Online Marketing Myths vs Reality

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine"

As is the case with just about any other type of product or service, there are a great number of myths surrounding online marketing. The firms that run the campaigns and the efficacy of the campaigns come under absurd levels of scrutiny. Dispelling every single SEO myth here would not only lose my readers but would be an arduous and lengthy exercise in futility. So instead I'll be focusing on only the most prevalent of these misconceptions so that business owners who might be on the fence when it comes to online marketing might make an educated decision before they sign up for or pass on a marketing campaign.

Online Marketing Is A Scam

"Go on sir..."
Ah...The Granddaddy of all search engine optimization myths! "It's all a scam" has existed since the first dissatisfied customer cancelled his inbound marketing campaign and vetted his/her anger to all their friends, coworkers, and business associates. This isn't meant to suggest that there aren't SEO scams out there because there are but it's also true that many disgruntled business owners erroneously apply the word "scam" or "ripoff" to a campaign that was working even though were not satisfied (for a variety of reasons) with the results they received or did not understand what they were getting into when they signed on.

The truth is this. Not only do online marketing campaigns work but the majority work well and help businesses grow and expand in ways not possible without advertising online. There is tremendous value in online marketing and it's a shame that some business owners trust what strangers relay to them more than they do the evidence online that demonstrates it isn't a scam. Business owners that invest properly into search engine optimization and those ready for the long haul will find online marketing to be one of the best things they've ever invested in.

"My Webmaster Will Figure It Out/Handle It"

Are there legitimately talented and artistic web designers out there that possess SEO skills that are on par with their design skills? Of course there are but these types are the rare exception and not the rule. It's not uncommon for web designers to have some limited experience with online marketing but in order to maximize their return on investment business owners will want marketing experts to handle their campaigns. Fortunately there does exist those companies that offer both services with dedicated teams handling each task. No business owner however should expect their freelance web designer, family member, co-workers, or even themselves to "handle" their online marketing campaign with anything but a minimal amount of competency. Though they have the best intentions these people usually aren't adept enough to generate more than minor marketing accomplishments. Always leave online marketing campaigns to the pro's.

"Tried It, Didn't Work"

"SEO doesn't work man"
It always leave me feeling a little morose when I hear people say "Already done didn't work" when they are asked if they have ever considered running an online marketing campaign. Unlike the aforementioned group of business owners, these people don't believe search engine optimization to be a scam, they just don't think it works, or is capable of working for their business. This train of thought is as fractally wrong as you can get. Online marketing campaigns work for businesses of all sizes and types. Why do some business owners believe the opposite then? Employing a bit of candor here, there are two glaring reasons they think this way.
  1. They lack the patience for an online marketing campaign. Yes, you read that correctly. Getting a meaningful return on any marketing campaign takes time, be it online or otherwise. Typically SEO clients don't start usurping their competitors in Google for 9-12 months. There are exceptions to this rule but this is an industry standard. Of course it's natural for business owners shelling out greenbacks every month to want results sooner than that but that's not realistic by any means. Had most of the dissatisfied business owners given their marketing firms and campaigns more time, they'd have seen the results they were looking/hoping for.

  2. They didn't make a proper investment. The vast majority of online marketing firms offer different types of marketing packages or levels of service. Smaller businesses with less competition online can get away with paying less. Bigger businesses with bigger goals and even bigger online competition will require a much greater financial commitment. This is because search engine optimization is essentially a game of chess whereby a marketing firm must continually play a game of one-upsmanship with the marketing firms of a company's competitors. The more time and effort a marketing specialist must put in to make and keep a website relevant online the more it's going to cost a business to run their campaign. Business owners are notorious misers but they have to remember that online marketing is a long term investment that requires not only patience but a proper budget as well. You can't buy a Honda and expect to drive off the lot in an Acura. Business owners must remember that you get exactly what you pay for.
If I'm Not Number 1, It's Not Worth It!

Every business owner wants and expects their website to rank number one in Google long before they start paying for SEO. While this is certainly understandable to a certain degree it's unfortunate that so many business owners fail to see the value in ranking anywhere in Google. Generally speaking a marketing firm and their specialists will succeed in, at the very least, getting their clients ranked on page one in Google. Moreover achieving rank one in Google isn't all that uncommon though that does becomes more difficult when there is a great deal of online competition present.

There is tremendous value in ranking anywhere in Google and business owners that shun online marketing campaigns because they are hyper-focused on only being ranked number one fail to see the bigger picture. Businesses without online marketing campaigns working behind the scenes rarely, if ever, rank in Google (or any other search engine for that matter) at all. This isn't to suggest business owners should settle for less but tunnel vision and myopia can keep them from greater success.

SEO Is Being Phased Out By Google

In the immortal words of Dwight Shrute, "FALSE!". Believe you me, there are days where it feels like this is the case when you're working within the online marketing industry but there's no truth to it whatsoever. Google changes the rules, guidelines, and expectations for SEO  on a daily basis but they are not phasing it out. They can't, it's that simple. Much like morticians, there will always be a need for marketing firms and experts. Google does not own search engine marketing nor do they have any authority or power with which to stop firms and individuals from marketing a business online.

The Simple Truth

The truth about online marketing is quite prosaic. It works and all businesses need it...its as simple as that. Business owners whom approach online marketing with pragmatic attitudes are far more likely to stick with their campaigns through the formative and building months and eventually see their traffic and turnover increase dramatically. Search engine marketing exposes businesses to larger audiences locally, nationally, and internationally. It essentially costs a business more when its owner or decision makers decide not to pay for an online marketing campaign than it does to run even a modest campaign.

Yea, it's pretty much like that.
Inland Empire Online Marketing, Riverside Search Engine Optimization, Orange County SEO

~Scott Jarvis (President, Next Evolution Online)
Phone: 714-820-9935