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10 ways you could be killing your online marketing

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Online marketing is an easy and inexpensive way to build your business, but there are some things to keep in mind. Keith Webb outlines 10 missteps that could be your downfall.

1. Not staying on top of new marketing strategies. Get as much information as you can and take time to study it before you implement any new strategies, Webb writes. “The more knowledge and experience you can possess, the quicker you will reach your goals.”

2. Following the competition too closely. Make sure you differentiate yourself clearly on your website and any other e-marketing materials.

3. Bewildering prospects with a confusing website. Like a bad sales pitch that leaves prospects overwhelmed, if visitors can’t navigate easily through your site, they’ll go elsewhere.

4. Using your website as a sales presentation. Your prospects visit your website for information, not for a pitch. As Webb reminds us, sales aren’t often the result of a first visit, so offer free information, tips or newsletters to give visitors a reason to come back.

5. Failing to set specific demographic targets. Why waste your efforts on prospects you wouldn’t want to work with anyway?

6. Failing to protect visitors’ privacy. Whether it’s e-mail lists of your e-newsletter subscribers, or more sensitive information about clients’ financial histories, take every effort to protect users’ privacy, and state your policy clearly on your website.

7. Not setting up back links to your Web site. “Providing links leading back to your website from a high-ranking Web page will also give your site a high rank,” Webb writes, which will make your site easier to find.

8. Lack of perseverance. “Most businesses fail online due to lack of persistence and giving up too soon,” Webb writes. “Online marketing will take a lot of time to fully succeed.”

9. Insufficient follow up. The same principles that make for successful sales offline are important online as well. “Online marketing often fails because many companies fall short in following up with their online visitors,” Webb writes, “thereby stunting the growth of brand awareness.”

10. Not promoting your website. Webb suggests cash-strapped advisors join forums and submit free links to search engines to spread the word.