Every business wants more traffic, more leads and more sales. The whole point of launching our businesses online is to be visible to the bigger audience. We all want to reach those people who might otherwise not know we exist. Thanks to technology.
When it comes to launching a business online, however, it takes more than just being there. If the only way people can find you online is by you sharing a link directly to them, then you’re not really online. You need to be found organically.
Here are reasons why your online business is not online;
You’re not recognized by search engines
If your website is not indexed by search engines like Google and Bing, then you belong on the dark side of the web. People are always searching for a service related to yours but they can’t find you on search results. While it takes time to gain visibility and ranking on search engines you can improve it by having a dedicated ongoing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
Other media don’t know you exist
Have you ever been featured by media like top bloggers and influencers? If no, then you have a long way to go. Your credibility online depends on how many other websites are linking to you (backlinks). You can use paid media to have a sponsored article about you written by mainstream media.
You don’t know your audience
If your business is for everyone, then it is for nobody. Without knowing your customers, you will be shooting in the dark. You’ll not know how to optimize your content for a targeted audience and you’ll end up getting followers who will not convert into buying customers.
Images downloaded somewhere else
Are you using original images or downloaded from another website? If you are using images downloaded from free image stocks, chances are many people are using them. Your business will gain more credibility if you use your own images.
Also, remember to give your images names that relate to your service. This is because search engines don’t see images the way we see them. They see the code behind them. By giving your images a descriptive name, you help search engines determine what your website is all about.
Website content is poor
Without content, you are lost online. Focus on good quality content and you will be rewarded. Create content that is not only about your services and products but content that build trust and establish you as an authority in that industry. If you copied content from somewhere else and paste it on your website, then you’re only putting yourself behind.
No conversion goals
Today’s websites are not like static brochures stuffed with About, Mission and Vision statements. Today’s websites are meant to convert people with clear calls to action. You can achieve conversion goals such as getting new subscribers to your newsletter, have people perform actions like filling a form or buying directly from your website. Without these efforts, you are just as good as being offline.
No one is talking about you online
Being online means joining conversations about your industry and empower your audience to do the marketing for you. This is called earned media and it comprises things like comments, share and blog articles from other people talking about your services. It is important because it builds trust and credibility. It can’t be only you talking about you. Encourage your customers to leave online reviews and comments about your service
Abandoned social media accounts
This is a bad idea. An abandoned social media channel sends two messages to your followers; that something is stirring up at your company or they wonder if you are still in business anymore. Instead of opening many accounts, you can stick to a few that you’ll be active. Or you can save yourself the embarrassment of abandoning social media channels by hiring a freelancer to take care of your online presence while you handle other things of your business.
Your website or app takes an eternity to load
How long did it take for you to open this article? Hope it didn’t take too long, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading it right now. People’s attention is short. They have so many interesting things on their gadgets. They are impatient to wait for another second for your site to load unless it’s a job application. Make sure your website doesn’t contain unnecessary things that make it heavy.
You’re not leveraging local SEO
If your business is getting more local customers who speak Swahili and you are using only English, then you’re missing out on potential customers. Those people are searching for a service like yours but they cannot find you because their search terms are in Swahili. You can attract local customers by creating a separate page on your website written in Kiswahili. Or you can add your business on local listing directories like Google My Business.
If your website looks another way on desktop and completely another thing on mobile, then you are not really controlling the online experience. Your mobile app or a website needs to be designed with its users in mind. Your target audience uses different devices with different browsers. Make sure the experience is the same and perfect on everyone’s favorite screen.
You’re not using Facebook Ads
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t like organic results. If you didn’t know, now you know. As people’s feed got crowded, facebook reduced to show company updates. In fact, it rarely exists these days. The only way left for company pages to survive on facebook is to use paid ads. But the good thing is, Facebook ads work perfectly well.
Auto translating tools
In the ages of bots and automation, it is easy to be tempted to use them. But there are limitations. Search engines do not like content generated by the automation tool. They even consider it spam. Make sure your web copy is written by a human because you’re writing for humans.
Your business might have sold in the past years using traditional marketing strategies, but one thing is for sure, change is inevitable. The internet has changed the game. You can’t do business depending on word of mouth referrals in the world where people barely listen to each other but pay attention to their gadgets.
I wish you success in your business. Spread the information to all entrepreneurs out there.