As a mobile foods entrepreneur it’s imperative to present a polished presence online if you want to be taken seriously.
You may have a website or a blog that was published when you first launched your business, but are you aware that it could literally be chasing away or turning off your customers instead of drawing them in?
In today’s mobile foods business development article we will reveal the three most common mistakes mobile foods entrepreneurs make with their blog and three ways to check if yours is actually working against you:
Mistake #1 - Slow loading content. If you publish large image, audio or videos files that have not been optimized for the web it could take longer than customary to load your pages. It’s critical to monitor this because in today’s speed demon oriented society web surfers are extremely short on patience. If your content loads too slowly it’s guaranteed that you’ll lose a significant percentage of prospective visitors. *Remember, people can’t buy what they can’t find.
Mistake #2 - Confusing site navigation. When you fail to display clear navigational links site visitors will become frustrated. Most will opt not to continue exploring your site. If that happens you’re missing a golden opportunity to connect with and hopefully establish a relationship with your ideal customer.
Mistake #3 - Making it difficult for visitors to contact with you. Do you bury your contact information in the back of your site? When you have new visitors coming to your blog site especially for the first time you need to make it easy for them to contact you when they are ready to do business with you. One way to fix this quickly is to publish your contact info in the upper right hand portion of your pages.
Bonus Tip: Consider adding your Twitter and/or Facebook feeds to your blog site. It’s one of the quickest ways to keep visitors updated on your most current news and information.
Your Solution Is Here:
If you find that you’re making any of the above most common mistakes don’t lose heart, they are quite easy to correct. To help you get started in the next section you’ll find three quick fixes to assure that your blog site becomes an inviting and user friendly destination.
In the final section of this article you’ll find our Stitches N Dishes: Mobile Foods Entrepreneur Quick Start Check List
Solution #1 - Simplify your content: You needn’t display large image files of your menu items on your site. If you opt to use a content management services like WordPress for example then you’ll find the publishing platform offers built-in image resizing. We highly suggest using a publishing platform like WordPress to manage all of your sites visual content, especially image and video files.
If you publish video files use YouTube. Not only will YouTube give you web optimized html code that you can plug and play into your blog, but ~ YouTube (which is now owned by Google) is a instant search engine.
What this means for your business is that your content (if properly key worded) will rank higher in the Google search results.
Solution #2 - Provide clear navigation: Make certain that all of your navigational links are clearly marked so visitors understand where they’re going. In addition, provide clear return or back links so your visitors can easily return to the starting point of your site if they wish. It’s imperative not to make your visitors hunt for things or rely solely on the back button.
*Bonus Tip: If you produce content that’s topic related or referenced to other content sources on your site provide your readers with links between them, they will appreciate you for it.
Solution #3 – Consider publishing a data collection form form on your site to gather the name and email addressed of visitors. There are many affordable email management services (we provide a sample list of three below) that will allow you to easily and quickly install a sign up form designed to collect the email addresses of your prospects and current customers.
The advantage of providing this service assures that you’ll have an opportunity to develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with your prospects and customers.
Your Goal: Create a blog site that ‘invites’ not chases away prospects. Every business owner needs a website no matter what they offer. We hope these three quick tips will help fast track you towards establishing a presence online that’s memorable and engaging and ultimately gets you more customers.
Below you’ll find some additional tips to help optimize your blog presence.
SND Get Into Action Checklist:
- Make an appointment with your current web designer or consider consulting with a new one to go over your existing website.
- Create a plan for how you want your site to interact with your readers
- Make sure your navigational links function properly and go where they’re suppose to and test them regularly
- Set up an account with an email management service like Aweber, Constant Contact or 1ShoppingCart.com and publish a data collection form to your website to collect the email addresses from your site visitors
- Make sure your contact information is current and if you’re requesting contact info provide an incentive for visitors to give you their name and email address. *Keep this in mind: You’re selling your service at every step of the customer creation process. Offering an incentives for reader to give you with their contact information has now become a requirement if you plan to do business online.
- And while we’re on the subject of incentives ~ consider developing an rewards/incentives program for your readers. It could be a digital or printed coupon for example, or a free side with a purchase.
- Consider establishing a rewards program for repeat customers (for example, you could give one free menu item when a repeat customer purchases ten items from you). Tip: Think of what you would like to experience if you were shopping for your service.
- Make sure your site is search engine optimized. Suggestion: Visit Google. Type in your city and your food specialty in the search field and see what comes up. Take that information to your web developer or Search Engine Optimization expert and see how you can get into at least the first page position.
Finally update your image galleries – *Remember your customers always eat with their eyes first, so it’s important that all of the images highlighting your menu items appear as appetizing as possible.
We hope this article has inspired you to take a hard look at your online presence and how you’re engaging with your customers online and off.
And while were on the subject of establishing a successful online presence, Stitches N Dishes will be offering a free Mobile Foods Entrepreneur Business Development Training Webinar in early February (date to TBD) if you would like to receive early notification just subscribe to our online newsletter the Dish below and we’ll let you know as soon as we set the final date.
*If you’re a current subscriber then keep an eye on your inbox over the next week.