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How to avoid the seven deadly sins of search marketing

How to avoid the seven deadly sins of search marketing

By Ellie Bain, Vertical Leap

With a growing number of companies recognising the benefits of implementing a search marketing strategy to take their company forward, it’s important to set realistic goals that are achievable.

One way forward is to avoid the seven deadly sins of search marketing:  

Greed - ‘A sin of excess - a very excessive or rapacioius desire and pursuit of wealth, status and power’
Search Marketing used effectively is a powerful way to attract interest using better rankings, gaining more site traffic and, as a consequence, generating new leads. However, appetites need to be kept in line with the ability to deliver. A steady period of growth enables service levels to remain consistent and delivery targets achievable.  

Gluttony - ‘to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste’
A natural progression from greed and another sin of excess, gluttony in search marketing is where search objectives and capabilities of the business do not correspond. Generally speaking this equates to a business unable to resist going head to head on search with the big players in its marketplace or a business that cannot convert leads into sales. Make the most of your website with strong calls to action, clear navigation and immediate follow-ups to get the best return on your search investment.

Sloth - ‘The failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts: laziness and indifference’
The lure of top rankings, high conversion rates and new search channels can pull the business away from its core objectives. Stay focused and use search marketing to meet the needs of the business - make sure your search marketing company knows what the business goals are and ensure you are collectively working towards them.

Wrath - ‘Inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger.  Impatience, revenge and vigilantism’
If your search marketing campaign doesn’t work overnight - relax.  It isn’t supposed to.  Search marketing is not a technical fix - it’s a marketing tool and takes time to get results. We work transparently so our clients can just log into their account at any time and see what’s been happening. Check with your own search marketing company to see if they do the same.

Pride -  ‘A desire to be more important or attractive than others, an excessive love of self’
This isn’t pride in doing a job well or being proud of giving great customer service. Pride in search marketing manifests as arrogance and makes assumptions about its position in the marketplace. It’s the business that believes it’s the market leader but doesn’t set aside the tools, budget or strategy to compete amongst its peers.  Or it’s the business that sits at the top but believes it is untouchable and is therefore oblivious to what goes on around it.  Make sure your company is realistic with clear, measured goals.

Envy ‘A desire to deprive other men of theirs - sorrow over another’s good’
Envy over a competitors search ranking is a common motivator for businesses to look to invest in search marketing.  But beware the temptation to merely emulate your competition’s campaign parameters. Benchmarking is a great analysis and positioning tool but only when used to identify opportunities to accelerate your marketing strategy and grab marketshare.

Lust ‘Excessive thoughts or desires - Extravagance and unrestrained excess’
When it comes to search and lust, the new shiny marketing channels always get the most attention. A few years ago everyone was buzzing about SEO, then PPC now it’s social media and soon it will be content marketing. But it doesn’t mean they will all give good results for your specific business. Before jumping onto the next big thing, take a good hard look at what it will add in terms of value, support and lead generation. Is it right for your business? Have the conversation with your search marketing company to see how it will affect what they are doing and if it will be a help or hindrance. If it’s something really useful then a search marketing company worth its salt will have mentioned it to you first!

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