7 MISTAKES SMALL BUSINESSES ARE MAKING WHEN BUILDING AN ONLINE PRESENCE.

November 14, 2018

 

For any business, building your own online presence is huge. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration, especially when in today’s times, most clients are online. Good online presence really can help market your business in the best ways possible. Having a strong online presence means going above and beyond the standard things like websites and social media platforms; it’s about staying visible and relevant to your target audience. If you think you’re ready for your small business to go live online, then be prepared for these mistakes that can easily be made.

 

1. Not having a website

 

With the majority of people and clients being online, you cannot afford to not have a website; the number of people online is only going to increase. Even if you consider yourself as an offline business like a salon or a café, it’s still essential.

 

Having a website helps you unlock barriers that may be between you and your client; they might want to know a little something about you and the business before actually coming to you and a perfect way to do this without even talking to them would be to have a website for them to visit. Clients will instantly think they have developed more understanding about the business. It’s also just useful to advertise products.

 

For example, if you are a salon and you do a range of different things including beauty, instead of having to explain to clients what exactly you do in house, which is very time consuming, you can advise them to look at the website which will then tell them all the information they need to know. Therefore, they can just call up and book in for whatever treatment they were looking to have.

 

2. Having a bad website

 

First impressions don’t just apply in person; it’s about online impressions too. First impressions of your website are so important. When someone clicks onto your website, not only should it be visibly appealing, the message you are trying to convey must be clearly understood by the viewer.

 

Things as equally important as this are the way the website looks, the speed of click through, quality content, and always ensuring that address and contact information are clear for the viewer to read and access because, in some cases, your website could be the first point of contact, especially for new customers.

 

3. Not optimising for mobile.

 

It goes without saying, having a functioning website that is optimised for mobile phones is key for all businesses.

 

What should your website have once it has been optimised for mobile?

 

  • It should load in three seconds

  • It should be easy to navigate

  • The eye should be drawn to your key message or selling point

  • It should have a prominent call to action

 

4. Not being accessible

 

Your customers and potential new customers are more than likely to look for your business online first. If you have a strong online presence across platforms, it will give you that competitive edge against others. Furthermore, your business is approachable 24/7 with the power of the internet.

 

Whether you are providing the customers with basic information, overall feel of the business or even just a contact number to get hold of you the next day, you are still building a relationship with that individual more than if you were not to have a website or any social media platforms for them to visit.

 

Being more open across your online presence and not forcing them to make payments, offering them different payment solutions and being open to all different kinds of communication through social media and having a quick response rate allows your business to be more flexible.

 

5. Being present everywhere

 

Having a good online presence doesn’t mean having an account for every social media platform going; this can lead to all kinds of problems, especially if it gets to the point where you can’t manage all of them. Taking on too much is extremely difficult to manage and you want to focus mainly on those platforms that work best for your business target audience.

 

Having a website regardless is key, but narrowing down your social media platforms is really down to the type of business you have; for example, if you have a hair salon, I wouldn’t recommend advertising as much on LinkedIn as I would Facebook and Instagram, and the reason for this would be because on Facebook you don’t just have friends but you have groups and people are able to recommend you even if you aren’t friends with them so this is a good way to pick up business. The more people who recommend you, the better.

 

Instagram is also an ideal way to advertise a hair and beauty salon because it’s all about the photography and Instagram stories; these are a great way to show off images of clients and the different styles you have created.

 

There is no point in having too many social media platforms for one of them to not get as much traffic as the others and it slowly getting forgotten about because it looks really bad on the business if someone was to visit that particular platform and notice a lack of effort in maintaining it. Rather than posting the same content on all social media platforms, post certain content to suit your target audience, otherwise viewers will become bored of seeing the same stuff everywhere.

 

6. Not implementing local SEO

 

Even if you want to reach out to a global audience with global SEO, implementing a local campaign will reward your business with good rankings on the search results page for your area. This can boost your business visibility and provide exposure to local internet users. Boost local SEO by incorporating local keywords in your website content and optimising meta tags. 

 

7. Abandoning it all

 

Whether it’s your website or social media platforms that are not up to date or being looked after, abandoning your efforts to build your online presence can have an effect on your image as a business. If a client or new customer goes on to your Facebook page, for example, and sees that you haven’t posted for 6 months, they could potentially assume that you’re out of business, which could then lead to them doing business elsewhere with a competitor.

 

Giving up on your efforts also means losing strong relationships with the outside world created all by yourself from scratch. Not only is what you have done a great achievement, but it’s really rewarding when you look back and realise a lot of clients have come through your fantastic online presence, so why give up on this?

 

Something that is important is if you are to leave your website or social media untouched for a while and it’s for a valid reason, for example like a revamp on the website, then it might be worth stating this somewhere across social media so that existing customers and new potential customers are aware.

 

Conclusion

 

There’s no doubt about it, having a strong online presence can benefit businesses in more ways than one. With the information provided here, you now know what mistakes to avoid when taking your business online. So, get started on building your online presence and unlock the immense potential that’s in store for your business!

 

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