If you want to improve your marketing results, but you don’t know what steps to take, you’re in luck — because in this article, I’m going to outline the 7 simple steps to succeed with internet marketing.
Of course, I could have added many more steps and sub-steps to over-complicate this formula, but a very wise man (Albert Einstein) suggested that I should:
“Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
OK, let’s dive in…
Step 1. Gain Knowledge of Best Practices
Whether you’re managing your marketing in-house or outsourcing, you first need to understand marketing best practices. With the right information at your fingertips, you can create more successful campaigns and more effectively manage employees and vendors.
Let’s start with the fundamentals…
A concept we teach at Main Street ROI is that there are 3 pillars of online marketing:
We call these the 3 pillars because you need all three to succeed with online marketing.
But what order should you proceed? Our answer may surprise you…
Step 2. Create a High-Converting Website
Most businesses place the majority of their focus on driving traffic (e.g. getting more website visitors).
However, if you want to improve your marketing results, we recommend you FIRST make sure your website is setup for conversions BEFORE you invest significant resources in driving traffic.
Why focus on conversions before traffic? A couple reasons actually…
For one, traffic is expensive. You’re going to need to invest either your time or your money into generate more website visitors. And anyways, your end goal shouldn’t be just to drive traffic — traffic alone isn’t a smart measure of success. Instead, you should aim to generate leads and customers. And so, you should make sure you’re prepared to take full advantage of any traffic you’ll receive.
Believe it or not, conversion is where all the leverage is in marketing — NOT traffic. If you convert 2X as many website visitors into customers as your competitors do, then you’ve got a major advantage — you can afford to invest more money into driving traffic than your competitors.
When you combine higher conversion rates with higher traffic levels, you get a snowball effect. You generate more traffic, more leads, and more customers than your competitors. And that’s how you dominate a market.
Step 3. Set Up Proper Tracking Mechanisms
There’s still one more step before we start driving traffic…
You first need to put tracking mechanisms in place. That way, you can measure the results of your marketing and make improvements as you go. If you drive traffic without tracking, you’re flying blind and limiting your growth.
Here are the 3 types of tracking we recommend all businesses implement:
1. Website analytics.
2. Phone call tracking.
3. Customer relationship management (CRM) system.
And once you’re setup to convert AND you’ve got tracking in place, it’s time to drive traffic…
Step 4. Drive Traffic to Get Leads and Customers
OK, you’re ready to get traffic… but where should you start?
There are so many options, including search engine optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, Facebook (free and paid advertising), Twitter, LinkedIn, email marketing, and on and on… The options can be overwhelming.
Should you spread your risk and test multiple traffic sources simultaneously to see what sticks?
Or, should you focus on 1 traffic source at a time?
Here’s my advice…
Step 5. Focus Your Efforts to Gain Traction
Study your options for driving traffic and then pick the BEST one based on the quality, speed, and cost of the traffic.
And if that source doesn’t convert, drop it FAST and move on to the next option. And once you see that a traffic source is converting for you, put everything you’ve got into it.
I want to give you a couple recommendations in case you are looking for advice about where to focus your traffic efforts. Every business’s situation is different, but here are the two recommendations we most often make.
If you want to attract local customers, Google+ Local is your best starting point because Google is making it easier than ever for small, local businesses to gain first page rankings. And most of your local competitors are not taking advantage of the opportunity.
Recommended resource: The Local SEO Formula
If you are selling products online or you’re generating leads in a national market — and you want to test your marketing messages as quickly as possible — start with Google AdWords. AdWords is the fastest way to get your products in front of prospects who are ready to buy. You can get your campaign up and running and getting clicks within a day.
Recommended resource: AdWords Success Formula
Step 6. Diversify to Gain Stability
We just talked about the importance of focus. But you should NEVER put all your eggs in 1 basket. Once you get 1 traffic source humming, you should start looking to diversify.
Don’t put yourself in the position where your business could go belly up as a result of circumstances outside of your control. Keep in mind, no single traffic source is completely safe or immune to competitive pressures.
If you’re relying on search engine optimization for all of your customers, you could lose traffic overnight when Google rolls out their next algorithm update. You should ALWAYS have a back-up plan. And that’s why we recommend that every business invests in both SEO and Google AdWords.
Step 7. Outsource to Gain Speed
Finally, you’ll grow so much faster if you leverage other people. In other words, you should be outsourcing.
But you need to do it RIGHT. Otherwise, you’ll likely waste thousands of dollars, not to mention weeks and months of your time. If you’re just getting started with outsourcing, I recommend you download this brief (and super affordable) outsourcing guide – The Outsourcing Formula – created by Dave Lavinsky of Growthink.
And if you want our help finding a quality marketing vendor, tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll introduce you to the best firm in our referral network, based on your preferences. There’s no obligation to sign a contract and your information will not be shared with anybody without your consent.
Recap of the 7 Steps
Step 1. Gain knowledge of best practices
Step 2. Create a high-converting website
Step 3. Set up proper tracking mechanisms
Step 4. Drive traffic to get leads and customers
Step 5. Focus your efforts to gain traction
Step 6. Diversify to gain stability
Step 7. Outsource to gain speed
Did This Help?
My goal with this article was to help clarify the steps you should take to improve your marketing results. And I sincerely hope you found this helpful. Let me know by leaving a comment. Thanks!
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
As featured in…
As featured in…