Most Common Rookie Mistakes

I complied a list of some of the common rookie-web-master mistakes I see when I am hired to consult them. People want the latest and greatest without doing the basics first. BASICS... BASICS... BASICS. A house won't last when it sits on the ground. Build a solid foundation and your house will last! Same goes with a website, forum and/or blog.

1- Creating a Website with Flash:
Did you know that the top internet marketers discovered that having a website created with Flash, actually decreased the response from prospects and customers by 100%? Why you ask? Your customers are visiting your website using all types of different computers, connection speeds and internet configuration settings, browsers, etc. What may look great to one visitor may be a headache for another! You could very easily have spent hundreds dollars to have a web site created using Flash, only to find out that some of your visitors will never see it! Not to mention the loading times can cause your visitor to close your site, never to return again.

2- The "Internet Catalog" Approach:
You see this everywhere... especially in the newer web sites. Good, honest, trust-worthy, hardworking men, women, boys, girls go online to sell their products and/ or services, and build a site that contains a link to just about everything they offer on one page. This page is usually the index (home) page. Their thinking goes along the lines of... "well, I want to show case everything, and possibly up-sell. I want to make sure I have what they're looking for easily without the long searches." This way of thinking could not be further from the truth. Here's why:

There's an ancient rule and basic rule in any type of "sales market"... "When you give your clients too many choices, they become confused. And once confused they aren't sure what to do next. Confused people never buy anything... even if it is what they are looking for."

Don't believe me? Ask a sales professional in ANY sales field.

3- Optimizing Your Sales Site for the Search Engines:
You'll see this taught in nearly every "internet marketing" course, manual, e-Book and discussion forum dedicated to "the web site" out there... "You must optimize every page of your website for the search engines!" This is false. What they don't understand is that words, phrases and descriptions must be either reworded (to make it "keyword rich") or taken out completely just to be ranked higher. But what is really happening... this could kill your sales almost overnight because you are not describing the item(s) correctly.

4- A little word called DESIGN:
A huge mistake I always see when I am consulting for other web masters is that they get caught up in making their site cute and flashy. They love the little animations, mouse trailing items, flash buttons and dramatic backgrounds. What they fail to consider is that these things are worthless if you don't offer good content, easy navigation and a logical flow your site won't sell.

First of all don't try to be everything to everyone. Design your site around a theme and stick with that theme. Don't confuse your readers with links all over the page or a menu that is so long you have to scroll down for minutes upon minutes to get to the end. Design a logical flow. Lead your viewers to where you would like them to go and where they want to end up. Leave plenty of "white space" to keep your pages organized and less confusing. Clearly state at the top of your pages what the page/ item is about and what you would like them to do. Don't add other nonsense because you feel it's important... stick with that theme and only that theme. (consistency) And with that theme, I don't recommend pop-ups. I find that the majority of internet "surfers" find them annoying and with pop-up blockers now given away to anyone who wants it, you bet 1 out of 2 visitors has it on... so why bother?

Now with all this talk about a "theme" you need to provide information on your site that will help viewers ONE: solve a problem, TWO: get them what they were looking for, THREE: the knowledge they were hoping you would have, FOUR: the security that your site isn't just a "fad" and will be a internet "player" for months/years to come. Offer information that they might not get elsewhere. Sometimes that information is called... the truth. Write real-life reviews, and/or accept written reviews from your clients about your products. Being truthful and informative will give your clients a reason to come back... and it will also build trust. (trust is the most important)

5- Excluding a Site Map:
Site Maps let visitors know what information you have, how it's organized and where it is located with the least amount of time/ clicks possible. (the in/out theory or grab and go theory) Having a Search Box is not a good enough reason not to have a "site map" because, in some cases, the Search Box isn't ONE: updated enough and TWO: may not index the right keywords/phrases your visitor will use.

Site Maps also provide "spider food" for Search Engines. They love plain old "no gimmick" text link. Having a Site Map can increase your chances of becoming indexed because the map allows the search engines to easily visit every page of your site. Can your Search Box do this?

A site map works best if you include a link to your site map in the navigation of every page on your site.

Finally, don't let your site become old. I have personally found that my rankings improve when I add/ update new or old pages to my site and keep the content new and fresh.

No comments:

Post a Comment