Jan 23

Top Ten Mistakes Business Owners Should Avoid Online

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Enamul Hasan Ismail
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After working with many business owners with their online presence, we still do see some critical mistakes made online. These mistakes can prevent a website from reaching its full potential online.

Mistake 1. Not Identifying Purpose of Website

A website without a clear direction is like stranded ship wandering aimlessly in the ocean. It is a very common mistake still seen today. Unlike print materials, users have got power when they are searching for information online. If they cannot find what they are looking for when they land on your website, you have lost them forever. So it is important to define call to actions on your homepage to direct prospects within 5 seconds.

Mistake 2. Lack of Keyword Research

If your prospects are looking for something specific in Google, what do they tend to do? They enter a keyword which is usually specific to what they are searching for. Hence, it is absolutely crucial that you understand how they are searching, or they'll never find you online.

Conducting an solid keyword research to find out these keywords and phrases and using them appropriately in your online content will ensure you get more qualified visitors to your website, looking to buy your products and services.

Mistake 3. Overlooking the Importance of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation, commonly known as SEO is a technique used to improve the visibility of your website or a webpage in search engines via "organic" or unpaid listings. Failure to do adequate optimisation on your website will reduce the majority of your traffic to your website since consumers turn to search engines to buy products and services online.

Content Management Systems such as Business Catalyst are great for SEO and gives business owners a headstart by taking care of the basics for you.

Mistake 4. Website Is Not User-Friendly

This mistake is more sinful than not driving traffic to your website. If your website fails to address the needs of your consumers within 5 seconds, they will leave your website for good. Have you ever tried to buy from a website, only to find that you have through more than 5 clicks to checkout? Or tried to send an enquiry only to find out that it requires you to fill up the form again due to incomplete entry? In essence, the more complicated your site is, the less likely your prospects will buy your services or products from you.

Mistake 5. Not Collecting Email Addresses

In the old adage of advertising, there is a common saying; "your prospective will need to hear from you seven times before they buy from you."

Your subscribers are more likely to buy from you compared to a new visitor who finds their way to your site via Google. It makes perfect sense that you should be building rapport with your per-qualified subscribers from the your email marketing campigns.

Mistake 6. Not Publishing Fresh Content On Regular Basis

A decade ago, it was perfectly normal to create a website to display static information about your company and products. In the era of web 3.0, people expect you to deliver fresh and quality content. It all revolves around great content strategy that pulls your audience to your website over and over again.

This is especially crucial if you want to attract traffic from Google as they want business owners to update their website or blog with great content to show the world and more importantly, your customers.

Mistake 7. The Lazy Mindset

If you think having just a website will drive success to your business, then think again. Having the "If you build it, they will come" mindset simply will not work in the online world.

Understanding your target audience and getting listed in Google is a great start, not the end. You will need a long term plan and continuous marketing strategy that may involve using online tools such as social media, content marketing, paid campaigns, newsletter marketing and so forth.

Mistake 8. Not Using Social Media

Everyone has heard the buzz surrounding social media and what kind of influence it can bring to their brand. Realising the importance of social networks, business owners simply create an account on these networks and start selling their products and services blindly. This kind of aggressive marketing will surely backfire in social channels.

Then how do you connect with your prospects in social media? Presell your services and products by educating your prospects. Start interacting with them and gain feedback about your products. For example, you could post how-to videos on YouTube to educate your prospects about your latest product or service offering. Or you can start a Facebook business page where you can promote seasonal specials or free giveaways to increase your fan base.

Mistake 9. Failing to Analyse Traffic and Conversion

Getting traffic to your site is an important step, but making sure that traffic converts into leads is another hurdle altogether. Business owners need to make sure that the website need to nurture the incoming traffic with the relevant information and guide the prospects to make an action on the website such as sending an enquiry or buying products.

Even making small changes in the website copy can increase conversation rates. A subtle increase in the conversation rate can make a big difference in your annual turnover.

Mistake 10. Overlooking the True Value of Website Design

Buying cheap templates to create a website for your business is not going to cut it. Although it may seem good in the short term, the nightmare is just about to begin. The poor layout and structure of templates can cause you all sorts of headaches such as poor visibility in search engines, various revamps in case of expansion or even poor conversions.

It is always best to do some research before embarking on a website for your business. Your website is not just a website, it is a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy.

In Summary....

Are you making any of these deadly website sins with your business? Don't be too hard on yourself, we all started somewhere, and the learning curve of managing your business online can be pretty steep. Now that you have an awareness of these mistakes, you can take measures to avoid them. If you ever need help or not sure where to start, please don't hesitate to chat to us on 5538 3060.

Written by Enamul Hasan Ismail

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