5 Worst Mistakes Small Businesses Make Online

1. Cryptic Websites

First, some businesses have a website that is hard to read or navigate. Your company’s website is the first impression that your potential clients will have, and if it’s a negative impression, it is very difficult to change their minds. If a person comes to your site and feels intimidated or unimpressed, chances are high that he or she will simply click the back button and go to another page from the search. Make sure that the content on your site immediately pulls in the reader and engages them in your brand. Don’t fill the page with long descriptions or filler text; concise information is more appealing so the reader can skim through quickly.

2. Foggy Messages

Another big mistake that small businesses make is not having a clear brand message on the website. Identify the goal of your company, whether it’s a service, product, or request, and make sure every aspect of the site leads the customer back to that goal. As you update the site and make changes to the content, continue to ask yourself whether you are clearly stating what the company offers.

3. Inconvenient Checkout Process on Websites

Checkout Process on Websites

Image via Flickr by Keith Williamson

Mistake #3 is requiring too many steps to make a purchase. If you require every customer to create an account, many of these individuals might choose to shop elsewhere. Allow a guest checkout option, and don’t require too many personal details. If you only need name and address, don’t ask for a birthdate. Try to accept as many payment options as possible.

Not Promoting the Business

Another way that many businesses unintentionally cut down on their sales is by not promoting the company. You might think that a nice website featuring a great product is enough to get customers. That may bring in some business, but you have to make sure your clients know who you are and where to find you. Sometimes it’s difficult to manage your own online reputation, so check out expert options, such as the latest news about Reputation.com. This company, and other online reputation managers, use feedback from real users and provide you with the latest buzz around your site.

Neglecting the Company Blog

The final mistake to avoid is to keep the content on your site fresh and interesting. You might have a company blog, but if no one ever updates it, it’s often worse than having no blog. When a customer sees an outdated and boring blog, it draws an impression that your company is disappearing in the commerce world. Stand out from others by posting often, sharing posts via other social media outlets, and appealing to a broader audience with unique facts and tips.

With a few simple tweaks to your company’s strategy, you can reap the rewards by avoiding these common pitfalls.

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