The Most Common Website and Social Media Mistakes for Local Businesses—and How to Avoid Them

12.09.2021 Sara Brasfield5 min

Small business owners often wear a lot of different hats. From running the cash register to managing sales and marketing to interviewing and hiring new staff, even the most skillful entrepreneurs can find themselves stretched thin and outside of their comfort zone as they do whatever work needs to be done.

There’s no shame in relying on work ethic and resourcefulness as you build a business from the ground up. But even well-intentioned mistakes and oversights can come at a business cost for growing local businesses. Even if you’ve partnered with a digital advertising agency to build optimized campaigns connected to your business goals, it’s possible for small mistakes to derail the top-of-funnel success these campaigns have created for your brand.

At Cox Media, one of the most common challenges we see local businesses struggle with is an inability to follow through with leads generated from digital ad campaigns. Too often, these drop-offs in performance can be connected back to simple errors in both the clients’ website business design and its social media presence.

The good news is, those errors are easy to correct—and once addressed, your business could see a swift uptick in marketing performance and ROI. With that in mind, here are some of the most common mistakes we’ve seen local businesses make, along with tips to fix the issue.

Mistake #1: You’re Only On One Social Network

Social media management takes time—and for some small business leaders, time is a scarce resource. For this reason, some businesses put in minimal effort in developing and maintaining a social media presence, and may ignore certain social networks altogether as they focus their efforts on what they consider to be the highest-value platforms.

Unfortunately, this can undercut your long-term marketing efforts, especially if you aren’t organically building a following over time. Social media can be incredibly useful in connecting with your audience, sharing business updates, and distributing marketing content to increase its exposure and ROI. Social media also makes it easier for prospects to find your business, learn more about what you offer, and ask questions as they research their options.

A broader and more active social presence will make you more accessible to today’s consumers and give you an opportunity to grow your online following with regular activity.

Mistake #2: Your Website Is Too Basic (Or Too Cluttered)

A business website is a necessity in today’s business world, regardless of your industry. Any good business website will offer useful information to help consumers take the next step in their customer journey, without overwhelming users with massive websites and huge pages of text.

Your business website should feature basic information, including your services offered, your value proposition, and resources to learn more information, such as a blog or downloadable guide. The website should also prominently feature contact information for your business, including a phone number, email address, and links to social media accounts.

You can also include a “Contact Us” form or a link to scheduling appointments if you want to facilitate connections as painlessly as possible.

Mistake #3: You Don’t Have Landing Pages That Align With Campaign Messaging

Many digital ad campaigns will refer back to your business website, with the goal of getting those prospects to take the next step and connect with your company. But if your display ads and other campaigns are dropping users off at your business homepage, you’re missing out on an opportunity to stay focused on the messaging that matters most—and to drive a specific call-to-action that moves them closer to a conversion.

Landing pages are a great way to facilitate a seamless referral from ad campaigns to your business website. Ideally, custom landing pages will be built for specific campaigns and ad channels to align the messaging prospects are receiving, and to move them quickly toward filling out a form or contacting your business directly.

Mistake #4: Your Website Doesn’t Have Fillable Forms or Other Easy Lead Generation Features

Are you making it as easy as possible for interested prospects to get in touch? The more work website visitors have to do, the less likely it is that they will take the initiative and connect with your business.

If you want to create as many leads as possible from your digital ads, you’ll need to make these referrals and lead-gen processes as quick and painless as possible. Simple fillable forms on your website are a great way to collect contact information and continue the conversation with a sales rep. Live chat, click-to-call buttons on mobile websites, and private messaging on social media are other convenient channels that give prospects options as they consider whether to take that all-important next step.

Mistake #5: You Aren’t Repurposing Content Across Your Website, Social Media, and Other Channels

You’ve paid for digital videos, infographics, professional photos and other high-quality marketing content—so why not put that content to use as much as possible?

Repurposing content is a great way to increase visibility and engagement across a wide range of channels, and it can help you get more value out of the content you’ve created. If you shoot professional video for a digital video or TV ad, for example, why not repurpose that video content on your business website, your social media accounts, and your branded YouTube channel? Repurposing content is extremely affordable and cost-effective, and it can extend the life and value of your advertising assets.

Don’t let simple mistakes and oversights undercut the hard work and resource investments you’ve made into creating a targeted digital advertising strategy. Cox Media’s team of experts can work with your business to make sure your entire sales and marketing funnel is optimized to support digital ad success and maximize conversion opportunities from those leads.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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