Frank Reed had an interesting post on his Frank Thinking blog, lamenting how small businesses seem to avoid search marketing. They spend their money on Yellow Pages ads and other older forms of marketing that might not bring the best return on their investment. So, with the U.S. economy focusing every small business on making more from less, why is it that Internet marketing, and search marketing in particular, is so scary? What can we do to help small businesses take advantage of the Internet?
I am not a researcher (and I don't even play one on TV), but from talking to hundreds of small business owners over the years, I have some theories:
So what can we do?
For one thing, we need to realize that small business owners couldn't care less about being experts in Internet marketing. They don't care what the trends are. They don't care what's hot. Mostly, they care about how they can learn as little as possible and be effective. And honestly, that's what all of us should be concerned about. If we can't explain the value of Internet marketing in terms small business owners can understand, they should ignore us.
But we also need to make Internet marketing easier—especially search marketing, which is so basic to any business. Why is it that the easy-to-use facilities that create Web sites don't help with organic search marketing? Or help business owners analyze the metrics that matter?
It's time that we added the automatic transmission for Internet marketing. Do any of my readers know any examples of truly easy-to-use tools that help businesses sell, not just create a Web site?
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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