Today’s post comes courtesy of SEO professional and business owner Gareth Mailer
Deciding to start a business is one thing, however marketing it and generating sales is something else entirely – due to the cost-effective nature of marketing, many small business owners decide to utilise the internet as their first port of call for generating sales, however where do you start and how do you make sure you develop a viable presence?
Forgetting that your customers read everything
One of the biggest mistakes most small business owners make when building a website is simply forgetting that impression is everything – typos, empty pages, incomplete sections, they all make a bad impression of your company. Prior to launching a website make sure it’s complete.
Not emphasizing your main conversion points
Figure out what it is you actually want to sell and when you first start up in business, be as specific and focused as possible, don’t try to sell every conceivable service or product, get niche.
Once you have an idea of what you want to sell, divert all attention to that product or service – make sure your visitors can get to the information or products they need as quickly as possible. More than anything, make sure the process of conversion i.e. filling in a contact form, is as simple and emphasised as possible.
Not conversion testing your website
You don’t know what your customers want, not really – no-one does. More to the point, how your customers interact with your brand offline is completely different to how they interact with it online. Conversion test your website using split test tools like Google Website Optimizer which will allow you to alternate different versions of page layouts between different users, and take a data-centric approach to conversion optimisation.
Not capturing data
Capturing data is vital – in the very early stages and unless you have a flourishing offline marketing campaign, it’s unlikely you will receive much in the way of traffic. You need to ensure that you maximise the potential of each and every visit. One of the best steps is simply to offer additional value – offer a free guide or trial of your service or product, and ensure that in order to qualify the user has to enter their contact details. From here, marketing to them using e-mail marketing software like mail chimp or Aweber.
Not paying attention to Search Engines
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing the visibility of a website in organic search (Google) – it’s one of the most cost-effective forms of online marketing. Remember, even if you have the most beautiful of website, it matters very little if no-one visits it – even if you have thousands of visits to your website, again it doesn’t matter if no-one converts.
Start looking into the more important SEO components including keyword research and link building – if you have a relatively small website then at the outset at least the vast majority of your time should be spent building links, or attracting links, into your website.
About the Author
Gareth Mailer is a small business owner and SEO professional. Looking for SEO Training in the UK? Visit Clickwork Media now for more information.