Online Marketing Blog

Web design resources and news for small business owners in Snohomish and around the world.

Why marketing online is so competitive, and how to succeed in 2021

Why marketing online is so competitive, and how to succeed in 2021

The internet is the first place that people go to find products and services in 2021, and with good reason, since it's a fast and convenient way to get info on a business. You can find out anything you need to know about a company with just your smart phone.

So, if the internet is where the leads are, how do you cash in on this knowledge? First, you have to understand what the objective of a website is. The goal of a website, really, is just to get your customers to take the next step in your sales process, which could be:

  1. Buy a product via an Ecommerce portal
  2. Request more info
  3. Schedule a consultation, estimate, or quote
  4. Share info about themselves so that the seller knows how to communicate with them

But if they’re not finding your website, they’re not even getting close to this goal. Which means that the money you’re putting into your website is going to waste.

The cost of competing

The reality is that if you’re not on the front page of Google when your target audience searches for a business like yours, you’re not being seen at all. Some users won’t even scroll down to the bottom of the page. Very few actually go to the second page. Its more likely that they’ll try a different search before they do that.

Obviously, being the top ranked website is ideal. But is it worth the money and effort that’s required to get there? That depends. Its safe to say you need to be in the top 2-3, at least for a select handful of target key words and phrases. Its going to be tough and expensive to win at all of them, though, so you have to pick your battles.

Find a niche you can afford to dominate

So what types of query do you target on Google and other search engines? And how, exactly, do you target them?

You start by building a basic funnel, establishing a history of online presence, getting your key word count up, and driving traffic to your site.

Once your site has been up and running for a while, and you have some analytics at your disposal, you can make informed decisions about what to invest in next. You might want to target specific products/services, or a certain demographic within your customer base that you’ve concluded is more profitable.

You have to focus on where you think your greatest return lies. If it’s going to cost a ton to compete for the top spot in a very general search, it might not be the best investment. Reaching the top two or three might be good enough, with #1 being a long term goal.

What you can do is assess your Unique Selling Proposition as a company, and then pick out a handful of popular searches you think you can win at. Pursue them hard with your SEO and any other online strategies you use.

Your spot in the search results is never secure

You have to keep at it. Things happen fast on the web. Your competitors are investing in their online presence, too, with the goal of reaching the top of the rankings.

You have to keep increasing your word count, identifying your most valuable leads, and figuring out how to get an edge in keeping their attention and loyalty.

You might find that a basic funnel is enough. Maybe your competitors don’t even have websites, or they’re not running SEO and adding content/resources to their site.

But some of them will, and new businesses entering your industry will probably be on the ball. So if you’re ahead, don’t squander your lead. You’ve got history, and traffic, and word count on your side.

Keep up with the basic practices that got you there. And if you want to find an even stronger edge, you can get into some more advanced marketing strategies, like AB testing and negative cost marketing strategies.