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After over 3 and a half years working at Lawn Master as a Web & Graphic Designer / Marketing Coordinator, my time at Lawn Master has come to an end as I move on to another digital marketing position at a different company. During my time at Lawn Master, a large number of marketing campaigns were executed, including SEO, PPC, offline, email, and Social Media Marketing. Some flourished, while some forced me to go back to the drawing board. All these methods taught me a great deal about marketing, which I will take with me to my new role, but not before sharing what I’ve learned first.

1. Social Media Marketing is Overrated

Am I suggesting that you should stop using all of your social media platforms and just delete them? No. However, social media marketing has returned significantly less business for the company when compared to other digital marketing strategies. One reason for this is because Lawn Master provides ongoing services and doesn’t sell products. Products tend to perform better due to requiring less information and having a better chance of triggering impulse purchases. When considering a service, viewers often invest more thought, seeking additional information about what’s included and then comparing the service with the competition. This comparison is usually harder for viewers to do on social media than on search engines.

Furthermore, social media marketing requires more time and resources than it’s worth. It often involves creating promotional materials such as images, videos, infographics to go with each post, which requires the use of a camera and media editing software. Therefore, if you offer services, I recommend using social media as a platform for brand awareness and engagement, rather than as a direct sales platform.

2. Email Marketing is Underrated

The number of website visitors received a massive jump after sending a newsletter promoting additional services.

Sending newsletters can often be overlooked, as some may not have a large number of emails to send to, making it seem not worthwhile. However, it is important to remember that the emails you collect are either from existing / previous customers or people who have an interest in your products / services — these are the people you want to target. This makes email marketing the ideal tool to directly contact your target audience.

Email marketing also comes with several benefits over social media, including the ability to categorise your audience into different segments and send specific newsletters to match their needs, thereby improving the chances of generating business.

Tip: Always have a sign-up form for your newsletter on your website, as everyone who signs up will have already visited your website, making it more likely that they have an interest in your products/services.

3. SEO Marketing is Still as Important as Ever

Since day one, my main marketing goal has been improving website traffic through organic search. This is because your website can provide more than any social media platform or newsletter. Your website can provide more information, which can be categorised into different pages, such as our services or contact information. Moreover, your website can be tailored to your target audience, providing a better user experience, which can further improve the chances of generating business.

Google generated more website traffic than any other form of marketing during my time at Lawn Master, and with Google search engines becoming smarter by the day, I don’t see this changing anytime soon. That’s why it’s important to keep up to date with SEO marketing and make sure you do a keyword research and website audits regularly to increase your search engine performance.

4. Google Ads Requires Daily Maintenance

Google Ads can be an effective marketing tool to boost your search engine results. However, if used incorrectly, it can quickly drain your marketing budget with no return on your investment. Therefore, if you’re using Google Ads, it’s essential to check your campaigns daily to ensure that your spending isn’t wasted.

One major culprit is people’s search terms being unrelated to your business. For example, if you sell men’s t-shirts and target the keyword ‘t-shirts,’ the search term ‘female t-shirts’ can trigger your ads unless you make adjustments.

That’s why each morning, I would check Google Ads to see what search terms triggered my keywords the previous day and add any unrelated keywords to my negative keywords list to block my ads from showing. This way, I save our budget for search terms related to our services.

Google Ads Tip: If you sell products or provide services, include the keywords ‘how to,’ ‘how long,’ ‘can you,’ and any other similar terms in your negative keyword list. Search terms that include these words often indicate users looking for tips and advice on how to perform tasks themselves. Meaning these queries are less likely to result in generating business.

5. Offline Marketing is Still Important

When working at a company that provides products/services locally, or a company with franchisees across the UK, it is important to tailor your advertisement towards your local area, as different areas have their own demographics to target. One great way to do this is with print media such as signage, business cards, and leaflets.

The downside to online marketing for a local business is that it’s visible to anyone, regardless of their location, which can undermine your local marketing efforts. Print media, however, can be tailored to your local community, helping establish a physical presence in your local area that builds trust and brand awareness.

Therefore, when targeting your local area, don’t be afraid to spend on offline marketing. Your local community is more likely to result in business than targeting an area on the other side of the country.

Offline Marketing Tip: Avoid local magazines and prioritise leaflets instead. When advertising in magazines, your advert can get lost in the shuffle with all the other advertisements. There are several benefits to using leaflets, including not having to share with other advertisers, more advertising space, and control over how much you want printed/distributed.

6. Web Design & Development Skills are Beneficial

When it comes to producing content, you can have the best content in the world, but if your website isn’t up-to-date with current web standards, your content will only rank at the top of search engines if you pay for it with Google Ads. One way to ensure your website is up-to-date is to perform regular website audits using websites such as SEOptimer. However, if you don’t have the knowledge to implement their recommendations, how will you improve your search engine rankings?

This is why it’s important to understand the basics of web design and development, including factors like page load speeds, meta and header tags, and robots and sitemap files. Knowing this information can significantly enhance your digital marketing knowledge and boost your confidence in your digital marketing abilities.

Tip on how to learn the basics of making a website: YouTube is a great free platform, filled with valuable content on how to create websites for beginners.

7. Google Analytics Overcomplicates Its Designs and User Experience

Google Analytics is filled with valuable data

Another important skillset to have in digital marketing is the ability to analyse past data to determine what works and what doesn’t. One of the main ways of gathering data is by using Google Analytics to gather reports on data such as the number of users, average time spent on your website, and how they arrived there.

However, Google Analytics is filled with a vast amount of data, and its user interface can be overwhelming. It can be challenging to identify which data is most crucial for your company and where to locate it within the menus. This is why it’s important to familiarise yourself with Google Analytics and follow tutorials on Google and YouTube if anything is unclear, to get the most out of your data.

Google Analytics Tip: For an easier read, change your reports to show the last 14 days. This allows you to see your performance over the past week and compare it with the previous week. Understanding which days of the week perform the best is more valuable than identifying the best days of the month.

Final Thoughts

Looking back on my time at Lawn Master and the wide range of marketing campaigns I’ve overseen, several key takeaways emerge. Social media marketing, while valuable, may return less business for service-based companies, making it more suitable for brand awareness than sales. Email marketing offers a direct line to your audience and should not be overlooked.

SEO marketing remains the most effective form of digital marketing, and staying on top of search engine optimisation and conducting regular website audits is vital. For paid advertising, Google Ads requires regular maintenance to optimise spending for a return on your investment. Local businesses benefit significantly from offline marketing.

Lastly, web design and development skills are beneficial. Quality content is only as effective as the website it lives on. Above all else, it is important to familiarise yourself with Google Analytics and make full use of its features, as monitoring your progress is crucial for determining the most effective marketing methods, finding your target audience, and achieving significant growth for your company.

Rhys Britton

I’m Rhys, an experienced digital marketer with a passion for helping startup businesses and freelancers succeed online. Through my blog, I share practical tips and advice on SEO, social media, and blogging to help you enhance your online presence. Follow me on Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram.