Internet Marketing for Mom and Pop

SEO Article Posted by Internet Marketing Speaker on 14-02-2008

David Pogue has an interesting article in The New York Times today called Mom and Pop Get a Partner: Microsoft….Really? I enjoy David’s insights and the knowledge he brings to the masses-most of the time he is right on, case in point:

Has it come to this? Is Microsoft’s innovation engine so dead that the only way it can grow is to buy other companies? The answer is yes, David!

He goes on to say: What makes Office Live Small Business so compelling is its sharp focus on a single problem: that half the small businesses in America, and 70 percent of one person businesses, don’t even have Web sites. He then gives the kiss of death to small business owners and recommends that they go get a template website from Microsoft and they too will have international exposure for their goods and services! How will they drive traffic to the site…Microsoft will take care of placing those “search engine ads” for you-you’re killing me David!

Full Disclosure: I have a huge conflict of interest: I trade Google’s stock and thanks to all of you FunSeekers who use Google AdWords and have made the stock price go from $81 to a high over $700. How, by buying those “search engine ads.” Additionally, being an SEO-we are all about organic search-showing up on the first page of Google for free! Because of all the code bloat those templates have in them it is nearly impossible to optimize a website for SEO and come up on the first page organically. In addition, I’ve had to take over more than one AdWord campaign that was driving the small business owner to the poor house with no results. Other than these few areas of contention-I agree with David’s article 🙂

PS If any small business owner has a success story about using Microsoft’s websites please let me know. I would be particularly interested in how you are showing up in the searches and most importantly are you making any money. Thanks, Steve


4 Responses to “Internet Marketing for Mom and Pop”

  1. “Because of all the code bloat those templates have in them it is nearly impossible to optimize a website for SEO and come up on the first page organically.”

    As I noted in the column, you’re welcome to supply your own HTML pages for your Microsoft Small Business Web site. You don’t have to use their templates!

    However, keep in mind the target audience: non-technical people who have no clue how to design their own Web sites. People who are piano teachers, or bed-and-breakfast owners, and so on, whose expertise is the business–not designing and running Internet marketing campaigns!


  2. Point well taken David. I just know from experience that most will not come up with their own html pages because as you point out they are not technical and don’t know any better. I hope that our discussion will help them to ask more and better questions so they get a fighting chance-Keep up the good work! steve

  3. One of my friends came to me wanting me to optimize their template website. I was able to establish from him that he seldom does business in person, always through email and phone. His leads come from pay per click, social media marketing, and direct mail. I pointed out to him that for many small businesses their website is their storefront. I encouraged him to take pride in his business by getting a custom website.
    His new custom website has been up for a year and his business is booming beyond capacity. Your website gives or takes credibility from your business. A template will likely hurt your credibility and result in wasted marketing funds due to a low conversion rate. It is good that Microsoft is providing this service but dissatisfaction from their customers may ultimately give our industry a bad reputation.

  4. Thanks Steve – this is good info.

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