Don't throw your money in the garbage bin! In a Namhost blog post I mentioned how fascinating I found the blog post on the 46 mistakes SEO experts found small businesses are making. I found it so fascinating, I decided to write a summary on it below:
- To study the sites and pages who rank atop the search results and simply copy or imitate their strategy.
- Not to invest in it or tto invest in the wrong areas.
- Waiting. You don’t need a product or service in order to start marketing, just the idea of what you’re going to create. Your marketing efforts should start on day one.
- Ignoring their website. They put up a 10-20 page brochure site and ignore it and expect it to generate revenue.
- Underestimating the power of getting links from other sites. Without links, you won’t rank in the search engines.
- They view SEO as something that they couldn’t possibly understand. They view it as some kind of deep-geek, technical, black magic voodoo that could only be understood by programmers. In reality, if they viewed SEO as just an extension of good marketing, they’d make better decisions and they’d rank better.
- Choosing the easiest and cheapest option when it comes to SEO.
- Not taking the time to claim, complete or optimize their online listings. You know that Google Places, Bing, Yellow Pages, Localeze, Yelp, City Search, FourSquare, etc, are all showing information about your brand and you know the search engines are using this information to look for cues that you are relevant to a particular neighborhood – so why are you not doing everything in your power to control it and to give yourself an edge?
- To spend a lot of money (relatively speaking) on their website and even on SEM and SEO, but not on their site’s copy.
- Going at it alone.
- Treating it differently than any other marketing program they run.
- Remember that saying “the solution to pollution is dilution?” Some big brands seem to get away with having lots of crap links simply due to the masses of other links that they have. When you have a big profile full of 250k links, having 1000 bad ones isn’t usually a huge deal. However, when you’re a small business and you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily go and find some cheap link building service that will net you 1000 spammy links for $200. When your total number of backlinks is 1500, that’s really, really bad news.
- To hire the wrong company to manage their SEO.
- Not hiring an SEO!
- To become so preoccupied with the machinery of SEO, that they forget that the best SEO is a product that doesn’t suck.
- Onsite. Or more specifically, technology choices. When you’re working with smaller budgets it becomes paramount to nail the on-site to lessen the load on the link building requirements.
- Going into Internet marketing thinking that the low barrier to starting a business on the Internet equals a low barrier to keeping that business running. That’s not the case.
- Not being data-driven in their approach to SEO.
- Not properly calculating its long-term value. This results in SEO efforts that are poorly funded (or not funded at all) as well as campaigns that are abandoned prematurely (e.g. before they bear fruit).
- To think that SEO and online “tricks” (including link building) are anything other than just good – logical marketing. All your efforts should follow all the rules of marketing and branding that you would apply to offline principals.
- Not having Web analytics in place so you can track: 1) Your website’s SEO performance, and 2) return on your online marketing investment
- Poorly implemented content.
- Seeing marketing as a chore to get out of the way as quickly as possible, and seeing it as a one-off program.
- Expecting fast results.
- Treating it like the more traditional marketing channels that they are familiar with. This is an easy trap to fall into because it comes from relying on what their previous marketing experience has taught them.
- Thinking that online marketing is some kind of rocket science, or trusting people that tell them it is. For small businesses, the best things to do can be done by you alone.
- Not doing anything.
- Not gathering all the requirements they need at the beginning. This should be in addition to their business plan.
- To assume that it’s something they can do after they’ve launched or relaunched their site. Actually, it has to be other way around. SEO has to be started even before the actual website is up. You can’t set up your business site in a vacuum.
- Not maximizing your local search visibility.
- To hire the wrong vendor.
- With link building. Given generally small sites and less information needed, many small businesses can figure out on-page optimization pretty easily. However, as it comes to link building, most simply don’t have the time or expertise to do it effectively, and frequently resort to spammy links to rank their websites. While many of these will do the job, they aren’t sustainable.
- Treating SEO like “science” rather than like “sport.”
- Taking the “guns blazing” approach to online marketing. This approach to online marketing isn’t really a strategy as it is more a viewpoint a business owner has. It is easy to spot the “guns blazing” business owner: they are the ones that want it all (website redesign, SEO, paid search, display, social, email, blogging, etc.) and they wanted it done yesterday.
- Not having realistic expectations upfront.
- Relying only on SEO for total business success.
- That once they actually have gotten a website up and running, that they then think that the marketing job is done!
- After getting a website up, doing nothing else.
- 1) not getting SEO input before and during site development (only getting it afterwards), 2) not digging deep enough into keyword research
- Not defining clear goals—and ways to verify those goals against a benchmark—before you start making changes.
- Focusing all your attention on SEO and none on conversion. I don’t care how much search traffic you generate. If your website is a sieve, you’ll never make a dime.
- Going into it with the wrong mentality and not enough information.
- Not taking time to learn the basics of being found online. It affects every single thing you put online about your business.
- To take it to one extreme or the other. You either give it too much credit and become obsessed with SEO causing you to get too deep, or you pooh-pooh it and pay it no attention at all.
About the author
What do you get if you take 46 of the world's best SEO experts and you ask them one question: "What is the number one thing businesses are doing wrong when it comes to SEO?" .... You get:
This really provides some insight into SEO. Definitely worth reading.
About the author
About the author
I'm about to share some of the things I learnt in the last 6 months. Some of these things I've known for a long time, but I only recently realised just how important they are. Anyone who wants to make money and run a successful business need to make sure they cover all these points.
1. Have contracts for everything
Doing a small two-weeks job for a client? Get a contract! A friend? Especially get a contract! Your mom? If she's paying for your services, have a contract! I can't stress this enough. Contracts are there to protect you and your client.
2. Keep statistics and records of everything
Have a website? Do you have Google Analytics installed? Or maybe you are a developer... are you making use of version control, such as Subversion (and the awesome TortoiseSVN plugin)? Are you using any applications to keep track of how many hours you work, and more importantly, software which allows you to prove to employers how many hours you worked? Elance is a great for this if you are an employer. I'm yet to find a Windows or Linux app that can take random screenshots for the employer to look at.
3. SEO, SEO, SEO
Do you know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is? Do you have an SEO strategy? Are you doing any Pay-per-click advertising? If not, you need to seriously ask yourself if anyone is even visiting your website. SEO is no longer just a task for your development team. To get serious results with SEO, you need a strategy that is directly tied in with your marketing efforts and therefore marketing budget.
4. Do A/B Testing
If you are running any marketing campaign, and you are not doing A/B Testing you are wasting your money. This all ties in with the general theme of this blog post, which seems to be "keeping track" of things. Make sure you have a way to measure the success of your marketing efforts. A/B testing is the best way to do this. Quick tip: Unbounce is perfect for A/B Testing.
5. Don't neglect Social Media
There's a reason why Facebook and Twitter are amongst the top ten busiest websites in the world. People use these services and it's crucial that you find out what the best ways are for your business to utilise these technologies. If you are not posting to facebook and twitter once a day, you are probably not using these technologies to their full potential. Not to mention making use of things like advanced splash pages, running promotions on Twitter etc. This is basically free advertising once you've taken the time to understand these technologies.
6. Read a lot more about nerdy stuff
The day I discovered AppSumo.com was indeed a good day. AppSumo sells books, videos etc on extremely interesting topics, for nerds, entrepeneurs and business people. You can even win a macbook. I've bought several of the books on Appsumo and I love each and every one of them. One of my recent favourites is something called "Quicklets". Quicklets are full novels broken down into only a few pages, allowing you to get the content and substance, without having to read hundreds of pages. Imagine being able to read "4 hours work week" or "rich dad, poor dad" in 30 minutes? Now you can: Get the AppSumo Quicklet Deal and why not browse all the AppSumo deals or maybe check out the AppSumo free deals. Learn and grow!
About the author
1. Once the site is finished, the website can operate with no user intervention forever.
It is absolutely necessary to keep the content on your website updated. Web designers can only do so much. Once the website is built, a client will have to keep updating the content on their website to ensure traffic and to make sure the website grows in Search Engine rankings.
2. If you are not a web designer, you know what would work better.
You wouldn't stop your doctor in the middle of surgery and tell him to rather do the procedure differently, now would you? The reason you asked the experts to build your website, is because they are the experts. Ask your web designers their reasoning behind their designs and it should become clear that calling your "add to cart" button "add stuff", or adding "animated gifs" or many of the other suggestions often made by inexperienced web users, is a bad idea.
3. Being different by adding animation makes you stand out
If there is one thing to take from this article, let is be this: Never build a website that YOU like, build a website that your CLIENTS will like. If you add sparkles to your corporate website, people will not take you seriously. In the same way, if you have dull site but your services include adventure quad biking, that too would not work. Build a website geared at your target market.
4. It doesn't take time and money to feature high on search engine results.
There is a lot of blackhat SEO tactics being used today, and many of them do work. However, if you are serious about business, serious about your brand and serious about the long-term success of what you do, then there are no shortcuts. An SEO campaign should run for a minimum period of six months and there must be a lot of focus on both link-building and unique content creation.
5. Website colors play no role in website effectiveness
Imagine your in the funeral business, and you make your website shocking pink? Or perhaps a wedding website in bright yellow. It's simply not appropriate. The same goes for more than just the general colour scheme. Something as small as a green button as apposed to a red button, could increase or decrease clicks by a massive amount. It's important to make sure your colours fit with what you are trying to accomplish with your website.
About the author
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