Below are 5 myths I hear on a regular basis from businesses. If you have some common myths to share, please do so in the comments.
1). All Websites are Created Equal
Not all websites are created equal and your goal should be to have good/safe hosting, good code, good optimization and a design that meets the needs of your target audiences.
It is never good to rush into having a website or hiring the company that can get it done the fastest. A good website design should be thought about and planned. Make sure the usability for your audience is good, the design is pleasing and you have everything you need to keep the website going.
The information that the reader needs to see for you to make a sale should be easy to find on your website, easy to read and easy to understand. Design and planning are critical.
2. Cheap Websites Will Get You Found
False. I see all the commercials from online businesses offering websites for really cheap and saying:
You can’t get found unless your site is optimized. You can’t be optimized without good coding, SEO, a marketing strategy and content that supports the strategies put in place.
Cheap is never a good idea for a business. Don’t waste your time on cheap websites. Remember, time is money.
3. Social Is Easy
Social is not easy. Social takes a ton of researching, planning, daily time and monitoring. A successful social campaign is not sticking things on Facebook or randomly tweeting something and never looking for responses. It also isn’t having a lot of friends on Facebook.
Social media is all about strategy. These questions are just the start of social:
- Which social media platform will work best?
- Which audiences are you targeting?
- How will you reach your audiences?
- Who will interact with your social audience daily?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of a social campaign?
- What is the ROI?
- What are competitors’ doing? What is working or not working for them?
4. If We Get More Website Traffic We Will Make More Money
This is false. Traffic is just traffic. What you want is to reach the audience(s) that needs your products and/or services. Random traffic makes you no money, so it is essentially useless. I will give you an example. When I first started blogging for business, I had a picture of Yoda on my contact page. I named the picture “Yoda” and Google Images picked it up and it was the 3rd image out of all of them for “Yoda.”
I was getting tens of thousands of visits each month to the contact page and not one of those visits made me any money. In analytics, I could see they were searching for Yoda. So traffic was great, but it made me no money.
The goal of website traffic is to make money. Focus on ROI with Web traffic and if what you are doing is not giving you a return – you need to try a different strategy.
5). If Our Website, Online Marketing and Content are Perfect, We Will Make Money
This is false. Everything online can be perfect, but if the service people receive when they call and/or email your company is not good you will not make money.
We had a client with a perfectly coded website that was optimized and ranking well. They were getting great traffic and had many new contacts in their contact form daily. But they complained business wasn’t getting better. We couldn’t figure it out.
Then both myself and a colleague, without knowing it, referred friends to the business. They both came back saying the same thing:
“They won’t answer the phone and it just rang and rang.”
They also said they called after 5PM and left messages and no one returned their call. Both people claimed they called the business multiple times and never got a response. About 9 months later, I referred someone else to them and they said the people were so rude they refused to use the business.
You have to make sure that your staff is as perfect as you try to make your website and online marketing if you are hoping to make money. Both online and offline you have to give your very best.
Unicorn Photo via Shutterstock
Good tips Melissa especially number 5. While we as customers love simplicity when searching for products or services we can forget as business owners. Barriers are put up for the customers to jump over such as your example that we would not take as a customer. If we can delete some actions customers have to take in the buying process they will appreciate it and sales are likely to increase.
Amen to that, Susan!
Mark @ ThinkTraffic
Number 4: All traffic is not created equal. Getting the right traffic is so much more important than getting a lot of it… Of course if you can get a lot of the right traffic you are likely to do well 🙂
Very true, Mark 🙂
Well said, Melissa. I am curious how you would advise the company in point 5. It’s a difficult conversation when clearly the business processes need to be re-examined. Cheers.
Tammy, I think as a company/consultant you have to earn real trust of the owners so when issues like this arise they are open to hearing you. However, there are some businesses that will never be open to it; delicate situations like these need to be thought out carefully.
Great post, Melissa.
These are definitely myths that need to be dispelled and you did a great job of it, especially the social myth. Being social online requires just as much effort if not more than socializing and networking offline. Thanks for sharing this great info with us.
Thanks, Ti. I agree completely!
Melissa, let me add one more to your list of five. We deal with restaurants all the time who seem to think “Once I Put Up a Good Website, I can Leave it Alone.” In truth the best websites are continually changing, whether it is adding special promotions, posting news, or, for restaurants, updating their menu. To get the most out of your website, you need to give people a reason to come back to it.
Doug, you are so right! We have some restaurant clients and they often don’t understand the updating. On one site we just took prices off because they didn’t update enough and people were disputing prices.
Add events and reasons to visit the restaurant are critical. You make great points. I just wrote about restaurants here -> https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/01/5-mistakes-restaurant-websites-make.html
Nice list of falsehoods, Melissa!
More traffic = more money.
Sometimes that IS true, if it’s the right kind of traffic.
Neil Patel writes about that a lot…that all web traffic isn’t created equal. Focus on traffic that converts.
That’s the secret.
The Franchise King®
Very true, Joel. 🙂
This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a while. You won’t believe how often I run into the issue you described. Many small business owners still think that just having “a” website will do the job. Some of them even think that “throwing” a few keywords on a website will get them found. The lack of education and knowledge are truly amazing!
Thanks, Annett 🙂 I agree with you completely.
I like your point about not all Websites being created equal. How true! It’s amazing how many businesses believe it makes no real difference what kind of Website they put up on the Internet to represent their brands. The truth is that the wrong Website is essentially a waste of money since it does nothing to build your business or your community.
I totally agree, Heather. Maybe you should write an article on that 🙂 I would read it!
Melissa: Thanks for being an myth buster! Regarding point 3 (Social Is Easy), you should ask the “why” question before you jump into social media. As a social media evangelist, I can answer the question! 😉
The myth with regards to more traffic equals more money is truly a fallacy.
As stated before, the myth of more traffic= more money is very true. Just because more people see it, it does not mean more will act on it necessarily. It is important that the message is compelling.
You are right, Thomas. You have get them to act to make money.
Thanks Melissa! I can certainly attest to your point about getting high quality traffic. It is relatively easy to spend a ton of money getting people to your site with various pay-per-click campaigns be in Google AdWords, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. However, the real challenge in a new business is boosting your conversion rate. That is, how do you convert traffic into customers? What percentage of your site visitors are following through with the ‘call to action’ on your site? Essentially your conversion rate will tell you the ‘quality’ of your traffic. If traffic is high but conversion rate is low, you’re going to need to revisit your strategy and think about how to build up your brand credibility.
Melissa, this is a great article. A successful company continuously works to improve their website. They aren’t only looking for one simple solution, they are looking at several different aspects that they can use to improve their business.
I write a lot about this in The Digital Dollar; Sustainable Strategies for Online Success. Suggest that people who like this blog consider looking at a copy of it. Joe Wozny