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10 Things Your Online Marketing Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know

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By Carl Weiss

Is it possible that your online marketing manager isn’t being completely honest with you when they are presenting your monthly progress reports? It’s not only possible, it’s probable! In fact, many of the results can be skewed for a multitude of reasons. On top of that, most online marketing companies put the cart before the horse, selling you a product or service before they even inquire to your specific needs. In this week’s episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore issues of how online marketing companies portrayed products and results so that our readers won’t get deceived by unethical tactics.  So, get ready for another eye-opening journey as we explore "The 10 Things Your Online Marketing Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know."


Having helped clients achieve online success for more than 20-years, I can tell you that the job is much harder than it used to be.  Back when I started in the late 90’s, there were only two things that really mattered: a website and a search engine.  Back then I used to be able to generate organic page-1 results for clients in 24-hours.  That was before Google ruled the roost and the search engine market shrunk down to just three major players: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  It was also a time when there were no such things as blogs, social networks, and streaming video. 

If you really want to insure organic online results today, it takes a lot of work, not to mention a team of dedicated bloggers, social posters, videographers, and optimization experts if you want to guarantee results.  The problem is, most small businesses can’t afford to spend the time or money it takes to feed the Internet today.  As a result, 95% of small businesses have little or no exposure on the search engines, the number of followers on many business social sites usually adds up to a few hundred at best, and if they have a blog, few people read it.

While you can outsource most or even all the tasks required to successfully market your business, the problem is if your online marketing team consists of one or two people, even they will find it next to impossible to get all the tasks accomplished that are necessary to convert clicks into cash online. On top of that, leaving out any of the following elements can greatly skew your results, making them worse than they could be.  Below is a list of the top-10 stumbling blocks that prevent most businesses from succeeding online:

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  1. You aren’t driving the bus. – When we conduct one of our free web presence analysis for companies who are tired of spending money online without achieving tangible results, we frequently find that business owners and managers often don’t know how much traffic their website is generating.  That’s because their web designer never bothered to plug analytics into their website.  Without these basic tools in place, a business owner has little or no way of knowing what’s going on online. We also frequently discover that their website is missing a lot of important optimization elements that tell search engine spiders where their website should be listed in search.  Even if you pay for SEO, do you know what you are getting for your money?  Most people don’t.  That’s because every time business owners and managers try to talk to their online marketing consultants, the response they receive sounds like Greek. 
  2. You may not be seeing the real results when you receive a monthly report. – Another thing that many online marketing companies do is generate a monthly report that doesn’t come from a trusted source such as Google Analytics or Adwords.  If the report you receive can’t be verified, how do you know if the traffic is relevant?   Even worse, if all you receive is a synthesis of your supposed traffic, how do you use the information to make marketing decisions? On top of this, it’s possible that your Google or Facebook results are skewed because they are tracking unwanted negative keywords, poorly designed ads and ads that send people to web pages that aren’t designed to convert traffic.
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  3. Being on page-1 isn’t enough to make your cash register ring. – They call it online marketing for a reason.  That’s because there are two sides to the coin.  The first is the online side, where you need to fight your way into a position that exposes your websites, blogs, videos and social nets to the largest audience possible.  The second and more important factor is the marketing side that helps you convert the audience into customers.  Having the first without the second is not going to make your cash register ring.  Neither is spending thousands of dollars on a sexy website that few people will ever be able to find online. 
  4. There’s no law that says; “Only one website per customer.” – Another marketing mistake that many businesses make is to try to cram everything they do onto one page.  While this approach provides an overview of the business (if readers take the time to click through the site), it’s a terrible way to try to convert browsers into customers.  Like it or not, the public spends less than 2-minutes on average on a website.  If they can’t find what they want in 2-minutes, or if your videos and offers are below the fold, they’ll simply go back to the search engine to try another site.  Unless your business sells only one product or service, putting all your eggs in one online basket could be the main reason you are achieving little or no tangible results online.
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  5. Pay-Per-Click campaigns can cost you more than they make you. – While you can buy your way onto Page-1 of a search engine and social network, the only thing that this can guarantee are clicks (not cash).  Clicks do not always equate with actions such as picking up a phone, filling out a form or point, click, buy.  Since search engines and social nets that offer PPC campaigns get paid for every click, if you aren’t careful, it won’t be long before up to half the clicks you pay for are being produced by bots, competitors and ads placed on irrelevant keywords.  Other factors you need to pay close attention to whenever you pay-per-click are negative keywords, the time of day and days of the week your ads run, your position on page-1, not to mention ad fatigue.  If the only time you think about your PPC campaign is when you get your monthly report, don’t be surprised if your return on investment begins to go south in a hurry.  Our company conducts a weekly conference call with all PPC customers to go over their results and tweak their campaigns.  If your online marketing company does little to earn their PPC management fee, you need to find a firm that will take the time to milk every penny out of your Pay Per Click Return on Investment.
  6. SEO isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. – Ten years ago, search engine optimization focused on how well your website was optimized.  Today, your website only accounts for 25% of the score used by search engines to determine ranking.  The other 75% of the SEO score comes from off-site element interactions, such as traffic, social nets, blogs, podcasts, and videos.  While you still need to have your website properly optimized, even that won’t be enough to get you on page-1 of Google. On top of that, Google and all other search engines continuously monkey with the A.I. Search algorithms, making it next to impossible to game the system.
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  7. Having social sites and creating a social following are two different things. – The two biggest problems that most businesses face when marketing online, is creating a following and engaging that audience.  While social networks are a great way to accomplish both these goals, this will only happen if you take the time to feed, engage and grow your following on a daily basis. Most companies managing social networks today emphasize posting and engagement, instead of growing the following.  If they aren’t focused on growth, then having those F, T and G+ icons at the top of your homepage isn’t going to help your business one bit.
  8. Today, your website is the tail that wags the dog. – Ten years ago, websites were king when it came to promoting businesses online.  Today, they are becoming less and less important in marketing businesses online.  Face it, after you commission a website, it hardly ever changes.  So, why would anyone bother to come back there more than once?  If you are relying exclusively on your website to market online, you could be missing the point.  Since your business evolves, you need to add elements like blogs and YouTube videos that show how your business continues to grow, how it serves its customers and why customers should choose your business over those of the competition.  Another reason to embrace blogs, vlogs (video blogs) and YouTube videos is because people are five times as likely to watch a video as they are to read text and the public spends an average of 5-minutes reading a blog as opposed to 2-minutes perusing your website.
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  9. Forget the three W’s.  It’s the three T’s that get the job done online. – If you absolutely, positively need to succeed online, it takes the three T’s: Team, Time and Technology.  By that I mean, the secret to online success is a team of dedicated online specialists who have the time to employ cutting edge technology to ensure that your business can create and engage an ever-growing audience of ideal prospects.  This is how big businesses gain the upper hand online.  Expecting one or two people to accomplish the monumental task of creating and feeding content that is specifically designed to appeal to your target market is unrealistic.  So is outsourcing your online marketing to a firm that can’t or won’t get the job done.  Our firm relies on a team of eight specialists composed of web designers, graphic artists, bloggers, social networkers, copywriters, marketing specialists, and videographers to create compelling content that is guaranteed to engage and convert readers into customers for our clients.  Additionally, we have developed proprietary technology that allows our clients to generate an audience faster and more cost-effectively than any other online marketing company.  (We’ve won awards for some of these technologies.)
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  10. Winging it isn’t a way to create an effective online marketing campaign. – Whenever a business owner asks me why their online marketing campaign hasn’t produced better results, I invariably answer, it’s because most businesses never take the time to do the research that will give them a hope in hell of succeeding.  That’s right; most businesses put the cart before the horse by simply creating things like websites, social nets, and videos without determining such things as who their ideal customers are, what they are willing to offer prospects to give their business a try, not to mention what their competition is up to.  Many times, the reason business owners fall into this trap is because while they know the Internet is important to marketing their business, they don’t know how to go about accomplishing this task.  Even worse, is the fact that most online marketing firms only specialize in one or two forms of online marketing.  This means if all they do is social networking and blogging, this is the solution; they will propose to turn your online marketing around.

We don’t work that way.  Just as you wouldn’t want to build a horse by committee, neither should you build a web presence this way.  Before you spend one more penny online, I strongly suggest you find an online marketing company who will help you take a look at the big picture.  If you really want to succeed online over the long haul, you need to determine precisely what your web presence is going to achieve and you need to take a look at what you already have, what you need to add and how you are going to feed the beast for the next 12-months.  You also want to make sure that you stay in touch with your online marketing team on at least a monthly basis (we do it weekly) to determine how your campaigns are progressing, as well as making course corrections as needed.  You also need to have real time access to your raw statistics, as opposed to being given a synthesized version of your stats. 

Last but not least, your online marketing team should be able to explain in plain English, what they are doing for your business, how they are going to accomplish your goals and what they need you to tell them about your growing business. If you would like us to have a look at your current situation, we would be happy to provide a free web presence analysis to help you understand your strengths, weakness, challenges and your competition. There is no hard sell; it's just our way of showing companies how we are different.

This article provides ten things that your online marketing manager doesn’t want you to know about the online marketing results they are providing. It also provides links to many other blog posts, including a link to the BlogTalkRadio show that goes with this article.

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If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. I recommend checking out the links on the blog, along with checking out other related articles on our Show Notes Page. Also, don’t forget to listen to the BlogTalkRadio show on this subject. If you have a related useful comment or opinion about this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog. Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+ and share us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well.

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Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.  You can listen to Carl live every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.

2 comments:

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