SEO matters – is it time for a SWOT analysis?

A good way to break down competitor analysis also gives a solid platform for a review of your own business. When you sit down with a blank piece of paper to begin the review, it’s helpful to have a starting point – a grid to start scribbling in, on which you can ‘weigh’ positives and negatives. A simple 2 column list of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ may suffice but another commonly used launching pad for this review is SWOT analysis. Looking at the SWOT analysis of a competitor alone wastes a chance to directly compare their SWOT characteristics with yours.

The analysis is an imperfect science as it’s unlikely you’ll have all the information you need to do an exhaustive study. Nor is it necessary to do so, if it triggers a new thought process or opens a new avenue for further investigation, then the time could be a good investment in your future. Keeping hold of them also gives you a great starting point when the next review comes around, as whilst some of the factors may have started off as strengths, over time they may become weaknesses and vice versa.

What is SWOT?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The first thing to understand is that not all of the these are within your control and they could also change over time.

seo swot

 

 

For example, a company selling pine cone wreaths has a weakness that their offering is seasonal. The flip side is that in winter, their strength is that they focus on an item popular at that time of year.

Another theoretical example is that a shopping center has no vendors selling snacks. There is a clear opportunity for a business opportunity but also a threat that someone else wins that opening first.

The two easiest approaches are:

  • Build one matrix for your company and a separate one for your competitor(s)
  • Build one matrix which compares the business aspects directly

The common way to fill in the matrix is with bullet points of one or two words rather than expand on them. This process is similar to a ‘brainstorming’ session in the office where a ‘big picture’ is painted and the details can be drilled into later.

seo swot matrix

Over-thinking the analysis is easy and trying to predict the future  is impossible. The SWOT analysis does however give a framework to start discussion and has been used successfully by countless teams globally.

Analyzing the weaknesses of a competitor can jump start the thought process on an opportunity for your own business.

It’s also important to realistically assess your potential. If a rival is so strong in one niche of the marketplace that you know you will not be able to bring in the revenue you need, you can learn from their business strategy and look at how you must differentiate yourself enough to attract customers. It’s always best to be authentic to your own vision than to merely copy and take influence from others.

When you have an online component to your marketing, SEO competitor analysis can feed directly into a SWOT matrix to illustrate areas which are opportunities for your business, they can help in decision making and can weigh likely results against investment.

If you are trying to boost your rankings and are looking for an SEO team to support your analysis, contact Trulium today and let’s start planning.

Missing vital feedback from your Social Media Campaign?

A social media campaign should not be a one way street, trying to engage viewers should always be a focus. For a business, user generated content is like gold dust. For potential clients to hear about you from a genuine customer is worth more than any material you can write for your website. That’s when it’s positive of course, but are you missing an opportunity to improve by missing vital feedback?

Social media engagement and reviews give clients an easy mechanism to post comments and ‘sound-bites’ but unless you are reviewing the material, you probably know less about the perception of your business than the potential clients checking out your site for the first time. That’s why it’s good practice to act like a client sometimes and search on “your business name reviews”, then you will see the same. If you have a bad review, you then have the chance to at least respond, so that future readers will not only see the negatives but also your comments. Maybe there were circumstances beyond your control or maybe you have changed suppliers since the issue. The bad review may remain but if someone is interested enough to look you up, they are more than likely to read the full story.

With social media, it’s important not just to ‘push’ content out and look busy, but to respond in a timely manner and engage any potential client who sees you on that platform first and wants to find out more. If you are using pinterest or instagram to promote your business, there is a reasonable chance the person liking your content or commenting has never seen your main online shop window – your website. What does ‘a timely manner’ really mean? Well, depending on your business and how competitive your field is, a delay of one hour could be all the time they need to find the next provider in line. The easiest way to manage that is to allow pop up notifications on your phone or desktop, that way you needn’t constantly check in to find nothing of interest.

The other aspect to bad reviews and negative feedback is that maybe there weren’t circumstances beyond your control, maybe you gave your best and the product or service was still badly received. These interactions give an amazing opportunity to reconnect with your customer base today and find out if your offering is now considered out of date or overpriced. By engaging those people you have the chance to re-earn their business all over again. That may sound like a lot of work, but a customer won back after a disappointment is more likely to relate how hard you worked to re-establish that contact – those testimonials are arguably even better than a full deck of 5 star reviews.

Social media campaign

If you collaborate with other businesses, do you ever ask what they think of your business, do they recommend you? If not, why not. These conversations may seem awkward at first but networking is critical to ongoing success and they may welcome hearing feedback about their own reputation, online or in the conversations around the water cooler. Some misconceptions are the result of mishearing or exaggeration, in which case it’s best to find out as soon as possible and set the record straight.

social media campaign blog

One more source for vital feedback is your own staff. Often they pick up on a new competitor, a new product or an unhappy account first. Foster an ‘open door’ policy where you welcome any and all conversations.

Lastly, when you do get great reviews and comments, remember to leverage that content on your website and in your promotions.

social media campaign blog

If you’re ready to start a social media campaign or want to reassess your online presence, contact us today,   info@trulium.com

Does my Website need a Responsive Design?

Despite everything you hear, the answer at the moment is a (hanging on by its fingertips) ‘no’. There are still a few instances where a website without responsive design could still meet your requirements. First things first, what are we talking about with ‘responsive design?’. We’re talking about a website which adapts and can be easily viewed and navigated from a desktop OR a mobile device like a tablet or a ‘phone. If you browse on your own mobile device, you may have stumbled across a site which seemed to have impossibly small text or the frame simply didn’t fit the graphics. Chances are that website did not have a responsive design. Does it matter? Maybe – there are a few instances when the investment in a new site can be questionable.

  • Viewers are only looking for contact information and all you need to display is a ‘phone number or an address
  • Nobody really visits your website because everyone ‘drops by’ or sales are exclusively by word of mouth or restricted to existing customers
  • Your business customers work standard office hours in an environment where employees all routinely use desktops
  • Your traffic is not being driven by social media links which are primarily accessed from mobile devices
  • It isn’t an important factor to the success of your business if you don’t rank well on search engine results pages

The trouble with painting all websites with the same brush is that every business is unique. If what you already have is working for you, then why invest in a new design? If your business is already thriving and shows no signs of slowing down, then having a responsive design for your website needn’t keep you awake at night! If you are wondering if it may be making a difference to your bottom line, then there is an easy way to see how traffic from varying devices ‘rate’ your site. Assuming you have a few pages at least and that you have content to read, google analytics shows you a breakdown of which devices your viewers are accessing your site from, the bounce rate (how many people who land on your site don’t interact further with your site), how many pages on average they view, and how long they spend on your site. There are no hard and fast rules because maybe 90% of people visiting your site get the information they need on that first page, but when you check the analytics and see a discrepancy between the engagement for viewers from a desktop and viewers from a mobile device, it might be time to find out more about responsive design.

be responsive and mobile readyThe undeniable truth is that the use of mobile devices shows no signs of slowing down. If you feel you can ‘get away with it for now’, re-assess every few months to make sure your business is not missing out on a mobile audience.

 

If you are ready to venture into the world with responsive design, our team at Trulium can help you plan a new site and transition to offer a better experience for viewers on mobile devices. Ready for a change? Contact us today!