6 Things Small Businesses Shouldn’t Do With Their Websites
By: Teresa Mitchell, Wendy Ogryzek and June Bachman ~
1. Ignore it so that it becomes less and less relevant to the search engines.
The search engines are increasingly motivated to deliver the most current and most relevant information to their customers. If you have been ignoring, not posting or updating your website, ignoring the tangible benefits to participating in social media, writing blog posts, your website isn’t as current and relevant to the search engines or to your site visitors (your prospects).
Consider this statistic . . . 90% of all search engine results are coming from social media. Here is a testimonial . . . posted on the wall of our Facebook Fanpage that proves this point . . . .
2. Become so emotionally invested that they can no longer see their website objectively.
It’s hard to take a good hard look at your website and see its strengths and weaknesses. Yet, that’s exactly what needs to happen for you to make it better!
Take time to study:
- Your competition.
- Your calls to action.
- How many times you have used linked text to drive your customers deeper into your website?
- Whether your words on your website say more about you than solutions to your customer’s problems.
3. Maintain a website with a very dated look and feel.
Here it is . . . straight up! A dated look and feel does not instill trust in your customers. Rather, it says you are one step away from going out of business.
All sales are based on perception . . . we perceive a business as trustworthy and reputable by the professional appearance of their website . . . and by the trust symbols included (SSL certifications, testimonials, transparency ( have you presented yourself as a real person with real products and a real small business behind the façade of the website).
If your website looks old and worn out that is exactly what your customers will perceive your business as, old, worn out and irrelevant to meeting their needs and solving their problems.
4. Build their websites hodgepodge as their ideas and ideas about their needs change.
Here is a linear example: Small business launches a template website with limited functionality only to discover that a blog is a useful tool in marketing their website so they add a link to a template blog that looks and feels very different from their website only to come to know that they want to sell their products online so they add a template online store . . . only to discover . . . they should have paused, studied the options and built an “expandable” website . . . one that could grow as their needs grew!
The idea here is that if you want to be perceived as the professional that you are, design and build a website that has the functionality and supporting architecture to easily expand as your ideas and business needs evolve.
5. Think that having a website is the same thing as marketing a website.
Having a website is not the same thing as marketing a website. Building the site is easy – approve a design and your web developer builds you a website.
To market a website takes planning, goals and action to develop content, stay abreast of how the search engines rank sites and a commitment from you to take steps towards working your plan and achieving your website goals.
And, most importantly it means:
- Posting regularly to your blog.
- Updating your website and refreshing your website content.
- Hurling your URL . . . include your domain address, or web address in the footer of emails, in line ads in magazines and publications that your customers read, on bumper stickers, on your business cards . . . in comments on other blogs and sites.
- Identifying who your customer is and targeting them . . . go where they go on the web. Comment on what they comment on.
6. Miss opportunities to use readily available website marketing tools and strategies that work!
Web developers and internet marketers know that the words on the page of a website should be written from a customer-centric position.
It’s not about you!
Words on the page of a website should solve your customer’s problems, answer their questions, build trust and earn their respect. They walk their walk and talk their talk.
Routinely, web developers and internet marketers give what they know about marketing websites away -- as a gift. A gift that has value to their customers, gifts of knowledge that solves their customer’s problems!
And, they do it using the exact tools that you have at your disposal – social media, their blog, their page content!