As a businessperson, it’s understood that website traffic is one of the biggest factors in your success. Making sure that search engines find you and push customers to your site is of utmost importance. The real question, however, is what happens when people land on your page?
Getting prospects to your site and converting them into customers are two different things. If people have made it your website, it’s your duty to keep them interested. A professional, well-designed website will build their trust in your brand and make them take action. Unfortunately, there are a lot of turn-offs that may be running rampant on your website right now, if you’re like most first-time site builders.
Here are the five most common mistakes that should be avoided and/or fixed:
1. Building a Flash website.
Flash looks, well, flashy, but it’s not business-friendly. About 40% of users will be unable to view a Flash website because many hosts will disable Flash to decrease spam advertising. If a visitor can’t see your content, your site is essentially useless.
Search engines likely won’t even drive people to your site based on your Flash content since the information embedded in Flash cannot be read. Flash is high-maintenance, and after all your hard work, you may not be able to even pull accurate website reporting on any of your Flash-driven pages or sites. All in all, Flash is not worth the time you’ll put into it.
2. Having a weakly defined brand.
Your website needs to convey a strong sense of your company’s brand. Good graphics and a harmonious design are visually appealing. Your logo should be right in the banner, and people should quickly be able to determine what you do and who you are. An emphasis on information, rather than sales pitches, lends credence to your brand.
What doesn’t have a positive impact on your brand? Fuzzy graphics, blurry fonts, and loud colors all hurt your image. Each of these items is an eyesore, and most prospects will view these details as the trademarks of a fly-by-night company. Invest time and effort in making your image match your expertise.
3. Lacking a Call-to-Action message.
Calls-to-Action specifically communicate with your clients. These links direct people to take action (“Contact us,” “Post a comment,” or “Buy now!” are common examples). It eliminates any confusion on your visitors’ parts, and it also compels them to do something rather than passively read.
Determine the cohesive message your Calls-to-Action will communicate. You should be targeting your audience so you’re pulling in the people who will most benefit from your services or products. Don’t ask visitors to do something that doesn’t help meet this end goal.
4. Hosting third-party ads on your site that have no relevance.
Allowing third parties to borrow real estate on your site isn’t the mistake here – having ads from companies that may enhance your product, or meet an additional need for your customer, is great. It elevates your standing in your clients’ minds, as they begin to brand you by association.
The mistake is bombarding your prospects with advertising that feels random. If it has nothing to do with their interests or business needs, they’re wondering why you would offer it to them. This lets them start questioning your motives, your expertise, and your financial standing as a company. Don’t start that line of thinking.
5. Running a one-man show.
As an entrepreneur, it’s your business to know your stuff. But just because you’re an expert on one thing doesn’t mean you can handle every aspect of your company solo. Having a website built by one person who’s dabbling in web design is easy, but it’s not efficient for maximizing your business prospects. You’ll want your site to be clean and accessible, even for your mobile visitors.
A designer who isn’t well-versed in all aspects of website construction likely won’t understand the disadvantages of lacking compliance with web standards, or not employing SEO. Ensuring your site is w3c-compliant will go a long way as far as your maintenance and professional signature go. The problems caused by not optimizing SEO are fairly obvious: search engines won’t find you, and therefore, clients won’t either. Let someone who understands keywords, meta tags, and the like build your site.
An example of a great website, designed by a young start-up that doesn’t make these five mistakes, can be found at www.brokensellphone.com. This is a professionally designed site with a strong, unique brand. It’s content-managed and very easy to navigate. The site hosts quality content, all of which describes the business and the services offered.
Conveying a strong business image and providing the right information to convert your prospects is essential to your company’s growth. You may be a rule breaker in your approach to the business world, but don’t break these five rules when building your site. Your bottom line, and your visitors, will thank you.