10 Common Business Website Mistakes

I've managed many different website projects and now feel that it's time to show the 10 most common business website mistakes out there.

1.  Using A Brochure Design

Numerous businesses basically take their print brochure and turn it into a website.  A website isn't a print medium; websites and printed material are used differently by their audiences, the interaction with the reader is completely different for both, and hence the designs and user experience need to be completely different.


2. Not Having A Strong Call To Action

What do you want visitors to your website to do?  Fill in a form?  Visit a download page? Call you? Focus on what the primary action is that you want your website visitor to take and ensure that the action is obvious.  Use buttons that are a different colour to anything else on the site to draw their attention.  Use a subtle shaded background to draw their attention to particular pieces of information or calls to action that you want them to take etc.

3.  Ignoring SEO

I must admit that I've been guilty of this myself, but it's important to get some of the basics right here.  Ensure that all your pages have the basic Meta Tags completed (specifically the TITLE and DESCRIPTION one as these could be used and displayed in search engine results.
Read my Real Basic SEO Tips for more information.

4.  Paying for Design and Not Copy

Too many businesses will pay a heap of money for a great design then ruin the finished product by inserting all of their old, lousy content into the site.  If you are willing to pay for a designer then you are willing to pay for a good copywriter!  Even if you can't afford much and can't afford to rewrite all of your pages then just search Google for "Cheap Copywriters" - remember to get a few quotes before you pick one!

5.  Failing To Define Who They Are

Your brand is important to you and your business; without it you are nothing.
I guess you know what your brand stands for, so here is a quick test for you.  Visit your website and see if you can see evidence of your brand promise or value proposition within THREE seconds!  If you can't then I'm sure your visitors can't either!

6.  Contact Forms

People really hate filling these out and many website just have them to ask for [name], [email address] and [comments]!  What's the use?  Just provide an email address and your prospect will supply you all this without asking and without they having to complete a silly form!

7.  About Us

Much of what a website should be about is providing some element or trust and confidence in your business and brand ... so why do so many sites miss out lots of information about themselves in the "About Us" section of their sites.  As these are one of the most visited pages on your site then this is one great chance to sell yourself and your achievements.

8.  Using Flash Intros

Don't do it, no-one likes them and they add absolutely no value to your website at all!  They are just very annoying.

9.  No Goal

Some business owners make their sites an extension of their business cards and as such their sites lack a direct goal.  Every website should have a purpose whether it's to generate a lead, generate a sale, build brand exposure or give more information. Homepages should be making visitors click though to a great landing page that will convert.

10.  Ignoring Social Sharing

Whether you simply have your Twitter account in good view or allow visitors to share the page they are on through their own social networks, you need  to include them.  More and more of us are engaging with social networks and we are happy to promote great content through them.

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