One of the first things people do when starting a business is build a website. Whether you build it yourself or pay a professional to do it, there is some common mistakes almost everyone makes in the process.
Most people understand online presences can has a huge impact on a business’s success. This means getting your website right the first time is imperative for generating business. Whether you are partaking in online marketing or offline marketing, chances are people are going to have a look at your website before contacting you.
1) No On-page SEO
One of the most common mistakes we see new business owners make is not implementing basic on-page SEO. On-page SEO is the act of optimising a websites content and code to help improve the websites ranking in search engines. The goal of any SEO practice is to attract more potential customers to your website.
Basic on-page SEO is an extremely important part of your business website. Without basic on-page SEO the Google bot won’t be able to understand or interrupt the information on your website and therefore won’t give your website optimal ranking in the results page. If you really neglect on-page SEO your website might not even rank when someone searches your business name.
When building your website, you should ensure the following things are implemented for SEO purposes:
- Include keywords in SEO title and meta description,
- Ensure the keyword density is 0.5% – 2%. This means your keyword is in the content between 5 – 20 times for every 1,000 words.
- Each page should contain more than 300 words.
- Your need to use heading tags on page headings.
- You need to include alt tags on your images. Remember Google can’t see the images on your website, so you have to give them an alt tag to help them understand what the image is.
2) Cramming to much information on the Home Page
This is another huge problem we see new business owners make when they build their own website. Often people will try and cram their phone numbers, specials, quote forms, and products into the top section the website home page. They do this with the hopes it will grab customers attention and encourage them to buy. This can be described metaphorically as the ‘pushy salesman’ version of a website. It does work on rare occasions, however, to ensure the highest conversion rates a website should have a nice user follow.
People are visiting your website for a reason, they generally doing their research and have a list of questions they are trying to answer before they contact you. Your website should attempt to provide the following information in order:
- Basic company information about your company, this should be a small summary on the home page and include the option to navigate to an about us page if the visitors wants to find out more information about your company.
- A summary of the services you offer on the home page; there should be a page of information about each service.
- Social proof: on the home page there should some social proof of the work you have done. This can include photos, case studies, testimonials and portfolios. Detailed information about this should be on other pages for further research.
- Call-to-actions the last thing people will do once they have answered all their research questions is purchase/contact you. On every page there should be contact information at the or a ‘buy now’ option. You don’t want people having to look around the site for information. You need to make it easy for them to engage with your business.
3) Approaching the process wrong
Everyone wants to be original, but regarding website design, the rules aren’t made to be broken. We’ve seen a lot of business owner have great ideas that just don’t work in practice; we’ve been guilty of it too.
What we’ve learnt I until you’re a market leader and have the money to invest in a research team that can study your websites conversion rates, you need to follow the rules. Look at a successful business in your industry and use their website for inspiration. Look at website design agency best work and try to figure out why they have done something the way they have.
If you’re using a professional website designer, trust their judgement, if you’re unsure about something they are doing, or disagree with the process ask them to explain it and do your own research. If you’re not happy with the answer, perhaps you should consult another designer.
4) Spending money on the wrong things
We once saw a company that was charging $295 to index websites in Google. To the average person this implies your website would rank in Google, however its not at all what it means. What it means is they were submitting your website for the Google bot to crawl the site, it is simply a matter of pasting your website link at this address https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url. This would have absolutely no impact on your website ranking and is a complete waste of money.
We’ve also seen new business owners spend up to $7,000 with leading website design agencies that get nothing more than an aesthetic looking website. This money could have been better spent investing $2,000 on the website and $5,000 on marketing.
The point is you need to spend money on the things that will help you achieve your goals. If you’re a new business owner, sales and enquiries are probably your biggest priority. You need to figure out exactly what is going to achieve these goals.
Generally, investing in marketing such as Facebook Advertising, SEO and Google AdWords are going to be the things that achieve the highest return on investment. It is important to do your adequate research before you make any purchase.
5) Focusing on visitors and not conversions
Once your website is up and running it is common to see people focusing on how many people are visiting their website. Believe it or not but website visitors are not the most important factor. Think of website visitors like revenue, and conversion as profits. What really counts is how many conversions your website is making.
When people place excessive focus on attracting website visitors they can end up missing great opportunities. It is important to focus on quality over quantity, for example, a website that has 100 visitors per month with a 15% conversion rate is better than a website that get 1,000 visitors per month with a 1% conversion rate. However, when you look at the vanity metrics, that being 100 visitors vs 1,000 you would assuming the website with 1,000 visitors is performing 10x better.