Four Ways Small Business Websites Often Miss the Mark

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Do you have a brick-and-mortar business? That refers to a business that is housed in a building people can actually walk into to buy products or services, as opposed to an online business where all transactions take place over the internet. Brick-and-mortar businesses may feel that a good website is just an afterthought, something that just provides their business hours, address and phone number. In fact, a strong website can be a valuable addition to the viability of just about any brick-and-mortar business. It may not have been part of the formula that made a business successful over the last two or three decades but it should definitely be part of every business’s future.

When a brick-and-mortar company sets up a website, since this is not their area of expertise, it’s common for some important basics to be overlooked. The owner of a brick-and-mortar company may have someone in the family create a few pages for the website and then call it quits. This company will be missing all the advantages that website could provide.

I looked at the minimal website of a small automotive repair company in my town and found a perfect example of a missed opportunity to create popularity and viability for that company. Here’s what they did that missed the boat:

1. Ignoring Quality
This website isn’t much more than a logo, a picture of the business, some text and some clip art. It doesn’t look like it has been updated in the last decade. You need to remember that every place you appear in public (website, mailings, uniforms, business cards) delivers a message about your product. A simple website with a contemporary design does not have to be expensive but that up-to-date website will assure someone that your diagnostic equipment and knowledge is also up to date.

Not much effort was put into the text. The basic certification of the mechanics was mentioned, which is good, and there’s an Angie’s List logo and a Better Business Bureau logo on the page, which is also good. But there’s no appeal, no effort to engage the reader or to communicate what makes this car repair shop different from all others out there. An article profiling a mechanic AND a customer who have both been with you for ten years might make you stand out from the crowd and convey a message of trustworthiness and stability.

2. Forgetting to Sell
If someone finds this site, right there is a chance turn him (or her) into a customer or to increase his loyalty if he is already a customer. This website makes no effort. There’s no testimonials which are always good for a car repair business. Everyone has a horror story of a ripoff car mechanic. The average person wants to hear from other people about a mechanic they trust. Testimonials are a subtle method of selling your business by getting someone else to sell it for you.

Also, there’s no effort here to show understanding for the problems of an unmechanical person who is looking for a trustworthy car repair shop. The home page could say something fun and different like:
We’re Experts at Diagnosing those Clunks, Squeals or Thuds Your Car is Making! Bring Us the Noise and We’ll Tell You What the Problem is.

It’s a little different and might appeal to someone who really doesn’t quite know where to start in explaining the problem.

There’s a couple more factors that are important for your website to have that this one was missing and I will cover those in the next blog post. Stay tuned for the next post!

On the other hand, if you’re thinking your website might need some tuning up, give us a call and we’ll tell you just how it can be improved. We’ll give you just the plan you need to make it a valuable asset for your business.