At OneSaas, we’re fortunate enough to work with some great small businesses who are experts in their respective field.
Because they’re so busy being good at what they do, we sometimes see that their online presence isn’t as optimized as it could be and being the kind people we are, we want to help.
In order to do that, we made this list of four things that are killing your online marketing. Are you losing customers due to one or more of these?
1. Not having a website
While this may seem really obvious, statistics show that 75% of small businesses in the US don’t have a website.
These days, when people need a product or service to solve a problem they're having they are turning to Google, and if you don't have a website you won’t be one of the business they call.
It’s so easy to get a website, and there are so many tools that can enable you to do so for virtually no cost, including ecommerce partners of OneSaas. Here’s a summary categorized by business need:
- Promote my physical business – Tools like Wordpress make it quick and easy to setup a site and display your wares. Get a theme/template from themeforest and make sure to include things like About You, Testimonials, etc.
- Sell goods online – Tools like Shopify, BigCommerce and Volusion are designed to make it really easy for small business like yourself to sell online. You can then connect these platform to your accounting package using a system like OneSaas and Voila! your selling online.
2. Not producing great content
In todays market, potential buyers are contacting you or your sales team much later in their ‘buying cycle’. Instead, they're doing research online, educating themselves on the different options available and using independent reviews to work out who the best providers are.
Consider the story of Marcus Sheridan, who runs River Pools and Spas. In the height of the financial crisis not many people were spending money installing pools and his business was in trouble. He had no money to spend on advertising but without it he was struggling to get his name out there and win customers.
In order to solve this, Marcus started a blog on his website. He thought about every question his customers had ever asked him about pools and turned them into blog posts. It look him about 30-45 minutes to write each post and he did one every day.
After 12 months, Marcus's website had become the most visited swimming pool website in the world and his business had gone bananas.
Why? Because Marcus was creating content. When people asked Google a swimming pool related question, Marcus’s content was appearing at the top of the results. This drove people to his site where they looked at all of his other great content, learned about swimming pools and when they were ready to purchase guess who was top of mind? Marcus.
Most website platforms (called content management systems) have the capability to publish blog posts (we use Ghost.org at OneSaas and find it really easy to work with), and you no doubt have the industry knowledge so what is stopping you?
3. Not having an effective conversion process
We all have a goal for our marketing and that's to lead more customers buy our product or pay us for our services. Yet when I look at most small business websites very few of them actually try to get me to do that.
They’ve all got great information about who they are and some great pictures of the previous bathroom/house/cupboard/garden they renovated, but when it comes to actually turning me into a customer they are lacking.
In order to get me to become a customer, you need to make it blatantly obvious how. Here’s four steps you can take to improve the process:
- Map it out - Map out the steps a user usually takes from viewing your website to becoming a customer. Do they need to call you and book an appointment? Do you need to offer a quote or consultation? Whatever it is that needs to happen, map it out on a piece of paper.
- Make it easy - Make it as easy as possible to complete these different steps. If you’re running an appointment based business, use some online scheduling software to allow people to book appointments on their computers. If you need to do a quote or consultation, use an online form to allow people to fill in information about themselves and their needs and then you can follow up with a call.
- Offer an incentive to do it – Offer them something in order to motivate them to take action. Most service based businesses offer a free quote or consultation as part of the work anyway, so why not turn this into a marketing tool.
- Make it obvious – Don't rely on your website visitors to read your about me section, actively decide they need you, navigate to your hidden contact page, write down your phone number, find their phone and call you. That's about 4 steps too many. Instead, add a button to every page of your site that links to your enquiry form/booking system/conversion process so that it’s ridiculously obvious and stupidly simple to do.
4. Not properly following up your leads
Now that you’ve got a great website in place and are generating heaps of leads, you need a way to manage these and follow up on them.
SaaS applications like Zoho CRM offer super simple, inexpensive systems for engaging your contacts and scheduling tasks (like following up on that proposal you sent them last week). Most of these can connect to your website so that whenever someone fills out an enquiry form, buys a product or makes a booking, their details are automatically inserted.
You can then connect these systems using OneSaas to something like MailChimp and add these leads to your distribution list for an email newsletter. With all that great content your creating for your blog (you read point 2 right?), you can simply reposition some of that blog content into a weekly newsletter and send it out. Not only does this keep your brand top of mind, but it drives people back to your website to read your posts and, if your lucky enough, they’ll share them over social networks with all their friends and family (like you could share this one with the icons at the bottom!).
Is your business suffering from any of these common errors? Or maybe you were and you’ve fixed them? Let everyone know your story!