Extensive keyword research has helped asset protection firm Netwatch successfully expand its brand into new markets.
Taking a focused approach to its online marketing efforts, including detailed analysis of end-user search trends, has reaped rewards for rapidly growing Carlow company Netwatch, allowing it to enhance its brand recognition globally.
Online a key ingredient in the marketing mix
Over the past year, with Netwatch expanding rapidly outside of its home market, online has become an increasingly important part of its marketing mix. A website re-design prompted the firm to think about how it portrayed itself online. Though the company was well known in Ireland, it needed to educate the UK and US markets and ensure its message was clear. “We knew we wanted to project our ethos as a customer-focused, high-level service for our new markets; it was important to us that our online presence reflected our growing company,” explains Therese Cullen, Communications Manager at Netwatch.
Keyword research drives success Google AdWords campaign
Key for Netwatch is educating the marketplace on visual asset management and ensuring that people could find the company website. Conscious that its technology and service was relatively new on the market, Netwatch had to think carefully about how people would find its site online. “People weren’t typing in keywords specific to our service; in fact, the volume of searches for keywords in our area was low. So we had to be clever about our keywords,” says Therese. “We did extensive research into what areas we should be targeting and what people were actually searching for.”
Based on its research, Netwatch’s Google AdWords campaign focused on keywords related to what people would type in if they were looking for a new security service. “We were essentially intercepting people who were thinking about or researching alternative security systems,” explains Therese. Netwatch monitors and analyses its AdWords keywords regularly, allowing it to tweak the keywords if necessary to reflect searching trends.
Focus on content enhances organic SEO
Netwatch also used this invaluable keyword research to shape its website content in order to improve its ranking in Google’s organic search results. “Sometimes we speak our own language, but through our research we realised the terminology or words we use were not what people were familiar with so we brought our web copy into language that people would be searching for,” explains Therese. “We have three websites: our Irish site, and sites focusing specifically on the UK and US markets. We’ve done a lot of work in terms of our messaging in these local markets, and as a result we’re ranking well in search results and increasing our site traffic.”
In September 2012, almost 2,500 people visited the Netwatch site, clocking up 7,950 pageviews, an average of 3.3 pages per visit. This represents a significant 35% increase in visitors from the same period in 2011.
Leading the conversation through social media
In other efforts to boost its organic search ranking, Netwatch introduced an individual blog to its three sites. The blogs focus on key trends and developments in each of the markets. Importantly, Therese said management have bought in to the blog and it is regularly updated on each of the sites. “We’ve had great buy-in from our management team for our online strategy. We’ve even provided internal training to ensure everyone who needs to be is up to speed on online and developing our content strategy.”
The company’s online strategy also includes a well-developed social media presence. Having analysed the different social media platforms Netwatch decided to focus on Twitter and LinkedIn. “Our end users are predominantly business owners, so we see Twitter and LinkedIn as perfect mediums for us,” explains Therese.
Netwatch has a company page on LinkedIn where it posts status updates and lists available jobs. Netwatch employees also have individual LinkedIn profiles from where they interact with contacts and build up their network. The company also makes use of LinkedIn Groups, which Therese says is a useful way to keep up to date with what’s happening in their particular sector.
Netwatch primarily uses Twitter to interact with people. “We monitor searches and ‘mentions’ so we can identify if people are having conversations about Netwatch. If these conversations are happening we need to be there and get involved with the conversation,” says Therese.
Integrated campaigns pay dividends
“We’ve developed a solid online marketing strategy that continues to evolve. Online fits in well with our overall marketing approach – and we’ve run some very successful integrated campaigns that involve billboard, direct mail, online competition, QR codes and a Google AdWords campaign – this approach ensures a broad reach. With online in the mix, the potential of what we could be doing is limitless.”