21 Mistakes that Can Destroy your Online Business Quickly

All newbies make mistakes and it’s a good thing if they are learning from those mistakes. But if you are in the industry for years and still not growing, then there is something you are doing not in a correct or effective way. And if you still follow the same path, you are more likely going to destroy your own business gradually over time.

In online businesses it’s really hard to find your own mistakes. This is very wide and dynamic place where you can make or destroy things within days. This article will help you to find out what you are doing wrong and the area that needs huge improvements.
Get creative and experiment with your strategies but do it right. Presenting 21 mistakes that can completely destroy your online business. You must quit doing these things right now.

1. Duplication

Content Duplication

Do not create multiple pages that convey the same meaning. Gone are the days when freelance writer rehashes the same content from different sources again and again just to increase the number of contents and search visibility. This will not help you anymore and in most of the cases this causes penalties by major search engines.

For example: It’s better to write “advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing” rather than splitting it into “advantages of cloud computing” and “disadvantages of cloud computing“.

Usually, the audience doesn’t like to open a whole page just to get a small piece of information. If you are blogging, try to put all the related and useful stuffs on a single page. If you are maintaining an online store, try to put detailed description, reviews, images (with quick view option), related products, EMI calculator on a single page. This will also increase your average page visit duration. Furthermore, noindex all search or dynamically generated pages.

2. False Advertisement

False Advertisement 1

75% of your sales happen because of customer’s trust and a single negative review can reduce thousands of sales. Break the trust once and you will never get rid of client’s suspiciously raising eyebrows. So it’s highly recommended not to put misleading statements and promises that you can’t fulfill. There are many bloggers out there who put fake number of shares and likes on each article just to show off. Believe me, this will not help you gain a genuine audience.

3. Forced Selling

Force Selling

You should quit exaggerating feature benefits and over promoting your product to the same group of readers/visitors. There are many websites, especially eCommerce that tries very hard to sell their product at the very first attempt. More than 30% of visitors purchase product in the future rather than in the first few moments they came to your site.
P.S: Stop using flash advertisements, popups and unnecessary scripts that run whenever someone tries to close your site.

4. Underestimating the Value of Current Client

If Content is King, Customer is Queen.

Some of the marketers focus on new customers only. Sometimes they get too much busy while expanding their service that they end up with losing current clients. No doubt, getting a customer is hard but this is the level one only. Level two is keeping your customer happy and turning him/her into your regular customer. Spending time and energy on customer service should be your first agenda rather than adding new clients.

5. Not dealing with negative feedback

Haters make you famous.

It’s kind of impossible to get everyone to like you. Moreover, getting a negative review means people are spending their precious time on your website/product. Somehow, you are at least forcing them to engage with your service. Take all negative comments as a complements and respond to each and every one of them politely. Make possible changes to solve problems and enhance reviewer’s experience.
Remember: Modesty will get you what pride won’t.

6. Not Using A/B Testing

A-B testing

A successful business always has a plan B when all else fails. No, we are not taking about backup strategies. A/B testing is a process of analyzing your results on different webpage structures. It’s like comparing two (or more in a/b/n testing) versions of a webpage to see which one performs better. It includes rearranging the button, objects & images, tweaking fonts/format, shortening post length etc. This is one of the best ways to enhance user experience and increase conversion rate.

7. Not Collecting Email Address

Collecting Email Address

Collecting email address is still the best strategy to get an effective audience to your site. It also helps to increase returning visitors. Building an email list is like building your company value and do not degrade this value by spamming.

Here are few best ways to grow email market

  • Create remarkable content
  • Give freeways like e-books, tutorials etc.
  • Host online webinars and collect emails at registration.
  • Give a strong reason why people should come back to your site
  • Encourage subscriber to share or email by integrating share buttons

8. Hosting on Slow Servers


Basically, the entire site performance is based on the quality of the server. We all know speed is a crucial factor that affects user experience as well as search visibility. The problem becomes even worse when your server goes down frequently. Furthermore, these 2 facts will tell you the exact importance of webpage speed.

  • According to Amazon, 1 second difference costs them $1.6 billion per year.
  • 70% of visitors don’t wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load.

9. Bad Content

Bad Content Strategy

Don’t just provide better content, provide the best. Make sure you answer everything that user is asking for and don’t let user to look at another site for the same topic. Here are a few things/signals that make content useless-

  • Low user engagement and average visit duration
  • Poorly written content (spelling mistakes, wrong facts etc.)
  • Bad web design (hard to navigate, lots of ads, use of nasty color etc.)

Read: High Quality Content: What does it really mean?

10. Not Calculating ROI during Marketing Changes


ROI (stands for Return on Investment) has nothing to do with visitors, brand value and search visibility. It is directly related to the revenue/profit you have made in specific time duration.

This is how you can calculate ROI:

ROI = (Revenue Generated – Expenditure)/Expenditure
Expenditure includes cost of content marketing, SEO, hosting servers and tools used.

So, if you make $1000 and the total expenditure is $500, your ROI will be 1 (or 100%).

11. Not Tracking Results


Most of the webmasters stop analyzing their traffic behavior once they see settled or continually increasing audience. They often get excited by the number of growing unique visitors. This is really a huge mistake. Tracking result isn’t the only activity of counting your pageviews but it also includes collecting depth data of your marketing strategy. It helps you evaluate effectiveness of marketing efforts and to know about any defects in your site.

What you should track along with the conversion

  • The location (country wise) of your readers
  • Where the traffic comes from (site referral)
  • Number of shares/comments by your readers
  • Most used device and browser
  • Page load time and audience demographics
  • Adjusted bounce rate, exit rate, returning visitors and visit duration on each landing page

12. Relying Only on SEO Strategies

Relying Only on SEO StrategiesImage credit: independent.co.uk

We are not living in 2000’s anymore. So don’t think that doing SEO alone can get you traffic. You should stop worrying about Keyword density, exact keyword match, html to text ratio, comment backlinks, directory submissions etc.
That doesn’t mean SEO is dead. The modern SEO techniques are quite advanced that are majorly based on user experience. Getting organic traffic has become much more difficult these days.

To build a solid online business, you need to work on

Content + Web Design + SEO + SEM + Social media marketing + Integrated reporting

13. Not Keeping Your Eyes on Enemies

Not Keeping Your Eyes on Enemies

First, you need to figure out who is your competitor. Second, keep an eagle eye on every step they take. I’m not telling you to copy them but ignoring them will also not earn you a point ahead them. You competitor often gives you insights which are very useful and sometimes they make mistakes which becomes your future lesson.

14. Not using Multimedia

If an IMAGE worth a thousand words, then how would you define a VIDEO?

These days, no one has time to read your thousand word story. But they would love to see it if you can turn text into images, videos or interactive media. Moreover, multimedia pages are more likely to go viral.

A few months back, twitter added a feature: inline image to tweets. This gave blufferapp 89% more favorite and 150% more tweets.
Similarly for Facebook, eye catching images get 53% more likes and 104% more comments than non-imaged posts. – HubSpot Experiment.

15. Broadcasting Your Content to Random Audience

Random AudienceImage source: whatiswhat

Broadcasting your niche randomly can get you few likes or shares but not conversion. For example, sharing SEO services at Facebook troll page is completely useless. In that case, 100 visitors from searchengineland.com can give you much more profit than 100,000 Facebook visitors.

There are many companies that are less visible to the public but are highly profitable. For example

Steiner Optical: Produces 80% of the world’s military field glasses.
Tetra food: Makes 80% of the world’s tropical fish food.
Becher: Creates 50% of the world’s oversized umbrellas.

16. Not Using Discounts or Coupons


This can’t destroy your business but not using discounts or coupons can drop your profits to some extent. Everyone loves deals including the clever marketers and analysts. The free discounts have power to prod even the most unwilling buyers. That’s the reason why giant websites like Godaddy, Flipkart etc. uses coupon and special offers.

17. Ignoring Negative Keywords

Are you using Google AdWords or similar advertising service? If yes, make sure you are using negative keywords for each ad. The reason of using is simple: you don’t want to spend your money by showing ads on less relevant pages.
Negative keywords prevent your ads from displaying for a certain word or phrase. For example, when you add “Free” as a negative keyword, your advertisement will not be displayed on the pages containing term “Free”. Moreover, negative keywords help you increase CTR and ROI.

18. Not Adapting Different Strategies for Different Locations

Different Strategies

It is not necessary that single plan will work all across the world. A market in London can be different in India or China. If your business has worldwide scope, you need to follow the diverse culture of the local market. For example, eBay is not much popular in China as compared to Taobao because it fails to deliver their banking culture.

19. Using Multiple Social Pages for the Same Business

Creating more than one page (on the same social networking site) is splitting your fans/followers which is not a good idea. Large number of followers/likes increases the brand value and somehow attracts readers.

Don’t Do This:

  • Post every hour
  • Offend the clients
  • Make fake accounts
  • Automate your posts
  • Spread negative news
  • Use irrelevant hash tag to increase visibility of your post

20. Self-Hosting and Non Secure Blog

If you want to establish sensible business, don’t go cheap. Never host your website on free servers or use subdomains of WordPress.com and Blogger.com. To develop initial trust, it’s better to get some paid hosting and secure protocol i.e. HTTPS.

21. Lack of Focus and Passion


Unfortunately, the internet is full of distraction. Lose your focus (which is quite easy by the way) and you will lose everything you have built. So, it’s better if you keep track on what sites you are spending time and energy.
You can’t build any business without passion. It’s the passion that drives almost everything and this attitude can be projected within your products and services.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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