Anyone can build a website. But, the majority of website are built wrong. Many businesses build a website without of asking themselves why they feel they need a website, they are more concerned about what they want on it. Since your website could be the best marketing tool you have, it’s a good idea to ensure you do it right.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts for building your website.
Avoid hefty licensing fees that come with using a proprietary content management systems and use one of the open source tools that are available, such as WordPress, which any developer can access.
While considering your website, think about your mobile strategy at the same time. A large percentage of your visitors could be using a mobile device to visit your site. It’s a good idea to create a responsive website. There is no need to create two websites anymore, a regular and a mobile version.
Set smart, realistic goals that are measurable for your site. These goals could be generating more leads, building or improving brand awareness, increasing sales and increasing conversion rates.
While it is the slowest part of the designing process, develop quality content. If your business revolves around selling a service, describe each service. The same goes for products. If you are selling products, have product descriptions and photos ready before you begin building your website. Having these available will save a good deal of time during the designing process.
Plan on learning SEO inside and out. Yes, you will absolutely want to seek professional help, but knowing about search engine optimization is something you will also need to know about. If it is done correctly, SEO can bring in customers for you while you focus on more important aspects of your business, like helping it to grow.
Check out your competitors’ websites before you begin creating your own and take note of things they do well. There is nothing wrong with starting off with something you like and then fine-tuning it to make it your own.
While you are working on the content for your website, ensure you are writing with calls to action. Calls to action that are written well help visitors to decide quickly on what their next action will be.
In order for visitors to take some kind of action on your website, you have to ensure you answer the “why” question. Don’t simply say check out our products, tell them why they should check out your products.
Don’t just focus on the cost. The cheapest website could cost you tens of thousands of dollars lost. Your website is an investment, not an expense. If you make a bad investment, it could hurt your business for years to come.
Don’t expect to get an awesome website in one day. It takes time to build a quality site and if you want good results, you could be looking at a 1-3 month period before it is complete, possibly longer.
Don’t try to please everyone that visits your site. Focus on those who will likely be your most important users and create the optimal experience for them.
Don’t add a blog, unless… If you are not sure that you will continuously update your blog, don’t add one. Outdated blogs set a bad image for your business.
Don’t add testimonials that sound fake. Yes, you need to build credibility for your business, but fake sounding testimonials will have the opposite, negative effect for your company. It is better to not have them if they cannot be specific and sincere.
Don’t do it yourself. When you start a website, more than likely this is the first time people will see your brand. If it looks cheap and homemade, it could cause people to make assumptions that can adversely affect your business.
Don’t expect visitors. Simply publishing a website does not mean you will receive visitors. A website must be marketed to get traffic.
Never use Flash. Flash is an old technology that doesn’t work on mobile devices. You don’t want potential clients or customers visiting your site and not being able to open it.
Don’t add social media links without active accounts. If you are not active on social media accounts, avoid adding Facebook and Twitter buttons. It’s a huge turnoff for people to land on a Facebook page where you last post was a month ago.
Don’t confuse visitors. When people visit your site, they usually know what they want when they get there. If within a few seconds a visitor can’t understand what their next action should be, revise your site.
Using this website dos and don’ts list does not mean guaranteed success, but it will help make your website a more efficient tool for your business.