Having a website is a necessary step in running a business.
We know that by now—it’s 2015, and not having a website usually means that you’re behind the times. But some business owners don’t know where to start when it comes to having their own online presence. Here are five common mistakes that lower-budget website owners make, and some useful tips to help you get your first website ready for the World Wide Web.
1. Your website doesn’t include essential information.
Nothing is more frustrating than going online to check a company’s website for a phone number only to find that there’s none listed on the company website. Unless your company sells something that you can’t get anywhere else, you can bet that those frustrated potential customers went to a competitor’s website that actually bothers to list a phone number.
If your website is missing key information that your customers need to know, you risk losing their business. Keep your business’s phone number, address, hours of operation, and other contact information in the footer of each page.
2. Everything is crammed on one page.
Web clutter will be humanity’s downfall. When building your website, don’t be afraid to leave some space between elements like images and copy. It’s also good to use multiple pages for different sections (just don’t overuse them!).
Use navigation bars, website footers, and columns to organize your website. Spacing everything out looks better, it makes things easier for everyone to navigate, and it won’t scare off potential customers who are just looking for a quick bit of information.
3. There’s too much info about your company.
Your customer doesn’t want to know your life story. The same is true for your business. Keep it short and to the point. Your business’s story is a lot like baby pictures: Share sparingly. You obviously love your business, but you need to understand that not everyone else loves it the same way you do.
Include a separate page with a short blurb that makes customers cheer for you—don’t make this the star of the show. Keep your business’s history to a minimum and only include information that specifically demonstrates how your business differs from others. Build on credibility and goodwill so that your customers trust you and want to see you succeed.
4. Your website isn’t using visuals properly—or at all.
If you’re an artist, but your website looks shoddy and outdated, what does that say about your art? What sort of message are you communicating to your potential customers?
Your visual identity speaks volumes about who you are as a business. Professionalism, quality, and expertise—these are all traits that can be communicated through your logo, your color scheme, and your website’s visuals. The impact of appropriate, effective visuals is immediate—as is the impact of bad ones.
Websites are mainly a visual medium. People look at your font choice, the layout structure, the colors you chose, and the pictures you’ve included. Of course, not everyone is a web designer, but it goes a long way to invest in your website’s appearance.
5. Your information is about you, and not your customer.
An interesting person spends time getting to know who you are, instead of talking about him/herself the entire time. Interesting people take time to ask you questions, pay attention to what you’re saying, and listen without hijacking the conversation.
You have to do the same with your customers. This means offering them something—coupon codes, a story, a free sample, a good joke, or an interesting blog, for instance—that they can take and use to improve their lives.
Bellingham WP is here to help with free consultations and expertise. Get in touch if you need assistance.