Forbes recently published an article that may be helpful to anyone who is planning to embark upon or expand an internet marketing campaign. Relying on informal polling of sales and account management professionals, it sought to identify the five main errors that novice site owners fall victim to when they first venture into internet marketing.

These sorts of articles are not hard to come by. Not all of them are republished in such prominent outlets as Forbes, but even the ones that are should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, any reasonably well-informed, cautionary article about internet marketing is sure to be valuable to the target audience, if only because it gives them something to think about.

We can say with certainty whether Forbes has identified the absolute top five problems in fledgling internet marketing campaigns, but we can say that the issues it identified are commonplace and worth contemplating with the help of your internet marketing agency, or in-house professionals.

Unfortunately, the Forbes article fails to mention professional contractors at all, and it makes only the briefest passing reference to internet marketing departments inside established companies. We say that is unfortunate because in neglecting these things the article fails to address a major problem that often stand over each of the five listed issues. It ignores the fact that those issues often go unrecognized, and thus worsen, because the site owner never sought the assistance of a professional internet marketing firm or even a freelance expert.

The five issues enumerated by the article are the failure to define internet marketing goals, the tendency to focus on the wrong metrics or to misinterpret them, the failure to actively test a campaign, the refusal to branch out in that testing and try new things, and ineffectual budgeting for internet marketing activities.

It is one thing to read the Forbes article and recognize the reality of all of these problems; it is quite another to have a clear sense of how to address them. The latter is an area of expertise for internet marketing companies, many of which can anticipate problems and correct existing ones much more effectively than an inexperienced site owner who is running the campaign on his own.

It should be easy for you to see how this type of professional assistance would be helpful specifically in the case of the five problem areas identified by Forbes. An experienced firm is a sounding board for you when you outline goals. Although you may have a clear sense of what you want to accomplish with your internet marketing campaign, a professional consultant can certainly help you to refine those goals, as well as to compare them against the usual accomplishments of similar campaigns, in order to develop a clear sense of what is realistic.

Beyond that, the monitoring and interpretation of metrics is a large part of the job description for any highly competent internet marketing professional. In this area in particular, Forbes and other outlets can tell you that most people get it wrong, but that’s much different from explaining how to get it right, how to understand the true value of the traffic that your campaign is driving to your site.

By the same token, an internet marketing firm will be in a much better position than a novice site owner to test a campaign regularly and thoroughly, and afterwards to consider alternatives that might work better or supplement the existing campaign. And through it all, the company should be able to keep you in the loop as to what your internet marketing will cost, and why.

While Forbes says that inadequate budgeting is one of the most common problems in internet marketing, there isn’t really anything you can do with this information in absence of professional assistance, other than to brace yourself for an unpleasant surprise once you’ve learned the ropes.