If you play golf, you probably know that there are more instructional gadgets, trinkets, books and equipment fads in the game than probably any other sport. Every year, a plethora of new things hit the market that we feel compelled to buy to solve our game's ills, and every year we line up to buy them having never really focused on the one thing that will improve our game most: our golf swing.
Like golf, the Internet is never at a loss for new technologies, trends, or fads on which we feel compelled to keep up. From search optimization to e-commerce and email marketing to social media channels, video syndication and analytics, we can go mad trying to understand and stay current with the latest "must dos." But none of that stuff means doodly-squat if the foundation of our Internet marketing, our base website, is fundamentally unhealthy.
Since so much rides on it, the most important thing we can do to make sure all the other things we do to market our businesses on the Web work, is to conduct--or contract for--an unbiased and sober assessment of our base website. Such an assessment should focus first on the site itself:
- Is it properly constructed for our business purpose, our audience and to fare well on the search engines?
- Is it aesthetically pleasing and in concert with our other branding and sales materials?
- Is the site modern, logically arranged and intuitive or does it look dated, feel confusing and feature functional inefficiencies?
- Where is the site hosted?
- Who owns and administers the associated domains?
- Do we know all the associated costs and what we're really being charged for?
- Is it equipped with the up-to-date tracking code and, if so, do we really know what the tracking data is telling us?
Only after taking a hard look inward, and committing to the fundamental repairs this process may reveal, should our evaluation turn to the other components of our Internet marketing effort.
In the end, Internet marketing is a lot like golf. We get so bombarded with the latest and greatest equipment, instruction and gadgets that we forget to address the fundamental flaws in our base golf swing. Bushels of dollars later, we still slice nine out of ten shots into the weeds. When it comes to Internet marketing, look inward first. Absent a fundamentally sound website, all the Internet marketing trends, gadgets and fads will only accentuate its flaws and put us smack dab in the Internet marketing weeds.