Whether you’re blatantly throwing money away on bad ideas or losing potential revenue by failing to capitalize on good ones, here are some surefire ways to make the least out of your investment.
Here’s the way a web project usually starts out. You want a fantastic site. Great design and interactivity, great copy and functionality, exactly what you need to do business online, optimized and ready to zip right up to the top of Google where everyone can see it.
But then you see the price tag and start to wonder what to cut. Don’t make this stupid mistake by cutting out one of the fundamental pieces of your marketing plan.
Stupid Idea 4: Worry About Search Optimization “Later”
Usually one of the first things relegated to the “do later” category is optimization because most people see it as a simple aftermarket matter of throwing a couple of META tags into the code and maybe adding a few keywords, and can’t you do that any time, really?
The problem with optimizing “later” is that optimization is inherent in the fabric of your site – the design, the structure, the copy, the technology, even something as seemingly minute as the file size of your images.
Optimizing “later” is a little like building a house and then deciding you want to put heated floors under the marble already installed in your entryway. Can it be done? Sure, but it’s going to cost a whole lot more to tear those floors up and get the job done than if you had planned it into the construction to begin with.
Optimization should be planned into your site before a single graphic is designed or a single line of code is written. First you should have a clear understanding of what optimization is – and it’s a whole lot more than META tags.
Do you need to know the precise ins-and-outs and be able to write a graduate thesis on the subject? Of course not. But you must be able to make intelligent decisions about your site and for that you must accept that you will need to know something about optimization. A good developer will educate you and involve you in the process.
With your newfound knowledge you and your developer must work together to define your site’s goals, its audience and your overall marketing strategy.
Optimizing a site encompasses more than simply “being number one” in search engines. If you don’t understand that, or know how to execute a holistic optimization strategy, you’re just wasting your time and money. Even if it only costs $19 per month for “optimization”, unless you know what’s going on and can see measurable, meaningful results it’s still money wasted.
By the time you get to the execution stage you should already understand optimization, know how it applies to your site, and have a comprehensive idea of how you plan to market your site. Now you can get to work.
Are META tags a good idea? Sure some can be helpful, but not all. Do you know the difference?
What keywords are your customers using to find your site? How do you know? Are they keywords you think they’re using or keywords they’re actually using?
How will customers (and subsequently search engines) navigate your site? Is your file structure a mess of dead ends, poor naming conventions and cumbersome syntax?
Is your content worthwhile, really worthwhile, not just written and approved by your CEO?
Will your site load appropriately or be a burden to visitors and search crawlers? Does your code generate errors that will make it impossible for visitors to use your site under some circumstances and difficult for crawlers to traverse?
If you haven’t begun to answer these and many other questions you’re not capitalizing on the investment you’re making in a web site. And if you save them all for later, be prepared to spend more than you think you saved in the first place.
What have you done to inherently optimize your website?
Read More In The “How To Waste Your Money” Series
- Stupid Idea 1: Hire someone to do it “cheap”
- Stupid Idea 2: Fabricate an FAQ section
- Stupid Idea 3: Just start building the site
- Stupid Idea 4: Worry about search optimization “later”
- Stupid Idea 5: Believe the person who tells you they can “get your site to be number one in Google”
- Stupid Idea 6: Don’t pay attention to your domain name, where it’s registered or when it expires
- Stupid Idea 7: Get the cheapest hosting you can find
- Stupid Idea 8: Write the copy yourself
- Stupid Idea 9: Don’t worry about whether your site or database is being backed up
- Stupid Idea 10: Insist on a news section or blog
- Stupid Idea 11: Brush off social marketing as something that’s too hard/not relevant for your business
- Stupid Idea 12: Be too busy to study your analytics and decide it doesn’t really matter anyway
- Stupid Idea 14: Say “I don’t know” a lot
- Stupid Idea 15: Launch the site, breathe a sigh of relief and cross it off your to-do list