Mistake 1 - Graphic Designers
The first mistake I'd like to start off with is a big mistake and, obviously, that's why it's number one. The biggest mistake I see business owners making on the Internet is the fact that they employ a graphic designer to build their website.
Now, I'm not saying graphic designers do not have a place. They do a great job, but it's only one function of a website. In fact, if you've got a pretty looking website but no one's coming there because the search engines can't find you, or there's no marketing structures or methods built into the website - so, in other words, it's not selling, it's just a glossy brochure.
Some companies do just need a website that is a particular site that is informative, but most websites owned by business owners really should have marketing built into their websites.
If you've got a great business but it's in the middle of the desert and no one's going past, what's the point? It's just like having a website that the search engines can't see, because a lot of graphic artists put flash onto a website. Flash is one of those big animation type of websites and the search engines can't see them. There's nothing for them to read, so it throws them away.
Secondly, human visitors also click off the website too, because they don't like to see that sort of stuff loading.
So, mistake number one is graphic designers who don't understand marketing and they don't understand search engines, so be careful, because what normally happens is the business owner will say to the secretary, "Can you look up a couple of places in the yellow pages or on the Internet?" And the secretary will go find a website that looks pretty.
This happens a lot. This is a very common mistake and it ends up costing the business owner a lot of money, because they keep going to different graphic artists and keep spending, when really the answer is never in the graphic artist. It's in the marketing and the search engines. So, a graphic designer is the first mistake.
Mistake 2 - Static Content
The second mistake is static content on a website. What I mean by static content is by words on the website that do not update. There's no connection between the business and the customers, or the clients. You've really got to have a website these days that can connect out, and there are many ways of doing that.
You can actually have a website that isn't really a website, it's actually a blog. What a blog can do is really get out further into the search engines, connect further out with your customers, and you can speak more directly on a regular basis because it's very easy to update your blog. And your blogs can also automatically tell the search engines that you've updated the site.
Hence, blogs that actually look like a website can actually get higher up in the search engines. So, I believe the future of static html websites are on the way down, and updating content blogs that look like a website and function like a website are the way of the future.
The businesses that are embracing this idea are in the forefront of the people who leave this behind, because this is the way that businesses will be run. And it's really good timely advice to go and get a website with all the correct functions. That's really a blog.
Mistake 3 - No Marketing Structure
Another mistake, number three, and I've already touched on this, but no marketing structure in a website.
When, for example, you might go to a graphic artist to get a website made, the first question they generally ask is, "How many pages? What colors do you like? Do you want an 'about us' page? Do you want a home page? Do you want the 'contact us' page?" all that sort of stuff, which, yeah, that's got its place, but really, what is your marketing structure?
How are you going to get the leads? How are you going to convert the leads from a lead to a sale? What structure's in place in your office to handle the leads? What is your offline capacity to convert the leads? What's your follow-up system? What have you got going?
Marketing structure, to me, is one of the most important elements of a website because, in the marketing itself, you can really make a big difference. In fact, one of the other mistakes I see with the marketing, while we're on the subject, is the fact that it's a lack of headline, a lack of 'what's in it for me' when I see a website.
When I go to a lot of traditional business websites I see the same message; "Welcome to our website, this is us," I like to see marketing. What's in it for the end user? Why should they stop? What is going to grab their attention? Why should they take action now?
So, I want to see a headline there and I want to see it grab the attention of your customers. So, always think, "What's in it for your customer?"
In fact, it's the same with your yellow pages. In the yellow pages if you've got 'Bobs Building' next to 'Free report: How to Avoid Building Mistakes' as a headline, what's going to grab your attention?
So, it's a headline. Headlines are proven and have been around for years. I wonder why so many businesses don't use them properly.
So really think about your marketing structure and message you are portraying.
Mistake 4 - No Follow Through System
The fourth mistake I see online, and this is a real big mistake, is the fact there's a lack of follow-through systems on the Internet. There's a lack of follow-up with email, follow-up offline through phone calls. This fits in with the marketing structure, but in itself it's very powerful. Or when you haven't got this going in your website, lack of follow-through, you can really lose out.
So, we want to see follow-through systems, and we'll talk more about it later on. But when there is a lack of follow-through, again, there is no connectivity with the end customers. You can make a lot more money from your business by simply talking to them on a personal level.
In fact, a famous marketer, Jay Abraham, says one of the big things is to talk to your current customers often, because most businesses only concentrate on getting fresh leads, when that's a big mistake.
You should actually be really out there looking as well for fresh leads, but at the same time talking to your current clients, making sure they're okay. Because with some of your current clients, you'll find the second sale to them is a lot easier than the first sale. So, you'll make a lot more money by concentrating as part of your marketing system into follow-through systems.
You can also generate referrals from your customers when you connect with your clients more often.