Have you recently launched a website, but you just can’t seem to get any real traction online? Are you aggravated by how much time it takes to figure out how to make the simplest of updates to your site?
If you’re starting to regret spending all of that time and money on your new site, because it doesn’t seem to be really doing anything for you or your customers, then this week’s post is just for you.
One of the biggest complaints that I get from small business owners, all of the time, is that they’re getting stuck behind their laptop, trying to make updates to their website, when they really need to be servicing their customers. They struggle to find reliable help and it costs too much money to maintain it.
I truly understand how frustrating that can be – you think you’ve finally found someone and poof! They’re gone. Having said that, I think we all can honestly relate to running across the “not so reliable” plumber or “flaky” hairdresser from time-to-time, but that does not mean we let that leaky faucet keep leaking or never get our haircut again.
So why do so many small business owners abandon their websites when they are such an important part of generating new business & repeat business today?
Trust me I wish I had the answer to this riddle! I don’t have an answer to that question, but I can provide you with 3 key insights as to why your website is missing the mark and how you can fix it.
#1 Stay Current & Connected
I own a small business just like you and I understand money doesn’t grow on trees. We all have limited access to capital – but small business owners, always have had to do more with less.
How you stay current and connected with your customers is important, but we first have to make sure that we understand why we must actively seek new business all the time.
Actively seeking new and repeat business, on a regular basis, is really the only way you’re going to break the “feast and famine cycle” in your business and keep consistent income coming in.
We all have to understand that we most likely won’t be there when the customer makes the decision to buy and the internet and mobile devices in particular are playing a key role here. We just don’t know when they’re going to pull the trigger.
For our customers, when it comes to making a decision about what to spend their money on next – it isn’t an “apples to apples” decision anymore.
Customers have to decide between you and health insurance, between you and planning that anniversary dinner or between you and saving more for college for their kids. Their “to do lists”, just like yours are never-ending. It’s just a part of life these days, there’s always something to do.
That’s why when they do finally get to the product or service you offer on their “to do list”, you want to be the first person they think of. Why?
Because you’ve stayed current and connected with them. If you don’t you could be missing out on new business.
#2 Make Sure You’re Speaking Your Customer’s Language
If you’ve ever been concerned about whether or not your website is reaching your customers or community, you may want to take a look at the types of content you feature and how you tell them about it. Ask yourself these two questions:
– Are you speaking your customer’s language?
– Are you giving them what they want or what you think they need?
I often tell my clients that their website believe it or not isn’t about them at all! It’s all about their customer and the images & language they use on their website must be crystal clear. Any confusion about what they do or why they’re there – they run the risk of their visitors bouncing from their site and jumping onto another one.
Take a look at the copy on your website. Is it written to reflect how your customers would talk or does it sound like you?
If your personal communication style is a little more laid back and you use “sorta” and “kinda” a lot but the majority of your clients are more formal & super-detailed oriented – are they going to get what you’re saying?
Let me put it to you this way – if you speak French and your customer only speaks English are they going to understand you? Probably not.
Yeah this stings a little bit – I know. . .it’s a little scary when you start to think about it right? Especially if you’re in something really technical or hard for people to understand like personal finance.
I know this can seem really frustrating, but if you really want to get your customer’s attention and keep it when they land on your website, you have to speak their language. Not yours – theirs. . .or they may never hear you.
#3 Go from Main St. to the Digital Superhighway
Here’s the thing – the internet is far from reaching it’s saturation point, in fact many believe it is just getting started, especially with the rise of mobile technology.
The internet has given the small business owner a tremendous opportunity to reach a much bigger audience than they ever could before. It’s creating a “new economy” where small business owners can truly have a global business and have a competitive advantage over corporate giants.
Your success on the web today relies heavily on making sure you build and maintain relationships. SEO standards have been revised to rank “customer engagement” as one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine results. You no longer can get away with SEO hacks and “gaming the system”.
You must be able to “resonate” with your audience on a personal level, to retain their loyalty and this is at the core of the success of nearly every longstanding small business. It’s this ability to build these personal intimate relationships, over time, that give us small business owners a competitive advantage.
Just think about that coffee shop or restaurant back home, that always seems to have a line or the barbershop or bookstore that you go out of your way to get to because you just love going there. In many ways the internet is the biggest “mom and pop” shop in the world.
Small business owners can easily reach customers that more establish and larger brands are desperately trying to build a relationship with but are struggling to do so.
Big business spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on advertising and marketing campaigns and hire a slew of brand, social and marketing managers, to try to replicate the “local flavor” that small business owners almost take for granted.
So why are small businesses so slow to jump on board?
OK I know what you’re going to say.
I don’t have time. I don’t have the money. Besides, I don’t understand all of this “techie-stuff” anyway – there’s just too much to keep up with. I am the business, I have to pay the bills and get back to doing what I do best. I can’t afford to get stuck behind the computer.
Here’s the Good News.
You Don’t Have to Get Stuck Behind Your Laptop Anymore!
You don’t have to tackle all of this stuff at once. Tackle one thing at a time – remember it’s pace not race. You can generate new business, break the “feast or famine” cycle and enjoy all the benefits the web has to offer, if you make sure that you:
1. Stay current and connected – don’t abandon your website. It’s the most affordable and powerful tool you have to generate new and repeat business.
2. Make sure you’re speaking your customer’s language.
3. Use the power of the web to resonate with your customers on a personal level and retain their loyalty.
Now it’s your turn! I love feedback & I want to hear from you. . .
Question: How do you use your website to attract new business? Share your comments and concerns below.
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This posted was updated on May 16, 2020.