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4 Assumptions That Can Lead to Internet Marketing Failure

The concept of marketing online carries with it an air of mystery, and it can feel like walking with a blindfold. Campaigning within the magical world of algorithms, indexes, coding and spiders isn’t very tangible, making it hard to fully understand. There is no definitive source from which to learn everything, and the information is constantly in motion. Since our world is more engaged online than ever, though, having a proper online presence is critical to business success. So, we put together a short list of common fallacies, so that you can avoid unnecessary failure online.

“Build It and They Will Come”

Many business owners expect that their brand new SEO-optimized website will automatically draw visitors the moment it goes live. Some even delay the launching of the site until a day they know they are well-staffed to handle all the incoming calls. While a website can be your 24-hour salesperson, no one knows about it until you do some form of marketing to let people know it’s there. While an “SEO Set-Up” or an “SEO copywriter” sounds great, having one does not make up for an actual SEO campaign. An author could have the greatest book ever written, but if no one can find it, how will they read it?

“I Know What People Search For in My Industry”

There is a big difference between industry terms and what people with commercial intent (ready to buy) actually type into the search engines. Thinking popular industry terms are the money-makers is actually one of the biggest fallacies there is; but, fortunately, online marketing data provides a wealth of information to reference. For example, you may be a periodontist and think it would be great to be found under the term “periodontist Atlanta”. But, if you want more relevant traffic, you would do better with “dental implants Atlanta” based on historical search volumes as well as what you can track within your online campaign. You know your business, but no one knows a searchers behavior like real-time search data.

“If My Phone Isn’t Ringing, My Marketing Firm Has Failed”

While this statement could be true, there are many reasons why your phone may not be ringing. And, it is up to your marketing firm to find out why and make the necessary changes. It is a part of what you hired them to do, and should be expected in the process. It could be your campaign, a failed message in your website or any number of things. Again, it comes down to analyzing the data. If it is SEO, it could simply mean that you haven’t given it enough time. It can take months to reach the front page of the search results for the most relevant terms that will drive traffic. In general, the more effective a term is, the longer it takes to rank well under it. Until then, don’t expect phone calls. That would be like expecting to ice a cake before it is given enough time to bake.

“I Need a Website Quote for Just 4-5 Pages”

So many companies will put out requests for proposals or accept website development proposals priced by the page. A page can hold umpteen billion different types of content and be used a zillion more ways. Some take longer to build and cost more – but deliver far more. If you are paying by the page rather than by your needs, expect as little as possible from your builder. And, unless specifically stated, don’t assume that any type of marketing expertise is being applied to your design. If you buy a furnished house from someone for a fixed price per room without ever discussing what furniture is needed, expect the least amount of furniture (and worst quality) they can get away with. Would you buy a car based on the number of doors? Think about it. Pickup trucks and convertibles both have two doors and vastly different uses.

As you see, there are plenty of misunderstandings (and many more than listed here) when it comes to marketing online. Intentionally misleading information is rampant, and it’s easy to get lost between all the conflicting advice. It is important to communicate with your marketing agency, because your feedback helps confirm the success of a campaign or uncover its shortcomings so that it can be refined. Ask lots of questions upfront, and make sure your expectations are being properly set by a trusted marketing expert. Oh, and assume nothing!