It is normal that you expect results. If your website does not generate leads that can be converted into paying customers, there is a good chance you're just wasting resources. But before you dismiss digital marketing as a solid way of turning your website into a profit-making machine, here are the most common reasons why your strategy is not producing the results it should and why everything is so slow.
1. It’s Too Soon
We know you are excited and impatient to reap the rewards of your investment, but no matter how many growth hacking success stories you've read, inbound marketing simply doesn't work like that. Give it some time—patience pays well.
Before starting a new strategy, your team should be able to give you an estimate of when the first results would be noticeable. Different strategies have different timelines. Usually, a quick outbound campaign can produce results the next day, because it heavily depends on advertising. Inbound marketing, on the contrary, requires a minimum of 6 months of patience.
After 6 months of starting the campaign you should have a consistent flow of targeted traffic and conversions. Give the campaign another 6 months to assess the quality of leads and whether they are your potential buyers or not. Whatever happens, you should at least be developing an excellent inventory of high-quality content, including blog articles, ebooks, special offers, email templates, and so on. That is the real gold, not the leads you have this month.
If after 6 months you don't have quality traffic or at least a few good leads, then you might want to schedule a meeting with your marketing team to reconsider the objectives and tactics because time might not be the real diagnosis for your problem.
For more details about the inbound marketing timeline, read our guide here.
2. Competition is Real
When fighting for your piece of sunshine on Google’s search result page, competition is bigger than in real life. The race is not only about the companies located near you, there are hundreds of other websites trying to rank their content for the same keywords.
Remember that as a rule, it takes longer to move a keyword from the 2nd page to the 1st page, than to get it to the 2nd page from nowhere. After a quick sprint to the 2nd page, your SEO becomes a marathon, so don't worry about why it takes so long to be on the 1st page of Google.
Same goes for any other marketing activity you do online. If your email opt-in list includes your competitor’s customers, don’t be surprised why they prefer their email over yours. It might not be your subject line, they just already have a relationship with your competitor. Keep knocking and make your own relationships!
3. All the Wrong Keywords
Keyword research is the foundation stone of your SEO. It should be done only once and kept sacredly. You can make additions and changes, but your keyword list should overall stay fixed for years. This is why you should never settle for a keyword list that is "so-so". No, your keyword list should be magnificent and sniper-targeted (yes, your SEO company is your sniper squad).
It is important to suggest your own terms during this phase. You know your business, you know your customers, you know who would buy from you and how they would search for it. That said, don't dismiss the suggestions from your digital marketing team. They (ideally) have years of experience in dealing with keywords and search patterns, and they have the expertise and the data to know how people are actually searching for the solutions you provide.
We usually notice 3 reasons why your keyword list might lack the potential.
1. Too much competition - No matter how much you crave for that perfect keyword, competition defines its effectiveness. If a number of giant businesses are ranking for that keyword for years, chances are very low that you can beat them. Make sure to set SMART goals, be realistic, and use your resources wisely.
2. Too little competition - The opposite can happen too. Never choose keywords based solely on the low competition rate. Usually, keywords that have no or very little competition also don’t have a search volume. No one ever searches for those terms, why would you compete for a dark empty room? Seasonal keywords are the only exceptions; they become insanely popular only during a certain time of the year (for instance, annual events, holidays, etc).
3. It’s irrelevant - If you are receiving a lot of traffic, but none of it converts into leads, let alone customers, your keyword list is most probably not relevant to your business. Keyword lists are unique to each company and audience. Do the phrases in your list correspond to the cultural and linguistic peculiarities of your audience? Would they attract buyers or researchers? Which stage of the buyer's journey do those keywords belong? Questions that need answers before you stamp your final approval on the list.
4. Strategy & Tactics
You don’t need to be on every single social media network for a successful campaign. Your industry and type of business are usually what defines the strategy and tactics needed to promote your services.
We like to remind that some tools like Snapchat can have an incredible impact on Business-to-Consumer companies, while it poses no value for the Business-to-Business sector at the moment. Same goes for other social media networks. Not all companies need an Instagram account, while LinkedIn should be a priority. So, if your digital marketing plan hasn't generated any results yet, maybe it's because you are barking up the wrong tree; your customers are simply not there. Do things that work, instead of doing just about everything.
So, you've done all these points and there are still no results seen on the horizon? Sorry to break the news, but there is one more option left and we hope that's not the case.
5. Mission Impossible: Spam
Spam was and stays one of the most painful aspects of digital marketing. Believe us, we don't like it either. We don't like when the websites of our customers have previously been subjected to spam (because we're the ones cleaning it up), but spammy marketing exists and it's one of the main reasons why so many business owners don't trust digital marketing companies.
The truth is, you can buy everything, especially in the digital world. Email lists, social media accounts, websites, content ... anything, you name it. This kind of shopping is needed only for spammy marketing strategies and blackhat SEO. If you've ever gone on a shopping trip like that or you are aware of this kind of activity done for your website, you should not be surprised why your marketing is "turtle-slow."
The era of disruptive advertising and spam is over. We have all developed an immunity and ad blindness, we've written laws forbidding it, we've built plugins and online safety measures to block spammy activities just to make sure we don't fall for unethical marketing attacks. And if you’ve been buying email lists thinking it will result in mind-blowing email campaigns, here's the sad news—you’re probably not even reaching the 10% of that list ... because of Gmail’s spam triggers.
The amount of time your team spends on trying to bypass the spam triggers of email servers could be used for developing an everlasting content that will be helpful to the readers and can generate leads now and in the months to come.
There are definitely many users out there searching for your service. In the times where the success of your sales starts by winning the Zero Moment of Truth, spam is not only counter-productive, but it’s also absolutely, utterly useless. Here's a better alternative for you, download our free ebook The Marketers Guide to Inbound Marketing!