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The main reasons small business owners fail online
When you're a small business in a big world, you can use the internet to compete on a sort of level playing field with the much bigger brands in your industry. You can level the playing field by becoming active on social media, having a killer SEO campaign running and overall have a good marketing strategy in place to pull in leads and sales. But even with that, it's still surprising as to how many small businesses are still watching their competitors make it big. There are two main reasons for this, one is that they just don't have the right marketing campaign and the other is that they are using one that simply isn't working.
Here are the three most common things holding small businesses back.
1. They don't know exactly how everything works online.
Many companies have tried cutting out their own space online when it comes to online marketing and have failed. This could be due to one or more of the reasons I'm listing below.
- They aren't sure how to convert their traffic into a sale when it comes to their website
- They are intimidated by the word "Online Marketing" because it is unknown to them.
- They are not answering their customers questions the right way.
- They don't have system in place that will help convert their traffic into leads.
- They aren't promoting their own special offers well enough.
- They are not spreading their marketing across every channel they can.
- They simply give up too soon when something doesn't look successful.
Plenty of times I've heard these reasons above as to why the company isn't successful. There's always one thing that is a common trend with them, they give up too soon. They think that setting up one ad will make the profits for the rest of their life, which simply isn't true. They will set up an ad, it fails, so they stop trying to make money from that platform all together. How many times do you think I set up a Facebook ad, and failed, before I get the right mix that works? Probably a few hundred times before I figured out how exactly to set everything up lol
When it comes to online marketing, it's an odd topic for most people because they don't understand what's going on. I've talked with plenty of clients and I can't go into detail about what I'm going to do because they will simply think I'm hacking other websites and placing their links within them lol. People don't like change, and online marketing is still new so it's relatively unknown. For this simple reason, a lot of small companies aren't using SEO and Online Marketing for their own businesses because they don't know exactly how it works.
Pay per click campaigns, like mentioned above, are scary to new business owners because they will be investing more money into their start up and they aren't sure if it will work. Now when it comes to PPC, it's the easiest and quickest way to start pulling in sales, but people still don't use it for some reason
2. Jumbled information across the internet leading them in 1,000 different directions
When it comes to ranking high in the search engines and staying there, it's a difficult game to play because every SEO specialist out there has a different idea on how to rank high. With all these ideas out there, it's tough for a new business owner to get a good grasp on what to do, so they try to stay away from it all together. If all the specialists, gurus and experts out there can't agree on a single way to help increase your rankings and bring in clients, how can someone with absolutely no knowledge in the field know what to do?
Even when a group of experts, gurus or specialists agree on how to do something, it gets flipped because Google wants to do an update to their algorithm lol.
What we do know is that your website needs to have proper on page optimization and you need a good amount of unique content within your pages. You can pull in sales through PPC without a good amount of content, but not when it comes to high rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
3. Small businesses usually think that SEO and Online Marketing is way out of their price range.
Most small businesses are on a budget, if they weren't, they wouldn't be considered a small business lol. A lot of online marketing companies are targeting large corporations, mine included, because they are a bigger paycheck at the end of the month. Now that doesn't mean you can't find a good company, like mine, that will work with you and your budget. I've quoted plenty of clients $3,000 a month and then they tell me their digital marketing budget is only $900. So what I'll do is audit their website and come back to them with what I think the best plan of attack would be for that $900. Now I'm a decent writer so I don't have to always outsource my content generation, so I can just write up a ton of content for each client that I have. Not outsourcing the content generation will save money, but it won't cut out that $2,100 gap. I will usually break down my plan and do a little bit of everything in order to show them what they'd be getting, just on a smaller scale.
If you're a small business owner reading this, ask a few questions prior to signing up with an SEO company. These questions are:
- Do you require a contract?
Usually a credible company will require a contract because they know that it takes a few month to increase your rankings and bring in the sales. They also want something in writing just in case you decide to file some charge backs on an expensive service.
- Do you guarantee results?
No credible company will guarantee you results because they do not work for Google. They will usually tell you something like "We can get you higher rankings, but we can't guarantee that because we don't work for the search engines. We will do everything in our power to make sure that the search engines see you as an authority and boost your rankings over time"
- How long will this take?
A good company will tell you that it could take 3 to 6 months. They will never tell you that you will see top rankings in a couple weeks because that simply doesn't happen if you're doing something the right way lol.
In today's world, people aren't fingering through the YellowPages because everything is going online now. People get their information from review sites like blogs and Yelp, which is where you should be in order to funnel in traffic that will hopefully turn into a sale or two
You shouldn't be scared to start pushing your business with online marketing. There is a lot of misleading information out there and I know it can be scary to start working on things yourself, but you can always hire someone who has been doing this for years and they will steer you in the right direction
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