10 Internet Marketing Mistakes by Small Business

Numerous conversations with small business owners have led me to the following conclusions.  When it comes to Internet marketing, many small businesses consistently commit the following mistakes.  Not all small businesses are guilty of these errors, but too many are.  Do you fall into any of these traps?

10 Internet Marketing Mistakes

1.  Simply ignore Internet marketing and do so at their peril.

2.  As a result, are often unaware of the cost effectiveness of Internet marketing and the positive impact it would have on their bottom lines.

3.  Continue to use expensive and ineffective Yellow Pages and newspaper ads while ignoring all of the FREE online promotional tools like Google Places, Bing and Yahoo Local Listings, Social Media and many, many more FREE online tools, all of which can be adapted to generating business.

4.  Don’t spend the time necessary to become savvy about how best to use Internet marketing to help grow their small business.  Worse, don’t seek or hire staff or knowledgeable outside counsel to help them to understand.

5.  If they do realize that the Internet could help business, they sign up with the first fast-talking, self-proclaimed, know-it-all yahoo speaking technical gobbley gook that walks in the door and turn over control of what could be a very significant portion of their business.

6.  Rather than spend some time thinking about what they want to accomplish and which Internet marketing tools will address desired goals, critical decisions about their Internet presence are turned over to the fast-talking yahoo.

7.  Pan forward a month or two.  Hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars are spent on a static site that does nothing to stimulate sales.  You’ll hear comments like “I hate my web site”, “the Internet doesn’t work”, or “The web guy took me to the cleaners”.

To make matters worse, codes and passwords to gain access to the web site so it could enhanced, updated or replaced are tossed.  These business owners know absolutely nothing about something for which they paid good money, except that they don’t like it and it doesn’t work.

8.  Rather than take responsibility for their role in creating such a fiasco, they turn away from Internet marketing and all of the opportunity it could provide.

9.  Assume if they don’t understand the web, their customers don’t either.  WRONG!  So, wrong!

10.  Without a competitive web presence, they allow local area competitors to pick the low hanging fruit off the Internet – business that could just as easily be theirs.

Perhaps these mistakes are because these small business owners are “unknowing”.  They simply don’t understand how Internet marketing are can help them generate additional sales.  What should small business do?  Take control.  How?  There are six solutions.

6 Solutions

  1. First, face facts.  The Internet and Social Media are not going away. This new world of marketing is here to stay and it can produce sales for your business, but only if you use it.
  2. Know your customers are using the Internet to shop, to find out information, collect referrals and your business NEEDS to be actively engaged and competing.
  3. Your Internet presence is too important to be turned over to some fly-by-night vendor.   Take responsibility for such an important part of your business.
  4. Don’t sign on the dotted line with the first Internet person in the door.  Do your due diligence on Internet providers just like they would for any vendor.  Ask for references, proposals.  If they don’t want to provide these, it is your first clue that you don’t want to work with them.  Pick their head for ideas about how a web presence can help your business…what role(s) could the Internet play in marketing and growing your business.
  5. At a minimum, make yourself more knowledgeable about various Internet marketing tools so you can avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous yahoos who sold vacuum cleaners yesterday and, as if by magic, is an Internet guru today.
  6. Understand that the Internet is not brain surgery.  There is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING about the Internet and building a web presence for your business that you can’t understand.  Most importantly, when you become armed with knowledge, you won’t be bamboozled by another self-proclaimed Internet guru type.  In fact, if you desire and combined with the online web tools available today, you can easily craft your own web presence or guide a staff member to do it for you.

If you need or want any help in taking these steps, feel free to contact us at TMB and we will gladly help you get started.

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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