Making Best Use of the Internet: Do Startups Ever Grow Up?

“The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ ” — Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, groundbreaking computer scientist and co-inventor of COBOL

A Short Quiz to Help Determine if a Web-Based Business Ranks as a Toddler, Teen or Adult

by – Laura Mauney

When the practices of web-based businesses are measured according to classic milestones of human development, standings on the maturity scale can serve as solid metrics for success or failure.

A foot-stamping, my-way-or-the-highway toddler, for example, may attract more attention in the moment than a knowledgeable, thoughtful and disciplined adult.

However, just as in life, Internet temper tantrums usually result in nothing more than extended time-outs, and teen rebellions are often mere flashes in the pan.

Healthy completion of growth, on the other hand, along with a commitment to lifelong learning and change, can launch successful flight from the nest and improve chances of long-term survival in the wild-wild-west of the world-wide-web.

With all that in mind, the following quiz, which is kind of a make-it or break-it exit exam for ecommerce survival, can help mark where a web-based business stands on the growth chart.

1. THOUGHT QUESTION:

Which formula is correct? (choose one)

    a. SEO plus PAGE RANKINGS equals BETTER TRAFFIC.
    b. SEO plus TRAFFIC equals BETTER PAGE RANKINGS.
    c. PAGE RANKINGS plus TRAFFIC equals BETTER SEO.

2. MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION:

Search Engine Optimization refers to (choose one):

    a. The number of links to other pages that are embedded in the content of a webpage.
    b. Website subject matter.
    c. The number of times the same words are repeated on a single webpage.
    d. The quality of the structure, code, rich content and metadata of a website.
    e. The ability of website developers to outsmart Google’s search algorithm.

3. ESSAY QUESTION:

In fifty words or more, provide three reasons why the clarity and accuracy of information, the visual design, ease of use, and navigational structure of a website are important to online business success.

4. POP QUIZ:

Who are the ‘four personas’ and why should a website homepage target them all?

5. EXPLAIN IN ONE SENTENCE:

Why is best practice no more than three clicks between the hook and the buy?

6. TRUE OR FALSE:

    1) The gap between Shakira, Family Guy and most of the rest of the popularity-verse on Facebook is vast and deep.

    2) Customer targeted advertising and rich content marketing across digital, print and broadcast channels risk reducing website traffic, and can severely damage a company’s reputation and popularity within its own industry, thereby dampening customer trust and deterring interest in the company’s products.

    3) Bad web marketing ideas that become accepted practices are still bad web marketing ideas.

    4) Traditional business best practices, grammatical rules and mathematical accuracy do not apply to ecommerce websites because website development is all about making things up as one goes along.

    5) Under no circumstances should a DMA (Designated Market Area) be used to create geo-targeted advertising campaigns.

7. KNOWLEDGE TEST:

What is the correct formula for calculating ROI? (choose one)

    a. (Revenue minus overhead) plus (cost divided by net).
    b. One time discount subtracted from annual customer purchases.
    c. (Cost plus overhead) divided by sales.
    d. (Gain minus cost) divided by gain.
    e. (Interest plus principal) divided by net.

8. TRICK QUESTION:

Which of the following ROI percentages will most likely drive a company to ruin?

    a. 59%
    b. 74%
    c. 97%
    d. All of the above.
    e. None of the above.

9. COMPREHENSION TEST:

Why are header tags, navigational structure, link titles, image tags, rich content and 404 error page cleanup important to Google, Yahoo and Bing, and, as a consequence, to ecommerce website owners?

10. EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE DEMONSTRATION:

Which of the following traditional business practices have no relevance to success on the Internet?

    a. Quality product
    b. Proactive branding
    c. Continual advertising
    d. Correct targeting
    e. Aggressive sales
    f. Sales volume
    g. ROI of 33% or higher
    h. None of the above
    i. All of the above

11. RHETORICAL QUESTION:

In zero words or less, name one good reason why a website should NOT be reprogrammed to a responsive design.

About Laura Mauney

Laura Mauney is a writer who thinks she is a photographer. Professionally, she specializes in online marketing, and creating, organizing and managing creative assets and user-friendly information for websites. She is also a mother. Her photo blogs include Flowers in Urbia and Trees in Urbia.

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