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Don’t Put The Nail In Your Online Coffin

It’s practically impossible to try and run a modern business without the help of the internet. Companies around the world have all joined together in their use of this tool, working to create a place where customers can easily find whatever they’re looking for. Of course, though, when there are so many competitors out there, it can be far too easy to make yourself into someone’s second choice. To help you to avoid this, this post will be exploring the different challenges a business can face over the web, along with some solutions which should enable you to start making a difference for this side of your company.

Poor Search Engine Impressions

Over the last few years, websites like Google have managed to create a monopoly on data. Creating the complex algorithms which bring websites to the top of their searches, they have a huge amount of power when it comes to dictating a smaller company’s success. Of course, while they are very important, a lot of businesses fail to use them effectively, often making mistakes which will get worse and worse over time. There are a couple of paths which businesses will often choose when they’re trying to improve their exposure on social media, but the best will always involve some hard work.

Cheap Tactics: Search Engines have gotten very good at spotting the tricks which people have used in the past to get their website higher than it deserves to be. While you can find loads of modern blogs suggesting that it is still possible to use these methods, you will almost certainly get caught out, and this can have a huge impact on the position of your website. Your SEO work should always be open and transparent. Not only does this make it easier for Google to index your website, but it will also improve the feedback you get from SEO auditing tools.

Bad Support: When you first launch a website, you will usually find your mailbox inundated with spam emails advertising various online services. One of the most common will be SEO, with companies claiming that they can improve your exposure overnight. SEO is complicated and takes a lot of understanding about the company it is being done for to be successful. To achieve this with your website, using a professional SEO services company which is local to you can be a great idea. This will always give you better results than looking overseas.

Short Engagement Periods

Getting people to visit a website is only the first hurdle when you’re approaching this sort of work. Along with this, you will also need to make sure that they are on your website for long enough, with this side of the job often being even harder. People will easily get bored of a website when they can’t find what they need or it isn’t interesting. You’re going to need to do some serious work to combat this, using everything you can to make sure that you’re making your site better for those who visit it.

Hard To Navigate: With everything on the internet being provided so fast, people often find it irritating if they have to spend ages searching for what they need. Whether this is a product or information, engagement times on sites which don’t make it easy for users to get to the pages they need will always be low. Companies will often try to improve this by adding to their site. In reality, though, when something is bad enough to cause issues, it’s usually best to start fresh. It will cost some money to build a new site, but you will have learned loads from the first run.

Boring Content: Certain websites have set a very high bar when it comes to the quality of the content which has to be provided by businesses. While this is good for customers, it can often make life very hard for businesses, with the time they put into producing their content becoming all the more important. Learning how to write or take photos will take a lot of time, though, and you need your content immediately. To overcome this, hiring professional content makers can be an excellent way to make your website more appealing to those who visit.

Bad Reviews

Every company has had to deal with an unhappy customer at some point in their life. It’s impossible to make everyone happy, and mistakes can be made when you’re trying to run a complicated company, making it understandable when you have an issue or two. When people are angry enough to leave negative reviews, though, the steps you take need to be very calculated. You may be innocent, but readers of the reviews surrounding your business won’t see it this way when they see a damning review.

Responses: It’s crucial that your company responds to negative reviews, especially when someone has been left very upset. Most review sites makes this possible through their platforms, making it very easy to get in touch with the person who is upset. You should never try to argue your side when you’re doing this. Instead, you should make sure that the customer is satisfied with your apology, along with outlining the steps which you are taking to avoid the problem in the future. Having arguments here will almost always result in your business looking bad.

The Chance To Delete: In some cases, the places which customers use to review your business will leave you with the opportunity to control some of the content other users see. Whether this is through deletions or spamming new reviews until negative ones are hidden, this approach is a bad one to take. When people are taking the time to read reviews, they will be looking for anything which doesn’t appear right, and seeing gaps in it will always make your business appear to be dodgy.

Public Relations Issues

Poor public image can go a lot further than a couple of bad reviews, and public relations issues are often some of the worse a small can face. For example, if it is discovered than you use suppliers which aren’t ethical, you could find that people don’t want to spend money with you anymore. This is just a single instance of an issue like this, with loads of different scenarios turning the public off of your company. Handling this is much like dealing with bad reviews, though you have to do it on a much larger scale.

Transparency: It can be easy to buckle under the stress of being in the firing line, and a lot of companies will lie when they are caught doing things wrong. Covering your back isn’t the important side of this issue, though. When people already know that you’ve done something bad, being honest about the experience can be a great way to go, as this will make it far easier to humanise your business. Most people will be willing to look past mistakes when they are presented properly.

Changing Practice: Dealing with a public relations issue can be a big challenge, even for companies which have been around for years. People won’t want to shop with you, limiting the resources to have to make a change, and this leaves a lot of companies trying to keep things the same when they go through this process. The odds of people’s anger resurfacing is far too high to take this risk. Instead, you should work to change your practices as quickly as you can, even if this means spending some money.

A Fresh Take

The world of online business is a very dynamic one. Even when a company has made a very bad name for itself, overcoming this issue and finding a new path isn’t impossible. The best way to achieve this goal is by simply changing your name, branding, and the materials which come along with it. Making yourself look like a completely new business is nice and easy, nowadays. Of course, this will be harder if you have a physical side to your company. This works because people won’t often spend the time to research companies when they buy from them. If people can’t see that you once had a bad reputation, they simply won’t know about it, giving you the chance to break free from the issues it can cause.

As time goes on, the internet is becoming more and more crucial to small companies all over the world. Connecting you with customers which would have never found you in person, this sort of resource can make it possible to boost your business by a huge degree. To make it work, though, you have to make sure that you’re doing things right. It can be far too easy to put the nails in your own online coffin, and loads of people make this mistake. If you need help with any of the elements of this post, it is well worth seeking some professional advice, with loads of companies being set up to help others with issues like this.

About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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