That wouldn’t have been particularly surprising 20 years ago. But today? It seems rather strange. Especially when you consider that nearly 100% of consumers now do at least some of their shopping online for products and services that interest them.
So if you’re a small business owner, and you do have a website, that automatically gives you a huge leg-up over about half of your competition.
But what about the other half of your competition – the half that does have a website? If you’re like many small businesses, you might not be faring so well against those competitors.
That’s because many small businesses have websites that are much less effective than they could be. And in fact, many small businesses are making the very same mistakes with their websites. According to the Small Business Administration, there are 3 critical mistakes that many small businesses are making with their online presence:
#1. No Call-to-Action
Let’s say that you have a website. And let’s say that a prospective customer lands upon your homepage. Do you tell that prospective customer what you want them to do?
Many small business websites don’t. They seem satisfied to let visitors wander around aimlessly for a bit until they wander off the website – likely never to return. And that’s a mistake that more than two-thirds of small business websites make.
But it’s important to let website visitors know what you want them to do. In fact, every single page of your website should have a designated purpose – a most-wanted response. And the copy and graphics on that page should work to elicit that most-wanted response. But you’re not likely to get that most-wanted response without telling your website visitors what you want them to do.
#2. Mobile Incompatibility
The world is going mobile. Only a few short years ago, most customers accessed your website via a desktop or laptop computer. But that’s no longer true. These days, it’s likely that just as many customers visit you virtually with a smart phone or a tablet.
And that might be a problem for you. Because a website design that is perfectly fine for viewing with a desktop/laptop computer may not be particularly suitable for viewing with a mobile device.
In fact, it’s very likely that your website is not mobile compatible. Because fewer than 10% of mobile websites are mobile compatible.
And if you think that mobile incompatibility is no more than a slight inconvenience for some of your website visitors, think again. Google takes mobile compatibility very seriously – and may seriously ding your site in search results if you’re not mobile friendly.
(Not sure whether your site is mobile-friendly? Use this free tool to easily find out.)
#3. Cold-Shouldering Social Media
Social media is all the rage these days. Social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have become wildly popular. And many marketers are trying to tap into that popularity as a new way to reach customers.
In truth, there’s some dispute about the effect of social media marketing for businesses. But many marketing experts feel that social media holds far too much promise to ignore. As one expert noted in a Forbes article, there are a great many potential benefits to social media marketing.
Even so, more than 80% of small business websites don’t even bother to link to any social media accounts. And that might be a massive mistake.
It’s A Bad News / Good News Scenario
The three critical mistakes listed above are made by the majority of small business websites. So if you’re the owner or operator of a small business, the odds are strong that you’re in that group. That’s the bad news.
The good news, though, is that simply having a website places you ahead of half of your competition. And you can compound that advantage by eliminating any of these three critical mistakes that you might be making with your website.
Do that, and you’ll place your business in the rarified air of dominating your online competition. And that’s a very good place to be.