Anyone who runs a modern business will know just how important it is to get the website right. This is the modern equivalent of the shop window, except able to convey a huge amount more information and provide countless services. However, there are good and bad business websites. If yours falls into the latter category, your business is likely to suffer as people do not have the patience these days to struggle through a badly designed site. Instead, they are likely to go to one of your competitors to find the product or service they are looking for.
Of course, all sites serve different functions, so yours needs to be created in a way that serves your main business purposes. If you are creating a site for the first time, take a look here. In this blog post, we are going to be talking through a few of the most common mistakes that are made on business websites, so you can avoid repeating them on your own.
Making it Just an Online Brochure
Your website should be more than simply an online brochure, as you will be neglecting some of the most useful functions as a lead-generating tool and a sales platform. As well as this, it is an invaluable marketing tool that works around the clock. Ideally, it should be interactive, so your customers can get in touch with you with any questions and comments they have. Even if you don’t sell things directly through your site, you can still have tools which set up appointments and make it easier for customers to contact you.
Customers need to be able to easily make their way from one part of your website to the next. Some of the most common design flaws out there include crowded menus, unclear page headings, and inconsistent navigational tools. Users should be able to find what they are looking for in the most straightforward and efficient way possible. Essentially, you are aiming to get your website as close to self-explanatory as possible. Don’t assume all your users are adept web users; your site need to cater for internet novices as well.
Lack of Purpose
If your website is not fulfilling some clearly designed purposes, the user is likely to leave without delving any further. As well as having an eye-catching design, your site needs to grab people’s attention right from the start. Some clear and concise website copy will help you to achieve your goals, though you could also use videos and more interactive content as well. Also, you need to make sure that every page conveys your messages clearly – you cannot automatically assume that all users will land on the homepage first.
Website design trends tend to favor a minimal approach these days, and this is because users can only take in a certain amount of information at once. If your try to cram too much onto your site, potential customers are likely to suffer from information overload and they will go elsewhere. There is a fine balancing act between making sure that you convey enough to keep people interested, but not so much that it is off-putting.
Lack of Call-to-Action
The whole point of your website is that you will want visitors to respond in a certain way towards it. If they don’t know what this is, the call-to-action is there to spell it out for them. If this is missing, your website is seriously missing a trick. You should be directing people to make an enquiry, get in contact with you for more information or purchase one of your products. However, you need to make sure that the call-to-action is short and clear. It should be a simple task that is easy to complete as you don’t want to overwhelm the visitor to your website.
Not Making Your Site Responsive
If you have still not made a website which is mobile-friendly, you will be missing out on countless potential customers. The smartphone is the most commonly used device to access the internet, and you also need to make a website that suits these users. Essentially, you want to ensure an enjoyable website visit for everyone, regardless of the device that they are using. You may also decide that it is worth creating an app to make online presence of your company even more diverse and able to accommodate different devices.
Long Loading Time
As we mentioned at the start, a lot of people are not known for their patience these days, so if you have a website with a long loading time, it is unlikely that people will stick around for very long. Perhaps you have some complicated design features which take a long time to load up. Ultimately, these may not be worthwhile keeping, and there is no point in having them if people are going to get so impatient that they won’t get to see them in the first place
All websites need to have content that is refreshed and renewed on a regular basis. Not only is this extremely important for search engine optimization, it is also essential for the general impression people get of your site. If they log on to see information that is no longer relevant, you give off a sense of not really being on top of your company. If you have a blog page which hasn’t been updated in a number of weeks or months, it makes it seem like you don’t really care, and people may wonder if your business is still operating. Whenever you do post new content, you need to make the most of it by sharing it as widely as possible.
The Wrong Amount of Copy
People are likely to be put off by both too much or too little website copy. Not enough will leave users scratching their heads in an effort to understand what you actually do while too much is unlikely to get read and people will go off in search of something simpler and more digestible. There are also plenty of other ways that you can convey information to users besides the written words. Images, charts, videos and infographics are just a few of them. The more interesting the content, the more likely it is that visitors will come back time and time again.
There are few things more frustrating on websites than broken links. Not only will your users be put off by them, so too will search engines which are likely to punish you with lower rankings. The sight of a 404-error page is almost an invitation for the user to leave your website, so you should check through your site on a regular basis to ensure that it doesn’t have any of these. Otherwise, the credibility of your website will be significantly damaged.
Missing Tracking Tools
Moving onto the back-end of your website, you need to have the proper tools in place which enable you to collect information about your users. In turn, this will allow you to better tailor your site to fit in with their preferences and requirements. Luckily, tracking the behavior of users has become easier than ever, and there are plenty of affordable or free tools which can do this job for you. Page views alone don’t give you a full impression of what users are doing on your site, but you can record people’s click maps to illustrate exactly what people are doing when they are on your site. There is no point collecting all this data unless you are going to take steps to use it properly, so make sure to implement changes as required.
Lack of On-Page SEO
SEO needs to be one of the main focuses of your site, and the easiest way that you can keep track of these things yourself is with an on-page tracking system. A few of the common mistakes that this will help to flag up include missing or duplicated meta titles and descriptions, repeated content and poor-quality internal linking. If you persist with these poor practices, you will end up suffering in the long run with your rankings.
Poor Quality Imagery
Another thing that is going to make your business website look amateurish is low-quality imagery, so if you are going to take your own, you need to make sure that it is good enough to look clear and defined. Otherwise, you could always rely on stock imagery, but you need to be careful not to use pictures which are commonly used elsewhere. Again, this doesn’t give the best impression of your company.
Missing Social Media Integration
All of your online presences need to be closely integrated, so visitors to your site should easily be able to access all your accounts. The most common way of doing this is with small symbols of the different social media platforms. Ideally, you should be encouraging users to share your content so more people see it.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help you a long ways towards creating a business website that helps you to enjoy success.