It’s Friday. I may (or may not) be in a ranty mood. Here are some things that I think people are doing wrong when it comes to building their business on the web.
- You add me to your email list without my permission. That’s totally the opposite of what world famous marketer Seth Godin talks about in his book “Permission Marketing” (one of my favorite books of all time). If you’re doing it this way, you can count on having a pretty un-responsive email list. And that’s just as bad as having no email list at all.
- You’re blogging on a sub-domain so you’re URL looks something like: myblog.blogspot.com, myblog.wordpress.com, or myblog.typepad.com. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against any of these platforms, they’re perfect for the beginner. But if you’re blog is meant to be a part of your business (as a lead generation tool), then it needs to look professional by sitting on it’s own domain. Something like: yourblog.com. And while you’re at it, ditch the earthlink.net email address will ya? If it’s an example you’re looking for, just look at how professional Jay Baer’s site looks like sitting on his own domain.
- Your site is too difficult to navigate. Seriously, everything looks like it was put together so haphazardly. I don’t know where you want me to go or what you want me to do next. In fact, I can barely find what I was looking for to begin with. I think you need to spend some time making your Call To Actions a little more clear.
- You haven’t updated your website in 4 months. In Real Estate, mortgage rates change daily (heck, sometimes even twice a day). In short, real estate is a fluctuating market. If you haven’t updated your site in 4 months, consumer’s can’t really count on your to have accurate information. Which means you’re going to lose their attention and they’re going to run off and look for another, more reliable source of information. Lost opportunity here.
- Your writing sounds desperate. Don’t get me wrong, you should totally ask for the sale in your writing. However, this is such a thing as over-doing it with your copy. If every blog post is “me, me, me” you run the risk of sounding desperate. Especially when you’re linking to said posts all over the Twittersphere and Facebook screaming at me to work with you. Selling isn’t bad. Bad selling is bad. And this is an example of bad selling.
- You don’t have any contact info on your website. A few month’s ago, someone called me and left a voicemail that said: “Hey Ricardo, I know you guys have been sponsoring some of these events and I was wondering if you’d be interested in sponsoring ours? Give me a call and let me know, thanks.” He didn’t leave a phone number and he called from a private number so I didn’t have a number to reach him at. I went to his twitter account to try and find a number, nothing. So I clicked on his website link from his Twitter Bio. I went to his “About” page, nothing. His “Contact” page, nothing. I tried his contact form to send him an email to call me back, it was broken. Here I am, interested in sponsoring this person’s event and I can’t get a hold of him. Now, do you think the average consumer is going to have the patience to stick around long enough to track you down? I think not. You need to work hard on making it easy to connect with you.
- You’re inconsistent. When you write a new blog post 2-3 times per week, or send out a newsletter every Wednesday, you’re setting an expectation with your readers. You’re setting the expectation that they can count on you to deliver fresh, new content on those days. When you stop delivering, you lose their attention. Fast. It’s because we have such short attention spans. The moment you stop delivering, even if it’s momentarily, we run off to find some other piece of content to keep us engaged. In short, consistency matters.
- You’re stuffing your website with too many keywords – so much so, I can’t understand anything you’re writing. Case in point. I can’t read anything that’s being written on that site. To quote Jay Thompson: “If I see a title like that I think the “writer” is a keyword stuffing spamming idiot.” Consumer’s aren’t dumb, they’re probably thinking the same thing. Again, lost opportunity.
- You plan too much. I talk to soooo many people who say: “I’m thinking of starting a blog (or get a website). I know I need one, but I just need to make sure I get it all right.” Eventually, you have to stop planning and start doing. Less talk, more action. Otherwise, you’ll never get anywhere.
If any of the above is you, I think you have some work to do.
Have a great weekend everyone!