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7 Internet Marketing Myths You Might Still Believe

The world isn't flat, there is no fountain of youth to be found in Florida, and drinking snake oil isn't going to give you any superhuman powers. Strange as it might seem, however, these were all once popular enough beliefs to get people to go to pretty great lengths (or part with big chunks of their own savings) just to find out.

fountain of youth

The same thing happens on a smaller degree with Internet marketing, simply because a lot of the people with the most to gain or lose – namely business owners and executives – aren't informed enough to know better. And how could they be? Unless you have time to study the Internet on a daily basis, like we do, you often have to rely on second- or third-hand information to make decisions and investments.

The problem, though, is that many of those beliefs and ideas turn out to be myths.

And, you don't want to build your next website and inbound lead generation plan on little more than that. With that in mind, here are seven myths about online marketing you might still believe, but should stop paying attention to:

Myth 1. Online marketing is best left to the experts.

Granted, there is a lot to know, but that doesn't mean you should take a hands-off approach to your company's success. A good online marketing partner will teach you about the fundamentals, so you know what you're paying for and can do as much or as little as you want to your website.

Myth 2. Social media is all about teenagers and vacation photos.

To be sure, lots of young people love social networking and spend more time on sites like Facebook and Twitter than their older, busier parents do. But, social media is everywhere these days, and sites like LinkedIn can be fantastic for delivering content and growing your network.

Myth 3. Your website should be designed for Google.

Given that Google processes more than two billion searches per day, it does make sense to pay attention to basic search engine optimization. But, designing your whole site around what you think Google wants is counterproductive – not only do algorithms change, but your first goal should be to sell to people, since search engine spiders don't spend money.

Myth 4. You need lots and lots of web traffic to be profitable.

As we have noted on our blog before, traffic is useful, since it leads to sales opportunities, but it has to be the right traffic. In other words, you shouldn't be trying to appeal to everyone online, but a select group of perfect (or nearly perfect) customers for your business.

Myth 5. Finding leads online is all about slick design or low prices.

Just as in the brick-and-mortar world, there will always be customers who flock to the lowest price tag, or those that are fooled once or twice by slick packaging. But, in this day and age, buyers are savvier than ever, and reviews are all over the Internet. That means that superior products, services, and customer care are important to long-term success.

Myth 6. Your website should be an elaborate brochure.

That's an outdated way of thinking. Today's sites certainly should convey information, but they should also be sources of news and insight, not to mention the starting points for new relationships. A professionally-designed and developed site should be able to collect information, generate leads, and help you connect with prospects.

Myth 7. Internet marketing is something you can do once.

This usually goes along with the belief that all you need is a great website and good things will start to happen over the Internet. That's not a bad starting point, but it takes a lot of work beyond that, especially in the form of blog posts, social content, and other updates, to really stand out online.

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  • bbmcKinney's picture
    Sep 4 Posted 3 years ago bbmcKinney

    Number one speaks the very truth; when you outsource social media or delegate it to your arranged team, this does not mean you’re not involved with any activities and plans coordinated. You also need to know the basics and even get technical to know how social media works.

  • Sep 3 Posted 3 years ago Bob De Nob

    #2 is the truth and any social media person who denies that is deluding themselves into believing their work has actual merit. SM is all people complaining about not enough foam in their soy lattes or celebrities tweeting nude pics of themselves. When you ask a SM expert to prove real ROI or business value for their efforts they say "that's not what SM is about" and any dept that claims that their work is integral to success and yet balks at producing any sort of beneficial metrics or dollar value (because they know they can't) is a dept that is all smoke and mirrors.

  • Sep 3 Posted 3 years ago Bob De Nob

    Actually #2 is the absolute truth. Social media is nothing more than people complaining about not enough foam in their show lattes. And I challenge any social media expert to prove to me that they have provided and REAL MEASURABLE ROI or BUSINESS VALUE. I have no worry of being shown up, because no social media expert can show measurable results. When asked about any for of business value or ROI the SM people always say that that's not what it's about...and any business dept that says we are absolutely necessary and need to be a huge part of your strategy...and yet balk at producing metrics or a real dollar value for their full of hot air.

  • Amy Birch's picture
    Sep 3 Posted 3 years ago Amy Birch

    I have to agree with you Mark, especially Myth 2 - I have friends in other businesses that are not using any form of social media, and wonder why 'older' techniques like direct mail aren't working anymore. I've tried my best to change their minds, but to no avail - argh!

    Fab post anyway :)

  • treptalks's picture
    Sep 3 Posted 3 years ago treptalks

    Myth 7. Internet marketing is something you can do once.

    Completely agree. It is not even about doing it multiple times randomly, it has to be again and again and with consistency. Consistency is key.

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