Online marketing mistakes every business should avoid - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Online marketing mistakes every business should avoid

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Christine Marek

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Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011 2:00 pm

This is a continued series of marketing articles explaining all seven online marketing mistakes.

Last month the first mistake was explained: "Your website's call to action stinks." This column will cover the second and third mistakes.

Not gathering email addresses

I recently had a conversation with a business owner who we'll call John. John wasn't anything special, he had an average business with an average income. He worked about 60 hours a week and spent the weekend at home with his family.

His company was a service business and he provided a good service that helped his clients. He was good at what he did.

There was a sales problem. He wasn't getting enough clients. This is something most business owners can relate to. At times it's hard to bring customers or clients through the door.

Much of John's business came from his website. He did well getting his website into the search engines, but wasn't doing so well with converting visitors that found his site into leads who may become clients.

It wasn't until he started collecting email addresses through a simple form on his website that he really saw an increase in clientele. Nowadays, John's practice is packed.

His schedule is full and he's been able to double the price he was charging. He was also able to cut back to about 30 hours a week, instead of 60.

By running a simple newsletter, or report that shares valuable information with your prospects, you're going to encourage visitors to begin a relationship with you.

Failing to optimize for search engines

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are the closest things to friends your website will ever have. So you have to make sure they play extra nicely together.

By following a few simple rules, you can have your website ranking well in the search results for popular terms in your local area.

Let's say you wanted to rank well for the search term, "Phoenix Plumber." You'd want to make sure that you have that term on your main web page at least three times.

The best places to put search terms are:

• The title tag

• The headline

• The first and last line of content

• The sidebar

• The image ALT tags

Some of these may sound like Greek to you, so talk with your web developer about them and make sure that your website is up to date with terms you'd like to rank for.

As websites become one of the most important sales tools a business owner can possess it is imperative that one looks at these two identified mistakes.

• Christine Marek, MBA, is co-owner of Bushido Marketing in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 456-4700 or

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