Internet marketing gurus can debate all day about what makes an online company so successful.
Indeed, many strategies are subjective. There are, however, certain mistakes that we all agree MUST BE AVOIDED! Instead of banging on all the time about the keys to success! I’m going to tell you how NOT to fail!
Here are the top 10 internet marketing mistakes that you must avoid at all costs:
1. Having a slow-loading website
A web page shouldn’t take anymore than a few seconds to load. If people have to wait for our content to load, they will get aggravated. You definitely don’t want anyone’s first impression of your site to be agitation. Avoid this by ensuring all your images are below 100KB. (Ideally all images totalled should be under 100kb).
Sign up to Amazon S3 and get your videos hosted under cloudfront, after you’ve converted them from large file sizes down to the smallest you can manage without affecting the quality. DO NOT have a website full of flash! It’s not flashy if all your audience sees is a buffering circle – 3 seconds and they’re gone……Plus Google sees words and not pictures
2. Having a sloppy, haphazard website
Everything should be organized neatly. Your layout should have easy navigation. All of your pages should be interlinked. If somebody wants to find something on your site, they should be able to do so. Consider creating a site map, not only will it help your ranking in the search engines, it will guide people around your website.
Ensure you have a search function and make sure there are clear calls to action, where you want people to go, how they contact you, how they get more information etc. Sometimes when it comes to design – less is more!
3. Don’t forget to submit your site to search engines
This one seems like a no-brainer, yet a surprisingly large number of webmasters neglect doing this. Take the time to manually submit your website to Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN, Lycos, etc. (I didn’t do this for months – simply because I didn’t know I had to!) Get your site out there! It’s no good happily filling it with content if no-one’s going to read it!
4. Failing to update your site or blog every single day
At the very least, you should update three or four times a week. The more original content your website has, the better its chances of ranking high in search engines. Plus, consistent updates show dedication, which will give visitors a reason to return in the future.
Look, people want some real bang for their buck these days. The key word here is VALUE! You need to constantly be giving new, up to date, fresh content to your readers.
Remember the web is incredibly competitive these days and if you’ve been really canny they’ve subscribed to your RSS and have a reader of up to date content hitting their screens daily.
Now if Mr Jones is posting new interesting stuff daily and you only come up with something new once a month, it won’t be long before your feed is canned, at the very least completely ignored! This takes work!
5. Not giving Social Networking a try
For so long I tried to ignore Facebook. I didn’t understand it and I thought it was a waste of time! Did you know that Facebook has over 500 million customers and over 50% of them are active on a daily basis – that’s 250,000,000 people you could be getting your message in front of! That’s phenomenal! You Tube has 2 BILLION views a day – 24 hrs worth of video is uploaded every minute.
I mean you’d be crazy not to include these in your marketing strategies! Be as creative as possible when making videos, images, content, software, etc. Create great relationships with people and have friends and fans link your content through their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and other social bookmarking sites. Put your videos up on YouTube and have friends give them two thumbs up! Also create a Facebook fan page, it’s essential – but I’ll have to cover that in another post!
There is no need to spam your site all over the internet. If it’s good, and you promote it properly, people will visit. Traffic will come inevitably if you know what you’re doing. Spamming your site and adding your URL in link farms could cause your site to be reported to your ISP and banned by all search engines!
If you think that popping onto high-ranking blogs and adding a vague comment about nothing and including your link is good marketing, think again. The internet as I said in point 4, is all about value and content. You need to build trust and relationships to be truly successful.
7. Not building a list
Ok, so I’m back again to value and content, building relationships. Are you getting a common theme here? Your list is your business. It’s as simple as that. Without customers there is no business, so you MUST collect email addresses and build a list! Having a list of customers is the key to success on the internet!
You will be able to send out regular updates, newsletters, links to your blog, new videos you do, new information and….once they trust you and know that your main intention is to provide value and things that will help them, you can start to send promotional emails with your products or products you believe in, or create a membership site or run events.
There are so many ways you can then go on to make money. But the key is the quality of your relationships with a customer database, in other words your list.
8. Choosing the wrong products to promote
This is very simple – DO NOT SELL RUBBISH PRODUCTS! Just because commission rates are high, or the graphics are fancy, if you start farming out complete trash to your trusted list, you will soon lose all credibility and no-one will buy from you anymore. Be selective and become known to only ever recommend products that you have used and proven their worth.
9. Not targeting your ads to the right demographics
I think maybe the title of this one should read, not knowing anything about your customers, because it’s not just about targeting your ads, it’s about targeting all of your marketing efforts, free or paid. Clearly not everybody is going to need what you’re promoting.
So make sure you’ve drilled down exactly who your customers are, sex, age, location, interests, desires, buying patterns, keywords etc. Then you can focus on ensuring you get your message directly under the right noses.
10. Failing to interact and network with others
This is HUGE! No man is an island. The power of collaboration is without doubt one of the most effective marketing strategies you can have. So, you must ACTIVELY promote your company. You need to post on forums, join social media communities, comment on blogs, send out press releases, and so forth.
Get to know consumers and other entrepreneurs. Treat consumers as individuals rather than just potential customers. Join in conversations and share tips with others. Join hands and do some marketing projects with other entrepreneurs in the same niche – 2 heads are always better than 1!
Avoid making these ten mistakes and I’m sure you will ultimately succeed at creating a fantastic internet marketing business!