Seven reasons why small businesses fail to get the results they want from their online marketing.
By Mark Nagurski
Many small businesses fail to get the most from their online presence. The solutions are easy enough to adopt, but first we need to look at the reasons.
Oh, and before we get started, this article is for every business owner - not just those that sell online. It’s for professional service firms, retailers, travel and tourism businesses, non-profits and everyone else.
Reason One: Tick Box Marketing - Also known as the ‘build it and they will come’ strategy, many businesses feel that having a website is enough. It isn’t. You need to devote time, energy and resources into promoting your website both online and off.
Reason Two: A Website for You - Your website isn’t for you, it’s for your prospective customers. Your customers want simple information that helps them make more informed decisions. They want to be able to find your contact details easily. They want to be able to navigate your site intuitively. If you’re not sure that your website is up to scratch then you need to ask.
Of course, your site should be attractive but fancy graphics do little to drive business. Ask yourself, ‘what will my customers want to know before making a buying decision’?
Reason Three: No Content - A well developed website gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and attract visitors in search of solutions. Good websites deliver informative or entertaining content that engages visitors. What content could you add that will show that you know your onions? Think written content, audio and even video. And make sure you keep the content fresh. When was the last time you updated your website?
Reason Four: Bringing Offline Ideas Online - Advertising doesn’t work the same way online as it does offline. People don’t read text the same online as they do in a newspaper or magazine. People don’t find information in the same way online. Do your homework, start by identifying businesses in your industry that are successful online - copy them.
Reason Five: You’re Not Active - Even if you pay no attention to the Internet that doesn’t mean that your prospective customers don’t. Take travel for example. Whether you like it or not, if you’re in the travel industry people are rating and reviewing your offering right now. What forums, websites or social media are people using to discuss you or your industry? What tools are they using to find businesses like yours? You need to know what’s going on online, and for that you need to get active.
Reason Six: You Don’t Know the Basics - If you were born before 1980 you’ll be excused for not knowing how Google ranks websites, what Adwords is or why social networking is important. But if you don’t, now’s the time to learn. Attend a course. Hire a consultant for an hour to explain the basics. Spend time in online business forums.
Reason Seven: You’re Not Doing Anything - If you don’t have an online presence, now is the time to get started. More people are using the Internet to find services and research businesses but getting started is less costly than ever before. If online searchers can’t find you - even if they only account for ten percent of your likely customers - then you won’t get that business.
Mark Nagurski is a small business marketer and blogger. His company, Really Practical Marketing advises small businesses and helps them put written content to use in their businesses. If you found this article useful you can access daily marketing tips at >> www.reallypractical.com