Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Taking Your Business Online
An online presence or a lack of one can have a direct effect on the image of any business. It is no surprise that customers tend to avoid a business with a bad online presence. We have come up with a list of top mistakes businesses make online, and how they can be avoided.
# Mistake 1: Not having a website
A website is no longer a luxury but a major necessity for any serious-minded business. Studies have shown that customers would visit a company’s website before making any purchase from them. Thankfully, having a good website does not equate breaking the bank; a good website in a Nigeria for instance cost less than N 45,000.
In addition to having a website, it also imperative to have a one that is mobile compatible. More customers now use their smartphones to search the web than ever before, it is therefore important that your company website looks good on any screen size. Also consider making your website easy to navigate and unambiguous. A good website should have a clear description of company products/offerings.
# Mistake 2: Having a poor search engine visibility
Having a website is very important to any business looking to grow and expand their market, but it doesn’t stop there. The next essential step is ensuring that you can easily be found by your customers and even people who are simply searching for a service you offer. Google has made available various online tools that will help you put your business on top of every search result relating to your product/service. If you’re having a hard time doing it on your own, you can always reach out to digital marketing firms that help with such.
# Mistake 3: Having a weak presence on social media
Social media is going to be around for a long time. Without a doubt, it is one of the easiest ways to get new customers. Apart from the fact that social media affords a very cheap means of advertising compared to print media, radio or television, a large percentage of potential customers are already on social media and they are more likely to patronize a business already profiled there than one who is not. Businesses therefore need to budget a reasonable amount of time and resources to effectively optimize the potential of social media. Find out which social media channel(s) best work(s) for your business. Not every channel appeals to your target customers, hence, you need to find out which one they use the most and make your business more visible there. Also, make frequent but not overly excessive postings, say 3 to 4 times a week, just enough to engage your customers.
# Mistake 4: Not having proper or updated details online
Having a business online means you want customers and prospects to access your business easily and quickly. To achieve this, you must have all the necessary details you think customers or prospects will on your website and social media platforms (i.e. email address, phone number, office address). Be sure to update all details if they change over time, that way you don’t lose existing customers and you’re surely leading potential customers the right way.
# Mistake 5: Not monitoring feedback online
Receiving feedbacks from customers and prospects indicate that they actually relate with your product or service and want you to give them improvements. Monitoring these feedbacks not only establishes a good customer relationship but also shows that you care about your customers and you are a dependable business. For every online activity that engages customers and prospects, be sure to always check feedback and respond effectively, giving details that will help your customer or prospect. Also, remember that negative feedback is better than no feedback at all; so respond to every critique professionally and objectively in the best time possible.
# Mistake 6: Engaging in poor online practices
Online practices like discrediting another brand, posting offensive messages, insulting a dissatisfied customer (or any customer at all) does more harm to a business than good. Perception is key and customers tend to avoid companies they perceive to have a bad reputation. It is therefore important to ensure your business does not engage in any practice that could leave a lasting damage to your reputation.
As an investor, it is important to monitor your business’ activities (or lack of) online. The effect of a mismanaged online presence is a loss of customers and/or profit, which highly affects the return on your investment in that business.