I don’t mean to pick on you. But I just can’t stand by and watch you make these mistakes in your internet marketing.
I’m sure you understand. You do, after all want to work less and make more money, right?
The problem is that there’s so many internet marketing “experts” out there, that it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth and who’s full of crap. You see, one can’t become an internet marketing expert just by using Twitter or Facebook. You actually have to know how marketing works, and why people buy.
Before I start rambling too much, let’s get going! Here’s some tips for more internet marketing success:
1. Are You Unambiguous?
Yep, I used a big word. What I’m asking is are you consistent with your offline brand? If not, you’re doubling your efforts. Why would you want to build two separate brands when you know that there’s gonna be some overlap?
2. Are You Keeping an Eye on Competitors?
If you don’t know exactly what your competitors are doing at all times, you might as well close up shop. The best innovation is created when you learn from the mistakes of your competitors.
If you’re not monitoring their tactics continuously, you might be missing an education more valuable than four years at Harvard.
3. Do You Know What You Want?
This is probably the most common marketing mistake I see among small business owners and solopreneurs. A lot of business owners have heard of and use the SMART goal method of goal setting.
But the problem is that many of them don’t really understand what they need to be setting goals for. Internet Marketing is all about conversions, not traffic (in most cases). Yet so many business owners (and even marketing managers) are focused on the wrong goals.
4. Do You Use a Custom Email Address?
If you have a domain registered (and let’s face it: which business doesn’t) then you can get up to 10 custom email addresses for free. You have no excuse.
Using a custom email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) makes you look infinitely more professional. Even if you don’t have a website yet, this is a cheap (a domain costs $12.99 or less) way to increase your credibility. Not to mention that a custom domain increases deliverability and spam control.
5. Is Your Domain Registered for At Least 3 Years in the Future?
Search engines consider domains that are registered for a year or less at a time to be spammy. Often, the domain registrar (aff) will even give you a discount for registering for multiple years.
6. Is Your Blog is Self-Hosted?
What I mean is that your blog should be a part of your website, not hosted on blogger.com, blogspot.com, tumblr.com, or wordpress.com. While I have nothing against these services for a personal blog, it’s not wise to build your business assets on someone else’s property.
It doesn’t cost much to buy some hosting, and then you’re in control. When you host your own blog, you’re establishing your own online empire, instead of building someone else’s. If you don’t have a blog, I’ll deal with you later.
7. Are You Catering to All Your Users?
You’ve heard and read it all over the place: the internet is going mobile. Is your site or blog ready to follow suite? Most of the businesses I work with haven’t even thought of a mobile site.
8. Are You Measuring Your Performance?
If you spent $300 on an ad in the newspaper, you’d want to know how much it was giving back, right? With internet marketing, you might spend time rather than money, but it’s important to measure what you’re getting back.
There are plenty of free tools (like Google Analytics) that will give you more metrics than you could shake a stick at.
9. Do You Have a Blog/News Section?
You knew it was coming. But as I wrote about in November, recent Google algorithm updates mean that have frequently updated content is more important than ever. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect quality.
It simply means that if you want your website to be found, you need to create more compelling content more frequently.
10. Are You Writing for The Web?
This is another common mistake I see. Just because you wrote an awesome thesis in college doesn’t mean that you’re any good at writing for the web. Sure, it’s important to not make (too many) grammatical mistakes; that’s where the similarities end, though.
A good gauge for measuring the effectiveness of your writing is the Flesch Reading score. Keep it above 65, and you’re on the right track.
11. Do You Avoid Using a Splash Page?
Splash pages are so 1990’s. Seriously. Splash pages are bad for search engine optimization, bad for usability, and…just plain bad! I’m wincing just writing about them. Time to move on!
12. Is Your Keyword Density Reasonable?
“Reasonable” means between 1-4%. Any more than this, and you’re probably not producing quality content. Go way over this, and you’ll get flagged by the search engines for spamming.
13. Does Your Copy Showcase the Outcome/Benefits vs. Features?
Your users don’t care about how your product or service performs its function. They’re only interested in how their life will be better on the other side of purchase.
Paint a picture of someone similar to your visitor and how they solved a problem in their life with your product/service.
14. Are You Using Your “About” Page?
On our website, the “Our Story” page is the third most visited (after the home page and blog page). There are experts that repeatedly say that the about page is one of the most popular on their sites.
Make sure your about page is optimized to fit in to your conversion funnel.
15. Do You Have a Clear Conversion Funnel?
Remember in tip #3, I mentioned that internet marketing is about conversions not traffic? The way your content is structured plays a major role in how many visitors you are converting.
The basic rule of thumb is that everything should flow to a landing page of some sort.
16. Are You Using Landing Pages?
Copyblogger describes a landing page as “any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result.” Generally, landing pages are a lot simpler than the rest of the site. For example, my landing pages don’t have the navigation menu or the sidebar.
17. Are Forms Minimal?
This is way more important than you think. Users are put off by giving out their information (especially in today’s world fraught by internet hackers and identity theft). The less information you ask for, the more likely they are to convert.
Also, the button text on forms makes a big difference in conversion rates. For example, “Add to Cart” is much more effective than “Buy Now”. If your buttons are in context with the form’s purpose, you’ll see a better conversion rate.
18. Do You Showcase Social Proof?
Your users don’t want to be the first or only person to work with you. They don’t want to be the only person that’s shared your content.
So introduce them to others that are happily using your product or service. Warning: testimonials can hurt your credibility too.
I could go on and give you another 113+ common mistakes (literally), but I’ll save them for another post and let you move on.
What internet marketing mistakes have you made that you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!