Search engine rankings are NOT customers

A gentle reminder to marketers everywhere

The rise of the automated digital marketing report has left scores of marketers focusing on the wrong goals. Here, Content Coms’ features writer Chris Bilko explains…

Let’s imagine for a second that you’d followed the advice of all the digital marketing gurus that have cropped up over the last five years.

Where would you be right now?

Well, you’d have jeopardised your brand’s personality by stuffing your web copy full of jarring keywords… and then been penalised by search engines for your efforts.

You’d have paid someone in a developing country to garner you backlinks from some very ropey sources… and then been penalised by search engines for your efforts.

You’d have a domain based not on your brand name, but on your industry. You’d have built thousands of web pages and filled them with useless information. And you’d have wasted hours writing guest blog posts for your peers and competitors.

And, after every failed effort, you’d have moved your website one step further from the coveted audience you were trying to reach.

Fast forward to today. Has anything really changed?

The robot that tells you what you’re doing wrong

If the rise of automated digital marketing review tools such as WooRank are anything to go by, not really.
For the uninitiated, such tools judge the entirety of your digital marketing efforts – automatically, without any human intervention – in just a few seconds.

They let you know what you’re doing well and what you’re doing badly. They give you an overall score out of 100. The cleverest show you where you’re being usurped by your competitors. But here’s the thing:

At no point in their evaluations do such tools take into account the number of leads, sales and customers your digital marketing is producing. And that’s causing marketers some serious confusion…

67% of marketers don’t believe ROI requires a financial outcome

You might think things like leads, sales and customers are important in evaluating marketing performance. But if you do, you’re in the minority.

Because the rise of first the digital marketing guru and then the automated digital marketing review has left the majority of marketers chasing the wrong goals.

In fact, a recent Fournaise Group report found that:

  • 67% of marketers don’t believe ROI requires a financial outcome
  • 64% cite brand awareness as their chief ROI KPI
  • And 31% think audience reach is marketing ROI

67% of marketers do not believe ROI – that is, Return On Investment – requires a financial outcome.

It’s no wonder sites like WooRank are making a killing.

What decent marketers do instead

Now let’s try another thought experiment – one that’ll help you see through such garbage next time a chancing salesperson comes knocking.

Let’s assume that, instead of following the advice of every digital marketing guru or automated report that’s cropped up over the last few years, you’d spent your time trying to make and keep a customer. Where would you be now?

You might have fewer twitter followers, a generic 404 redirect page and less than perfect image alt-tags.

But you’d also have a wider customer base, greater revenues, a healthy salary and a fancy job title.
So here’s my advice to marketers everywhere:

If you want to get ahead, focus on the things that matter.

Don’t waste your time trying to improve the things a robot has told you to improve.

Use your brain, put traditional marketing theory into practice and spend the majority of your time trying to make and keep a customer.

Want to talk about sensible, practical approaches to content-led SEO? Drop us a line.

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Content Coms
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