When’s The Best Time To Get You Involved? Once I Have My Website?
The best time is now. I used to work on large corporate software development projects. Like every project, the later you leave any changes, the more expensive that change tends to be. It’s best to think about conversion optimization, online tracking, cross domains, local search engine optimization and everything else right from the starting point. When thinking about online, most business owners will think about their website, and their website only. Based on my experience my rule of thumb is to spend 50% of your online development budget on your website, and the rest making it work. Your web developer is very unlikely to know about all of the above.
You’d also be amazed at how many issues I’ve seen with new websites going live from developers, from bad or broken Google Analytics installations to multiple versions of website deployed which can be a killer for duplicate content and search engine issues. I’m not just talking about the cheap sites either…
You Don’t Build Websites So Why Do I Need You?
Good question, and one that’s best explained by the answer above. I meet too many business owners who have spent thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, on a website, then they meet me and want to make it work better, or just work.
The other danger with digital marketing is everyone wants a flashy website, but sometimes other elements can work better for you without the same level of cost, such as improving your email marketing or implementing an online advertising campaign. You need all that advice at the right time, so you don’t sink your budget into one area, at the expense of others.
I’ve built several very well-performing websites in the past but I made a conscious decision not to do that anymore. Locally, part of this was due to me not wanting to compete, but generally, it’s so I can provide more independent advice without a vested interest. If we work together I can recommend developers, both local and overseas, but it depends on your needs and your budget what’s best for you. I’m more than happy to work with your existing web developer as well. I’ve written many a brief and presented it to agencies in the past, alongside my client.
I’m A Startup, And I Have A Limited Budget
We all have budgets and it takes a lot of mine to know what I know and stay up to date. You need to be able to give an indication of your budget to know what’s feasible, otherwise, you shouldn’t expect someone to give you a plan of action when there’s a risk you’ll turn round and say you don’t have the budget for it. Your time and our time is limited so let’s use it wisely.
I understand you may not understand what’s involved, but if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up spending more in the long run as you may have to fix things further down the line.
I had someone say “I have the budget required, as long as it gives positive returns”. This is a great and educated answer, however after saying that, it’s frustrating when a budget of $1000 is mentioned and it’s too much. That’s just time wasted.
Have a think about what’s a palatable amount to you, then get in touch. Feel free to give a high-end number as we’re not the type to think of that as a free ticket to spend, but it gives a far better idea of what’s feasible.
I Don’t Have A Login To …
I’m a digital marketer, not a magician. If you don’t have the login to your website, Google Analytics or something else then speak to your web developer or your members of staff. Without them, all I can do is review what the public sees, which still gives me a great insight into your online presence, but I can’t go in and change anything. The best digital marketing tip I give on every talk, course, and every other time I can, is keeping a spreadsheet with your logins. Yup, it’s old school, but it saves time and it saves duplication of business listings, Facebook pages and so much more. You don’t really want to be paying me, or anyone else, to hunt around for your logins.
It is possible to obtain ownership of some platforms such as Google Analytics under the right circumstances. I can work through that with Google if you’ve been left high and dry from a previous agency.
Tracking Return On Investment
We Have Google Analytics But I Can’t Access It, I’ve Been Told To Start With A New One.
No, no, and no. Do not start with a new Google Analytics tracking code as you can’t easily compare the past and the future in a single report without jumping between accounts. If you’re doing marketing, you want to compare results. If your web developer says to use a new one, they just haven’t taken the time to do their research and don’t know the platform very well. I can help you get access to it again. There’s one caveat: Some web agencies set up all client accounts up as part of their own Google account. It’s a very bad practice, and the impact of it isn’t realized until after a client wants to leave them. Google has just finally (late 2016) released an option to allow you to move a Google Analytics account from one account to the other, but you’ll need to have someone with admin access to them both. This is well worth doing. It’s your data after all.
Can I See The Value Of My Bookings Online?
The answer to this largely depends on your booking engine. If your bookings are hosted on another website such as yourwebsite.yourbookingengine.com they need to support cross-domain tracking (sorry, it’s a bit technical) and eCommerce tracking. If they don’t allow you to enter your tracking and conversion code on the confirmation page, then you may be out of luck. Unfortunately, this isn’t often considered when selecting a booking platform, but it’s fundamental when it comes to end-to-end tracking of marketing campaigns.
Many booking engines make this far harder than it should be to implement, but this is one of my specialist areas. Often you need to be careful how your web developer implements the booking engine on your website as it can have detrimental impacts on your tracking.