We all know the type: He’s the one at the cocktail party or networking breakfast you can’t escape fast enough.
Because he’s going on and on about nothing that you care about.
Recently, a friend introduced me to a web developer, usually one of my favorite new contact categories. He heard what we do at Market It Write – and proceeded to educate me on search engine optimization.
I (politely) interrupted him and told him that, yes, I understood what he was saying. We partner with many web development firms to create sites that combine relevant content with social media tools to achieve high organic search engine rankings.
Next, he tried to explain how descriptive file names and page titles can also boost your site rankings.
Before he got too far into his lecture, I spilled my drink and dashed to the ladies room.
Not really. I was, however, sorely tempted.
Where did he go wrong?
To start, this prospective partner didn’t consider his audience before launching into his pitch. He has identified what sets him apart from other web designers and relentlessly steers networking conversations in his direction.
- He did not acknowledge the fact that I was educated in his area of expertise – essentially insulting my intelligence. (Hint: Not a good way to impress a prospective client.)
- He did not consider my needs and how his services could help fulfill those needs.
- In fact, he didn’t bother finding out much about me before starting his spiel.
This example sounds pretty silly and obvious, but many websites commit the same sins.
- Focus on the business or organization
- A generic message intended for all visitors
- Lackluster organization and content, showing little regard for audience needs
If you’re still operating a simple brochure site that lists name, rank and serial number (About Us, Products/Services, Contact Us), you probably need to start from scratch. Largely because the technology has evolved so quickly that sophisticated web solutions are available for all budgets.
To avoid making the same mistakes, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are my target audiences?
- Why are they coming to my site?
- How can I make their lives better?
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you respond? (For the truly brave, have you ever found yourself on the wrong end of this situation? How did you recover?)