There’s a lot of information online which could lead people to believe that you can do just about anything you want these days with a YouTube tutorial and some elbow grease. That might be all well and good if you want to make your own sponge cake but when it comes to important things like promoting your business then it’s often best to leave it to the professionals. You wouldn’t try to fix your plumbing yourself if you didn’t have the necessary knowledge and equipment to do it right so why would you try digital marketing for your business if you are equally underqualified to make a success of it? The truth is that when it comes to digital marketing you can end up causing more damage to your business than good if you don’t know what you’re doing and here are some examples how.
Even SEO experts can struggle to keep with the ever changing demands of the job and the latest algorithms that the search engines use to rank websites. SEO requires a high amount of knowledge, experience and perhaps most importantly of all, a finger on the pulse. If you embark on your own SEO and use an online guideline then it could well be the case that you’re being given out of date tactics that will damage your rankings instead of improve them. Professional SEOs spend their days finding ways to ensure that their clients have the strongest possible website with engaging content which will earn relevant links from high quality sources. If you try to take a short cut and simply submit your site to lots of irrelevant and poor quality web directories then you could be in for a nasty surprise when you can find your site at all in Google.
Social media marketing is one of those things that a lot of people just don’t get but they still want to have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn profile for their business because, well everybody else has one. If you are guilty of making one or all of these social media profiles and thinking that was the job done then you should hang your head in shame but you’re definitely not alone. Social media can be a great marketing strategy when used in the right way. First of all it needs to be part of an overall bigger picture, think about what you want it to achieve and how you want your business to be portrayed online. I would always advice against hiring someone to look after your social media profiles and nothing more because it should be used as a channel to promote your website’s latest content, your special offers, deals, sales and things that you find relevant within your industry that your followers would enjoy reading.
If you hire a digital marketing expert they will use your social media profiles in the right way to engage with your target audience and improve your brand image but if you just set them up yourself and forget about them then they can have the opposite affect when someone visits them to see that you have 5 followers and haven’t posted anything since 2009.
This a particularly tricky area to attempt to master on your own as web design is an extremely complex and ever changing science. The problem with web design is that it’s pretty expensive and you need to find a professional or agency and pretty much trust that they know what they’re doing. People can be tempted by adverts offering them the chance to build their very own shiny new site in a matter of minutes but beware as often these DIY sites are too good to be true. They offer very basic websites which often can’t be optimised which means you can do SEO for them. That means that you have a website that no one will see which is pretty pointless so you need to do some research before diving into the easy option.
There is however a service called WordPress that lets you create your own website and which can be optimised to perform well in search engines but I would only recommend using it if you have at least some knowledge of computers and the internet. If you don’t want to pay high web design agency prices then a good idea would be to hire a web developer who offers a WordPress creation so they can make a website for you in a day or two for a much lower price and it will be easy for you to maintain from then on so you can edit its content as you please.
Stuart Cooke is the SEO Campaign Manager for Redblast, a leading digital marketing company in Kent.