Advertising on the Internet attracts a large number of businesses and individuals for obvious reasons. Many Internet applications are free, and you can potentially reach customers around the world. However, Internet advertising also presents substantial drawbacks and disadvantages that can take the sheen off of its appeal.
SEO is Challenging
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a key aspect of successful Internet marketing and advertising. The art of SEO involves structuring your text to conform to the dictates of Internet search engines so they list your website near the top of their results. Because most people who use search engines don't venture past the first few pages of results, it's critical to a website's success that it rank near the top. Learning how optimize SEO can be challenging and time-consuming; it involves the usage and proper placement of keywords and phrases, and requires learning how to write in a different way than what you likely are used to.
If you were the only advertiser on the Internet, you could probably become a millionaire in a week, because you would have free or almost free access to millions of potential customers. In the real world, any message that you put onto the Internet is competing with hordes of other people doing the same thing. This greatly reduces the chances that a buyer is going to see and respond to your particular advertisement.
Separation of Product and Customer
The Internet is an outstanding method of transferring text and information over great distances, but it doesn't convey objects. If you are promoting or trying to sell tangible objects, you need to convey information about them to your buyers solely through text and photographs. This can make it difficult to get buyers excited about your product, particularly if it is something that has tangible appeal, such as clothing, furniture or art.
Risk of Fraud
A certain percentage of the people using the Internet are not trying to make an honest deal, but using all kinds of nefarious and underhanded methods to dishonestly separate people from their money. This can happen in both directions in any Internet transaction -- bogus customers can get merchandise using fake credit cards or other dishonest means, or crooked sellers can acquire customers' money or credit card numbers without delivering the goods.
The presence of this criminal element on the Internet makes many people wary of claims and advertisements that are made online. Not only are some people hesitant to buy things online, but they are less likely to trust claims, promotions and advertisements that they see online as well. Because the only contact between buyer and seller is through the screen of a computer, the personal element that has traditionally been a part of commerce is lost.