Over the past year, I’ve been working on a bunch of projects with various clients. Generally, they want more traffic, which means they need more visibility among their target audience.
Many companies assume they can “Build It and They Will Come”.
But it doesn’t work that way for several reasons:
- The size of the web: you’re competing with 165 million websites
- Google gives priority to sites with traffic. New sites face a steep climb.
- SEO and PPC have become seriously complex. You must hire experts.
- People are paying attention to their phones: text messages (20-30 per day), apps, games, and video. There just isn’t much attention left for websites.
It’s the 80/20 Rule, which is really the 99/1 Rule: a handful of sites get all the traffic. Of 165m websites, the top one million sites (0.6%) get all of the traffic.
So for your site to get traffic, your digital marketing needs:
- SEO: Your site has to show up in Google, Baidu, and Yandex
- PPC: Use digital advertising (Google Adwords, etc.) to place your ads in search engines and three million websites
- Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, WeChat…
- Email: Send monthly newsletters and emails
- Influencers: Find and reach out to the 25-50 key people in your industry
- Champions: Stay in touch with your top customers
- Speaking events: Speak at conferences
- Content marketing: Write authoritative books and articles, plus blogging
- Wikipedia: Be in Wikipedia
- Public Relations: Show up in the print media, such as NYT, WSJ, Bloomberg
- Global presence: And be in the major markets: North America, South America, Europe, China… yep, in English, Spanish, German, Chinese…
And it must all be coordinated and consistent across all channels. You can’t do just PPC or just email. You must appear in front of your audience wherever they are looking (in any website, blog, app, etc.), on whatever device (desktop, mobile, tablet), and wherever they are (North America, China, Europe, Latin America, etc.). You have to be not only in Google, but also in the two-three hundred websites that your audience views.
40 years ago, you could make a living by selling good-enough stuff in a just-okay shop in a oh-whatever town.
But today? You’re competing with A+ over-achievers from the world’s top schools: Stanford, MIT, Tsinghua, IIT, Heidelberg, etc. who are in Palo Alto, Manhattan, Berlin, and Shanghai. Total fun, right?
Yep, it’s a lot to do.
So why do so much work? Why do it well?
Because the top sites get the lion’s share of the traffic and revenues.