Here are what I consider to be the 10 Most Costly Internet Marketing Problems for small businesses this year. My purpose here is to make you aware of what these problems are and how you can get them corrected.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 1- Priority Confusion All the Internet marketing buzz this year (and last year) is about Social Media Marketing. FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter are getting so much attention that many small businesses are beginning to spend time and money building their Social Media marketing programs, and that is good, unless your website is underperforming. Most people who connect with you on Social Media will find their way to your website, at that point it’s up to your website to convert them to customers, leads or opt-ins. If your website has a poor conversion ratio much of your Social Media marketing will be wasted. Job one is to make sure your website is converting well.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 2- Conversion Ratio Neglect The primary job of small business websites is to persuade visitors to do something (convert to a customer, lead or opt-in) before they leave your site. The “something” may be a to buy something, request a free “white paper”, opt-in to an e-mail list, call the office, etc. But the bottom-line is visitors who come to your website, look around a bit, and leave without “doing” anything, i.e., filling out a form or calling or whatever typically do not become customers and by improving the “conversion ratio” of your website you improve the effectiveness of ALL of your marketing.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 3- Poor SEOYour website MUST be found where your potential customers are looking and that means Google. Most successful small business websites get most of their visitors from Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Obtaining and maintaining top organic (FREE) rankings on Google (and the other search engines) can be the single best source of new, high quality, visitors to your website. This cannot be left to chance; you must KNOW what terms your targeted visitors are searching on and your site must be well “optimized” for those terms.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 4- Lack of Landing Pages Conversions start with visitors finding what they are looking for. Optimized landing pages give the search engines what they need to rank the pages well and at the same time they allow you to tailor your message for that particular visitor. This tactic should be used for SEO, Pay Per Click and even you e-mail campaigns.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 5- Under Use of Analytics I cannot believe how much money is WASTED by small businesses who get sold ads, links, and Pay Per Click listings that produce little or no qualified traffic. This is misallocation of marketing dollars can result in many marketing problems. Google Analytics is FREE and it only takes a few minutes to be added to your website. Once GA is installed you can easily track which of your ads are working and which are not. GA will also provide you a wealth of other essential information about how your visitors are finding and interacting with your website. Here’s a video that will help you get GA installed on your site. http://imgmembers.com/miscellaneous/analytics/

MARKETING PROBLEM # 6- No Search Engine Ranking Reports- Your search engine rankings are just too important to treat casually. You must pay attention to your rankings, and your competitors rankings, on all of the search terms (keywords) you are optimizing for on at least Google, Bing and Yahoo! I have been providing this service to my clients for many years and I don’t see how you can live without it in 2011. It’s important to understand that due to Google’s personalization and localization not all people see the same rankings results therefore Ranking Reports are not 100% accurate but they do provide an excellent gage as to how your SEO efforts are working.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 7- No Pull Components or Link Bait- Pull Components refer to something in your site that will compel or “pull” your target visitors to your site. This might be a FREE Report like this one, small business owners might hear that this Marketing Mistakes – The 10 Most Costly for Small Business in 2011 report is available at my website and that might cause them to visit the site to get their copy. In social networking this is called “link bait” because you are providing something that others might link to. Once you have a compelling reason to get visitors to your website you must let them know about it in ALL of your advertising. By aggressively getting the word out you can gain a pre-emptive advantage over your competition.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 8- Little or No Testing . Failure to test ‘on page’ elements and their affect on conversions is  huge mistake. Headlines, content, page layout, image placement, button size and color, video, color choices all play a major role in your conversions. In 2011 looking good will not be good enough- conversions are the name of the game. If your site does not convert you can bet that one of your competitors websites will. Loose the conversion and you lose the initial lead or sale AND you lose the lifetime value of that customer and all of their referrals. Loose too many and you definitely have a major marketing problem.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 9- No Video Content. It’s long been said that content is king. It’s still true but in 2011 your content should include video. Video is playing a huge role in demonstrating value, building trust, establishing credibility, etc. You must create compelling, benefit oriented video content.

MARKETING PROBLEM # 10- Poor Marketing Strategies and TacticsWebsite success is not a technical accomplishment, website success is the result of MARKETING. Internet marketing in 2011 requires commitment and expertise. You must identify appropriate traffic building strategies (SEO, SEM, Social Media, etc.), you must make sure your Internet marketing strategies are properly executed and that the results are monitored. Conversion Elements must be tested to maximize the number of leads or sales generated from your website visitors. Most small business don’t have in-house staff with the knowledge and the time to manage these important activities that’s why we created The-Internet-Marketing-Coach.com.