As a small business owner you juggle a lot, from managing day-to-day operations and overseeing employees to everything in between. So it’s not surprising that when it comes to digital marketing for your small business, you might encounter a few missteps along the way. How to know which digital marketing mistakes to avoid? Read on for some of the biggest digital marketing mistakes — and tips to make sure you don’t make them yourself.
1. Not Having a Company Website
Not having a website is perhaps the most important digital marketing mistake small businesses should avoid. That’s because it’s essential to engage both current and prospective customers, and a website is a key way to do that. A website can offer vital information about your business (address, phone number, email) and it also helps reassure your consumers that your business is legitimate.
With 66% of small business owners citing finding new customers as a top concern, having an online presence is important to help attract new customers. Research shows that “nearly two-thirds of small businesses rely on websites to connect with customers.” However, less than 64% of small businesses have a website.
In today’s digital world, more and more people are shopping online and doing research about businesses online. For retail businesses, an online presence is crucial to building revenue and helping businesses meet their bottom line. A 2022 poll found 80% of U.S. consumers shop online. In 2022, e-commerce sales in the U.S. are expected to top $1 trillion.
Pro tip: Don’t rely on your social media page to be your company website.
2. Not Investing Enough in Your Website
The quality, security and functionality of a website matters. While this requires an upfront cost, much like the other initial costs you incurred when starting your business, the return on investment is worth it in order to grow revenue.
3. Forgetting About the User Experience
More than one quarter (28%) of small businesses spend less than $500 on a website, according to Clutch.co. Investing time and money into your website’s user experience can help build your business’ online credibility. Research from Blue Corona found:
- 48% of people cited a website’s design as the No. 1 factor in deciding the credibility of a business.
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.
4. Not Putting Security Measures in Place
Investing in cybersecurity for your website is also critical. The last thing you want is to have your website hacked — putting your business and your customers at risk. Overlooking site security is one of the biggest small business website mistakes made by business owners, and this common mistake can be costly. Nearly half of 1,000 business surveyed said they suffered a financial loss due to hacking, according to research by GoDaddy.
5. Ignoring Functionality
Once your consumer finds your website, it’s important that your website functions properly. According to Blue Corona, “48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring.” Additionally, in the digital world it’s critical that your website loads quickly. You have a small amount of time to grab your audience’s attention.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to update your website regularly.
6. Opting for a Free Email Provider Address
Cutting costs wherever possible is part of being a small business owner, but some cuts can cost you in bigger ways like attracting new customers and growing revenue. A customized, branded email address can help boost credibility rather than using a free domain like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. Avoid the marketing mistake of looking like an amateur by using a free service.
Pro tip: Create a customized email address that will be easy to identify and associate with your business.
7. Not Engaging Your Customers
Creating and maintaining a client database allows you to build insight into your current customers and gives you the opportunity to collect email addresses and phone numbers. Keeping in contact with your clients and prospects via email marketing gives you the opportunity to tell them what’s new or exciting with your business. Or maybe you have special offers or discounts you want to tell your consumers about.
Pro tip: An email newsletter can help engage both your current customers and prospects.
Advancing Your Business
Owning your own business is an adventure. One that’s full of learning best practices. Be sure your business has the right coverages. Your local Farm Bureau agent can help ensure you are protected for the unexpected — giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on growing and running your business.