5 Tips to improve your online game without spending money
There are some common mistakes many businesses are making that can be fixed without having to pay someone. Before we take on a new client, we always review their current online presence to see whether they actually need our help. Here are the top 5 ways most businesses are failing in their online game that don't cost a cent to rectify:
1. Be consistent
Unless you're stuck in the 90's, your business probably has a website and several social media pages. Each platform represents a chance to connect with potential customers/clients. Picture this; someone lands on your business website and quickly forms an opinion based on the layout, design, branding (colours, fonts, logo), images, tone used etc. The entire judgement process takes less than 10 seconds. They are satisfied that your business is the real deal and will help them fulfil a want or a need of theirs.
However..... they decide to check your Instagram page for re-assurance that they have found the right business. Your Instagram account is all over the place. It just doesn't look like the same business that had the amazing website they just viewed. Suddenly, they find themselves experiencing cognitive dissonance and they are no longer sure that their original assessment of your business was right. They decide to keep searching (or just give up altogether).
You won't even realise that you've lost someone who would have purchased something you offer. They will not email or call you to let you know their decision NOT to go with you. They will simply vanish and you will never know they existed. This is why it is important that every platform you use represents the best of your business. You never know which platform someone will find you on, or whether they will be checking any other platforms. Get it right across all platforms and be consistent. Results will not be far behind.
2. Give something away
Ask yourself, why would someone spend time on my website or social pages? What are they getting out of this? What if they're only slightly interested, but may become much more interested some time in the future? What are you doing to ensure these people are not lost forever? It can be as simple as giving something of value away. That doesn't mean you have to take a loss. Value can come in many forms, including information/advice.
For example, someone who has decided to get fit might be searching for a local gym they can feel comfortable going to. Assume they have not yet decided whether they will join a gym, they are just curious at this stage. What can the gym do to keep these people around until they are ready to sign up? For one, they could provide advice on losing belly fat (or any number of other health/fitness topics of interest). It could be in the form of a video posted online, an article posted to their website, an e-book with exercise tips etc. This can be done for just about any type of business in almost any industry.
As a business owner you will already know best what your customers are looking for. Give them a taste of it..... FOR FREE. They are already half-way to becoming your next customer, it's your job to push them over the line.
3. Use only high quality images
The first thing anyone will notice when they land on your website or social pages is the images. It is so important that every image used is something that complements your brand for the best possible first impression. Again, consistency is key here. This means only good quality images. Remove any blurry, dark or boring images and burn them. Replace them with high quality images that show everyone what a great business yours is. Remember, if the image is for your business, it must be at the highest possible quality. If you are using images taken on your phone, this will undoubtedly result in a lackluster response from your potential customers. Hire a photographer if you need to. Ensure the images are a perfect match for what you do.
For example, if your business is a hiring service for jumping castles use bright, loud images of the jumping castles with saturated colours that portray fun and happiness. Of course not every business will rely on images as much as one that hires out jumping castles. If you have an accounting practice, you could use images of your team (or just you if you're a sole trader) with bright, neutral colours showing the human side of your business to let people know they are dealing with someone who is friendly and personable (and worthy of a face to face meeting).
4. Three-click rule
What information do people need from you in order to decide whether your business offers what they need? Can they get this information in 3 clicks or less from your homepage? If not, this needs to be fixed. We live in an age of impatient human beings seeking instant information. Average IQ's have been slowly declining since the internet (no joke, look it up). We're basically goldfish. Every extra click required is another reason to exit your website and never return. Give them what they want as quickly as possible. Their time is worth more than you think.
5. Ask for reviews
Any business can claim to be amazing, but not every business will have customers/clients willing to back this up. Whether it's through Google, Facebook, Amazon or any other platform your business is represented on, reviews are an important component in the decision-making process. Reviews will help convert two groups of people into customers; the first group is those who won't purchase unless they see positive reviews, the second group is those people who have already decided to purchase from you and are engaging in confirmation bias to confirm that they have made the right decision. The second group will not be as picky as the first and will usually seek out your positive reviews. Don't stress if you don't have any reviews yet, you can always request them from new customers/clients.
Are you doing all 5 of these? If not, what are you waiting for? You have customers waiting for you to show them just how great your business is!
Are you looking to take your business to the next level? We provide a range of services that grow businesses and help you stand out in the marketplace. From websites and branding to in-depth marketing plans, we have have the expertise to help take your business to the next level. Contact us here to discuss your business goals.