Are You Making the Same Dumb Marketing Mistakes as This Guy?

dont make these mistakes

The most important rule when you’re trying to accomplish something is this: Stop making dumb mistakes.

As soon as you stop making the dumb mistakes, you can start to make progress. But if you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, progress is impossible.

I know that many of you right now are saying something like, “Duh, Susan. We all know this.”

Yes, I know it seems like a no-brainer, but people often continue to do things that don’t work, either by habit or because they just don’t know any better. I bring this up because I recently was talking to a professional in the mortgage business who has been working like crazy to improve the position of his website in Google search rankings.

Is SEO always important?

First, that seems like the thing to do, right? We’ve all had it beaten into our brains that we need to get our websites listed high in Google search rankings and the way to do that is via SEO. But let me tell you right now that improving your SERP (search engine results page) through SEO is a long-term project. And, if all your competitors are also busy improving their SEO, it may be virtually impossible to make much headway!

This well-meaning and hard-working mortgage business owner has spent a fair amount of money and time publishing weekly blogs and he has some long-tail keywords that he is using. That, in and of itself, is a great thing to do. However, it won’t bring fast results and if his competitors are doing the same thing, then…

Now let’s think about his potential clients for a moment. He offers a variety of home mortgage options. I believe his prospects fall into two general categories:

  • Home buyers who are actively buying right now and will make a quick decision on a mortgage offer, and
  • Future home buyers who want to get a feel for the process and what to expect when they’re ready to buy.

For the first group, SERP can be critical. If they are the type of people who use Internet research to guide their buying, being on the first page of search results is very important. This guy needs to get his business URL under their noses and give them a reason to click on his link.

If he goes to a paid search engine marketing campaign, that’s a way he can do this – no matter what his organic SERP is.

Marketing for the long term

But what about this second group? Are they worth pursuing? I suspect they are and this is where a different marketing strategy must be employed.

In this case, what the mortgage business owner needs to do looks something like this:

  1. Present an offer crafted to match the interests of future homebuyers.
  2. Use the offer to encourage newsletter signups.
  3. Use the newsletter to establish the mortgage company as the trusted experts in the field and to occasionally encourage prospects to buy property.

Essentially, with the three steps above, he would be building a community of potential clients. He might even consider adding a forum to his website.

To date, this mortgage professional’s marketing strategy has been mostly geared toward grabbing the “hot” prospect. That’s a tough game to play and virtually impossible to win without investing in paid search results ads.

The second strategy is the long-term play. It won’t deliver immediate results, but it will be relatively inexpensive and, if done right, pay off well over time.

Bonus tip: Avoid this SEO mistake!

Now, let me tell you one mistake this business owner was in danger of making so you won’t make it yourself. He had a pretty good body of articles written and instead of continuing to add to his articles, he decided to change a few headlines and re-post them on his blog.

This is not good for SEO: It “waters down” the strength of the keywords and confuses search engines. Search engines don’t know which page deserves the “authority” so it’s possible that neither page will rank well in search results. This problem can be fixed, by the way, by using “301 redirects,” which is a way to code the new duplicate page so the content is always seen as being on the original page. This way you don’t wipe out the authority you’ve built through the originally published page.

As I look back on the mistakes this business owner made, I think they were due to the fact that he was focused very intently on building organic traffic and knew that his blog was the cornerstone of that strategy.

Laser focus on a project is fantastic…as long as it doesn’t turn into tunnel vision!