Having been involved in the content creation business for nearly a decade, I must say that I believe I have nearly seen it all.
I have seen the good and bad methods that webmasters attempt to use, in order to gain access to top search engine rankings, so that they can bring traffic to their websites, in an effort to drive sales.
This article is not so much about the good traffic generation methods that people should use, but rather it is about the bad website promotion techniques I have seen people use…
The title of this article is right to the point… One should never let the advertising process take priority over the real goals of your business…
Common Website Management Error #1
Search Engine Companies Do Not Pay Your Bills – Some people get so wrapped up in the idea that they need to fashion their website content and formatting to gain the approval of the search engine company algorithms that they forget to take care of the people who are most likely to buy what they are selling.
It is true that if your website can achieve top search engine rankings that your website could attract a swarm of free traffic from the search engines. But, you should take care that any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that you do for your website will not interfere with your ability to attract visitors and convert them into paying customers.
A number one search listing in Google is absolutely worthless to you, if you are not able to get the people searching for that term to first visit your website, and then to buy what you are selling!!!
In my nearly one decade writing content for the Internet, I have had writing clients who insisted that I “should” write content that should meet a certain pre-defined “keyword density” that was not only unrealistic, but obscene…
Consider this guideline given to me by one guy… “15% keyword density on Keyword #1; 9% keyword density on Keyword #2; and 7% keyword density on Keyword #3.”
Now let me put this into perspective for you… 15% + 9% + 7% = 31% !!!
When I told the guy that this would require 1-in-3 words to be a targeted keyword, he grudgingly trimmed back his requirements…
After two rounds of negotiation, the guy finally settled on 9%, 7% and 5% for Keywords #1, #2 and #3, respectively…
9% + 7% + 5% = 21% !!!
Dude reduced his requirements from 1-in-3 words as a target keyword, to 1-in-4 words, to 1-in-5 words as a target keyword…
I told him there was no way that 1-in-5 could every read well, but dude insisted that this is what he wanted…
Even though the job was for 100 articles, I only wrote three of those articles, just to show the guy that it would be impossible to create content “worth reading” that contained a 21% keyword density…
After getting my three “sample articles”, dude demanded a refund, because in his words, “You are an awful writer!!!” And he said, that to have me to do his writing would be a complete waste of money!!!
Wow!!! I suck as a writer? I guess that is better than him having to admit that he was a “bonehead”… 😉
The Moral Of This Story is… Having a top-ranking web page in the search engines is absolutely pointless if your prospective customer lands on your website and decides that it was written by a third-grader… Having a website that appears as if it was written by a third-grader is a guaranteed method of ensuring that your website’s visitors will hit the BACK button on their browser in under 10 seconds!!!
Common Website Management Error #2
Stop Putting All Of Your Egg’s In The Google Basket – In terms of Search Engines, Google is the highest trafficked search engine out there, so it is important. But in the grand scheme of the Internet, Google is just one piece of the traffic puzzle.
According to information gathered by Compete.com, Google is the largest website on the Internet in terms of Unique Visitors, but it is fourth on the list for actual Page Views. In the Page Views list, FaceBook, Yahoo and Myspace easily top Google.
Quantcast.com puts actual traffic numbers on its list of the top websites. As far as the top ten list for actual visitors, Compete and Quantcast do not actually agree on the order of websites, but they seem to share most of the top ten websites list.
Compete puts the top ten websites like this:
Quantcast puts the top ten list like this:
google – 155+ million U.S. monthly people.
facebook – 124+ million U.S. monthly people.
yahoo – 122+ million U.S. monthly people.
msn – 117+ million U.S. monthly people.
youtube – 104+ million U.S. monthly people.
aol – 86+ million U.S. monthly people.
microsoft – 82+ million U.S. monthly people.
live – 81+ million U.S. monthly people.
wikipedia.org – 79+ million U.S. monthly people.
ebay – 74+ million U.S. monthly people.
While it can be rightfully assumed that some of the monthly U.S. visitors are using more than one of these websites, it is also true that most search engine users only use “one” search engine. Typically, people will commit themselves to use only one search engine, and it will take extremely special circumstances to get them to change their habits, to try something different.
If we make the assumption that my statement above is correct, then it is safe to assume that if one throws their entire search engine budget at Google, then they will be ignoring millions of additional U.S. search users – those using Yahoo and Bing / MSN.
That is a lot of potential consumers to ignore! And it does not even factor in the possibilities of consumers, who may buy from you, who live outside of the United States…
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Google is the only source of traffic for YOUR website… To do so ignores millions of other potential customers…
Common Website Management Error #3
Off-Topic does not serve your interests well – While it may be true that millions of people are searching for information about Microsoft, every month, your customers may not want to read about Microsoft on your website, unless you are in the software business…
Hundreds of thousands of people search every month for information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but unless you are in the SEO business, your customers may care about SEO, but they will not be satisfied if they land on your site expecting to find information about SEO and discovering that your site actually only talks about raising gerbils…
This would seem like an “obvious” bit of knowledge, but you would be surprised, as I often am, as to how many people include non-relevant information on their websites. When I visit a website searching for information about Topic A and find that the website only has one page about Topic A and thousands of pages about Topic Z, I am often disappointed and irritated.
Even if I was searching for information about Topic Z, and I stumbled across one page talking about Topic A, I would be disappointed, irritated, and less likely to take the webmaster seriously.
When you want to attract a certain type of prospect, it is never advisable to include information that is unimportant to the person you want to add to your client list…
Focus On Those Things That Lead Targeted Prospects To Your Website, And Lead To A Sale…
In this article, I documented 3 ways that webmasters do a disservice to their business, but this list is not all-inclusive…
Putting the needs of the search engines above the desires of prospects is mistake #1.
Putting all of one’s advertising dollars into Google is mistake #2.
Using unrelated content to attract uninterested traffic is mistake #3.
So many webmasters think that any traffic is better than no traffic, but that is not the case. If you spend money to get uninterested people to your website, you will have wasted some of your limited advertising resources.
Other webmasters are willing to put the process of chasing traffic ahead of the needs of a website to make sales and a profit. This again will lead to wasting limited advertising resources.
These mistakes are the kinds of mistakes that can be avoided, simply by keeping one’s focus on the end goals of business – to generate sales and to earn a profit…
Bill Platt, owner of thePhantomWriters.com