We all know that most advertising is a complete, total waste of our money in most cases. Let’s look at the definition of advertising first so we can have a full understanding of what it means.
Advertising – Noun: The activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services. Example – “movie audiences are receptive to advertising”
Advertise – Verb: Describe or draw attention to (a product, service, or event) in a public medium in order to promote sales or attendance. Example – “a billboard advertising beer”
Set Reasonable Goals
As a business owner you are constantly bombarded by advertising companies calling you weekly soliciting some type of product or service they claim will help your business succeed. The problem is, they don’t understand your business and what makes it succeed. Every business is different respectively on what it needs to grow and be successful.
Start by analyzing the goals of your business moving forward. Don’t look 5 years from now, look at tomorrow, then the next day, and so on. When you do the job today, tomorrow takes care of itself. As a business owner there are many things you have to think about on a daily basis including:
- Employees & payroll
- Overhead ( cost of operating )
- Buying costs
- Selling costs
- and the list goes on and on.
Advertising companies do not sympathize with these things we think about daily as a business owner, nor do they take into account our ROI when sending their army of sales people out to gather new business. It is important to look at every option and do your research when thinking about how to gain new customers. Questions you need to be asking include:
- What is my return on investment going to be? ( ROI )
- What are the long term consequences of paying to advertise?
- Does the advertiser understand my business and how it works?
- How valuable are my word of mouth referrals?
- How much does it cost every time the phone rings?
- Is the cheapest route or the most expensive route best?
- Who’s right and who’s wrong?
Only you can answer these questions about your business. Don’t let some sales person come in and assume the answers to these questions. You are in this business for a reason – You are the expert. Do the research, set your goals and gain the success that you and your employees so richly deserve.
Considering an Advertisers website? Already have one?
It’s Expensive – When choosing to build your business web presence through an advertising company or a do-it-yourself website service you must take into account the monthly fees that never end. Could you imagine buying a car in 2020 with monthly payments every month of every year for eternity? Then why do you do that with your website? Some companies will tell you it’s necessary to pay monthly for a website for “Maintenance” and “Hosting”. They Are Wrong! A website is like your car, buy a website, get all the features you’d like to have on it, pay for it or finance it, pay it off, enjoy your website. Maybe later after several years you’ll want to trade it in for a new one. If you were to add up the average annual costs a business pays an advertiser for a web presence each year it comes to $8,684.38 per year. That is too much! It’s time to start saving your money.
Website Ownership – Make sure you own your own website. Do not lease/rent a website from another company. This gives them full control over your online presence putting them in the driver’s seat for your business’s economic future. It’s very important to have control of what your customers see online. Don’t let some 3rd party determine how your business is represented to your prospective customers. On average, an annual hosting fee + domain registration costs approximately $80.00 per year. If you’re paying more than that right now it’s time to make a change.
Domain Name Ownership – More important than your website ownership is your domain ownership. You wouldn’t put your home in the name of someone you don’t know, so don’t put your website in that situation. It is 2020, people of all ages (18-81) are using smart phones to access Google. If you don’t own your domain name, find out how you can own it quickly! Domain names average $11.00 per year. If you’re paying more than that it’s time to make a change.
Customer Support – This is your business we’re talking about here. The internet is over 50% of your business right now whether you know it or not. Make sure it’s easy to get answers to your questions, be careful of those who tell you “We got this, don’t worry about it” and be sure you can get changes made to your online presence as your business evolves & grows. If you’re going to pay a 3rd party to take care of your online marketing they should be easily accessible to you when you need them. Your customer number does not define who you are.
Rate of Conversion – Is your website producing any new customers? Does the phone ring more now that you have a website or is it less? You’re probably noticing more calls from solicitors now than ever, as opposed to new customers. Advertisers sell your information, they are concerned about your monthly payment to them not your businesses conversion rate. If you have an advertiser’s hosted website and you aren’t getting the conversions you were promised at the beginning it’s time to start asking questions and dispute these companies so your business will flourish.
Expert Service – Would you hire an auto mechanic to do your dental work? Absolutely Not! Check the expertise of companies that want to help your business with online marketing. Some are experts, most are not. You are an expert at your business, that’s why you’re in that business. Would you hire someone to work for you with no experience at what your business does? Absolutely Not! Then stop paying advertisers that don’t understand your business, and don’t enter into a contract with a company until you know for a fact they are an expert with a proven track record.
Stop Wasting and Start Saving Money
As kids we had piggy banks, mom used to tell me to save my money for a rainy day. For most businesses the internet is their “Rainy Day”. In the old days the phone book was much easier because we understood it better and we seemed to get more phone calls from actual customers back then. Nowadays, the internet has taken over and the phone book has deceased. I don’t know about you, but I miss the phone book. It was so much easier to compete and it was a lot easier to figure out.
I don’t talk about myself a lot in my blogs but I would like to give you a brief story about myself. 10 years ago I began my marketing career working for a phone book company selling display ads. After several years I decided to start my own company to HELP BUSINESSES SUCCEED rather than just focusing on how many I could sell each week. I’ve helped hundreds of businesses over the years succeed with online marketing. I’ve had extensive training, and I continue to learn as the internet changes every year. Being an internet marketing specialist is kind of like being a doctor. The internet is constantly changing so as an expert I have to continue to learn every day if I am going to keep helping businesses succeed.
Same goes for you, your business is constantly changing so you have to evolve and change with it if you’re going to remain competitive. Advertising companies do not change. Their goal is to charge you a monthly fee and keep you paying that as long as they can so they can stay in business. It is time to stop the madness and take back control of your online presence, right now!
Let’s look at a review of an advertising company’s website. Notice that no solution was provided. This is why your business DESERVES an expert working with you with web marketing.
Laurie of Petalume, CA
Aug. 23, 2017
“My problem started day one – I had a program website and I was told I have to register with Google, Yelp, Bing, etc. I thought this sounded logical and I proceeded to fill out all the paperwork, pay a monthly fee. My sales rep said, you can do this for about 6 months to really get site started to be recognized. So after 6 months I called billing to cancel and I was told I had signed up for a year – I never received one single contract or actual piece of paper. My poor business decision. Ok it’s one year contract no problem. It should be helpful to have listing posted or whatever they are supposed to be doing. And then I got a notice from Google that my listing was suspended. So I called and was told – you have to submit proof of business. I explained this isn’t a business it’s a program, I thought I was registering the website not the actual business. So there has not been a clear resolution in 3 months.
Meanwhile, I’m continuing to pay a fee. Ok my bad – at least my listing should show up Yelp, Yahoo, Bing – and if it does it’s the wrong address. (I asked for address not to be listed since this is a virtual program.) My sales rep never returns my call. When I ask for a supervisor, I’m told they will call back, and they never do. I call about once per month when the bill comes in. I would NEVER use this service again and NEVER recommend it. It’s a lot to get your service listed in all the right places, haven’t found a service to help yet. The sales pitch & concept was great – the implementation unprofessional and poor quality.”
Aug. 28, 2017
“We appreciate the opportunity to address your situation, Laurie. I’m glad we were able to discuss your concerns and find a resolution. Thank you for your business.”
Reasons I Might Leave Your Website In 10 Seconds Or Less
Let’s start with the truly horrific!
- Autosound. If you have music or talking on your website when users visit this drives them crazy! It is great to have video’s on your website but make sure users have the ability to click to play rather than forcing the grandma that has her volume all the way up on her speakers to be startled at the home page.
- Pagination. A user shouldn’t have to navigate to 10 pages to see what your entire business message is or see all of your services. Display the most important information on the home page. This also applies to pop-ups, flash and hero banners. Get to the point!
- Slow Load Times. Not everyone has a NASA internet connection. If you have too many images or videos on one page it can drastically slow down the load time of your website. Remember there is no loyalty anymore since consumers have so many options. Make sure your website loads quickly so you don’t lose your prospective customers inquiring about your product/service.
- Poor Scent Trails. Lead your website users down a path to find the information they came to your website for in the first place. Your job is to help people to sniff out the information they need. This is where optimization and testing comes in.
- Key information is AWOL. I visited a Hotel website recently to find out how much it costs to stay there. After a while of browsing around I realized that there were no details on room rates. It’s strange. It is unlikely I will click the ‘Book A Room’ button just to see how much a hotel room costs. I’ll just book with Orbitz instead. Make sure all the basic information is in place.
- Cookie cutter websites. This is the nemesis of most businesses using an advertising company for their website. They tend to use the same template for all websites which makes them all look the same. Your business is unique from your competitors right? Make sure your website showcases your attention to detail, professionalism and expertise if you want to attract new customers to your business.
- A lack of clarity. When users visit a website for the first time they need to be able to tell what that company does within seconds. Don’t leave these users scratching their head wondering what it is you offer. Write keyword rich content, and include a precise call to action on every page of your website so your users can make a split second decision when they’re ready to proceed.
- Boring vs unprofessional. Some sites have no verve, no personality, and are uniformly dull. Others live so far beyond the realms of expectation that you don’t quite know what to make of them. Both can be troublesome, as far as bounce rates are concerned.
Should you contact me for a FREE consultation? If you answer NO to any of these questions then the answer should be YES!
Do you use Google Analytics on your website?
Are you regularly checking Google Trends?
Are you incorporating social media to your online presence yourself?
Have you ever read the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
These items listed above are 100% Free. You should be doing all of these if you have a website. Contact me today for a free consultation.
Thank you for your time!