Top 10 website mistakes you don't want to make
(We thought about giving you the top 100 web mistakes, but then we remembered mistake No. 11: cramming to much information on each page. So instead, here are the top 10 blunders that company websites make:)
Fail to convey your business immediately.
Think about how you surf the internet. Odds are you're busy. If you're at home, the TV is on in the background and your kids may be climbing on you. If you're trying to appeal to a potential customer searching in a similar situation, you don't want them to say, "I don't get it" and move on to a business that gives them the information they need up front. You have less than 3 seconds to capture their attention, and move them forward to either research or purchase make sure you have a "call to action" in place.
Forget to include relevant information.
If potential customers can't find your business hours, address and contact information, then you're making it difficult for them to do business with you. Include that information prominently on your home page and throughout your website.
Don't leave out pricing information.
Some small business just forget to include pricing on their sites. Others avoid placing the price by their product, saving that news for the "shopping cart." Don't do it, says Rieva Lesonsky, former editor of Entrepreneur magazine and a blogger for Microsoft Office Live Small Business. "Pricing is huge if you are selling something," she stresses.
Fail to understand your audience's internet skills.
Know your target audience and make the website work for them. If you're selling skateboards, you can probably get away with and edgier web design. But that won't work for Melaine and Pat Nichilo, a mother-daughter team that owns the Le Marche home accessories retail store in Omaha, Nebraska. They recognize that some of their customers may not be all that internet savvy so they designed their website (LeMarcheOmaha.com) to reflect that fact.
"Try to have contact information on every page," Melaine suggests, "and also try to organize the site with links to other pages listed in the same place on each page. Also, we tried to say things like, 'Click on the underlined links below to see...' Because some people don't know that when words are underlined, they are a link."
Implementing recognized layout conventions like these may mean the difference between an easily navigable page and one that's a navigation nightmare.
Design a website that is out of sync with your business.
Branding is who you are, and if you misrepresent your image, and your consistency of your message with your store look, your printed marketing materials, you helping disconnect with your customers. People who step into your pet shop are greeted with lots of color and energy, your online presence should generate the same vibe. On the flip side, if you're an electrician who seeks to convey your competence, a whimsical website isn't the way to do it.
Fail to think like a potential customer.
When you write the content for your website, make sure that you're using words and phrases that potential customers might use to search. These are called "keywords" and they help with the Search Engine Optimization of your site.
The trick is to try to use those keywords that you believe people are using when searching for the product or service that you are selling. It is also equally important to use "other words" that may pertain or maybe considered as anomalies.
Say you have a company that sells mortgages, so you make sure to say "mortgages" and "mortgage company" on your site. But that's not enough. Mention your state and city on that web page, however, and you'll increase the odds that when someone types "mortgage company" and "Montana" in a search engine, your business pops up. Or House Loans, maybe also helpful.
Put too many keywords on your site.
In search engine optimization there really can be too much of a good thing. If you include the word "dentist" on your page 25 times - a tactic called "keyword stuffing" - the computer programs that analyze your page for search engine rankings (called "spiders" or "crawlers") may determine your site isn't a credible destination for internet users.
Link to the wrong sites.
Those spiders and crawlers are smart. If you're lucky enough to get a well-read blog in your field to link to your site, the computer program is going to recognize that as a sign that your site is a credible source for internet users. And zoom - you've just shot up in the search engine rankings.
If you are a plumbing business and certain vendors or plumbing blogs link to your site, for instance, you'll increase the odds that your site will appear higher in potential customers' online searches. But if your sister-in-law links to you on her personal blog and persuades all her friends to do the same, the spider may pick up on that and penalize you.
Overlook viral tools.
Make sure you're taking advantage of viral tools, such as 'recommend this page' buttons, so it is easy for people to share your page with friends and family. This can be an extremely useful way to use customers as referral generators. We like to link to social media websites such as your Facebook fan page, linked in and or YouTube.
Create a site that you can't easily change.
Not all business owners can immediately update information on their websites. Relying on a web designer to make every little change can be time-consuming and costly. Print & Copy Factory's websites have the solution for you. Our websites are CMS (Content Management Website) and you have full control over content and can make the changes 24/7/365.