Your website isn’t a business card and it’s not a brochure. It’s actually a fully capable resource to generate business, keep customers, and build your reputation. The reasons it’s not doing what you want it to is because you have not put in the necessary time and effort, which is to say, you’re short-changing anyone who lands on your site.
In the worlds of website design and SEO, we use the acronym UX often–it stands for “user experience”–and, if visitors aren’t given a good experience, they’re highly likely to click away and never return. Your actual site, what graphics and links are on it, have less to do with user experience then you might think. Of course, if a site looks horrible–even if it has great content–it’s unlikely to retain visitors or convince them to return.
More often than not, that isn’t the case. A person’s first impression of your business comes from your website the majority of times. Therefore, if visitors aren’t impressed when they arrive for the first time, you’re essentially losing business.
Where Business Owners Fail Their Websites
We all know it takes a lot to start and run a business. From the ground up, to day-to-day operation, to realizing a steady revenue stream, means having to wear many hats. Unfortunately, those hats don’t come fully customized to fit. What’s more, there’s no way to redefine those rolls; so, all that is left is to play around with the margins.
Running a small business can be perilous. You have to become a jack-of-all-trades, sufficiently versed in sales, marketing, product development, customer service, database management, HR – and everything else – to keep your business growing. That’s why it’s so important to focus your attention on what matters… —Forbes
You know your business needs an online presence, but that’s not your strong suit. The answer for most small business owners is to achieve that good enough level and put their resources into areas where they feel most effective. However, in an age where technology reigns supreme and consumers are constantly connected to media, that’s simply unrealistic. What matters most is what matters most to your customers. That being said, you have to earn said customers first. If you’re not putting the time and effort into your website, you’re not doing your part to earn more business.
How You are Sabotaging Your Own Marketing
Like it or not, the world isn’t going to conform around your business philosophy. The customers you have yet to earn are out there, but they are finding your competitors, not you. The reason is because you are failing your website, which means you’re ultimately failing your business. These are the most common mistakes small business owners make in their digital channel:
- You’ve left your site static too long. If you’re not adding substantive value to your online property on a regular basis, you’re not giving search engines any reason to return to crawl it.
- You’ve neglected to give visitors a way to interact. Blogging and social sharing are an absolute must. They create a two-way street for you to connect and interact. Without these, you’re doing your business a disservice.
- You’ve left a social sharing void. Speaking of social sharing, if your site doesn’t have those buttons, it’s missing an essential element to make it work for your business.
- You’re not giving anything away. That is to say, the promotions and discounts you might otherwise be offering offline aren’t finding their way to your site.
- You’re not interacting with visitors. If someone leaves a comment, be it a compliment, criticism, or complaint, it’s in the best interest of your business to acknowledge and respond.
The bottom line is, your business depends on its customers. If you’re not readily available, they will simply go elsewhere. Make yourself relevant and use your website to grow your business.