Search Engine Optimization is just another tool in your marketing bag. If used properly it can bring you more customers, more prospects, and more clients faster than any other form of marketing. But, like anything else in marketing, it requires a plan. Plans require a clear end result to be defined. This is first and foremost in your online marketing plan: your end result (or conversion). What is your desired conversion?
Whatever your conversion goal is, it will involve a living breathing person on the other end of the internet connection. Before the existence of the internet, before the existence of direct mail marketing, conversions involved face-to-face interactions. Keep this in mind while developing your marketing plan. Search Engine Marketing is NOT about tricking the search engines, it is NOT about how much you pay per click and it is NOT how many websites link to your website. At the end of the day, it is about simulating that face-to-face interaction as closely as possible.
When your prospective customer reaches your website, they probably do not know who you are. They are not familiar with your company and most importantly they do not want to be ‘sold’.
But WAIT??? You say. 'I have to make money. I have something to sell. That’s why I spent so much time and money bringing people to my website'.
Yes, but here is something to ponder. When you are shopping in a brick and mortar store, say for instance that you are shopping for a new stove. What are YOU initially looking for? …
You want to know what makes the $600 model better than the $400 model. You ask yourself, “do I really need all the features of the $600 model or can I live with the $400 model?” So you are sitting there reading all of the information on the tags. You are gathering information. If a salesman walks up in the first few moments, you tell him that you are ‘just looking’ to get him to back off. It isn’t until you have settled on one or two models that you ask for help. It isn’t until you have gathered all of the INFORMATION that you even glance in the direction of the salesman, fearing that even looking at him before you are ready will cause him to come running across the store and stand two feet from you until you make your final selection.
You don’t want to be ‘sold’. You want to make an informed decision and when you finally do ask for a salesperson, what are you looking for?
You are looking for more information to support your buying decision. Only when you have satisfied all of your questions do you ever even pull out that credit card and make the purchase.
Keep that in mind when you are creating your internet marketing plan.
The successful salesman knows that he has products to sell. He knows that he must sell X number of stoves to put food on the table. But most importantly, the successful salesman KNOWS that in order to make the sale, he must know his product. He must have the INFORMATION. He must know how to communicate that knowledge & also how to make the sale passively without being a ‘salesman’.
So, back to how to market ineffectively online….
If you truly want to lose potential customers… if your passion is to sit around all day and figure out how to trick the search engines into ranking your website in the #1 or #2 spot….. If you love paying way too much for pay per click traffic… if you are absolutely sure that you do not need to pay attention to proper Search Engine Optimization... then here are a few sure fire ways to completely waste your time with your website:
- · Use LOTS of cute graphics… especially the dancing cowboy one… everyone loves that right?
- · Put everything you can possibly think of on the first page
- · Include links to every single site you can think of
- · Link exchange with everyone that asks
- · Ask everyone to link exchange with you
- · Make your contact information hard to find
- · List your contact information everywhere and anywhere it fits
- · Have no sensible navigation whatsoever
- · Name your home page ‘Home’, your contact page ‘contact me’ etc
- · Use images to link your inner pages
- · Have at least three broken links on every page
- · Use the worst possible picture of yourself and make sure its cropped wrong
- · Use the same title tag on every single page
- · Use the same description on every single page
- · Design your entire site in flash (remember to include the broken links)
- · Buy 14,000 links to your site for $14.95
- · Hide text on your website so search engines see it and people don’t
And the #1 thing you can do to completely waste your time with your website is…….
- · Don’t include any information anywhere about anything having to do with your business