I recently wrote an article for our Optimize newsletter about the importance of aligning goals with plans. The gist of the article is that if you have big goals, your plans better match up or forget about reaching your goals. I used the analogy of an athlete who trains for high levels of performance. Her training program is much more intense than the weekend warrior who trains for local competitions.
As a marketer are you a weekend warrior or are you going for gold at the Olympics? The point to my question is more about developing realistic goals, a winnable plan and measuring your results in comparison to your goals.
As you know, Olympic gold metal athletes make up just a fraction of all athletes. Does that mean that all athletes who don’t win Olympic gold are failures? Of course not! Likewise, not all businesses can compete direct against all their competitors. In fact, in a global economy where almost any business can compete against another, defining the competitive goals means deciding what constitutes victory and how it’s measured.
As it relates to successful Internet marketing, the goals you set have everything to do with how you compete in your market. In a world of long tail marketing, defining your market as specific as possible is critical to measuring success.
An example I’ll share is the success of Global Medical Sales, a client who sells hospital beds throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Selling beds to hospitals is very competitive. Some of Global’s competitors are much larger companies with more marketing budget and larger field sales teams. By comparison Global is a small company with limited budget and sales reach.
So, how has Global created measurable success through its Internet marketing strategy?
Through a long tail SEO strategy that recognizes the reality of its resources. Global has a narrower focus to be found on the web for less competitive product keywords.
When we developed the SEO strategy for Global, we explained that competing for the keyword phrase “hospital beds” would be very competitive. There are more than 30 million results in Google for “hospital beds.” Setting the goal of ranking on page 1 in Google would be difficult, if even possible considering their resources.
So, we recommended two other primary keyword phrases for Global based on our understanding of their business. Global is very strong in “remanufactured beds” and in “bariatric beds.” Both of these keywords serve a narrower focus, admittedly with less search volume on the web. But, these long tail keywords would be much more realistic to attain rankings on page 1 in Google. Besides, anyone searching for these keywords is likely to be an educated buyer, hence a potentially qualified sales opportunity who could be cross sold into other hospital beds. It’s the old “shoot with a rifle, rather than with a shotgun” approach.
As a small company, Global doesn’t need to compete directly with its largest competitors to succeed. That would simply be unrealistic for Global due to its size. Winning in narrower markets is simply more achievable and makes for a more realistic (and winnable) strategy.
Measuring the results from a narrow SEO strategy allows us to point to ROI starting with search engine rankings:
Global is enjoying the results of ranking in the top 5 rankings in Google for this keyword strategy resulting in more inbound traffic, which results in more sales opportunities.
Just like there are many successful athletes who don’t compete in the Olympics, there are many successful businesses who compete in a narrow niche through a winning inbound marketing strategy. Global Medical Sales is an example of a wise company who understands its goals, its resources and has an inbound marketing plan that delivers their version of gold medal success.
We encourage marketers to set your goals wisely and develop your inbound marketing plans accordingly to achieve measurable success like Global Medical Sales has done.