Team GB are doing remarkably well in the Olympics in Rio, sitting second, as I type, in the medals’ table.
This didn’t happen by accident – the previous Labour government invested heavily in sport, with Whitehall funding and lottery allocations, and now it’s paying dividends.
In the next Olympics in 2020, I’m sure that this Tory government’s lack of investment will see a dramatic drop.
Okay, politics aside, there is a correlation between Team GB’s efforts in the 2016 Olympics and your business.
Your business needs an investment strategy, a long term business plan, with what we called in schools, some years ago, a SWOT analysis.
Your business needs to determine its STRENGTHS – whether that’s as a recognisable brand, a trusted name, or an expanding customer database, for example. Do you have a USP? Are you capitalising on it fully?
WEAKNESSES. Be objective, dispassionate – what are the weaknesses of your business? Are rivals ranking more highly than you in Search Engines? Are others regarded as the trusted thought leaders in your field? Where do you lose sales?
Likewise, OPPORTUNITIES. I’m old enough to remember Hughie Green and Lena Zavaroni in the early 70s equivalent of The X Factor – if Opportunity Knocks, are you able to answer? What are the opportunities that your business in your town or city has? What is trending in your business field?
THREATS. Is your business viable, long term? Have you thought through the weaknesses, the What Ifs and calculated the threats? What are your competitors doing? How are you responding to these threats?
Clearly this list is not exhaustive. It wasn’t intended to be.
But I hope the parallels between Olympics’ performance and your business are clearly explained.
To get on that Olympics’ podium of Google Gold, Silver and Bronze, the page one of searches, you need a long term plan.
Michael Phelps isn’t the most decorated Olympian by accident – he has a team dedicated to his ambitions, a will to win that sees him train 10 hours a day, every day.
Mo Farah fell, got back up and won Gold with his motivation to win, stemming from his abilities, training regime, personality and family circumstances.
Those estate agents in Guildford, Grimsby or Godalming, are not on page one of Google by a fluke.
They’ve created a long term strategy involving SEO tactics:
- Headline crafting
- Blog curation
- Keyword and HTML tagging
- Careful branding
- Social media tactics.
- Headlines have to be carefully crafted to get customers clicking to content and sharing.
- Meta-descriptions is that paragraph of text that Google shows in searches below your URL and title. Make sure it is compelling, like the headline.
- Many businesses have cottoned on to the value of blogging – people and Google like fresh content – in my SWOT analysis for Get Pro Copy, I saw an Opportunity for blog writing for businesses.
- Predominantly my blog posts are created for estate and letting agents, to create brand authority, who are then rewarded for fresh content and establish said agent as the thought leader in that locale.
- Keywords are still important but the days of keyword stuffing are over. What’s the keyword in this post? Why did I choose it? Can you spot it? HTML coding carries authority with Google – featured images, subtitles need tagging.
- Your whole strategy is designed to amplify the strength of your company’s brand, its values, its USPs. Your website, your reviews, your social media platforms is your online shop window. Make sure that window reflects what you want the eyes of the world to see.
- Social media is not an add on, it’s not an afterthought – it should be an integral, cohesive and comprehensive strategy to drive your business up page rankings, engage with customers and answer questions they’re asking quickly and efficiently. Erik Qualman hits the nail on the head with his quotation in the image below. It’s why the big brands of retail have social media marketing strategists on high salaries – they recognise the value of Facebook posts, Pins, tweets, Instagram photos and the like and pay people to curate content.