This post is one of a series of posts based on the fine lecture given by Dr. Roni Horowitz of www.internet-marketing.co.il at the Israeli CEO forum on May 31, 2007 in Herzlia, Israel.
You might be surprised at the title of this post if you know me or read some of the posts on this site. I’m a programming geek with some UI design skills who had, until recently at least, no real interest in the “darker” side of the software business. Starting your own company however, makes you think differently about many things, marketing being among the first.
I just came back from the Israeli high tech CEO conference. I’m not a CEO and don’t aspire to be one in the near future (I was listed as a CTO at the conference, and even that is a bit far fetched for a two-man not-yet-a-company), but I did enjoy one lecture in particular whose contents I would like to share with you.
Dr. Roni Horwitz was presented as the foremost Israeli expert in the field of Internet marketing. I was quite skeptical at first, but his lecture on the 10 most common Internet marketing mistakes was informative and very much to the point. His primary audience seems to be Hebrew speakers, so if you read Hebrew and want to read it from the man himself, please refer to his site at www.internet-marketing.co.il.
This will be a small series of posts, one about each common mistake.
Disclaimer : This series of posts is my interpretation of Roni’s lecture and I take full credit for all the mistakes and bad jokes herein.
Mistake 1 : Internet marketing = Traffic
Many people believe that the chief goal of Internet marketing is to get people to their site. They employ all manners of SEO techniques and spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on advertisement without realizing that they might be digging themselves a deep financial grave. While traffic is important and you need to generate enough of it, the real challenge is generating enough customers from the traffic to cover the advertisement costs and to generate profit. Lets take a look at two imaginary sites, foopoop.com and barbags.com. Both site sell packages of small blue plastic bags for collecting dog poop to help their customers avoid prosecution for reckless shoe endangerment. Both sites charge an outrageous though mathematically convenient $100 for a package of the bags. They each use various SEO techniques and buy Google AdWords and spend about 75 cents per visitor to their site. The two sites however, differ on the conversion rates. One in every 100 people who visit foopoop.com buys a package of their smell resistant bags (a 1% conversion rate) as opposed to only one in 200 for barbags.com’s double-thickness bag (a much lower %0.5 conversion rate). You don’t need to have finished MIT with honors to figure out the meaning of this: foopoop.com earns 25 for each visitor while barbags.com looses the same 25 cents every time somebody visits their site! If the folks at barbags.com don’t realize that and keep trying to get more traffic to their site, they’re just digging their own grave deeper and deeper with every visitor.
There are ways you can improve your site’s conversion rate. Changing the fonts, the colors, the wording, or just repositioning some elements on your site might do the trick. Experiment with your site to improve your conversion rates and you won’t get buried under a pile of dog poop.
Read about the most important thing you should pay attention to when creating your site in the next installment.