If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’re pretty busy. This is especially so in the case of those that have only just set up and are trying to handle largely every responsibility solo. With so many things to juggle, it’s hardly surprising that the occasional important duty will be dropped.
Not only this, but to lumber yourself with a world of responsibilities is to also increase the likelihood of making one or more common mistakes along the way. Unfortunately, should any of these mistakes concern your website, you could be in trouble.
Why? Well, quite simply because research suggests that the overwhelming majority of consumers are already on the Internet to research services and products, before even considering making a purchase. Neglect your online presence therefore and you run the risk of losing out on valuable business.
So with this in mind, what follows is a quick overview of just a few of the most common mistakes made by thousands of small business owners, with regard to their online presences:
1 – Only Using Social Media
First and foremost, research suggests that are more than 80% of small businesses use social media, little more than 50% have their own independent website. Why is this a problem? Quite simply because it is impossible to build a business website that’s as rich, detailed and functional as it needs to be by way of social media. Surveys have shown that in instances where businesses only operate a website via social media, bounce rates and dropped traffic become considerably more problematic. Operating a social media presence alongside a primary website is a fantastic idea – using social media only is anything but.
It’s never been easier or more affordable to commission the design and development of a professional quality website, so there’s really no excuse for not doing exactly that.
2 – Using Web-Based Email
Is also worth remembering that these days, consumers in general have something of a distaste for businesses that are not using their own personal business domains. In fact, quite a large proportion of the digital marketing and security community is advised that consumers steer clear of those using generic web-based email and website domains. The simple fact of the matter is that when you try to run a business using nothing but a standard Gmail address, for example, it just doesn’t come across as credible or authoritative. It simply cannot compare email@example.com to Derek.James@gmail.com when it comes to trying to win the respect and business of your customers. Research shows that 65% of consumers show direct and strong preference to those using company-branded email addresses – setting up your own therefore being a small price to pay.
3 – Delaying Website Development
Technically speaking, it’s beneficial to consider getting your website up and running long before the business itself. Admittedly, that ship may have already sailed, but still…hindsight and all that. The longer you operate without a website, the harder you are going to find it to get by. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to start out from day one with all the complicated features and deep content in the world. Even if you only have a few pages to start with and continually expand on things from there, you will be in a much better position than if you have no website at all.
4 – Neglecting Your Website
Make no mistake about it – a website does not represent a one-time only building effort. Quite to the contrary, it should represent the central hub of your digital marketing strategy and continually be both updated and marketed at all times. You simply cannot expect to build a website and suddenly welcome heavy volumes of traffic like magic. Instead, you need to proactively go about nurturing traffic. Which again doesn’t have to be difficult – social media marketing, email marketing and simply getting word out via your existing printed marketing materials can certainly help.
5 – Going Bargain Basement
To be frank, quite possibly the only thing worse than having no website up and running at all is having the kind of website that was clearly thrown together by amateurs for pennies. All this will do is communicate to your target audience members that you really do not care about your brand’s image, nor the information and quality of user-experience you deliver.
6 – Overlooking Blogging
Last but not least, one of the most powerful tools available to the modern business is the blog. Regardless of what it is you do, creating and regularly updating a blog will benefit your business in multiple ways. First of all, it demonstrates genuine knowledge and passion for what you do to your customers. Secondly, it gives your website visitors a good reason to come back on a regular basis, in order to catch up with you. And on top of all this, the fact that you are consistently adding fresh and relevant new content to your website means greater SEO prowess and the potential to climb the search rankings. If you haven’t already got yourself well and truly stuck into blogging, you need to do so right now.