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Why Web Sites Fail to Rank: Do-It Yourself Can Lead to Risky Business
Posted By beth On August 1, 2007 @ 12:47 PM In Today's Top Story | Comments Disabled
By Barry Hurd, Part 8 of 10
RISMEDIA, August 2, 2007—Of course you wouldn’t do brain surgery on yourself, and while online marketing isn’t quite in the same category, many of you are taking a big risk, wasting a lot of money and time on failed online efforts, by trying to do this important part of your business, yourself.
How many times have you run into a buyer or seller who says “I can do that myself!” to save money on a home transaction? Some homeowners try to do the landscaping, some try to do that emergency plumbing repair, and some even go as far as laying a new concrete driveway or building a new addition.
Too many times we see the results of such poor decisions. Instead of saving a few hundred dollars, they waste a few thousand dollars or even risk the whole investment by trying to work on areas outside their expertise themselves. Real estate professionals often fall into the same scenario with dozens of different business issues ranging from graphics, accounting, tax preparation, and even online marketing.
The online marketing category of business development covers branding, advertising, and general sales functionality of a site. Search engine marketing touches on all the points of online marketing, controlling how visitors to major search engines find and interact with information on your site and a variety of related sites. Every piece of information on your site has keywords and relevance to different portions of your business development plan, and a specialist understands what portions of information will attract the most number of prospects to the right kind of information on your site.
Search engine marketing (SEM) can include a wide variety of strange terms like SEO (search engine optimization) or even SMO (social media optimization), and each acronym may sound geeky or irrelevant to a professional in the real estate industry, but every detail and specific piece of information adds and subtracts from the percentage of people seeing your site and finding your business.
Search engine marketing can be compared to the electrical or plumbing industry; professional search engine specialists can relay information into and out of a site, direct traffic from search engines, route visitors to a specific room, or even control how many viewers see your business. Just like an electrician or plumber controls electricity or water to a home, search engine professionals control the flow of traffic into, around, and through a search engine and your Web site. You may have a beautiful office or an outstanding team, but unless the lights are on and people have easy directions to your information- there is lost efficiency and dollars as prospects fumble around in the dark looking for your business (and potentially find someone else instead).
Search engine professionals control the way an online audience interacts with information so that offline marketing efforts are maximized and monetized properly. They also assist a real estate office with establishing an organic and growing audience, where resources are properly cultivated and nourished in regards to the search engine.
When reviewing how online marketing affects your business, consider your bottom line return on investment. If every dollar spent on search marketing produced a positive return on investment, how much would you buy? Would you be happy with a negative return, or would you be happier if you could have a consistent and growing return? Providing your audience with a simple way of finding your information is a key step in converting inquiring minds into happy clients.
About the author:
Barry Hurd is president of Social Media Systems, an online marketing and advertising consultant group working with search engine marketing and leveraging social media communities. He has over 15 years of entrepreneurial Internet and online marketing experience. As an author and prolific blogger, he has reached online audiences around the world. Since the mid nineties, Barry has been involved in numerous efforts to bring forth technical innovation through online business models. Past projects have included NIKE, REI, TMP Worldwide, Monster.com, Verizon Superpages, Intuit, and RISMedia.
For more information, visit www.socialmediasystems.com .
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