When we first start out with our internet businesses it is very hard to prioritise different tasks that need to be complete. Do we build links? Write content? Spend time in social sites? Advertise? Optimise conversions?
The truth is at some point you will probably need to do all those things, however working online has its wicked little temptations that really don’t add anything to the success of your website and business.
There is that much advice online that new webmasters really don’t know where to turn and I wanted to address some of those things that are a waste of time and don’t really matter.
Obsessing Over Your Alexa Rank
Many bloggers/webmasters refer to Alexa as being a valuable source of information and many advertisers rely on it to ensure they are getting a good deal. The truth is Alexa is a highly flawed piece of data and tells you very little about the popularity of your site.
Alexa only counts visitors that use and have downloaded the Alexa toolbar, therefore if your traffic is not high in social visitors your Alexa rank is likely to be low, despite the fact you may get 10,000 search engine visitors a day! Sites that have a high Alexa rank are usually those linked with a social aspect of the web.
As a new online business owner or webmaster, I would take little notice of the stats on Alexa, maybe check it every month just to get an idea of traffic trends, but forget the rank.
I have to be on the DMOZ and Yahoo Directories!
The amount of times I actually here this is quite worrying, “Some guru told me I had to be on these directories in order to be noticed?”. This is false and many a high ranking sites are not listed on these directories.
Sure these are highly trusted pages that Google crawls, so make sure your website is well designed, clear and offers genuine information and submit it! Once you have done this forget about it, it really isn’t worth the worry or stress of checking every month and resubmitting all the time like a mad person.
Daily Analytics Checker
I have mentioned this before but feel it is worth mentioning again.
Do you wake up and check your Google analytics every morning? Then flick to your adsense account or some affiliae programs? Then a quick check of your link growth?
OK stop, looking at these stats is not going to make them go up any quicker and I bet if you took that time that you spent checking your stats and put it into something more worthwhile you would become successful much quicker.
Set aside a couple of hours a month to look at your stats, simply to make sure you’re getting picked up on the right keywords and to take advantage of any unexpected ones. Also look for any significant drops in traffic, identify the reason and make sure you put it right. Your traffic analysis is one of the best ways to notice changes in Google’s algorithm and the visibility of your site online, do check it but only once a month.
I Must Read 10 Articles A Day!
Many webmasters believe the best way to succeed online is to read other blogs, that is the way to make them succeed!
No, seriously there is no issue with reading blogs and taking in the information, but do not become obsessive with it. If you read blogs everyday of the week this is too much. Again like the analytics, set aside some time to catch up in your industry. Maybe select one evening a week when you go through your inbox or RSS feed and take in the weekly posts. It’s good to be on top of industry news and views; however it is a massive waste of time if you are reading blogs more than actually working on your own business.
The Social Bug
I am not a social junkie but do use it, well facebook, twitter and a little SU here and there. It can be a great way of building online friendships and communicating with likeminded people.
HOWEVER, if you are tweeting, stumbling, updating, digging; every single day, then you are wasting a lot of time for very little results.
I wrote a post on why social media is overrated a few weeks ago and I stand by a lot of the points I made. You see social traffic generally does not buy, or should I say converts far less than genuine search traffic, therefore your time should be focused on finding relevant search traffic not social. The people who buy from you generally don’t spend their time on twitter and stumble.
When it comes to social media, I like to have a good dig through it once a week, pardon the pun! Reply to friends, ask questions, publish your work, it is actually a great way to get links.
Multiple ‘Link to me’ emails
Ok you’re a new webmaster, you know you need links so you jump on the first piece of advice you read and start emailing relevant sites only to find no one replies.
Writing emails when you first start out is a complete waste of time, why?
a) Your site has no authority or PageRank yet so why would anyone want to link to you or get a link from you?
b) Webmasters do not take kindly to random emails out of nowhere asking for a link.
You need to build your sites link portfolio first, then when you think you have a site worthy to link to, normally after 4 – 6 months, then do the following;
1 – If you find a site that is RELEVANT to yours then read it, find out about the product, service or mindset of the webmaster.
2 – Don’t just dive in and email for a link, first attempt to build some kind of relationship with the webmaster, “I like your info, but what do you think about this?” or thank them for providing such a great resource. Build a friendship then you are more likely to get a link.
I think the problem with the online mindset is that many do not see their time as a commodity. They think they can waste time because their not spending money.
Your time is precious and what you decide to do right now will determine where you and your business are next year and years to come, charter your course and value your time.