10 Biggest Mistakes

1. Unprofessional writing. It's easy to get so wrapped up in the web design portion of a website and forget about the words that go on the pages. Maybe the web designer does the design but not the writing. You might even find yourself writing the content at the last minute. Good writing is far more important than bling, and great copy from a professional copywriter will get your phone ringing.

2. Looking like all the other sites out there. Your business has something unique and different to offer its customers. Is that evident on your website? If not, you could be attracting the wrong type of customers, or worse, none at all.

When you hire a Webmaster, you'll want to make sure that s/he will design your site for you and your customers and not for himself/herself.

Your website will shine when it emulates your company's personality.

3. Not maximizing the eight seconds you have. web visitors - your potential prospects - will give you only eight seconds to wow them. Do you have your best stuff at the top of your home page? I mean the really good stuff, not just the stuff your mom is proud of!

You'll want to capture the attention of potential customers using the item that brings out the best in you. It might be a great tag line, a killer testimonial, a big award, a blue chip client list, or the like.

4. No credibility. Can web visitors check out your reputation on the web? You'll want to make sure your website comes as close as possible to feeling like a warm, personal visit with you. Do this by posting content that is designed to build your credibility.

As an example, this can include content that shows you have a track record of success: testimonials, case studies of current clients, and a client list.

If you have been mentioned in the press, include a press page on your website that lists the newspapers, magazines, radio talk shows, and other places where you've been mentioned.

5. No way to capture interested leads. People warm up slowly. Your web visitors might be interested in you but are not quite ready to call you or buy anything yet.

You'll want a way to keep track of these warm leads who will be ready to buy a few months down the road when they've gotten to know you better. There are several ways to gather leads from your website, depending on what you're willing to offer them. One method that is completely ineffective for capturing leads is to ask for information on your contact page. Just don't do it!

6. Not marketing your site. If you've spent all your money doing everything right, but you don't market your site, you may not get any visitors.

You'll need to spend at least a little time marketing your site through offline and online methods. For example, add your web-site name to the bottom of every email that you send. You can do this automatically by modifying the signature file in your email software.

You may also want to delve into the more advanced fields of search engine marketing and optimization.

7. Under construction. Many people's pet peeves is to click on a page and see an "under construction" message. It's inconsiderate of people's time to lead them down a dead-end alley, plus your website screams the message, "This person can't finish what they start." I'm sure that's not the message you wish to send.

8. Too much bling. In the name of being cute, many websites display obnoxious moving parts, flashing signs, or vacuous videos. Did you know most people hate that stuff?

Bling doesn't impress clients, except in three cases: kids' sites, sites that sell luxury items, and entertainment sites. If you have one of those sites, then you need bling. Limited bling is OK, timeless style is better, and meaningful, benefits-filled content is best.

9. Nonworking links, typos, or other mistakes. A site filled with errors tells people that its owner probably makes a lot of mistakes when delivering services. Even if the message is compelling, the red flag is there for people to see. People's intuition will tell them not to do business with you. A quick and thorough testing of the site will avoid this pitfall.

10. No goals. A lot of people come to me saying, "I want a website." I ask them, "What do you want it to do?" And they don't really know.

It's important to think about what you want your website to accomplish because that goal should be integral to the design of the site. The best sites lead their visitors to a certain outcome that is beneficial for both themselves and their customers.

When you can overcome these 10 common problems, your website can start to become a powerful and effective marketing tool for your business.
  • "Under construction" signs on your site. Websites are intended to be Living Documents. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an “under construction” sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn’t ready to show to the public, don’t publish it to a public location.
  • Visitor counters. Visitors generally don’t care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it’s too high, people might believe that you’ve forged the number. Take the visitor counter off your site and use your website statistics to get a more accurate assessment of the people visiting your site. If your hosting company doesn’t provide good statistics, get a new one. Check out our article on how to choose a hosting company.
  • Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams “not-up-to-date” like having a copyright statement from 1997 on your site.
  • Overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But if they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they’re going to slow down the loading of your page, ditch the extra technology in favor of simplicity. This includes large Flash shows when your site opens, animated graphics and other large graphics, as well as scrolling text and audio that comes on as soon as the person hits your website. Recent surveys show that people crave simplicity and easy navigation in sites.
  • Passive verbs. Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site’s copy. Active verbs are powerful and lend energy to your site. Need to brush up on using active verbs? Check out this site: Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab
  • Long sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp.
  • Long pages. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They’ll either print it or they’ll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page. Also, since people DO print web pages to read later, make sure your contact information is at the bottom of each page.
  • Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.
  • Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
  • Believing in “build it and they will come.” It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but the reality of internet marketing is: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you’ve built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you’d think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don’t get them into the hands of people, they’re not worth the money you spent to create them.
- See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/top-10-website-mistakes.htm#sthash.K0aiZkN7.dpuf

These 10 mistakes can make or break your website. You remember the old adage, "you don't get a second chance to make a first impression." It's true. You get one shot at a prospect...so take your best one! Here’s a list of the ones that will drive people away from your site and cause you to lose business.

 

1). This is also my personal pet peeve. "Under construction" signs on your site. Websites are intended to be LIVE. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an “under construction” sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn’t ready to show to the public, don’t publish it to a public location and allow prospects to get away.

 

2). Visitor counters. Visitors generally don’t care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it’s too high, people might believe that you’ve falsified the number. Take the visitor counter off your site and use your website analytics to get an accurate assessment of the people visiting your site, where they are from and how long they stayed on your site. NanoPlanet can help you install Google Analytics and teach you how to read between the lines.

 

3). Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams “not-up-to-date” like having a copyright statement from 1998 on your site. Everytime you add, alter or completely change a page, make sure to update that copyright notice.

 

4). Are you TOO TECHIE? This is simple overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But if they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they’re going to slow down the loading of your page, lose the extra technology in favor of simplicity. Flash is done. If it's on your website, you are an official dinosaur. You see, Google can't see your keywords through Flash, so it's as good as nailing the front door shut.  People appreciate simplicity.

 

5). Long-winded explanations and sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp. Better yet. Use bullet points.

 

Long pages. Your products/services should fit on the average sized screen. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They’ll either print it or they’ll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page. Also, since people DO print web pages to read later, make sure your contact information is at the bottom of each page.

 

Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.

  1. Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
  2. Believing in “build it and they will come.” It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but the reality of internet marketing is: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you’ve built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you’d think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don’t get them into the hands of people, they’re not worth the money you spent to create them.

- See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/top-10-website-mistakes.htm#sthash.K0aiZkN7.dpuf

Although personal and business websites have been in existence for more than 10 years, I’m still seeing small business owners make the same mistakes on their websites. Here’s a list of the ones that will drive people away from your site and cause you to lose business (and your reputation as a professional business person).

  1. "Under construction" signs on your site. Websites are intended to be Living Documents. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an “under construction” sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn’t ready to show to the public, don’t publish it to a public location.
  2. Visitor counters. Visitors generally don’t care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it’s too high, people might believe that you’ve forged the number. Take the visitor counter off your site and use your website statistics to get a more accurate assessment of the people visiting your site. If your hosting company doesn’t provide good statistics, get a new one. Check out our article on how to choose a hosting company.
  3. Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams “not-up-to-date” like having a copyright statement from 1997 on your site.
  4. Overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But if they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they’re going to slow down the loading of your page, ditch the extra technology in favor of simplicity. This includes large Flash shows when your site opens, animated graphics and other large graphics, as well as scrolling text and audio that comes on as soon as the person hits your website. Recent surveys show that people crave simplicity and easy navigation in sites.
  5. Passive verbs. Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site’s copy. Active verbs are powerful and lend energy to your site. Need to brush up on using active verbs? Check out this site: Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab
  6. Long sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp.
  7. Long pages. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They’ll either print it or they’ll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page. Also, since people DO print web pages to read later, make sure your contact information is at the bottom of each page.
  8. Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.
  9. Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
  10. Believing in “build it and they will come.” It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but the reality of internet marketing is: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you’ve built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you’d think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don’t get them into the hands of people, they’re not worth the money you spent to create them.
- See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/top-10-website-mistakes.htm#sthash.K0aiZkN7.dpuf
  • "Under construction" signs on your site. Websites are intended to be Living Documents. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an “under construction” sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn’t ready to show to the public, don’t publish it to a public location.
  • Visitor counters. Visitors generally don’t care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it’s too high, people might believe that you’ve forged the number. Take the visitor counter off your site and use your website statistics to get a more accurate assessment of the people visiting your site. If your hosting company doesn’t provide good statistics, get a new one. Check out our article on how to choose a hosting company.
  • Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams “not-up-to-date” like having a copyright statement from 1997 on your site.
  • Overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But if they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they’re going to slow down the loading of your page, ditch the extra technology in favor of simplicity. This includes large Flash shows when your site opens, animated graphics and other large graphics, as well as scrolling text and audio that comes on as soon as the person hits your website. Recent surveys show that people crave simplicity and easy navigation in sites.
  • Passive verbs. Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site’s copy. Active verbs are powerful and lend energy to your site. Need to brush up on using active verbs? Check out this site: Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab
  • Long sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp.
  • Long pages. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They’ll either print it or they’ll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page. Also, since people DO print web pages to read later, make sure your contact information is at the bottom of each page.
  • Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.
  • Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
  • Believing in “build it and they will come.” It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but the reality of internet marketing is: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you’ve built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you’d think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don’t get them into the hands of people, they’re not worth the money you spent to create them.
- See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/top-10-website-mistakes.htm#sthash.K0aiZkN7.dpuf
  • "Under construction" signs on your site. Websites are intended to be Living Documents. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an “under construction” sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn’t ready to show to the public, don’t publish it to a public location.
  • Visitor counters. Visitors generally don’t care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it’s too high, people might believe that you’ve forged the number. Take the visitor counter off your site and use your website statistics to get a more accurate assessment of the people visiting your site. If your hosting company doesn’t provide good statistics, get a new one. Check out our article on how to choose a hosting company.
  • Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams “not-up-to-date” like having a copyright statement from 1997 on your site.
  • Overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But if they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they’re going to slow down the loading of your page, ditch the extra technology in favor of simplicity. This includes large Flash shows when your site opens, animated graphics and other large graphics, as well as scrolling text and audio that comes on as soon as the person hits your website. Recent surveys show that people crave simplicity and easy navigation in sites.
  • Passive verbs. Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site’s copy. Active verbs are powerful and lend energy to your site. Need to brush up on using active verbs? Check out this site: Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab
  • Long sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp.
  • Long pages. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They’ll either print it or they’ll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page. Also, since people DO print web pages to read later, make sure your contact information is at the bottom of each page.
  • Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.
  • Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
  • Believing in “build it and they will come.” It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but the reality of internet marketing is: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you’ve built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you’d think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don’t get them into the hands of people, they’re not worth the money you spent to create them.
- See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/top-10-website-mistakes.htm#sthash.K0aiZkN7.dpuf

Although personal and business websites have been in existence for more than 10 years, I’m still seeing small business owners make the same mistakes on their websites. Here’s a list of the ones that will drive people away from your site and cause you to lose business (and your reputation as a professional business person).

  1. "Under construction" signs on your site. Websites are intended to be Living Documents. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an “under construction” sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn’t ready to show to the public, don’t publish it to a public location.
  2. Visitor counters. Visitors generally don’t care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it’s too high, people might believe that you’ve forged the number. Take the visitor counter off your site and use your website statistics to get a more accurate assessment of the people visiting your site. If your hosting company doesn’t provide good statistics, get a new one. Check out our article on how to choose a hosting company.
  3. Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams “not-up-to-date” like having a copyright statement from 1997 on your site.
  4. Overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But if they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they’re going to slow down the loading of your page, ditch the extra technology in favor of simplicity. This includes large Flash shows when your site opens, animated graphics and other large graphics, as well as scrolling text and audio that comes on as soon as the person hits your website. Recent surveys show that people crave simplicity and easy navigation in sites.
  5. Passive verbs. Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site’s copy. Active verbs are powerful and lend energy to your site. Need to brush up on using active verbs? Check out this site: Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab
  6. Long sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp.
  7. Long pages. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They’ll either print it or they’ll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page. Also, since people DO print web pages to read later, make sure your contact information is at the bottom of each page.
  8. Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.
  9. Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
  10. Believing in “build it and they will come.” It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but the reality of internet marketing is: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you’ve built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you’d think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don’t get them into the hands of people, they’re not worth the money you spent to create them.

- See more at: http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/top-10-website-mistakes.htm#sthash.K0aiZkN7.dpuf

The Difference Between SEO & SEM

By: Vangie Beal

Last Updated: 05-01-2013 , Posted: 05-01-2013

The phrases SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are similar -- and sometimes used interchangeably, SEO and SEM are different services.

Most small businesses owners know a little something about SEO (search engine optimization) and the different tactics to help your website rank well in organic search engine results. Another important tactic for Internet business is SEM (search engine marketing) which includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services.

While the two phrases are similar and sometimes used interchangeably, SEO and SEM are different.
What Exactly is Search engine optimization (SEO)?
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Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as strategies and tactics used to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.

The goal of successful SEO is to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines). Internet users often do not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site.

The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.

Recommended reading: What is organic search?

SEO is typically a set of "white hat" best practices that webmasters and Web content producers follow to help them achieve a better ranking in search engine results. Some of these best practices include:

- Creating and publishing excellent content.
- Using keywords and keyword analysis.
- Link building to improve link popularity.
- Using social media links on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Improving your site's navigation to provide an excellent user experience.
What is Search Engine Marketing?

Many people start with a good Web site and invest in SEO, but don't necessarily follow through with another very important component; and that is search engine marketing.

SEM is a broader term than SEO, and is used to encompass different options available to use a search engine's technology, including paid ads. SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting and positioning a website within search engines. It includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.

SEM offers you the opportunity to pay based on clicks (you pay only for each click through from the advertisement to your Web site). Ads in a successful SEM campaign will be shown to those consumers specifically looking for your products or services, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
The Difference Between SEM and SEO

SEM is a broader term than SEO. Where SEO aims to provide better organic search results, SEM uses the search engines to advertise your website or business to Internet customers and send a more targeted traffic to your Web site.

For example, when people use a search engine to query "fashion handbags", the organic search engine results is where SEO technologies can assist your Web site in being more visible. The paid advertising, or sponsored links are the ones prominently displayed above or beside the organic search results is a product of SEM.

SEO and SEM are not competing services. SEO is considered a subset of SEM services. If you want to conduct business on the Internet you need to be visible in both organic and advertised links, which means you need both SEO and SEM.

When the Party’s Over: Taking Stock of Your Social Media Marketing

By Alexandra Vesia

At the End of the Day

The popular conception of social media is often one of a party. In other words, it’s seen as a fun, if a bit more casual, way to market your business. While it can really help your business become successful online, it is still seen as a bit less useful business tool than, say, PPC (pay-per-click) or search engine optimization (SEO). “It’s for kids,” some say.

The problem is often that online business pros don’t approach social media campaigns with intention. If you are going to use any business tool properly, you have to use it seriously. Social media is no different; at the end of the day, you have to use social media as purposefully and thoroughly as any other business tool, period.

This starts right from the beginning of your usage of social media. You have to create accounts specifically for your business, not you or your personal usage: post information relative information for your business, have a regular posting schedule for business updates, and have someone to do the regular maintenance to your social media, be it you or another employee. Those are the beginnings of correct social media usage, and the easy stuff to get going.

Where to Find Hard Numbers

The work begins to get tricky when you really want to see how well your social media is performing over time. Again, this is all about taking your marketing campaign seriously. A campaign of any variety has to have an outlet for the people conducting it to see the hard numbers up close. For social media, there are a few different ways to do this.

There should always be some way to for you to monitor your social media widget and how people are accessing it out of interest in your social media site. As part of social media SEO, your analytics should also show how much traffic is coming to your web site, how good business has been once you’ve optimized your content, and how many sign-ups you’ve gotten from your social media site(s). A lot of social media sites now have such a function to do analytics, but if you can’t get it, purchasing your own analytic tools might be even better (i.e. “Spredfast,” “Sysomos,” etc.). These tools will let you see the real numbers as they are, and not what you think they are.

One thing here: when you are examining your social media for its effectiveness, don’t just go along with whatever you are reading off of your social media blog. You are likely going to get comments on the blog, some bad but a lot good, saying how much clients or blog readers like what you do. This is nice, and you will likely appreciate it from clients and fans, but this can also be just a bit of random ego stroking. People might say they like what you do, but this does not always translate to real business success. Obviously, you can make use of your blog for business-to-client communication, but you can’t really use it as a way to see how well your social media is doing performance-wise.

Beware of the “So-Called”

In relation to the aforementioned suggestion about having someone to manage your social media, be wary of so-called social media experts. It makes a lot of sense to hire someone who claims to be “good at social media” and can get you “a lot of fans,” especially if you are green at social media. But a lot of these folks, however bright-eyed and bushy-tailed they are, cannot market to save their souls. If you are going to splurge and bring someone on the payroll to manage your social media, make sure they know to market within the context of the media itself. This will help you step up productivity and you can share the real rewards with them when they come in. Now, that’s a real party if there ever was.

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