The other day, I was thinking about a conversation I had with one of our newer web marketing clients. I was disappointed because the client wanted to stop their web marketing efforts...just as the site was about to start generating serious revenue.

Then, and maybe because the dark humor of Monty Python always cheers me up,  I started thinking about a scene from The Holy Grail. Specifically, this one:

Note: This video is slightly NSFW. If you have YouTube safety mode on, you can change your safety mode settings by following these instructions

If you choose not to watch, here's some background: The movie takes place during the reign of King Arthur. The scene involves a son carrying his older (but still fully alive) father over his shoulder as the town Dead Collector walks by collecting bodies during the latest plague. The son convinces the Dead Collector to "get rid" of the father, even though the father feels fine and wants to live.

How does this relate to web marketing?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this scene was totally applicable to the point I was trying to make with the client: patience is a virtue when it comes to web marketing.

Let's put it in context. Imagine that the father is the web marketing campaign, the Dead Collector is the C-level decision maker on the client side, and the son is the day-to-day contact on the client side.

The elderly father (web marketing) may have been bedridden but is starting to perk up. With just a little more time, he could actually be strong enough to take a walk. But he's not the one who decides whether that walk will happen. That's up to the son (day-to-day client contact) and the Dead Collector (the decision maker). As we all now know, that walk will never happen.

In other words: don't give up on web marketing too soon. You may be cutting out a soon-to-be perfectly healthy part of your marketing mix.

Why Does Web Marketing Take Time?

It's easy to make changes to a website. But making effective (emphasis on effective) changes requires a lot of planning. Web marketing is a significant investment that requires a focus on the long term, so before you make any changes to your site, you should take the time to understand:

  • your business goals and how the website contributes to them
  • who you're trying to target
  • keywords you should rank for
  • how you can improve the insight from your analytics
  • the content you have, and content you need to get more customers

If you do it right, getting through everything on this list could take weeks. And this is before you do anything to the website.

The second reason web marketing takes time has a lot to do with search engine cache frequency. For most sites, search engines will only "check in" once or twice per month. Depending on when an update to your site is made, it could be two weeks or more before the impact of your changes take effect.

Web marketing is an iterative practice, and everything is trackable. You don't want to make changes based on a whim. You want to make changes based on data. Due to search engine cache frequency, it takes time to gather enough data to make meaningful changes to your website.

How Much Time Should I Give a Campaign?

We generally recommend that you give a web marketing campaign nine to twelve months before making a decision about its value to your business, especially if you've never done it before.

But What If I Don't Like Monty Python?

We apologize because it probably sounds like we're crazy trying to connect a dark comedy to web marketing. But it's extremely difficult to explain why you should continue to invest in something that takes time when you're anxious to see results, and we felt something irreverent would help drive the point home.

Regardless of your comedic preferences, drop us a line you want to know more about how we can make your website a healthier part of your business.