7 Deadly Internet Mistakes Most Business Owners Make

By October 12, 2014Business, Marketing

Wouldn’t it be great to know that we are doing everything right to market our business online?

Well, in a parallel universe this could possibly be true, but in this world, you and I know that there’s ALWAYS room for improvement.  So let’s look at what 7 of the most common mistakes business are making and what can be done to fix them.

Deadly Mistake #1 – Your Call To Action Stinks…

Most business owners just forget this piece completely, so if you even have a call to action on your website, you’re a step ahead of the competition.

But what is a call to action exactly?

Simple…

A call to action is simply a statement somewhere on your website telling the visitor what to do.  First you’re going to need to decide exactly what action you want a visitor to take. Do you want them to purchase from you right then, or should they contact you for a quote first?

Put this on your website somewhere. Here are some examples for getting visitors to fill out a quote form.

“Just fill out your information below to receive a comprehensive, no-strings-attached, completely free quote from one of our representatives.”

“Fill out the form to receive a free quote from our sales team. Your request will be processed within 24 hours and you will receive a call between the hours you specified in the form.”

Tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do. The more detail, the better.

Bonus Tip: Focus on the benefits your visitor will have if they purchase your product or service. What will change in the way they live their life? Will their coffee be better in the morning? Will they save more money on taxes? How will their life be better because you showed up?

Deadly Mistake #2 – Not Gathering Email Addresses

I recently had a conversation with a business owner who we’ll call John. John wasn’t anything special… he had an average business with an average income. He worked about 60 hours a week and spent the weekend at home with his family.

His company was a service business and he provided a good service that helped his clients. He was good at what he did.  There was a problem though… he wasn’t getting enough clients. This is something most business owners can relate to. At times it’s hard to bring customers or clients through the door.

Much of John’s business came from his website. He did well getting his website into the search engines, but wasn’t doing so well with converting visitors into clients.

It wasn’t until he started collecting email addresses through a simple form on his website that he really saw an increase in clientele. Nowadays John’s practice is packed. His schedule is full and he’s been able to double the price he was charging. He was also able to cut back to about 30 hours a week, instead of 60.

By running a simple newsletter sharing valuable information with your customers, you’re going to keep buyers coming back and bringing new buyers through your doors.

Deadly Mistake #3 – Failing To Optimize For Search Engines

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the closest things to friends your website will ever have. So you have to make sure they play extra nicely together.

By following a few simple rules, you can have your website ranking well in the search results for popular terms in your local area.

Let’s say you wanted to rank well for the search term, “Dallas plumber”. You’d want to make sure that you have that term on your main web page at least three times. The best places to put search terms are…

  • The title tag
  • The headline
  • The first and last line of content
  • The sidebar
  • And in image ALT tags

Some of these may sound like Greek to you, so talk with your web developer about them and make sure that your website is up to date with terms you’d like to rank for.

Deadly Mistake #4 – Failure To Track Statistics

Yet another factor that is critical to any businesses online (or offline for that matter) success is tracking. You really need to keep track of where your leads and traffic come from so you can replicate and scale any success you have.

Google Analytics is a free tracking suite that will give you each and every statistic you could possibly need for tracking visitors on your website. By watching closely what people do on your website, you’ll be able to craft an experience that gets visitors to act in exactly the manner you’d like them to.

Going back to Mistake #1, if you want somebody to fill out a contact form, you need to find a way to get them to your contact page. Watch how people interact with your website, then use that as a cue for where to add links to the pages you want visitors to visit the most.

Another stat you need to watch is where people are coming from. Do most of your visitors come from a link the newspaper printed about your business in their online edition? If so, keep trying to get published. If most of your traffic comes from searches, do some optimization and get higher rankings for more terms.

Deadly Mistake #5 – Not Using Longtail Keywords

Longtail keywords are a god-send to anybody who uses search engines for traffic. This goes for both paid traffic (See: PPC) and organic traffic. A longtail keyword is a key term that’s more than three words long.

Examples would be…

  • Dallas plumbing specialists
  • Family doctor in Chicago
  • Remodeling companies near Houston

Since you’re probably a localized business, focus on keywords that use your city name. This way you’re guaranteed to find people who are in your area looking for your services. Use this tool to search for keywords that have a good number of searches every month – https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

Deadly Mistake #6 – Not Focusing On Benefits

If you’re a software company, you know that features are important to buyers. That arena is the only one where that’s important though. People generally don’t want to know the features of your product. New widgets don’t matter to a buyer unless it has a dramatic impact on the product’s performance.

If your product is 50% stronger than the leading option, focus on how much longer your product will last instead of the space age material it’s made of. Tell readers just how your product will help their life and you’ll see an instant increase in sales.

Let’s take some features and turn them into benefits.

  • Feature: Your software uses SQL databases to store a users information.
    Benefit: All information is encrypted and stored securely where hackers can never touch it – keeping your identity safe.
  • Feature: The latest waterproof cameras can submerge to 12 meters
    Benefit: Any amateur underwater photographer can now take stunning pictures or video’s underwater like the pro’s. Now you’ll be able to see your images or video’s exquisite detail just like it was right in front of you.
  • Feature: Now included with a one-touch speed dial marker.
    Benefit: Never enter another number into speed dial again – simply hit the * key after a phone call, and the number will automatically be entered into your speed dial.

You can see just how powerful this will be for selling people on your products.

Deadly Mistake #7 – Not Marketing Using Emotions

People buy on emotion and justify using logic. No matter the product or group you’re selling to this is true. Even if you’re marketing to businesses you need to use emotion to sell. If, for example, you were selling to the accounting portion of fortune 500 companies, you should focus on what goes through the buyer’s mind.

Most of those buyers have bosses they must go through before the sale is made. He’d likely need to be reassured that this decision would be a good one for his career in order to buy.

You’re going to need to talk with potential buyers in order to find out what sort of emotions they go through when making a purchase. Most of the time they won’t give you an answer straight-away, so you’ll have to infer from his statements just what’s going on in his mind.

Once you get this right though, you may never have to write another ad again…

Using emotional selling is by-far the most important thing you can do for your advertising. This goes for both online and offline sales. If you are making 1 or more of these mistakes in your business, then it’s time to switch it up and get things moving in the right direction.

Sometimes it’s the small things in business that make the biggest difference to not only our customers experience, but also to your bottom line profits and ROI (return on investment).