10 online marketing myths (or: A little marketing knowledge is a dangerous thing)

(This article originally appeared on Mad.co.uk )

It’s very common for a business’s first foray into internet marketing to be a low cost DIY job, but this approach can carry risks.

Here are ten of the most common misconceptions about internet marketing, and what you need to know to ensure you don’t fall foul of a DIY disaster.

“It’s all about traffic”

Having loads of visitors to your site is a great ego boost, but if those visitors disappear again straight away, it’s pointless. The real measure of a site’s success is in the business it generates. Having 20 people visit your

Danger Ahead

Danger Ahead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

site and buy your goods or make an enquiry is clearly better than having 2,000 visitors that do nothing.

Intelligent web marketing is targeted to attract the right visitors, not just any visitors.

“A good website will attract visitors”

If you think you can pour resources into getting the perfect design and words on your new site, and then sit back and watch the visitors stream in, you’re about to be sorely disappointed. Getting a new site off the ground is hard work, no matter how fantastic it looks at the outset. Visitors will not appear out of the blue. You will need to work hard to promote you site, and not just once.

“Search engine marketing is all about meta tags”

If you are striving to appear at the top of search engine results for key related phrases, you might think that meta tags – the bits of code that offer search engines information about your page contents – are the answer. Not so. Seeding these tags with keywords and phrases is now only a small part of the mix. Some search engines consider them, especially the METAdescription and TITLE tag and they can show in results, but Google now ignores METAkeywords tags altogether for the purposes of ranking.

“Once I’m at the top of the search engines, I can stop trying”

There are always X thousand (or even X million) other sites competing for the same key words as yours. Keeping a high listing position means constantly staying on top of things, adding content to your site, posting in places that will give good back links, updating, adding blogs, news, reviewing and tracking. Put simply, it’s not a one off job.

“Hiding extra content on web pages will fool the search engines”

It’s a very bad idea to try to fool the search engines by hiding extra keywords using invisible text or a tiny font. The search engines don’t like it, it’s classed as spamming, and you could end up being penalised with a lower listing, or even have your site banned so that it doesn’t appear in listings at all.

“If I buy lots of links, I can instantly boost my search ranking”

When deciding how ‘important’ a site is, one of the factors search engines take into consideration is the links that point to it from elsewhere on the web. However, Google et al’s algorithms have become much more intelligent, and they no longer just count links, they also assess each site’s authority. If this is low, it will have little or no effect on your listing position.

“A higher Page Rank means a better chance of being found”

Page Rank (PR) is a score of 1-10 that Google assigns to some URLs to indicate their relative importance in comparison to the rest of the internet. It sounds important but in fact what really matters is how your sites fares in Google’s listings compared to those with similar key search terms, and this could bear no relation to your PR.

“All traffic comes from search engines – everything else leads back to that “

There are hundreds of ways to get traffic to your site and they all complement each other. Posting in forums, on Twitter and Facebook, getting people talking about you on blogs and in the online media can all bring in traffic, while also producing good links back to your site, which can in turn help improve your search engine listing.

“I can use a Twitter profile / Facebook to drive masses of traffic to my site”

Just like any other form of web presence, social media profiles take time and effort to build, maintain and attract an audience – and in this case, interaction is more important than ever. Social media can be a great traffic driver, but if you’re only promoting to your own offering, or posting endless links with no engagement, you’re forgetting about the ‘social’ in social media.

“There is a definite formula that works for all internet marketing”

Internet marketing is never simply a matter of carrying out a series of set steps. As with any marketing, to be successful, you need to understand your target market and what interests them, where their conversations are happening, what they are searching for, and so on. This takes time, and for some, means a DIY job isn’t quite as cost effective as it first appears.

Need some help? Check out my Internet Marketing Mentoring service, starting from just £25 a month

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Social Media Marketing – is it REALLY all that new?

new2Let’s be real – Social Media Marketing isn’t really all that new…

We were clicking, viewing, commenting and sharing, long before the term ‘social media’ was coined.

The world of business is going mad for social media, with a recent study suggesting 92% of businesses in North America are using it in some way.

This is exciting of course, but in this excitement, many seem to have forgotten that while some of the technology may be new, the phenomena is not.

In fact, this interactive methodology has been at the core of internet marketing since its very inception. Web pages are, after all, interactive and multimedia by their very nature. We were clicking, viewing, commenting and sharing, long before the term ‘social media’ was coined.

In fact, ‘social’ has always been as aspect of marketing. So, how can the lessons of the past inform the way we approach social media marketing today?

Mistaken identities

What is new to many businesses trying out social media for the first time is the idea of anything other than direct selling. On your website, if you want to you can say what you do, why you are the best at it, ask people to buy and no one will bat an eyelid. The same goes for advertising, of course. But in the social media space, this is not so. Or at least, it can’t make up the majority of what you say.

If you’re familiar with networking in the real world, this will come as no surprise, but if you’re not and you try to use your social media profile as advertising space, you’ll be sorely disappointed at the results. Put simply, your social media profile should be more akin to your whole business persona, not just the advertising part of it.

In real life, you wouldn’t just sell, sell, sell (I hope), you would be informative, knowledgeable and helpful. Knowing the value of word of mouth, you would build connections, have conversations and generally get involved in your community. You would take an interest in others and sometimes, your conversations would be with a view to selling, but sometimes they wouldn’t.

Once you think of it like that, your social media strategy should look a whole lot clearer.

Same game, new pitch

So once we accept that social media goes beyond simple advertising, what else can we learn from the marketing that went before? What can we do to ensure it’s not just chat for chat’s sake?

Three techniques that can work wonders in the social media space are: offering free information, helping promote others reciprocally, and giving exclusive offers to others in the online ‘community’. But, again, these techniques are much older than the space they now inhabit.

Ever given out a free fact sheet to anyone that visits your office? Or helped out a person you meet at a conference by passing on the details of a third party? Or offered a ‘buy on get one free’ deal via your shop window?

These classic promotional techniques existed way before social media, so what’s the lesson here? A lot of social media marketing isn’t about reinventing the wheel, it’s about taking what we’ve collectively learned from other marketing activities (in our offices, at networking events, on our websites) and looking at how these can be carried through to our social networking personas.

Making it work for you

The beauty of social media is that the initial outlay is exceptionally cheap compared to many other forms of marketing. Get yourself a profile and then listen carefully to the buzz that’s happening around you. Follow people you’d like to emulate, and those you’d like as customers. Engage as a useful resource long before you begin to add straight sales techniques to the mix, and above all, keep it up. Again, just like any other form of marketing, social media is about keeping a consistent presence. Drift away, and so will your audience.

Need some help with your Social Media Marketing strategy? Give our Mentoring tryout package a try!

 

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Seven Sins of Internet Marketing

This article originally appeared on Business Zone

Untitled designNikki Pilkington looks at the mistakes entrepreneurs all too often make in a bid to get noticed online.

It’s so easy to start promoting a business online that many people seem to launch into it without much thought for the image they are portraying or the consequences of their actions.

Here are seven internet marketing faux pas, and the preferable alternatives.

1) Unfocussed, mass emailing

You acquire a huge list of random email addresses, tap out a nice salesy email about your business and send it out to everyone on the list in the hope that someone will find your offer relevant. Good marketing model? No. Spam? Yes.

Mass emailing with no target, and worse, no permission, is spam, pure and simple. Your mailing list should be entirely ‘opt in’ and the content you send should be relevant and useful to the recipients, even if that means writing slightly different mail outs for different groups.

2) Irrelevant content

You have read that lots of fresh content is the key to getting your site noticed, so you scour the internet for any free to use bits and pieces that vaguely relate to your offering and post them all over your site.

Posting any old nonsense on your site just to bump up content is a very, very bad idea. Not only could this be to the serious detriment of your credibility, it is also very unlikely to pull in relevant visitors, so you won’t benefit in real terms.

3) Content theft

In your quest for relevant, useful content, you come across some great posts on other people’s sites – perhaps even competitors. With a quick bit of cutting and pasting, you have reams of fresh, high quality content on your site.

Lifting content from other sites and publishing it on your own without permission is a seriously inadvisable. Unless clearly stated otherwise on the content owner’s site, you should always seek permission before republishing content. You should also include a credit and a link back to the original source.

4) Spamming forums

You want as many people as possible to hear about your new sales promotion, so you search for any forum with a relevant-ish topic and post your promotion verbatim on as many threads as you can. Before you know it, there are hundreds of references to your offer all over the web.

And the result of your efforts? You are seen as a spammer, banned from several forums, probably attacked in others, and people are generally rather annoyed with you. Remember, internet marketing via social media is about conversations, not shouting the loudest. By all means mention offers when they are relevant to the topic, but don’t expect to get results without putting time in to build relationships.

5) Falsifying testimonials

You’ve had a lovely new site developed for your new venture, and in the left hand column there’s a special section for displaying your best testimonials. In time, you’ll have some great things to put there, but right now, you’ve got nothing. You decide the best this to do is make a few up using generic names like Joan S and Bill P. It can’t hurt, can it?

Using false or unsubstantiated testimonials is another quick route towards losing any credibility and trust you command. Instead, use the space for something else and work on getting real testimonials by providing a great service.

6) Puffed up claims

Your company is newly formed, so you don’t feel you have many legitimately impressive claims to make yet. You know your employees have collectively worked for several blue chip firms, so you tell a little white lie and claim your company has served those firms. Well, it’s kind of true, isn’t it?

Bad idea. You could be threatened with legal action and suffer irreparable damage to your reputation. Be honest, work with what you’ve got, and publicise your achievements as they happen.

7) Abusing social media trends

Social media trends – the topics users are talking about most – can be a real temptation for internet marketers. Take Twitter, for example: it seems all you need to do is put the ‘tag’ for a current trend at the end of your ‘tweet’ and you’ll get seen. Who cares if the tag isn’t relevant if it gets you an audience? Well, your audience cares.

Abusing social media trends with irrelevant content has landed a few companies in hot water in recent months. Most famously, a ew years ago, a Habitat ‘intern’ caused some serious damage to the brand’s reputation when it put out promotional messages tagged with a reference to the Iran elections. Use tags honestly so that only those interested in what you offer will see your messages.

So the bad news is that it’s easy to get internet marketing wrong, but the good news is it is possible to get it right and get great results, so long as you have the time to invest and are willing to learn from the mistakes of others.

Want to get it right? Check out my Social Media Mentoring services!

 

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The Phases Of Adapting To Social Media Changes

A guest post by Henry Fitzgerald

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Twitter has changed its layout.

If I’ve learned anything at all from social media, it’s this: Every time Facebook changes anything, no matter how minute, people will complain.

While everyone champions the phrase, change is good, the moment it actually comes into contact with our News Feeds, we’re ready to revolt against the highest of all social media executives.

We feel violated, under-appreciated, wronged. For at least two days, the new features are all anyone will talk about. But soon enough, we forget all about it. And it’s like it never happened.

And now, with Twitter jumping on the bandwagon of changes — enough is enough.

It’s time to get over it.

We can’t do anything about the changes, but we can change the way we react. Check out this guideline of social media changes, and how you or your small business can navigate the unpredictable waters of the web without drowning in a Sea of Angry.

Phase 1: Anger and Complaints

This phase usually begins by Facebook adding a 3-centimeter tool bar to the bottom of the page. People will first post a status update asking if anyone else sees the same thing. With their suspicions confirmed, they will then begin complaining about how those 3-centimeters cut into their News Feed. They’ll say they don’t use those tools anyway. They will become angry.

This phase is useless. Your endless anger and complaining is only hurting you and the life of your laptop battery. While it’s difficult to avoid complaining, please realize that it in the end, it’s worth nothing. Scoff gently at those who spend three days griping about the toolbar, and move on.

Phase 2: The Boycott

This phase is also useless. After the toolbar fiasco, people will make claims that they have no intention of acting upon. Claims, for instance, like “I’m not getting back on Facebook until they move that stupid toolbar” or “I hate Facebook anyway. I’m deleting my page!”

The boycott phase is short, usually only a few hours. Don’t waste your time with making these vacuous promises, and proceed to phrase three.

Phase 3: Reluctant Acceptance

Here is a good place to start. When social media changes, just roll with it. Twitter’s changes are going to be huge. For some, the new layout has already been rolled out. Facebook’s new timeline feature is going to be huge too, rolling out at different times for everyone. If small changes set people off, imagining what this huge restructure will cause conjures up visions of riots or a Cyber World War. Some will post links about pressing the right buttons to get your page to revert to the old settings or how posting the comment on 16 friends’ walls and then restarting will bring it back. It’s not coming back. It’s not going to work. Just move forward.

Everyone will get to the acceptance phase sooner or later, so you may as well beat everyone to it. Making the new changes work for your small business will keep you ahead of the curve. While it can be tempting to sit around and wish for things to go back to normal, your time is better spent diving right into the changes.

Phase 4: “What Did It Used To Look Like?”

This phase is where we live in between changes. After griping for a few days, we soon come to realize we have no idea what the old layout used to look like. Do you remember what Facebook looked like last year? Or even last month? It changes so much that we can’t keep up.

Typically, these changes are done to make the experience easier, though it seems uncomfortable at first. Explore the updates and find ways to make it work for you. That is, before it changes again.

Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. When not geeking out over the latest tech gadgets, he spends his time cooking, playing soccer, and sailing. Check out his tech blog here or follow him on twitter: @hfitzy34

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Social Media Marketing: How Much Is Too Much?

 – A guest post by Henry Fitzgerald

From the consumer side, you know when enough is enough.

Maybe you reach that point after reading 26 consecutive tweets from Café Le Nom about lunch and dinner specials. Perhaps you draw the line at 50 Facebook notifications from one vendor. Or maybe you call it quits when your Gmail finally figures out how to re-route all messages from Café Le Nom as spam.

Either way, consumers know when they’re fed up. But, how do businesses and service providers know when to draw the line? How do they know when they’ve gone too far? What are the steps to recover from overdone social media marketing and get on the path to recovery?

Whether you suspect you’ve gone too far with your company’s social media use or had no idea that people can become fed up, check out these tips to help gauge your marketing.

What to Do:

When it comes to marketing via social media, there are definite do’s and don’ts. If you haven’t considered this concept before, you may have already gone too far. But don’t worry, you can always improve!

1) DO: Use Email Marketing

Businesses can be pretty quick to discard email as an effective marketing tool. However, with the smartphone revival sweeping the nation, people are showing a renewed interest in email. Eighty-five percent of people surveyed said that their mobile email is becoming increasingly relevant for daily life while one in three consumers said they use mobile email now more than ever. These numbers all add up to a solid case for email marketing. With people using email on the go, sending out deals, offers and coupons directly to consumer’s inboxes means they can access information on the go, from just about anywhere.

The key to being successful with an email marketing campaign is the frequency of delivery and the wording. Do not, for any reason, use spammy subject lines like, “OPEN NOW!!! UP TO 95% OFF SPECIALLY MARKED ITEMS FOR THE NEXT THIRTY SECONDS!!” Your messages will be flagged as spam and redirected accordingly. Make your subject lines honest and appealing and keep your messages between the 2-5 times a week mark. Send them during the day when people are likely to be out shopping and keep the message short but informative.

2) DO: Blog!

Blogs are an underutilized resource for many larger businesses. People like to be updated with your business, but might not necessarily want to read about it on Facebook or Twitter. Linking to your company blog gives people the option to check it out, without being too overwhelming. Keep the blog updated with fresh, interesting content and be creative to make sure that your readers keep coming back.

3) DO: Use Social Media Wisely

All in all, just be wise with your social media use. Follow the golden rule. If you don’t want your social media bombarded with company links, coupons and gimmicky posts, then don’t do it to others. Post a few times a week to keep customers interested and avoid posting more than a handful of times each day.

What Not To Do:

1) DON’T: Fill Up News Feeds

This is fairly self-explanatory. If you notice that you’ve posted a lot at one time, you can bet that you’re probably filling up news feeds. This act will put you on the fast track to be un-friended or un-followed. Over-sharing is the number one reason people will cut you from their social media radar. Keep your updates limited to avoid being axed.

2) DON’T: Bombard Inboxes or Sent Out Spam

If you decide to use email marketing, do not take it too far. Don’t send more than one email a day and avoid spammy subjects like the one listed above. If you send out messages too frequently and if they contain the spam phrases, Gmail will call you out before consumers can even find the unsubscribe button.

3) DON’T: Ignore Feedback

Customers are the most vital aspect of your success or failure. If you receive feedback, either positive or negative, don’t ignore it. If they’re trying to tell you something, listen. You’ll be glad you did.

Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. When not geeking out over the latest tech gadgets, he spends his time cooking, playing soccer, and sailing. Check out his tech blog here or follow him on twitter: @hfitzy34

They know your name – So what?

Every time I go to a networking event (and I go to a lot!), I obviously spend some time telling people there what it is that I do.

And invariably, someone will sit there listening, then a smug smile will start to spread across their face. They wait until I finish, and I know what they’re going to say;

“I don’t need your services. I’m already number one in Google”

I take a deep breath, as always, and say “That’s fantastic! What are you number one FOR?”

The smug smile is replaced by a slight look of bewilderment.

“FOR?” they query.

“Yes” I say, “What do people type into Google to see you in the number one spot?”

Their brow crumples, they look around a bit, then they look at me with almost a look of pity.

“My company name…” they say, the tone of voice and ensuing gap leaving me under no illusion that they wanted to add the word “stupid” to that sentence.

I take a deep breath…

And then it begins – the argument as to why being found for your company name isn’t the most fantastic thing in the world.

Let’s think about it guys:

Scenario 1.

You meet someone out and about, and give them your business card. They pocket it, find out more about your company and decide they may want to get in touch with you.

6 months later they’re at their office, and thinking “I really need to speak to that nice chap John, from that company that made handmade greetings cards. What was the name of the company? Oh yes, ‘John’s Handmade Greetings Cards’ “

Off they toddle to Google, type in John’s Handmade Greetings Cards, and hey presto! You’re number one, they get in touch, and all is well with the world.

Of course, they could also have gone to their business card holder / box / drawer / corner of the room, and found you that way. The fact is that they already knew you and your company name, so it was easy to find you.

Of COURSE you should be number one for your company name – by default this should be the case, unless you have a very generic business name.

So, Scenario 2.

You meet someone out and about, and give them your business card. They pocket it, find out more aout your company and decide they may want to get in touch with you.

6 months later they’re at their office, and thinking “I really need to speak to that nice chap John, from that company that made handmade greetings cards. What was the name of the company? Oh God, it’s on the tip of my tongue. Now I know he was a lovely guy, and I know what his company did, but for the life of me I can’t remember his company name. Now where did I put his business card?”

Now let’s say they can’t find your business card. Not to panic – the internet will come to the rescue, right?

Off they toddle to Google, type in “handmade greetings cards”, and they find….

What do they find? Not your site. Because you’re happy being top for your company name.

They find your competitors – and lots of them. And someone else gets the business.

Imagine another scenario, where the person searching has never even met you, heard of you, thought of you, and most definitely hasn’t dreamed of you.

Are they going to be searching for your company name? No.

Are they going to be searching for your products? Yes.

If you are only ranked highly under your company name, will they find you? No.

So what can you do?

Right now, take a piece of paper and a pen. Split it into two halves – one half headed “Where” and the other “What”.

In the “Where” part, write down the areas in which you work – eg Leicester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire.

In the “What” part, write down what it is you do or provide – eg “SEO,search engine listings, internet marketing training, site reviews”

Thos things now form the basis of the type of search phrases you want people to find you for:

  • internet marketing milton keynes
  • internet marketing training milton keynes
  • site reviews northampton

etc.

Now check if your site is findable for those phrases. Not sure? Visit our site at www.nikkipilkington.com and apply for our free report to find out.

If your site can’t be found for the services and products that you provide, then you are missing out on visitors, and therefore on business.

Being found for your company name is good – but it’s only a start. Think of all the people that know who you are. Now think of all of the people that don’t. Which is the larger category? And in that case, who should you be targeting?

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More than 5 hours a week spent on Social Media Marketing?

We are all aware of the power of social media. Used by millions of adults all around the world, social media is by far one of this century’s biggest phenomenons. So with such vast potential audience on social network sites and blogs every day, it only seems logical for companies to embrace social networking to boost the awareness of their brand.

A survey recently conducted by NikkiPilkington.com, an Internet marketing company based in the UK & France, reveals some dramatic if not unsurprising results on how businesses are now using social networking as a regular part of their marketing strategies. The results not only show which sites and what type of social media is most commonly used, but also the duration of time businesses spend on social media marketing.

The sites that people use to promote their business

The sites that people use to promote their business

An impressive 95% of businesses declare they incorporate Twitter into their marketing strategy. Twitter, the world’s leading micro-blogging service, now has literally billions of ‘Tweets’ per quarter. So anyone who is anybody now has to be there in order to boost their online performance.

Following not far behind is Facebook, now the world’s leading social networking site, with 77% of businesses responding taking part in ‘Facebook-ing’. Blogging is also used by an impressive 67% of businesses, with 48% also commenting on other blogs (often as a part of link-building campaign).

Online business forums and YouTube also take a slice, 61% and 28% respectively, but perhaps one of the most surprising revelations is that 0% seems to incorporate MySpace. Although MySpace arguably laid the foundations for social networking back in 2004, in 2008 it was overtaken by Facebook, whose popularity still on the rise.

We also asked how long per week was spent on social media marketing. Again unsurprisingly, 42% spend 5 hours or more every week using the likes of Twitter and Facebook. A still rather hefty 28% spent between 2-5 hours, whilst 17% spend 1-2 hours, and 9% spend 30 minutes to an hour per week on social media marketing. Only 4% spend less than half an hour a week, with all of these results proving the significance of social media within the realms of marketing.

How long per week is spent on Social Media Marketing

How long per week is spent on Social Media Marketing

It is clear that with the ever increasing rise of Tweets, updates and blogs, social media marketing is going to have to keep up with this modern form of communication. Although offline advertising should not be underestimated, social media marketing as a part of a digital marketing campaign is one of the most integral forms of increasing brand awareness in the 21st Century

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Disclaimer: The stats above were based on the responses of 624 business people. As the stats were gathered via Twitter, Facebook, online forums and blogs, it is clear that there will be some bias towards those areas of promotion. However, responses were also solicited via email and our newsletter, to try and even this up a little!

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Small Business Marketing and the Internet – How Most Business Owners Get it Wrong

jon2A guest post by Jon McCulloch

Small Business Marketing and the Internet – How Most Business Owners Get it Wrong

Let me begin by saying, I am not against local businesses putting time, effort and money into Internet marketing.

On the contrary there’s no doubt the Internet is a profitable and lucrative source of new customers and clients for many local small businesses.

Yet, that said, the fact is most business owners get it wrong – because instead of seeing the Internet as another marketing medium, a powerful string to their marketing bow, they instead see it as a business in and of itself.

And it’s not.

Yes, there are people out there making money online and only online… but if you’re a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, or any one of umpty-thousand other bricks ‘n’ mortar businesses relying on a steady stream of real-live human beings coming through your door to put money in your pocket, then with very rare exception relying on the Internet to send them all your way is a grave, and perhaps ultimately fatal mistake.

The Allure of the Internet

The reason Internet marketing is so attractive is it’s so fast, easy and cheap. Anyone can throw a web-page up there or sink some money into Adwords and get traffic. Throw a bit more money at it and you can even get good natural search-engine rankings (just going from memory, there are something like 91 people a month searching for “architects bury st Edmunds”.

Now, that’s not huge numbers, but since there are but 34,000 competing pages for that phrase and none of the top landing pages are worth the server-space they’re taking up, an enterprising architect could get himself a constant stream of quality leads for next to nothing (and just bear in mind an architect’s fees are not low, so he wouldn’t have to close many before he or she was making a killing).

So it’s worth doing.

But the problem is… if our hypothetical architect did nothing else, then he or she is courting disaster.

Why?

Well, if you get all your business from just one source and it dries up, you are left high and dry.

Can it happen?

Oh yes, indeed.

I am aware of more than one business owner in the US who relied exclusively on Fax marketing – and it was very successful. Right up until the moment it essentially became illegal and their entire business model went belly up.

It would only require Google to change their algorithms or blacklist the architect’s domain for something similar to happen to our architect, too.

But there’s another more subtle reason why the Internet isn’t always the best choice. Well, two, actually.

Two Reasons Not to Rely on Internet Marketing

First, there are some businesses where people simply are not looking on line. This may change in the future, of course, but right now the best-paying and most profitable business is simply not to be found typing search terms into Google.

And how do you know your business isn’t one of them?

Answer is, you don’t not unless you’re tested other marketing channels (and I mean tested them properly with proven direct response marketing strategies and techniques, not just stuck an ad in your local rag because some smooth-talking rep. cold-called you and sold you on a “bargain placement”).

And secondly, it can get very crowded online. If everyone’s looking for the same business, and they’re all doing the same thing. What’s more, the mindset of people when they’re searching online is unique to the medium… and they’re almost always price-shopping and rarely serious buyers.

Very quickly, you can find yourself amid a vast crowd of “me too” websites and pages, and then discover the only thing you have to compete on is price. And that’s never good.

A Smart Adjunct to Internet Marketing

In my experience I’ve found I get the best results by marrying offline marketing with online marketing.

Simply put, you use offline media – direct mail, direct response adverts, fliers, postcards and letters, etc. – to drive offline traffic online to your website where the cheapness and simplicity of the online medium makes telling your whole “story” and collecting names and email addresses a cinch.

Now, this means you have to do several things if you want it to work properly:

1. You must understand direct response marketing and the AIDA model. Simply sending a boring letter which in effect says, “please visit our website because we need the money” is not marketing – it’s a feeble cry for help.

2. Your website needs to be re-engineered along direct-response lines. Rather than being nothing more than an electronic equivalent of your glossy brochure, it should have a dedicated landing page which has but one purpose: to get the names and email addresses of the people whom your offline marketing has driven to the website. Your offline marketing makes a promise that it’s going to be worth their while hitting your web page… and when they do hit it… you must keep that promise.

3. Once you’ve got their details, you market to them by email frequently, often and relentlessly until they buy, die, or tell you to stop!

How well does this work?

Well, your results are going to vary depending on many factors, some of which are entirely beyond your control.

But just to give you an idea of what’s possible… one of my clients had built a £20 million business in about 4 years by using Adwords alone. The realisation of how vulnerable he was to Google’s capriciousness was one reason he asked me to work with him on his offline marketing.

Now, just under two years later, the same business is worth probably nearer £40 million. Doubled in under two years.

So give it a try… because it works.

Bio

Jon McCulloch is one of the top Direct Response Marketing experts in the UK and Ireland, with his expert advice being sought even as far away as the US by multi-millionaire Entrepreneurs lining up to pay his fees at a ruinous exchange rate rather than use home-grown American talent. There’s a reason for this… and you can discover this reason for yourself from his direct response marketing website.

From the horse's (well, Google's) mouth.

USA Today recently interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts and he shared his top tips for getting listed in Google. No surprises, to be honest, but I thought I’d share 🙂

  1. Spotlight your search term on the page.
  2. Fill in your tags.
  3. Get other sites to link back to you.
  4. Create a blog and post often.
  5. Register for free Google tools.
  6. Don’t overdo it!

More here >>>

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