8 Costly Website Mistakes
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Having a good website is a valuable tool for any business, but having a bad one might be worse than having none at all.
Whether you’re creating a brand new website or you’re trying to figure out why the one you have isn’t working, you may want to be aware of these eight costly mistakes:
Website Mistake #1 Choosing the Wrong Domain Name
Just like naming a new baby, considerable thought should go into your choice of a domain name. It doesn’t have to be your company name, and in fact, sometimes it shouldn’t be.
Web addresses should ideally contain keywords, be easy to remember and easy to type. If you’re a for-profit business, your website address should end in dot-com. It’s also ideal to try to avoid numbers and wacky words because some people may have a hard time spelling it or inserting the actual number instead of spelling it out. As you can see, confusion may set in.
Website Mistake #2 Not Capturing Visitor Info
How will you know who’s using your website? Every visitor who leaves your site without giving their contact information is an opportunity lost. It’s vital that you capture visitor information.
Offer a free newsletter, special report or membership – anything that gives visitors an incentive to sign up. Remember, people rarely buy on their first visit to a website. It takes the time to build up trust and credibility. You can then contact them again in the future. You’ll also entice more people if you promise you won’t sell their information to anyone else.
Website Mistake #3 Bad Content
Most good sites are informational as opposed to being commercial. Sure, you can sell things, but also give people lots and lots of information they can use.
Web readers skim. They look at headlines and subheadings to decide whether to keep reading. So keep your copy short and web friendly. And make it interesting. If you annoy people with your sales pitches, they won’t stick around.
Website Mistake #4 Graphic Overload
Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to web graphics. And yes, you can have too much of a cool thing. If it takes too long to load your fantastic new logo or play a video, visitors will move on.
If animation or a video tour would enhance your site, it may be worth it, but bells and whistles sometimes drive away potential visitors. If you want your website to rank on search engines, Google focuses on speed, so it’s important your website loads in seconds. Again, while these graphics may sound like a great idea, it could bog your website down.
Website Mistake #5 Difficult Navigation
If links are broken or information doesn’t load correctly, your visitors won’t stay very long and will likely not come back. Make sure the nuts and bolts of your site are working, and it’s not frustrating to navigate. It should be a pleasant experience and information should be easily located and accessed. If you have a larger website, consider using a broken backlink checker or if you have a Google Webmaster Console account setup, you can view your broken links there as well.
Website Mistake #6 No Reason to Come Back
One of the best things about having a website is the ability to keep it current and change content. That, however, takes maintenance and fresh information. A good website is more than a static online brochure. Give your clients a reason to come back and see what is new. New content has the additional benefit of improving your search engine ranking.
Website Mistake #7 Your Designer Runs Your Site
When you put your website together, you need several different skills and perspectives involved. More times than not, you’ll need a variety of input from more than one source. Your web designer probably shouldn’t be writing your web copy, and your copywriter shouldn’t be designing your website. When you hire someone, make sure they are experienced with that particular skill.
Website Mistake #8 You Don’t Exist Outside of Cyberspace
Having an online presence is crucial today, but customers still live in the real, physical world and they like doing business with it. Don’t underestimate the power of natural things. If you have a brick and mortar store, show pictures of it on your website. Provide customer testimonials and have contact information on every web page. Include an “About Us” page and share information about your company, your history, your charitable activities — anything that would give customers a sense of who you are.
Creating a website is a lot like creating a business plan – you’re not going to want to rush into it. By knowing these mistakes, hopefully you can create a website that can help your business succeed.
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