John Robinson of JWRmedia had a very interesting — and very appropriate — post at his blog recently regarding the five big marketing mistakes that website/blog owners make.
He poses the question, “Why are there so many unsuccessful websites when others continue to flourish?” and goes on to say that much of the reason can be traced back to poor marketing.
Most business people still seem to have the notion that “if you build it they will come.” This way of thinking was bad enough before the days of the internet, but now that we have the internet — with most of us seeking ways to earn our living online — people really do seem to believe that simply having a website is about all they need.
That’s why people who are selling SEO information are making a fortune right now. Business folks seem to think if they just hit on that magical formula for driving traffic to their site through the search engines, then they can sit on the beach in Tahiti while the money keeps rolling in.
I’ve yet to meet a real person actually being successful this way. The folks I know who are making a successful living online — whether they are getting rich or not — are spending 90% of their time marketing the heck out of their business to drive traffic to their site.
I’m a big proponent of offline as well as online marketing for growing an online business, and that’s a topic I’ll tackle on another day.
For now, I want to share some of John’s insight about the 5 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Online Business.
1. A little of this, a little of that
John says the first big mistake that people make is in doing just a little of this and a little of that. They advertise a little bit on one website, a little bit on another. They try a little bit of email marketing and so on. However, with limited budgets, they only accomplish a small presence in each area.
People need to see your message consistently before they even start paying attention to you, let alone buy something from you.
John says, “Establishing a well known presence in just one area will work much better than scattering yourself all over the web.” (Marty note: There’s a great lesson here for me in this statement, probably for you as well?)
2. Ignoring statistics
The second marketing mistake is ignoring statistics. Unfortunately for most people, their webmasters are not always eager to share statistics with them. This comes mostly, I suspect, from a fear that they might find out that the website is not performing well and that the business owner will blame the webmaster.
Actually, I believe that’s a great place to put the blame if you feel the need to do that and I say that not to be hateful, but to encourage you to take control of your own site.
Sure, hire a good graphics person to create a nice looking site but YOU need to be in control of the content. That means you write the content because you know your business best, and if possible, it also means you have the ability to change the content on your site yourself anytime you like.
But, I digress.
Pay attention to your statistics. Not just to see how well you are doing, but to see trends about things that you can either do more of or that you might want to do less of.
3. Tweaking things that aren’t broken
The third mistake is in doing too much tweaking of things that aren’t broken which is another good argument for paying attention to statistics. “If you have a web page that ranks well in Google and brings you a fairly decent amount of targeted traffic, don’t go modifying the page contents, images and META tags,” says John.
4. Jumping the gun
Fourth on John’s list is “jumping the gun.” Too often we put a website up and start promoting long before we’ve taken the time to be sure the site is functional and will do what we want it to do. (Do you know what you want your site to do for you? Or rather, what do you want your website visitor to do in the 5 second interval of time you have to capture their attention? What action do you want site visitors to take when they arrive at your site?)
John’s sage advice is, “Correct the kinks, finish your design, and fully test your website’s functionality before inviting everyone to visit.”
5. “Flying solo”
Last of the marketing mistakes on John’s list is trying to do everything yourself. While I’m a big proponent of doing as much constructing and maintenance of your website yourself as you possibly can, John is really referring more to using other people to get the word out about your site. He says, “With practically every aspect of business, it’s all about who you know. By creating a strong, positive relationship with others, you can help spread the word about what you are offering.”
Trouble is most folks have no clue how to bring all of this marketing together. I’m in the process of putting the finishing touches on my newest Soul Proprietor Guidebook, “Websites are Dead! Why You Must Have an Online Business Instead.”
© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh