Get A Grip On Your Internet Goals To Bring In Sales, Not Woes.
As far as search engine marketing tactics go, your goals must be defined and long term oriented to attract targeted, high-lead-yielding web users with the greatest potential of conversion to customers. SEO, or search engine optimization is NOT a one-time shot. Winning the lottery or discovering oil will get your rich quick. Hiring an Internet marketing company to do a job and leave will not get your rich, ever.
We will examine the importance of long term goals as they apply liberally to search engine and general Internet marketing, and show you how to view your web marketing strategy with knowledge, confidence and vision. See your target clearly, not through the rose-colored glasses so many marketing geniuses and false gurus try to slip over your eyes.
WHY TALK ABOUT GOALS?
Because too many people still don't understand that building a well optimized site, establishing and maintaining search engine rank, and helping your customer base continue to grow takes effort and time.
Because the Internet can most definitely help your business and probably increase your sales immensely, but not overnight.
Because nothing is free.
Getting on the first page of a search is not free. It takes money for someone to research if it's even feasible to attempt high ranks with your product or if an ulterior approach must be developed. If you have the expertise to do it yourself, it takes your own, valuable time to build and rebuild your pages for long term gain. It takes time for changes to be picked up by the search engines and ranked.
OPTIMIZATION DOESN'T HAPPEN JUST ONCE
This is another concept many people misunderstand, where some shady SEO's take advantage, and what fuels a lot of ulcers. If you optimize a page for a targeted keyword phrase and you, I, or someone doesn't keep supporting that page by adjusting and tweaking the optimization techniques as the competition changes, as the internet changes, and as you add new content, then your money will be a wasted.
You might pay thousands of dollars for someone to successfully get you top the top three pages across the main search engines if you have a particular non-competitive niche or unique approach to a competitive one. And you could get record sales that first month you reach those great positions!
But, then your competition starts outranking you, your unique approach is now hindered by copycats, search engines have changed their focus and algorithms, you've just purchased raw materials, hired extra help because you thought your demand had spiked, and invested in a bigger office. Three months later you're screaming at your web guy who rightly says, "I'm sorry, I did what you paid me to do!"
BUILD YOUR SITE LIKE YOUR BUSINESS
As you must build your business, so must you build your web site. It should have a solid and strong foundation that will keep it at the top once it gets there. You are much better off investing in a web design or optimization firm that's going to stay with you for several months. Invest in monthly maintenance programs so your new pages are continually changed to match the Internet and competition.
Remember, every main page on your site should be optimized. Each page is a chance to be ranked in a search engine. Monthly maintenance plans may seem like a lot of money, but when you add up the time it takes and the amount of constant research and tracking involved, it's a valuable investment. If your serious about your presence on the Internet, don't sell yourself short.
Just like traditional marketing, Internet marketing has multiple thrusts and targets. You wouldn't try to brand a new national company by running one ad in the local newspaper, right? You'd hit all sides of your market with PR stories, advertising, maybe telemarketing, parties, and incentive programs. And you'd track every move and response and lead and sale to five decimal places.
It's the same principle with Internet marketing. The best part is that dollar for dollar
marketing on the Internet costs almost nothing.
If you have a pay per click campaign, it is even more important to have a good handle on that. It's very easy to waste thousands of dollars because you didn't continually modify your ads and target your keywords.
DEFINE THE GOALS
Whether web design and development, maintenance, search engine optimization, or any Internet marketing endeavor, always begin with a clear vision of where you want to go. If you hire a company to work with you, let them help you define those goals.
Even a simple website that is nothing more than an online brochure has a purpose. Understand what that purpose is. And don't let anyone touch your site in any way that doesn't have a clear idea of what the objective is!
By outlining where you are and what you are striving for you will spend your money wisely, and get the most beneficial results from your Internet marketing.
About the Author: John Krycek a creative director at theMouseworks.ca web and graphic design in Toronto. Learn more about search engine optimization, internet marketing, web development and graphic design in easy, non-technical, up front English at http://www.themouseworks.ca