Many online businesses are ranked in the top ten of major search engine results for a search phrase which includes their “brand name” only. Building a brand name is very desirable as it adds value to the business in the long term.
Success in business online depends upon the number of website visitors who can be converted into customers at a cost that delivers profit to the business.
If the business brand name does not have a naturally high online search volume, then brand building will cause the search volume to increase as a result of the overall marketing activities of the business. But it should be remembered that there would have been no search volumes behind the brand terms of multimillion pound businesses such as Google, Snapchat or Facebook when they first started.
Building brand search volume can be costly and often includes offline marketing. Few small businesses invest in the tools to enable offline to online campaign tracking, but without this, budget focus on the best return on marketing spend cannot be determined.
The cost of customer acquisition is a vital factor when deciding budget allocation and businesses should make every effort to determine how much this is. Without this information, spending on ineffective marketing activities will continue and so reduce business growth.
Free to use online tracking facilities such as Google Analytics can provide decision making support information that should guide the allocation of marketing budget to the most effective areas. The objective should be to entirely remove marketing expenditure that does not provide adequate return on investment.
Supplementary search terms related to the business should be added in order to increase site traffic numbers and the performance of this additional search term traffic monitored. As the competition for these additional search terms is intense, small business owners may be persuaded to try the strategies offered by SEO or PPC service companies. However many fail to achieve the forecasted visitor/customer increase due to the complexities involved when targeting the search terms related to general business activities.
Understanding the benefits to the small business of targeting additional business related keyword phases in the context of the conversion percentage numbers when set against the lifetime value of the new customer is crucial. Estimating the volume of additional visitor numbers and working out how much is spent to acquire a customer from these search terms will be different to the conversion values achieved by “brand name” site traffic.
To best judge the performance of the business related search terms, a campaign should be set up using a fixed budget with tracking for each of the search terms. Analytic information is the vital/critical ingredient here and tracking by each search phrase will identify the performance of the various pages in the website sales funnel.
This is the first activity small business owners should undertake in order to obtain decision making information to guide website development. With enough traffic to make the test meaningful, changes needed to improve the return from brand name site visitors plus the additional search phrases employed can be determined.