Last week, I shared answers to 5 questions I received from clients about how to market their business online. The feedback has been great, so I’ve decided to share these on a regular basis. There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation about internet marketing techniques, and I hope this series will help clear some of that up. If you have a question, feel free to send me an email. I’d love to help!
1.Right now I’m paying a writer to create original content for my blog. Can I stop doing this and just reprint articles from other websites and credit the source?
Sharing content from other places is not a bad thing in and of itself. After all, nearly all news sites republish content from other sources every day. So why shouldn’t you do it? Because Google prefers to rank the original source of the content as the authority.
That doesn’t mean a page with duplicate copy can’t rank or generate traffic. There are many sites who scrape content as their entire strategy, and they are able to build rank and get visitors using that content. But generally, this strategy is difficult. Google prefers that you write and create your own content. If your site is entirely made up of content from other sites, Google won’t place a high value on your site or rank it well.
Another major issue with this strategy is copyright. Without the author’s permission, you can run into people claiming damages for using their content. Although most people don’t take this step, particularly if you credit them and provide a link back to their site, it’s always a risk if you didn’t get written permission first.
However, there are specialty networks that you can tap into with a WordPress plug-in that provide quality content to republish on your site. You don’t need to worry about potential legal issues with the content, and if you don’t rely solely on this content, it also won’t harm your SEO.
2. Are Google Ads worth it? Are they a substitute for a low content website? Are they worth it for a high content website? What is their value on a cost-benefit basis?
If the campaigns are optimized and configured correctly, Google Ads can be an effective way to generate visitors for your site, but it really depends on your particular business. So the question is can YOU be successful with Google Ads?
No matter what marketing strategy you employ, you’re paying X amount for a lead, whether you’re paying a writer to create content or a designer to put together a newsletter. The math equation for ROI is independent of whom you’re paying. It all comes down to how many leads you bring in, your conversion rate, and the revenue associated with each sale.
Here’s a very general rule of thumb: If you have a product that’s $150, then you’ll have a hard time turning a profit with Google Adwords. But if you have a product that’s $1,500, you can do it all day long.
Of course, many businesses fall in between these figures. For example, maybe your initial product or service is $150 or less, but your customers general give you repeat business. In that case, I recommend researching how competitive your market is on Adwords. Then you may want to try a test run with a budget of a few hundred dollars to determine your business’s ROI.
3. I own multiple domain names. Should I get rid of most of them? Should I invest in a better one?
Changing your website domain is always disruptive. You destroy some of the authority you’ve built up over the time that you’ve being using the domain. So unless you have a really good reason to do so, I don’t recommend it. You want to get forward momentum – not to take steps backward.
As for buying new domain names, I am a believer in owning a portfolio of domains that you consider valuable. Personally, I own around 200 or so. Not all are valuable, but some are gems. However, you need to find a good deal, and those usually aren’t available on the open market. Since I do a little domain brokering, I am connected with pre-market broker lists. I’ve been able to connect clients with domain names that would have cost thousands on the open market for less than $500. I am always on the lookout for possible opportunities for my clients.
4. Is MailChimp still the best vendor for my email mailing list?
Yes. MailChimp is spectacular. First, you can’t beat the price (free!), and it’s a reliable and respected company. For most businesses, it provides all the tools you need and then some.
5. What about BlueHost for web hosting?
BlueHost is so-so, but it’s budget-friendly and suitable for many businesses that don’t have complex needs.