Your business website is an integral part of your branding and marketing, so you want to be sure to get things right. However, the tendency is to get that website up and running as quickly as possible. This means there may be mistakes throughout that make your company look unprofessional to site visitors.
Not only that, if the site isn’t built well, you may not even provide the type of information visitors are searching for. In that case, visitors will come, look around for a few seconds and then leave to visit a competitor’s site.
It’s a fact that bad design can cost your company business, which translates into low revenues. The loss is even greater if you consider the time, effort and cost of building the website in the first place.
This article is not meant to get you down—not at all. But we want to get across the message that a badly built site won’t help your business. In this article, we’ll go through several of the most common mistakes businesses make on their websites. We do this in the spirit of guiding you toward a better way to build you site and help you keep site visitors and turn them into customers.
Designing for Your Own Personal Taste
Did you build your site more than a decade ago? Have you truly and honestly looked at the design? If not, then it’s time to review your site design.
The tendency, when building a site, is to use our own personal preferences and tastes. We choose those types of design elements that we like or that attract our attention. However, this will not bring in the traffic you’re hoping for.
It’s important to consider what the target audience prefers, what attracts their attention and what type of branding would they consider appropriate for your type of business. In this way, you gain their attention and keep them engaged with your site.
The best thing you can do is to hire an experienced web designer. This will be someone who has an alternative perspective, along with a good understanding of what currently works and what doesn’t work for your target audience.
Accepting the Cheapest Offer
While it’s important to use your company’s budget wisely, many companies choose to go with the cheapest offer when it comes to website developers. Now, it’s possible to stumble on to a highly talented designer who can provide you with a cheaper rate. However, taking the cheapest rate may mean you’re contracting the services of an inexperienced website developer, or possibly one from overseas. Again, they may be great, but chances are the quality will be lower than what you’re needing and expecting.
Doing some research to find the best designers and then comparison shopping will serve you far better. Review several quotes from different designers and website developers and discuss your project with each one. Then choose the web designer or developer who is the best fit at a price you can afford.
You don’t want to skimp when it comes to creating a beautiful site for your company. When you choose to go with low ball offers, the results may be lack luster at best.
Avoid Using Stock Images
Using royalty free image sites to find pictures for your site may seem like a good idea at first. Afterall, the images are free, and you can use them easily.
The issue with stock images is that they’re not usually of very good quality. They look like stock images. Visitors to your site will quickly see the low quality, generic images and leave. These types of pictures make it seem like you don’t have enough money to either create your own or hire a photographer/designer to create the images. It may even look as if you really don’t care about your business or customers.
When creating your site, hire professionals who can create images, infographics, photos, etc. The investment will quickly pay for itself as your site gains more visitors who become customers. Be sure to include pictures of yourself, your team, your company, etc. These help to give site visitors a face, which builds trust with your potential customers. It’s all about your site visitors, who are people and like to see who they’re doing business with.
“We’ll Add That Later…”
Another mistake many businesses do is to say “We’ll add that later…” in the hopes they’ll have the time and means to build the entire site. Instead, they choose build the site by sections at a time. They may put up pages that say, “Under construction,” which is a huge frustration for site visitors looking for information. Human nature is to leave that site and move onto another site that does provide the information we need.
Another problem with leaving things until later is that the time may never come when you get actually get it all done. That’s a huge issue for many businesses.
The best solution is to plan your site in advance, then take the time to get it done correctly. This means all parts of the site should be done and ready when the site goes live. It’s much easier to do this in advance, rather than going back at some later point. Plus, it looks more impressive to your site visitors.
Businesses Don’t Create a Marketing Tool
While it’s great to have a website, you need to make sure the site is not made to just exist on the web. Such sites don’t bring in the visitors or build your business. The whole reason for having a site on the Internet is to draw in visitors, then turn them into customers.
Your company website should be your main marketing tool, used to draw traffic to the site. Once your site is up and running, you can share it via social media, get the word out to friends and family, etc. And don’t forget to incorporate the right type of SEO practices.
When visitors come to your site, how will you convert them into customers? Do you have a clear “call to action,” that’s obvious? Is it easy to follow? Does it lead site visitors through the next steps?
Testimonials are also great, if they’re legitimate. These add social validation, along with improving conversions.
Avoid creating a site that only sites there on the web. Instead, aim to build a site that brings visitors in, then provide them with the content they need, which includes a clear call to action. You’ll soon have to scale your business—who wouldn’t want that outcome?
Talking Too Much About Your Company
Back in the day, companies tried to show how good they were by talking about their services and products. They would also share news about awards and certifications, etc. This was all done in order to impress site visitors and get them to become customers.
This method is old school and no longer works on the modern web. Instead, company content should talk directly to the visitor. Content should meet their needs and offer a solution for the issues they’re having. Site visitors don’t have much time to read what you’re good at. They’re looking for solutions and products to meet their needs.
Instead of talking about your company, make sure your content speaks directly to your site visitors. Speak of the value you have to offer them, rather than talking about your newest product award. It’s all about communicating value to your reader. In fact, go back and review point #5—remember your website is your company’s marketing tool…which is geared to your visitors.
Don’t Skimp on the Finer Details
Don’t neglect the backend details when building your site. There’s a tendency to put the emphasis on making sure the site looks great and functions well for site visitors. That’s as it should be.
However, some businesses forget to give as much attention to the backend details. These are necessary for higher conversion rates and more. Remember to bring these issues up with your web designer before purchasing their services. You want to make sure these details are not forgotten or left out.
We hope these tips will help when it comes time to build your own site. If you have questions or need advice, please reach out to us—we’re ready to help you.