There is a ton of information out there, when it comes to internet marketing and to be candid, most of it is crap. You have a gazillion self-proclaimed GURUs or EXPERTS that will tell you the “right” way to market your website online. Oh…but you have buy one of their online seminars in order to get their help. That’s their business. They sell hope just like hair tonic salesmen did for bald men in late 19th century. I have a news flash for you and your stress filled follicles…save your money and your hairline. There isn’t just one “right” way of achieving online marketing success. A seasoned SEM [Search Engine Marketing] professional will tell you that every approach must be unique and best suited for that business. No two SEM campaigns should ever be the same because the results will always vary from business to business.
The Internet changes so rapidly that even the pros have a hard time keeping up with technology. With the growing trend of do-it-yourself style type of mindsets out there, many business owners want to take full advantage of all the incredible technology available on the internet, but few know where to begin. The following are 9 truly important aspects to think about before starting your own internet marketing campaign for your business. Ignorance is your worst enemy and perspective is your greatest ally online!
Time: The very first and most important aspect to consider is your time. Simply put, do you have the time to invest in managing various types of accounts across the internet? Or have the time to sit and develop intelligent SEM articles that are relevant to your business? Do you have the time to do the research? Can you really keep up with Social Media trends and postings? Can you really spend extra hours reviewing data, going back and forth, comparing, contrasting, and forecasting. Oy Vey! Trust me, the list about time goes on and on. Time is one thing you can never get back in life, so make sure you spend it wisely. Do you think your time online with internet marketing is used effectively?
Effort: Building upon the aspect of time, something that is often overlooked and is difficult to sometimes quantify when considering an internet marketing campaign is the effort that goes into it. Was the time spent worth? Internet marketing isn’t always PPC (Pay-Per-Click), PPI (Pay-Per-Impression), or based on paid search. There is another side of internet marketing that is much more subtle and deceptively illusive to the laymen. Quantification of this type of effort can be tricky. Usually a decent Organic SEM campaign involving content laden articles that are posted around the internet takes roughly 1 – 3 months to get indexed by major search engines and thus useful to said SEM campaign. Paid search is instant. You pay money, your ad shows up somewhere. You stop paying money, the ad goes bye bye. So effort is a major consideration. Is the effort you’re pouring into this going to be worth it?
Objectivity: This aspect is what can separate a novice from a professional. It might sound crazy, but certain things you might have taken as a truth might hurt you in the long run when marketing your own business online. Who knows your business better than you, right? Not quite. In the overall scheme of things, yes, you know your business better than anyone else, but when it comes to effective and highly calculated writing of SEM articles you might be writing the same thing over and over and over again and not even realize it. It’s always better to write things in the 3rd person. It’s quite rare to see a quality SEM article written in the 1st person. That is what Facebook is for! So being objective about your business is imperative. It’s not an easy task to think differently about yourself and/or your business consistently. Do you have the ability to step back and gain a larger perspective for internet marketing and your business?
Knowledge: Here is something to think about, do you even know what you are doing? Knowledge is essential to an incredible internet marketing campaign. Managing paid search accounts, writing articles, updating social media sites, and having a finger on the pulse of the internet is not an easy thing to keep up with. There are new things happening everyday that you need to be aware of and take into consideration. Do you know what keywords are relevant to your website? Do you know the demographic breakdown of who is visiting your site based upon age, sex, race, wealth, etc.? Do you know how to start and manage a Google Adwords account? It literally does not end. The more you know, the more you have to fuel and direct your marketing campaign in the right direction for your website. Do you know your business and internet marketing well enough to start your own campaign?
Writing Ability: This may sound silly to ask, but do you know how to articulate your knowledge of your business into articles, keywords, sponsored ads properly, etc.? So many people take huge liberties in their daily lives when it comes to writing. Grammar is usually the first rule to be thrown out of the window. Followed by spelling, punctuation, and context. It’s one thing to have a great idea, it’s another thing to be able to effectively communicate that idea into words, which then will be read by others. Luckily, most modern computers are equipped with MS Word or a reasonable facsimile. These programs have spell check, grammar check, punctuation correction, etc., but they can’t catch every mistake. If you misspell a word or put things out of context, your readers might scratch their heads and say, “Why should I take this seriously, when they didn’t take the time to read over what they wrote.” Put yourself in the reader’s point of view. What would you do if you read something that had errors all over the place? Would you keep reading? Would you respect the author or editor slightly less? Would you dismiss their content consciously or worse subconsciously?
Expectations: I like to call this next one, the quantum aspect. In Quantum Theory, there can be an infinite number of potential results or choices made for any given moment for; electrons, atoms, molecules, dogs, cats, You, Myself, Space, Time, etc. Yes, theoretically as crazy as it sounds, on a quantum level even electrons can make decisions that can alter reality. With that being said, there are an infinite number of outcomes and choices that you, the business owner, could make along the way. It’s important to set realistic primary goals as well as long term phases that encompass a broader context of initiative and imagination. Internet marketing has so many possibilities and potential outcomes. Some million dollar questions could be; What are you looking to achieve? Will this increase my profits or my overhead? Could I do this more efficiently and/or effectively?
Analysis: This is usually the part that business owners loathe. Going over data can be tedious and time consuming. Arghhhh! More time spent going over stuff about other stuff and how it relates to other stuff, which leads to the analysis of said stuff to make clearer and more informed decisions about future stuff. Analysis doesn’t have to be an impossible mission. Knowing what works and what won’t will maximize your time and effort as well as help get you home in time for dinner. Every business wants the same thing, which is to make money. Data analysis and the proper follow up will shape and mold an internet marketing campaign into an incredibly effective and proven tool. The main issue with analysis is where to start and where to stop. What concrete conclusions can be established by addressing and analyzing relevant data to your site? And so on…and so on. There are literally thousands of ways to analyze data. However you do it, the important thing is getting what you need to make the campaign work more effectively. The tough part is knowing which questions to ask.
Passion: It can be a blessing or a curse. When a business owner is too passionate about his/her business, it could eat away at his/her professional and private lives. Spending long hours in the office or sitting at home doing research away from family, friends, etc. It chips away at relationships. It’s not healthy to obsess over something, no matter what form it takes. The inability to allow any outside perspective whatsoever could do more harm than good. There is also the complete opposite, indifference. When a business owner is passionless about his/her business, they may pass the responsibility to someone who may not be qualified. What typically happens within a company is that a micro power vacuum is created. Someone gets to control an important part within the company because the owner is so far removed from the daily particulars of business and may not know of anything that is happening at all. Not only will the main goals not get focused on, but precious company time, effort, resources, and money would be spent in vain. That’s going on the assumption that an indifferent owner would even have the epiphany to even start a SEM campaign. Any of these scenario can’t be good by any stretch of the imagination. So, it’s hard to quantify the right amount of drive or passion required for any business’ online marketing needs. Knowing how to use your passion as a rudder to navigate and having the humility to listen to others is key. A campaign will dramatically improve because the results and the analysis will be more focused. Do you know how to apply your passion?
Money: Ahhhh…Money. Money, money, money. It’s the driving force to open up shop in the morning. It’s the very essence of business and commerce! Everything always comes down to this point; the bottom line. These days, everyone is trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Pinching pennies when it comes to proper placement online is not acceptable. Showing up organically on page thirty-one instead of page one will net you absolutely ZERO new leads. In fact, I would go as far as to say that if you are not in the top four organically, then you are toast. With the proper budget any business can create a fairly robust SEM campaign that can grow and change with time and analysis. At the same time spending $10,000 a week on PPC ads is completely insane! There is a happy medium. It can be tough to not only find it, but to stay on track. Think about this: With all of the previous aspects considered, is it worth it to do everything on you own?.
In closing, from time-to-effort-to-objectivity-to-knowledge-to-writing ability-to-expectations-to-analysis-to-passion-to-money…take time to fully contemplate what it is your looking to achieve. Then weigh your options and create a simple pros and cons list. Compare the benefits to the potential downfalls of doing something on your own or hiring a trained professional or a firm to get the job done for you. It’s entirely plausible that you or your current staff could handle certain SEM, Social Media, or follow up tasks, but the increase in workload may or may not create friction and/or lackluster results. Just as the boss may not understand what he/she is doing, the employees may have even less of an idea. Unless you have a competent in-house staff that strictly handles internet marketing, it’s almost impossible to do everything yourself. Many companies can’t afford any new hires in light of the current economic climate. It truly is a contemporary internet conundrum that modern business owners face everyday. The real question is; What is everything worth to you?
[As an ethical disclaimer to you the reader, this article is not meant as a direct or indirect advertisement for any of my particular knowledge, skills, and / or services. I am a professional internet marketing consultant with years of experience helping individuals, businesses, and groups to achieve a higher level of online ROI with internet marketing.]
Tags: content writing, Google, google adwords, internet marketing, internet marketing campaign, internet marketing consultant, keyword, keyword search, Keywords, online marketing, pay per click, pay per impression, PPC, PPI, relevant keywords, search, search engine, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, SEM, SEO, social networking, web analytics
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