The 10 Biggest Mistakes New Businesses Make with their Websites
Business websites have been in existence for more than a decade, however many new ones starting out today are still making the same mistakes of those from times gone by. It takes more than finding a template, free domain or reading of a few blogs to create a great business website. There’s a great importance on how your site looks, reads and also ranks in search engines – mistakes lose you custom and they can be detrimental to your businesses reputation.
HERE’S THE TOP TEN BIGGEST MISTAKES TO AVOID:
1. ‘Under Construction’ signs – If your site isn’t ready to go live, then simply don’t publish it. If a potential customer clicks onto your website and sees this sign they may presume you aren’t trading and move on, forgetting your website and they certainly won’t recommend it. However, an “under maintenance” page is ok if you’re upgrading. Just make sure to let people know when they will be able to access your site again. The perfect way to upgrade your site is to keep the old one there, and get your developer to create a mirror site, that can be easily put into place as soon as it’s finalised.
2. Poor Content – Your content should be clear, concise and interesting. People don’t want to read long, boring sentences. They don’t want to know every single detail of your company from pre establishment to present day. What they DO want to know is briefly, who you are, and what you can do for them. Spelling this out on your home page is essential to get people to explore your site further.
3. Poor Grammar – Spelling and grammar are exceptionally important for your website. People automatically look for errors and they are extremely put off when they find them. Take away this risk by having your content written by an outside source i.e. a professional content writing company or reputable freelance agency.
4. Writing For Search Engines – You want your website to rank highly in the list of search results – ideally on page one. For this reason you may be inclined to ‘keyword stuff’ hoping this will increase the chances of your website being shown. All this does is reveal badly written content to potential clients. You’re writing your website for a human, not a computer.
5. Bad Quality Designs – It can be tempting for businesses starting out to opt for low cost or even free online tools to help with their website graphics, but people don’t seem to consider that free/cheap tools and templates are low in cost for one primary reason – they are simply not very good! There are places where you can save money when creating and launching a website, but appearance of the site shouldn’t be one of them.
6. Free Domains – Don’t think using a free web domain can work. If people have to go to http://freesites.ihaventboughthiswebsite.duetofunding/trustme/imapro.com instead of a simple short name then you’re lost. It’s not memorable, neither is it professional looking. It shows that you’re new to the world of online business and it makes you look like a novice. People need to have faith in your abilities to buy products, services or technology from you. They’re not going to trust you if you clearly haven’t bought your domain.
5. Poor Images – Your images need to be clear and concise. Low quality or low-resolution photography is a DIY method to avoid at all costs; it makes you look unprofessional, cheap and ultimately bad.
4. Trying to Trick People – Proclaiming that you are the ‘retailer of the year’, ‘best phone supplier’ or ‘greatest source of information in your area’ doesn’t mean anything if you can’t back this up. Whose made you these things? Where’s the evidence? Who else was in your category? Can you provide authenticity to your grand claim? If not, then avoid this. It doesn’t fool anyone and certainly doesn’t have the effect you’d imagine.
3. Micro-Managing Your Website – You may excel at what you do, but you’re unlikely to excel at everything. Website development involves many skills such as content writing, SEO, branding, marketing and graphic design. All these things need to be completed to the highest standard for your website to both look and run smoothly. To make your website efficient and achieve, consider hiring in help from those with the skills. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will be worth it.
2. Copying Others – An on-going issue in the online world is that of Copycat websites. This is becoming a huge problem for search engines. Google, along with other major search engines, have confirmed that they will be removing repeat offenders and taking down any misleading adverts. There will also be hefty fines from the UK government if your website is imitating others for financial gain. Less serious, but also important is the fact that if you’re found to be copying by a potential customer any trust and custom you may have had will be automatically lost. People are extremely dubious when it comes to spending money online, if you don’t look right or are found to be unoriginal this is more than enough to deter a sale.
1. Being too Personal – This is the biggest mistake small businesses make, and the amount that are doing it is incredible! It’s a grave Web sin which brands you as an absolute amateur and runs the real risk of swaying potential customers onto a competitor’s website that’s more professional looking. Remember, just because you’re new or small it doesn’t mean that you cannot be on the same level as larger competitors. It takes a little effort and the right design, and absolutely saving the baby photo’s and details of your weekend for your own personal website!
The more you put into your website, such as time, research and financing, the more you will get out of it. Anyone can create a free website, but in order for yours to succeed it needs to be perfect – in every way. Rarely can this be done without using the correct sources for various areas. You simply cannot set aside an afternoon and expect to have a wonderful website up and running. It may not be successful straight away, but if you’ve done everything right then you have every chance of it being a highly profitable way to advertise your business.