It ain't easy being an Internet professional. It seems like technology is always advancing too fast, the rules are changing too often, and there are a few too many things to remember to do all at the same time. In this article, we've simplified things for you. Here are the biggest Internet no-nos. Are you violating any of them?
1. You don't have social.
In some of the flourescent-lit halls of business-as-usual corporate America, social media is oft-derided. Why would a powerful business need to waste time and resources on social networks like Facebook? Scoff though they may, they are neglecting a crucial component of marketing. If you think, “social just doesn't work for us,” or “we're just not in the right industry for social,” think again. Social is one of the core aspects of successful SEO, not to mention a crucial channel for connecting with your target audience.
How to fix it: Social signals are one of the three major means that the search engines use to determine a site's rankings. (The other two are onsite optimization and healthy linkbacks.) All you need to do is get on the social networks and stay active.
2. You don't have a responsive design site.
More users than ever are accessing sites via mobile devices. The best way to connect with such visitors is by having a website that is optimized for mobile devices. Some Internet prognosticators say that businesses without a mobile-ready site are doomed for failure within the next 18 months. That's kind of a harsh tack, but there is some validity to their statement. Failure, maybe not. Decline, probably yes.
How to fix it: If your site was created in 2005 or earlier and left to languish, it's probably time for a major overhaul. If, on the other hand, you're using a good CMS with strong capabilities, there is probably a way to go responsive without too much hassle. Investigate your options, count the cost, and go for it.
3. Your CMS is outdated, broken, or just plain aggravating.
An annoying CMS can cripple your entire Internet strategy. This is no joking matter. The CMS is where it all begins — content, user experience, branding, information architecture, etc. The wrong CMS will profoundly inhibit the online success of your company.
How to fix it: Find out if your CMS is worth the grief it's giving you, and make plans to get a new one. Although switching CMSs is a major pain, it's worth it in the long run.
4. Your website takes a long time to load.
This may sound trivial when compared with an issue as big as switching CMSs. Nonetheless, website load time is huge. Think of it this way. Your company's homepage is the door to your business. Beyond the door are sales, products to buy, engagements, conversions, whatever. But what if the door is stuck? People push gently, trying to get in. Nothing happens. They push harder. At this point, one of two things will happen. Either they will turn away, frustrated, or they will finally get in, but are still frustrated. Either way, you've lost. The frustrated customers are less likely to by, and the rest have just turned away in frustration. Think of a slow load time as a stuck door, and do whatever you can to get it unstuck.
How to fix it: Check your website load time for free at http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/. If it takes longer than 2.5 seconds to load, consider taking action to speed it up. ANother helpful place for page speed improvement is https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
5. You don't really care about SEO.
SEO is the only way to Internet success. Sorry, but there is no other way. Among some, there exists a belief that SEO is dead. They were saying that about ten years ago. SEO hasn't died, and as long as the Internet is around, it will not die. It will change — it's always changing — but it will not die. I'm not saying that just to improve my self esteem as an SEO. People will always be searching for things on the Internet, and there will always be a need to help them find it. Google may stay. Google may go, but search will always be a crucial part of the Internet.
How to fix it: If you're either uninformed or disdainful of SEO, do a little bit of research to figure out what it is and how to do it. The best insights will come from a reputable SEO company who knows their stuff and does it well.
6. You're lazy about content.
You've heard it so many times that it makes you almost nauseous: “Content is king.” The Internet is content, and so the point should be obvious. Yet the phrase, “content is king” is constantly parotted by gurus and newbies alike. But is it true? Is content really king? Well, yeah, it still is. Content is what the Internet is all about. Call it interactive. Call it social. Call it ubiquitious. Call it what you want. It's still content. And that's what matters.
How to fix it: If your careless with content, think of it this way: You're in the content industry, simply because you're in the Internet industry. Hire someone who does content right, or give it a little extra oomph yourself. If you don't have the time or chutzpah to make your own content, don't worry. The webz is full of people who are willing to do it for you, at a reasonable price.
Sins, by their very nature, are to be punished. The retribution for these oversights is that your e-commerce business or website gets squashed by the squeaky-clean. If you'll clean up your act now, though, you'll probably be forgiven for past iniquities.