Avoid These 4 Mistakes When It Comes to Internet Marketing.
Internet marketing consultant integrates unique suite of services for website design, SEO, pay per click management, copywriting, sales coaching, business and marketing consulting.
Every day my team and I work with business owners and professionals to help them to better leverage the Internet and grow sales. The goal of this article is to share the most common and costly Internet marketing mistakes we see people making and to give some insight as to how you can avoid making the same mistakes. Unfortunately, I am not able to go into as much detail as I’d like in this article as each of these mistakes would require volumes of information to properly address the topics.
While there a lots of mistakes made when it comes to website design, search engine optimization and search engine marketing, here are several of the most common and costly mistakes people make.
Internet Marketing Mistake #1. Trying to do all your Internet marketing by yourself. There is a very good reason I don’t work mechanically on my own cars, bicycles, and motorcycle. The truth is I really stink at it. Paying a professional enables me to know the job will get done correctly the first time. Plus, I get to use the time otherwise spent trying to learn how to wrench on doing what I do best and actually enjoy. So what’s the highest and most productive use of your time? Designing a website? Doing your own pay per click campaigns? As business owners we must always assess where to deploy our highest talents.
If you are getting in your own way on Internet marketing you may not even realize how much this is costing you. We see countless business owners and professionals working hard to build their own websites, do search engine optimization, and search engine marketing such as pay per click campaigns. Why? Usually it’s in the vein of trying to save a few bucks instead of letting an experienced Internet marketing professional do the research, SEO, link building, blogging and pay per click. I understand that budgets can be tight and people might want to learn how to do their own Internet marketing. But all too often the result of their hard work is a ridiculous looking website and no measurable results. So while you may be inclined to try and save a few bucks and learn as you go, the truth is the art and science of Internet marketing take many thousands of hours and years to learn.
Advice: Hire the best professional Internet marketing talent your money can buy. Be aggressive on your SEO and PPC. Ramp up over time with the budget you have that works for you. There are many firms like ours that will happily work within a reasonable budget with the desire to have a long-term business relationship with you.
Internet Marketing Mistake #2. Not setting and measuring goals for website traffic and conversions. According to an April 10, 2010 survey by Netcraft.com there are approximately 205,368,103 websites online. That’s a lot of websites even if you stink at math. The real point here is that in order for your site to be found online, instead of your competitors, you need to make a serious commitment to implementing the essential disciplines related to design, content and link building. This requires energy, focus, time and money. (After professional design, the content on your site and the number of quality links to your site impacts traffic the most.)
The first and most important discipline for Internet marketing is setting and measuring goals for your website. Is your website intended to be a simple online brochure or a dynamic and interactive experience for visitors that convert to sales or leads? Is your site designed to sell your product and service in a way that the eCommerce integration makes it easy to do business with you? Is your site more of an online community with a free or paid membership?
There are many goals and purposes for a website and it’s important that your site be designed with that goal or purpose in mind. Also, it’s absolutely essential to measure results every week. Google Analytics is a free tool that you integrate into the code of your website. The report is automatically emailed to you every week. I talk to people all the time who may have access to the report, but don’t make it a priority to use it. This is a big and costly mistake because you’ll never know where you stand or how much progress you’ve made.
Advice: Set specific goals for your website, measure and review results weekly with Google Analytics or any other analytic tool you choose to use.
Internet Marketing Mistake #3. Being complacent about your website design. Not all website designers are created equal meaning that even highly talented and creative designers may not be focused on the ROI goals of your website. For us and our clients, proper website design is about ROI meaning we are focused on building websites with solid navigation, conversion tools, and the SEO fundamentals on page that help you get traffic to your site.
The other issue is that if you’ve paid for some cheap software to build your own website or you had your 12 year old niece build it, then your site will reflect the lack of quality, professional design to most people who visit it. (Some visitors will be clueless or just won’t care.) So ask yourself if you can afford to have a website that doesn’t properly reflect the quality of your brand, your positioning and your value proposition. Look at your other marketing materials. Does your business card do what it needs to do? Does your brochures send the message that you were too cheap to have a professional designer and copy writer craft it? Do you even really need a brochure if you’re online?
Advice: Invest in quality website design and make sure all your marketing collateral reflects a high-quality professional image.
Internet Marketing Mistake #4. Not integrating dynamic and compelling content for search engines and conversions. You have approximately 7 seconds to capture the attention of the typical website visitor. If you are disciplined enough to attract visitors to your website through proper SEO disciplines such as titles, tags, and keyword rich content, research reveals that very specific patterns exist for what the human eye does when it lands on a web page. Assuming your site is easy to navigate so visitors can find quickly what they are searching for, your content must be highly relevant, compelling and easy to read. This will reduce the chance that your visitors will “bounce” right back to where they came from. (Your analytics report will tell you what percentage of visitors “bounce” by measuring the “bounce rate.”)
Many of our clients don’t actually sell products or services through their website so the goal is that we convert visitors into leads and prospects by offering free and compelling information in exchange for contact information and permission to follow up by email. Depending on the purpose of your website, you want to at least capture basic contact information about visitors and earn permission to follow up in one way or another.
For clients who do sell a product or service directly through their site, the goal is to make it easy to understand your offering, simple to navigate your site, and easy to make the transaction happen.
Advice: Assuming you have a quality design and navigation, offer a free report, video or white paper on your home page or the page to which you drive most traffic. Ask for basic contact information and make relevant and useful information easy to access by download so you can satisfy the common need for instant gratification. By doing this you are building your list of leads and prospects over time and earning permission to follow up in an unobtrusive way. If you sell a product or service via your website make it easy to do business with you by virtue of navigation on your site and your shopping cart.
That’s about it for now. I’ll be addressing some other common and costly mistakes in my next article. Your comments and suggestions and always welcome. Internet marketing can be an incredibly effective way to grow your business.