Prioritize your online marketing plan

By Nigel Gordijk.

Online marketing is more than just a beauty contest. You need to offer your website's visitors a reason for being there.

I recently had a prospect contact me for help with their online marketing. They'd just launched their business and had created a template-based website using resources from their web host. The site consisted of a total of seven paragraphs of content, spread across three text pages (another two pages contained unlabelled photo galleries).

The prospect told me they were happy with the site for now, but wanted it to appear on the first page of Google. However, there were two barriers blocking the path to success.

1. None of the relevant keywords appeared anywhere on the site, so there was little to no chance that search engines would be able to rank any of the pages.

2. The site looked amateurish. Even if potential customers were to find their way to the site, their first impression probably wouldn't be positive.

People won't click on a search result link just because it's listed at #1; they need to have a compelling reason to do so.

The first step when you embark on any kind of online marketing campaign is to create an engaging and useful website. It has to show that you can help your customers solve their problems. Then address the need for incoming traffic.

Search engine marketing isn't just a popularity contest.