Is your business blog or website failing to deliver any concrete results?
Do you struggle to attract visitors and traffic?
Are your conversion rates poor?
There are a multitude of reasons why many websites and blogs of small businesses fail to deliver any effective results.
Here are 6 common ones that I encounter regularly:
1. Poor or inadequate content
There are two aspects to this cause of poor blog performance-one is insufficient content or information on the site. You simply cannot rank well for search phrases or topics that do not appear in your website’s content.
And if you don’t rank well you won’t attract visitors because searchers generally only visit the results on the 1st page of Google; they are very unlikely to go deeper into the results and are more likely to carry out another search rather than visit page 2 or 3.
So you need to rank well for a wide variety of search phrases that your ideal reader is using to find information and a solution for her problem.
The second element is a failure to optimise what content is there for the search engines to ensure the best chance of ranking well.
This is called “on page search engine optimisation” and is a fancy way of describing some basic rules for presenting your content well for the search engines to help your blogs rank well in search engine results.
2. Poor or nonexistent call to action
Lots of sites make it hard for visitors to make contact or make an enquiry-the contact details are only available on one page and you have to search around to find them.
Make it incredibly easy for your visitors to contract you, and give them a range of options such as phone, email, contact form, Skype, Google Hangouts, or walk into your office.
Some people are happier emailing for more information, some like to pick up the telephone, some may even want to text you to make initial contact; regardless, you need to make it incredibly easy for your visitors to contact you in whatever form they like and respond promptly to their query.
3. Failure to promote your site effectively
Unfortunately the notion of “build it and they will come” will not work-you do need to promote your content and your site.
And promoting it does not amount to asking people to “check out my latest blog”-you need a little more imagination than that. You also need a systematic approach to using social media to get your message and content out there.
Which platforms are best for your business will depend very much on your ideal reader and client-for example, professional service providers such as accountants, consultants, and solicitors may find an interested audience on LinkedIn while a hair and beauty therapist may find a more receptive audience on Facebook or Twitter.
You need to give people a reason to read what you have written and answer the question of “what’s in it for me”, which the reader is asking.
There are far too many competing distractions on the internet for a boring, bland request to “check out my latest blog” to have any real effectiveness.
4. Cluttered and busy site design
Many sites are simply too crowded and cluttered to ensure effective outcomes from visitors-you should have one or two preferred actions that you want your website traffic to take.
And you then need to make it incredibly simple and glaringly obvious to the visitor as to what they need to do next.
Leonardo Da Vinci said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
5. Content-failing to cater for what people are actually searching for
Yes, back to content again-because website content is the single biggest problem for most small business blogs and websites.
This aspect of the problem is the failure to target the specific words and phrases that people in your market are actually searching for, and failing to understand what motivates your ideal reader, what worries her at night, what common problems he faces on a daily/weekly basis.
This failure is a serious one because if you do not know what worries your ideal reader and what motivates her, you are unlikely to provide content that interests and inspires her; and your visitors are unlikely to view you as the person who can help them.
If you are not addressing your readers’ worries and concerns, if you cannot demonstrate that you are a person they can trust and who knows their stuff, and if you cannot persuade them you are a person or business they can feel comfortable working with, you can be sure that your competitors are working hard on this.
Catering for your ideal reader is something that I have written about before: How to Generate an Endless Supply of Business Blogs that Will Grow Your Client List and Your Readers Will Love and addresses the critical importance of writing to help your reader.
6. Font size too small
Many websites use a font size that is too small and virtually unreadable for older readers. They forget that when you use a 12 point font in a letter the recipient can hold it up as close to their eyes as they wish; they can’t do this with a computer screen.
Most people, when faced with such a tiny font size, will simply click away back to the search results. (I myself actually copy and paste it into a Word document and set the font size to 16 or higher, but most people won’t do this).
The good news?
The good news is that all of these mistakes are easily avoidable and can be prevented with
- Simple, uncluttered design
- Content that speaks to your ideal reader
- Smart, cost effective promotion of your blog content on the social media channels that are right for your business.