Five Things Businesses Do Wrong with their Online Marketing

And, I need to add, are in denial about.

First, Speaking to Your Customer.

Most business say they know who their customer is, I find too many don’t. Many think their customer is exactly like they are or want the same things they want. The message they deliver on their website isn’t aligned with what their customers want.

Really think about the product you deliver and have a crystal clear idea who your audience is. If you are targeting business owners, don’t get hung up on technical details. Tell them how they can save money with your product, or you product will just plain make them money.

Give them stats and testimonials. Don’t tell them how this new plug in will optimize the load speed of the website; unless, of course, you tell them Google favors load speed and will push their ranking up in search if their site is faster.

By the way, you will probably need to still explain that the higher the rating will equate to more people seeing their website.

Bottom line, know your customer well and give them stuff they care about.

Second, Not Giving a Emailing List the Priority It Needs.

Over and over I find a mailing list is the best way to connect with customers. The most profitable customers are the return customers. You won’t need to spend as much to bring them back and they are the most likely to bring in other customers via ‘word of mouth’.

For as effective an email list is, the small price you’ll pay to keep one will be very insignificant comparing it to the return it will bring. Many services offer a low monthly email fee, around $15 per / month, for a basic email list management tool. Get Response is one of those service.

For a simple $15 per / month you get an email service which will not only house and send emails, you can schedule and automated email system and also parse the list into groups to more carefully target your message.

If the business offers a large diverse bunch of products, not everyone will be interested in everything. Parsing the list into certain sections and then pairing the offering to the people who only want to hear about those products their interested in, will be most profitable.

Third, the Website Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect Before Launch.

Too many business would rather wait for months with nothing rather than getting something up quick and build on it as it goes along. Think about the website as a cash register. The longer you delay that drawer from opening up, the longer you can’t take in any money.

Get something up and add features and improve it everyday. Too many businesses worry about the professional look of a website that doesn’t look perfect. Most people are more worried about finding at least a little information about the company rather than looking at a ‘website coming soon’ message.

As a side note, don’t leave empty links on a site. If the page is not done, don’t put it up and don’t link to it. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking forward to clicking a link and finding something useful, just to see a ‘coming soon’ page.

Get some information up there, a basic contact page, and let it go.

Fourth, Don’t Make Social Media a Final Destination.

A business needs to own it’s final destination for it’s customers. Social media sites should be a feeder of traffic to businesses home base, the website or blog. Social media sites are continually changing the rules and their algorithms. They control everything. A business needs to get their customers to a place they own.

I’ve seen businesses have their business social media accounts completely shut down. Talk about a revenue loss. A business needs to have several different traffic feeders to their home website. If one source gets shut down, the others can get ramped-up to cover part of the loss until the problem gets solved.

The traffic from a social media account can be so incredible, it can be misleading. A business needs to make sure they own their home base.

Fifth, Flashy Doesn’t Always Equate to More Customers.

Most of the time, except if your selling websites, flashy graphics and the ultimate cool looking websites can actually detract from your sales message. A clean looking website with a solid message will be more effective than a flashy website that is hard to navigate or confusing.

A website needs to get thought out like writing a book. Get the the core message down, then add features which enhance that message. If it doesn’t enhance the companies message, it probably doesn’t need to be there.

There are some exceptions. If the business is selling websites, showcasing what they can do with their own site can enhance sales. Maybe some software companies can benefit from an impressive website, other than that, steer clear of too much flash.

Now, there are plenty more things to concentrate on, but this will be a good start to setting up a great online presence for any small to medium size business.