During the past 10 years I have been helping people building their online business presence. It has been an extremely rewarding and valuable experience and I have come to a conclusion that the large majority of people I have helped don’t know what they could gain in having an online presence and, even worse, don’t have a clue of how they can accomplish it.
The web is today the most effective channel to build, promote and manage most of business activities, and if done correctly, it could multiply business revenues by several times and, in some cases, by and order of magnitude or more. The Internet is the “optimum selling channel” to create and expand businesses. Let’s look at its advantages: it’s cheap, it’s has audience (more than 3 billion customers worldwide), and if done right it has the potential to overrun even your most powerful adversary.
The Internet can give you the all these, so what’s the catch?… It is not an easy task! Most people building web sites don’t have the knowledge or experience to do it right. You have to be a full-time experienced digital marketeer to get good results.
There is no “one” recipe that can show how to build your web site correctly. There is however many things that you should avoid. Here are the 5 most common mistakes when building your business site:
1. Don’t build a static web site.
Never mind the fancy stuff, the flash look, the animations, etc, what is important here is your web site content! Each page on your site must target a specific subject and your site must evolve with new and exclusive content being added frequently. Tons of content and frequent updates are the key to improve your site visibility. More than 90% of business sites out there are static, often requiring work of a designer or programmer to be updated, the result: they rarely do. Don’t make this mistake. So bottom line, choose an easy site CMS (content management system) to build your site on.
2. Be sure to get your message right.
In marketing, when you create a campaign you have to create a clear and target message in order to sell your products efficiently. Same here. When structuring your business site you will have to think as a true marketer: study your adversaries, choose your target segment, choose the message you want to pass and only then build your site structure and content. And remember, you will not get it right at first, hence you will need a dynamic site as we said above.
3. Don’t forget to promote your site online.
This is definitely the mistake almost everybody makes. More than 90% of the sites online don’t get promoted at all. It’s like buying a business van and don’t hire the driver. Promoting and advertising a business site is in fact very hard and time-consuming effort. The mandatory word here is to get some expert in the area to do it for you. Yes! it is that hard. Optimizing your site content to get listed in Google, opening social accounts in Facebook, twitter, Google+, etc, promoting your site in niche forums, blogs and portals, buying ads, using social tools and widgets, newsletters, and so on… the list is very big! There are thousands of ways to promote your site, the difficult task is to choose the right ones. One thing is certain, if you don´t do this you will never get the van out of the parking lot.
4. Update your site content regularly.
The web has millions of web sites and, the ones that don’t get updated are dead in the water. Let’s face it, would you visit a business site twice if you knew that there is no new content or value? Static sites are classified very low in the Google rank and other search engines. Make your site dynamic, add new products or services, publish news, articles, customer comments, portfolio, events, and so on. Just don´t let your site die.
5. Communicate online
Communicating with your audience (aka Engaging) is very important no only to attract customers but also to improve the awareness of your business or brand. To communicate online efficiently you will need to use the right tools. Engaging your audience can be done via social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, to name a few, but it can also be done by improving your web site integration with existent CRM and marketing tools. There are hundreds of tools out there that can help you to send newsletters to your audience, broadcast your company news or a new product, create online coupons and so on. You could also integrate sales, billing and customer support through your web site. Your web site can be much more than a business brochure, investing in it will definitely give you the competitive advantage that only a few have.
So what do you think? Are you incurring in any of these mistakes right now?