The #1 Biggest Online Marketing Mistake Businesses Make

Talk to friends who have a business to promote online and they’ll tell you how awesome their website looks. They’re proud of the $1,000 or the $10,000 they spent on creating a fabulous website with beautiful images and a fabulous layout with bold colors. What they fail to realize is they just made the biggest mistake in online marketing if that’s the extent of their strategy.

It’s a common mistake in many industries, including those specializing in real estate, business to business and even those specializing in medical spa marketing.

The Big Mistake

What these businesses fail to realize when they’re creating a budget for their new website is they must promote it. A website doesn’t bring in traffic just by being pretty. In fact, no one will ever see how wonderful it is if you don’t know how to drive traffic to it.

Over 80% of traffic comes from people searching on the name for many businesses. These users are already familiar with the company or have been recommended by someone who is a client or friend of the owner. What they want to focus on instead are those who’ve never heard of the business. They are searching for a topic or a solution to a problem, and the company’s website pops up in the search results. How do you get there? You must follow the 10 to 1 rule.

Over three billion searches are done each day, and the first page people go to when they get on their computer is a search engine, which will probably be Google since it’s the most popular page to set as the home page.

The 10 to 1 Rule

The 10 to 1 rule works like this: for every dollar you put into building your website, you should put $10 into promoting it. For every hour you put into the task, ten hours should be spent on marketing for your website. If you want to change that formula, put more into the marketing, not less.

The reason many businesses fail to see success with their website is because they spend the entire budget on creating a magnificent website that no one knows about. Instead, they should spend at least 90% on promoting the website to get leads and sales. If a company spends money on marketing, they will drive traffic to the site and dominate the industry online. Consider reviewing your digital marketing as part of your next annual business plan review.

Marketing the Website

Marketing the website isn’t as much fun as designing a beautiful site. No one sees your efforts the way they can see the beautiful images and bold design. However, this component is the key to being successful online. Be sure to understand the role of digital marketing and learn the keys to promoting a website.

The keys to promoting a site:

  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Creating content to put on other sites and link back to your own site

Search engine optimization or SEO isn’t exciting because it’s time-consuming, expensive, and boring. In addition, it’s not something you can show off to others, except in the results. However, when you spend money on SEO, you’re paying for free traffic for life. According to one survey, 90% of small businesses engage in social media. Another study shows that 70% of people prefer articles to advertising when selecting which company they will use for purchases. Around 61% of consumers have more confidence in a company that provides custom content, which increases the likelihood they will make a purchase from the company.

Pretty Doesn’t Convert

A fancy website may look good to you and your friends, but it won’t do the job. Statistics show that fancy websites don’t convert as well as those that keep it plain and simple. Remember that fact the next time you see a competitor with a plain, boring website. He’s probably bringing in a lot of traffic because of that unattractive site.

According to research, websites with all the bells and whistles fail to convert visitors to leads or sales because they get distracted. Check out the ads at the top of a search and you’ll see the page the link takes you to is boring. You may not even find menu buttons, and you sure won’t find fancy images or other distractions. The business wants you to remember why you’re there and to complete the call to action they give you.

Google conducted a study in 2012 which demonstrated this truth. It showed that websites more complicated visually were not as popular as those with a simpler design.

What this data tells businesses creating a website is that they must put no more than 10% of their focus on building the site, and the other 90% must go towards promoting the site. When companies follow the 10 to 1 rule, they may have a simple, plain website, but they’ll also have a site that converts visitors into leads and leads into sales, which is the ultimate purpose of any marketing strategy.

Check out this Business Marketing Podcast by Arman Sadeghi to learn even more:



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