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Most small business owners can't copy and paste a link

     
10:42 pm on Jan 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I was doing some link building for my local sites where people need to copy a paste a link which is on our site in a textarea.

I'm really shocked how many people don't know how to do this. Most of them don't even know the difference between an email address and a web address.

12:19 am on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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difference between an email address and a web address

Yep, I'm seeing this a lot on Facebook pages and profiles created by small business owners. I predict it will get worse before it gets better, as every joe sixpack joins the interwebs to do their own "free" online marketing.

9:34 am on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have worked in customer facing industries for far too long to be anything but totally unsuprised.

What does get me is the ones who expect to set up as webmasters without bothering to learn any technical language at all. "URL? Stop trying to confuse me with jargon!"

11:00 am on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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'Interwebs' - I like that. At my old company we did actually get a call once from someone who asked "Do you guys do internets?" The temptation to reply "Yes, this week it's buy one get one free"...
12:22 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm really shocked how many people don't know how to do this. Most of them don't even know the difference between an email address and a web address.

The solution to this is not for the rest of the world to learn our terminology. The opportunity here is for you to recognize that people don't understand this terminology, don't want to understand this terminology, don't want to deal with people who use this terminology - and use that to your advantage.

The product I sell, people don't understand. We've developed a methodology that explains to people what they need to know to make a purchasing decision - avoiding all our industry jargon. I get thanked routinely for it, and our clients are fiercely loyal because of it.

If I was running into this roadblock while building links, I'd be looking to turn it on it's head to get links where others can't.

Off the top of my head, I'd try suggesting that you'll contact their webmaster directly with the instructions. Then email their webmaster with 'your client wants this added to their sites'.

12:46 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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People barely know how to click on a hyperlink much less copy and paste a link.

Wheel's right on in that keeping things simple/stupid enhances one's chances of success.

Problem for most is being able to do an "out of body" and think like someone who's not in your industry or has your level of knowledge in...whatever.

3:22 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Lots of small business owners who have never made their way online are seeing their business slow down and they are realizing they need to be online. Big learning curve.
7:48 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Lots of business owners don't understand the need to delegate tasks either.

I don't claim to know how to assemble a 2 stroke motorbike motor from scratch, but I can comprehend it and hire others to do it. As long as I understand the idea.

I agree with you brick. Many business owners who do get online are then subject to the learning curve.

Most owners have a difficult time delegating and passing control decisions to others in the company.

10:41 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The IQ of the average internet user has really dropped (as the price of computers dropped) over the last decade.

Those in ecommerce, dealing with customers, will probably agree with that.

10 years ago, it was people saying, "I've never ordered online before", and they were nice about it - it was new and exciting to them. They had disposable income, and were happy to part with their money.

Now, they've been replaced by rude people who don't take the time to actually READ anything, and expect merchants to use their psychic ability to figure out the typos in the addresses, etc.

9:53 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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But surely the USB crystal ball comes as standard with all computers!
1:29 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I wish there was a like button for this thread. Years ago, I tried getting links from sites in my niche. Topically relevant, but not necessarily in competition against me. Invariably what I kept bumping up against was that the sites that were owned by Joe Online were--

1. Not created by Joe but by someone else.
2. Joe had practically nothing to do with the creation, maintenance, or expansion of his site.
3. Joe did not know how to link out.
4. To link out, Joe had to company his web company and this process sometimes took weeks. Sometimes Joe never got back with me.

In the end, I found this to be largely a fruitless endeavor.
5:09 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The solution to this is not for the rest of the world to learn our terminology.


Every skill has its technical language which you need if you wish to exercise that skill. I want to do some DIY so I learn the difference between a screw and a nail. I want to drive so I learn that the round thing that I turn to make the car change direction is called a steering wheel. I learn that the number stuck on top of a pole by the kerb site represents a speed limit.
6:12 am on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Most of them don't even know the difference between an email address and a web address.


That's not a bad thing is it? I mean... you don't want links from these people's websites anyway do you? :-)
7:13 am on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm really shocked how many people don't know how to do this.


Things are only easy when you know how. They will (should) know their business. the web stuff is your business.

Its a bit like a garage complaining about most drivers not being able to change their brake pads :)

Mack.
9:42 am on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Its a bit like a garage complaining about most drivers not being able to change their brake pads :)

But we are still at the stage where the drivers don't know how to check their tyre pressures!
10:21 am on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This did make me laugh but I must confess I did have to run off to find out what the acronym URL stood for before I could really laugh.
11:56 am on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hey, you must admit this: at least they are trying to learn how to do it right. Everybody is prone to mistakes at the beginning. :)
12:19 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I got an email from someone claiming to be setting up a web design company, because they thought I owned a site similar with a name similar to their planned business, because the site in question used a free Wordpress theme I designed years ago.
1:33 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are a lot of people around who claim to be "designers" when all they do is fill in the gaps on commercially available templates. In forums where signature links are allowed I love it when they post questions about basic html like "how do you create a link?".
4:23 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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...you don't want links from these people's websites anyway do you?


There's a potential there for the link to be a good one, imo. Some sites wreck themselves once the site owner learns a little SEO.
5:48 am on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I agree martinibuster, it was more tongue in cheek than serious. In my experience I end up spending a lot of time showing this type of webmaster how to do a lot of things once contact is made, they tend to be extremely enthusiastic at first too.
6:11 am on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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they tend to be extremely enthusiastic at first too


You must have been talking to my buddy. 23 revisions of his Photoshop mockup later, each time without failing to ask me what I think of his newest design. I tried explaining him that he will need to convert it to HTML at some point. Starting to wonder if maybe he's deaf.

Very excited about his website: "look I'm first on Yahoo!" - for his domain name...

Edit: typo