Top 5 digital mistakes when starting a business

Transform your business with these simple digital steps, says Carol Mann of Women on the Web

When taking the leap and starting your new business, time and money need to be divided in many ways- all of which can feel equally important.

One such investment that cannot be ignored is the investment in technology and digital resources, but it can be easy to get it wrong.

Here’s some of the most popular digital mistakes that new businesses make.

Not planning your website

Almost every business needs a website in today’s competitive world, some more complex than others depending on the nature of your business. No matter how simple you believe your website needs to be, it is vital to sit down and “plan” your website. This includes considering exactly what information your customers will need when landing on your site and how easy it is for them to navigate around the pages, find the information they need and of course, make the decision to buy.

No website promotion

Once you have your shiny new website ready for the big reveal, it is certainly not a case of “build it and they will come.” There are over 1.5 billion websites in the world, according to Netcraft’s June 2018 Web Server Survey, so it’s a busy market out there.

One of the most effective ways to achieve rapid visibility is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. This is a blend of technical and creative tasks that inform search engines that your website is valuable to the people searching for your type of business. As a reward, they push your site to the top of the rankings for certain keywords, making it easier for your customers to find you.

Lack of engaging content

A truism in the digital marketing space has always been “content is king.” This remains true today. Creating engaging content to add to your website or social media channels is vitally important in not just attracting new customers, but keeping them. Captivating and relevant content will tell search engines that your business is where to direct prospective customers to.

Not knowing your customers

Marketing experts understand all too well the importance of knowing your “buyer persona”, a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer based on market research and data. Your “buyer persona” can tell you many things about your prospective customers by identifying their needs and opinions. It is also critical to know their search trends; what keywords they type in to the search bar when looking for a business like yours. This is known as “keyword research” and provides a crystal ball in to the soul of your customers.

Poor systems

When you begin to gain traction from your digital marketing, you need a good digital system in place to monitor activity and ensure that you do not lose those hard-earned prospects. Many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems exist that can help you harness valuable information and create automated responses to keep prospects firmly in your sales funnel, freeing up your precious time for other core activities.

Operating successfully in the digital world can be challenging, but it’s actually much simpler than many people realise. Learning to embrace, rather than fear, the digital world is the first step towards transforming your business and the best part is that it’s all at the click of a button.

Carol Mann is an expert in digital literacy with more than 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing. She established Women on the Web (WOW) to raise the digital literacy of women in business using bitesize tutorials.