The availability of the Internet or World Wide Web has only been open and readily accessible, known of and used by the general public since about 1994. When people first began using the Internet it was a lot more complicated than it is today. One would have to dial the land-line phone, then place the handset on the acoustic modem, next, the handset would emit an acoustic sound that connected your computer to the service provider such as CompuServe (one of the first dial-up services). Loading a page was extremely slow and completing a task and accessing information was very time consuming.
Businesses that were around way back then may have seen an opportunity developing, although it was unclear as to all the ways it could be used to boost business. The smart business owners grabbed up their domain names and created a website without knowing exactly what the future of the Internet would be. They only knew it appeared as though it might be a promising investment. As with most successful business owners, they took a risk.
Over the following 17 years, the Internet grew rapidly and so has the development of search engines and Internet providers have improved. the media that is used to access the Internet has also
expanded. Access to the Internet increased with the discovery and development of fiber optics and of course faster Internet service such as DSL. Today, with all of the interesting ways to access the web, most businesses are aware that they need to be able to be found online. Most Business owners already know the value of Marketing or advertising their goods and services and know that the Internet is the newest way to do just that.
With the progression of the Internet speed and access, the development of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, browsing the web has become easier. Various Internet providers such as AOL, Charter, and Verizon bring access to the Internet to anyone who want it. Now, with the development of mobile devices that can access the Internet, more people can find you online anywhere and anytime they want. It has become easier to reach more prospective customers with the use of the Internet on the vast amount of available mobile devices. Now, instead of using the phone book, newspaper, or other methods to find a business, good or service, people are going straight to the Internet to find what they need.
When I mention Internet Marketing to the owners of small and medium sized businesses, their first response is, “I know I need to do Internet Marketing,” “I have been doing it myself for the last six months and I have not seen any results”.
They have a general idea that social media sites are a great place online to market their business, Although they do not really understand how to get results or even what results they should expect to get. Most believe that Internet Marketing is only Social Media Marketing. They may even be receiving multiple calls offering them various types of services from a social media marketing expert telemarketer who tells them that they need Social Media or Pay Per Click to increase their “Online Presence” or to increase their “traffic”.
Businesses are hearing all types of guarantees. They may have even hired an expert but have seen little Return On Investment (ROI) as quickly as they were led to believe they would get. One of the biggest issues with Internet Marketing is that businesses do not know how it all works and do not have a very clear understanding of what Internet Marketing really does. These business owners are generally discouraged by the poor results and therefore give up on the whole idea of Internet Marketing altogether. Some business owners may not give up completely right away. These owners jump from Marketing firm to Marketing firm with the hopes of getting results fast only to be disappointed.
The business owners who have not been discouraged by a bad experience and are then sold on a service with promises of more leads and more business usually expect immediate results and think that all they need to get customers is a static website, Pay Per Click ads, and a Facebook page that they post on once or twice a month if that. They may even have a twitter account that they might even tweet something on once a week or so, that is if they have time and something to say.
The common belief about Internet Marketing is that it is comprised of a website and some social media.
Some may know that somehow they need something called SEO although they are not sure what it is or how it works. Some believe that SEO is merely farming backlinks. Most common beliefs are that they will begin seeing results within the first week or month after they put up their website and some even believe they will receive amazing results within only a couple of months from the limited, next to nothing Internet Marketing efforts .
Some companies guarantee that they can put that business at the top on the first page of the search results. They tell the business owner that they need pay-per-click ads and then charge an exuberant extra fee at the end of each month for those P.P.C. ads. Sometimes these companies go as far as claiming they can guarantee a specific number of leads per month and some only offer to create a static website for the business. Many of the Telemarketers who are selling a service will woo the business owner with Projected Return On Investment (ROI) figures that they present them based on a general ROI calculator. A ROI calculation is simply a group of projected numbers that are based on how much a current customer is worth to the client calculated with a bunch of “if” and “odds” projections and can not be guaranteed. When a business owner knows they need a website but does not understand how the Internet Marketing works and exactly which key roll a website plays in the whole Marketing spectrum, they are generally an easy target to get burned.
These business owners generally hire a company to create a website. Usually it is just a basic Website with nothing grand that sits there somewhere among the other million websites. The business owner then believes that because they have a basic website on the Internet they are certainly going to be found by clients who are looking for their products or services. Unfortunately they are soon disappointed because the $2,500 they just paid for this static website is not getting them any customers.
With that, the business owner throws both hands up and says “Internet Marketing is worthless! I used to do better just placing ads in the newspaper and the phone book”.
Then there are business owners who have the right idea that a video on their site is a good thing. The only thing is that no one sees their site so the expensive video they paid for is not doing anything to bring in the customers. As we can see, there are the few businesses who believe that Internet Marketing is the way of the future and have actually seen the benefit from it while many of other business owners gain nothing and feel that their hard earned dollars or valuable time have been wasted on more useless scams.
Most businesses who have hired Social Media and Internet Marketing firms to do their marketing for them quit when they do not see results within the first two or three months. This happens for at least one of a few reasons. 1. the marketing firm does not disclose how long it will take to begin to see results or 2. The business owner does not know how it works and believes that as soon as the Internet Marketing campaign begins they will start to see results very quickly. 3. The business owner does not understand what results to expect from their Internet Marketing.
One very important idea to remember is that success is not in the numbers, it is in the results.