10 things NOT to do with a new website
Getting a new website is an exciting time for a business. It offers potential and is a way to tell the world what you do every day. But there are lots of things that most businesses do with their websites that they absolutely shouldn’t. So to keep you right, here is 10 things NOT to do with a new website:
1. Writing about you
This is a big one and it usually starts with the first words on the screen: “Welcome to our website”. People visiting your website don’t need welcoming. And they don’t need to read about all the things you can do and how great you are at doing them. They want to know if you understand their problem and if you can fix it. So make your content about your customer, not about you.
2. Hard to find contact information
Don’t make it hard for users to find out how to contact you. Put your main contact details such as a telephone number on every page – yes, every page. And make your “Contact Us” page with your full contact details easy to find.
3. Not enough content
Don’t tease your customers with partial information as they will become frustrated. And a frustrated internet user has a powerful tool at their disposal – the back button. You don’t have long to get their attention and you can lose that attention fast, so don’t be stingy with content.
4. Too much content
You can have too much content too. Generally this falls into two categories: 1) adding too much technical information; and 2) filling every bit of white space on the screen. For most businesses the detailed technical information shouldn’t be quite as detailed. And it is okay to have white space. Not convinced? Have a look at google.com.
5. Bad SEO
There are good SEO rules that you should follow when building a website. This will help the search engines find your web pages and it will help them understand what your pages are about.
6. Design that is not responsive
People use mobile phones for everything, including looking at your website. Making your website responsive is not a choice – it is essential.
7. No social media integration
Every business needs to sell and market itself or else it becomes static and stale. Companies also need to communicate with their customers and they need to keep on top of the quality of their customer service. Social media can help you with all of this but it is no good having social media if it is not integrated with your website.
8. Not telling people what you want them to do
This is all about the call to action and the simple message is don’t be shy. If you want your customers to call for a quote, give them the telephone number and ask them to call. If you want them to buy something give them a big buy button and ask them to click. And if you want them to fill out a form make the form easy to find and ask them to do it.
9. Publish and hope
Publishing a website and not marketing it is like opening a shop without putting up signs or window displays. People won’t visit your site unless you tell them about it. So tell them at every opportunity – through online ads, offline ads, printed materials, social media etc.
10. Thinking its finished
In terms of content, good and successful websites are never finished. You can finish a design phase or a rebuild but you should have an ongoing content plan to keep your site regularly updated. This will keep it fresh and relevant to both your users and the search engines.
Ensuring you don’t make these mistakes will give you a better chance of creating a successful website. And if you have already made some of the mistakes, don’t panic. You can fix most of them quickly and easily.