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Chris Attewell, CEO of international digital marketing agency, SearchLaboratory, highlights five areas SMEs may be missing the mark in their digital strategy. 

See more from the team at Search Laboratory here.


Long gone are the days when content marketing meant simply posting a few blog posts on the company website each month. Content has evolved to include not only written copy, but everything that goes out on behalf of the business; this includes everything from social media to videos, podcasts and whitepapers. 

Your content strategy should include content at all stages of sales funnel which helps to push your target audience further along to conversion. From creative and educational blog posts and guides which attracts and engages your target audience early on in their buying process, to ensuring your product pages have descriptions and case studies which are likely to increase conversions, it is crucial that SMEs have an effective content marketing strategy in place right from the outset.


Accurate data is crucial if you are to develop an effective digital strategy, and it is important that web analytics are correctly set up to track metrics which tie into your wider objectives. Setting up goal tracking and ecommerce tracking needs to be a top priority so you can begin to collect data which will help to inform business and marketing decisions.

Google Tag Manager is a free tool which works alongside Google Analytics and allows you to collect more data more easily. It is useful for SMEs who struggle to get dedicated developer time and resource for implementing tracking on their website, as it allows marketers to add, edit and remove marketing tags without needing to change any code on the website.

Customer data

Following on from the previous point – it’s important for businesses across the board to collect and analyse their customer data and use these insights to optimise their marketing strategy.  For SMEs where every sale matters, using your customer data to guide your marketing campaigns can make a real difference on profitability.

There are several ways which customer data can improve your marketing results. Understanding and segmenting your audience ensures you can create a content strategy which provides valuable content for each customer type at every stage of the customer journey, thereby pushing them through the funnel to conversion.

In addition, utilising audiences in Google Analytics means you can optimise your paid media campaigns to spend more on high-value audiences and their audience lookalikes (as these are more likely to deliver a higher return).

Search Engine Optimisation

Unlike PPC, SEO does not deliver instant results and as a result, many SMEs fail to invest their time and money into this practice.

SEO is crucial for long term success and it is important to prioritise SEO in order to improve your organic online visibility for relevant keywords and search terms. Having both paid and organic visibility ensures that you reach as many prospects as possible. You may find that as your organic presence grows, you can cut back on PPC ad spend over time without jeopardising sales.

SEO includes technical SEO (making sure your website is crawlable and that search engines can easily identify what your brand says and sells), content and link building campaigns. Making sure your site is technically sound is crucial as a bad site won’t rank, no matter how good the content or backlink authority.


When making the leap into international markets, it’s important that you get your messaging right in order to build consumer trust and successfully compete against local businesses.

Many translation agencies simply translate web content without considering cultural differences. Using mother-tongue digital marketers to localise your website and its content is essential if you are to successfully launch your brand into new markets, as they can ensure translation takes culture and linguistics into consideration. Mother-tongue speakers are also able to conduct thorough local keyword research, ensuring the words used on the website and in campaigns are reflective of those that are most common in that specific market.

By using mother-tongue digital experts to localise your website for new markets, you improve your chance of resonating with users internationally, right from the outset.