Your website is the number one marketing resource for your business. But far too many small business owners aren’t using this important online real estate to its full potential. With the wrong approach, your website goes from a marketing asset to a liability.
Even if you’re not a web designer, you can follow a few basic principles (and get the right help) to make your website all that it should be. Here are five critical website mistakes that you need to fix immediately:
- Working with no plan.You know you need a website – but do you know why? If you’re just throwing up a few pages and hoping for the best, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities and potential clients. You have to work with a plan and decide what you want your website to do. Is it a gateway to purchasing your package or system? Is it a way to show off your credibility? Is it a platform to develop thought leadership in your industry? Its okay if it’s a little of all three, but you need to decide what you want your website to do so you can develop a cohesive plan.
- Putting the focus in the wrong place.Your website is about serving your potential and current clients. It’s not about you. Although you’re selling your products or service, the main focus of your site should be on your client’s needs, their fears, their desires and their problems. When you show them through your web copy and your website resources that you understand what they are going through, you build trust. Be sure your website is focused on your clients, and not you.
- Saying too much.Most people come to a website, scan quickly for the information and then take the action they want to take (ie: clicking away, making a purchase, etc). Unfortunately, many small business websites make it easy for visitors to click away by saying too much and giving no direction. Without specific calls to action per page, your website visitors aren’t sure what to do. Look for opportunities to streamline your message and tell your visitor exactly what to do next to get the results they are looking for.
- Using a cluttered layout and design.
Along the same lines as the last mistake, having a cluttered design makes it impossible for visitors to find what they need. Your design and layout should be eye-catching, simple and easy to scan. You may love rainbow colors – but your website design isn’t the best place to use every color under the sun. Find a template or work with a designer who can simplify your layout so clients can find what they need.
- Making it difficult to update.There are going to be changes to your business as you grow and sharpen your focus. This means you’re going to need to make updates from time to time. If they are too difficult to make, you’ll end up putting them off and using an outdated website. That’s why a platform like WordPress is so ideal for small business owners. Even the most non-tech entrepreneur can work with the system to create new blog posts, update their pages and make simple changes.
With a streamlined and client-focused website, you can turn your site into the 24/7 marketing tool that it was meant to be. Check your current site for these mistakes and make arrangments to change them ASAP!
Your Take Action Plan For This
- Look at your website and ask yourself “What is my purpose?” Once you define this, you’ll be able to identify unnecessary pages and text.
- Read your website with your clients in mind. Are you focusing on their needs or your own? If it’s the latter, take some time this week to refine your website copy.
- Can visitors easily find what they need on your site? Cut down lengthy text passages, use bold formatting and streamline your pages to make things easier to find.
- Ask your past and present clients (and your coach!) what they think of your website design. Take their feedback seriously and, if necessary, find a new template to work with.
- If you’re not using the WordPress platform, it’s time to make a switch! You can find out more at http://www.wordpress.org.