Your website is an investment in the future of your business. When done well, it can be one of your most valuable assets. Unfortunately, all too often clients begin the web development process not knowing what to expect. That’s why we have outlined below nine common website mistakes business owners often make.
Underestimating the value of the website
When it comes to driving new business and nurturing existing business, your website can have a massive impact. It all starts with understanding its potential. Your website should be more than a digital brochure. As your 24/7 sales person, your website can educate prospects, build customer loyalty, aid in lead generation, and increase sales.
New Business: When considering purchasing a product or service, one of the first things a potential customer will do is go online to learn about their options. Your site has the best chance of appearing in that search if it is thoughtfully developed with compelling and informative content. Once found, a strong, professional website can make you appear even more professional, giving your site visitors more confidence that yours is a reputable business. And we are all more likely to buy from someone we trust.
Existing Business: Your website isn’t just for people who don’t know about you. Those who already know and love you can benefit from your having a great website, too. There they can learn about all your products, services, sales and events. And, everyone likes to share the things they love with friends and family. A good website makes it easy for your customers to spread the word.
Underestimating the importance of good, original photos
Don’t make this common website mistake. Your website will often be someone’s first contact with your business. If the pictures are poor quality, the site visitor may assume that your products are too. To project an image of professionalism and quality, your pictures need to be well-lit, well-staged and crisp. Good photos can help drive traffic to your website, promote social sharing and ultimately drive sales.
Trying to go as cheap as possible
While building an effective and productive website takes work, it can be one of the best things you can do for your business. With this in mind, technology is constantly changing, and you don’t want to have to start from scratch every time there is a new development. This can happen when you go with a budget website builder. When selecting a platform to build your website, choose one that can grow with your business and change with the times.
Not using a Content Management System
A CMS (content management system) is a framework for managing the content of your website. It makes updating information simpler and more efficiently than site builders without a content management system. A CMS also helps you organize content so visitors can find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. And, if you have a team of people, a CMS allows you to set up separate accounts for individuals with varying levels of privilege and responsibility.
Not looking at the website from a customer’s perspective
When developing new content for your website, begin by thinking about it from your customer’s perspective. Rather than thinking to yourself, “here’s what I want to say about my business” think “what information will a potential customer be looking for when they visit my site?” Place the emphasis on the customer. What’s in it for them? Why should they want to do business with you?
Underestimating the amount of work involved
Clients often think first about how the website is going to look, leaving copywriting as an afterthought. But, in fact, the content of your website is the most important factor (although not the only factor) in determining how your site will rank in search. If your site doesn’t rank well, it is unlikely to get much traffic.
Not planning for future updates
People will go to your website to learn more about your business. When content is old or out of date, they are likely to react negatively. They may be less likely to return and you can lose business. To ensure that you can stay on top of important changes, make a plan. Determine who will be responsible for updating the website, and on what schedule.
Not having a marketing plan
Don’t rely solely on Google to bring new customers. To drive people to your business, plan to promote it elsewhere as well. It is true, if you play by the rules and provide great content, Google will help you get found. But relying solely on your website is a mistake. A marketing plan helps you chart a course of action that makes the most of online and off-line connections.
One of the most common mistakes that business owners make is rushing to press the launch button on their website. All too often, our clients go into the new web project with enthusiasm and energy, but then get distracted by the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business. At this point they often say, “Let’s just get the site up and we’ll worry about finishing it later.” The most likely outcome of this is a website that never achieves its full potential.
Honestly, there’s no reason to think that you will have anymore time later than you do now. Bite the bullet. Make the time. Build a great website and then you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
How You Can Avoid These Common Website Mistakes
Understand the common pitfalls that business owners all too often make when starting a new web project and you’ll be more informed and educated. Knowing what to expect will help you prepare for what lies ahead.