A business website can make or break your business these days. This is true whether you have an online business or an offline business. Of course, if you have an online business it’s even more important to have an effective website. If you avoid these mistakes you’ll create a website that increases your reach, gets lots of traffic and does its job to convert visitors to customers.
- Using a Free Website – There are a lot of website builders that work great, but you should at least buy your own domain name. Using a site like builder.yourbusinessname is not very good business. If you’re not willing to pay ten bucks for a domain name, why should someone spend money buying from you?
- Making an Online Brochure – In the 90s, websites were simply brochures. The only way someone could find them was if you gave the contact a business card with a link to your website. Today a website is so much more. Due to content marketing, SEO practices, and social media marketing (paid or free), your website is now the hub of your business and can bring in literally all your business if you plan everything right.
- Having an Undefined Purpose – Your website needs a reason for existing. The reason isn’t always as clear as you think. You may think the reason is selling, but it depends. Your reason might be to educate, to build your list, and then to convert to a customer that way. Or, it might be a store where the only reason anyone comes is to buy something.
- Not Checking Responsiveness – If your website doesn’t work on mobile devices, then you must update it as soon as possible. The reason is that most people use mobile devices to access the internet now, and Google will rank your site lower (if at all) if it’s not responsive. That’s easy to do today with self-hosted WordPress and most of the hosted builders today, but always check.
- Making It Difficult to Get Around – Poor navigation that doesn’t have the audience in mind and where you want to lead them to is a problem. Plan how your audience will feel when they go to your home page or a landing page you’ve marketed. Look at it from their perspective to ensure that they can get the information they want.
- Making Your Website Too Busy – It’s important to avoid Flash and other busy elements on your website if you really want a lot of traffic that converts to readers, users and customers. Avoid anything that blinks, clipart, and horrible graphics that have no point. Besides, you want most of the text that you use to be on the site for SEO purposes and not in graphics.
- Not Including a Call to Action – You can have more than one CTA on your site depending on the page they’re visiting. But, don’t have too many calls to action on each page. You don’t want to confuse them. If you’re trying to build your email list, try putting the sign-up in multiple places as that’s one call to action.
- Slow Loading Speed – The speed your website loads is important, because people are inherently impatient and lazy. They don’t want to wait for your information to load. You can avoid problems with this by using a good builder that has clean code, and by avoiding too many images. Plus, by using a well-rated hosting service.
- Not Including Targeted Content – The content on your site, from the about page to your home page and more, should be targeted toward your audience. Speak to them as if they’re your best friend. Use terminology that they would use. Make it feel like home.
- Not Taking Advantage of Google Webmaster Help Files – There is a wealth of information available to webmasters of all skill levels about what works best to get more visitors (and the right visitors) to your website. Don’t ignore it. All other search engines use the same information to list your website.
Mistakes businesses make with their websites can be avoided simply by taking the time to learn from experts what works and what doesn’t work. You shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Just because you like something doesn’t mean that other people will like it. Look to marketing stats to find out what works best, and of course keep up to date with the information on Google Webmaster Tools. (https://www.google.com/webmasters/)