In the modern world for any business to be truly competitive and grow it needs to not only be aware of the online world but have a truly optimised presence in cyberspace. The internet now has literally billions of web pages. You cannot simply “build it and hope they will come” when it comes to your business web site. It is no good hanging your shingle out on the internet unless people can find it.
Many budding entrepreneurs are aware of this and try a DIY approach to building an online presence. This can be fraught with peril. We asked Glyn McCarthy of SEM/SEO specialists The Search Equation what common issues he found. Glyn told us, “Many of the businesses that come to use for consultancy have tried their hand at growing online and found it more challenging than they expected.”
Among Glyn’s top cardinal sins online are:
1. Buying job lots of backlinks that look cheap.
While it is true that one aspect that search engines look for when evaluating which sites to display is the links to that site it is not purely the number of links that matter. Search Engines are much savvier nowadays and the quality of the links as well as the link text makes a difference. Even worse, sites can be penalised and even dropped from Google’s results if they are associated to web pages Google finds suspicious. It can then be a very difficult exercise going through and disavowing all the bad links.
2. Forgetting about mobile browsers.
An ever-growing number of web users access the internet from mobile devices. Desktops are no longer as prevalent as they once were. There is nothing more frustrating to a user on a phone than encountering a site that does not display correctly on the screen real estate they have. This can lead to almost guaranteed loss of business; they will immediately click away to somewhere more usable.
3. Ignoring different media types.
There is so much information available online now that users cannot possibly take the time to absorb all the nuances of each site in full. As a result of this you need to catch people’s attention fast. Images and videos not only grab attention but can convey a lot of information fast! A picture tells a thousand words for a reason.
4. Misguided Google AdWords campaigns.
Many people assume that as Google is the king of search engines all they need to do is to buy a few adverts on there and business will come. Some people have spent thousands of pounds in an attempt to capture customers and had no conversions. It takes experience and knowledge to build an appropriate campaign that looks for long tail keywords with the appropriate level of buyer intent. Negative keywords are often overlooked to huge cost.
5. Trying to tackle SEM and SEO yourself.
There are a lot of seasoned professionals and optimised sites out there, it is not an environment you want to “go it alone” in if you are looking to really succeed. Remember that your core skill and speciality is your business, and you should focus on that rather than try to learn about website crawlers, internal and external link optimisation, duplicate content removal, social media marketing or any of the other myriad of things a professional organisation will do for you. Outsource to the experts.