Do a web search for ‘best practice internet marketing’ or something similar and you will be inundated with thousands of articles and blogs on the ‘must dos’. Once you go through about a dozen of them, you’ll notice some common points. However, as many internet marketers have found out the hard way, the fact that these views are widely held does not necessarily make them true. We look at some of these ‘internet marketing rules’ and explain why you should tread carefully.
“You must understand search engine algorithms”
There is no harm in knowing how search engines work. However, focusing on search engine bots can be a major marketing miscalculation. Instead, create content that is appealing to the humans who will read it. It would be a loss to rank highly on search engine results and draw in tons of new eyeballs only for them to be disappointed when they eventually land on your website. Repairing the damage to your website’s reputation may prove costly.
“Focus on search engine rankings”
This ties into the previous point. Ranking high on a particular keyword is great. It should never be your number one marketing objective though. Ultimately, you want a return on investment (ROI) so conversion is what counts most. Remember, a keyword you rank well on may not always be the best fit for your business. More visits to your site will not always translate to a proportionate rise in sales. Marketers sometimes ignore or spend insufficient resources on the long-tail keywords that would be ideal for growing their reach.
“Check analytics data daily”
This would make sense for a large website with probably millions of visitors per month. However, for the majority of sites (which are small or medium-sized), this can not only be an unnecessarily time-wasting task but also potentially misleading. In low visitor traffic environments, using a daily spike to determine what works can lead you down the wrong path. It’s better to schedule analysis for weekly (or even monthly) so you can better pick out broader trends.
“Successful organic search ranking is sufficient”
Think about the ads you most often see on the internet (whether on a specific website, in search results or on social media). A lot of the ads are by some of the biggest brands in the world. They obviously already rank pretty decently on organic search so why are they doing Paid Search (PPC) and Paid Social Media Advertising? Because organic search ranking is never enough. For best marketing results, set aside a budget for paid ads.
“When it comes to social media, focus on Facebook and Twitter”
Facebook is by far the largest social media platform on earth. Twitter has always had a buzz around it and has newfound significance thanks to America’s President Donald J. Trump. Nevertheless, social media is a vast space that goes far beyond just Facebook and Twitter. It all depends on what you are selling and who you are selling to. If you are pressed for resources, find out which platform(s) your target market is likely to be found on. That could be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest etc.
Be flexible and keep an open mind. Some of the rules that worked 2 years ago are probably not as effective or relevant today. Do not be afraid to change course when it is apparent that there is a better way to do things.