What’s the cheapest way to market my business?

This is one of the most asked questions on Google when it comes down to the subject of marketing, but what a shame people want to waste their money by “economising” in this way.

One sure way to reduce your marketing budget is to go cheap, but everyone else goes cheap and you simply end up throwing your money away along with them. They’re all advertising in the same place and doing the same thing as each other, merrily watching the money disappear but wondering why?

Marketing is rarely cheap and it’s arguable that unless you have a decent budget for marketing then don’t enter into the world of business at all. Ok, we’ve all heard of the exceptions to this rule from someone who got lucky, but take a look at the stats and see how many new businesses fold within the first two years. Look a bit closer and see how many of them cut costs with their marketing!

The better question is this:

What’s the best way to market my business?

Marketing is the fuel that drives a business, it’s what gets the phone ringing, the customers visiting, the machines running. Without it you won’t have a business. If you ask the question “what’s the best way to market my business” you will almost always succeed.

Marketing should never be classed as an expense, it is instead an investment in your business that grows with time and care, it is only ever an expense if it doesn’t drive in more business. It’s the most important investment you can make. It’s as much of a good investment as new premises or new machines…. Better in fact! Get the marketing right and you can buy whatever

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Conversion Rate Increase

Conversion Rate Optimisation For Engineers

It can be very easy to fall for the latest shiny marketing tools and strategies instead of working with what we already have, I know we’re guilty of it! But let’s face it, the grass always looks greener on the other side… but have you ever spent time digging into your existing campaigns and carrying out Conversion Rate Optimisation?

Conversion Rate Optimisation is all about delving deep into your existing marketing campaigns and getting even more out of them.

People often fall into the trap of thinking a brand new marketing tool or strategy will deliver instant results to their sales, but in reality you stand far more chance of improving turnover by optimising what you already have.

Let’s take Google Ads for instance… even if your campaign has low conversions, it usually has a keyword or advert that is working better than others. Unfortunately, because it’s not producing a high level of sales, it is often overlooked. However, spend some time nurturing the campaign and it could become another high performer!

The same goes for already high performing Google Ads campaigns, you can nearly always get even more out of them through conversion rate optimisation. Even a small percentage increase can produce a large monetary benefit.

Google

Conversion Rate Optimisation isn’t limited to Google Ads, but for now let’s stick with it as an example.

Optimising your conversions can go to immense depths and is probably best suited for it’s own article in the future, but the top-level optimisation can benefit almost any campaign, even if they have a high conversion rate.

For instance, over time your best keywords will rise to the top and the lower quality keywords will drop to the bottom. This becomes easy to overlook if your campaign is working well, but you should take these low performers away and either delete them or move them into their own campaign, as this will give more room to grow the top performers. Look at segregating the top performing keywords out into separate campaigns too, as this will allow you to tailor the entire campaign around those keywords.

We don’t just need to look at the best performing keywords though, we also need to see what the top performing search terms are that people have typed in the trigger the best ads. We can add these to the keyword list where appropriate and filter out the unwanted search terms by adding them to a negative keyword folder.

Next, take a look at the ads themselves and pause all but the top performers, then make different versions of these with new copy and test them in an A/B environment, to see which copy works the best. You can also point these ads to different pages within your website, to see which gives you better conversions.

Once you’ve carried out these changes you should look deeper at the website page that they direct the viewer to and measure how well they are performing. Use Google Analytics to help with this and maybe even add heatmapping software like HotJar to provide a detailed overview of the page and video of the users navigating their way around. There is almost always some page changes that can be made to increase conversions. You can also run an A/B test on pages to see which performs the best.

Although this article has only covered top level changes on Google Ads, the same conversion rate optimisation principles are relevant to other areas of your marketing, including web pages, SEO, social media, brochures, flyers and much more.

These changes are not too complex but they can easily add another 2 – 5% to your conversions, maybe even more! That’s what you call Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Conversion Rate Graph

Conversion Rate Optimisation is all about taking something that converts and improving on it even more. We like to relate it to a seedling where although it’s only small and returning very little, given some time and careful nurturing it can grow into a large fruit producing tree that feeds you for life. But it takes some time, care and discipline.

It’s a system that really works, so if you would like some help or further information on Conversion Rate Optimisation, please get in touch.

You may also find this post of interest, it’s a guide to competitor analysis

Competitor Analysis

How To Carry Out Competitor Analysis

Before we start designing a new website or putting together a marketing campaign, we always carry out comprehensive competitor analysis. This can often come as a bit of a surprise to the client, as their previous marketing agencies have either not told the client they were doing it, or just missed it off entirely to reduce costs!

So what is competitor analysis and why do we say it is so important?

There’s an old saying that there’s no point in reinventing the wheel and there is some relevance here with your marketing or website. Every engineering company has many competitors, so it makes sense to see how well the other companies are doing and working out if you can learn anything from their success or mistakes. For instance, if one of your competitors is attracting huge amounts of high quality traffic and sales, it makes sense to work out how they are achieving this and to implement it for your own marketing.

But you shouldn’t just copy what your competitors are doing, in fact you should go out of your way to avoid this and find your own unique angle of approach. Having an idea of their strengths and weaknesses will help you to avoid falling into unnecessary traps, but will also provide inspiration when it comes to finding your own angle of approach.

Benefits of Competitor Analysis

So, what are the benefits of competitor analysis?

  • You can gain insight into exactly who your competitors are. People can often name a number of competitors who provide the same product or service, however after carrying out a comprehensive competitor analysis, it sometimes becomes clear that there are many other companies all in the same space – competing for the same phrases and keywords, yet are not necessarily a ‘real world’ competitor at all, but an online competitor.
  • You can analyse and take apart their strategies, working out which channels are working right now
  • You can then benchmark your own marketing against them in each channel
  • You can re-shape your marketing strategies and tactics
  • You can learn from their experience and mistakes

Are there any downsides to doing competitor analysis?

No, there are no direct downsides to doing competitor analysis, but one thing you need to be careful of is clouding your own ideas and judgement on the direction of your company and marketing based on your competition. It’s all too easy just to follow the herd and assume what others are doing is correct for you. It may be the right way for them, but it may not be the best way for your company to move forwards, so don’t let the data cloud your own ideas and strategy.

Where To Begin With Competitor Analysis

Where should you begin with competitor analysis?

  1. Identify your competitors. Start off by entering keywords in Google that you expect your company to be found for. Make a list of all the competitor’s websites that are ranking in the first 20 spots.
  2. Input your competitor websites into marketing tools such as Similar Web or SEMRush. This will give you a breakdown of the traffic, where that traffic is coming from, the geo-location of the traffic and much more. Understanding where the traffic is coming from is essential to competitor analysis.
  3. Research how strong your competitor’s brands are. You can get an idea of this by seeing how much branded traffic they receive.
  4. How much of their traffic is organic?
  5. How many keywords are they ranking for?
  6. How much traffic is coming from paid sources such as Google Ads and how much is coming from social media?
  7. Check out their social media profiles and benchmark their stats. Add in the data and every month, visit their social media profiles and see if their audience is increasing or if they have gone stagnant.

Carrying out these 7 steps will give you a good foundation for competitor analysis. You can go more in depth than this but we recommend covering at least these 7 tasks to begin with.

Don’t get complacent after doing it once though… competitor analysis should be an ongoing process, carried out at least once a month. It’s often surprising when you find out who your real online competitors are, they often don’t match the competitors you list off the top of your head, yet these companies you’ve never even heard of are targeting your clients.

Competitor analysis can be quite addictive as you start uncovering facts and figures you had never considered before. You may even end up enjoying the process!

If you found this post helpful, you may also like this one on digital marketing:

MARKETING IN THE WORLD OF ENGINEERING