You Don't Know What You’re Doing

by Gabriella Sannino April 19th, 2010 

Clueless, by: pegafli

Day in and day out, we all have a million things we want to do versus one million things we have to do. We own websites that need traffic and conversions, but have a limited budget. We want to do it ourselves

There are plenty of how-to articles out there Link Building in 20 Days or Less! they proclaim, or Writing 100% Conversion Copy! Why have a link building campaign, though? Why is it important to understand conversion goals? The most obvious answer for both questions is to get more traffic and, ultimately, to get more business. But " are link building campaigns and increased conversions as simple as writing, say, ten articles a month?

Why are some businesses / individuals more successful than others? How much time and energy is spent to get relevant hits from the almighty Google due to keywords?

The Heavy Hitters

A lot of people have great blogs, write awesome articles and only have a few readers " occasionally. Theyre committed to their cause, whether its making a connection with new clients or writing about their passions. More often then not, theyre very qualified to take on large clients, yet theyre not even seen as part of the selection. Between Fortune 500 companies and businesses with a budget, the small guy isnt even in the game.

The likes of Outspoken Media, Chris Brogan, and Problogger are the ones that have the most effect on the blog world at large. From all aspects, they seem successful, sought after and respected as authorities in Social media. All they have to do is write an article and thousands of people will read and follow their advice.

Patience, by: Lisa Ruokis

None of them gained success overnight. Now, they may have the time to do speaking circuits, the different SXSW, Blog Nation, radio shows, etc, but thats now. What was the price? What did they have to do to get where they were? How much time did it take?

Do You Have Any Idea What Youre Doing?

A lot of small business owners have no clue what theyre doing. Theyre just following the next best thing, hoping it works out. You know who you are. Youre on Twitter, using Facebook, Stumbling or Sphinning articles day in and day out. Youre doing everything you know how to do to get more links and better conversions, but cant understand why nothings working.

First, its important to understand that any kind of campaign, whether its a full-blown SEO campaign, a link building campaign or anything else, takes time. Instantaneous gratification is a myth. Once you understand this concept, the rest gets much easier; you no longer spend your time endlessly checking your rankings, links, pagerank, etc. to see if anything is working immediately. You can now focus on the important stuff, which is actually implementing the plan youve created.

Secondly, social networking is less about link building and more about engaging and connecting. Yes, people may follow the links you post to read your material, but unless they take your link and post it on their own blog or website, social networking as a whole does very little for link building.

Rather than use social networking as a link-building tool, use it instead to build your authority and reputation. Post short excerpts for blogs youve written on your Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, yes, but use networks like Twitter to gain a following. For instance, if someone asks a question that falls in your industry in a Twitter feed, dont hesitate to answer. Share links to interesting, relevant articles " not just to your own website. Take the time to build up your reputation so that, when someone does actually need your services, theyll think of you first.

Third, understand that not everything that works for someone else will work for you. Just because someone gets great traffic from an article posted at XYZ Article Directory doesnt mean youll get the same traffic boost. As well, when you use the same methods everyone else is using, youre staying even with the competition, not outweighing them.

Explore avenues such as trust and credibility, using logos from secure shopping portals (PayPal, for example), media mentions or marquee clients. Use testimonials where appropriate, or share how many transactions have been completed on your website. These things alone can help create a persuasive and influential website.

Lastly, remember that every visitor is not a potential prospect and/or buyer. The promised 100% converting copy is a myth. You will get visitors looking for something only partially related to what you sell, or even not related at all. Dont waste your time bemoaning the lost client.

What Matters and What Doesnt?

Some of the things you try will matter and others wont work at all. Online business is a trial and error world. Yes, things take time, but after a while, it becomes obvious which variables are useful and which arent. If they arent, decide whether its worth it to spend more time and collect more information.

However, before you try anything else " before you even look at whether your campaign is working or not, stop and take a deep breath. Do you really know whom youre marketing too? Who are your clients " today, right now? When was the last time you spoke with them, sent out an email or sent a newsletter? What are you doing to generate more business? What are some key elements that affect your bottom dollar? Do you have a plan, and do you know how to implement it?

In other words " are you targeting the right people or are you just doing one thing after another, hoping something works?

Plans For the Future, by: njk1951's

Once you understand your audience, you can shave the fat and go deeper into what their needs are. What are my challenges and how can I make them better? This should be your mantra, whether you have a small company or a large one. Set your goals in small steps. Make your messages actionable. If its a blog, engage the reader. If youre using email marketing, have your readers commit to your product by doing something. Whether its a poll or a questionnaire, build from the ground up.

  • Conversions are all about meeting the needs of your target audience and giving them something to do (sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, contact you).
  • Link building is about giving your target audience something great to link to (fantastic content, helpful links, strong information).
  • Social networking is about giving your target audience great information (sharing relevant articles, links, answers).

In short, great business is about giving to the client, so the client gives back!

Gabriella Sannino

For the past twenty years Gabriella has held positions as a consultant, web developer and creative director until she decided it was time to open Level 343, an SEO and copywriting company. She fancies herself an Italian rocker, rebel and SEO geek. She loves singing in the shower and keeps a notepad next to her bed.

Level343 Blog

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6 Responses to “You Don't Know What You’re Doing”

  1. Isak says:

    Hi… That sounds like a lot of work if you have more than a few blogs…

    I always thought of it like this;

    Either you write about stuff that interest YOU and then (by time) someone will stop by and find your writings interesting.. Then you can monotize or whatever you like..

    OR… You only create blogs to make money (e.g. niche blogs) then it's a whole other game and the question is if it's better to keep on moving forward and create new blogs all the time or to select the ones that gets lots of traffic and nurse those…

    I personally try to do a combination of both…
    .-= Isak recently posted: A Hunter’s Guide to The Best Hunter Build =-.

    • Gabriella says:

      Hi, Isak – It is a lot of work, but the tracking you do can help you focus your efforts, whether those efforts are for monetizing, bringing traffic or a combination of both (which it should be). Why fill up monetizing space with ads that don't work? By tracking your efforts, you KNOW what works and what doesn't. Good luck on your combination!
      .-= Gabriella recently posted: SEO My Site =-.

  2. Bonnie says:

    You are right on the money Gabriella, thanks for the great info. Though I've done some things right – I fall right in the category of "I haven't got a clue what I'm doing." I think I'll have to give myself a time out to think a bit!!!

    Thanks again,
    Bonnie

    • Gabriella says:

      If I may suggest, write out a plan with direct goals. Maybe you want to guest blog; maybe you want to see more traffic. Whatever your goals are, write out your plan! Make it actionable, with dates covering when you accomplished each stage or each goal.

      For example, if you want more traffic, set your sights on how you'll bring that traffic in. Write it down. You'll join a network? Write down which network, when you joined and whether you made any connections. Everything is much clearer when it's charted.

      Write an outline for articles and keep track of where you publish them. Keep records of any webmasters you've contacted for link building. List your meta tags and descriptions, where you've posted comments, what you've done from day to day in your efforts. You'll quickly find out which efforts work and which methods are a waste of time. Those that do work (and this is most important), keep testing on ways to improve the output (in terms of meeting your goals).

      I hope that helps Bonnie ;)
      .-= Gabriella recently posted: SEO My Site =-.

  3. I think it is critical to measure and examine your weblogs so that you *know* what is working. Then adapt what you are doing to focus on the things that ARE working.