De-mystifying digital marketing, one article at a time.
Creative Services
Online Services

How to Recognize a Blind Spot in Your Marketing Efforts

How do you protect yourself from something hiding in a blind spot? You check. And then you double-check. The same is true for marketing, which is why we recommend you keep a tight leash on all your business’s marketing efforts.

When driving, a blind spot is an area in which your view is obstructed. You can protect yourself, your vehicle, and your passengers, by checking and double-checking that blind spot before you do anything drastic—like merge or turn.

In marketing, the principle is pretty much the same. If you don’t cover all your bases, a seemingly basic maneuver can have unintended consequences. That’s why it’s wise to keep an eye on the trends of the marketing world, and an even closer eye on what’s happening within your own marketing department.

Watch Out for These Possible Blind Spots

Marketing is a complex and ever-evolving beast. As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the different options available to you – and how to make the most of them.

Here are three potential blind spots in your marketing efforts:

  1. Pay-per-click, or PPC, campaigns. Is your campaign effective or is this strategy being neglected altogether?
  2. Search engine marketing, or SEM, strategies. Is your strategy actually generating traffic and leads?
  3. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, tactics. Have yours become outdated or irrelevant?

You should know that while each of these marketing strategies is distinct, they are very closely related and there is some overlap between them. We’ll start with the differences…

Understanding the Differences Between PPC, SEM, and SEO

At a glance, these marketing efforts might seem like the same thing. After all, the goal is pretty much the same across the board: to get you more business. That said, there are some key differences. For example:

  • PPC advertising is a type of online marketing in which you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
  • SEM is a type of online advertising that encompasses both organic and paid search results. With SEM, you’re not just paying for clicks, but also for the traffic that comes from people seeing your ad on the search engine results page (SERP).
  • SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google’s search algorithm. The goal of SEO is to get your website to rank higher in the SERPs so that people can find it more easily when they’re searching for terms related to your business.
  • SEM is a broader term than PPC, and it includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques like using relevant keywords in your title and meta tags, as well as in the content on your website.

That can all sound confusing, but think of it this way: The role of PPC is to get you more traffic now. The role of SEO is to get you more traffic later. The role of SEM is to make sure both your PPC and SEO initiatives are aligned and optimized.

Assuming you’re still on board with us, the next natural question is . . . how do you know if your campaigns are actually working?

How to Know If Your PPC Campaign Is Effective

The first step is to take a close look at your PPC campaigns and yourself a few key questions:

  • What are my goals?
  • What is my budget?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What keywords am I using?
  • What does my conversation rate need to be? (And where is it at, currently?)

If you can’t answer these questions, then it’s time to revisit your PPC strategy. If you didn’t start your PPC campaign by answering those questions, then you are probably spending money on clicks that are not converting.

What Is the Difference Between a Click and a Conversion?

We’re glad you asked. A click is when someone clicks on your ad. A conversion is when someone does something you want them to do, like purchase a product or service, fill out a form, call your business, etc.

At a glance, a PPC campaign with a ton of clicks might appear successful, but if those clicks aren’t turning into a sale, then the campaign is just wasting money. While a click is good because it drives traffic to your site, a conversion is better because it means someone has paid for a product or service.

It’s wise to keep an eye on the trends of the marketing world, and an even closer eye on what’s happening within your own marketing department.

How to Know If Your SEO Campaign is Effective

Older tactics, like utilizing the old meta keywords tag or linking to your site from as many directories as possible, are no longer the way to go. These days, you need to focus your efforts on content. The biggest indicator of a successful SEO strategy is if your site’s ranking for relevant, non-branded keywords is increasing.

Looking for some more actionable SEO/content advice? We’ve written about these topics in depth, here and here.

What Are Relevant, Non-branded Keywords?

A keyword is a word or phrase that someone might use to find your website. A relevant keyword is one that people are actually searching for. And a non-branded keyword is one that does not include your company’s name.

For example, if you sell hot tubs with a built-in toaster, non-branded keywords might be “toaster hot tub”, “hot tub that makes toast”, or “jacuzzi toaster combos”. Branded keywords would be words that include the company’s name, like “ToasterTubs hot tubs.”.

The key is finding keywords that are non-branded, but that people are actually searching for.

How Do I Find Relevant Keywords?

There are a number of ways to find relevant keywords. You could . . .

  • Use Google Ads Keyword Planner
  • Look at Google Suggest
  • Check out competitor sites
  • Use a keyword research tool like Moz Keyword Explorer or SEMRush

Any of these strategies would help you get started off on the right foot.

How Do I Use My Relevant Keywords?

Once you have a list of potential keywords, the next step is to write copy that is optimized around those keywords. Writing good copy takes time because it needs to be something that is worth reading. It also needs to include those relevant keywords–but don’t overdo it!

If your content includes too many keywords, or the same keyword too often, the Google bots might get suspicious that you’re trying to trick them into thinking your site is more relevant than it is. This is called “keyword stuffing” and it’s something you want to avoid at all costs.

A good rule of thumb is to use a keyword no more than three times per 100 words on your site. While this isn’t a rule to live or die by, it’s a good starting point.

Once you’ve got your new content, add it to your site and then let it simmer. It can take up to a few months for Google to re-crawl your site and update its ranking, so be patient.

If you’re not seeing results after a few months, go back and take another look at your keywords. Are they still relevant? Are people actually searching for them? If not, it might be time to switch things up again.

We like to say that SEO is less like hunting and more like fishing. Your content is the bait, and you cast it out there and see if you get any bites. SEO can be a daunting process, but the average ROI for a long-term SEO campaign is around 12:1––definitely worth the effort in the long run!

How to Know If Your SEM Campaign Is Effective

This one is easy. If your PPC and SEO efforts are proving successful, then you can consider your SEM campaign successful. The most important thing is that you understand the role and goal of PPC and SEO and make sure they are complimenting each other.

In Conclusion . . .

An effective online marketing strategy should include PPC, SEM, and SEO efforts in order to be successful. This is especially true if you want long-term results that continue to grow.

By taking the time to research relevant keywords, produce quality content, and make sure your ad campaigns are focused, you can set your site up for success and avoid those pesky blind spots in your marketing efforts!

Share this article

Did you find this article useful? Share it up!