Post about "business"

Small Business Websites – Why A Small Business Website Does Not Produce Results

When a small business decides to take their business online there are usually several mistakes that they do. This is partially due to lack of experience and often lack of knowledge. There seems to be a trend that small businesses think of their website as an online business card instead of a marketing tool. That is where the majority of them go wrong. So let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes done when a small business takes their business online.1. Order of linksSo many times you visit a small business website and they proudly flag the “about us” link as their first link. This is called the pride link because they often think that telling people about the company is the most important thing. The links should be in order of importance. Not in the order of the business owners EGO! If you use a website designer and he does consult you on the order of links, chances are you should be using someone else or at least make sure you educate yourself about online marketing because your website designer sure hasn’t!2. No focusMost small business websites lack focus. When you enter you are not sure where to go next which makes it hard for the user to understand exactly what he is supposed to do. The website should flow and the user should be able to make sense of the site within a few seconds of opening it up.3. No sale / No lead setupMany small businesses do not use their website to increase sales directly or capture leads. It is nothing more than an online brochure or business card. Sometimes the information is more confusing than it is helpful. If you competitors site is easier to navigate and captures either the sale or lead, you just lost a client. A small business websites needs to be even more on top of catching leads than a corporate website because every client lost counts more!4. No analyticsMost small business websites have no clue what people do when they enter their site. No clue what users are really looking at and where they are losing their potential sale or lead. If customers just walked in and out of their place of work eyebrows would be raised and something would be done. Shouldn’t the same thought process apply to the site? You need to know what is going on with your small business website and what users are doing.5. No marketing purposeThis is the biggest “Whammy” of them all. Small business websites tend to fail seeing the potential of using the website as a complete marketing tool. The fundamental reason to take a business online would be to do marketing. The lack of marketing vision explains the mistakes from above. If just this single piece was in place when a small business builds their website, many of the other things would be solved because they would educate themselves about what it means to have a marketing tool!6. No results!This is no surprise considering everything above. If there is no purpose, no focus, no vision and no marketing thought behind the site then there are probably no results from the site either. What is even worse is that most small business websites do not even measure results or understand how to measure results from their site. Once again it is a lack of understanding more than anything!So what can a small business do when they are ready to take their business online and setup their small business website? The most important thing is to educate themselves in a few areas. The most important ones being, what you need to consider before building or having someone build your website. How to use the website as a marketing tool and it would be extremely beneficial to you if you at least had some understanding of what SEO is and how it works. What is the difference between a website designer, website developer and an online marketing company? All of them do different things and have a different understanding of how to use the internet; the question is what purpose is your website supposed to serve? For most it should be a marketing tool, because the internet is the most effective marketing tool available!

Google Places Tags – Possibly Worthwhile But Not the Way To Get Listed

There appears to be a mistaken belief by some businesses that buying “Tags” from Google on their Google Places pages will help them in their ranking. This is not true. Once again, Google is doing the surprising thing that set them apart from all their predecessors by not exchanging cash for rankings.Just as they did with their original search strategy, Google is focused more on giving their ultimate customer, the searcher, the best results, whether the listed firms buy tags or not.Now you may want to buy these little yellow tags for the extra attention they may bring to your listing, particularly if you are not number 1 on the map. Just how much extra attention these small tags will bring is questionable at best, but probably not negligible.If you are not on the first page places map in your market, you would be better off to focus on getting there. Tags will not do it.What will is being sure that you fill out your Google Places page as fully as possible. This includes uploading all 10 images Google allows and at least one video. This single step will catapult many businesses to the top of their local listings because so few of their competitors know that it is important to do so.After merely claiming your page, this completion element appears to be the most powerful single thing you can do to rank. Make sure you take the time to put in your business hours, and the type of payments you receive. They count as well. In fact, you want to fill out as much as you can.Make sure you also offer a coupon, even if you do not have any specials to offer. Just make it a restatement of your standard pricing.There is also a line for additional information. Be sure to add something to it. It can be as simple as saying you offer quality service with a smile.These steps will all help you rank, not because they are difficult, but because so many of your competitors will not take the time to do so.Eventually that will change, so you want to also be sure to get yourself listed with as many other directories and relevant business lists as you can possible get listed on. Google calls these citations.These citations are not necessarily backlinks to your site. Google is good at searching the internet. They want to see that you exist in a lot of other places besides the Google Places Page. They have had long battles with internet marketers who have tried to use “Black Hat” techniques to grab the advantage a first place listing brings to a business. Thus they seem to be ranking those with stronger networks of citations higher. It is relatively easy to get ranked for a broad array of national sites. Eventually, the local listings at your Chamber of Commerce and local industry groups will play a larger role.The other increasingly important factor that will grow in importance will be the number of reviews your site gets. The smart business, will design an ongoing system to actively encourage positive reviews. These need not be on your Google Places page itself. In fact some industry experts think it is better that Google find these reviews on other sites like Yelp. And find them they will.So while there may be a place for buying tags for your business, don’t do it hoping it will help your ranking on Google Places. Instead if your ranking matters to you, and it should, start by making sure your listing is complete.