As the demand for internet marketing services continues to increase, so too does the number of unqualified service providers. The internet is overflowing with internet marketing “experts” who spread misinformation, confusing those who are interested in building a profitable online presence for their business.
Here are the 8 most common internet marketing myths I come across.
Myth #1 – It all starts with a great web site. Actually, the place where it starts is with a well-defined service. If you don’t have a crystal clear picture of whom you are marketing to and exactly what you’re selling them, the best web site in the world won’t get you clients. Before you even think about building a web site, you should know who your target market is, how to describe your professional specialty, and what specific benefits your work provides for your clients. The content of your site is much more important than the design. Yes, you should have a professional-looking site, but a brilliant design and dazzling graphics won’t pay off anywhere near as well as a clear explanation of why a client should work with you.
Myth #2 – More traffic means increased profits. The only result that more traffic to your web site guarantees you is increased bandwidth use by your web host. Before spending money on banner ads, web directories, or pay-per-click listings to drive more visitors to your site, you need to be sure that they’ll want to do business with you once they get there. Ask your colleagues and current clients to critique your site. Do they understand what you are offering? Can they see concrete benefits to your target audience? Revise your site based on their feedback.
Myth #3 – Social media is a waste of time—A growing number of companies are finally starting to see the light, realizing social media marketing isn’t just a passing fad. When done properly, social media marketing is an effective way to increase brand awareness, build links to your website, learn more about your target audience, and enhance your credibility with consumers.
Myth #4 – Stop trying if you have good search ranking? – Wrong. Just because you have top search engine placement for your keywords doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the pedal. The search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and updating their results to provide their users with the most relevant results possible.
Myth #5 – Internet marketing isn’t good for B2B services—Over $650 billion was spent on online B2B transactions in the U.S. alone last year. Spending continues to grow in spite of the recession. If you offer services to businesses, a strong online presence is essential to your success.
Myth #6 – “Internet marketing is too expensive” – It’s well documented that small business owners are cost sensitive, but it’s a misconception that Internet marketing is expensive. In fact, Internet marketing solutions are highly cost effective when compared to traditional advertising media that business owners are more familiar with.
Myth #7 – “Internet companies are unreliable; I don’t know who to trust” – For those small business owners that do see the value in Internet marketing, not having an Internet marketing solution comes down to a matter of choice—or too many choices. “There are so many [Internet marketing providers] you just don’t know who you can trust”, expressed one participant in the Toronto focus group, a sentiment echoed by several others on both sides of the ocean. The best advice to business owners looking to hire an Internet marketing solution provider is to approach the situation the way you would when hiring any other service professional. Ask around; try to get a referral from a friend or acquaintance if possible. When looking at different companies don’t make a decision based solely on price and beware of offers that sound too good to be true. Ask questions about the company and their experience, and read through their own website.
Myth #8 – “Having a professional design is not important” – People often end up neglecting the design of their website, thinking that it is simply an aspect which doesn’t deserve their attention. If you are serious about branding and about being professional, then you can simply not neglect the design of your website. Think about it this way: what would you do if you came across a website which looks as though it was designed by an amateur? Would you be thrilled about doing business with them or would you think twice? If you want to be taken seriously then neglecting the design of your website is simply something you cannot afford.