So you want to do your own online marketing? The pittfalls…

 

In this blog series I will try to answer important topics every week.

 

The pittfalls

  • Writing your page for Google
  • Advertising wasting your budget
  • No Indexing, No Google Search Console, No Glory
  • Underestimating Social Media 
  • Not using your offline network

So the first thing you have to take into consideration to do your own online marketing well, is the pittfalls you might get into. Over the last couple of years I have seen many bad and horrible mistakes and many of them were unecessary.

 

1. Writing your page for Google. 

Texts like “Car Engine Clutch Parts exhaust cheap east london not far your neighborhood cheapest fastest service” will be recoginzed by Google, Yahoo, Yandex, Bing and others as Spam. Keep in mind you are first of all writing your texts for your target group/potential customers. The example I just gave is a classical case of “KeyWord stuffing” this used to be best practise as it would get you ranked high and quick as it has all important Key Words.

Fortunately Google has moved beond that with its algorythms and will now look at relevance to your target and so should you, from the beginning already. Something like “Are you searching for a quality garage in East London that can replace or overhaul your engine, has all the clutch parts for your specific model of car and has a good value for money” already would be a huge improvement upon the other text, provided that you have these parts and provide this service.

 

2. Advertising wasting your budget

Setting up an adwords account and blindly putting ads (the same goes for facebook and other add platforms). AdWords is expensive, if you don’t manage it well, it is even more expensive. Think about simple tweaks you can make to adjust your expenses if you are using these platforms. I have seen many, Many people advertise in the wrong way and want to prevent you from making the same mistakes.

  • Set a place to run your adds, your city or region that you are active in ( it makes no sence running ads world wide if you are just selling in your city now does it?). This can save you a lot of budget.
  • Set a time frame to run your ads, go the extra yard, dive into analytics and look at when people visit your site, this would be the time to set your adds as well (provided you have  a big enough sample size) next to this, do you really want to spend advertising costs in the middle of the night, or do you specially need to get those customers at night.
  • Set parameters so that you focus your add on your target group , location, time etcetera. if you do not have a target group, I suggest that you find this out first!

 

No Indexing, No Google Search console, No Glory

So you decided to do all of the on site things right in the hope that Google spontaniously finds you and gets you to that #1 Position within a day. Oh boy have you been wrong. Google’s algorythms work by indexing millions and millions of sites, and yes there are things you can do to help them. As it can take weeks and in some cases months for Google’s bot to find you all depending on when is the crawler around the web and back. Ok usually it takes a bit less, but why trust on this when you can force Google to index your page. There is so many examples I have seen of clients which had have online marketeers in service for months or years even but they did not index their site in Google…

 

Get into Google Search Console. look up how it works, know the ins and outs, it is not difficult it takes one or two reads of google’s fine manuals on this and you can work with it.

  • Indexing is getting your site found by Google, adding it to the Google Library if you may, which is an important step to being found.
  • Make sure you have your Robots.txt file in place on your website. “yourdomain.com/robots.txt” should contain a text file that tells the robots of a search engine what to you, which sites to index and which not.
  • Make sure your sitemap is in place as wel as correct.”yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml” should contain a file which is a guide to your website and contains all the sites you want indexed, this makes the job easier for google.
  • Use Google Search Console to verify your Robots.txt as well as your Sitemap to make sure it has no mistakes.
  • Index all versions of your site and directly underlying sites in “Fetch as Google” Desktop version as well as Mobile. This can give you the edge in your online marketing.

Remember that the Google Search Console is a powerfull tool. in a future blog there will be a post dedicated to this.

4 Underestimating the power and potential of Social Media. 

All hail Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkeding, Xing, Weibo, Pinterest etcetera you name them, the web is full of them. And yet I meet many customers who do not want to get into Social Media because they either believe it is too much work, or it is not for their product, it feels fake to them or whatever reason. But if you look at reality, Social Media is very powerfull, seeing that houses get sold basically over Facebook, crimes are solved, revolutions are started should tell you this is the way to go, don’t over do it though. Carefully select and think deeply about the social networks you will be using.

  • Make sure you update your followers regularly with relevant and I repeat RELEVANT content to them.
  • Social media goes a long way, make sure to respond politely and business like to comments as well as complaints. People are way more impatient then let’s say 15-20 years ago and one bad review with a bad response from your side can have serious implications to your business.
  • Get out of your way and ask to share your wonderfull product as well as sharing it yourself, you can do so many things just use your imagination, coupons over facebook, a prettiest picture of your product contest over instagram, just set it up right, take your time.
  • Social media can make people interested in your product who haven’t even heard of you before. Bring some positivity regularly. And if you have a bit of budget, advertise a bit, don’t over do it.
  • Social Media takes time, but regular imput is one of the key factors, make sure people are waiting for your Friday offer or your bi-weekly updated drinks menu.

5 not using your offline network. 

Use your offline network, the internet is not everything, make sure you also draw your public to either your physical store or put a combined action. “With this online-coupon get 20{0012e5e21ed42aae3135b010b12ad66c8f09dc9c63fff72ce5baece54ac56c8d} off if you pick it up your self”. Face to face is still the best marketing tool you can get, people are more likely to tell their friends about this friendly shop owner than this package they ordered somehere online of which they don’t know the name anymore.

  • Reach out to your friends, family and existing customers to advertise your product/service. They are the best ambasadors, and will cost you less then advertising.
  • Vague the boders between on and offline, consider that you need both to thrive.
  • Don’t look at online marketing as this super wonder of the heavens, as it just doesn’t work without the real world.
  • Get your website noticed in the offline world, (sounding obvious) use the same style for web and off-line will make you from both sides directly recognizable.
  • Send people to your website with a QR code on your business card, or a special promotion.
  • Put your website on your billbord or shop window (can also be in QR code)
  • Make sure you put your location into Google Maps so people who visit your website can also find your physical location.