The Four Big Mistakes Sites for Small Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)

wwwRunning a small business isn’t easy; likewise, running a website for a small business audience can be equally challenging. Whether you’re trying to understand the wants and needs of unique entrepreneurs or helping to provide sound financial advice, it’s difficult to be perceived as a worthwhile resource for SMBs if you aren’t on top of your game.

For example, consider the ten hardest aspects of entrepreneurship including:

  • Learning how to strategize, including hiring strategy and delegating tasks
  • Making difficult financial or legal decisions that could ultimately make or break one’s business
  • Understanding how to properly handle money and what to do in the face of risk

If you want SMBs to take your site seriously, perhaps it’s best to understand some of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurial and finance sites make. The following pitfalls are easy to miss and could ultimately be the difference between whether or not your visitors see your site as authoritative and trustworthy.

Providing Poor Advice

There’s perhaps no bigger kiss of death for your site than offering unsound or skeptical advice to your readership. All it takes is one piece of bad advice to create a potential nightmare for your site and brand, especially in the modern age of transparency (think: social media and sites offering online ratings and reviews).

For example, if you’re providing legal or financial advice, whether it be how to set up a contract or tips for playing the stock market, make sure that you’ve done your homework and are taking advantage of reliable resources rather than anecdotal evidence. The official SBA.gov portal is a great starting point for SMBs seeking legal help; likewise, the classic Yahoo! Finance is a spectacular place to research stocks.

No Disclaimers or Legal Language

When it comes to legal language, a little bit goes a long away. Don’t let your site get caught up in a potential legal battle over something minuscule. Instead, protect yourself with a generic disclaimer or privacy policy template (a variety of which can be found via a quick Google search) to limit any sort of liability that may come up through your site or information found on-site.

Lack of Testimonials

Testimonials are incredibly important to any business and represent a foolproof way to break down the trust barrier between your site and its visitors. Consider reaching out to former business owners that you’ve worked with or advised in an attempt to show visitors that you’re the real deal in terms of experience and advice. By putting a real-life name and face to your success, visitors will be more inclined to take your site seriously.

Inconsistency

Inconsistency takes many shapes and forms when it comes to your site; however, the biggest offender is a lack of consistent content creation. If you don’t consistently put new content on your site, you’re missing potential SEO opportunities and failing to build your site up as a resource for visitors. While you don’t necessarily need to blog on a daily basis, you should at least strive to keep your site up-to-date regarding breaking news or happenings in your particular SMB niche.

Small business owners have a number of needs and expectations given the sheer demands of being an entrepreneur. The question remains: is your site meeting such expectations? By providing consistently sound advice that’s backed up your expertise and experience, you better poise your site as becoming a resource to visitors rather than another face in the crowd.

 

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