The internet is responsible for containing an astonishing amount of data and information.
More than this, though, the internet presents a means to draw targeted attention to any website, idea, group, company, cause, and/or professional which is a part of this information pool.
Prior to the internet’s creation and rise, pre-selected marketing to individuals who were known to be interested in a particular idea, product, or service was a pipe dream—something that even the most efficient and successful of marketing professionals couldn’t even imagine.
But today, the idea of pre-targeting potential customers is one which is very real, and can be integrated based upon user searches, website visits, demographic information, geographic location, and a number of other, helpful factors.
Still, though, those who can benefit from these marketing and promotional opportunities the most—small business owners—are often hesitant to do so.
The reasons behind this hesitation are plentiful in quantity and wide-ranging in nature, but are universally damaging; making use of online marketing can lead to an explosion in business and transactions, while neglecting it altogether can cause one’s company to go under.
Needless to say, those who try and explain the benefits of online marketing and the internet are probably frustrated with the resistance of many business owners.
It really is in every small business owner’s best interest not to ignore the internet, but to utilize it. This doesn’t have to take the form of complex marketing and advertising campaigns (although these can also help), as even a simple and easy-to-design website can increase business impressively—especially in coordination with social media.
If you fall into this category of those small business owners who currently have what appears to be zero interest in making use of the internet to improve the sales and overall financial outlook of their company, then you need to pay attention.
Unfortunately, a lot of small business owners try to do it all themselves, and this can end up costing them a lot more with various mistakes that people commonly make.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes business owners make when creating their own website and online presence.
Mistake 1: Trying To Do It All Themselves
Having a website that effectively promotes your business online is crucial for your success, but a lot of people make the mistake of trying to do it all themselves.
This might be fine if you’ve already got a website that is producing great results for you, and you just need to tweak a few things here and there.
But if you want a professional website built for your business that is actually designed to attract online visitors, and then convert those visitors into customers, then you need to hire a professional.
There’s no point wasting your time on something that might not even do what it’s supposed to do. Hire a professional, and get the job done right.
First, digital marketing and website development were much more expensive years ago, probably when owners first inquired about integrating their business online. This one isn’t a misplaced fear or a bad dream—web development really did cost quite a bit more in the past. If this is one of the main reasons why you haven’t embraced the Internet for your business then you need to understand that web development and online marketing aren’t nearly as expensive as they once were.
The other idea that should be noted is that most business will see an increase in customers and transactions as a result of their online marketing, which means having a website built for your business isn’t really a cost for your business, it’s an investment in your business.
Having a website that effectively markets your products and services to interested people online, can dramatically increase the amount of customers you have coming into your business.
Your website is like a sales person who is working around the clock to promote your business, and it’s always working to get you more leads and customers.
That initial investment into a professional website, could end up bringing you customers for many years to come.
Mistake 2: Not Capturing Leads Online
Most business owners know they need a website to effectively promote their business, but a lot of them make one crucial mistake with their website; they don’t have any way to capture leads.
Just about every business can benefit massively by capturing leads through their website. If you’re a service business, then capturing leads online will help you convert more visitors into clients.
The same can be said for product business, where leads can take the form of newsletter subscribers who are interested in a range of products you offer.
There is a misconception that websites are for people who want to buy what you have to offer, but there are many functions to a website, and capturing leads for your business is one of the most important functions you need to have.
For people who aren’t tech savvy, the thought of having a lead capture form on their website can be pretty daunting.
The thing is, you don’t need to know how it all works. You don’t need to know all the technical details of a website in order for the website to promote your business online.
All you need is someone who understands all aspects of the Internet, and can bring you customers through your website.
As the business owner, you should be focused on running the business, while you leave the “tech” and “web” stuff to a professional.
Mistake 3: Not Having A Mobile Responsive Website
Another major mistake business owners make with their website is they don’t make their websites mobile responsive.
A lot of people create a website on their computer and everything looks great, but they forget one crucial fact; more and more people are viewing websites on their mobile devices.
So it’s not enough to see and test what your website looks like on your computer, it’s essential to also test your website for mobile devices as well.
That means having a clean, easy-to-navigate layout that is simple for people to use on their phones. A lot of non-responsive websites look clunky and cluttered on a phone.
What you need to do is to make sure your website looks great on a phone, especially for people who are searching for you on the go.
Mistake 4: Putting Too Much Stuff On The Website
One of the most common mistakes small business owners make when creating their own website is they just put too much stuff on it.
There is always this temptation to use as many images and photos as possible, use as many different colors as possible, and add as much information as possible.
This is not what you want to be doing. The goal of your website is to ultimately get visitors to call you or visit you, so the content and the images on your site should be focused towards that.
Oftentimes websites with too much going on are just distracting and confusing for visitors. It makes it too hard to find the relevant information they are looking for, and ultimately it turns them away from your business.
Mistake 5: Not Having A Clear Layout
Another key mistake a lot of small business owners make when it comes to creating a website for their business is they don’t have a clear layout for their content.
They might have put all their content on a couple of pages, but it’s often unorganized and confusing to follow.
What you want to do is have a clear idea of the information you want to have on your website, and also the questions your visitors will have when they land on your website.
So imagine someone is searching for what you have to offer, and they land on your website. They probably have a few different questions they have about your business, and the easier it is for them to find that information, the more likely they are to contact you.
Mistake 6: Not Having Contact Details In Prominent Places
Some small business owners make a critical mistake when it comes to developing their own website, and that’s not having their contact details in a prominent position.
How many times have you visited a website, looking for a business’ contact details, but you just can’t find it. There might be a form somewhere, but for the life of you, you can’t find a number to call to get a quick answer.
This is the last thing you want to do for your website visitors as well. You want to have all your contact details in a prominent position at the top of your website.
Have your phone number, email, and address there so as soon as people land on your site, they can see your details straight away.
Mistake 7: Not Having Enough Details Online
Another common mistake small business owners make with their websites is not giving enough details about their products or services.
You might have a couple of images there, and a short description of what you’re offering, but your visitors are looking for as much detail as possible before they make a buying decision.
So try to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes; what details do they need to have that will allow them to buy from your business?
Maybe they need specific information about your offer, or maybe they need specific shipping details, or it might even be that they want to see some user reviews.
The more details you can provide about your products and services, the easier it will be for your visitors to trust your business, and ultimately buy from you.
Mistake 8: Using Flash On Their Website
Some small business owners, when they are creating their own website, make the critical mistake of using flash.
They want their website to have these cool animation and they want it to stand out from the stock standard sites we tend to see everywhere.
That’s fair enough as well, you should create a great website that represents your business, rather than trying to imitate other websites.
But the problem with using flash is that it’s not supported on most mobile devices. So the cool animations and features your website has on your computer, don’t actually show up at all on a mobile phone.
And with more and more people searching for websites while using their phone, you need to make sure your website looks great on your phone as well!
Mistake 9: Focusing Too Much On SEO
Everybody wants their website to rank high on search engines like Google, but a major mistake people make is they focus too much on search engine optimization.
You should definitely try to target specific keywords for your website, but where people go wrong is they focus too much on it, so they end up using the same keywords over and over and over again.
Not only does this become awkward for the visitors to read, it also raises alarm bells for search engines that tells them that your website is keyword stuffing.
There needs to be a balance between writing great content for your visitors, and sprinkling specific keywords for the search engines to pick up on. Too many keywords and you might find your website being penalized instead of rewarded.
Mistake 10: Spending Far Too Much Time On It
Another common mistake small business owners make when creating their own website is they end up spending far too much time on it.
Building your website should not become your primary focus when it comes to running your business. Some websites that only take 1 or 2 weeks to create, might end up taking you months if your focus is constantly shifted.
The reason why it takes so long is because you’re busy running your business. There are day-to-day things you need to take care of, so your website ends up not being a priority.
What you might want to do is just hire a professional to take care of your website for you, while you take of the day-to-day operations of your business.
So as you can see there are quite a few reasons why some small business owners are still reluctant to have a professional website built for their business, but in most cases investing in an effective website is going to bring in more customers, more traffic, and more business than if you continue to ignore the Internet.
Your website and any form of internet marketing isn’t going to replace anything you’re currently doing, and it’s not going to significantly add to the amount of work you’re doing now.
Once you have a website setup, it will be like your own sales person, working around the clock to promote your business.
And you will be able to reap the benefits for many years to come.
So if you’re interested in getting a professional, effective website built for your business, then contact us today.
Founder/CEO and defender of all things entrepreneurial