Companies that take time to make a plan before taking action consistently perform better than those who do not.

The same is true for marketing on the web. Having a well thought out plan and executing it effectively is more likely to lead your company to success than trial and error. As advertising and marketing options become more numerous and fractured, a website owner must have a plan to avoid expensive mistakes. The plan should include clear objectives, strategies, tactics, timelines and dedicated budget. The creation of the plan should be relatively low in cost and high in returns. Assuming that one person will not be likely able to execute all aspects of the plan, it should include the best person, skill set, or vendor to implement each action point.

Below are five examples of money-wasting blunders that often result from lack of planning:

1- Having a website built or rebuilt on an unsuitable platform or without including features needed for internet marketing or advertising. The structure of the site can cause it to not be found by the search engines or be unsuitable for receiving prospective customers from search engine ads. A website can look good and/or provide lots of content, but still not get traffic or convert traffic into customers.

2- Paying for SEO before using search engine ads (aka PPC, pay-per-click) to learn about your website’s effectiveness at conversions and what works in your geographic area. Except for maps related tactics, you should usually have PPC done first, and then consider SEO.

3- Signing contracts for marketing or advertising that is not effective or not measurable. Or buying online advertising bundled with other advertising that may not be needed.

4- Allocating the wrong % of your marketing budget to online efforts.

5- Arbitrarily choosing one tactic to focus on, while not being aware of better choices.

Click here to view a sample web marketing plan. For PDF version, use this link.