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The 7 deadly fallacies of search engine promotion...

What happens when most people get a website? Someone designs it and puts it on the web, nobody sees it and the website just sits there wasting valuable time and money. With WebAIM you'll be able to attract more prospects, but more importantly more prospects who want to buy what you've got.

Effective online marketing is rarely a numbers game and rankings alone won't ensure a return on your investment. These 7 deadly fallacies are at the heart of a lot of misunderstanding and waste.

Online Marketing Fallacies
Fallacy #1
You need to be first in the search engines with your website to get any success for your business.
Sure, there are lots of companies claiming to get you number one rankings, by hook or by crook. But guess what - if everyone can be number one then how can anyone stay there. People get so hung up on this concept of getting to the top that they miss the massive potential of being on the first page with the right hook and a website that takes a stranger to customer quickly and without interruption. Fighting with your competitors (as with any type of warfare) is destructive and can cost a lot of money. And what happens if the words you're fighting for aren't the words your ideal customers are searching for?

Fallacy #2
High hits are a sure sign of a good search engine promotion campaign.
Ignoring the technical reasons why hits are not an accurate measure of the number of people you're attracting - this is still ridiculous. If a hundred million people saw an ad, but no-one bought as a result then is that ad a success? Sales are the only real sign of a good promotion campaign and sales to exactly the customers you want are a good sign of a successful marketing campaign. Remember... hits is vanity - sales is sanity!

Fallacy #3
Some firms can guarantee number one placements or you don't pay them any more money.
This is a lie and a scam. The only people who can guarantee your position are the search engine owners. In fact they do guarantee positions but you pay them for the privilege. The famous guarantee you've probably seen is "We'll get you number one placements within 6 weeks or you don't pay us any more." You've usually spent 100+ on these guys and guess what - that's the only thing they were interested in. They're still 100 better off and you've got nothing to show for it.

Fallacy #4
With increasing competition for search engine positions you may as well just concentrate on a pay for clicks programme.
This is lazy and in many cases disastrous. Imagine paying 1 pence per hit to your site from a search engine. You may attract lots of visitors but as the number of visits grow so do your costs. Unless you can get a very high conversion from visits to customers - you could end up spending money rather than making money. Most search engine firms however don't even consider your business they're too busy chasing number one placements for poor keywords.

Fallacy #5
You can buy your way to the top without having to work on your site.
We won't work with anyone who isn't prepared to work on their site before we promote it. If you take a discerning approach to your online marketing then you can infiltrate the web in a way that brings you great rewards in the form of paying customers. But getting leads alone doesn't mean winning business. Once your target finds you, your site needs to seduce them into doing business with you. People who advertise websites are wasting money - if you're going to waste money on advertising - make sure you're advertising your products and services - at least then you'll build some brand awareness.

Fallacy #6
The best search engine optimisers keep abreast of all the search engine algorithms to provide you with a super high tech way of getting clients.
This is fantasy land! People may be up on algorithms - but computers are better at this stuff than any human. Also, machines don't buy - humans do! These people don't really keep up, they simply chase after the technology - always reactive and never proactive. This reactive approach is costly, wasteful and stupid. Don't pay them to play whizzkid. You need results!

Fallacy #7
Search engines are there to help businesses prosper.
Search engines are there to serve the person doing a search - first. And although search engine owners are aware of the commercial implications of their databases, directories and search engines, they also have to do what they say they do to be effective and successful. So, if you want to get higher search engine rankings, you'll have to provide useful, relevant content and be a lot more creative than simply throwing money at it.

If you're not going all the way...
Making a success of your website in the search engines is hard work. There is usually a high, ongoing, cost involved and you'll need to evaluate whether the outlay will yield the rewards you require.

You can't just do it once and then forget about it - search engine promotion is ongoing.

Many people try to do it the cheap way by taking on the challenge themselves. Some people succeed but on the whole - the results are invariably poor and if your time was spent using your skills more productively you should have made more money than you saved.

When people fail at this they may say, "The search engines are useless for my business, It's a good job I didn't waste any money finding it out." We say... "If you're not going all the way then don't go at all!"