There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace regarding internet marketing.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising seem to lead the pack in terms of the most popular terms that are being batted around.

I have to admit that I have had to take a crash course in both of these technologies.  My good friend and strategic partner, Maggie Strevell at Naper Solutions, has been my tutor.  Her lessons have been augmented by input from my son, Edward Cargill, who has his Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

The reason I say I’ve had to gain a crash-course education in this is because I have sensed, for quite some time now, that it is an extremely powerful method of gaining leads.  As you will know if you’re a consistent reader of my newsletter and/or blog, filling the funnel is my passion.

I read an article several months ago indicating that fully 80+% of all business-to-business product or service searches start on the web.  That’s right; you read it correctly.  Eighty percent of your prospects, who don’t know your organization, will start a search for products and services like that which you sell on the web.  Therefore, I believe that your web presence has to become part of your sales and marketing arsenal.

It’s no longer sufficient to have a website that is just pretty.  Frankly, pretty doesn’t matter.  Now, in this environment where there’s a lot of noise and hype regarding SEO and PPC marketing strategies, one must be very careful to avoid the charlatans.  Those charlatans are those people who constantly spam you, promising to put your website at the #1 position.

Following, please find some of the lessons I’ve learned (some at my own expense) prior to meeting Maggie and taking input from my son.

  • It’s easy to promise a #1 position.  It’s easy to get there, but it is very difficult to stay there.  Consequently, be very careful before engaging an SEO or a Pay-Per-Click service provider who promises the #1 position but doesn’t show you how they’ll get you there and, more importantly, how they’ll keep you there.
  • The secret sauce is in the background.  That’s right; keywords, tags, links and many other variables (which I, to this day, don’t clearly understand) are evaluated by the search engines before ranking your website.  You can spend a ton – and, I repeat, a ton – of money on keyword advertising via the Pay-Per-Click route and not gain the results you want.  Once again, the important and only consideration is whether or not your Pay-Per-Click and SEO advertising puts leads into your funnel.
  • 87% of those leads are never properly pursued.  That’s right; nothing can be more wasteful of your marketing dollars than engaging the services of a Pay-Per-Click or SEO provider and failing to follow up on all leads until they “buy or die”.
  • It ain’t easy.  The aforementioned charlatans make Pay-Per-Click and SEO sound very easy.  It’s not.  In order to optimize and maintain an optimum position, your website needs to be worked on constantly.  This is one of the lessons that I learned the hard way.  You see; even optimizing a webpage is not enough.  There must be a long-term strategy to maintain that position which includes great content and link building.  Any position below the first page is a virtual waste of your time and money.
  • Inspect the results.  You should know if a lead came from an organic result, paid ad or referring website.  Examine where your leads are coming from, tracking a keyword to a sale.  Examine the number of leads generated by your website and timely follow-up activity.  In addition, make sure that whoever is managing your website not only provides you with analytics but also helps you understand what metrics are important to improving your lead-generation strategy.

As a result of her tutoring, Maggie Strevell of Naper Solutions has helped me understand web marketing and has upgraded my website’s position in the search engines.  She has offered my clients a free service to evaluate your website without charge.  That’s right; she’s offering a free website evaluation to any of my readers.  If you’d like to take advantage of this, please contact Maggie and tell her that you read Gil Cargill’s blog.

GOOD LUCK & GOOD SELLING!!

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