Having a website is an essential part of any marketing strategy. Your website showcases your products and services to all your potential buyers. No matter your sales channel, they will visit your site.
Your website is a reflection of your brand. Its quality speaks volumes about what customers can expect from your services. All your marketing and sales efforts lead back to this one spot.
Your website is working either for you or against you. You can avoid the major pitfalls and optimize your site with some website 101. First, let’s review some qualities of a winning website.
Website 101: What Every Business Should Know
You need to know what’s at stake in your website design. Poorly designed websites have bounce rates of 70% – 90%. That means up to 90% of potential customers are lost upon visiting your landing page.
The best websites drive visitors with the intent of doing business. These websites are optimized for the right traffic. If they’re designed correctly, they’ll see most of that traffic become conversions.
Your marketing strategy plays a big part in driving the right traffic. But you can improve your site’s SEO and SEM to drive traffic as well. Website quality faces both inward and outward.
You need to choose and register the right domain name for your business. Web hosting needn’t be complicated, but the name is crucial. Some of the cheapest web hosting solutions provide enough resources for small businesses.
The 10 Biggest Mistakes When Setting Up a Website
The most important part of website 101 is learning what to avoid. Save yourself some lost sales by learning these mistakes from the start. You’ll have advantages over your competition as well.
The following 10 mistakes can bring down even the most compelling businesses. Keep these in mind as you determine your web strategy. We’ll share some best practices for developing that as well.
1. Failing to Create a Formal Marketing Plan
Your website is a sales channel. But, it is a marketing asset first and foremost. If your customers are serving themselves, they need a compelling reason to do so.
Your website strategy should align with all aspects of your marketing plan. Customers expect to see the same promotions on your landing page as they do in your marketing content. Involve your website as your marketing strategy evolves.
2. Choosing the Wrong Platform
Ecommerce and website platforms come in all shapes and sizes. Enterprise ecommerce platforms are expensive with hundreds of capabilities. But a Squarespace or WordPress site might be enough, and at a fraction of the cost.
Determine what your needs will be over the next 12 months. If you hope to build in service channels, look for that in a platform now. Replatforming is costly, so get it right the first time.
3. Underestimating the Development Workload
Your business strategy hinges on the development of your website. Most companies underestimate how long quality development will take. Delays can have a cascading effect on all your business plans.
This is an area where you shouldn’t be stingy. Partner with a professional for a realistic design strategy. A professional will help you understand website 101 and optimize all aspects of your online presence as well.
4. Leaving Navigation Untested
Navigation can make or break your website. Enthusiastic visitors who get trapped will leave your site frustrated. Test your site for strong user flow so the right visitors turn straight into conversions.
You need to learn about your visitors. Different visitors want to access different parts of your site. You must ensure there is healthy user flow for them all.
5. Designing an Unintuitive Checkout
Companies who don’t invest in checkout solutions are turning away paying customers. Determine the best checkout solution for your visitors. Run A/B and other testing to ensure you’re not shutting them out.
6. Coming Up Short on Your Content Strategy
Content drives SEO and delights your visitors. Your inbound marketing relies on quality content to drive the right visitors to your site.
You need an ongoing content schedule as part of strategic marketing. You need inbound and outbound links in your content as well. In this way, quality content drives both your sales funnel and SEO.
7. Under-Representing Value and Merchandise
Some companies fail to align their landing page featured content with marketing. Your visitors want to see the products they came for right away.
Your landing page is prime real estate. Determining what content and products to feature should be aligned with marketing initiatives. Don’t waste that space on unimportant content.
8. Failing to Add Customer Service Channels
Companies undervalue website service channels. They think customer service calls will suffice. What they don’t realize is their actually losing sales.
Your visitors expect the convenience of a service channel on your website. They expect your service team to provide immediate help as well. Do this correctly and you’ll drive immediate online sales.
9. Overlooking Your IT Strategy
IT is an afterthought for too many small businesses. They scramble to set up infrastructure after their websites have launched.
You need a plan for performing backups and updates to your site. You need a disaster recovery strategy as well. Failing to support IT resources could jeopardize your entire website.
10. Neglecting to Keep Track of the Latest Trends
Too many companies invest in website design that comes up outdated or stale. Imagine spending all of that money on an undesirable website.
As you begin, don’t look only at your competitors. See what’s trending among website designers. Designers’ trending preferences will be the competitive website designs of tomorrow.
Get the Best Resources for Your Site Development
You’re about to invest time in money in a serious web project. But don’t get started until you’ve learned the latest trends. Include design best practices from the start so you’re immediately up to date.
Visit Pligg for the latest content in the industry. Download website 101 guides and articles to stay up to date. Your attention to detail is your competitors’ loss.