Do This, Not That in 2013

5 Feb

Want to know what not to do with your online presence? Here’s a list of 10 do’s and 10 don’ts to keep your online activities on the right track in 2013.

contentDon’t: Build a “bells & whistles”
flashy website.

Do: Stick to the fundamentals — but it doesn’t have to be boring or utilitarian. Take the time to understand the interests, desires, and objectives of those who will find, and use, your website. Give your viewers a positive experience by focusing on delivering answers to their questions. Whether it be “where are you located?” or “how can I deal with a constant ringing in my ears?” if you make it easy for them to find what they want without making them click 10 times, or wait for an animation to stop they will be happier. So, skip over those gimmicky design elements, like banners or videos in Flash (which slow down load times, or not load at all for some mobile* users) and any other “cool” or trendy tricks unless they are critical to the message.
* More on mobile users a little further down on this list.

Don’t: Use a social media page in place of a website.

Do: Get a professional business website. Include links to your social media pages if you wish, but don’t overlook the key role a well planned website plays. With a website you have control of the content allowing you to generate interest and track activity, such as phone calls, visits, and clicks. By optimizing content you’ll be able to develop and manage new leads and create custom landing pages to support online or digital marketing. While social media pages are an excellent addition to your online presence, they should never be a substitute for a website.

Don’t: Start a social profile and leave it unattended.

Do: Use your social pages to showcase your business by posting informative, valuable and sharable content. Establishing yourself as a source for helpful information and a reliable resource will bring followers and create more traffic to your website. If you’re not sure what to post, listen to the questions that patients ask when you are helping them. Use those talking points to create a blog post on your website, and let your social followers know its there. You can also ask current fans and followers what they’d like to see more of as well, stay relevant though, keep to your strengths. Engaging with followers through polls, creating casual videos of products or services, or fan/follower-only deals, specials, or events are often well received.

like-logoDon’t: Get caught up in a quest for “Likes” or use multiple “Like Us” messages to coerce people to your social media pages.

Do: Give people a reason to like you! They will follow you, like you, join your circle, or perform any other action they need to take if you show them the value in doing so. When promoting your social pages in emails, blogs, or on your website you can stress the unique benefits they get by joining your social community. Then, go on and provide them with that informative or entertaining content to show that you understand what they want.

Don’t: Neglect your business blog.

Do: Use your blog to exhibit your professional expertise and establish thought leadership in your industry. Adding fresh, highly relevant content to your website is the single best way to drive search results to your site. Write content with desirable keywords in mind, but avoid obscuring the primary message just to emphasize those keywords. If you want readers to find you credible, write to their interests, supplementing the text with words that help optimize your site overall. It isn’t the repetitious use of the words that drives traffic, it’s the meaning.

OK, well that’s a good start.  We’ll cover the remaining five do’s and don’t’s in the next post. 

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