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Enterprise marketers must tightly choose the focus of their Web site

So, you are responsible for digital marketing for a big company? You’re probably not the CMO, however. That whole big Web site isn’t your problem. You are just responsible for one product line. Or one country. Or one product line within one country. Or maybe even something smaller than that. But have you ever say down and really decided which pages on the Web site are exactly yours to worry abut? Often, I find the answer is no.

So, why do you need to figure this out anyway? If you are the product manager for US sales of product X, isn’t that good enough? I mean, you know where the home page is of your Web site. If you haven’t spent the time to identify every blessed page that pertains to your country and your product, what’s the harm? After all, you’re busy with a lot of other things.

Focus
Photo credit: Michael Dales

Well, think about a few points:
  • Your budget probably pays for these pages. Most companies use chargeback systems where your IT team, copywriters and other shared resources are paid by the page. Or you have a dedicated team spending time on these pages–some that you might not even know about. Is this where you want your money going?
  • You want to know the traffic to these pages. Do you regularly check how many visitors come to these pages? And from what other sites? Can you tie back your traffic to your inbound marketing campaigns? If you can’t identify all the pages that are yours, then you can’t do any of this, either–and you won’t know which marketing efforts are working and which aren’t.
  • You want to know the conversions from these pages. You also want to measure (and improve) the conversions from these pages. Every page needs to be doing some work to move visitors closer to a sale. Most of us don’t have e-Commerce sites, but we all have something we want our Web visitors to do to gain an offline sale. We need to be sure that every page has a job to do (even if it is just to get a click to another page) and that we measure how well it is doing it.

It might be easy to identify your site, even when you work in a big company. If you are the worldwide product manager for Crest toothpaste, you site is crest.com, even though you work in the bowels of the behemoth Procter & Gamble. But usually big company sites are a bit harder to pin down for you. I remember when I worked for IBM, it was common for me to be speaking with someone whose responsibility was software in Germany, whose site was all of the pages underneath www.ibm.com/de/software–any many had even smaller responsibilities with even more arcane URLs that definied their scope. Whatever yours is, you need to treat every page within it as yours, which starts by identifying what your site is. What exactly are you responsible for?

If this sounds a bit persnickety, ask yourself this: Do you have any trouble identifying which ad campaigns are yours? Which brochures? Which commercials? Which coupons? I thought so.

Don’t be sloppy about your digital marketing. It’s easy to be vague about your Web site scope in a big company. Focus your sights on your sites–just like small companies do–so that you have the focus that drives improved results.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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