This is a contributor’s blogpost …
There is no denying it: As soon as you start a website, you are dreaming of success. Every business, regardless of the industry sector, requires a website to engage with its potential buyers. As a result, business owners have put a lot of attention to making sure their website can be as successful as they want it to be. Often this starts with useful and regular content, as well as a clearly defined purpose. Most websites are created by people who have a message to share. As a result, it is expected that the first pages will be neat and informative. However, mistakes occur with time, when the business relaxes its attention on the online presence. Often it happens as the result of limited time, or not defining the appropriate marketing priorities. Nevertheless, as this can happen to every business, here is a list of the six most deadly online presence mistakes.
Photo Courtesy of mkhmarketing via flickr.
1. Thinking You Need To Change Everything
Guess what? Businesses have been using websites as a digital display for their services since the 1990s. Therefore it’s likely that some of the marketing strategies used in those days or implemented twenty years ago are still in your marketing plan today. But it doesn’t mean that you should be looking for another solution. The reason why old marketing methods are still in use is because they work. Have a look at that brilliant article on i2mag.com that explains it perfectly, That’s Oldschool! This Marketing Still Works A Treat. You don’t need to change things that already perform. Innovative marketing is not about throwing away what works to find something new. It’s about finding a solution for the parts of your strategy that don’t perform yet. In other words, using keywords, backlinks and SEO tags in your code still drive positive results. There’s no need to revolutionize the basics of SEO.
2. Becoming Self-Centered
Everyone uses social media, from individuals to businesses. Therefore it’s naturally a good idea to be present on your audience’s favorite social media platforms – not yours, but theirs, that’s the key message here! – and to promote your services and products. However, social media is all about exchange. Consequently, navel gazing and me-centric posts don’t perform very well whether they come from an individual or a business – unless you are a celebrity and in that case, please do talk more about yourself. While your clients want to know what your business is doing, they don’t want to be constantly bombarded by posts that are only about you. They want to see a gain in following your business online. What this means is that social media is a platform for exchange, not of monologs. Therefore you need to listen to people and interact with them, by sharing interesting facts, answering their questions or simply asking for their opinions.
3. Not Making The Difference Between Quirky And Pointless
More and more modern businesses are desperate to show a dynamic and approachable image. With Millennials becoming the largest population in the workplace and one of the most significant groups of buyers, it is indeed essential to copy their modern way of thinking. However, you need to make a clear difference between sharing quirky facts and using pointless content as a trendy space holder. For example, coffee has become one of the trendiest drinks in the business world. Memes about coffee drinking at the office are cluttering the fun side of the web. As a result, some dynamic companies have decided to use the trend for their own benefit and share how much coffee they drink in their offices. Let’s make one thing clear: This is an example of pointless content. Nobody actually cares, at a professional level, about it. It doesn’t help users to understand your business better or to get to know your team. When you share content, remember that what can be used as an individual joke may not be relevant in a professional context.
4. Not Being User-friendly
In the world of digital presence, how users interact with your website is essential to the survival of your business. As Jakob Nielsen points out, your web usability is your digital branding strategy. In other words, if your website is not user-friendly or not designed for a professional interaction, it’s likely that users will look for other alternatives, aka competitors. Websites that are not designed for professional interaction are not responsive – this means that they don’t adapt to different screen sizes – and their design is outdated. They may also be using unfriendly visuals, either background or images – that don’t encourage trust. Another thing that scares users off is the use of colors. A maximum of three colors is universally accepted in a professional design. Turn your website into a giant rainbow, and it’s likely that visitors will assume that the website is neither professional or trustworthy.
5. Not Responding On Social Media
Interaction doesn’t only matter on your website, but on social media platforms too. As said earlier, it is essential to try to maintain an engaging platform, where your business also learns to listen to the current news and the worries of your customers or followers. As you develop a listening ear, you will also experience more direct interactions. Some customers might ask questions; some might complain, and some might just want to praise your services. It is essential to respond when you have been mentioned in a post – unless this is a trolling post, which is a purposefully harmful type of content. Indeed, brands that fail to respond can experience a loss of loyalty. If customers feel ignored, they will ignore you in return. Additionally, problems and complaints shared on social media should be dealt with immediately before the customers become upset and decide against future business with your company.
Photo Courtesy of Peter via flickr
6. Having Annoying Pop-Ups
Pop-ups were trendy in the late 90s. Websites that continue to use excessive pop-ups to encourage visitors to sign up to the newsletter or continue their shopping, disturb the interaction with the content. The effect is not positive: This creates a negative user experience. In truth, users hate pop-ups that interrupt them in the middle of reading a web page. It’s like an annoying child that keeps seeking attention. As good parenting would have it, you should not reward children’s disruptive behaviors with attention. The same argument goes for businesses.