Analytics: Marketing is at an inflection point where the performance of channels, technologies, ads, offers – everything — are trackable like never before. Today smart marketers do know which half isn’t working. But to do that you need to have web analytics programs set up, and have people on the marketing team who know how to use data.
Far and away the most popular website analytics tool is the free Google Analytics, which is used on over 80% of small and mid-market websites. It’s definitely the place to start; at some point you may find a need for the paid version or other enterprise analytics tools such as Adobe Analytics. Note that the tools below also have their own analytics platforms.
Conversion Optimization: Conversion optimization marketing is the practice of getting people who come to your website (or wherever you are engaging with them) to do what you want them to do as much as possible, and usually that involves filling out a form so that at the very least you have their email address.
- Wordstream’s free Landing Page Grader
- Optimizely lets you run A/B tests on landing pages and other website elements
- With Unbounce you can create and A/B test landing pages
Email: Email marketing is the 800-pound gorilla of digital marketing. And I’m not talking about spamming people by buying lists that are being sold to your competitors, too. I’m talking about getting people to give you permission to email them additional information, and then sending only valuable content tailored to the person’s interests.
- Constant Contact
- Marketing automation programs (see below) usually have robust email marketing capabilities built in
Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing includes both paid search ads, like Google AdWords, and search engine optimization (SEO) to try to get high organic search listings for your website content. Since most people, even B2B buyers of big ticket items, use search as part of their work, you need to be there when these people are searching for what you’re selling.
- Google AdWords
- Bing and Yahoo
Remarketing: You’ve experienced remarketing: it’s when you go to a website and then, when you leave that site, their ads appear on other sites that you visit. It’s really easy to set up and incredibly cost effective because you’re only advertising to people who have already expressed enough interest in you to come to your site. This Marketing can even be customized to show ads for the particular products or services they looked at. And since you usually pay on a CPM basis, you get tons of free impressions. Over 50% of software companies use remarketing, but less than 10% of other companies do; follow the lead of those software companies.
- Google AdWords remarketing
- Perfect Audience (from Marin Software)
Mobile: Half of emails are now opened on smartphones, and soon half of search will be done on smartphones, so all websites need to be mobile friendly. But today, less than a third of them are. Simply put, you need to have a site that is easy to read and use on a phone. If you don’t, Google penalizes you with lower mobile search rankings. So that mobile-friendly site is step one; after setting up a mobile-friendly website you can go on to mobile search advertising and other forms of mobile marketing. But this is, after all, just a starter kit.
The most common technique for making a mobile-ready website is to use responsive design, which automatically resizes the website to fit the device on which it’s being viewed. You can usually tell that a site is responsive by resizing your desktop browser from a horizontal to a smaller, vertical (smartphone-like) size and seeing if the site automatically reconfigures itself, as the mayoclinic.org site does.