If you are thinking about starting a new business there are several internet marketing business pitfalls you need to avoid.
1. Unrealistic Expectations
Your internet marketing business is not going to turn you into a millionaire overnight. Many people enter the world of internet marketing with expectations that are impossible to meet and that they would never even consider entertaining if they were working in another industry.
Even though you won’t need to spend years in school to earn a degree in Internet marketing in order to start an online business, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to put in a lot of effort and commitment if you want to be successful in this industry.
To get started, it will require both money and time, and the results won’t come all at once like they would with other kinds of commercial endeavors.
People have a lot of misconceptions about internet marketing, so let’s take a look at some of those misconceptions and put them into a more realistic context.
The following are some examples of expectations that are simply not realistic:
Not Really Work -the idea that there is little to no work involved may originate from the fact that you are working in a virtual environment and relying on the power of the Internet. Both of these factors contribute to the perception that there is little to no work involved.
However, running your own business always requires a significant amount of work, both to get it off the ground and to keep it going. This is something that any entrepreneur will tell you. Consider Internet marketing to be a full-time job when you first get started in the industry if your goal is to make money from it.
Easy Money – Making money through manual labor is difficult, but making money through the internet is much simpler. ‘It’s Easy Money’ However, the number of hours you need to devote to learn the ins and outs is not limited to a 40-hour work week.
You will need to devote however many hours are necessary.
Is it possible to make money quickly? Yes, but in most cases, you won’t be able to realize your dream until you’ve put in years of hard work.
Anyone Can Do It – It’s possible for anyone to go online and start a blog, but it’s not as easy as just writing posts and hoping readers will find them.
In order to make effective use of the potential offered by the internet, you should put yourself in the position of a student and work to improve both your skills and your level of knowledge.
It is not an inalienable right that everybody possesses and is just sitting around doing nothing with. You must make the deliberate choice to put in effort and to continue educating yourself in this area.
Get Rich Quick – It may come as a surprise to many people that the “tons of money” actually comes from a number of different online ventures. However, the “tons of money” can be made in just one shot.
Although it’s not very likely, it’s possible for a single blog to bring in a significant amount of revenue for its owner. If, on the other hand, you put your attention toward establishing a number of different websites, products, and services as potential sources of income, you will give yourself a much better chance of becoming wealthy in the future.
2. Insufficient Amount of Research
When people give in to any of the unrealistic expectations that we have discussed, the result is that they do not spend sufficient time researching and planning their online activities in order to ensure that they are successful. Instead, they will have the misconception that all it takes to start receiving orders is to throw together a website and add a shopping cart to it. That couldn’t possibly be further from the truth than you could get. To begin, you need to familiarize yourself with the types of online markets that are currently profitable and the strategies you intend to use to draw visitors to your website. Do you have the knowledge necessary to turn those visitors into leads or customers, even if you were successful in getting a large stream of traffic? This is the point at which most people fall flat on their faces, despite the fact that they could have improved their chances of success simply by devoting a little bit of additional time up front to research and learning how to put together a profitable online business.
Where Do You Define Your Sweet Spot?
People have a tendency to let themselves become consumed by a particular, personal passion to the point where they direct all of their efforts toward marketing that passion in the mistaken belief that customers will also be enthralled with the subject matter.
When there is so much information available online about what people are actually buying, searching for, or talking about, this is a terrible way to start a business online, especially given how widespread the internet is. Why not market something that everybody is already interested in and that doesn’t require any persuading to buy?
When determining which market segment you want to focus on, it is important to keep in mind that your choice could be influenced by current events around the world. For instance, previous economic downturns have caused certain niches to become more significant than the others. There is always a lot of interest in the finance industry, but due to the effects of the recession, people are paying less attention to the housing market and stock markets and more attention to consolidating their debt and managing their debt. You could also find a sub-niche such as “gold mining stocks,” which were not very popular prior to the recession but are seeing a significant influx of investors as a result of the current economic climate.
Utilizing Research Tools Found Online
Make use of online tools such as Google Keyword Analyzer to determine which keywords—and consequently, niches—are receiving the most searches at the moment. You can find out what topic is currently on the forefront of everyone’s mind by going to websites such as Digg.com or Technorati.com. Look through the best-selling items on eBay or Amazon by going to their websites. Even before you take the time to develop a website or open a blog, this will give you great ideas on what is hot and easily marketable. This will save you a ton of time and heartache down the road.
3 . Fuzzy Branding
Your online business may benefit from applying fuzzy branding to a variety of different areas. It could be something as simple as a misspelled domain name, or it could even be the ineffective way the website was designed. The visitors to your website are going to have a difficult time connecting your company’s name with the name of the product or service that you are selling if your website contains any errors. This is considered a faux pas on the internet. Instead, they are left wondering what your site is about as they scratch their heads in confusion.
Domain Names Are of Utmost Significance.
As soon as you’ve decided what segment of the market you want to focus on, it’s time to start putting the components of your website together. You will be required to register a domain name and initiate some preliminary planning regarding the structure and branding of your website.
If you sell fishhooks online, you should make an effort to incorporate that information into your domain name in some fashion. A good domain name is one that is succinct, descriptive, and communicates to the customer in just a few words what your company is all about. Your options for what to call your website are likely to be more limited given that so many domain names have already been purchased. If you are going to have to pay another person for a name, you should make sure that it is a highly recognizable name that will be associated with your company for a significant amount of time.
Is It Easy To Read And Understand Your Home Page?
The majority of users will begin their session by navigating to the home page of your top-level domain. If this is cluttered with bright fonts, a disorganized menu, a bizarre or confusing design, and copy that doesn’t equate to what it’s supposed to say, then you should probably look elsewhere. A number of customers are going to exit nearly as quickly as they entered. This is something you should plan on.
The goal is to pique people’s interest in your website to the point where they want to explore it further. Create a homepage that is as understandable, succinct, and detailed as you possibly can.
You should also make sure that the look and feel of the website reflect the brand or image that you are attempting to associate with your company. A website that sells office supplies will have a more expert appearance, with muted colors like blue, gray, or black, and it will be very well organized.
A website dedicated to web scooters could make an effort to draw in a younger and more amusing audience by including brightly colored photographs of scooters and having a catchy domain name.
It’s Important to Focus on the Content
Using strategies that fall under the umbrella of “Search Engine Optimization,” or “SEO,” the content of your website should be prepared to be indexed by the most popular search engines. It should also be written with an eye for headlines, white space, lists, and other sales copy techniques that make it easy for someone visiting your website to briefly scan your copy and pick up the most important points about your products and services. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the copy is written with an eye for headlines, white space, and lists.
4. Poor Traffic Flow
The website is now live, and although you conducted extensive research to ensure its success, you’ve realized that there isn’t nearly enough traffic going to the website.
Why is that the case?
Many people who market their businesses online believe that all it takes to bring in customers is to create a website that is of high quality. Because there are millions of people using the Internet, it seems reasonable to conclude that receiving one thousand sets of eyes on a monthly basis is not a significant achievement. In point of fact, the most successful Internet marketers implement promotional strategies in order to make the most of their existing traffic streams and to ensure the continued success of their websites.
Finding other websites on the web that already have a sizable audience and redirecting some of that audience to your own website is the primary method for increasing website traffic. It’s possible that there are rules regarding what kinds of links you can post and how to do so, but in general, the process is the same.
Some Strategies to Boost the Number of Visitors
The following is a list of several of these strategies that you can implement to promote your website and to increase the amount of traffic that you receive on a monthly basis:
Article marketing entails writing articles that are offered for free and submitting them to article directories. They make it possible for you to include a resource box on your page that contains a couple of links that lead back to your website. If you want to attract only people who might be interested in purchasing your products, you should try to limit the topics of the articles you write to those that fall within your niche.
Commenting On Blogs – One more great way to bring streams of traffic back is to find some very popular blogs and comment on subjects that are related to the niche that you are in. If you include a link back to your website in your comment, people who read it and find it helpful are much more likely to click on the link and visit your website to learn more about you.
Joining Online Groups And Forums – There are a large number of online groups with large audiences, such as Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups, which you can join.
Browse through the various categories until you find some that are pertinent to the market niche you serve, and then join those categories. Take part in the ongoing conversations that are taking place online, and remember to include a signature on all of your contributions that includes a link to your own website.
Social Networking – Social networking sites such as Twitter.com, Facebook.com, or LinkedIn offer a plethora of opportunities to meet new people and add status updates about your online activities. Among these possibilities are the ability to connect with others who share similar interests. Include a link, and make sure it’s interesting, so that you can start building relationships with people who will ultimately boost your revenue.
5. Failing to Turn Visitors Into Customers
Even if you are successful in drawing in massive amounts of traffic, the ultimate objective of any Internet marketer is to sell products or services and generate revenue. In order to realize your goals of becoming successful, you will need to find a way to profit from that traffic. You won’t be able to capitalize on many of the opportunities that come your way if you aren’t familiar with the methods that can turn visitors into paying customers. Even worse, you will have the impression that you are putting in a ton of effort for very little payoff. Keep in mind that simply having a popular website is not enough; that website needs to generate income in some way, shape, or form. This is something you should always keep in mind.
It’s possible that the problem lies in the website’s design, specifically in its advertisement placement or its payment processors, which are both inefficient.
There are, however, additional ways in which people fail to plan to convert traffic into customers. They don’t plan ways to make money with the site and assume that simply putting out a few products will create income, so they don’t plan any ways to make money with the site. This is one method for making money, but by no means is it the only method.
Features That Will Help You Make More Money Off Of Your Traffic Stream
Copy That Sells – When you advertise a product or service, include details in the copy that make the offer difficult to refuse. These should be compelling selling points. Because of this, it is essential to put oneself in the shoes of the consumer. Make an effort to instill in them the fear that they stand to lose something if
They do not immediately accept what you have to offer as a solution to their problem. You could make this offer available for a predetermined amount of time or for a specific product in a predetermined number of units.
Incentives – Can you convince them to sign up by giving away a free ebook in exchange for them signing up for a free trial membership? After the trial has been completed, you will submit a charge to the customer’s credit card. If you gave new subscribers discount coupons for your products and services, would that result in a higher conversion rate for your business?
Affiliate programs are a form of financial incentive that gives other people the opportunity to sell your products in exchange for a commission on those sales. This will be beneficial to you because it will allow you to have other people do some of the marketing work for you while you create a larger paycheck for yourself.
Advertising: There are a variety of different types of advertisements that you can implement on your website in order to increase the likelihood of your website copy resulting in monetary gain. They may be included in text advertisements, links to the affiliate offers of third parties, or even campaigns run through Google AdWords.
Join forces with other entities that might be interested in expanding their customer base in exchange for financial compensation from advertising space on your website.
6. Not Planning for Sales in Your Internet Marketing Business
Selling products via the internet is the primary objective of internet marketing. When you take all of this into consideration, you might be surprised to learn that many Internet marketers don’t bother to pre-plan their sales funnel. You might be able to make a few sales here and there by flying by the seat of your pants, but if you want to truly capitalize on the power of the Internet and make a living doing Internet marketing, you need to plan ahead for sales and utilize a sales funnel that has been carefully thought out.
Collect Emails: Your strategy for making sales should incorporate a variety of approaches to collecting email addresses from site visitors. This moves them into the top of your sales funnel, where you have the opportunity to market to them again in the future.
If you don’t have this initial contact information, subsequent plans won’t be able to generate enough sales. Always begin by obtaining the contact information as well as the individual’s permission to communicate with them online.
A frenzy of sales activity hurtling down your funnel like a hurricane.
A well-planned sales campaign will keep a record of the customers who visit as well as the items they purchase. It has several email campaigns running at the same time, and which one is sent to a customer is determined by the demographic group in which they find themselves. It’s possible that one email list is marketing to people who have not yet made a purchase from you, while another email list is marketing to people who are among your most frequent purchasers.
No matter what your approach, you need to have definite categories or demographics of visitors, and you should have planned sales campaigns directed at just that group.
Organizing customers into groups according to the average amount of money they spend is one approach to achieving this goal. It’s possible to market low-cost product lines to low-spending customers, while larger packages and more expensive items are marketed to higher-spending customers.
You will want to have a system in place that, in the event that someone starts out spending little but then suddenly buys a large package from you, moves them immediately from the small spenders’ campaign to the big spenders’ campaign so that you can continue rewarding them appropriately.
This way, you won’t miss out on the chance to market to people or to send them two offers: one from a list of people who make large purchases, and the other from a list of people who make smaller purchases.
Automate Email Campaigns Carefully
Utilize a variety of different online tools and services in order to monitor the progress of your email marketing campaign. AWeber.com is a popular choice among internet marketers as a reliable service. Because of this, a third party is able to manage your email sales campaigns, which frees up more of your time for you to plan roll-outs and feature promotions.
7. Lack of Automation Tools
At first, the majority of online marketers are tempted to complete all of their tasks manually in an effort to cut costs. As your product line expands to include a wider variety of items and your list sizes continue to grow, this situation will rapidly become unmanageable. If you add a few more websites to your portfolio in order to manage multiple streams of income, you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed or confused by the myriad of minute details involved in operating multiple online retail websites. The solution is to begin automating things as soon as possible, preferably before your company becomes unmanageable and you start losing customers.
Difference Between Tools and Services
Tools and services are both viable options for automating processes. The AWeber.com website provides a service that allows users to manage multiple email marketing campaigns. This is handled by an independent party, which offers a number of benefits in comparison to other methods.
You are not required to install any specialized software on your website, and all of the management is handled by a third party. The fact that you are required to pay for the service on a monthly basis and comply with all of their terms and conditions is a drawback. If doing so will still save you money compared to installing your own tools, there is no reason to use a tool instead of a service in this case.
Installing the tools on your own website, on the other hand, will typically provide you with a much greater degree of control and will, in the long run, cost you less money.
No matter how many websites you run, you shouldn’t forget that there are other tools available that can help you centralize all of your business activities. This can make it easier for you to monitor what is selling well across multiple sites and what isn’t.
Additionally, it will assist you with any affiliate programs that may be accessible on other websites as well.
8. Failure to Track and Test
Following a failure to plan ahead for sales, one of the most common mistakes that young Internet marketers tend to make is a failure of tracking and testing results, which is one of the biggest faults that can be made. They might not even be aware that there are methods, such as split testing, that can assist them in determining the reasons why one sales campaign is more successful than another. Because they haven’t done any split testing, they’ll never know whether it’s because of something simple, like a different headline in the sales copy that can generate fifty percent more sales, but since they haven’t done any testing, they’ll never know. It is of the utmost importance to monitor and evaluate the efficacy of various marketing and sales strategies and campaigns on an ongoing basis to determine which methods are successful and which ones are ineffective.
Monitoring of Email-Based Outcomes
This can be especially true for Internet marketers who decide to go it alone rather than automating their marketing efforts with tools and services that provide some kind of feedback on the effectiveness of a campaign. Someone who can provide you with open rates and click-through rates for the email campaigns that you send out is an ideal candidate to provide you with email services. If you have a low open rate, you will know that the hooks and headlines are possibly not interesting to the recipients of the email. If your click-through rates are low, you can focus on making the promotion more immediate in order to inject a sense of urgency into your sales promotions.
Even before you make a sale, there are a variety of different aspects of your business that can be monitored to provide you with feedback on how well you are doing.
Tracking Across a Number of Different Websites
Other kinds of functionality, such as the outcomes of your affiliate campaigns and the progress of your sales promotions, need to be monitored. It may be challenging to make accurate comparisons between different websites when using this type of tracking if you have more than one website (which you absolutely should do). You should make an effort to centralize the operations of your sites so that you can get a clearer picture of which strategies are more successful than others, irrespective of the site that you are currently using.
Increase Your Focus On Things That Are Successful.
It might seem like a waste of time, but the general rule is that you shouldn’t switch up a marketing campaign until you notice a decline in sales. If a campaign is generating a lot of buzz and excitement among your visitors, then terminating it before demand reaches its peak will only result in a loss of financial resources for your company.
On the other hand, you can increase demand by advertising limited quantity offers that are only available for a limited time and in a limited quantity. If you find that these kinds of offers are the most successful, you should have more of these kinds of offers so that you can bring in more money.
9. Failing to Live Up to the Expectations of the Customers
In today’s world, it is no longer sufficient for an internet marketing business to simply offer people a good deal. It must be a fantastic offer that is considered to be of such excellent value that it would be a terrible waste if they missed out on the chance to make a purchase of it.
One of the ways to create value packages like this one is to first understand the needs of your customers and then to exceed their expectations regarding what they believe they can get for the money that they spend.
This is a strategy that is becoming necessary as a result of the recession eroding people’s discretionary income and the increase in the number of people making purchases based on perceived value.
The Total Deal at a Discount
You will have created the perception of a high value package if you offer your customer an ebook, an online video tutorial, and some short reports for just a little bit more money than they were expecting to pay for just one ebook on a subject that is of interest to them; however, if they had expected to pay for just one ebook on the subject, you will have exceeded their expectations. This is due to the fact that you not only understood what it was that the customer wanted, but you also fulfilled and even surpassed their expectations regarding what they believed they could get for their money.
Additional Methods for Producing High Value
There are other places besides your product line where you can convey an image of high value to potential customers. Your company’s operations and the customers you serve.
In order to meet and even exceed the expectations of the customer, service will also be essential. No matter how good of a deal you offered them, a customer who purchases software from you but is unable to install it will be dissatisfied if they are unable to obtain assistance from another person who can guide them through the process of troubleshooting the installation. It is important to keep in mind that in order to maintain a great reputation for your online business, you are going to have to add some new services as well as business processes that will keep the customer in contact with you at all times when they require your assistance.
Request Feedback And Then Act Accordingly
It is impossible to anticipate all of the wants and needs that a consumer may have at any given time. Because of this, you want to incorporate some functionality into your website that gives customers the opportunity to provide feedback regarding their experience of making a purchase from your website. You should also have a system in place that sorts these issues, whether they are positive or negative, and provides responses to them, so that the customer does not have the impression that they are being ignored.
If you pay close attention to what your customers have to say, you can come up with suggestions for new products or enhancements to your business that will enable you to continue to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.
10. Insufficiently Secured Backup Systems for your Internet Marketing Business
Do you have a mirror site or a backup strategy in place so that you can restore your website as quickly as possible in the event that it goes down? If the answer is “no,” then, according to Murphy’s Law, this will take place at the most inopportune time imaginable; more specifically, it will take place when you are launching one of the most important and time-sensitive campaigns of the entire year. The effect will be felt right away in the form of decreased sales. In the event that you continue to experience issues of this nature, you will also lose customers because they will evaluate your online company based on the fact that you provide inconsistent service.
Always make sure you have a backup.
Although it is obvious, many people who own an internet marketing business disregard this piece of advice, much to their detriment. How many Internet marketers have worked their tails off to put up large amounts of content that is abundant in keyword phrases, sales promotions, and pages that are loaded with images, only to have the entire site crash after their efforts? They stand to lose several months’ worth of work, in addition to a significant number of customers and sales, if they do not have an online backup of the website. Always make sure you have a backup.
Have Redundant Systems
The only systems that require redundancy are those pertaining to content and websites.
Payment processors are a typical example of a situation in which an online business only offers one payment gateway, such as PayPal, and then that gateway experiences some problem that prevents a sale from being completed.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Are there any that I have missed?