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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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This marketing mistake hurt me badly – could you suffer the same fate?


Everything was going really well with my marketing... or so I thought.... My how to make partner website traffic was growing steadily, and the number of folks signing up for the mailing list was growing nicely. There was a steady flow of leads coming from the How to make partner mailing list. Had I finally got my marketing system sorted and on auto pilot? However, pride comes before a very big fall - particularly when google and SEO is concerned.

This friday I had my worst day for website traffic for about 4 months. The same thing happened on the saturday, then the sunday. Was it the half term effect? When monday's traffic was dire, I started to investigate. Having looked through my google analytics, I discovered why my website traffic had dived by over 50%. My carefully nurtured search engine traffic had disappeared. Well, I'm exaggerating slightly, it had reduced by over 50%. Instead of getting 100+ daily visits sent by Google, it had dropped to 20-30 daily visits.

Ouch, ouch, ouch...

Time to find out what was really going on - had the recent hummingbird algorithm updates penalised me? Everything I was being told about the hummingbird update suggested otherwise, as I am heavily geared towards social sharing. 

What had happened was a site I guest blog on regularly, and have typically 2-3 back links per blog post, had had a major site revamp and in the process removed all my back links. As a result, my search engine ranking for some of my top keywords had sunk without trace. (Well to page 3 of google...) 

A big learning here for me... don't put all your marketing eggs in one basket - particularly when it involves a website which you have very limited control over. 

However, it's not just me that suffers this problem. I've worked with many clients who have relied on a handful of relationships for their leads. When the leads from these relationships dry up, it exposes how precarious the firm's marketing actually is. If you are going to grow your training or coaching business - sustainably and profitably, you can't afford to only have just one lead source. 

For example, a good friend of mine who relies on google adwords to generate the majority of his leads for his coaching business, found himself on the wrong side of google. His adwords account was suspended and he was pretty much banned from adwords. In a single stroke, his lead generation for his firm just stopped overnight. 

Another trainer I know had been enjoying a good source of referrals from his professionals networking group. The reliability of lead generation from his group had been so good, he'd put all his eggs in one basket and relied on this group for all his new leads. However, a couple of people dropped out of his chapter and his supply of leads began to dry up. Whilst it didn't stop, it didn't produce enough leads to fill his diary as much as needed. It took a while to rebuild his lead generation using other sources.

I'm guessing the key point I am trying to make here is how reliant is your marketing on just one source of leads? If all your eggs are in one marketing basket, then be afraid, be very afraid...

Author Credit

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK's most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at How to make partner and still have a life and Joined Up Networking.

Heather works with owners of small professional practices, as well as  future and current Mid-tier and Big 4 partners.

One Response

  1. Google seeks more diversification and quality

    Yes, this is a problem faced by many of the bloggers I personally know, including me. For the last few months I was working for a site that received the same fate as recently. I completely agree that putting all the eggs in the same bucket really makes the going tough. In fact, search engine, especially Google is not only giving importance to quality but also diversification. This is a big learning lesson for all of us bloggers. Thanks for posting such an informative content and sharing personal experiences with us.


    Consultant at Corner Trader

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Heather Townsend


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