There's so much hoopla about SEO and content creation. At Tracking Pixel Media, we refer to it as the "Field of Dreams Concept," aka "If you build it, they will come." Except this ain't a movie and most businesses are not looking for ghosts. What they want are people to visit their website, call them, fill out a form, email them, etc. Ultimately, they want actions that lead to more revenue.
The idea behind SEO and content creation is appealing, we admit. Doing things for your website that 'don't cost money' but drives large volumes of traffic is really appealing. Who doesn't want to get a lot but spend next to nothing. Truth is: That's not reality. The reality is that there are substantial costs involved in successful SEO and content creation strategies. The costs tend to be in two main formats - time and money.
TIME FOR CONTENT CREATION
Someone has to spend the time to create all of the quality content that Google rewards. As mentioned in this article on the top hacks for SEO, by Michael Pozdnev, an article/content for a website needs a minimum of 4,000 words! It takes considerable time and effort to create an informative piece of that many words - especially one that doesn't devolve into an advertorial for your services/products. And no one enjoys that! If you want an example of a bad advertorial that no one should care about...check this article out. That time and effort eats into a small businesses profits when most do not have a dedicated specialist who focuses only on content creation. Further, as this 2015 Content Marketing study points out, 42% of B2B companies created a piece of content daily and/or multiple times per week. Even if they are not adhering to the length recommendations above, that still adds up to a lot of work-hours. And that was back in 2015! I'm sure more and more businesses are trying to match that output level.
To illustrated this point further, I cite Neil Patel and his examination of his company's content creation ethic:
My marketing team and I spend a lot of time on social media, and I write 1 – 3 guest blog content posts a week, which enables me to reference any of the relevant guides and drive additional traffic to my blog.
Let’s say that you spend 2 hours every day distributing your content across social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.), and another 2 hours pitching bloggers for guest post opportunities.
And let’s say further that you drive 1000 targeted readers from the social media channels after a week, meaning you invested 2 hours X 7 days = 14 hours.
The hours invested will be equivalent to $1120, based on $80/hour. (A Moz survey on specialized SEO services found that US hourly rates range from $101-$150 range, and $76-$100 in the UK.)
A few of thoughts on this:
Neil's hours above do not equate since he mentioned he spends 4 hours per day "distributing" and "pitching bloggers."
He also cites average hourly rates of $101-$150 in the US, but does his calculation off of $80 per hour.
If you do the math correctly, he spends about $2,800 per week.
This math does not account for the hours he spent creating the content!
Bottom line: This is not cheap and/or free marketing.
For smaller businesses that do not have a dedicated person who creates content, their time is eaten up trying to create inventive, quality pieces that people will want to read. As a result, they will have less time to answer phones, prospect, etc. No matter how you look at it, there is a lot of money involved in content creation.
Outbound Marketing Generates Fast and Cheaper Leads
Outbound marketing - Google, Facebook, TV, Outdoor, and any other medium that takes a budget of promotes a business to people that would otherwise not know of them - works fast and efficiently. While SEO experts and content creators talk about the long haul, most small businesses do not have thousands and thousands to throw away for 'long-term' results. They need phone calls to keep their plumbing business open. They needs emails asking to set up a tour of their school. They need leads.
Take this client of ours who began an outbound marketing campaign in December 2018 with Tracking Pixel Media. They needed more leads and invested in Google and Facebook Ads. The chart below on the first three months of our efforts state it all:
In less than a month, this business went from a few calls per month, to the phone ringing consistently. The chart above shows the number of new leads entered into their CRM database. Traditionally, the winter months are slower and peak into July and August. Feb 2019, with still a few more days to go, we have matched the number of leads received in July 18. The change in color showcases when the business began working with Tracking Pixel. The unfortunate side is that the business switched CRM's in Feb 18, losing data we could have used to compare efforts. However, we will continue to update this article as we get more data to compare.
This is not magic, and any kind of gimmick. This is smart planning of a budget and optimizing your spend for actions that matter. Tracking Pixel Media set up Google Analytics conversion tracking as well as cleaned up the user experience for the business, allowing the business to convert more of it's Google and Facebook Ad performance into leads. As for the cost of investment, we can state that the client is spending less per month than Neil Patel is on his marketing efforts per week.
How are you tracking your marketing ROI and efficiency? Need helping in driving measurable results? Ask us for help and we'll give you a free review of your website. Contact us at 317.593.5161 to set up an appointment!