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What Do Your Prospects Think About Your Business?

In business, image is everything. Right or wrong, your clients will make snap judgments about you and about your business. This means that unless you can afford to lose clients, you can’t afford to project an unprofessional image.

Below, we’ve listed 10 areas that are (unfortunately) all too easy for small business owners to ignore. Are you making any of these common internet marketing mistakes? If so, you could inadvertently be telling clients you’re not really serious about your business. Make sure you’ve got your bases covered, and check yourself against this list.

1.  Not having a website

If you don’t have a website, does your business really exist? It’s hard to even fathom why we’re still arguing about this, but the truth is that many business still have no online presence. We promise you, every one of your clients is looking for your website. It’s a must. End of story.

2.  Not having your own domain name

Your “free” website does not give you your own domain name (i.e., www.yourcompany.com). You’ll have to pay for it. But with so many good, inexpensive hosting options, it’s really a minor expense. And the thing is, if your website does not have your own domain name, your clients will wonder why.

 3.  Not having an email address with your domain

Are you still emailing clients from your free Yahoo account? If so, you’re also sending the message that your business is more of a hobby than a bona fide company. Leave the free email account for your personal life – not for your business.

Obtaining a proper email address, such as name@yourcompany.com, is easy and inexpensive. Do it today.

4.  Not having an email signature at the bottom of your emails

Your email signature is a standard closing that appears at the bottom of every email you send. It shows clients and peers who you are and what your business is. At the very least, your email signature should include your name, company name, and contact information. Bonus points for including your company tagline, logo, a link to your website, links to your social media profiles, or other details.

5.  Not having a logo

Legitimate companies have logos. These days, online options make logo design an easy option,  you should not have an excuse for not having some graphical representation of your company. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be unique.

6.  Not having a business Facebook page

Did you know that 93% of all US adult internet users are on Facebook? And that one out of every eight minutes online is spent on Facebook? A Facebook page for your business is no longer a fad or even a luxury. It’s a necessity.

7.  Not having a company page on LinkedIn

With over 100 million members, LinkedIn is the top business social networking site. Your LinkedIn company page gets listed in Google’s and LinkedIn’s search engines, allows clients to follow your company’s updates, and gives you a place to promote services and products. If you don’t have a company page on LinkedIn, you’re missing a lot of advantages.

8.  Not having a Google Places account

97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Not surprisingly, most of them use Google to conduct their search. Also not surprisingly, because Google owns Google Places, listings on Google Places get top billing on search engine results pages. Even if your business is national, a Google Places account will still list important details like business hours, years in business, payment methods and more.

9.  Not having a business blog

The proof is in the numbers: Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors than companies that don’t blog. B2C companies that blog generate 88% more leads, while B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads. Sure, blogging requires time and resources. But these numbers show that you can’t afford not to blog.

10. Not maintaining a system to manage business contacts

If you are your company’s only employee, an old-fashioned rolodex might work for you. But start to grow your business just a little bit, and clients will quickly start to fall through the cracks. To take advantage of every marketing and relationship-building opportunity, you need a system to manage your business contacts. Options include free, online tools like Google Calendar and Contacts, a basic Microsoft Outlook setup, or a more sophisticated CRM tool like ACT or Salesforce.

At the end of the day, maintaining a professional image is going to require a certain investment of time and resources. But it’s simply the cost of doing business these days. Avoid these 10 internet marketing mistakes, and you’ll be setting the foundation for bigger and better things to come.

By the way, Design & Promote can solve any or all of these 10 internet marketing goofs for you, just give us a call.