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Articles - ECOMMERCE MARKETING Copywriter/Consultant | Anchor Marketing

2 Common Marketing Mistakes

If you’ve done any advertising or marketing for your business, I can virtually guarantee that you’ve been making at least one of the following two common marketing mistakes.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in business for 5, 10, 20, 30 years or more … it doesn’t matter if you’ve been getting what most people would consider pretty good results … I’m here to tell you that these 2 mistakes have cost you a lot of money in lost opportunities and sales.

I’m not just blowing a bunch of smoke here to catch your attention. In fact, I want you to stop reading this article right now and go grab some of your marketing material—a brochure, a radio script, a TV ad, a newspaper or magazine ad, your website, whatever it is—get access to it right now and then evaluate for yourself as I describe these two mistakes.

I want you to objectively judge your own marketing and advertising and make a determination for yourself whether or not what I’m saying has value.

So let’s begin.

Mistake #1 – Using at Least One of the Forbidden Phrases in Your Marketing Right Now

So what are the forbidden phrases? Well, they are phrases that use platitudes. In marketing, platitudes are essentially the kiss of death. So let me give you the definition of a platitude as it pertains to marketing. Platitudes are “words or phrases that are dull, obvious, or predictable that lack power to create interest because they are overused and unoriginal, that are nevertheless still commonly used as though they were unique or distinctive.”

Let me give you some examples of platitudes. They are words and phrases like, “Highest Quality, Best Service, Largest Selection, Gets the Job Done Right the First Time, 30 Years of Experience, In Business Since 1776 B.C., Honest, Hard Working, You’ve Tried the Rest Now Try the Best, Number One, Your Dealer of Choice, State-of-the-Art, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Sound familiar? Of course it does. You’ve heard this kind of junk for years, and companies even hang taglines on them.

But now here’s the killer question, do you have these terms in your marketing? I bet you do. I don’t even know you, but if I were a betting woman (which I’m not), I’d bet the farm on the fact that your advertising and marketing is loaded with platitudes just like these right now.

Take a moment to look at your marketing piece and see for yourself, .

Here’s the bottom line … these platitudes that fill up your marketing and advertising are killing your profits and destroying your marketing opportunities. That’s because they don’t distinguish or separate you in the marketplace. They don’t quantify or specify anything. They’re not believable, they’re usually not provable, and they cause your prospects to minimize, discount, disbelieve or—worst of all—ignore you altogether.

Ultimately, your market ends up believing that you and your business are just like everybody else in your industry. This is why you  continually get ground down on price, regardless of how great you claim your product or service is or how much better you think you are than your competitors. None of that matters, because you have introduced yourself to the marketplace as one more scoop of vanilla in a whole vat of vanilla.

Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with vanilla, in fact I love vanilla, but what I am saying is that if you are perceived as being vanilla—just like everyone else—the only real message you’re portraying to your market is “me too.” Think about how pitiful that is.

This is why businesses struggle, and their sales are dependent upon the force of the market and not on their ability to win over more and more customers to dominate their sector. That’s a big difference.

Common Mistake #2 – Fragmented or “Piece-Meal” Marketing

This is absolutely the wrong approach to marketing, yet it is the most common approach in business today. Everybody is doing it, including you and your competitors, I’ll bet. The good news (or bad news if you’re slow), is that the first one to fix this problem basically wins.

Let me explain: Fragmented marketing (in contrast to “systematized marketing”) means that there is no cohesive message or comprehensive system handling your marketing for you. Instead, when you buy marketing and advertising, it is developed by the company creating the ad, right?

Think back to the last advertisement or marketing piece that you created for your company. What was it—a brochure, a website, a printed ad, a radio spot? So now let me ask you a question: Who created the final product for you? The media company did, didn’t they? The radio station created your radio spot, the magazine created your magazine ad, the design company created your brochure, the web design company created your website, and the video production company developed the content for your video, right?

Think about how fragmented that makes your marketing efforts. All of those different companies have different ideas about what your marketing message should be, based on their own limited experience with your company. Inevitably, they all use platitudes and then try to throw in their own dose of creativity. Think about how wrong this is. You need to develop and own your messaging, you shouldn’t leave it to others, and you certainly shouldn’t leave it to multiple teams of others who don’t have your best interest in mind, and don’t really care about your position in the marketplace as long as they get their money from you.

This is why you need a marketing system in place. The system dictates the content of the advertisements and it dictates the buying sequence that your prospects go through as they are ultimately led to buy. A systematized marketing program facilitates the decision-making process. It defines the criteria your prospect should look for in a company, product, or service, and in doing so, leads them to buy from you instead of your competitor.

To illustrate this problem further, take a look at your lastest advertisement. How much money did you pay to have the content of that advertisement strategically created and formulated to ensure maximum results? I’m not talking about the design, I’m talking about the content (the message), what the ad actually says—not what it looks like.

You paid nothing, right? That’s what I thought. 99.9% of the time, you only paid to have the ad produced or designed, or you paid for the TV spot or radio airtime. The content was thrown together by the designer, the production team, or even the salesperson! Think about it … the most important part of your marketing material—the messaging—was put together for free by people who usually have no idea how to create good messaging anyway.

Have you ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for?” I hate to tell you this, but if you’ve never paid a professional to create the core messaging for your advertising campaigns before the media company gets hold of them—well, you get what you pay for and it’ll show in lost sales.

When You Think of Marketing, Think First and Foremost About Your Message

You need to think about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. When you think of marketing—don’t think of media anymore—think of messaging. Only once you have the right message should you start considering which media to run your marketing in.

You see, this is the difference between systematized marketing and typical fragmented marketing. A marketing system considers the message first. After the message is developed, it’s installed into a sales funnel, which moves the prospect through the decision-making process. Only once this is established do you choose the best media to distribute the message. Do you see how much more effective that is than typical fragmented marketing?

So now that you know the two most common marketing problems that businesses make, I’d like to invite you to learn how to solve these problems. At Anchor Marketing, we have put together a scientific marketing system, called Bottom Line Profits™ that effectively solves these problems and puts our customers on the path towards market dominance.

Additionally, you can contact me today to request a FREE Marketing Convervsion Audit. This analysis is not just another lame sales call. On the contrary, we will take a look at your existing marketing material and objectively rate your messaging using our proprietary Messaging Scorecard. We will then review the results with you so you can see how much sales leverage becomes available to you when you eliminate the common marketing problems I’ve just discussed and implement a marketing system based on the Bottom Line Profits™ process (which is free from platitudes).

Are You Aware of These 3 Critical Travel Web Design Flaws?

Perhaps you feel a bit confused about what to look for when finding a travel web design company, especially since there are so many of them, and the price range is so broad—from FREE to tens of thousands of dollars. So, we’d like to help you out by revealing to you the 3 most critical web design flaws that plague most modern travel websites so you know exactly what to look for.

Web Design Flaw #1 – Lack of Strategic Marketing Content

Most travel web design companies don’t provide content for your website. In fact, they usually ask you to provide them with the text and content for your website because they’re just designers, and not marketing consultants. Even if they do write content for you, it’s usually ineffective because they’re not trained as marketing copywriters so they always use the 3 Forbidden Phrases that cause dismal results.

You see, the most marketing leverage available in your website is in the content. The old adage, Copy is King, is just as true for marketing online as it is offline. For example our travel web design customers can get anywhere from 4 to 10 times better response—even more—from their marketing materials just by having us re-write the content. We take them through an advanced, scientifically-based consultative process to create strategic marketing messages so that your customers and prospects buy from you and not your competitors. You can learn more about this by clicking on the Bottom Line Profits™ link on this website.

Travel web design flaw #2 – lack of properly scripted videos

Video is one of the most powerful means to communicate quickly and effectively with your target audience. The problem with web videos created by most design companies in travel, however, is that the the videos they produce are all riddled with the 3 Forbidden Phrases and they’re usually not created to achieve a particular marketing goal. At Anchor Marketing, we include video production in all of our web design packages, and we have one of our marketing consultants properly script the video using our advanced scientific process. You can talk to one of our Account Executives for some case studies with existing clients.

Travel web design flaw #3 – Outdated coding

Did you know that at current adoption rates, mobile access to the internet has now surpassed desktop access? To ensure that mobile internet users can access your website, it must be HTML5 compliant, meaning that your site should not include Flash or other outdated technology. At Anchor Marketing, all of our websites are HTML5 compliant, and even our videos are all encoded to ensure that they play back properly on iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices. Our travel Web Design simply cannot be beat.

Before you invest in a website for your company, be sure to download the Website Design Checklist. This easy-to-understand report will walk you through everything you need to ensure that your next website is a powerful marketing tool that serves your company for years to come.

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Want a Custom-Designed Website

If you’ve been wondering whether or not you should “cough up the big bucks” to have a web development company make a brand new website for your company, then please read the information below.

The following “5 reasons” will save you a lot of time, money, effort, and frustration:

1. Nice-Looking Websites Are Not That Valuable

If you think you need a nice looking website, then you really don’t understand the point of a website in the first place. Unfortunately, too many business owners think that their website should be a place where somebody can find out more information about their business—like an online brochure.

This is the wrong perspective. You should consider your website to be a marketing tool—that is, an educational powerhouse that actually makes you real money because it causes your prospects to draw this conclusion, “I’d have to be an absolute fool to do business with anybody else but you regardless of price.” In order to have this effect on your prospects and clients, you need to have the right content and message on your website. If you have the right content and message, then the design basically doesn’t matter—as long as the design is not terrible or distracting, your website will be effective.

2. Custom Web Designs Take Too Long To Develop Today

The best way to get a website built quickly is to use an existing template. There are many incredible templates created on a number of different platforms like: Joomla, WordPress, RapidWeaver, etc. that can be customized and ready to go for your business within days instead of weeks or months. Why wait for endless revisions on a custom design, when you can simply pick a nice-looking template and get started NOW?

I know that some people worry that their website will look like other websites on the internet if you use a template. However, this is an illegitimate concern. The likelihood that someone looking up your business will recognize your website as being similar to another website using the same template is probably statistically less likely than being eaten by a shark. There are so many websites out there (into the millions) and furthermore, you can still customize your template to make it unique—so don’t let a custom web developer pressure you into their high priced custom designs by telling you that custom is the “only way to go” to avoid looking like other websites out there.

3. Custom Web Designs Cost Too Much Money

If you want to give away tens of thousands of dollars for no good reason to a custom web development firm so that you can have a custom web design that doesn’t make you any actual money, then go for it! It’s your money. But think about this—you can have a website that is just as aesthetically appealing as a custom design for 50% to 75% less by simply using a template. Remember, the content on the website matters a thousand times more than the design.

4. Custom Websites Cannot Be Easily Changed

If you use a template-based website, you can usually make complete changes to the look-and-feel of your entire website in a day or two (in some cases it can be done in a matter of seconds). That’s right, a few clicks and you have a completely new website! This can be done quickly and inexpensively if your website is starting to look dated, or if you just want a new design. With a custom website, you’re going to have to start from scratch and spend tens of thousands of dollars again.

5. Web Designers Don’t Know How To Create Valuable Content

There is a big problem in the web design industry that is not really being addressed, though it is easily explained and understood. Here it is: Web designers are not marketing consultants or copywriters and they usually have no idea how to create, or help you create, good content that actually generates sales for you.

On the flip side, a good marketing consultant or copywriter who does know how to create good content and craft powerful, strategic, marketing messages usually has no idea how to design a nice looking website. So, you end up with one of the following: a nice looking website with worthless content, or a website with great content and a strong marketing message that looks like garbage. It’s a real problem.

The best way to solve this problem is to work with an agency that has both the web designers who can quickly modify and customize existing templates and marketing consultants in house who both share the same vision for your company’s website. This way, they can both focus on their individual and unique competencies, as long as they both are looking to create a website with the purpose of being used as an effective marketing tool, and not just a fancy online brochure.

3 Reasons Why SEO Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

If you’re reading this article then you are probably already aware of the value of having your website show up on the first page of a search for the product or service that you offer. In order to show up on top, you need to have Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) done on your website.

There are literally hundreds of web companies offering SEO services, but very few know how to make SEO work for local businesses. In fact, traditional SEO services like virtually all SEO companies are offering are simply not good enough anymore.

In this short article, I’m going to explain 3 big reasons why traditional Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) does not work well for local companies. However, before I explain the 3 reasons, let’s talk for just a minute about what traditional SEO companies actually do.

What an SEO Company Actually Does

Typically, an SEO company will try to maximize your company’s position on a Search Engine’s results page, which is called a “SERP” in internet jargon. Now, the most popular and highly used search engine is Google and Google typically returns only 10 websites on page one of a search.

Now let’s say you’re a plumber and you have a website. A search engine optimization company would typically try to optimize your website for certain keyword phrases that include your city name that your prospects would be likely to use to find your service. For example, an SEO company in this case would probably try to optimize your website for the keyword phrase, “travel plumber.”

They would accomplish this through a number of methods, but most would focus on optimizing the content of your website so that it includes your keyword phrase in all the right places and so that you have good internal linking, site header information, etc. Then they’ll work hard on creating back-links to your website scattered all around the internet, and if they’re really good they’ll use some additional techniques to make Google think that your website is the most important one for your keyword phrase. Eventually, your website should end up somewhere near the top of the list on Google page one—remember, Google only has 10 websites displayed on page one*.

So that all sounds great. right? I mean, what’s wrong with that? Don’t you want to be one of those 10 businesses on page one? Well, things change fast on the internet, and being on page one actually isn’t good enough anymore for the following 3 reasons.

3 Reasons Why SEO Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

Reason #1: Google now gives priority to Google Places results over standard websites. Let me explain what I mean. Google introduced a new feature called Google Places where they basically created a mini information website for every business in America that they know about. They’ve probably already created it for your business. If you have a published phone number for your business, then Google has created a Google Places page for your business.

And guess what, when you are doing a local search for any type of local product or service—basically anything that somebody would normally purchase locally (like at your business), then Google actually returns 7 business results from Google places in front of it’s typical 10 websites for any keyword phrase. Let me give you an example. The screenshot to the right is from a Google search for “travel, MT Plumber.”

As you can see, the top listed websites are not actually website listings, but listings on Google Places. You can tell it’s a Google places page because of the red place-marker on the left side. And please note, these Google places pages all appear above the typical Google results (or “organic” results) which are on the bottom.

And guess what, the top 7 businesses that show up in Google places are not necessarily the same top 7 businesses that show up in a regular Google search for the same keyword phrase.

This means that in order for SEO to be effective for local businesses, an SEO company has to actually optimize your Google Places page and not your regular website only. Most SEO companies are not optimizing Google Places pages and many of them don’t even know how to do it because the rules are different than they are with typical SEO. This is the first reason why regular SEO is not good enough for local businesses.

Reason #2: The second reason is that highly optimized local videos also appear above regular SERP listings. This means that if there is a video on YouTube that is optimized for the Keyword phrase “travel, MT Plumber”, that video will probably appear above most of the business websites that appear on page one of a Google search. And guess what, people tend to click on videos before regular websites. Of course, this will only work if the video is highly optimized and a lot of work needs to be done to get a YouTube video to show up on page one—but it can be done (we do it for all of our clients—contact us for a few case studies and examples) and if your competitor optimizes some YouTube videos for their local business instead of spending thousands on typical SEO, then they’ll more than likely “beat you out” because studies show that a prospect is much more likely to click on a video link on YouTube than a typical website link on a Google results page. Click on the image above and to the right for an example of what this looks like in the real world.

Now it is true that people typically don’t search YouTube for local businesses. But, guess what happened in 2010—YouTube surpassed Yahoo and Bing to become the internet’s second largest search engine. That’s right, more people are searching for things on YouTube than on the other major search engines. And since Google now owns YouTube, Google has a financial incentive in promoting YouTube and the videos that are on YouTube. So the point here is this—as time goes on, Google is certain to put more emphasis on YouTube videos and therefore a highly optimized YouTube video for a local search term will more than likely beat out your company’s SEO work on your website even if your website is appearing on page one.

Reason #3: The third reason why SEO isn’t good enough for local businesses is the most important reason of all—and the reason is this—even if you’re on page one of Google, there is no guarantee you are going to get the business, because there are still 10 to 17 other businesses on page one as well. Now this is a major problem that NO SEO company is addressing! Think about it, a search on Google for a local product or service is the online equivalent of a Yellow Pages heading.

Let me explain. Let’s stick with the plumber example. If I look for a plumber in travel, MT in the phone book, the phone book will show me a bunch of ads from plumbers who are all in competition for my business. It’s amazing—all of these competitors are all together in the same place with their ads all vying for my attention. Since none of the ads demonstrate any quantifiable value or superiority, I naturally assume that they are all basically the same and I just call them all up and ask “How much do you charge.” Then I go with the cheapest plumber, or the one who can get to my house fastest.

See, that exact same process repeats itself online. When I search for “travel, MT Plumber” on Google, I get a bunch of competing businesses all together on one page without any one of them demonstrating to me that they offer a superior value. So, I just click on their links and start calling them up asking the same question, “How much do you charge?” Then, the business owner feels forced into a price-based competition. You see, everybody is dealing with this same problem and nobody knows how to fix it. That is nobody, except us.

At Anchor Marketing, we specialize in the creation of strategic marketing messages—not just techniques like SEO. Our expertise is in creating a specific message using an advanced, scientifically executed marketing formula that causes your prospects and customers to come to this conclusion: “I’d have to be an absolute fool to do business with anybody else but you, regardless of price.”

Go ahead and call up as many SEO companies as you want and get quotes from them. Check out all their prices and ask them about their guarantees. In other words, do they guarantee first page placement on Google? But then ask them this killer question, “How can you help me ensure that prospects will choose my business instead of the other businesses on page one?” The answer is simple—they can’t. Then ask them this, “Can you create content for my website to help me ensure that my prospects do business with me and not with my competitors, or do you just get my business to show up the first page of Google?”

Feel free to check for yourself. What you will find is that no SEO company anywhere is offering true and effective creation of your strategic marketing content. Anchor Marketing, in cooperation with Bottom Line Profits Consultants, has pioneered this package offering and we’d be more than happy to offer it to you. But, just remember, like every other service we offer, we can only offer it for one company in any local market. So you don’t want to procrastinate. Go ahead and call us right now, Toll Free at 855-624-6290 or locally at 406-628-72178, and we’ll discuss how we can begin an Anchor Marketing-based SEO program for your company today!

Or, visit our home page to get instant access to an audio program that explains the whole process to you.

* Some searches may return as many as 17 results (7 for Google Places and 10 organic listings).

3 Forbidden Phrases That Will Kill YOUR ADS

There are certain phrases that, if used in your advertising, will guarantee that your advertising results will be terrible and yes—I do guarantee that you are using them in your ads right now. But before I tell you what they are, I want you to get the phone book right now and open the phone book up to your ad. If you don’t have an ad in the phone book, then get your brochure, your newspaper ad, your website, or any other advertisement or marketing piece that you use, because I’m going to give you 3 evaluations in just a second so you can see if your ad passes or fails.

Okay, so you should have your ad ready now. But before I give you the evaluations, let me ask you a simple but important question. Do you always feel forced into a price-competitive situation in your industry? Do you feel like your customers only care about price? Are you always cutting your profits so that you can match a competitor’s price? If so, pay close attention to what I’m about to show you because I’m about to explain the biggest reason for that problem.

Why You’re Always Competing on Price

So here’s the deal, the 3 Forbidden Phrases that you should never use in advertising are phrases or statements that include platitudes. Now, let me give you the definition of a platitude. A platitude is defined as “words or phrases that are drearily commonplace and predictable that lack power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition, that nevertheless are stated as though they were original or significant.”

These are words and phrases like: highest quality, biggest selection, largest inventory, best service, been in business since 1776 BC, family owned, gets the job done right the first time, fast, residential and commercial, free estimates, locally owned and operated, #1 in satisfaction, we’re better, why pay more, lowest prices, we care, conveniently located, professional, experienced, affordable, board certified, accredited, we’re different, advanced techniques, call today, dependable, etc. Do you get the point yet?

Platitudes Make You Sound Just Like Everyone Else …
Even if You Offer Superior Products or Services

Now look, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t actually be these kinds of things, but I am saying that they are all platitudes. Every one of those statements and phrases are drearily commonplace and predictable, they lack power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition, and they were nevertheless stated as though they were original or significant. They’re all platitudes, my friend. And, I’m going to make you two guarantees about these platitudes right now. The first guarantee is this:

  1. I guarantee you are using platitudes just like these in all of your advertisements right now—especially if you advertise in the Yellow Pages. Here in the Treasure Valley, I’ve looked through all of these books myself and there is not one ad yet that passes the 3 evaluations I’m about to give you.
  2. The second guarantee is this—using these platitudes in your advertisements has made your advertising results dismal for as long as you’ve used them. This means you’ve left an untold sum of money on the table—money that you could have had in the bank account already if you would have applied the principles I’m about to teach you.

Now, I understand that you may have been running ads like this for 10, 20, or 30 years—even longer than that—and have been getting what most people would consider pretty good results that whole time. But what if I could show you that you could have got even better results? It’s true—better results are possible and even inevitable when you eliminate platitudes. You see, there is a historical reason that I don’t have time to explain in this video, (it has to do with the invention of the television and the history of advertising) and it explains exactly why everybody uses platitudes in their advertising. And by everybody, I mean everybody, including you and your competitors. What this means is that there is a huge market opportunity for the first company in your industry to fix this problem. I’ll explain more about fixing this problem in just a second, but first let me give you the 3 evaluations. Okay, are you ready? Here we go…

Platitude Evaluation #1 – Well I Would Hope So!

I want you to take a look at any claim you’ve made in your ad and ask yourself if a customer or prospect, could or would automatically respond with the statement, “Well I would hope so.” For example here’s an ad for a plumber that says “Plumbing Service and Repair.” Well I would hope so, you are a plumber right? This one says, they are “licensed, bonded and insured,” and that they “fix faucets and fixtures, water heaters, tubs and showers, etc.” Well I would hope so. You’re a plumber. What else would you do? I mean, it’s so painfully obvious that it’s ridiculous. Or how about this one that says “committed to honest, ethical service.” Well I would hope so! What else would you expect them to say? Hey we’re lousy, we’ll show up late, make your house dirty, expose our backsides to your kids and wife, and make sure that the problem that we fixed will break again a few weeks after we fix it. Of course not! Everybody is going to say great things about themselves if they can get away with it.

So what about your ad? How did you do? Do you have any of these painfully obvious statements that would cause someone to say, well I would hope so? Be honest with yourself and check. Okay, on to the second evaluation:

Platitude Evaluation #2 – Who Else Can Say that?

Pay close attention to this one, because the question is not who else can do what you do, but who else can say what you say. The answer is usually anyone and everyone. Here’s a painter who says that he’s “Idaho’s best.” Who else can say that? Now this guy might actually be the best in Idaho and the best in the entire universe for all I know, but do you actually believe it just because he said it? Who else can say that? Can’t the guy on the next page who says “where integrity and quality meet” also say that he’s Idaho’s best? Of course he can. Or this painter who says that “every job is a work of art.” Who else can say that? Again, anybody and everybody can say it. That’s who. See, these statements are drearily predictable and commonplace and they lack power to evoke interest. And you know what, they were nevertheless stated as though they were original or significant. Now look at your ad. Read a few lines and then ask yourself this, “who else can say that?” If one of your competitors can say it, you failed this evaluation.

One of the most common platitudes here is to tell us how long you’ve been in business. Everybody thinks it matters, but I promise you it doesn’t. Here’s an illustration—how about this Chiropractor who thinks you should visit his practice because he’s been a Chiropractor for over 29 years. Who else can say that? Well, how about this competitor here who has been serving for over 30 years. See what I mean?

To take this one step further, let’s move on to the last evaluation which might hurt the most…

Platitude Evaluation #3 – The Cross Out Write-In Test

For this evaluation, I’m going to have you cross out the name of your company in your advertisement and then write in the name of your competitor. Now tell me this, is the ad still valid? If so, you’ve just failed the test. For example, take a look at this attorney’s ad. Let’s cross out Mahoney Law and put in Jones and Swartz. See, the ad is still valid. Or how about Kormanik, Hallam, and Sneed. See, the ad still works. These attorneys have all failed when it comes to marketing their practices. They might all be great or they might be terrible, but I can’t tell from their ads—it looks to me like they’re all the same. Or how about this auto repair shop, Aer Auto Repair, where they offer Honest, Quality repair and they have the latest technology and diagnostic equipment. Then they have a laundry list of services that they offer and an incredible 24,000 miles or 24 month warranty. Amazing! But right next to this ad is Meridian Automotive who says that they’ll “take care of you,” and they include their own laundry list of services that is nearly identical to the one we just saw, but get this—they have a 25 month, 25,000 mile warranty.

Do you all get it? These ads all fail. Even though their warranties differ by 1 month and 1,000 miles, they are still basically the same so they don’t pass the cross out write in test. I can give you hundreds of other examples in these phone books for insurance companies who can give you “fast easy quotes” or dentists who offer “complete dental care” or landscape contractors who “cut to perfection,” but the bottom line is that none of these ads pass the cross out, write-in test or the other platitude evaluations. What about you? Cross out your name in your ad and write in the name of your closest competitor. Go ahead and do it right now. Now tell me, is the ad still valid? I mean really. I don’t care if you absolutely know that you have higher quality than your competitor because your competitor can still say that they have higher quality than you even if it’s not true. Another way to illustrate this is to do it in reverse. Cross out your competitors name on their ad and write your name in there. See, the ad is still valid, isn’t it? Bad news, my friend, you failed the test.

These 3 evaluations come straight out of marketing guru Rich Harshaw’s groundbreaking book, Monopolize Your Marketplace. Together with The Bottom Line Profits Consultants, Kammy Thurman has incorporated them into the exclusive Bottom Line Profits™.

Getting Rid of Platitudes Separates You from Your Competition

When we implement Bottom Line Profits™ into your business, one of the first things we do is remove all of the platitudes from your existing advertising. We innovate your company, and create specific and strategic marketing headlines, messages, and campaigns that absolutely separate you from your competitors and cause your prospects and customers to draw this simple conclusion, “I’d have to be an absolute fool to do business with anybody else but you, regardless of price.” We even have a specific marketing evaluation form that looks like this that guarantees that you’ll never put out another dismal ad with platitudes that gets lackluster results.

You see, platitudes cause your marketplace to assume that you and your competitors are all the same. That might not be true. You might have the best business of its kind in your industry, but since your ads and your competitor’s ads all use platitudes, then the marketplace can’t tell who actually offers the best value, so they call you up and ask you the same question that you’re probably really sick of hearing, which is “How much do you charge?” My friend, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Call for a FREE, No Obligation Marketing Convervsion Audit
to Put Real Power into Your Marketing

Call my office right now and I’ll do the following 2 things for you: First, I’ll have one of my Account Executives drop off a FREE copy of our Total Dominance audio program, listen to it and see exactly how we do marketing differently and more effectively than you’ve ever seen, and second, we’ll set up a FREE, no pressure, no obligation consultation with you (it will be a true consultation and not a sales call) where we analyze for you exactly where you are in your marketplace, how much marketing leverage there is available for your company, what the term “comprehensive marketing synergy” means and exactly what specific techniques you can implement to maximize your marketshare within one year.

But, you need to call now, because we can only work with one company in your industry in your local market. This means that if your competitor calls us first, we simply will not be able to work with you in the future.

Will the Internet Destroy the Yellow Pages?

If you own a local business (meaning that your business primarily services a local market), then you probably already advertise in your local phone book (or at least you’ve been approached by your local Yellow Pages company to advertise with them). The question at the forefront of many business owner’s minds today is this, “Should I keep advertising in the phone book even though many of my customers don’t use it any more?” Or, perhaps you’re just wondering if the Internet is going to eliminate the phone book altogether.

Well, the answer to that question is this—yes, the Internet is going to eliminate the printed phone directory as we have it today. However, it’s not going to happen any time in the immediate future.

Before you cancel your Yellow Pages advertising contract, or decide not to advertise in the phone book, consider the following:

The Phone Book Works Best for Local Service Based Businesses

If you sell a product or service that is available for purchase online like: books, clothes, electronics, software, or any other retail product, then you are definitely wasting your money advertising in the phone book. However, local service-based businesses, especially professional services and contracting services are still seeing great results in the Yellow Pages. These are headings like: contractors, physicians, dentists, plumbers, attorneys, auto repair, etc.

In short, if you can’t typically buy your product or service online, or if your product or service necessitates an onsite visit (in-person) with your customers, then the Yellow Pages is still an important advertising medium for your business.

Phone Book Users Are Older and Have More Money

Think about who it is that uses the phone book today—they are adults who are usually over 45 to 65 years old who own their own homes. Many of them are empty-nesters and they typically have more discretionary income than young couples who are either renting or who have just purchased their first home and have very little discretionary income. The younger prospects are more likely to be addicted to the internet, and they search Google for anything and everything they want. However, while it is true that this younger prospect might be more apt to find you online, they will typically be less likely to pay premium rates for top-notch professional services.

On the other hand, an older couple who owns their own home, as already mentioned, will be much more likely to spend thousands on: new windows, a new fence, plumbing, electrical work, etc., and they are much less likely to use Google to find a company to do business with. Think about it—they’ve been using the phone book for over 20 years when they need to find a vendor, they’re going to continue to use this “trusty old tool.” Hey, old habits die hard.

If you’re a service-based local business and you eliminate your presence in the phone book, you may very well be eliminating your chance to capture your best prospects.

Yellow Pages Prospects Are Ready to Buy Now

The Yellow Pages has always been a relatively consistent and effective form of advertising because people who use it are usually in the market to buy what you sell immediately. Think about it—people don’t pick up the phone book until they have a need or desire to buy what you sell. This is why it has worked so well in the past. These prospects are what we call the “low-hanging fruit.” They are the ones that are the easiest to pick up right now, because they are in the market NOW and want your product or service immediately. Abandoning the Yellow Pages means that you will essentially send these prospective customers to your competitors front door.

The Problem with the Yellow Pages

The reason why most local businesses don’t have more success with the Yellow Pages is because, by design, all of your competitors are in the exact same place as you are and you are all saying the same thing. Whether you’re in the Yellow Pages right now or not, I challenge you to open up the phone book, turn to any heading (preferably your heading) and look at all the ads—they all say the same thing! Guaranteed. Every ad says basically the same thing as the other ads in the same heading. They say things like:

  • Residential and Commercial
  • Highest Quality
  • Best Service
  • Honest and Ethical
  • Been in Business 30 years
  • Get’s the Job Done Right the First Time

Check for yourself—all ads in the phone book are basically the same as the others in the same heading which forces the prospects to call everybody up and ask how much you charge. If you earn their business, it will typically be the result of chance, luck, or some other detail involved in each individual sales process that caused the prospect to choose you (e.g. they had heard of you before, you had a bigger ad, they needed someone now and you were the only one who picked up the phone, etc.)

So the real problem is not with the Yellow Pages as an advertising medium—the problem is with the content of the advertisements themselves. If you want to succeed in the Yellow Pages, you have to fix the problem with your stale, outdated ad copy (i.e. the message that constitutes the content of the advertisement itself), and then support this ad with other marketing tools.

Anchor Marketing is the only marketing agency that has created a complete and cohesive marketing program to ensure that you dominate in the Yellow Pages and that fixes the problem described here for you. To learn how we do this, watch this video about the 3 Forbidden Phrases.

The 10 Commandments of Powerhouse Travel Ads (Pt 1)

LinkedInThrough many decades of experience, advertisers and advertising agencies have uncovered some basic principles for creating successful strategy, copy and design. Following these suggestions doesn’t necessarily guarantee a winner every time, but it can prevent costly mistakes that destroy the selling power of your ads.

Commandment #1: Match the message to the market

Far too many marketers spend an inordinate amount of time tweaking and word-smithing ad creative, while spending only a fraction of their time on the actual list selection. Creative will only affect about 20% of your response rate. The other 80% will be list and offer. The list therefore is the one area in a campaign where the marketer should spend most of their time.

So, the first step is to make sure your advertising is being seen by the right audience. This may seem like a simple and obvious rule. Yet, many travel companies believe that a great ad will appeal to everyone who likes to travel. They’re wrong.

“Copy cannot create desire for a product,” wrote Eugene Schwartz in his book, Breakthrough Advertising. “It can only focus already existing desires onto a particular product. The copywriter’s task is not to create this mass desire — but to channel it and direct it.”

And that includes travel products. As exciting as your exotic Thailand spa may be, advertising it in a magazine that’s read by people who rarely travel outside the US, or don’t already frequent spas at home, is a waste of time and money.

Commandment #2: Provide an irresistible offer

As you know, an offer is simply what your prospects get when they respond to your ad or mailing — combined with what they have to do to get it. In its simplest form an offer might be “Call us toll-free and save $25”. The discount is what the prospect gets, and the phone call is what she has to do to get it.

“The irresistible offer is an identity-building offer central to a product, service or company where the believable return on investment (ROI) is communicated so clearly and effecticiently that it’s immediately apparent you’d have to be a fool to pass it up,” writes Internet marketing pioneer, Mark Joyner.

This is the biggest difference between direct marketing and general advertising. Direct marketing focuses on driving the largest volume of qualified prospects to an irresistible offer, while general advertising spends its time agonizing over the messaging in the ad and the most creative way to express it. General advertisers are concerned with image and brand. Direct marketers focus on presenting reasons why consumers should buy their products/services right then and there, as well as overcoming any objections the consumer may have. They are concerned with the action they want the consumer to take — and how to get him or her to take it now.

So, which is better for marketing — the brand-driven approach of general advertising, or the irresistible offer-driven approach of direct marketing?

A recent study by the Kern Organization found that when marketing sells the offer instead of the brand, it generates approximately 10 times more orders and sales.

Commandment #3: Write an attention-grabbing headline

Today’s consumer has less time than ever for reading articles, editorials, essays, short-stories, books — and ads. Your prospects will spend only a fraction of a second deciding whether to read your ad or turn their attention elsewhere.

The factor that most affects getting your prospect to stop and read is the headline (after the market match and irresistible offer that is). This one creative component carries 80% of the responsibility for getting your ad read, so it behooves travel marketers to give headline construction the attention it deserves.

In his book, How to Make Your Advertising Make Money, John Caples says, “If you can come up with a good headline, you are almost sure to have a good ad. But even the greatest writer can’t save an ad with a poor headline.”

Headlines can do four things for you: (1) grab attention, (2) target the audience, (3) deliver a complete message, and (4) draw the reader into the body copy.

And there are four elements to a powerhouse headline that will accomplish those goals. It must be: (1) urgent, (2) unique, (3) ultra-specific and (4) useful.

Urgency in headlines convinces people to open the email, click through to the landing page, or a purchase now. While urgency is very important for headlines, if you can’t apply all 4 U’s to your content, urgency is the one to leave out.

Uniqueness is critical because if visitors have seen similar content or benefits elsewhere, they won’t bother with yours.

Usefulness is what compels readers to keep reading. You must offer a benefit, solve a problem, or otherwise provide value for your audience.

Specificity is important because it increases how useful the content is and makes it more compelling.

Stay tuned for our next exciting installment of the 10 Commandments of Powerhouse Travel Ads when we bring you Commandments 4-6: (4) Pump it up with great graphics, (5) Craft a lead that shoots straight for the heart, and (6) Design a layout that sells

Until next time …

If you found this article useful, would you kindly give it a share?

 

The post The 10 Commandments of Powerhouse Travel Ads (Pt 1) appeared first on Travel Marketing Consultants.

The 10 Commandments of Powerhouse Travel Ads (Pt 1)

LinkedInThrough many decades of experience, advertisers and advertising agencies have uncovered some basic principles for creating successful strategy, copy and design. Following these suggestions doesn’t necessarily guarantee a winner every time, but it can prevent costly mistakes that destroy the selling power of your ads.

Commandment #1: Match the message to the market

Far too many marketers spend an inordinate amount of time tweaking and word-smithing ad creative, while spending only a fraction of their time on the actual list selection. Creative will only affect about 20% of your response rate. The other 80% will be list and offer. The list therefore is the one area in a campaign where the marketer should spend most of their time.

So, the first step is to make sure your advertising is being seen by the right audience. This may seem like a simple and obvious rule. Yet, many travel companies believe that a great ad will appeal to everyone who likes to travel. They’re wrong.

“Copy cannot create desire for a product,” wrote Eugene Schwartz in his book, Breakthrough Advertising. “It can only focus already existing desires onto a particular product. The copywriter’s task is not to create this mass desire — but to channel it and direct it.”

And that includes travel products. As exciting as your exotic Thailand spa may be, advertising it in a magazine that’s read by people who rarely travel outside the US, or don’t already frequent spas at home, is a waste of time and money.

Commandment #2: Provide an irresistible offer

As you know, an offer is simply what your prospects get when they respond to your ad or mailing — combined with what they have to do to get it. In its simplest form an offer might be “Call us toll-free and save $25”. The discount is what the prospect gets, and the phone call is what she has to do to get it.

“The irresistible offer is an identity-building offer central to a product, service or company where the believable return on investment (ROI) is communicated so clearly and effecticiently that it’s immediately apparent you’d have to be a fool to pass it up,” writes Internet marketing pioneer, Mark Joyner.

This is the biggest difference between direct marketing and general advertising. Direct marketing focuses on driving the largest volume of qualified prospects to an irresistible offer, while general advertising spends its time agonizing over the messaging in the ad and the most creative way to express it. General advertisers are concerned with image and brand. Direct marketers focus on presenting reasons why consumers should buy their products/services right then and there, as well as overcoming any objections the consumer may have. They are concerned with the action they want the consumer to take — and how to get him or her to take it now.

So, which is better for marketing — the brand-driven approach of general advertising, or the irresistible offer-driven approach of direct marketing?

A recent study by the Kern Organization found that when marketing sells the offer instead of the brand, it generates approximately 10 times more orders and sales.

Commandment #3: Write an attention-grabbing headline

Today’s consumer has less time than ever for reading articles, editorials, essays, short-stories, books — and ads. Your prospects will spend only a fraction of a second deciding whether to read your ad or turn their attention elsewhere.

The factor that most affects getting your prospect to stop and read is the headline (after the market match and irresistible offer that is). This one creative component carries 80% of the responsibility for getting your ad read, so it behooves travel marketers to give headline construction the attention it deserves.

In his book, How to Make Your Advertising Make Money, John Caples says, “If you can come up with a good headline, you are almost sure to have a good ad. But even the greatest writer can’t save an ad with a poor headline.”

Headlines can do four things for you: (1) grab attention, (2) target the audience, (3) deliver a complete message, and (4) draw the reader into the body copy.

And there are four elements to a powerhouse headline that will accomplish those goals. It must be: (1) urgent, (2) unique, (3) ultra-specific and (4) useful.

Urgency in headlines convinces people to open the email, click through to the landing page, or a purchase now. While urgency is very important for headlines, if you can’t apply all 4 U’s to your content, urgency is the one to leave out.

Uniqueness is critical because if visitors have seen similar content or benefits elsewhere, they won’t bother with yours.

Usefulness is what compels readers to keep reading. You must offer a benefit, solve a problem, or otherwise provide value for your audience.

Specificity is important because it increases how useful the content is and makes it more compelling.

Stay tuned for our next exciting installment of the 10 Commandments of Powerhouse Travel Ads when we bring you Commandments 4-6: (4) Pump it up with great graphics, (5) Craft a lead that shoots straight for the heart, and (6) Design a layout that sells

Until next time …

If you found this article useful, would you kindly give it a share?

 

The Power of LinkedIn for Travel Marketing, PT 1

linkedin marketing travel companies

LinkedInThrough many decades of experience, advertisers and advertising agencies have uncovered some basic principles for creating successful strategy, copy and design. Following these suggestions doesn’t necessarily guarantee a winner every time, but it can prevent costly mistakes that destroy the selling power of your ads.

Commandment #1: Match the message to the market

Far too many marketers spend an inordinate amount of time tweaking and word-smithing ad creative, while spending only a fraction of their time on the actual list selection. Creative will only affect about 20% of your response rate. The other 80% will be list and offer. The list therefore is the one area in a campaign where the marketer should spend most of their time.

So, the first step is to make sure your advertising is being seen by the right audience. This may seem like a simple and obvious rule. Yet, many travel companies believe that a great ad will appeal to everyone who likes to travel. They’re wrong.

“Copy cannot create desire for a product,” wrote Eugene Schwartz in his book, Breakthrough Advertising. “It can only focus already existing desires onto a particular product. The copywriter’s task is not to create this mass desire — but to channel it and direct it.”

And that includes travel products. As exciting as your exotic Thailand spa may be, advertising it in a magazine that’s read by people who rarely travel outside the US, or don’t already frequent spas at home, is a waste of time and money.

Commandment #2: Provide an irresistible offer

As you know, an offer is simply what your prospects get when they respond to your ad or mailing — combined with what they have to do to get it. In its simplest form an offer might be “Call us toll-free and save $25”. The discount is what the prospect gets, and the phone call is what she has to do to get it.

“The irresistible offer is an identity-building offer central to a product, service or company where the believable return on investment (ROI) is communicated so clearly and effecticiently that it’s immediately apparent you’d have to be a fool to pass it up,” writes Internet marketing pioneer, Mark Joyner.

This is the biggest difference between direct marketing and general advertising. Direct marketing focuses on driving the largest volume of qualified prospects to an irresistible offer, while general advertising spends its time agonizing over the messaging in the ad and the most creative way to express it. General advertisers are concerned with image and brand. Direct marketers focus on presenting reasons why consumers should buy their products/services right then and there, as well as overcoming any objections the consumer may have. They are concerned with the action they want the consumer to take — and how to get him or her to take it now.

So, which is better for marketing — the brand-driven approach of general advertising, or the irresistible offer-driven approach of direct marketing?

A recent study by the Kern Organization found that when marketing sells the offer instead of the brand, it generates approximately 10 times more orders and sales.

Commandment #3: Write an attention-grabbing headline

Today’s consumer has less time than ever for reading articles, editorials, essays, short-stories, books — and ads. Your prospects will spend only a fraction of a second deciding whether to read your ad or turn their attention elsewhere.

The factor that most affects getting your prospect to stop and read is the headline (after the market match and irresistible offer that is). This one creative component carries 80% of the responsibility for getting your ad read, so it behooves travel marketers to give headline construction the attention it deserves.

In his book, How to Make Your Advertising Make Money, John Caples says, “If you can come up with a good headline, you are almost sure to have a good ad. But even the greatest writer can’t save an ad with a poor headline.”

Headlines can do four things for you: (1) grab attention, (2) target the audience, (3) deliver a complete message, and (4) draw the reader into the body copy.

And there are four elements to a powerhouse headline that will accomplish those goals. It must be: (1) urgent, (2) unique, (3) ultra-specific and (4) useful.

Urgency in headlines convinces people to open the email, click through to the landing page, or a purchase now. While urgency is very important for headlines, if you can’t apply all 4 U’s to your content, urgency is the one to leave out.

Uniqueness is critical because if visitors have seen similar content or benefits elsewhere, they won’t bother with yours.

Usefulness is what compels readers to keep reading. You must offer a benefit, solve a problem, or otherwise provide value for your audience.

Specificity is important because it increases how useful the content is and makes it more compelling.

Stay tuned for our next exciting installment of the 10 Commandments of Powerhouse Travel Ads when we bring you Commandments 4-6: (4) Pump it up with great graphics, (5) Craft a lead that shoots straight for the heart, and (6) Design a layout that sells

Until next time …

If you found this article useful, would you kindly give it a share?

The Power of LinkedIn Publishing for Travel Marketing

LinkedInOkay, all of you who have published on LinkedIn raise your virtual hands …

That’s what I thought. Very few consider LinkedIn when deciding where to publish content, and in point of fact, that’s a big mistake.

Now that it is open to the all LinkedIn users, it’s still something of an afterthought among content marketers. This is a shame, because publishing on LinkedIn is pay dirt for content marketers who know how to use it effectively. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why you need to be putting great content onto this platform!

5 Reasons why LinkedIn needs to be your content choice!

To establish authority – Publishing before a community of professionals is an excellent way of becoming the thought leader you are seeking to be. This can help you in so many ways — not only on LinkedIn, in terms of added connections and influence, but in your industry and Google as well.

Syndicating your content – Being able to post content that you may have used on your blog a while ago is a great way to find a new readership. Many times the audience on LinkedIn will not have seen your content, and may be more inclined to give it a serious read, given the nature of the platform.

Getting your content before a targeted audience – This is a professional site populated and frequented by pros, and as such you’ll find a lot less of the fluff traffic that might otherwise come upon your content. This is achieved by publishing before your connections, and to LinkedIn Groups for wider reach.

LinkedIn audiences are more engaged – The audiences on LinkedIn have shown to be more engaged , and like to ask questions, comment and even contact you if your content strikes a chord.

The possible viral effect – One way LinkedIn publishers hit it big is when their content starts to get some traction, LinkedIn often steps in and promotes it on of their Pulse category pages, and even better, sometimes on the home page itself! Accomplish that and you’ll be well on your way to authority status on LinkedIn and off!

If your travel company serves professionals in any way, LinkedIn can be a gold mine for finding potential corporate travelers, as well as leisure clients and guests. After all, even CEOs take vacation now and then.

For more marketing tips see anchormarketingconsultants.com/articles

The post The Power of LinkedIn Publishing for Travel Marketing appeared first on Travel Marketing Consultants.

The Power of LinkedIn Publishing for Travel Marketing

LinkedInOkay, all of you who have published on LinkedIn raise your virtual hands …

That’s what I thought. Very few consider LinkedIn when deciding where to publish content, and in point of fact, that’s a big mistake.

Now that it is open to the all LinkedIn users, it’s still something of an afterthought among content marketers. This is a shame, because publishing on LinkedIn is pay dirt for content marketers who know how to use it effectively. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why you need to be putting great content onto this platform!

5 Reasons why LinkedIn needs to be your content choice!

To establish authority – Publishing before a community of professionals is an excellent way of becoming the thought leader you are seeking to be. This can help you in so many ways — not only on LinkedIn, in terms of added connections and influence, but in your industry and Google as well.

Syndicating your content – Being able to post content that you may have used on your blog a while ago is a great way to find a new readership. Many times the audience on LinkedIn will not have seen your content, and may be more inclined to give it a serious read, given the nature of the platform.

Getting your content before a targeted audience – This is a professional site populated and frequented by pros, and as such you’ll find a lot less of the fluff traffic that might otherwise come upon your content. This is achieved by publishing before your connections, and to LinkedIn Groups for wider reach.

LinkedIn audiences are more engaged – The audiences on LinkedIn have shown to be more engaged , and like to ask questions, comment and even contact you if your content strikes a chord.

The possible viral effect – One way LinkedIn publishers hit it big is when their content starts to get some traction, LinkedIn often steps in and promotes it on of their Pulse category pages, and even better, sometimes on the home page itself! Accomplish that and you’ll be well on your way to authority status on LinkedIn and off!

If your travel company serves professionals in any way, LinkedIn can be a gold mine for finding potential corporate travelers, as well as leisure clients and guests. After all, even CEOs take vacation now and then.

For more marketing tips see anchormarketingconsultants.com/articles

 

How to Create a Smokin’ Content Marketing Plan

Want to Generate More Content? Get a Content Marketing Plan!

You’ve heard it a million times, nevertheless, content is still very much King. Google loves to rank new fresh substantive content, and most businesses fail at least partially because of a serious lack of content.

And it’s not simply words. It’s a lot of them, authoritative and compelling, original and unique that drive both search rankings and traffic. It’s also several other sources of content, particularly visual which gets the job done.

But how do we make this happen? The easiest and best way is by the creation of a content marketing plan, which enables you to keep a steady stream of content pouring into your site, and increasing your search rankings while doing so. Let’s have a look at four steps toward developing a workable content marketing plan.

Developing a killer content marketing plan

Determine who your audience is and what they want – Each and every business is unique in that it possesses a demographic singular unto itself. You’ve got a set of customers and people attracted to what you do that is yours and yours alone. Identifying this audience and getting an idea of what it is they want to know, and dovetailing that with your business goals is your task here.

Decide on types of content – There are several types of content you can use, from simple blog posts to whitepapers, videos, infographics and much more. Decide what you are best able to produce and get on with it!

Create an editorial calendar and follow it – This part is key: make sure you commit to a publishing schedule and adhere to it. Schedule your content in advance, to ensure that not only does it get done, but so that it can coordinate with promotions, product launches and other activities you have going on in your business.

Market your content – Simply creating it isn’t enough, you need to promote your content. With millions of new web pages showing up on the internet daily, it can be difficult to have your voice heard. Promote your content via your social media channels, cross promotions, and even paid ads if appropriate.

Beware the Pitfalls of DIY SEO

As the Internet has matured, and users have gotten more savvy, saving money by handling SEO on a DIY basis has become more attractive to many businesses. Unfortunately, in most cases, DIY SEO ends up costing companies far more often than it pays off.

Here’s an excellent article by Heather Lloyd Martin, top SEO Copywriter in the industry, about when DIY will, and will not pay off.

I walked away from the conversation shaking my head.

“SEO services are too expensive. We can’t afford to hire someone.”

“I’m smart. I should be able to figure this SEO stuff out myself.”

“My team is top-notch. No, they don’t have any formal SEO training, but I’m sure they’ll get it. Maybe I’ll send them to a conference…”

Stop it. Just. Stop. It.

Why do I sound so frustrated? Because I’ve chatted with large and small companies that have all said some variation of the “We can handle this in-house excuse.” Granted, their intentions are good. They really do plan on tackling their own SEO. They don’t mean to blow it off.

But they do. Time and time again.

Yes, some companies expertly take on their own SEO (and SEO writing.) These companies put time, money and effort into making it happen, too. They don’t expect the Google gods to magically hand them rankings. They don’t expect to learn by osmosis. They just do it.

But then, there are the other companies. The ones that fall into a “wishful thinking” trap.

Read more here: