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Top 10 website mistakes that are costing you money

10-Apr-2014

Having a website is a great way to showcase your business and interact with customers. But there are a few pitfalls to watch out for that can negatively affect your web presence. Here are a few common website faux pas with top tips for small business owners on how to avoid them.

1. Minimal visual content

Don’t make your website another dry wordy web page, make it visual and engaging. Visitors often won’t be on your site for very long but if you have videos, images or infographics you can put your message across quickly and clearly.

2. Long sentences / pages

The written word is still vital, but when it comes to your website, less is more. When customers visit your site, they want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Having long pages full of content will turn away more customers than it attracts.

3. Not making it mobile first

Mobile now accounts for 31 per cent of all UK web traffic[1]and it is only going to become more important. This means that to create an optimum experience for the user you need to have mobile in mind when designing your site. That means things like minimising drop down menus, optimising page size and creating a quicker, more fluid experience for the end user.

4. No copyright documents

The website is yours and so is everything you write on it. Make sure you keep it that way. If you don’t want your content stolen then make sure you have copyright statements – and make sure they’re visible and up to date.

5. Not marketing your site

You have a fantastic, well-designed, thoughtful and engaging website. What’s the problem? Nobody knows about it! You need to market your website to drive traffic towards it. You can have all the interesting content in the world, but if nobody can find it then it has as much value as no content at all.

6. Automatically playing videos/sounds

When users land on your website they don’t want to be surprised by unknown sounds blaring out of their speakers. By all means use digital content (see point one), but leave it up to the user whether they want to watch it, otherwise they’ll end up leaving as soon as they arrive.

7. Constant pop ups

Hands up who likes pop-ups? No one? That’s right, nobody likes Internet pop-ups. While the draw of earning extra advertising revenue might seem tempting it will probably lose more customers than it gains and is likely to damage your site’s credibility. Just leave the pop-ups to the East London hipsters.

8. Non-relevant content

Remember when we said ‘less is more’ well it’s that important it’s worth saying it again. This website is your property and it is there to inform customers about your business and your products. It doesn’t need to tell witty anecdotes or show the weather forecast for next week. The more non-relevant content you have, the more diluted your brand message becomes.

9. Using free hosting accounts

As a business owner you are of course always thinking about cost – and rightfully so, but web domains are not a huge investment financially speaking, and when you buy one, it’s yours. If you use a free hosting account, it can go down at any time and you often can’t do anything about it. You can lose your website, as well as your customers.

10. Not finding out who your visitors are

The website is just the beginning of the journey for your customer, even if they do not buy anything from you, but they still have value. Give incentives that will encourage them to sign up for more information, discounts, updates etc. That way you have their details and you can continue the relationship after they have left the site.