In an increasingly digital marketing world that where the lines are blurred between search, social, local and mobile marketing, it's hard to keep pace with all the changes that take place, big or small. A lot of these changes, and how quickly they happen, can overwhelm any marketer dedicated to the space, let alone a small business owner who has a hundred other items on their agendas when running their business.
So what's a local business to do?
While it's tough to keep up with everything, here are six big mistakes that you can avoid that will help keep you on the right path even with all these constant changes.
1. No Phone Number on Homepage
According to BIA/Kelsey and vSplash's survey, more than 60 percent of small businesses miss a huge opportunity by not including their phone number on their website or homepage.
In today's more mobile, smartphone-based world, it's even more important that your business's phone number be actual text on a page and not incorporated into a graphic or a banner. Why?
Our smartphones are actually "smart" in that they can recognize the format of a phone number and turn it into a "click to dial" link. If your phone number is in a graphic, a smartphone can't recognize the phone number, it only sees the graphic.
2. Not Claiming Social Media Profiles
You're likely overwhelmed by the number of social media sites that are present on the Internet today, and each day there's a new "go to" site listed in the news, it's tough to keep on top of that.
The truth is, you don't have to be engaging in every social site on the Internet, but you should be claiming your social media profiles on them. This means listing your address, phone number, website URL, and any other information you'd like someone to see know.
It also saves you from having to battle with getting your name back from either a competitor or a fan who could be misrepresenting your company. Trying to rightfully reclaim a social media profile that should legally be yours is a process that can take months and time you can't afford to waste.
Registering your profiles on social media sites is no longer a daunting task as it used to be either, with tools like KnowEm, you can register your profiles in mere minutes.
3. Monitoring Their Business Name
Not everything happens in the comments on your blog, website or on Facebook. People can talk about you, your products or employees anywhere on the web where there is a box to type in and button to press.
You also can't be everywhere at once, nor can you afford to spend 8 hours of your day scouring sites for what people are discussing issues about you. That's where a simple to use tool like Trackur comes in.
Tools like Trackur scour blogs, forums, message board, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, for the keyword(s) or key phrase(s) you put in. What's even better is that these tools can send you daily updates that compress the data into easy to read reports, only taking you minutes to get a handle on what's going on and possibly alerting you to problems or, better yet, opportunities.
4. No Email Contact on Homepage
Just like the issue stated before with businesses not having a phone number listed on their home page or website, an email contact information is just as important. Rather than hunting around your site for a contact form, some customers just prefer to email you.
If you're afraid of too much spam, then this can be put into an image or graphic. Just make it visible and easy to find.
In today's "drive-through" society where quickness and ease are top priorities when getting people to speak or engage with you, being able to find an email contact is important.
5. Ignoring Social Media or Removing Negative Comments
Ignoring social media in today's world is likely one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. Whether it's Facebook or a niche forum or message board, people will engage about you. It can be good or it can be bad, but burying your head in the sand and ignoring it won't make it go away.
In the same token, removing the negative, such as comments and postings, will not only not make the issue go away it will mostly like do the opposite, inflame the situation.
In today's world, people expect your company to be engaging on social media sites. In fact, 85 percent of them do, according to a study done by Vocus. They also expect you to address their complaints, in a study done by American Express 25 percent of customers who complain online expect you to reply to them within 1 hour.
6. Website Isn't Mobile Ready
Last, but by no means least important on this list is having a mobile ready website. According to a study done by BIA/Kelsey and vSplash, more than 93 percent of SMB websites aren't mobile compatible and won't render successfully on mobile devices or smartphones.
People are increasingly reliant on their smartphones and go to them to get information. If your site isn't mobile ready, your business is missing out, not only by it not rendering on a smart phone but also by it possibly not appearing in mobile search results.