October 18, 2010

"Please, Not Like That Mr. Businessman" - Common Mistakes When Buying A Business Website

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By ignoring the best practices in online marketing, companies continue to acquire websites that are useless for promotion purposes.

Being Internet a relatively new marketing channel, companies continue to commit big mistakes when purchasing their website, something that has prevented them from using the Internet in an effective way to promote their products and services and position their brands to increase sales.

There are essentially four main mistakes companies keep making:

1) Not learning the about online marketing before making decisions.
2) Making people with no experience or authority responsible for their business project.
3) Assigning an unrealistic budget for the creation of the website.
4) Hiring the search engine positioning service at later stages, instead of at the beginning.

I'll explain in more detail these four mistakes:

1) Deciding without information

A website is a key element in an online marketing campaign, but it is not all that is required. If you are looking to promote your products, position your brands and sell more, then you will require, in addition to your website, a promotion system that allows potential customers become aware of that your company offers the products and services they are looking for.

A website alone will not attract customers. It is the search engine optimization (SEO) what will make your website receive enough visits to meet the level of promotion that you want.

The biggest mistake many entrepreneurs and managers make is to limit their efforts to create a conventional website hoping through it to capture more customers inside and outside the country, without knowing that a conventional website usually does not come with that capacity for promotion unless you have expressly requested it to the website designers and hired the positioning service along with the website design.

2) Inexperienced leaders

If you decide to delegate the responsibility for your business project to the secretary of the area, an intern or assistant with no experience, that person is likely to end up buying a website that will not provide the commercial purposes you pursue.

An online marketing project should be the direct responsibility of managers and directors of the Sales and / or Marketing field, it should not even be in the field of IT managers, because what is at stake is the promotion of products and services of the company, which in turn is part of a global marketing strategy of the company.

In the event that your company does not have a Sales or Marketing manager, which is unlikely to happen, even in the case of SMEs, then it must be the very CEO or business owner who takes control of the project from the beginning.

The important thing is that your company has a project leader with authority, capable of selecting the best cost-effective alternative and able to convince senior management, and often to the partners themselves, of the benefits of investing in a professional website.

3) Limited budget

A professional website costs money. The budgets that you have seen and heard out there and there, mostly based on the cost of a conventional web page, usually are not sufficient to achieve the objectives set by companies, this is due to one simple reason: this cost includes only the design of the website but not the promotion, which is the most complex and costly part of an online marketing project.

A conventional web page is economical because it is simpler, it is developed in less time and does not include a online promotion service.

On the other hand, a professional website is more expensive because it takes more time to develop it, it includes additional activities other than the design of the website and incorporates search engine optimization strategies, which makes it a more profitable investment. You invest a little more in the development of a professional website, but in return you receive more visitors, generate more opportunities for new business, better brand positioning and in general you'll have greater opportunity to increase sales.

4) Converting the cat into the tiger

Typically, companies acquire conventional websites because they are cheaper, but expect that their performance is like a professional website. The reality is that if your company purchased an ordinary website, it will hardly attract the number of visitors you would like and therefore the promotion will be very limited.

Too often people make purchasing decisions without having researched the details of websites and, months later, seeing that the website is not attracting visitors, they get into the task of positioning the website in the major search engines. However, this procedure rarely works. To achieve good positioning, the website should be designed from the start thinking in search engines. The techniques, methodology and development platform of a professional website is very different from those used for conventional websites.

In practice it is extremely difficult if not impossible to position a conventional website in search engines. If your company needs to promote it's products and services online, which is the case for the vast majority of companies, hire from the beginning a service to develop a professional website and forget about trying to transform the cat into a tiger.

About the Blog Author: Timpa has the mission of providing all entrepreneurs, whether experiencied or not in online business strategies, with the right information to help them manage their businesses online in the best, most time-effective and cost-effective, smarter way.