Most small businesses have some form of web presence these days – a website, Facebook page, maybe some YouTube videos – but not very many are taking advantage of the true (and often free) power of the internet to market their business.

Here is my Top 6 list of common mistakes – things that businesses are NOT doing. They’re leaving lots of money on the table and probably throwing away lots of money in other places that they don't even realize…

1. Not Having a Free Offer. Do you know how many people visit your website each month? How many of them call or email you? How many buy? What happens to all those other people? How about those people you meet at events? Create something of value – a coupon, video series, e-book – that you can give away (electronically) in exchange for an email address.

2. Not Sending Regular Emails to Everyone(Or doing it the WRONG way) It’s so much easier to sell to existing customers. This is the low hanging fruit – marketing to your existing database helps with referrals and repeat business by keeping you “top of mind”. It’s also a good way to sell other products that you or an affiliate company may offer. The key here is to have good, helpful, engaging content, and send it out with the right frequency.

3. Making it Hard for People to Contact You. Why would you go out of your way to hide your phone number and address on your website? Your phone number should be visible and your business address (if applicable) should be at the bottom of every page, along with a general email address. NOTE: Having a professional email address shows that you're serious about your business. You should be tired of seeing @gmail or @yahoo attached to your business name. Sheesh... 

4. Not Being Everywhere Online. Online is not just about having a website. Google looks at other sites that link back to your main site – local directories, Yelp, Manta, Facebook, YouTube, article sites, blogs, etc. The more places you can put your keywords, website address, phone number, and address, the better. You’ll cast a much wider net, having more places to show up in a Google search, while also making your main website more relevant. It would be wise to also have your business listed on Google Places.

5. Not Updating Your Website on a Regular Basis. Just to clarify – regular does not mean once every 2  years or so! Content on the web is like produce at a food chain. Everything has a sell by the expiration date. Your information will constantly be piled “on top of” by others who are creating newer information. The easiest way to stay current is with a blog hosted on your main website (preferably with a top-level domain). Updates can be made “off-site” also on places like Facebook. A great strategy is to upload new videos to YouTube or publish articles/blog posts that link to your website. Try to do this once a week or a few times a month at the very least. Consistency is key to success!

6. Not Tracking EVERYTHING. The secret to writing good copy and ads, and creating offers, etc is not creativity, it’s testing out your efforts. No matter how smart we think we are, we’ll never know if something will really work until we try it out and SEE for ourselves how it works. Some of the ugliest ads and web pages make the most money, believe it or not. Therefore, try something, measure it, and tweak it accordingly until you get something that really works! Sometimes changing one word is enough to make a huge difference in response rate!! Use Google Analytics to track website traffic and if you can' afford to purchase a business phone number, use unique phone numbers from Google voice, its free.

Has there ever been a time where you came across a business that you felt was missing some spice or doing something wrong?

 Give Me A Follow, Will Ya?! 

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