Every business should be engaged in online marketing. Home businesses tap into a global marketplace and carve out a niche for themselves successfully with effective marketing strategies. However, you can also crash your business quickly if you do it wrong. Here are 3 online marketing faux pas ("false steps") to avoid:
1. Wrong Use of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
You can generate traffic to your website by crafting a well planned pay-per-click advertising campaign on search engines like Yahoo! or Google. This is where customers who type in keywords that you've bid on see your ad or sponsored link, and click on it to visit your website. The problem is that if you don't plan this properly and set limits on those clicks, you'll spend way too much money for advertising and wipe out your marketing budget.
It's important to become educated on how pay-per-click works, and know how to take advantage of this form of advertising without being taken advantage of. Unfortunately, not only do you put yourself at risk of people clicking on your ad that have no intention of buying, but also you risk shady competitors who will click on your ad repeatedly, just to take you off Yahoo! or Google for the day, month or completely. Therefore, tracking your progress is key when using pay-per-click:
- Read daily reports on how many people are clicking on your ad
- Compare the number of clicks to the number of purchases or other action taken on your website
- Decide whether the return on your montary investment is worth using pay-per-click
If you stop using pay-per-click sooner rather than later after following these steps, you won't get taken advantage of. Of course, if it's working for you, then continue using it.
2. Poorly Written Web Pages
Home businesses often operate on a tight budget. Therefore, you may be an expert do-it-yourselfer for most if not all of the tasks required to run your business. However, there are times when you need to outsource work so that your online marketing captures the customers you want. One area to consider is business writing, especially for your website.
You want to avoid web pages that are poorly written and filled with grammar and spelling errors. You want web pages that cause potential customers to take action because the written information is compelling enough. If you find that you're getting a good number of hits on your website, but less than 10% to 20% are buying from you or taking some other action, it's time to bring on board a freelance writer. You can use websites such as www.elance.com or www.ifreelance.com to find professional writers, or you can post an ad on www.craigslist.com.
3. Misplaced Banners and Ads
It can be tempting to place cheap banner ads on websites to keep the costs down for your business. This is a major online marketing mistake, because those cheap banner ads are costing you money. You need to make sure that banner ads are effective for the type of business you're in. You should only advertise on websites that attract the visitors or readers that are willing and able to do business with you. Finally, the website should have a lot of traffic, because only a small percent of people will click on your ad to visit your website. You can find out traffic and other information about a website or blog on www.alexa.com or www.statbrain.com.
You can improve your business when you avoid these online marketing faux pas. You'll save more money and make more money with the right marketing strategies.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.