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New year checklist

PUBLISHED: 15:17 06 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:17 06 January 2016

Ashley Scott – Owner, Nettl of Exeter

Ashley Scott – Owner, Nettl of Exeter

Archant

Eight fatal mistakes Devon businesses make online…and offline!

1. Ignoring mobile

It’s surprising how many South West businesses still do not have responsive websites. Customers may search ‘double glazing Helston’ or ‘travel agent Gandy Street’ on their phones, then will expect to read and follow content easily. If they have to repeatedly rotate their device to enter their credit card details, or pinch and zoom to understand a description they will rapidly go elsewhere.

2. Forgetting to update

Still got last year’s summer bargains on your front page, we are in January! Keep your content up to date, add some new products and update your blog as search engines reward fresh content but remember to keep it simple, write for humans not robots.

3. Neglecting pictures

Make sure your photography sells. Unhelpful or out of focus product photos will turn customers away so invest in some professional help for improved ROI.

4. Failing to think

At the end of the day it’s all about your customers. Imagine you are one, are you going to drop your basket as you cannot find answers to your questions? Can you just order or do you really have to create an account? Is delivery included or how do you request a call back? Is your site mystifying? Do not be afraid to ask for feedback either otherwise how can you improve or make future plans.

5. Confusing customers

Make sure you have bold ‘call to actions’, tell customers exactly what they have to do next and keep buttons obvious, not hidden in some remote corner. If your site were written in a foreign language or even Martian-speak would it still be easy to navigate?

6. Waiting and delaying

Is your new website still ‘coming soon’? Oh dear, customers have gone elsewhere, get it ‘good enough’ as quickly as possible, start selling, generate interest and refine later. Staged approaches are better all round, add the online booking or room reservations later and benefit from it being live sooner so search engines can start to trust you.

7. Living in the past

Surely you have noticed the demise of the slide rule? Websites, ecommerce and associated sales psychology have moved on incredibly fast so utilise a professional web designer to apply current best practice. Your mate in the pub may be able to do it at a rock-bottom price but will they be around next month when you want to update? Conversely websites today do not need to cost a fortune, building one is not rocket science. Figures followed by lots of noughts may not be necessary and you may be pleasantly surprised at how affordable a local web design agency site costs.

8. Inconsistent branding

Be consistent within your brand strategy. So many Devon businesses put out conflicting messages, perhaps their printed brochures suggest high end but their business cards and website appear low value. Remember the centrepiece of your brand is your logo, invest in its design, show that you care about your business and therefore will care about your customers. Use the same colour scheme, look and feel throughout marketing materials, not necessarily always elaborate or that expensive but strive for consistency at all times.

We are a down-to-earth team whose aim is to remove the worry about online and offline marketing. Give us a call or pop in to our studio to chat about your graphic design, web requirements or printing.com products. We love to help.

Nettl of Exeter, 55 Bartholomew Street West, Exeter EX4 3AJ

01392 797 400 exeter@nettl.com www.nettl.com/uk/exeter

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