Managing a web marketing campaign is like driving—if you don’t switch gears, you’ll stall out. The results you get from your strategies today, good or bad, won’t necessarily be the same in the future.
The question, then, is how often should you think about changing your game plan?
How much time should you devote to a strategy before giving up, readjusting and moving on?
The Effect of Algorithm Changes
Search engines like Google read, index, and rank websites automatically using complex algorithms—this is how you get hundreds of millions of results in a fraction of a second.
These algorithms get updated and more sophisticated over time, and while dramatic, highly publicized changes to the program typically only come once every few months, Google updates its algorithms at least once a day—typically between 500 and 600 times per year.
Does this mean you should scrutinize your targeted marketing solutions every single day? Of course not—looking at your results so closely won’t give you any idea of the bigger picture.
What it does mean, however, is that you should only adopt proven, white-hat search engine web marketing strategies. These are strategies that adhere not only to the rules of Google’s algorithms, but to the values evangelized by the search engine’s development team.
What does that mean, exactly?
Essentially, do what you think Google would want you to do. Create valuable content that readers can use.
Don’t spam with links or keywords, and don’t copy/paste content from other sites.
Even if their algorithms don’t filter and penalize sites that break these and other unwritten rules, chances are, they will in the future. When that happens, you want to be a company that did things properly from the start—not one that took advantage of temporary algorithmic loopholes.
Don’t Forget Your Users
As useful as search engine web marketing strategies are, search engines are only tools—the people using them matter most of all. You need to monitor consumer trends closely, and use them to inform your targeted marketing solutions.
Take your social media strategy for example—if your Facebook profile isn’t gaining traction with consumers after a few months, try switching your tactics, or even focusing on other social networks, like LinkedIn.
Like your social media strategy, other types of web marketing require you to invest time so that you can analyze growth and trends—over the course of several months, you can see with types of blogs are most popular with readers, or which PPC ads attract the most valuable clicks.
It takes time to collect the data you need to develop a well-rounded understanding of your web marketing results—the trick is finding the balance between adjusting your strategy too much and too little.
Finding Your Balance
So how do you know if you’re waiting long enough—or waiting too long—before adjusting your strategy? When it comes to web marketing, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.
Ultimately, you can only develop a clear sense of your goals, experiment with different ways of meeting those goals, and track your results over time. While monthly audits can help you build up the data you need, it’s up to you to determine what that data means—and how to use it moving forward.