In my many years of experience with online marketing, I have come across MANY people wanting to get their business online to generate leads &/or sales, but they’re often very confused about where to start and what’s truly important. So, inspired by a phone call from a lady in that situation today, I decided to record a quick video with some thoughts on the subject that will hopefully point you in the right direct.
Welcome to Small Business Marketing TV. My name is Eran Malloch, and I want to talk to you about something that happened to me earlier today. I got an email a couple of days ago from someone I’ve never heard of or met before who was referred to me by someone else I just met recently. And it was a lady asking for some help with putting together a website for her business, and she obviously needed some assistance in taking the first step possibly. So I replied to her email, told her to give me a phone call, and she rang me a couple of hours ago, and I had a chat to her. And something really interesting came out of that for me. she was very typical of a lot of people out there I meet that are in small business in that they wanna grow their business, they know the Internet’s important, they know they need a website, maybe some of them know they need some sort of strategy for actually making the Web work. But they don’t really know where to go or what to do or how to sort out the fluff from the facts.
So I thought I’d take a couple of minutes just to briefly talk about the subject. So the first thing I said to her was, “If you’ve got a website, your most important thing you have to think about…” Well, actually let’s step back a second. I don’t know how many of you remember the classic movie “Field of Dreams” by Kevin Costner? It was probably one of his few good movies. And there’s a little saying in there that’s been repeated around the world many times particularly in my industry, and that’s “build it and he will come” or “build it and they will come”. And I think a lot of people, when it comes to building websites for their business, think that that’s how it works. They spend 500, 1,000, 2,000, 10,000 dollars to get a website up and running. And all these enthusiastic buying customers drive themselves to your site with great excitement and click on your link and buy on the spot, or book a meeting with you and suddenly you’re making tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. And unfortunately, I’d like to let you down not so kindly and say that is a load of rubbish. It doesn’t work like that. You see, if nobody knows your website’s there, it’s useless. And a gentleman I know once described it as, “it’s about as useful as a screen door on a submarine”. So “build it and they will come” is absolutely not the truth with a website.
When you have a website, you also need to consider how you’re going to get visitors to that site. Because those visitors are what will be your potential customers. That’s no different than putting an ad on TV or radio or in print or even God forbid the yellow pages. It’s all about getting in front of eyeballs. And the key with actually getting in front of eyeballs on the Internet is traffic. And there’s really only a couple of ways you can do it. Number one, you can buy the traffic via advertising. And number two, you can generate the traffic via a process called search engine optimization or SEO, which I’m not going to talk about too much at this stage. I’ve got articles on my website, you can read about that. but that’s all about getting people who go to Google and search for a specific topic that you deal with, finding your listing, clicking on it, coming to your website.
Now the pros and cons of either of them are that with SEO, it’s not that hard to do the basics of SEO. If you’re a serious player playing in a serious market, you need a professional and you’re gonna have to pay for it. It’s not cheap. There’s lots of scammers out there, but if you want a genuine professional who knows what they’re doing, you could be spending 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 dollars a month. I remember years ago, an old boss of mine found this website in the US for a company called IProspect who then and probably still are one of the top online marketing companies in the world. And the front page of their website said basically if you weren’t willing to spend 10,000 dollars a month, they weren’t interested in talking to you. So that’s how serious they were. A lot of small business people don’t need to spend that.
But SEO’s big advantage is if you can do the optimization of your website properly yourself, then over time, you can generate the traffic for free. It doesn’t cost any money to have those people come through to your website when they find your links out there, either in the search engines or on other websites. The biggest downside of SEO is the time factor. It typically will take three to six months minimum to start seeing any action, unless you’re an absolute superstar of SEO, in which case you’re probably not watching this video. But for most small business people, they’re not even close to that.
So you’re talking three to six months bare minimum to see anything out of that. And if you chasing competitive key words, you could be talking 12 months, two years or more of results, if you don’t wanna spend the money to pay a professional to do it. So it has it’s pros and cons. The advantage if you can stick around for six months or a year or whatever, you can get that traffic coming in free. I will say there is one other major disadvantage with SEO, and that is you’re completely at the mercy of Google and all the other search engines. Every time they update how their sites are ranked, and they call that an algorithm, it’s just a gigantic big mathematical formula that decides who goes in position one, two, three all the way down to ten. Every time they change that, which they change it regularly, you’ll find that you could be on number one here for six months, and then suddenly you might have be on position 74 back on page seven or eight. There’s nothing you can do about that. Google changes things as they want to, and you have no control over that.
So the flip side is, if you want to pay for the traffic, then the beauty of that is you can get traffic very quickly. You can get visitors to your site very quickly. Paid advertising on search engines such as Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, those sorts of services. Give me a credit card and half an hour and I can have visitors hitting your brand new website with the Google AdWords for example. And you have the flexibility to target lots of key words and land people on specific pages, talking about specific products rather than just your general home page.
The downside is two things. Number one, it costs money. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay for it. And in the current competitive market, a lot of clicks are not cheap. Back in the “good old days” when I first started doing AdWords, you could get 5-cent clicks, no problems at all. There were plenty of them, and 5-cent clicks were awesome. Nowadays, one, two, three, five dollars a click is not uncommon. I just did a proposal for a client recently in the insurance business, 50 dollars a click for his market. Hugely expensive. So it can be expensive, depending on your market & business model.
If you go and do paid advertising offline, you can do radio, TV, press, print, whatever, drive people to your website. They’re also options, but once again, you gotta pay for those things. so you have to weigh out the value of “do I want the traffic fast and hopefully I’ll make the money fast, in which case I gotta pay money for it” or “am I prepared to take the time and put the effort in and I’m not in a hurry” in which case you can actually get it up and running yourself. If you don’t wanna do the SEO then you have to pay for it yourself, pay for it as well, so that falls into the paid option as well.
So it’s great to have a website for your business, but the most important thing you want to think about is “how am I going to get people to the website firstly?”, because ultimately that’s what’s gonna potentially drive sales for you or at least generate leads. And then from there, you could hopefully turn those leads into sales and pay for it. You wanna be in position where you’re paying more, that’s where you’re earning more from the sales and the leads that come to you, than it costs you to pay for the advertising. And that’s been same since the Stone Age. You put an ad in the yellow pages, pay 50 grand. You hope you make more than 50 grand back over the period of a year. And that’s no different nowadays with the Web, but just because you’ve got a website, it doesn’t mean to say that you’ve got visitors. So before you get all stressed out about the website, think about “how am I gonna get people to my site?”. That’s actually more important than the website. A website’s easy to build. I’ve got a free e-book you can download which will explain to you how you to build your own professional website from start to finish, just a step by step instructions with screen shots, piece of cake. You can have that for free. You just have to register for my newsletter. And I’ll email you the link for that along with some free training videos as well.
So forget about the website in terms of the cost. It’s very low cost. You can build your own for nothing, and it costs you ten bucks a month to host it, or less than that.
Think about the traffic. Think about how can I get people to the site. And that’s how you can make the Internet profitable for you.
Okay, well hopefully I’ve given you something to think about. If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments field. Otherwise, please go ahead and download the free e-book on how to build your website, and I’ll look forward to you coming back and check another video soon. Thanks a lot. That’s bye for now.