Over the years doing business as an Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant, I’ve had many clients come to me to fix mistakes that affected their business. Today I’d like to share with you a few of these to help you learn how to avoid them.

1. Choosing an ill-conceived domain name – Your domain name is important. Many business owners make the mistake of neglecting keywords or failing to consider how easy their domain name will be to remember, spell and type into their browser. Your domain name should be fairly short so it is memorable to potential customers and clients you’ll network with. Something that is easy to say (without having to spell it out) over the phone and one that is short enough to fit on your business cards. For example, info@mycompanynameistoolong.com would take up all the prime real estate area on your business card. Make sure to spend time researching and even testing out your chosen domain name.

2. Slow websites –  Flash, dynamic web pages and images that take up too much memory are the major causes of slow download times. The general rule of thumb is to make sure your images are no larger than 50KB. Why is this so important? Your web visitors are impatient people. We’re accustomed to getting instant gratification online, and if a web page takes too long to load, you’ll lose people as they click away.

Also choose a website hosting company that is known for little downtime, fast customer service and speedy servers like Hostgator or Bluehost.  A reliable and dependable web hosting company can make or break your online business.

3. Neglecting traffic generation strategies– In this day and age it’s silly to expect that just because you have a website means people will automatically visit it. It’s the old “if you build it, they will come” mistake. To have a successful online business, traffic generation tactics are essential. Some strategies to generate traffic include:

  • Social networking
  • Content marketing
  • PPC advertising
  • Keyword research and SEO tactics

4. Messy, difficult to read websites – Website design is crucial. A website that is jam packed with banner ads, unusual and difficult to read fonts, too many colors and distractions will cause your website visitors to leave quickly. Your prospects and customers want an easy to navigate website where everything they want is easy to find. Your website takes their needs into consideration by not barraging them with graphics, advertisements and difficult to read content. You have only a few seconds to grab the attention of your prospect visiting your website, don’t frustrate or scare them off with a website that is not user friendly.

5. Unclear products and/or services – Have you ever been to a website where you have no idea what they do or provide? Many business owners make this mistake; they neglect to inform their audience right away, on their landing page, about what they have to offer. Make sure your USP, unique selling proposition, is clear, easy to understand, and available right on your landing page.

6. Shopping Cart Issues – Abandoned shopping carts are problematic for any business owner. The reason this happens is usually quite apparent. Not enough information about the shopping cart process, requiring too much information (like forcing shoppers to register) and a difficult to understand shopping cart system can all cause people to change their minds and click away – lost sales! Make your purchasing process easy to understand and follow through. Make sure you have a FAQ page to answer commonly asked questions and a contact number they can call to order in the off chance they don’t want to order online.

7. Out of date content – Content is an essential aspect of any online business. It helps drive traffic, it provides value and it helps establish you as a credible authority in your industry. If you neglect to provide a constant source of up to date information, all of your business will suffer. You’ll lose traffic and search engine page ranking, your customers and prospects will stop seeking information on your website and you’ll lose credibility. Create a solid content strategy that will ensure you provide regular, valuable content all year long.

8. Poor customer service – You’ve likely heard the phrase that it’s cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. Good customer service, which includes easy to find contact information, a prompt response time and a FAQ page to address common questions and issues, will go a long way toward keeping your customers. Ticket systems, online chat, and autoresponders are all options to improve your customer service.

9. Trying to do everything yourself – You can wear a few hats in your business but don’t try to wear them all. Stick to what you know best and love doing be it selling product, teaching, consulting or blogging. Leave the “small stuff” like administration, website maintenance and customer service to a Virtual Assistant. Hire a Virtual Assistant right now by clicking here.

Owning and growing an online business is hard work, but it can be rewarding and profitable if you make sure to steer clear of these common mistakes.

Share with us mistakes you’ve done in your business and what you learned from them below in our comments…

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