There is one part of life that we generally cannot avoid, and that is making mistakes. We all make them, but only some learn from them so that the same mistakes do not happen again. However, just because you are new to ecommerce and running a business, this does not mean that you have to make those first-timer mistakes. I want to show you 7 of the most common newbie mistakes and what you can do to avoid them happening to you.
If You Build It They WON’T Come
If you have seen the film Field Of Dreams you should know what I am talking about in the title here. If not, you should know that just because you build something which you may think is the best thing ever made, that does not mean at all that it is going to attract or receive customers. According to Internet Live Stats, there are over 1.2 billion websites active at the moment, and according to WorldWideWebSize, there are over 4.4 billion web pages. Your website is just going to be the latest addition to that enormous number. What is important for you to know is that building and launching your website is only the first step of a great journey that you have decided to undertake.
Not Including A Logo
A brand is quite heavily recognised and marketed by its logo, and is the first thing that your customers will see when they land on your website. However, many websites still decide to launch their pages without a logo, because they think that they have to spend hundreds or thousands on a professional to design one for them. This is complete nonsense! There is a wealth of resources (most for free!) which will allow you to design high-quality and professional-looking logos for your website. There should never be an excuse as to why you do not have one.
Where Are The Reviews?
One of the greatest parts of the buying cycle is when the customer completes their purchase and then leaves us feedback on what we did great and what we could do better. When most people are shopping online, one of the key factors that they take into consideration before making a purchase is product reviews. However, you should try and hold off on including review sections when just starting out, at least until you make some sales and can ask your customers for feedback. You don’t want your customers to be be looking at blank reviews for every product and start thinking to themselves that nobody has purchased this before or it is not worth buying.
Don’t Feature Your Social Media With No Followers
A strong social media presence is very similar to the product review section discussed above, in that it is a perfect platform for your customers to discuss you, your business, and your products. However, just like blank product review sections, a blank social media account with no followers can do just as much harm. My advice is to start with just one social media platform, build that into something strong, and then start featuring your other accounts for your followers to follow and share.
How Can I Contact You?
General analytics tools will tell you that the About page on your website is the second most visited page or in the top three of most visited pages. This means but one thing – it must be very important, so spend some time creating a decent page filled with the relevant information that your customers require. You should be sharing a story of who you are, the story of your products and how they are made, where you are located (even just a town or state if you are a 100% online business), and most importantly, an email address with will be @ your web address. Many people will not trust a business if it uses only Gmail or Hotmail addresses. Most web and domain name hosting services include an email address for you to use, so use it.
Not Putting The Effort Into SEO Research
Your SEO strategy should include at least 10 of the most popular keywords which relate to your business. If you don’t have 10, stop reading and write them down now. One of the biggest reasons that traffic is not directed to your website is because you have not put in the time to create an effective SEO strategy. Unlike Facebook and Google Adwords (which stop the flow of traffic the moment you stop paying), SEO is free, so take some time to develop a proper strategy which is going to bring you business. It may take some time for that traffic to come, but in the long-run it will be well worth it.
Don’t Focus On Too Much At Once
Do you think that it would be realistic for a juggler to be able to juggle 10 sets of 3 balls at once? Maybe in some parallel universe where that is possible he could, but in our world he can’t. The same applies to your business. If you are trying to manage too many things at once you are setting yourself up to fail. My advice is to keep a diary of things which need to be completed by certain dates and times, and then estimate the number of hours you expect that task to consume, and then prioritise these tasks into a coherent work flow which allows you to focus on just one thing at a time. Recent studies have shown that multi-tasking is not as effective as we once thought.
Have Patience With Your Marketing Strategy
We live in a world where we constantly seek instant gratification for our wants, needs and desires. However, do not let this impact on the effort and focus that you put into your business. Marketing is a long-term strategy which will always be a part of your business, not some quick fix to bring in customers. What is important is that you come to understand that marketing will take time to develop, time to implement, and time to work before your customers start coming in. Beyond this, it will need to be regularly monitored and tweaked in order to always stay most effective. In saying this, it is important then that you give each of your marketing channels enough time to work. Launching a strategy, only close it down a week later because no customers came would not be the right decision to make. Give these things time to flourish and you will be rewarded.
As we have learnt, there are many steps to launching and maintaining a successful online business and it does not stop with the launch of our website. Looking at these obvious mistakes, it now may be a little easier for you to recognise them before they happen. There are of course many more that we can make, even for seasoned veterans in the digital world, but what you should do is stay calm, patient, and manage your work flow by managing the time you spend focusing on only a few things at once.