Online Marketing Mistakes 2011 – Best Tips to Avoid Messing Up Your Website
Review the following common mistakes below to assess your current online marketing strategy.
- I don’t have a website yet.
In 2005 and even earlier, articles were written about how cellular technology would be the way of the future, and you still haven’t even gotten a regular site for your business? If you don’t get up to speed ASAP your business will likely sink faster than the ice caps.
Make sure to select a qualified online marketing services provider.
- My website doesn’t load properly.
Load speed, quality, along with the location where your web site is currently hosted, will impact your search engine rankings, and thus your website’s traffic. Choose your web hosting company wisely and give your site a quick, easy and affordable boost.
- I rent my website from a third party, and my web site’s name appears at the end of their domain name.
Allowing your website to be hosted as an extension of another site, is much like being included in a directory, and is not comparable to owning your own domain name. For the love of sweet cranberry sauce, please just invest in a domain name. You can purchase a domain name for $7.99 per year.
- I am targeting the USA but registered a .CA domain name instead of a .COM.
There is no reason to register a .CA domain name instead of a .COM or .NET domain name, unless you are primarily targeting Canadians. Purchasing a .CA domain name can work wonders for local Canadian businesses, but will likely hinder your online advertising efforts if you decide to branch out to regions outside of Canada. So choose your domain extension wisely! And remember, never, ever choose anything other than a .COM, .NET or local domain name extension (such as .CA or .US). Unless of course, you operate a legitimate non-profit, in which case you may consider a .ORG.
- My domain name has nothing to do with the products or services that I offer.
Choosing the right domain name isn’t the end-all of search engine optimization, but it sure as heck makes your life easier – especially when starting out. If possible, always try to include the products and/or services that you offer when registering a domain name.
- I tried doing search engine optimization but I am still not #1 on Google for “Photography”. Whatup?
Warning: Optimists beware. There are some terms that you simply will never be able to rank for due to the enormous amount of competition, regardless of your online marketing budget. In the event that your online advertising fails, it is likely due to improper analysis. You should always invest in proper keyword research and competitor analysis, prior to implementing any on-page and link building SEO strategy. Otherwise, it’s like purchasing a rifle and some bullets, but shooting in the dark.
- I invested a ton of money in designing my website, but it’s not making money!?
Design you say? What exactly is design? Look-up the word design in Wikipedia or in your favourite look-up source. Design, means fulfilling specific objectives, using a particular process. Now, if the words “objective” and “process” never came up when you had your first meeting with your “web designer”, it’s time for you to cut your losses, and find a new web designer for 2012. Otherwise, you will likely end up investing way too much of your marketing budget into something far too subjective to generate revenue.
- I copied text and images from other websites.
Not only is this morally wrong, but you can get huge fines for using copyrighted images or text. Software is available, which tracks images and text, allowing stock photo companies and corporations the ability to keep track of whether their proprietary content is being used and abused elsewhere on the internet. On top of this, search engines will penalize websites for using duplicate content.
- I moved my site to a new domain name and renamed each filename.
Making changes to your web site is fine, but be extremely careful that you use best practices when changing things like META data, text content, ALT tags, URL structure, menu or category titles, filenames, and especially moving your site to an entirely different domain. If you do not use the best practices, you may accidentally affect your search engine rankings negatively. It is very easy to wipe out years of accumulation of backlinks and other criteria that assist your SERP rankings (search engine rank position).
- My website has a nice, clean look without any paragraphs of text on it.
Clean and simple is great. Google would agree. However, to rank well in search engines, a significant amount of text content is required. Whether you only include such content lower down on the page or hide it using a “more info” or “read more” button, some content is definitely better than no content. More content is better than some content. The more quality, relevant content you include on your site, the better.
- I designed my web site without correlating it with my logo. So what?
Well, first off, you should consider branding an extremely important part of your marketing strategy. A brand is as important as a handshake, making the right amount of eye contact, and your business principles themselves. Your brand should envelope everything you do. Your letterhead, your proposals and agreements, your business card, and certainly your web site. Put as much thought into the creation of your website as you did when you were creating your brand, and correlate your site with your brand.
- I used a website template because it was fast and cheap. Shouldn’t that be good enough?
Working from an existing template is fine, so long as the template contains all the elements that you require in maximizing your website’s performance. Your site must match your brand, must be conversion optimized and user-friendly for your target clients. Also, if you plan on making any signigicant changes to your website, it should allow you to do so using a CMS (for those of you who speak Engleish, CMS means Content Management System). Should you decide to choose a template that fits your needs, rest assured, if you are designing your site properly, you will still need to make changes, and will likely fail to save any significant amount of revenue. In fact, oftentimes, working from an existing website or template is more time-consuming and costly than starting anew.
- Why do I need search engine optimization? I get people to my web site through traditional and direct marketing sources and by networking.
Although you may feel that your business will never rely exclusively on internet marketing and search engine optimization, your competitors may be taking steps beyond just creating a website. It’s your decision whether you want to be leading the pack, and scoping out alternative revenue sources and market opportunities online, or whether your business will be trailing behind, playing catch-up with the competition. If you don’t take advantage of online marketing opportunities and technology, your competitors will. Take a look at your analytics and find out what percentage of visitors arrive from brand-related search queries. If a significant portion of your searches come from brand-related searches, it’s time for you to target people who are searching for the products and services that you offer.