What You Can Learn About Online Marketing From the April 17 Tax Deadline

As we get closer to the end of tax season, most business owners will fall into one of two categories. First, there is the group who got everything they needed together a long time ago, and see April 17 as just another day on the calendar. And then there’s the second group – you know who you are – who are facing something akin to a “paperwork apocalypse” coming down on them quickly.

While we hope that all of you are falling into the first group, and not second, the fact of the matter is that the “rush” that so many of us go through around tax time is actually a pretty good analogy for online marketing in general.

Although there isn’t a calendar date when your blog post, pay-per-click campaigns, and other Internet marketing tools are due, that only adds to the problem. Why? Because business owners tend to put these activities off until they really need to start finding new customers – at which point it’s often too late for things like search engine optimization and social media campaigns to do much good.

And so, the lesson is that online marketing is a bit like your taxes, and that it’s best handled on a daily basis. Here are a couple of quick tips to help you stay on top of your plan:

Think in small steps. Instead of trying to cram and handle a lot of different Internet marketing activities at once, focus on one or two at a time and then move on. That will make you more consistent while keeping the process from being overwhelming.

Make a schedule. Just as you have to check in on your taxes and financials quarterly, it’s a good idea to keep to a regular Internet marketing schedule, too. By adding things like social media updates and budget reviews to the calendar, you’re less likely to put them off.

It helps to know what you’re doing. Online marketing – like the tax code – can seem confusing and arbitrary. The more you know about the role of things like keywords and online ads, however, the easier they are to manage… and the less likely you are to get yourself in trouble.

Expert help goes a long way. Everyone wishes they had a hotshot accountant when April rolls around, and Internet marketing expertise sounds great when you want to reach one of the first positions on Google. Don’t wait too long to get the expert help you need, since it’s much easier and cost-effective to plan ahead than it is to undo mistakes.

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