Are you online? You probably are, but what most small businesses don’t realize is that they’re not using the internet to its full potential or marketing themselves correctly.
It’s easy to think of mistakes as failures. But they’re not! The truth is, it’s often the mistakes you make that are your greatest learning opportunities. That’s why in this post, we want to talk about the common mistakes businesses make online and how you can avoid them.
1. Putting off building a website
The success of your business online depends a lot on the website. If you have the guts to take the plunge and invest in a website for your small business, it should be well-designed, aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.
So many people are put off by the thought of having a website. It sounds like a lot of work and expense, but the reality is that it’s probably one of the cheapest marketing tools you can invest in to promote your business online. A well-designed and fully optimised website should be able to pay for itself with increased enquiries, sales and growth within 6 months to a year at most.
2. Ignoring local SEO
It’s tempting to treat your business as a big fish in a big pond when it comes to online marketing. However, the reality is that local businesses have something to gain by refining their local SEO.
The right local SEO strategy can make all the difference to your business. In fact, research by Moz showed that local results are the fastest-growing organic result type on Google. As well as increased visibility in local search, 1 in 10 clicks on a search result will result in a sale.
Experts have said that almost 30-50% of all organic clicks will come from local search terms. Local SEO greatly impacts your ranking on Google and with more than half of clicks coming from search, it’s important that you take the time to optimize for local keywords. It’s vital that you remember to get this right!
3. Not adopting a domain name strategy
Did you know that some of the world’s biggest and most successful brands are smart enough to have adopted a domain name strategy?
A domain name strategy is a key component of successful online marketing that is often underutilized or overlooked entirely. Focusing on using your business name as your primary domain can be one of the most effective marketing decisions you make for your online presence.
Your domain name will not only impact the success of your efforts but will also be something you’ll have to live with for the duration of your time online. Your domain name should convey what your business and business model is about and you can find great options to use on sites like domains4less.co.nz
It also needs to be easy to remember and free of any legal challenges by competitors that may clash with your brand.
4. Not taking advantage of customer review
Putting your business on the Internet is a big step for many entrepreneurs. However, it can be easy to forget about all of the free tools that are available to help you promote your business online and reach a wider audience.
Customer reviews online about your business can be one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website as well as spread a positive image of your brand. However, not many businesses take advantage of customer reviews online.
Using customer reviews online to your advantage is a great way for you and your business to stand out from the crowd. Simply put, Google loves review sites and customers use them!
Even more significantly, more than one-third of consumers read online reviews all the way through when reviewing brands, according to a recent Forrester Consulting survey. What’s more, a staggering ninety-eight per cent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So why not take advantage of this pivotal marketing opportunity as a business owner?
5. Using a free email provider as your company email address
Do you know what happens when people use a free email provider like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail as their business email address? They lose credibility.
Like it or not, when you choose to use a free email provider your biz is immediately perceived as non-professional and cheap.
You’d be shocked how many businesses use a free email provider as their company email address. Why? They don’t know about the pitfalls of using lead generation sites to get new business. Avoid this embarrassing mistake with your business by taking the time to properly set up your new business email.
The number 1 mistake businesses make online is not having an effective social media marketing strategy. Let’s be honest — it can be overwhelming to try and keep up with everything out there in the business world, especially social media. That all changes when you have a game plan for your business’ social media needs!
Make sure your social media plan is solid so you can grab attention, building a relationship with potential customers that turn into shoppers. Social media marketing has become essential for today’s business to stay competitive. It helps get the word out about special events, updates and sales. Most importantly, it allows businesses to connect with their target audiences.
The best strategy for social media marketing is to produce a content strategy. Focus on your company’s strengths — what is it that makes your company unique? Build the community you deserve by engaging both prospects and customers, then watch those communities grow.
7. Not communicating with their customers
When you’re starting a new business, it’s easy to get excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. Before you know it, you’re working night and day to achieve your goals. It’s all too easy to lose sight of another really important part of developing your new business: communicating with customers.
Communicating with your customers online isn’t just important, it’s absolutely pivotal to succeeding in business. As vital as an effective website is, today’s consumers want more than a place to buy and learn about products; they need a place to build relationships with brands they can trust. Communicating by email or messaging is a great way to start.