Consumers shopping habits are changing. People are choosing to make purchases online more than ever before. However just having an online presence is not enough to guarantee sales. There are literally tens of thousands of small business websites out there that are making so many mistakes when it comes to the marketing of their small business website. These websites are all struggling to be heard within the noise of the internet, and those that continue shouting aimlessly into the darkness will only be contributing to that noise.

Whats wrong with your website?

What’s wrong with my website design?

A stunning website design is important, but it’s not all about looking pretty. The most important part of a great design is great user functionality and converting those users into sales. Users arrive at your site to accomplish a goal and its important that you make it really easy for them to complete their goal in as fewer steps as possible. If you want some handy tips about how to improve on the design of your website then you should read our previous post how to improve your website clickthrough rate.

What’s wrong with my website content?

Thanks to Google, there is now a mass of content being churned out by hundreds of thousands of websites on a daily basis. All these websites have the same goals, to increase their authority on a given subject in order to improve their position within the search engines results pages. Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure that the information your website conveys is appropriate, on-topic, well written and syndicated in the correct way. Although it may seem like easy “filler content”, you shouldn’t spill out too many sales pitches from your company blog. Typically a user arriving at your blog will be there for some helpful information to answer a query that they have. So provide some helpful tips but be mindful of the way you write the content. Keep the topics conversational, write in the first person and avoid confusing industry jargon. We previously published a post a little while back that offers ideas on how to create content that converts. This should help you to come up with a few ideas to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

What’s wrong with my mobile website?

Having a mobile version of your website is becoming ever important moving into 2013. Mobile phone use is exploding across the globe and with approximately 50% of mobile phone purchases now being a smartphone, the implications for businesses that lack a mobile version of their website could be costly. Apart from the obvious facts that mobile versions load quicker and are much more user friendly for smaller screens, if you operate a mobile version of your website and your closest competitors don’t, then the chances are your website will be favoured above theirs for mobile searches on Google. If you want to learn more information about how people use their mobile devices when making an online purchase then read our previous post on mobile metrics.

What’s wrong with my social strategy?

Many websites fail to acknowledge social media as part of their marketing strategy. The harsh reality is though, that social media has become unavoidable for anyone who wishes to conduct almost any form of business over the internet today. Social media is not the saviour of small business and those businesses that are basing their marketing efforts solely on twitter links or bookmarking sites may be putting all their eggs in one basket, but its definately worth nodding your head towards some of the larger networks. You should sign up to social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ at the very least, claim your company or brand name as your business pages username and create a general presence.

A common mistake most small businesses make is to use keywords for their Facebook page username. Your Facebook username will be displayed in the URL like this: https://www.facebook.com/silkstream This is called a vanity URL which by definition should include your business brand name. This makes it easy to link to, but more importantly it makes it very easy for your customers to remember too, unlike https://www.facebook.com/bestwebagencyinessex (although whilst its saying what we’d love to hear) its not screaming brand awareness, its difficult for people to find us within Facebook and those keywords do very little; if anything when it comes to ranking your website.

One other thing that I cannot stress enough is don’t be tempted to buy followers. These services exist only to bump up the numbers to your account, they will not engage in your content and in many cases the profiles used are fake. Concentrate on attracting real people. The people that subscribe to your social media channels off their own back are your online community, they are following you for a reason and you should look after them wisely by offering them exclusivity. Competitions are a great way to boost numbers within your social channels by encouraging engagement, this will increase your followers far more naturally. You should then use your growing number of real followers to syndicate your content because these are the people that genuinely have an interest in what you are saying. We recently published a great guest post that discusses several ways social media can ruin your marketing strategy if you wish to learn more about this topic you should take the time to read it.

These are just a few suggestions that can help you to drive the right traffic towards the website. By reading and avoiding this list of common mistakes that people make with their website, you can learn how to stand head and shoulders above your competition and give your website a voice that is worth hearing.

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Hayley

Search Analyst at Silkstream
SEO, blogger and Google geek. Committed to helping small business thrive during economic austerity.
  • Prabhat

    thanks hayley for commenting on my blog.
    \nyou have a nice blog.
    \ntalking about the article, yes design is the first thing which a reader notices when he/she visits a blog, so design of site is an important thing. and yes as more and more smartphones are being sold everyday, we must make our website or blog mobile friendly. thanks for this article

  • Thank you Prabhat. Yes the design of the mobile version of a website is one of the most important things to consider now that smartphones and tablets are becoming such a big part of peoples daily lives.

  • David Rawn

    You, my pal, ROCK! What a perfect web site.

  • Esha

    I totally agree with you.
    \n
    \nContent is the King first and then the design which can bring lot of visitors towards your website.
    \n
    \nSo when you start with a website these are the two things which has to be taken care off.
    \n
    \nThanks for sharing this useful info :)
    \n
    \nEsha

  • Vipin

    I am also a newbie in blogging. I have just started my blog and want to get some link juice. I have been following your blog for the last 2 months. I am not generating any revenue yet. Can you tell me some ways i can increase my traffic and backlinks. Nice post btw…

  • Vipin the second most important factor to blogging, after producing great content, is syndication. You should build up a list of QUALITY bookmarking websites such as Bizsugar.com, Chime.In and Bloggers.com. Keep visiting these sites regularly, not only to promote your own work but to engage in other peoples writing too. You’d be surprised how many return the favour! Good luck with your blog!