Hmmmm….Is that so?

Remember the old days when THE place to advertise was the yellow pages? Businesses would take out huge, full-page ads, because, well, they worked. That, however, was in the early 1990s. Nowadays, most businesses do not even bother with paid yellow pages ads, because they are expensive and mostly ineffective.

Some people say the same is true for newspapers. With greatly declining readership, better targeting through other media and better ways of interacting with potential clients, newspaper advertising is a tough sell these days.Very few of our customers who try it, continue buying print ads in the paper.

So, that leaves the yellow pages and the newspapers seeking new ways to stay relevant. The yellow pages bundle very basic (and most ineffective) template websites with ad sales. Buy and ad, get a “website.”

This week our local newspaper started running ads asking, “Is your website working for you?”. Fair enough. Good question. They then list ten things that they claim are the top ten must-haves for a website.

Their list includes: contact information (duh!), easy navigation (duh!), functioning links (duh!) and ownership (duh!). Not the most compelling information, and, to be honest, if you don’t these on a website, you have made perhaps the world’s worst website.

Two more items on their list are just wrong! They are not “top ten” items. One is just purely wrong.

“Relevant tags” – This likely refers to the meta tags for keywords. Google has not used these for site ranking for over five years! Almost no search engines do. They date back to the old days of making websites and are 100% not relevant today. Even worse, putting meta tags on your website tells all your competitors what you are focusing on. If a webmaster talks about meta tags, he or she needs to get out of the mid-2000s–an eternity in online marketing.

“Alternative text for images” – These can be useful, but they certain would not be on any “top ten” list. Maybe “top thirty”, but certainly not as important as a lot of other things.

Finally, I took a look at the one website they have an image of in their ad.

Here’s what I found:

1. 2nd page on Google for a very easy category with no competition.

2. No listing on Google Places, the most important tool for local marketing.

3. No Alternative text for images! If you put it on your “top ten” list, why are they not on the website you have built?

4. “Copyright and Powered by… xxx Media”. Wow! That’s not ownership by the business. This shows the major problem with all template sites: you don’t own your website! You are renting it and have no rights to the design. You stop paying, your gone.

5. The business’ Facebook page shows up on Google above the website page. That’s not very good search engine optimization by the seller of the website.

At Kona Impact, we have a much better “top ten” list, though admittedly, it’s more of a “top twenty” or “top fifty” list of things we do to ensure our clients have a strong online presence. We are focused on unique, customized solutions that provide our clients with top-level design, content, search engine optimization and search engine marketing. When you are looking for the best, avoid the fluff and misinformation and talk to the pros – Kona Impact – 329-6077.