For small business owners the road to online success is paved with mistakes. All of them can be avoided. Find out what they are so you don’t make them.
Today I have a question from john who is in the process of building a site for his key cutting business in Bromley. Here is his question
What are the website mistakes small business owners generally make?
That’s a very good question John. I always talk about what small businesses should do but rarely about what they shouldn’t do which is equally important.
I’m going to tell you what I personally think the biggest mistakes are, based on what I have come across and the various clients I have been working with.
The most important one to me is believing that because you have launched a website you are going to get a lot of customers overnight.
This is so wrong. A lot of small business owners I have been dealing with are always surprised when I tell them hardly anyone visits their site. They think launching a website is all it takes.
Launching a website is actually the easiest part. Once launched you have to market your site and that takes time and money.
If you pay you can literally get visitors overnight but in many cases small business owners do not have the budget at first and rely on search engines alone.
That strategy could take several months before it starts paying off depending on how competitive the vertical you are in is and the content you have on your site.
This leads me to another major mistake small business owners make. Not publishing content on their site.
So you’ve launched a site with a home page, an about us page, a contact us page, a page with a list of your services or products and you let it sit there for weeks on end and hope for the best.
You might as well go to church, light a candle and pray. It will have the same result.
You must update your site and make it rich with content so people want to come and visit. Not only people but also search engines. Adding content will give you the opportunity to be discovered for new keywords in relation to your business.
Another mistake a huge majority of small business owners do is not to track the performance of their site.
Why would you bother launching a site and not wanting to know what type of content people respond to, how many visitors you have? If they like what they see etc… Google analytics is a free software that allows you to do just that so make sure you install it and learn how to use it.
Not having a mobile-friendly website is a major flaw and will greatly impact the success of your business. Ensure your site is compatible with all devices such as an iPad, a laptop, a desktop, and an iPhone etc…Most people searching for local businesses use mobile phones these days. If your site looks clunky on a mobile phone people will just leave instantly. Google also favours mobile friendly websites in their ranking formula.
Choosing a mate or a friend of a friend to build your site to cut costs is also a major mistake. Like most small business owners you are not a web expert so you need to find someone to help you do the work and you think that by using a friend who has dabbled in website building will save you money.
This could actually cost a lot more than you think. More often than not they will do it wrong. They will not work fast enough or well enough because they are doing you a special deal. You might struggle down the line to get access to whatever account they have created if you fall out etc…Use a professional.
Picking the wrong web solution can also hinder you. There are so many options out there to choose from. You must pick the solution that is right for you. Will you be adding pages to your site yourself? Do you know a bit of HTML coding or not? Do you want something fully customised or are you happy using template pages for your site.