So the stock market is at a supposedly at an all-time high and you feel burned because you had sold out during the market downturn in 2008-2009 and moved over to the sidelines. You remember watching the DOW plummet from over 14,200 down by half to fewer than 6,700 points and, because of emotions, you panicked! You pulled all of your money out thinking that the market was certainly going down to zero and it was best to save something as opposed to having nothing left at all.
At the time, you thought that it was a great move and you watched the DOW bounce back up to 7,500 then 9,600 then 10,400, then 11,200 and then 12,800 and now to a new AN ALL TIME HIGH of over 16588- due to the media buzz about Spain, Italy and most of Europe supposedly on the verge of going broke, then that noised got drowned out by to the US 2012 elections and all the hype about a “fiscal cliff.” You thought you would wait until it went down again, but it stayed there for quite a few months acheter des vues. You moved on to other worries and forgot about the market, only now it is all over the news & Internet that the market is back up to over 14,400-A Record All Time High of 16,588!!! And each day you see and hear in the news media that US Stock markets have doubled! The DOW is at record high! Another day another rally on Wall Street!
Now, you are kicking yourself that you had made a huge mistake by pulling everything out – you mistimed the market yet again. Nobody wants to hear “I told you so,” but you don’t make money by selling lower than you bought at, and no matter how bad the market got, you should have never pulled out the money you need for a long-term: that is money that you will not need for the next five (5) years or longer. Money that is needed for five years or less should never ever be in the stock or bond market.
- There’s more than one way to accomplish the task of effective marketing, but creating an effective strategy and campaign requires a consistent approach. With all of the conflicting information available from credible, experienced providers, business owners become frustrated and befuddled, often feeling like they’re being lied to. It’s unwise and unproductive for a do-it-yourselfer to attempt to mix & match everything they hear in attempts to end up with an effective approach that works. To illustrate, there can be two ways to get from your house to the food store. The first way involves a helpful advisor who says, “Turn left out of your driveway, go straight for two blocks, turn right, then turn left at the next intersection and you’re there.” The second advisor says, “Go straight out of your driveway for three blocks, then turn left, go straight for a block, then make another left and you’re there.” Though both ways get you from point A to point B effectively (i.e., neither advisor lied), if you try navigating on your own and you decide to use only the “left turn” instructions from each of the advisors, you will never reach your destination. In fact, you might get very, very lost. Likewise, it isn’t such a good approach for a decision maker to apply solely the common things they hear from different experts to perform their own SEO/SEM. Too often, do-it-yourself customers try to “play it safe” by only performing the steps that they have heard from multiple sources, operating under the misconceptions that the “common ground” must be right and if they ignore the individual differences they’ll be safe. Though the individual strategies used by different providers might work great for each respective provider, and there may be some similar factors between the various sets of instructions, selectively choosing only the overlaps between them probably won’t produce desired results. Done properly and effectively, SEO, SEM, and SMM involve big picture strategies that must be examined in context.
- Most business owners don’t have the time or the desire to do what it actually takes to market via the web on a consistent, ongoing basis. They’re too busy managing their business and they don’t want to become website marketing specialists in the spare time that they don’t have. Even modest campaigns take several hours each week to implement properly. Large campaigns often require teams of people working in collaboration simultaneously each week (dozens of hours) to effectively penetrate a market for a positive ROI.
It’s good advice to stay away from subscription-based companies that offer “bargain basement” pricing but can financially hold customers hostage for a year, after which any listings and content may be deleted upon termination of the service contract. Beware of companies that claim copyright to the content you provide to them. Ensure that your contract does not require you to sign over your content or prevent you from using content that they produce for you as a work-for-hire. Many customer complaints about website design and marketing companies stem from businesses who discover all-too-late that they paid for a website but must abandon it (or face copyright infringement) if services are discontinued.
Lastly but important, if a marketing company quotes a price to optimize your website and marketing before they evaluate your content and analyze your specific market, walk away. There is a huge difference in work between optimizing a seven page website and a 30-page website, or optimizing a brochure-style site versus an e-commerce site with 2,000 items in a shopping cart catalog. How then can a credible marketing company legitimately quote a flat rate price to optimize a website for search engines without taking your unique situation into consideration. Promoting the site to your target market is equally unique, so avoid anyone who offers a price without considering your unique goals, market conditions, etc. Every business and every market locality is different, and your business needs an individual consultation to assess what’s best for you. If you find yourself picking services based on a pre-defined pricing menu, you likely won’t be happy with what you are served.