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E-Marketing Performance Blog

How to Get your Marketing Research to Pay Off

marketing research

I wrote a post earlier outlining the first few months of a web marketing campaign. As I noted, the first few months are largely focused on research. So where do you go from there?

With the research done, it’s now time to start implementing. This is where you really start putting the research from the first sprint into use. That research gives us an idea what the critical elements are for success and the time we’ll need to invest in each.

What to do with your web marketing research

  • Navigation implementation: We mapped out the navigation in the first sprint. With that map, we now have a better understanding of what will be required to implement it. If we have time in Sprint 1, we’ll implement it there. Otherwise, we’ll make sure to reserve time here to get it rolled out.

  • Tag optimization: The topical keyword research from Sprint 1 helps us map out the keyword focus for most of the site pages. We’ll use that research to implement a sitewide optimization of title, description and heading tags. While this doesn’t include the detailed page optimization process, it is a big step toward making the entire site search engine-friendly.

  • On-page optimization: Each term, we try to perform a detailed optimization of a specific number of pages. We start with the highest-priority topics — as determined by the client — and keyword research the heck out of them. This gives us a list of anywhere from 10 to several thousand keywords to work with. These keywords then have to be grouped and sorted by searcher intent. Typically, that means we end up with multiple groups of five to 15 keywords each. Each of these groups needs a unique URL. We already have one for the primary group, but as each group has a different searcher intent, we need to make sure we optimize the page that best matches that intent. In many cases, this means creating a new page or blog post targeting these searchers’ needs. Once the keywords are finalized, we do another layer of research for “related” words. These words help us flesh out the topic more fully. From here, the text is optimized with an eye toward the client’s interest and actions and, once approved by the client, it is implemented on the site.

  • Content messaging: It’s always a good idea to take a good overall look at the site content, its messaging, and whether or not it’s fulfilling the role it should be. Once the new navigation is implemented across the site, we can then look at each page to make sure that the content is effective at moving the conversion process forward. If not, we’ll update it to ensure that the visitors get what they need and are directed to the next steps.

  • Editorial calendar & blogging: A key component of social media marketing is having content to share. This starts with an editorial calendar. Whether the client writes the blog posts or we work with them to develop good blog content, the calendar helps keep everyone on track.

  • Social media implementation: Social strategy in hand, we can now work full-steam at implementing that strategy. Hopefully, we can start the implementation in Sprint 1, but this sprint should benefit from having an active strategy over the full four months.

  • Information architecture analysis: We started this in Sprint 1, but it is, essentially, a never-ending process. More research finds more things to fix, and more time must be spent on fixing them.We try to designate a specific number of hours each month to research and implement what we can. If we find more issues than we have time to fix, then we schedule the fixes for the next sprint.

At the end of the 4-month sprint  we outline what we have done, assess the performance data, and provide the strategy for the next sprint. While we hope to start seeing some results, ultimately, we don’t expect much. We can’t expect to see a whole lot of progress until the changes above have time to take hold. But by the end of the next three or four months, we should see some pretty strong improvement.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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