Most businesses today have websites.  Typically, it is one of the first things a potential new customer/client will request of you- your web address.  Regardless of your profession or niche, consumers are looking to “check you out” online prior to spending their hard-earned wages on your product or service.  Even if you come to them via a trusted referral source, there is a high probability that an online glance at your business will occur before the customer makes their final decision.

We do not really need statistics or surveys to make this assumption, we can merely look at our own buying habits.  When you are looking to make a significant purchase (say anything over $200) how often will you jump on the internet to either comparative shop, investigate your options, or learn more before you pull out a credit card or write a check?   The marketing giant reports that 94{c55e560418ce770390e014a82a8daba02ae2bc5167395c1376161ff6ec3b989b} of consumers will go online to research you, your company, your products and your services prior to making a purchase.  With that figure in mind, if you are neglecting your online marketing efforts, you are without a doubt losing business.

Here are three of the top online marketing strategies that most business owners ignore:


For those of us over the age of 40 (myself included), the words “blog” and “blogging” can be a bit intimidating.  So let me make it simple.  Blogging can most easily be defined as writing clear and concise articles which provide valuable information to your target audience and posting them to your website on a regular basis.  But why is blogging so important?  A few reasons…

  • When people go online, they expect to receive useful information at no cost.  Blogging allows you to be the one providing that information.
  • Search engine algorithms favor websites that have new and fresh content posted regularly.  A blog integrated into your site is the easiest way for you to add new and unique content to your site without having to make major changes.
  • Blog posts build your credibility.  If you spend a year blogging just once a week and then someone “Googles” your name, you will have multiple pages of search results all with content you have written.  It demonstrates your competency within your field to those who are new to you.

Warning- blog posts should never be self-serving or attempt to sell.  Sales pitches within blog articles are a big turn off!

Data Capture

If your website can consistently convert just 5 out of every 100 visitors into customers, then you have a fantastic conversion rate.  So what happens to the other ninety-five?  Quite frankly, most websites offer nothing to those ninety-five and consequently miss the opportunity for future business from visitors who do not call on their initial trip to the site.

Getting traffic to go to your website rather than your competition’s website is a difficult task.  So once you have accomplished it, you must make sure you are reaping the greatest possible benefit from that traffic.  This is done by offering an exclusive value to your web visitor in exchange for their contact information (usually name and email address).  Typically, the best offers are usually video seminars, white papers, webinars, and other forms of free information.  Email newsletters will rarely be enough motive to get people to hand you their contact information.  You may need employ a “trial and error” approach and test different offers until you find one that really grabs people’s attention.  Video can be instrumental in encouraging these opt-ins.   It is rare that your first attempt at this will be successful.  If it is, consider yourself to be one of the lucky few!

External Link Building

Perhaps the biggest fatal flaw made by website owners is the failure to recognize the need to create links to their site.  A website left alone will likely be lonely, with few visitors and poor search engine rankings.  People need to be able to find your website (most often accomplished by the use of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and even sites like YouTube).  But first, the search engines have to be able to find your site.  This involves a combination of techniques designed to improve your search engine visibility, most often referred to as search engine optimization.

The most critical aspect of improving your search engine visibility is the building of incoming links on reputable third-party sites that use your keywords.  For instance, if you are a florist marketing your business in Temecula and your goal is to achieve high Google rankings for the term “Temecula Florists” you will need clickable links on other websites that say “Temecula Florists” and forward to your site.  These links have major influence on the search engines and help to get you ranked.

How many links do you need?

This depends on your competition.  If you are in an industry with a high level of online competition, then you may need thousands of links to beat out your competitors for page one.  A sound online marketing strategy will always involve external link building on a monthly basis.  Companies that do it the best are the guys you see on page one.

In Conclusion…

Simply having a website rarely results in more customers or business.  You must implement sound strategies for obtaining and converting web traffic, be flexible in varying these strategies when appropriate, and be committed to long term results.  Developing a web presence takes time, effort, and patience.