There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to online business: The first is always the “build it and they will come” attitude to having a website… Then every step along the line is a case of expectation vs reality. Many companies and individuals have an assumption that simply owning a website will instantly improve their income. It won’t. In fact it could be the start of a never ending spiral of expense if not properly considered and invested in from the start.
The Sad Truth
Organic listings take time. Potentially they take a VERY long time. Not just months but perhaps years, especially if you are expecting to compete on highly competitive terms that big name brands are in the top positions for. In fact the real truth is that you may NEVER rank for those top positions or broad key terms even if you work your socks off to do it. Starting at the back of the grid means you have to do more to catch up, maintain quality and get in front of competitors that may have had a huge head start on you.
The best bet in this case is to optimise around keywords that may have significantly less search volume but they are more likely to convert. Long tail keywords are a real bonus for small businesses and represent a great way to bring in traffic that may purchase or enquire with you BUT again, it takes significant time to build organic rankings for these terms… Or even find these terms and this low hanging fruit may likely be getting claimed by the larger companies who have a plethora of high rankings across the search engines.
So you may want to try Adwords to bring traffic. But then Adwords is not an instant source of sales & enquires even though it can be a source of traffic. The bottom line is that traffic to your site does not mean sales. Relevant traffic is the key and Adwords can provide this if you have an account managed by someone who knows what they are doing and have a budget big enough to compete with other advertisers in your field.
Misconceptions Perpetuated by Salesmen
It’s easy to point the finger for why someone’s online business is not working. Yes it could be expectations or lack of effort on the business or website owner’s part but a sad realisation we see every day is that ultimately you’ve got salesmen selling ideas to people with promises that can never be delivered.
Classic lines like “guaranteed first positions”, “instant ROI” or “no commitment contacts” usually accompany disappointment and they are selling points that you’ll hear from someone who never actually manages client’s campaigns – They simply sell, they probably have never even seen a CMS or Adwords account!
So what are you really committing to? Do they even care about performance once you’ve signed up and made a payment? Are you getting monthly reports? Do you have access to your account? Do you have a point of contact who knows what they are doing? The questions go on and on and they SHOULD be asked.
If you’re paying for a service then you need to be checking that you are actually getting something in return. You should not trust that work is taking place… Yes you should let the manager get on with the work but if after 2 or 3 months you’ve got nothing to show for it then questions MUST be asked. I’m always shocked at how long people leave things before tackling the issue but also just how slippery firms can be when those questions are asked.