1. Be visible!
If Pablo Picasso had painted his greatest masterworks only to place them in an inaccessible cave he might still be the greatest artist of the 20th century, but hardly the century’s most commercially successful! If no one knows you exist it does not matter how brilliant you are. Your website could be a masterpiece and your technical solution (and coding) could be an “inaccessible cave”. To choose a SEO friendly solution for building your website is step one towards online success.
2. Be accessible!
With “virtual soapboxes” like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. available, there is no excuse not to let your presence be noticed! Lack of accessibility is normally a pet peeve among customers (just think about your own “favorite” phone service!), and communicating directly via social media is an indispensable tactic in keeping your customers happy and well informed. An online omnipresence has other implications as well. “Social search” delivers a search-result influenced by what your friends (those connected to you in different sources like Facebook, Twitter etc.) search for.
3. Be generous!
Give stuff away! This is a tricky one for many, you have put a lot of effort into creating a quality service/product and you expect people to pay for it! However, offering applications, samples, demos or simply information for free is a way to build trust and credibility and a loyal following. You need to prove that you are offering something of value to potential customers/members/clients. A side effect is the reward of gaining links to your site as well as returning visitors/customers. This is often referred to as “link-bait”. Contribute off-site as well to further boost your standing as an authority in your field.
4. Be ahead of the game!
Being ahead of the game is not only about being able to suss out what is “the next big thing”, but to mould its uses and inherent communication characteristics into your thing. The rules of the game can be altered, or completely changed, by new arenas for advertising, new apps, up-coming social media sites etc. Your efforts should always be focused on how to “rewrite the instructions for use” whether it is a new social media phenomenon or an app.
6. Be adaptable!
All though the what might never change, the how always does!. Meaning, what you sell (products/services) might always be the same, but the how to sell it is always changing. Furthermore the whereabouts of your target demographic might change “at any given time” as well. This is naturally highly individual depending on where your services are on the scale of “internet interchangeability” – that is; how fast do changes occur in the market, how fast can you adapt and what potential for interchange (growing connections, and enhancing online dialogue) is inherent in what you market and how you market it?
5. Be discerning!
As the world of online marketing is (in lack of a better phrase) highly dynamic, there is no clear-cut blueprint on what will work for you. Discard what clearly isn’t working and put your resources into what is. This is why tools like Google Analytics etc. exist- to conversion track all your efforts. These statistics offer you the chance to be precise in the way you communicate, in what forums and to whom.
7. Be frequent!
If you want to build a following, and your own status as an authority in your field, it takes consistency. The occasional tweet is not sufficient to hold anyone’s interest, but keeping your pages constantly fresh with new tidbits of interesting information as well as creative offers and added value for your customers will! Methods include newsletters, on-site and off-site blogs, using full-text RSS feeds, and in general make sure that you are creative in how you present your services on-site.
8. Be direct!
Generally there is no room for (too much) subtlety on the Internet. Resisting the urge to be overly clever becomes easier knowing that we on average make our online decisions (to click or not to click) in seconds, or even in a split second. Being direct does not, however, equal being mundane or generic. The idea is to generate more interest before your potential visitor/customer loses all interest in what you offer.
9. Be unique!
There is a niche for everything online. In fact, “niche products” make up the bulk of sales in the online business world today. Even in a more mainstream market finding your niche is key – what sets you apart from the competition? This might be completely obvious or need some serious thought. This doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel, are you offering an extra service that your competitors aren’t, does your product come with a new/different feature? Success is in the details!
10. Be good!
“Be good” as in “be clever” and “be kind”.Professionals like ourselves (SEO consultants) have often been guilty of focusing on “tricks” instead of focusing on quality work, and long-term gain. As search-engines have become more sophisticated in determining how to identify dubious strategies, we all have to adapt and not engage in SEO strategies that will get your site penalized in said search engines. Be responsive and take customer concerns seriously. This is pretty self evident, but as “word of mouth” has risen to a whole different plateau with social media and blogs this becomes more essential than ever. The last thing you want is that someone googles your name/brand and 9 out of 10 places on the search result pages are occupied by bad reviews and angry blog comments!