The Real Reason Your Sales are Down | Synchronicity

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Anyone who has built and launched a website has likely encountered an oft-repeated acronym: SEO (search engine optimization). And while you might not have ever done SEO yourself, you've benefited from it in the past: Every day, search engines like Google employ complex algorithms to sift through more than 400 billion web pages and deliver the most relevant results.

Website owners like you use SEO techniques and strategies to get their websites to the top of the search results for relevant user queries. But SEO is not a one-time endeavor — Google and other search engines change often, and ongoing SEO ensures your website stays in front of the people you want to reach. Just as a physical storefront requires regular maintenance and updates to stay competitive, your website needs ongoing SEO to remain visible amidst the ever-changing digital landscape.

The ABCs of SEO: What is Ongoing SEO and Why Does It Matter?

Don't let the techy jargon intimidate you. HubSpot — considered one of the gold standards for SEO and digital marketing advice — defines SEO as simply a collection of strategies and tips that "expand a company’s visibility in organic search results'' and help "drive more visitors to the company’s website, increasing their chances for more conversions which leads to more customers and more revenue."

SEO Connects the Search Engine Algorithms With Your Website's Content

Regardless of your website's goal or industry niche, all SEO techniques have one thing in common: They look at ways to optimize your website's content, keywords, and links to help search engines rank your website higher in the search results when someone searches for something related to your keywords, content, or brand name.

According to HubSpot, SEO needs to address the key factors that all search engines use to determine the value of your website's content — and therefore how high in the search results your website or specific landing page should appear:

  • The intent or meaning behind why someone is searching for a specific term or question
  • The relevance between what someone searches for, and the content on your website
  • The quality of your content (for instance, a website about physical exercise written by certified personal trainers is deemed by Google to be higher quality than a website where the articles are written by non-experts)
  • The performance of your website, such as how long it takes a page to load and whether it works well on mobile devices

Static SEO Versus Ongoing SEO: Why It Matters to Stay Fresh and Keep Your SEO Updates Current

As users' web behavior changes and technology evolves, search engines proactively adjust their algorithms.

If you aren't conducting ongoing SEO maintenance and upgrades, a well-optimized website today can quickly become obsolete tomorrow, causing your search rankings to drop and attracting fewer organic visitors. Google itself updates its algorithms several thousand times per year, including significant "major" changes every few months that dramatically change how it crawls and ranks content. For example, Google's infamous Panda update changed how it ranked how-to lifestyle content on the Internet, causing one major content publisher to lose a whopping $6.4 million of traffic and advertising nearly overnight.

How Ongoing SEO Influences Your Website Strategy

Staying abreast of changes to SEO techniques and strategies provides important guidance to your content, marketing, and overarching website strategy. For example, it can dictate or influence:

  • How much content you publish, and the content's format, length, and focus
  • How you incorporate other forms of media on your website, including images, video, and audio
  • How you organize content on your site, including landing page layouts and your site's navigation
  • What keywords and target users your website focuses on

Embrace the Power of Ongoing SEO

Caroline Forsey, an expert in thought leadership and marketing content, looked at the survey results from more than 400 of the world's leading web analysts to predict the biggest SEO trends of 2024. According to her data, some of the top changes in SEO strategies this year include:

  • A heavier emphasis on expertise, meaning the content on your website should come from experts in your related field (including bylines and author bios that demonstrate the author's credentials and experience on the topic they're writing about)
  • A renewed emphasis on first-person, credible content, especially as more websites generate high volumes of low-quality AI content (Google itself has announced upcoming changes to tackle low-value articles created by AI)
  • A priority on websites that are deemed trustworthy, such as e-commerce sites with well-rated customer service, or content sites that do a good job of citing trustworthy research and statistics
  • Bonus points on content that is creative and original and doesn't simply rehash content found on other sites

Of course, these SEO trends will inevitably change every year, and ongoing SEO will keep you competitive no matter what Google, Bing, and other search engines do. No matter your website's industry or content strategy, ongoing SEO requires that you:

  • Focus on keeping your content fresh and high quality, including new blog posts or regularly refreshing and updating old product descriptions or articles
  • Conduct keyword research often, since the terms or phrases that your core audience uses will evolve over time
  • Maintain your website's overarching performance, such as mobile-friendliness as mobile devices evolve, and page load speed
  • Build a diverse portfolio of high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites within your niche, which may include outreach campaigns, getting others in your industry to write guest blogs, and participating in online forums or communities
  • Keep on top of technical and performance metrics, such as scanning your site for broken links (and fixing the links you uncover) and using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track organic traffic, keyword rankings, click-through rates, and conversion rates
  • Stay on top of algorithm changes so you can adapt your SEO strategy in real-time

Some website owners think of SEO as the first step of their promotional strategy. But it's less a first step, and more an ongoing journey to ensure you, your brand, and your content stay relevant in such a competitive atmosphere. Whether you choose to go it alone and take a DIY approach to SEO, or you choose to consult with a digital marketing and SEO agency, check in often and make sure your SEO evolves as the world around you evolves.

Sales are an essential metric for any business and can fluctuate based on internal and external factors. But when you start to see a continual drop in your sales, it’s time to quickly dig into your internal operations to identify the how’s and why’s of the root causes and set a course for correction and improvement.

There are many reasons why sales drop, here are some of the most common internal factors that can negatively impact sales.

Stale or Incomplete Sales Strategy

If you see your sales slumping, it could be a sign to check in on your sales strategy to make sure it's current and identifies all the factors that can affect your prospective buyer and the problems they are looking to solve.

Regardless of the size of your sales team, a sound sales strategy is key to enabling your team to prospect, follow up, and close deals effectively. Following the adage of “Work Smarter, Not Harder, your sales strategy should include key details about your target market, how you will reach them, your value proposition, and how your product or services solves their needs.. Thoroughly researching and documenting these areas will allow your team to take advantage of market opportunities and guide your team to get more business.

Inconsistent Marketing Efforts

If you lack consistency and cohesiveness in your marketing efforts, you won’t be able to create and maintain a strong pipeline of prospects for your sales team.

To stay engaged with prospective buyers, you need a marketing strategy that positions your company as an industry leader, engages your target audience through multiple channels, and generates high-quality leads for your sales team to develop into new business. A business without a marketing plan is like a car without gas - it may still move, but it's not going anywhere fast. A cohesive, consistent marketing strategy helps attract customers and create demand for your company's products or services.

Not Investing in Marketing

Your cohesive marketing strategy won’t yield many results if it’s not backed by the right marketing budget.

Your marketing budget should allow you to invest in the right channels to reach your target audience while maximizing the return on your investment. It's also important to measure and analyze your results so that if necessary you can reallocate funds into better-performing channels.

Slow to Adopt Technology

Technology is a powerful tool to help you streamline your sales and marketing processes and provide insights to your sales team to increase their sales. If you aren’t incorporating technology into your sales process, you could be missing out on substantial new business opportunities.

By investing in and properly utilizing a robust CRM system, your sales team can better manage the buyer's journey and gain a holistic view of the customer relationship. This empowers them to stay on top of their pipeline and efficiently move opportunities to closed business while providing insight for continuous improvement in the sales process.

Marketing automation tools can also improve your sales process by staying connected to prospects as they become more sales-ready. Automation tools allow you to create customized workflows for each lead, which helps to ensure that they are properly nurtured and receive the right content at the right time in their journey. Automation also helps you track the progress of each lead and determine whether they are ready for sales engagement.

If you don't make good use of technology, not only will your sales drop, but you will also lose competitiveness in the market.

Consult an Expert to help Improve Your Sales

Sales are the lifeblood of every business, so when you notice a drop in your sales, it's cause for concern. Fortunately, there are experts who can help you develop a better sales strategy. Working with an experienced consultant can help you identify the root of the problem and find solutions that work for your business.

Synchronicity can help you analyze your sales and marketing processes to identify areas for opportunity and improvement so that your team can implement a strategy that gets results.

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