Most people use the internet most days. For businesses a website is an important, sometimes vital, link to existing and potential customers. Existing customers means recurring revenue. Potential customers means new revenue. Therefore, it’s crucial that you don’t make mistakes in how your online presence is presented. It’s very easy to kill off traffic, lose leads and, ultimately, struggle to compete unless certain common website mistakes are avoided. And, they can be avoided easily.
Stay focussed and get the correct advice
When you’re having a site designed you’ll need input from the marketing and sales departments. However, the more people that are involved the longer a project takes. It’s your business and only people with professional insight into your end objectives should be involved. Trust your web designer because their opinion and guidance will bear greater credibility than those of friends and relations about how the site should be designed (this happens a lot!). If you needed advice about a seriously ill family member or you wanted a kitchen extension, whose advice would you take?
Ignore mobile-friendliness at your peril
Roughly 40% of browsing is performed on smartphones (depending on the stats you read). Responsive design for mobile is not a fad; it’s here to stay. If your site is not responsive you are not catering for 40% of your customers, ignoring user experience and losing leads and conversions.
Keep your homepage clean
Think of your home page as the contents page of your site. It’s an overview for your business and should include your calls-to-action, principal services, etc. You have less than five seconds to reel your visitors in and a cluttered and busy homepage is a barrier to conversions – let people see the wood for the trees.
Your website is not about you
Strange but true but your website is for your visitors. Customers are not hugely interested in unconvincing hyperbolic language like “best service in the North West” or “market leaders” or even that you’ve added up everyone’s time served and claim to have 147 years collective experience in the industry. Your site is a means of communication for customers, not an elaborate advertisement for you.
Keep content simple and to a minimum
Customers will need to know what you’re on about. Eliminate jargon, impenetrable industry-specific language and make sure content is accessible to potential customers. If they don’t understand, or are irritated by, the written content of your site they won’t get in touch. Succinct, punchy and understandable copy will have greater success than reams and reams of flashy and impenetrable essays that only you understand.
Add quality content
There’s a good chance you are not a professional writer or photographer. The reason that some people are is that effective writing and photography are difficult to do well and require skill and experience. Employ a professional to do these things. If you’ve gone to the effort and expense to contract someone to build a professional website then your content and imagery should be equally professional. Hammering out your company’s message after work hours and whizzing round the office taking staff photos with a smartphone will ruin your site.
Pay a professional to do SEO
So, you’ve got your new company website and it’s languishing at the bottom of page 4 of Google. Make sure your site is correctly optimised to perform in search engine results. Many things contribute to favourable search engine position so consult a professional for advice. Again, this is worth paying for as you will see a return on your investment if it’s done properly. If you’re not ranking, any money you’ve invested in your website will simply be money spent.
Keep a record of your domain registration
If you’ve registered your domain yourself make sure you know when it’s up for renewal. True story: One of my clients registered his own domain, forgot to renew it and his website disappeared from Google and was completely de-indexed. All the time and money spent on building and optimising his site was wasted and he lost an awful lot of business to competitors.