Every once in a while, I will get a “referral” call from a small business who wants to rank for _____. And usually, the call will come with a hint of quiet desperation in the person’s voice because the internet is literally their last gasp of trying to maintain a faltering business. Which means that doing any sort of paid marketing is out of the question.
I generally discount these types of calls and send them on their way with a good luck. The reality is that if you aren’t willing to risk much, chances are very good that you probably won’t be rewarded with much.
And this is the problem that most new internet marketers don’t really get. There is a price to pay and if there isn’t, then the barrier to entry is simply set too low.
EMD’s and the bottom feeders
For example, exact match domains. Once upon a time (like last week), you could do a little keyword research and, if you were lucky, you could grab the domain with the exact keyword. This would give you an immediate edge over most in ranking and at little cost. In some cases, you could even rank high with literally few to no links.
The problem, of course, are EMD’s like curefootwarts.com or red-widgets.com aren’t exactly brandable domains. Which means that internet marketers are literally depending on only one traffic medium to get results.
Most don’t even try to use even internet marketing retention techniques like list building. Most are simply content to play the rank in search – make money game. One and done sales. They rely on traffic volume rather than return visits (which is a shame because it costs less to make your existing customers happy than to find new ones.)
The biggest problem that internet marketers face has to do with strategies though. When you are strapped for cash, you are looking for ways to generate more cash quickly in the least amount of time possible.
And this is where the typical internet marketer gets into trouble.
- Shitty content because you aren’t in it to please potential customers. And since what’s crap and what isn’t isn’t exactly subjective from an algorithm, it is much easier to produce quickly.
- Self manufactured links because your content isn’t good enough to link to.
- Things like Exact Match Domains because it gives (or gave) you an automatic edge in terms of ranking in the search engines.
All of this is a recipe for short term profits (maybe) and a lot of work that could have been avoided if you had done things the right way…..
As an aside, there are some that have tried to do things the right way and wound up getting burned as well. And that is a shame. But it is collateral damage in Google’s war of attrition against those that aren’t.
Reputable Businesses Want Brand Awareness
I should make it clear that this is no way to build a lasting, long term business. Reputable businesses aren’t ashamed of their business endeavors. When someone asks them what do they do and if they have a website, it usually doesn’t entail a laundry list of smallish websites with spammy looking domain URL’s. Most businesses want people that they know to visit and buy what they are selling.
From my perspective and from the clients I have worked with, the majority of businesses use the internet to grab more market share, not to simply get into the race.
And they know that it isn’t a sprint but a marathon. Gaining market share usually is slow and steady. This is something that those on the bottom can’t come to grips with. After all, the internet is supposed to reward you with quick money, right?
For example, a client I am currently working with is trying to expand into the catering market in Memphis. They already have an established brand in a side vertical but want their existing customers to know that they also cater.
Their strategy is 4 pronged-
- Utilize their existing brick and mortar businesses for advertising to those who come into their establishment.
- Send out direct mail ads to those who have signed up at one point or another with an offer for their first catering gig.
- Reward frequent caterers (the pharma industry regularly used caterers) personally with cards that give them back a percentage so that they can dine in with their families.
- Finally, launch a pay per click campaign for brand recognition (I didn’t know ____ did catering.) <<-that’s where I come in.
That’s how most businesses utilize the internet ; to build brand awareness and complement other forms of marketing to take more market share.
image attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/garykelly/3278840968/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/miajudkins/5843626563/ ,
No related posts.