As a paint and decorating retailer, you’ve invested a lot of time and money into the look and feel of your shop. Your customers are looking for ways to make their homes more appealing, so your shop should be beautiful and your customer experience should be top notch.
But even though the bulk of your sales are likely done face-to-face, it’s more important than ever to invest in your online presence as well. However, whether it’s because of time constraints or a limited budget, simple mistakes can get in the way of creating a strong digital voice. To help you avoid these common blunders, take a look at these five online mistakes to avoid.
Not Having a Website. Regardless of industry, size and location, every business needs a website. Whether it’s a simple site with a few pages or a more advanced site with e-commerce capability, a domain dedicated to your company is a no-brainer. Not only will a legitimate website help make your business more credible, but it will help customers find you and answer some frequently asked questions (such as hours, location, product lines, etc.). If you find the online world to be too overwhelming, the beauty of web-building is that you can start small and work on one page at a time. There is also an ever-increasing number of website builders like Wix, Weebly or WordPress, which offer countless options and walk you through the process from start to finish.
Neglecting Your Website. The only thing worse than not having a website is having a stagnant and outdated website. Like every other aspect of your business, it’s important to maintain your digital footprint. While keeping your website up-to-date with products and promotions is a great way to keep people coming back, one of the best ways to add value for customers and clients is to create a weekly or monthly blog. Whether you write about new products, DIY ideas, or seasonal promotions, this original content will keep people engaged and help boost your social media marketing efforts.
Using Social Media as Your Primary Website. Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a fantastic way to connect with customers, share exciting promotional campaigns and scope out the competition. But they do have limitations. For starters, social media platforms are one-size-fits-all and do not offer the same flexibility as websites when it comes to layout, design and content options. Social media also has to be updated more often than a website does. So instead of focusing solely on social media marketing, use it more as a supplementary tool. And, of course, be sure to include direct links to your social media channels on your website.
Using a Free Email Provider. Communication is key to the success of a small business, so any email address is a good email address, right? Not so much. For personal usage, free email providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are fine, but it can make your business seem unprofessional to customers. To help legitimize your small business, it’s best to invest in a company-branded domain name (ie. customersupport@ABCPaints.com) in addition to your website.
Not Embracing the Power of SEO. If you’re investing time and money (after all, your time is money) on digital marketing efforts for your small business, you owe it to yourself to learn about the power and importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Simply put, SEO is a technique used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Since there’s a whole lot more to SEO than alt tags and company-branded domain names, it’s important to spend time learning about this strategic marketing technique to truly reap the many benefits it can bring your business.