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Interdisciplinary Approach to Internet Marketing

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

How many people does it take to build an effective website?

I frequently find myself having a conversation with potential customers about how many people it takes to develop an effective online marketing solution.  Many seem to have the impression if you know how to repair or network computers, then you must know how to design a website and promote it online.  The training required to be an IT professional is very different from the training for web design.  There are dozens of certifications one can obtain in the IT field and none of them are related to web design or internet marketing.

Since I worked in the healthcare industry and I think more people can relate to that industry, let’s think about it in these terms:  When you go to a hospital to receive care, how many people does it take to care for you during your stay?  Is there one person assigned to you who draws your blood, performs surgery, and takes a CAT scan?  No, individuals from various disciplines perform those separate tasks.  Why?  Partly because they were each trained in their specific areas to insure the best outcomes for each aspect of your care.

The same is true in most industries.  For example a company may offer plumbing, electrical and HVAC repair services, but they don’t send the same technician to work in each of those areas.  Instead they hire technicians who were trained and received certifications in each of those areas.  In our field there are three primary areas of expertise involved with creating an effective website:

  • art/design
  • technical
  • marketing

Sadly many schools offering web design programs don’t offer a comprehensive curriculum which adequately addresses all these areas.  Most schools focus primarily on the design aspect (layouts, colors, etc.)  By necessity they do delve into the technical side, but tend not to spend significant time teaching students about search engine optimization and the more technical aspects of developing a website.  And many schools tend to spend even less time teaching basic marketing principals.

But think about it: your website is a primary marketing vehicle for your business — so if your website does not effectively communicate your marketing message and is not technically developed to current search engine standards, you are likely wasting a lot of time, money and potential.

That is why an interdisciplinary team can produce a much more effective online marketing campaign for your business.  You have the individuals working on your project who specialize in web design; those who specialize in the technical side of search engine optimization, and those who specialize in the marketing.  It is very rare to have all those necessities contained in one individual.

What’s that you say?  You need custom programming for your project?  Well that adds another discipline into the mix!  Programmers are trained completely differently from designers, SEO specialists, and marketers.

Understanding the people who make up our industry, their training and capabilities can make you a much more informed consumer when seeking an online marketing partner.




SEO Scam #11

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

“We guarantee 10,000 visitors per week to your website!”

This scam is sometimes referred to as a Guaranteed Traffic Program.  If you fall for this scheme, you likely will be getting traffic through one of two sources: automated bots and/or porn sites.  It is fairly easy for anyone with basic programming skills to pull off both ends of this scam.

For the first part of this scam, the company will set up a website that has an automated process programmed into it that will reach out to your website periodically and request pages from it.  Every time these automated bots visit your website, it racks up a visit on your analytics.  Of course, your SEO company will make their quota of “visitors” every single month because they control how often the bots hit your website!

In order to successfully pull off this scam, the SEO company will need to obscure some of your analytics information from you.  So if you don’t know the right questions to ask of your SEO company, you’re making it very easy for them to conceal this scam.  If the SEO company does not provide you with access to your analytics account, you will never see that all the traffic to your website is coming from the same IP address.  However, if the company is serious about scamming you and want to try to cover their tracks, they will send the requests to your website through proxy servers, which obscures where the “traffic” is originating.

The other part of this scam involves what are called “pop-under” windows.  You’ve probably experienced traditional pop-up windows when visiting websites.  These are the annoying ad windows that automatically open and obscure the web page you’re trying to view.  Pop-under windows still open, but do not obscure the page you’re viewing.  So, the SEO company will develop relationships with networks of porn sites and have pop-under ads that request pages of your website, artificially inflating the “traffic” to your website.

If you’re correctly monitoring your analytics and asking the right questions about your search engine optimization campaign, you will never fall for these types of scams.  And most importantly, if you are seeing traffic increases to your website but your phone still isn’t ringing, you had better be asking the question ‘why’?

Watch our Facebook page for the next installment of our SEO series .