3 Online Marketing Mistakes Local Business Owners Make
The three online marketing mistakes most local business owners make are made because of a lack of knowledge in marketing. See what the mistakes are below.
Mistake One – A Professional Website
The local business owner that does the DIY approach will frequently use a free or very cheap web hosting company and either their site builder or install WordPress using a free WordPress theme.
Some even fail to buy a domain name so they can start building their brand.
Other professionals will pay X number of dollars per month to a company that then provides them with a nice-looking website that’s completely loaded with content.
These companies usually offer upgrades where they will add a set number of articles each month and do search engine optimization of the site for the business owner.
Unfortunately, business owners that take this route are going to get cookie-cutter sites that will look almost identical to many other local business owners in the same niche and most of the sites will have the exact same content.
You need to know that if you take this approach you are just leasing the site and you don’t own the site or the content and that any search engine optimization that is done off-site may be useless if you choose to leave that service for another.
Some major online marketing companies that offer websites to local businesses have those sites branded in a way that it builds the company brand instead of the brand of the local business owner.
If you own the business website and the content, you are developing a business asset.
You also need to make sure that your website looks good on mobile devices or you’ll be at a severe disadvantage to your competitors.
Mistake Two – Local Search
The business owner’s website isn’t optimized for local search or it is done incorrectly.
You should have your business name, address, phone number and your business hours on every page of your website.
Local directories should be claimed by you, a staff member or an expert that you hire. The information entered in these directories should be consistent with what’s on your website and they should be optimized to include the types of payments you accept, images that show what you do, and more when possible.
There are 30 or 40 directories that your business needs to have a presence in and then you should be monitoring them to see if any of your customers are using them to leave reviews about your business.
You can check out your online visibility in the local directories by running a scan here.
Mistake Three – Online Reputation
Many local business owners fail to monitor, manage and market their online reputation.
Too many of these business owners don’t know that their online reputation can either be a business asset or a business liability that is used in a variety of ways. Some of these are:
- potential customers use your online reputation to decide whether or not they’re going to do business with you
- search engines use your online reputation as a factor to determine where to place you in the search engines
- banks may use your online reputation in evaluating your business to see if you’re a good candidate for a loan
- potential buyers will use your online reputation to help determine the value of your company if you decide to sell
Don’t neglect social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube because these can be places where you can market your reputation, gain new customers or respond to complaints.
If you own your own professional looking website, get all of the exposure that you deserve in the local directories and have a complete reputation monitoring, management and marketing system in place; you will probably dominate your local niche because most of your local competitors make at least one of the three mistakes mentioned above.
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