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Thread: Tired of paying for marketing that doesn't work

  1. #11
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    To be perfectly honest, you need to take your site out back...

    Does your web site company offer the ability to install Wordpress? If so I would look into moving to Wordpress and paying small money for a decent template. This will solve a lot of your problems in terms of disorganization and page structure.

    Send me an email if you have any questions as you go along. I find it frustrating when so-called internet marketers smooth talk small businesses into doing things that aren't real solutions.
    Web and Graphic Designer at ashleyidesign.com

  2. #12

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    Hi,

    Here is some generic ways of marketing your Small Business Online on a shoestring budget that has helped us as a small business entity. A lot of them would apply to your business as well.

    Today with well defined platforms to market your product online, the avenues of reaching your audience is growing and as a small business owner we would want to choose our marketing strategies wisely to get the maximum bang for the buck.

    As a small business owner, we are deeply passionate and committed to our business. However, when it comes to marketing our products online, our passion has to translate into well thought of strategies which do not require deep pockets and large teams to execute. Here are some tips to help you plan your online marketing strategy and create an edge over your competition.

    1. Cut the umbilical cord

    This is the most unspoken but a very important first step. Passionate as we are towards our business, more often than not it clouds our vision towards our product and ideas. We end up believing that whatever we are thinking is correct and best for the business. The first step to a clear marketing plan is to jump into your customer’s shoes and look at the product from their point of view. Go out and talk to your customers, understand why they use your product and how do they use it. Ask them for feature requests and you will get a ton of feedback that will leave you surprized. If your business is completely online, crowdsource ideas and feedback. You dont need to pay large dollars to any consulting teams to do your product research, just go and get it from your customers.

    2. Market and Opportunity Research

    Many a times as a small business, we tend to overlook market and opportunity research. A common myth is that only medium and large businesses need to think and spend dollars on market research. As a small business, you should spend some time to understand your market, its trends and the opportunity space. It not only helps you define your target addressable market but also validates your business idea and helps you set your business / financial goals.

    3. Competition Research

    Competition research is as important as market research. You must spend quality time every month to track your competition. Sign up with your competition’s online portal. Spending time to understand their new product offerings, new features, their marketing techniques, their sales pitch will help you refine your offerings and you can plan your moves to keep yourself ahead of competition.

    4. Select the right Channels and Platforms

    Once you have clearly defined your target audience, spend time to find out more about your target audience. Where do they go online, what are their likes and dislikes, what kind of stuff do they like shopping online, etc. This will help you select the right platforms and channels to market your product. For example, if you are using google adwords, this research will tell you the right keywords you should us to target your audience in a cost effective manner

    5. Create and amplify compelling content

    One of the best ways to bring your target audience to your site is via inbound marketing. Creating compelling and useful content, designed to provide value to your target audience can go a long way to increase traffic and grow your business. Write blogs, participate in online forums like quora, do guest blogging, etc and use SEO techniques and social media outreach strategies to amplify them to your target audience. This is not a magic pill which will start bringing growth from day one, but when done religiously over a period of time, you will see definite value coming out such exercises.

    You dont need to hire a PR/ advertising agency or consultants to market your business. All you need is to spend some quality time to plan and execute the strategies outlined to market your business on a shoestring budget to your target audience.

  3. #13
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    SEO:
    You can only make a Toyota Camry so fast. You have to get a Corvette if you want to beat everyone else. The website needs to be redesigned completely. It shouldn't be hard because there isn't much competition in the gun range world.

    WEBSITE:
    It does look unprofessional and not very clear what the users options are for classes.

    EMAIL:
    I build websites and I couldn't care less what email you use. Especially for a gun range business.

    COMPETITION:
    Gun owners are a very loyal bunch generally. They may not want to go some place new and since you don't have a building that does turn people off. Not so much that they would never go, but many customers need to be enticed to buy or try new things.

    Get a new website that is professionally done. Don't buy the SEO packages from companies that don't build websites. They are all scams.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Express Web Studio View Post
    Don't buy the SEO packages from companies that don't build websites. They are all scams.
    Personally, I wouldn't buy an SEO package from a company whose primary business is web design, marketing, PR, hosting, SEM, lead acquisition, etc. SEO best practices are a constantly moving target, and you need someone who specializes in that field.
    || VMdoh - Drupal development, consulting, and support

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't buy an SEO package from a company whose primary business is web design, marketing, PR, hosting, SEM, lead acquisition, etc. SEO best practices are a constantly moving target, and you need someone who specializes in that field.
    I'm going to disagree here. I wouldn't hire a web designer that didn't know SEO. SEO is an integral part of a web site. I wouldn't hire a web designer that didn't know SEO.

    Having said that, the current trend of content being a very important part of SEO, I would use a copy writer that is competent in SEO. That can be difficult if your subject matter is unknown (as mine is). But I bet there are a lot of good copy writers that know guns. There are probably a lot of web designer / developers that know how to design a good site, know guns and know SEO. That IMO is what the OP needs to look for IMO.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    I'm going to disagree here. I wouldn't hire a web designer that didn't know SEO. SEO is an integral part of a web site. I wouldn't hire a web designer that didn't know SEO.

    Having said that, the current trend of content being a very important part of SEO, I would use a copy writer that is competent in SEO. That can be difficult if your subject matter is unknown (as mine is). But I bet there are a lot of good copy writers that know guns. There are probably a lot of web designer / developers that know how to design a good site, know guns and know SEO. That IMO is what the OP needs to look for IMO.
    Sort of. You're not taking into account that SEO is split in two (or three) tiers. On-site, Off-site and Social Media. A designer must know on-site SEO, but they don't have to know off-site if they aren't providing that as a long-term service.
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    I'm going to disagree here. I wouldn't hire a web designer that didn't know SEO. SEO is an integral part of a web site. I wouldn't hire a web designer that didn't know SEO.

    Having said that, the current trend of content being a very important part of SEO, I would use a copy writer that is competent in SEO. That can be difficult if your subject matter is unknown (as mine is). But I bet there are a lot of good copy writers that know guns. There are probably a lot of web designer / developers that know how to design a good site, know guns and know SEO. That IMO is what the OP needs to look for IMO.
    I don't think we're in total disagreement here. I'm saying don't buy SEO services from someone whose primary business is not SEO.

    Should you buy design, development, or copywriting services from someone who has some SEO knowledge? Yes - it will make your SEO's job much easier. But SEO is too specialized of a field to hire a jack of all trades or look at it as a mere add-on.

    The only exception to that would be if the designer or developer is offering it through channel partnerships. In that case, you're getting actual expertise, but you're just having to go through a middleman (which can be more convenient for you, or can even provide more value than going direct).
    || VMdoh - Drupal development, consulting, and support

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    I don't think we're in total disagreement here. I'm saying don't buy SEO services from someone whose primary business is not SEO.

    Should you buy design, development, or copywriting services from someone who has some SEO knowledge? Yes - it will make your SEO's job much easier. But SEO is too specialized of a field to hire a jack of all trades or look at it as a mere add-on.

    The only exception to that would be if the designer or developer is offering it through channel partnerships. In that case, you're getting actual expertise, but you're just having to go through a middleman (which can be more convenient for you, or can even provide more value than going direct).
    Ya, after I read my post I was kind of thinking we actually are pretty much in agreement. Particularly when you add social media into the picture.

    But it gets complicated. With AdWords, for example, you really need a landing page that matches the ad. That's a job for a web designer / developer who understands AdWords. Social media, not everybody uses or needs it. I don't use it. It seems to me that is something that can be farmed out.

    You are also correct in that nobody can know everything.

  9. #19
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    There's really not much to add. Your entire web presentation is horrible. From your website to something as simple as your email. It all screams small time and amateurish.
    Anything you've spent on advertising and SEO has been completely wasted money.

    You need to get that in order first before you do anything else. You cannot compensate for it with other things. You cannot spend all around it and hope to make up for it. It has to be right or you will never grow.

  10. #20
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    By the way, your email is part of your marketing. If your host sucks and doesn't offer a decent email program, then move. But if it's just about a terrible interface...that's a ridiculous reason not to use your own email when you can use an email client like Thunderbird or Outlook.
    You can also import private email into your Gmail inbox.

    The only things I expect to get from free accounts are from friends, Italian Lottery officials, and Nigerian Barristers trying to track down the last heir of my wealthy oil baron uncle.

    I would expect anyone else to represent themselves as a grown up business. I don't care if you get a killer email address that spells out your business perfectly @yahoo.com. Nothing is cooler than your own email url. Nothing. The only exception would be if you actually worked for Yahoo or Google. Then that would be a pretty cool email address to have.

    Your email address is a free, basic form of marketing that you use everyday. You already own it and can choose any messaging that you want. It is 100% do it yourself and you are completely ignoring it. Not just ignoring it...going out of your way not to take advantage of it. So of course you're wasting money on other forms of marketing because you don't understand that everything is marketing and how one thing affects another.

    I would never take any ads, business cards, brochures, or websites seriously that had a free email address on them. In my mind if that's the best that you can do then this must be a fly by night organization. In an industry such as guns and gun safety, professionalism and credibility needs to be at the top of your priority list.

    That's my rant against businesses using free email accounts. It's a real pet peeve of mine as it should be for everyone.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 07-06-2014 at 02:13 PM.

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