Sunday, March 04, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Rely On SEO To Make More Money Online

Almost every business owner I talk to wants to have their business on the first page or #1 on Google search results. SEO does make a difference, but it isn't the "magic bullet" that will solve your online marketing problems.

Good SEO practices will help get traffic to your website, but if you don't have good copy and follow-up (via auto-responder e-mails), it won't help you that much. To paraphrase an old saying: "You can lead a prospect to your website, but you can't make them opt-in." 

When you look at improving the results from your website, look at increasing the conversion rate first - before you increase the amount of traffic. It's best to test changes in marketing on a small scale, make sure they're working to increase conversion... then roll them out on a bigger scale (i.e., sending more traffic to your website).

If you get these steps backwards, you will be leaving a LOT of money on the table if your conversion rate sucks. Here are a few quick tips on how you can grow your e-mail list, increase your conversion rates and make more money from your business website:

1. Make sure your website or landing page solves a painful problem for your prospect. Everybody is looking on the Internet for a solution to their problem - not to read how great your company is, how long you've been in business, or if it's "family-owned and operated." Hate to burst your bubble about that, but it's true - it's human nature that we all look for things that will benefit us.

Make sure that the focus of your marketing and copy is on the prospect and his problem. Doing this alone should drastically improve your online marketing results.

2. Offer valuable free information (or "opt-in bait") in exchange for someone giving you their name and e-mail address. Good marketing is content or education-based. As you've probably discovered, people are becoming more selective about how (and with who) they spend their hard-earned dollars. That's a trend that started with the real estate and stock market collapses of 2008, and I don't see it changing any time soon.

The good news is that if you take time to provide quality information, and build trust and credibility with your prospect, he'll be more likely to buy. This will take more time and effort on your part, but if done correctly it will be worth it. And many of your competitors probably won't do this.

3. Have a good series of auto-responder e-mails to follow up with, once someone has opted-in to your list. A common (and true) saying in sales and marketing is: "The fortune is in the follow-up." And it couldn't be more true today. When you write auto-responder e-mails that are fun, interesting and useful, this will let prospects get to know, like and trust you... which ultimately will lead to more sales.

Remember, always test these changes with small amounts of website traffic (to make sure they work) before you roll them out on a bigger scale with larger amounts of traffic. You'll have more sales, better results, and more peace of mind as a business owner.