Having been in the e-business, website strategy, development, design and marketing arena at every imaginable level from $1 million dollar budgets to template sites for solo entrepreneurs, I can say with absolute confidence that the biggest, weakest and most common link is not the website itself. But rather, the lack of knowledge about how intricately and tightly related each of these website aspects are and how to fully leverage them.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether they’ve attempted to do it on their own, hire an SEO or internet marketing consultant, businesses of EVERY size are making costly mistakes simply because they don’t yet have full mastery of the basic knowledge required to make informed decisions in the ever changing, highly competitve marketplace created by the internet. This is exactly why I do so many SEO and Internet Marketing lectures, seminars and workshops.
Ther are 3 most critical things you MUST master before you embark on an SEO or internet marketing adventure:
1. What is it you are trying to achieve online?
You should have a definitive goal before you invest a single minute or dollar into website design, development, search engine optimization or marketing.
2. What is your unique selling proposition?
With millions of websites on the internet, most of which are NOT search engine friendly, the more effectively you tell your story, the better the conversion, and the happier you will be with the results.
3. Understand your website is an asset and learn to manage it just as you would other business assets.
This is where an alarming majority of marketers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, CFOs and presidents make their most costly mistakes. If you’re willing to invest your time and money (sometimes tens of thousands of dollars)…you must be prepared to understand how to leverage the asset you’ve created: the website.
Here are some helfpul hints:
- Use tools like stats and google analytics to see what IS working, respond to emerging trends and identify opportunities to improve targeting, SEO and conversion. Not sure where to get started? It’s really quite simple, click here for our simple Google Analytics instructions, and consider attending one of our Google Analytics webinars to learn how to interpret the data.
- KNOW whether your website is truly “optimized” for search. (or ask a professional to do an website SEO analysis for you).
- Gain the knowledge and support required to turn the expense of a website into an investment that will generate ROI. The learning curve is steep in SEO, internet marketing and PPC. Most businesses don’t appreciate this statement until they’ve tried to do it themselves and can’t find the time to do it properly, or have already made very costly mistakes. The good news is that there are many resources for live training and virtual SEO training. This is especially vital if you don’t have the budget to hire a consultant or a full-time SEO pro.
- Know when to ask for help. You may need the assistance of an experienced pro to compliment the skills of your team. SEO, optimized copywriting, search engine design, PPC campaigns and conversion require experience over time. It may seem cost efficient to hire one firm to do website design, copywriting, programming and SEO, but typically these firms do not possess full mastery of TRUE SEO, so consider hiring a pro.
- Optimize, Analyze and Repeat! You cannot rest on your laurels, even if you achieved #1 Google rank and generating sales from your website…there will always be someone vying for that position and your customers…and it can all happen in an instant.
As a relatively new medium still that continues to change every day, you will, without a doubt, no matter what kind of business you are in, lose business if your prospective customers find your competitors on the internet via search engine keywords. Just as your copier requires toner, your computers require software upgrades, your employees require ongoing training, your website as you would your warrants similar attention.
Nurture your website and it WILL repay you in visibility, clicks and conversion!
Do you agree, disagree, or have a story to share?…post it here!