BUSINESS MARKETING MISTAKES - PART 1
Small business resources are
frequently far too scarce and valuable to waste. Yet, we see companies
wasting money on a grand scale every single day when it comes to marketing.
The waste is not necessarily in the marketing method chosen, although it
frequently is, but in the execution.
Sometimes the marketing mistake is really a problem with the website.
Effective marketing is useless if your website kills the sale.
What do we mean by this? Let's list some of the more prevalent errors and
look at some examples.
1. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION THAT STOPS SHORT
The company painstakingly determines the very best keywords for their site
and carefully follows all the rules for creating effective meta tags for
their home page. This company may even create several versions of their home
page to take into account the supposed requirements of different search
engines. Sounds good so far. Right?
Then they blow it by ignoring content! The content of the home page is so
geared toward search engine optimization that it does little to make the
reader who visits want to visit the rest of the website. Getting the visitor
is merely the first step and becomes a worthless effort if they do not want
to stick around for awhile and see what the company has to offer.
Notice also that we stated the optimization effort was geared toward the
home page. What about the rest of the site? Companies often forget that the
purpose of search engine optimization is to attract targeted visitors. More
often than not the products companies want to attract visitors to are not
located on the home page, but on other pages within the site. Far too
frequently, nothing has been done to optimize and submit these interior
2. FORCING VISITORS TO VIEW A FLASH PRESENTATION BEFORE ENTERING THE
Yes, Flash presentations can be very cool and impressive. But only about 21
percent of surfers have DSL or broadband connections and Flash can take a
while to load over a dial up connection. People WILL NOT wait unless they
are so sold on the content they are ultimately going to be able to access
that they don't mind you wasting their time.
First of all, if you use Flash at all, hire a professional who knows how to
optimize the presentation for the fastest possible load times.
Second, make the Flash presentation optional. If the visitor is interested,
he or she will load it and wait. If not, they can go about their business on
your site and will be pleased that you gave them the option.
3. INEFFECTIVE USE OF GUARANTEED HITS AND SURF FOR HITS PROGRAMS.
It could be argued that using these types of programs is a waste in and of
itself, and often it is. But if you want to try them or use them as
supplemental advertising, don't just send the hits to your home page or
directly to a product sales page. Create a special page just for these
programs and don't try to sell directly. Get people to sign up for an
informational autoresponder or to a newsletter so you can use more effective
marketing techniques on those who respond.
You'll also have better luck if you use a script-based subscription
technique that automatically captures the visitor's information without them
having to enter it. You'll get more signups and better email addresses this
4. PURCHASING GUARANTEED HITS FROM A COMPANY THAT SUPPLIES THE HITS USING
POP-UPS, POP-UNDERS, LOTTO VALIDATIONS AND SIMILAR SOURCES.
No matter how well you prepare yourself for using guaranteed hits programs,
your campaign will not be effective if the hits come from these sources.
Most surfers use software that suppresses pop-ups and pop-unders so you
might be paying for phantom hits. Hits from lotto and other gaming sites are
not targeted and do not represent hits from visitors who have the slightest
interest in what you're selling. Always know the source of the hits you're
buying and let common sense be your guide.
5. FAILURE TO PREQUALIFY VISITORS WHEN USING PAY-PER-CLICK SEARCH
Pay-per-click search engines are terrific sources of targeted traffic to
your site. However, your marketing tactics need to change a little when
using them. Your goal is not to drive the maximum amount of traffic to your
site. That's wasting money! Include in your description information that
will weed out the tire kickers. If your product costs $299, say so. This
will prevent your paying for visitors who aren't interested if the price is
Take a look at your marketing efforts and make sure you aren't making any of
the above mistakes. If you are, commit to fixing the problem as soon as you
can. Next week, I'll give you some others to work on.
Copyright (c) 2002