Are You Making These Website Mistakes?
Does your business have a website? How is it working for you?
The reason I ask is because I was being interviewed for a podcast last week and we got to talking about websites. By way of context, I’ve been using WordPress since 2003, and have been building websites for entrepreneurs since 2006.
When WordPress first came out, it was a bit clunky and difficult to use. In order to add functionality, you often needed to add code directly to the site files. If you messed that up, you broke your entire website. The availability of themes and plugins was much less than it is now, and the number of services that you could integrate with your website was also many fewer.
It used to be that having a website wasn’t 100% necessary; I’d say that, now, your business absolutely needs a website.
And obtaining a website has gotten easier than ever with the proliferation of free and low cost website builders.
However, just because you can build your own website, should you?
In most cases, the answer is no- and here’s why:
The purpose of your website is to brand your business; to give it a “home” on the internet. However, the more important goal of your website is to generate leads for your business. It can do this indirectly, by giving you greater credibility and verifiability, or it can do this directly, by actually driving conversions in your business.
The truth is that pretty much anyone can put some text and images on a page and call that a website. But to build your website this way focuses on appearance more than function. Yes, of course, you want your website to be attractive and something you’re proud of. But, ideally, you want it to also work to bring you clients and sales.
The biggest website mistakes I see among people who build their own websites (and probably shouldn’t have) are these:
1. They don’t invest in their own domain name. Using a domain like yourname.freewebsitebuilder.com does not inspire confidence that you’re a legitimate online business. Purchase your own domain name and learn how to apply it to your website builder.
2. They don’t look at their site on mobile devices. Check your site design on both a tablet and a smartphone. With 52% of internet traffic going mobile, it’s vital that your site is functional on mobile devices.
3. They don’t think about their navigation. Again, building a website isn’t the hard part- making it effective requires some thought. Think about how you want your visitor to move through your site. Focus on making navigation and action easy to do. Avoid dropdowns, and try to find another way to present all that information. Don’t be lazy when it comes to strategy.
4. They kitchen-sink it. If you have multiple lines of business, it’s better to maintain these on separate websites with unique domain names. This helps you target your audience and makes your site more relevant to a specific niche market.
5. They don’t keep their sites updated. Internet security is a big thing- your site should be running SSL and be regularly maintained to keep it from being vulnerable to hacking. It costs more to clean up a hacked site than it does to try and keep it from being hacked in the first place.
6. They make their websites too busy. I often think of a website as a rest-stop on the internet. Is your site a good place for your visitor to rest? Or is it so busy, with too much going on, that your visitor is likely to leave as soon as they arrive?
7. They don’t use metrics. I get it. Metrics can be boring. But they also hold the keys to your business growth.
There are more mistakes I routinely see on websites, but these are the major ones I spoke about in the podcast.
Having a website is an important rite of passage in your entrepreneurial growth. And, like any marketing channel, it requires some strategy before you implement. Owning and operating a website requires some knowledge about a wide variety of areas, including design, conversion, integration, hosting, security, maintenance, and how to troubleshoot errors or conflicts.
In order to benefit from your website, you also want to make sure it loads quickly, and is easy to understand and navigate.
You want to keep track of what kinds of actions people are taking on your website, and you want to adjust your content and layout if the results are not what you expect.
Stated another way, your website can be a 24/7 ambassador for your business, as long as you don’t treat it as nothing but a pretty face.
If you are interested in an attractive, affordable website design that is optimized for conversion, and includes all the latest bells and whistles too- please check out our WordPress website page. We can build you an attractive and effective website in just a couple of weeks. WordPress Website Design.