air and gives up, let’s walk through a few suggestions for how to keep an eye on a changing landscape and make sure your online marketing efforts are both effective and efficient.
Data and Goals
You should have plenty of data already, but you can always refine what you look at and add to that pool of information. Using a basic analytics package like Google Analytics is a good start, but make sure you’re tracking both traffic—which it does out of the box—and your goals.
Setting up conversion rate, sales or lead generation goals isn’t difficult and it can help take the guesswork out of whether you’re trending up or down.
Every business who relies on the web for leads, sales or effective user interaction should be keeping an eye on rankings. Where you rank on Google for your top terms is a good indicator of your position in the marketplace, the position your competitors hold and your level of success in the eyes of search engines.
You may or may not have a dedicated team working to improve your Google rankings, but even if you don’t, wouldn’t it be helpful to know where you stand in any given month? The tools are out there and are getting less expensive.
Design, Experiment, Repeat
Finding the right methods and tactics for Google ranking improvements or any other online marketing effort can take a little time. Work with your internal or external team to define your goals, methods and timeline before kicking off each effort.
If you’re turning up poor results in your marketing postmortem decide which part of the setup is failing. Sometimes the length of your test can be the culprit (for example)…not the method you chose to experiment with.
Talk to an Expert if You have Concerns
Let’s use an accounting analogy here:
Would you talk to an accountant right after founding a new company, or a week after taxes were due?
Not all of us are experts in online marketing, just like not all of us can (or want to) wade through corporate taxes, but asking some key questions of an expert can give you a lot to work with.
Where do we stand regarding our competition?
Could we be getting more sales or leads from our existing website?
Are there simple steps we can take to protect or improve our rankings on Google?
These are all great places to start a conversation about your past and future online marketing efforts. Unbiased help with online marketing questions is out there if you’re looking at the changes Google is making and thinking, ‘What’s this going to mean for sales in 2017?’.
If you have questions get in touch. We’re ready to help you create a clear picture of your future as it relates to persistent change from Google.