Selling online: 3 things you MUST be doing! [Part Two]

In our last article, we looked at the concept of down-selling and saw how it applied to online and brick & mortar businesses alike.

Now let’s look at the other two sales techniques you can use to get more profit out of your customers.



You’ve already spent the money acquiring… they have bought the core offer, they are now a fully paid customer, don’t let them get cold. Take advantage with the fact that they are a HOT customer (just paid, and interested) and make them another offer!

And don’t just make them any offer, make them a high-ticket offer; even though a large percentage of your customers probably won’t buy the high-ticket offer, that’s fine, they don’t have to! As long as SOME of them buy it is well worth asking; as you have already made the sale so anything after this point is gravy and you have nothing to risk by asking; you aren’t going to upset anyone. In fact you stand to lose profit by NOT asking.

The difference between upselling and downselling:

  • You upsell is usually AFTER a purchase, and is a higher ticket offer
  • You downsell is usually when the customer is refusing to purchasing anything, and is a lower ticket offer

This has to be implemented into your shopping cart if you are selling things online. Otherwise it is something that your sales people can implement into the sales process when talking with customers in person or on the phone.

The upsell should be EXPENSIVE. It should be several times the price of your core offer. Think in terms of several hundred to several thousand dollars. Or it can just be a longer commitment. An upsell like this could be a ’12-month subscription’ as opposed to a ‘one month only’.


Cross Sell

The two best examples of cross selling are with Amazon and McDonalds.

Amazon will show you what ‘other customers who viewed this product also bought’. And McDonalds will offer you French fries and a drink if your order did not already include that.

The cross sell simply attempts to sell someone something which is in a different category than the thing the customer is buying. It may be related and similar or it may be quite different.

When it is backed up with statistics and research, it can be quite effective. For instance, if there is a high percentage of customers who buy X and Z, it could be assumed that other customers might also want to do this. Some may even have intended to buy both but forgot, and the simple act of showing them reminds them to buy.

Again, as in the case with the other techniques, this needs to be implemented in your shopping cart or with your salespeople.


Why are we doing all of this?

One word: Lifetime Value.

The point of cross-selling, up-selling and down-selling is to create a higher customer lifetime value.

If you only sell your customer one thing at one time, and never again, his lifetime value is very low. Your offer would have to have a very high price in order to make this viable for you. Or, your cost of acquiring the customer would have to be very low; like using volunteers or very cheap labor for instance.

So, when a customer buys, make sure you offer a down sell, up sell or cross sell, in order to maximize profits.

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Selling online: 3 things you MUST be doing!

When selling things online or in a store there are three things you MUST be doing in order to MAXIMIZE the amount of profit you make from each sale.

The idea is that RIGHT after you have sold someone something they are HOT as a prospect, having just whipped out their wallet and elevated to a ‘paid customer’. There is an actual momentum and this can be captured and turned into more revenue. The idea is to make additional offers after the sale, (or before the sale, depending on the situation). These offers are classified as:

  • Up-sells (selling something more expansive than your main offer)
  • Down-sells (selling something cheaper than your main offer)
  • Cross-sells (selling something related to your offer but different, in hopes they would also be interested in that)

You see these all over, being applied in different ways.

One of the most ubiquitous examples is at the super market checkout, you are about to become a paid customer, and you’re in line to pay for your groceries and they are actually down-selling and cross-selling you on low-ticket impulsive stimulating items (candy, chocolate, junk food). They are NOT putting the chocolate bars at the checkout register for your convenience.  They are maximizing their profit by squeezing in just a few more sales.

Many of you have also seen down-selling used online. If you have ever bought business cards from Vistaprint or a website domain name from Godaddy, you have been the victim of a veritable tsunami of down-sells at check out! Offer after offer of cheap add-ons for your order, no matter how many times you click ‘no thank you’ or ‘skip’.

Let’s go over each of the three in detail.



A person has clicked on your ad, or seen your flier and called you. You have basically acquired a prospect at this point and have spent a considerable amount of money to get this far. If you are selling your core offer and they are not buying, (whether it is on the phone or simply a landing page selling your core offer) don’t just let them say ‘no’, leave and slip through the cracks! You have already spent possibly hundreds of dollars on ads to get this prospect. Take advantage of it by offering a ‘down sell’ if they refuse to buy.

By not having a down sell you are literally throwing money away.

People who refuse, and who are about to leave should always be offered a downsell. It just makes sense. Of course, you need to have a service or product which you can use as a downsell. If you only have one product then you actually need to expand your line and create a lower ticket version of that product to be used specifically for the downsell.

NOTE: A downsell is typically used as a last resort if someone is not buying, BUT it can also be used AFTER a customer buys, in order to get more sales (like how Vistaprint and GoDaddy do).



You can implement down-sells either on your website at checkout (if they abandon their cart and attempt to leave your site) or you can have your salespeople implement it as part of their sales pitch, by going to the down-sell if they absolutely can’t sell the core offer.

It can also be implemented with popups that make a low ticket offer when the person tries to leave the web page.

The theory of a downsell can also be applied generally. The idea is the offer we are making isn’t selling, so we need to lower the bar to something that is an easier commitment. A perfect example of this is having a page which has an offer, and if the visitor moves his cursor out of the main web page window (to leave the site) a little popup comes up with a free offer in exchange for their email. This is basically a down-sell, and it’s a great way to squeeze as much out of the customer as possible.

If your website does not have a shopping cart which sells products or services, fear not! That does not mean you aren’t able to implement this. You can still without a doubt implement down-sells, you just need to have it done by your sales people as part of their sales process.

Of course, if you have your own ‘brick and mortar’ business you can very simply implement downsells by doing what grocery stores are doing, as we already discussed.



In our next article, we will look over the other two techniques: Up-selling and Cross-selling.

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Customer Value Optimization [Part Two]

In our last article we discussed how your business needs an exactly defined formula for getting customers, selling products/service, and factoring in the promo cost, and showing the profit.

We already discussed customer acquisition and saw that for selling online, PPC is the way to go.

So you’ve crafted a brilliant ad, and it is getting clicks, and people are going to a sales page (a specially crafted landing page, NOT your home page), and they are buying your product and you are making sales. But you’re not making the amount of sales you want.

It is important to set expectations realistically. When someone clicks on your PPC ad and goes to your landing page and buys your core offer ($50 product or such), that $50 should basically recoup the costs of all of the other people who clicked the ad, visited your page and didn’t buy. In other words, here is an example:

  • It costs $2 per click for your ads
  • Every 100 clicks you make four $50 sales
  • You pay $200 for the clicks, and then you make $200 in sales

Don’t be dismayed by these numbers. This is actually pretty good. If you can tweak your ads and your landing page to the point where your sales from the landing page recoup the promo cost then you are WINNING. Because everything after this point is pure gravy.

What this means is, if after this point, you add on ‘down-sells’ and ‘up-sells’, and ‘cross-sells’, you are then going to start making the profit you want.

The goal of any internet marketing campaign should be for the cost of customer acquisition to be recouped by the sale of the core offer. Profit occurs when you add on the down-sells, up-sells and cross-sells.


Increasing the revenue

In light of what we just looked at, if you want to increase sales and revenue then you simply need to:

  • Get more traffic to your sales page (landing page). You can use PPC, Social Media, direct message, etc.
  • Get more people who arrive on your landing page to purchase your core offer. In this case you are tweaking the conversion rate, of those who arrive on the page and those who pay. You want to increase that conversion rate so more people are buying when they arrive on your landing page. This could be as simple as changing colors, text, adding testimonials, etc.
  • Continue to tweak the quality of your PPC ads and your landing page until those sales alone are recouping the PPC cost. (tweaking the conversion rate).
  • Add in up-sells, down-sells and cross-sells to maximize your profit.


Even More Profit

The adventure of optimizing the life-time value of each customer does not end with the above! Once all of the above four points are complete and working there is still one more thing you can do to get even more profit out of each customer: email marketing.

The sales don’t have to end once the customer buys the core offer, and an upsell. He can be sold and sold again, ad infinitum. Since he is a buyer, he should go into a ‘buyer’ database, where you can send out specifically crafted sales emails, which will take them to an appropriate landing page where they can yet again become a buyer. This is really where the money comes in, because every sale is pure gravy, since the cost of the promotion was recouped long ago.

Therefore, it behooves the business manager to maintain a database of buyers and continue to sell to them after they have bought. Because they have bought before they are much more likely to buy again.



To reiterate everything we have discussed, the way you can increase revenue with your online sales/marketing campaign is by:

  • Increasing the amount of traffic to your sales page
  • Improving your sales page so more people buy
  • Tweak the quality of your PPC ads and landing page until those sales alone are recouping the PPC cost
  • Offering up-sells, down-sells, cross-sells

Having a database of buyers and selling to them via email marketing

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Customer Value Optimization

Are your online business endeavors not making you enough revenue?

Would you like to know some simple, logical and workable ways to increase revenue?

Let’s discuss how you can get more money out of each customer, and optimize the customer’s long-term value.


You need a formula

You will never make decent revenue nor break even unless you have an efficient, well-crafted system to get as much value out of your customer as possible.

There must be a mathematical formula which shows how much you spend on average to get one customer, and how much they spend, and if they buy again. You have to determine the lifetime value of the customer, and how much it costs to acquire him.

A formula in its simplest form could look like:

  • 1000 flyers handed out gets you 10 customers.
  • Each customer pays $1000 for his product/service.
  • $10,000 revenue generated.
  • Cost of flyers = 1000.
  • Cost to distribute flyers = 1000.
  • Total promo expense: 2000.
  • Promo minus the revenue = $8000.
  • $8000 minus taxes, payroll, expenses = profit


This is a very simple formula where you are using one type of promotion (flyers), and one service at one price ($1000). This gets more involved when you add in multiple channels for acquiring customers, multiple products and services, and repeat sales.

Now let’s look at a formula specifically for internet marketing and your website and look at the first part of the formula.


Customer Acquisition

Your formula starts with how you actually GET visitors to your site: Customer Acquisition. If you want to increase your revenue then the very first thing you can do is increase the flow of customers to your website; this automatically generates more revenue for you.

Here are the three main channels:

  • Organic SEO searches
  • PPC advertising
  • From posts on Social Media

These are the three main ways by which a person will reach your website.

The channel that you have the most control over by far is PPC advertising. It is hard to increase your Organic SEO traffic and your social media traffic.

Increasing traffic from PPC is as easy as increasing your budget and just putting more money into it. It is very direct.

If you want to increase traffic by organic SEO you have to be willing to devote months of time for the site to move up in the search engine result pages. Also, it is no sure thing that your site will move up. If the SEO is done wrongly it won’t move at all or even worse, move down.

Getting traffic to your website via social media is tempting because it is free, all you have to do is post. However, you won’t get enough traffic to your site unless you have an audience/followers of tens of thousands. If your audience is lower than that there will only be a trickle of traffic to your site.

PPC has none of these issues. The benefits of using PPC to get traffic to your site are:

  • Allows you to actively push traffic to your site (not passive like SEO). No waiting required.
  • It allows you to select your SPECIFIC audience, the people you want to put your ads in front of, and not show your ads to people who are not your audience
  • It allows you to get prospects who are interested, and are fairly deep in the ‘sales funnel’, since they are interested enough to click on an ad.
  • Ability to track exactly what happens when someone clicks on your ad, and their entire journey through your landing pages, etc. This allows you to analyze and staticize every step of your sales process, and improve weak points.


In our next article we are going to go over the rest of the formula and discuss the sales process which occurs after you get traffic to your site.

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Email is out. What’s next?

Are you unsatisfied with the performance of your email marketing campaign?

Are you looking for what is next?

It is no secret over the past ten years the effectiveness and open rates of email marketing has dwindled.

Additionally, Gmail, MSN Mail and other major service providers are now filtering out promotion emails into separate folders which can be easily neglected by the recipient. This has made things considerably more difficult for email marketers.

In light of these developments, marketers are looking for new solutions.


What’s Next

Three emerging technologies are showing much potential for marketers and are currently being used with good results. They are:

  • Web notifications
  • Text messaging
  • Live Chat


Web Notifications

By using a third party platform or custom programming (if you have a programmer) you can enable your website to have little pop up notifications which get your visitors’ attention and gives them some kind of enticing message. This is mostly used for special offers, discounts and free content. Because the notification ‘slides up’ on to the screen it is very effective in getting attention and clicks, especially if it has an enticing message.  This is a good way of making sure everyone who visits your site actually sees your offers.


Text Messaging

People are more likely to respond to text messages than emails. This is becoming more and more the case. Therefore marketers are moving into using text message for promotion.

There are even platforms on desktop computers which can be used to mass text-message contact lists.

Text Message marketing is new and the approach and etiquette are still being developed.

The most successful text message marketing would involve short personal messages, not mass bulk messages. People respond better to personalized communication, than bulk.


Live Chat

By adding some code to your website (from a third party platform) you will have the ability to chat with your web visitors if they open up the chat box and send you a message.

Live chat has been around for years on websites but has recently started gaining more popularity. There are even some platforms that offer this service for free.

The benefit of Live Chat is that it allows you to reach out to web visitors who otherwise may slip through the cracks and never contact you. But since you are just a click a way, it lowers the bar for reaching out to you (being more direct than a contact form) and it allows you to communicate to much more of your visitors.

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Why You Need Solid Landing Pages

Does your website have landing pages?

Are they giving you the results you want?

Do you know the difference between a landing page and a normal web page?

In this article we are going to go over all these points.

The landing page is a critical piece in the puzzle of internet marketing. It is not just any web page however.

A landing page is a page is not any of the normal pages in your website’s navigation. It is a specifically created page, not attached to your site’s navigation, which can only be reached by having clicked on an ad or some other link.

Landing pages are used in conjunction with internet ads.

When you create an ad on the internet you want the viewer to then click the ad and then go to your website. But you don’t want it to just link to your home page, or even your product page. It is absolutely vital that you create a unique page for them to ‘land’ on.

The purpose of the landing page

The purpose of ads is to get sales, and to get sales on the web you have to control the user’s ‘journey’ through your web pages. If you have it so your ads go to your home page or service pages you are letting go of control, since the visitor can now click on other links and leave, and you won’t get the sale, or contact form submission or whatever you are trying to get from them. In this sense, consider a landing page to be a ‘squeeze page’, you get the visitor and you don’t let him go, and don’t give him a chance to click off the page.

Additionally, the text on your home page or product/services pages might not be strong enough and focused to get a sale from someone who clicked on your ad. You need to have very ‘salesy’ text for your landing pages, since you paid for the ad you want to get a sale, so this is expected. You might not want to have ‘salesy’ text on your home page and main site pages, which is why you create a separate page for people who click on your ads to land on.

Key components of a landing page

  • No navigation links
  • No ‘off-site’ links
  • Testimonial with photo and name
  • Several ‘buy now’ buttons
  • A message and photo from the CEO or relevant staff member
  • Finely crafted sales text which creates desire and demand for your product and or service

Different types of landing pages

There are two types of things a landing page can sell

  • A product with a ‘buy now’ button, which they click and then go to a transaction page to get the product and enter credit card details. This is a sales landing page.
  • A ‘opt-in’ form, where the visitor will input his name and email in exchange for some free content (such as an e-book). This is an opt-in landing page.

Because the ‘bar’ is lower and it does not cost anything, an ‘opt-in’ landing page which gets the visitor to sign up and give his email will get more conversions than the sales landing page.

The choice of a sales or opt-in landing page depends entirely on your goals and what you are trying to get out of your ad campaign.


If you don’t have a solid landing page created in conjunction with your ad campaign, you will literally be throwing money away, as people will click the ads and never be ‘sold’ anything, and will instead just slip through the cracks.

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Content Marketing Demystified

Content marketing not done properly may as well not be done at all! For it will not give you the final product you want: revenue.

It’s like only being able to make cake batter and never having the complete cake to sell to your customers.

It is costly, and time-consuming, but it looks busy and productive, yet it is not at all productive.

Let’s reaffirm the actual reason we are doing content marketing in the first place. It is not to just ‘get the word out’, or to ‘raise awareness’ or to get email addresses. Your content marketing must must must have a practical and clear process which results in revenue for your company.

Now that we have established why you are doing content marketing (creating revenue), let’s look at some of the types of approaches you can take, these are just three of the main ones:

  • Article based
  • Video based
  • E-book, tool, etc

There are others, such as pod-casts, but for this article let’s just look at these three.



In this case you are making SUPERB articles on a REGULAR basis and BROADLY promoting them across the web. It is not a 300 word article you just pump out and get over with so you can get back to your link building campaign. You actually have to make something AWESOME. This is what real content marketing is. Any articles less than AWESOME are not content marketing and are ‘filler content’.

Don’t create filler content and think you are a content marketer.



This can be more time-consuming than articles (or not in some cases). The quality of your sound and camera are unimportant. The quality of your video itself is of the utmost importance. Don’t let the idea that you need a sound-proofed room and fancy gear to make successful videos.

Your video does however have to either be one or more of the following:

  • VERY interesting
  • VERY funny
  • VERY cute
  • VERY strange/weird
  • VERY useful

In addition to the video being awesome, you also have to create one on a weekly or bi-weekly basis at the least, and continue to do this for at least 18 months.



The last two forms of content (articles, and videos) have to be created on a weekly basis, month in, month out, for years. However an Ebook or Tool is simply created once and then PROMOTED consistently, over and over. It can be ‘an ultimate guide to ****’, or it can be a nifty online tool that does something very useful, for absolutely free, which brings in traffic. A considerable amount of time goes into this type of content marketing, you could spend weeks on planning and months on development, but in the end you will have an amazing product which will be your ambassador for promoting your business.



It is never enough just to make your awesome content. You have to promote it, with free and paid promotion methods. You would take your very best article or your very best video, and use that as the main piece of content that you promote across the web.

Promotion is one of the most important parts in your content marketing strategy. If you want your content to go viral it will need a boost, and that is where paid promotion comes in. This could be simply using Google Ads, or a content distribution service like Outbrain.

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What is your website’s purpose?

If you have never asked yourself this question it is time you have.

Everyone knows that a business needs to have a website. But why? Few ever ask that question. They just get a website made for their business and know that they are now doing the right thing; just another necessary form of promotion, like getting business cards made.

But a website is not a business card. It is not something that just has your contact information on it, and you just slap together and put online.

The idea that your website is simply a business card on the internet, or a brochure is a misconception.

Surely there are websites out there, that look exactly like brochures, but that doesn’t mean it is the right way to create a website.

How do we figure this all out? With one question.


What should your website give you?

What final product or result or thing do you want your website to give you, at the end of the day?

We are assuming the website in question is for your business.

Here are the four most common things that a website can do for you:

  1. Get Leads
  2. Sell products
  3. Get subscribers
  4. Get revenue from selling banner ads

Let’s look at each in detail so we can differentiate.



Your website promotes your services and or products. Your site does not have a ‘buy now’ button for your services, instead your site would have a ‘free estimate’ or ‘contact for a quote’ form, where the visitor can fill it out and then you can get in touch with them directly over the phone and sell them your services.

If you need your website to generate leads then it has to have an intelligent way of directing the traffic flow to your ‘free estimate’ contact from so they can fill it out and become a lead for you.



In this type of website, you are selling physical or digital products online. You want to make a sale online. You’re not necessarily trying to get people to fill out a ‘free estimate’ or ‘quote’ form, unless you also provide some kind of service.

If you need your website to sell products then you need to have the products intelligently and cleanly arranged on the site, with good descriptions and a user-friendly shopping cart.



A different business model for more of a ‘content marketing’ type approach is to have a website that simply collects subscribers. This is ‘newsletter’ sign ups, or people giving their contact info in return for a free PDF download, or some other valuable piece of content.

In this case, all you want are email addresses, so the website traffic must be focused on getting people to sign up and give their email.


Revenue from Banner Ads

In this type, you have a purely informational website (such as a news site), and are not selling anything at all to your readers. All you want is to get lots of visitors to your website, keep them on your website, and hope that they click on your banner ads; companies are paying you to put their ads on your site. This could be as simple as Google Adwords.

You will need to place the right sized banners in the right locations, as this makes a huge difference in how many clicks you get, and thereby how much money you will get.


Mixing it Up

Just because there are four different things a website can give you, does not mean that a website can only have one of these! Many websites have two. You can have a website that gets subscribers with a newsletter and also sells products, or has banner ads too.



Once you identify what exactly you want from your website, be it subscribers, leads or online sales, you can then optimize the site to focus in on that exact result and direct everything on your website to lead to that end goal.

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Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Mistake 1: Unsolicited Emails

No one wants to receive a sales email from someone they don’t know. The offense is less if the unsolicited email is purely useful content. It is always a better idea to lead with value in the beginning, when starting your relationship with the prospect.

Because recipients of unsolicited emails mark your email as spam much more than those who are expecting your email, one of the main downsides is your reputation as a sender lowering; and more and more of your emails going straight to the Spam folder and not the recipient’s inbox.


Mistake 2: Not Introducing Yourself Properly

Your email must not go straight into your offer. Especially if it is the first email your subscriber has ever got from you. You need to reaffirm in your first email the following:

  • Who you are
  • How you got their email address (by signing up, or from a third party)
  • Why they should not mark you as spam, and instead add you to their ‘safe senders’ list

The memory span of the consumer is short, so even if they just signed up an hour ago you still have to re-orient them.

Just like in relationships, a proper introduction is necessary. It helps to make you more real to the prospect, and sets the stage for a better relationship.


Mistake 3: Sending Emails to an Old List

The longer you put off sending your first introduction email to your subscriber the lower the chances are of him opening it.

Once someone subscribes they must be sent their first introduction email within twelve hours. Waiting any longer allows time to enter in and they will become disinterested, and their attention will drift off and go elsewhere.

If you do have an old list that has never or rarely been sent to, don’t just send a flash sale email or an offer. Create a new re-introductory email, explaining what happened, and making no assumptions that they even remember your brand.


Mistake 4: Just ‘getting something out’

Never just send something off to your list without careful thought. Television channels don’t do this, magazines don’t do this, and neither should you.

Your email is a communication and should be carefully considered before sending it out to your list. A few of the things you should consider are:

  • Are there any PR violations in the email?
  • Is the email focused to one message and one CTA?
  • Is the email confusing and unclear, as to the purpose?
  • Do all the links work?
  • Has it been spell-checked?
  • Is it actually relevant to your audience?
  • Is it congruent and coordinated with your company’s internet marketing strategy?


Mistake #5: Not Knowing the Anatomy

The anatomy is very simple but must be followed, if it is not you will never get any results from your email marketing efforts.

The anatomy:

  • The subject sells ‘the open’ (of the email)
  • The body/text sells ‘the click’ (of whatever hyperlink you are directing them to, in the email)
  • The landing page or wherever you sent them ‘sells the offer’
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5 Mistakes in Creating Content

Advice on what not to do in Content Marketing

Mistake #1: Pages with Redundant Keyword Groups

Making a single page for each keyword phrase is the epitome of old overly-aggressive SEO tactics, and it has no place in modern content marketing!

A classic example of this would be creating a single page for:

  • Driveway pavers
  • Paver driveways
  • Driveway paving
  • Paving Driveway

This gives you four pages which should only be ONE at the very most. Doing this is spam-tastical and will eventually be heavily penalized by Google.


Mistake #2: Too much concern about number of words on the page

Just because you have 200 pages all with the ‘agreed upon minimum of 300 words’ on each does not mean that Google is going to think your content is awesome and upgrade your search results placement.

Your approach should be on a page by page basis of: How can we make this page the best of its kind on the internet? And then create your next page with that frame of mind.

The wrong frame of mind is: how can we create 100 pages on this topic, with the minimum amount of content which no one even wants to read, with the minimum amount of time and effort.

Content only is King when the content is worthy.


Mistake #3: Poor internal linking

Your site’s navigation tells Google what pages you think are most important on your site. This is a strong signal, and should not be brushed off. Your best pages should be linked to frequently. Your lower value pages should have less links to them. By this you can indicate to Google what your best content is.


Mistake #4: Content hosted on a subdomain

Your best content needs to be on the same domain as your main website! To do otherwise is a terrific SEO no-no. You lose out on all the authority and value Google assigns to the content if it is on a site other than your main one. If you have to, move it over from a subdomain to a subfolder in your main site, and you will experience a boost in your SEO.


Mistake #5: Using ‘content generation’ tools

Some people have trouble differentiating between ‘content’ and ‘actual content’, or shall we say: “filler text written for SEO and not designed to help the user”, and “text/images created to help the user”. We are interested in the later, and you should be too!

Automatically generated ‘content’ is nothing more than glorified garbage, with keywords sprinkled about. Your content will never be King if the content is fit for a pauper.

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