In this series of blogs, we are going to explore the ways smaller companies can utilise digital marketing and how having a relatively small number of website views can still be good for business if you can increase your ROI.
I started on the road to digital marketing in 2011 after securing my current job at a telecommunications company. Luckily/ maybe unluckily for me the UK base of this company was unestablished without any customers, social media channels and not to be seen on Google for the first 20+ pages.
After quickly getting involved and setting up the social media accounts I begin reading all the information I could on digital marketing, SEO and social media to best increase our efforts and start growing our customer base.
After reading blogs, articles, viewing webinars and attending events I noticed a lot of the examples given were not helping me as they all seemed to be on a larger scale/ taken from businesses with an exciting product to sell, and a wide audience of tech savvy customers to sell it to. I’m not saying that satellite communications is boring, but it is not a ‘Zombie apocalypse experience’, as one speaker at a conference used. Trying to relate the two is hard enough to do in your head let alone in practice.
The Importance of Keywords
In this first blog I would like to discuss and share my first-hand experience on targeting specific keywords. Most people understand there are fundamentals to ranking well for a specific keyword. But one of the most important parts of ranking is doing your research.
Begin with a plan
The broadest search term that can be used in my industry is ‘internet’ or ‘broadband’. I would not attempt to rank for these keywords, even if I did manage to get it to a reputable rank, the audience searching for these terms are not looking for my product as I have a specific niche in the industry. I’m looking for the 7% of the United Kingdom who don’t have access to superfast broadband (less than 2Mbps). From that conclusion we can go more specific, ‘satellite broadband’/’satellite internet’. These search terms are generalising over a broad spectrum still, with large organisations with money to spend on PPC and PR campaigns their sites are ranking a lot higher than my own.
I started targeting one of the above mentioned keywords (satellite broadband) as I wanted to gain a footing in the rankings and felt it’s better to rank well for one generic term than be mid ranked for two. So I set about optimising for this keyword, with the general onsite SEO techniques which we will go into further in later blogs. After a couple of months I managed to get our site from page 11 to page 3, pretty proud of myself. But we were still not getting the web leads.
Go Even More Niche
When I reached page 3 we hit a standstill, the sites above my own had many backlinks as well as PPC campaigns in place. A new scheme came out for broadband called the ‘welsh broadband scheme’ which specifically targeted rural households in Wales. This is where I could differentiate from the competitors. I set about creating a page dedicated to the Welsh broadband Scheme, showing what the scheme is, how to apply, and the process. A few days after the page went live I found we were ranking no.1 for ‘Welsh broadband scheme’ even outranking the Government website.
The great thing about having niche search terms is the customers who search for these terms know what they want. Our traffic through that page could be >10 people per day, but we may have received on average one call per day at the beginning. Competitors have now made changes to their own sites targeting this key area, luckily enough first mover advantage has seen our site still ranking well for that term.
I went about making further pages for specific keywords such as ‘pay as you go satellite broadband’ and ‘SCADA satellite broadband’. In fact I stumbled across our biggest contracts yet by targeting SCADA, as it’s a program used with many renewable energy companies as a way of monitoring remote sites from one central location. My targeted keyword campaign has so far brought in 2 large energy companies who have multiple sites, which are ever increasing.
So as you can see fighting over single keywords is a very long process where results may not appear for a long time. Where small companies can compete is targeting specific keywords that may have a lower search volume but can still return the results.
On the next blog we will go more in depth on how to rank and give you some more practical advice from companies who don’t sell ‘zombie apocalypse experiences’. Thank you for reading. Leave any tips or suggestions you have in the comments below.