The Biggest Website Mistake Made by Small Businesses

Biggest Website Mistake Made by Small Businesses - Christine Green ConsultingWhen solo practitioners and small business owners decide to step up their marketing efforts or to market their business for the first time, they often hire a graphic designer to create their website and online marketing material. If you don’t possess high-level graphic design skills, you probably won’t hesitate to hire a qualified designer. They are the ones who put together great websites, right? Maybe not. Read on to find out if you have made a significant website mistake.

You understand the necessity of paying for a high-quality visual impression and when presented with design options, you know almost instantly:

  • if you like the design
  • if it is at the level of quality you had expected
  • and if it accurately represents your company’s brand

If the design meets these criteria you are satisfied. Who can argue with that? It’s certainly wise to have a “look” or brand that is visually striking and portrays your company accurately.

The mistake that many business owners make, however, is that their use of professional expertise ends there. The website’s written content is composed in-house and incorporated into the expertly created web design. Since your business probably does not have a “Marketing Department,” you compose the website copy yourself (this goes for brochure and ad copy also). Why not? Who knows your business better then you do? That’s logical.

But nine times out of ten the owner or manager of a small business is not a marketing expert. While you may have excellent writing skills, and know your company inside and out, unless you are a trained marketer, it’s unlikely you possess the skill to create compelling copy that effectively engages your web visitors or initiates the sales process for your product or service.

So you’ve gone ahead and written the content for your website. It sounds good to you. Your friends and colleagues give you high praise for your new site. They love the look and the logo and the way you’ve featured your products or the images you’ve used. But only you know if this highly praised marketing material is doing its job of increasing your sales. If it’s not doing its job, then either you have an undesirable product or your website content lacks the essential elements for successful marketing.

Just as you wouldn’t ask your colleagues for advice about the effectiveness of a medication (unless they are a doctor), they aren’t the appropriate source for feedback about your marketing material either.

While the visual design has the important role of offering an appealing presentation, it’s the marketing-based copywriting, and additional content elements and configurations that engage your web visitors and initiate the sales process of your website.

While the copy you write may be well crafted grammatically and even have an appealing flair…that does not guarantee its effectiveness. Great writing and great marketing copy are not one and the same!

Are you baffled because your re-branding and stunning new design has not resulted in new clients or customers, higher sales, more students, subscribers, increased membership…or just plain inquiries?

Have you spent significant time and money creating a new image for your company? Launched a new or re-designed website and logo? With a gorgeous color scheme, an edgy design, a splashy image…but no increase in sales?

This is the biggest blind spot of small business owners! And unfortunately, they don’t know to hire a website marketing specialist.

We see this time and time again – A website with top-notch graphics and lackluster content – or content that is “good” but not organized effectively or presented with a compelling angle that engages the interest of prospects. You may have a fantastic visual foundation that is not supported by content that persuades your potential customer to take the action you had hoped for.

Sometimes the issue is lack of copy or lack of appropriate copy. You arrive on the home page, perhaps by accident through another site, and if you bother to stay, it takes you 20 minutes to figure out what the company does. And even then, the copy can be so esoteric that anyone unfamiliar with Intergalactic Robotic Widgets would not have any idea how they might be used or why they should buy them.

In summary, the biggest website mistake that small businesses make is not hiring a marketing expert as part of their web design and development team. This results in a website that does not have a marketing concept behind it; was not designed around a developed “sales process” and is therefore missing the elements or the most optimized configuration of elements that will attract and engage a prospective customer, and that inspires them to read further, scroll down, browse longer, click through, download, subscribe, follow on social media, send an email, pick up the phone, or place an order.

Your mission statement or even a lovely in-depth description of your business will not necessarily get your prospect to take any of these actions.