Want to hear a secret? As a small business owner, your website is one of the most valuable assets you can have!
A whopping 97% of consumers go online FIRST to shop for local products and services. This means that companies without websites are missing out on the huge opportunities for new customers and increased sales.
A website is one of the most cost effective ways of generating new business. If you’re serious about growing your company, it’s important to make sure you have a well designed website that does its job!
Sound interesting? Want to build a website that’s designed to get your business the publicity that you need? Read on to see five common mistakes to avoid when creating your business website.
1. Slow Load Time
Do not, we repeat, do NOT build a website that takes forever to load. Online visitors have a very limited attention span, and most will not wait even a few seconds for your main page to load. According to Econsultancy, 40% of people will ABANDON a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Three seconds isn’t that long! Avoid using oversized graphics and bulky elements that take forever to load, and test out your website and sure it loads quickly.
2. Cluttered Pages
No one wants to look at a website that looks like a cluttered pop-up ad!
Avoid the temptation to cram everything into one page: keep it clear and professional.
According to IronPaper, 94% of consumers surveyed cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website, so make sure your website is professional, seamless, and easy on the eyes. Using a website builder that comes with templates allows you to choose a professional design and customize it to work for you, ensuring that your web design will be clear and uncluttered.
3. Frustrating Navigation
Is there anything more frustrating than a poor navigational system?
A website with inconveniently built navigation will only LOSE you customers. Your customers don’t want to spend forever looking for the information that they need on your website, they want the information and they want it fast.
Effective websites have several things in common:
- Links should be easy to find.
- Buttons should be visible and in the right spots.
- The site’s navigational system needs to make sense and be well organized.
- The home page should always be easy to find.
- The header and footer should be consistent on each page.
- Users should be able to find what they need in as few clicks as possible.
4. No Call-To-Action
Lack of interaction is a common issue with most websites today.
Your website shouldn’t be a static, online ad –it should be a living, interactive hub of customer activity! A call to action is a request that prompts your visitor to DO something.
Pinpoint EXACTLY what your goals are with your website, and create your call to actions accordingly. Is your goal to get new customers to call, email, subscribe, or download? Your call to action should prompt your customers to do just that.
The Space Needle in Seattle does a wonderful job with their calls-to-action (CTAs) on their website.
You’ll notice the headline in the middle first. From there you can get information about visiting the attraction, but the main CTA is the “Buy Tickets” button in the lower left. Even though there are other potential links to select, visitors can easily find the most important.
Here is one that’s a bit different. It’s the Copyblogger blog:
You’ll notice the headline of the post, but on the right you’ll notice the green “Join Us” button. This is their email subscription form, which is an important element for any blog.
Identify the TOP action on every page and emphasize that as your main CTA on the page.
5. Out-Dated Content
Nothing says out-of-date like a 1999 copyright at the bottom of the page or a blog that hasn’t been updated in years. Your visitors want to know that your site is current when they visit. Show your customers that you are still in business by updating your website content frequently.
In 2011, Google updated its algorithm to add fresher content to various search results. The company recognized that people wanted fresh content. Moz, an online marketing software company, suggests adding 20-30% new pages each year while updating your current pages.
Having a blog is another great way to keep your website up to date, while helping to increase the traffic to your site. One study by HubSpot found that companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5X MORE TRAFFIC than companies that don’t blog at all!
At TruVisibility, we make it easy to design professional and user-friendly websites. You don’t have to be a professional designer, or a web code geek to get professional results! Visit our website or sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date on the latest tips for web design.
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