Creating your first website can be a daunting experience.
I still remember mine as clear as day!
There are plenty of things that you’ll need to learn how to do but just as important, there are also many things that you definitely shouldn’t do either.
Not if you want your visitors to take your site seriously and have any chance of converting them into customers.
First impressions and all that!
With that in mind, let’s go and take a look at what I believe to be the 9 most common mistakes people make when building a website for their business.
I’ll also tell you exactly how to avoid them!
1) Failure To Plan
Yeah, I know, planning can be boring especially when you’re chomping at the bit to get started.
But you wouldn’t go and buy a load of bricks and start building a house, would you?
If you did, I dread to think to think what the finished result would look like and it’s just the same with your website.
Before you start the “building” process, sit down somewhere quiet with a pen and paper (I’m told they still exist) and make a list of all your pages you wish to create such as homepage, about, services and contact etc.
You can also make a rough draft of the content you’ll be adding to these pages and begin gathering all of your images in one place so they’re ready when you need them.
A little spying on your competition wouldn’t hurt either. Take a little time to browse around some of your competitors to get an idea of how they lay out their sites for a little inspiration.
2) Choosing The Wrong Website Platform
When you first start out looking for a platform to actually create your site, you’ll be overwhelmed as to how many options there actually are out there.
First, you have the What You See Is What You Get website builders often referred to as WYSIWYG.
Wix and Squarespace are two of the most popular examples and they allow you to easily edit a prebuilt template with your own images, text and branding.
These website builders are probably the quickest way to get your new website off the ground.
Then you have WordPress, technically it’s a content management system as opposed to a website builder and comes with a steeper learning curve, but WordPress is considered a more powerful, robust and long term solution although it does require a longer learning curve.
You’ll find plenty of arguments for both out there, but let me tell you there is no right or wrong answer.
Only you can make up your mind as to which suits your needs the best and don’t let anyone tell you any different!
3) Relying on a Free Website Builder
One of the biggest advantages of the WYSIWYG route is they are so simple and most allow you to create a free website.
This attracts people for obvious reasons and is great for testing purposes.
The problem is, there will usually be many restrictions such as company branding within your website address, ads on your site, and limited access to features.
If you want to give off a professional image (first impressions and all that) then once you’ve decided on a platform, I’d advise you to invest in one of their premium plans to remove these restrictions and give your site a more professional look and feel.
4) Outdated Content
Nothing says unprofessional more than outdated website content whether it’s text or images.
To me, it makes me feel as if the site has been neglected and your website is a digital representation of your business and everything it stands for.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to check all of your information regularly such as you about page, contact details, services, and any articles you may have written to ensure you’re giving people correct and up to date information.
Once every few months should do the trick.
5) Not Making Face as a Real Person
In this digital age, it’s too easy to hide behind your computer and simply blend into the crowd as just another faceless company.
Personally, I find this a real turn off and just like when doing business in the offline world, I like to know exactly who I’m doing business with before handing over my hard earned money.
Keep this in mind when creating your site and be sure to give your website a voice and don’t be afraid to throw in a little personality.
This can easily be achieved by telling your story of how you got involved in the industry in the first place.
Tell people how you can relate to their situation and don’t forget to include images whether they are of yourself, your staff, or even company vehicles.
I think you’ll find it’ll go a long way to building trust with your potential customers.
6) Hard To Read Text
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve landed on a website only to find brightly colored text or white text on a black background.
And do you know what I do when I come across such a site?
I immediately reach for the back button on my browser, that’s what!
Oh, they stand out alright, but for all of the wrong reasons.
It’s been proven that the easiest to read text is black text on a white background.
Also be sure, to avoid huge blocks of text as it can be very difficult to read.
Instead, break up your writing into smaller paragraphs consisting of three or four lines and use subheadings to show your reader what you’ll be talking about next.
Yep, when it comes to writing for the internet, most of what you learned at school really does go out of the window!
7) Poor Navigation
Regardless of how great your website looks, or how informative the content, don’t be fooled into thinking people will spend time searching for important information like your contact details….
“Ain’t no one got time for that!”
Truth is, people’s attention span is getting shorter all of the time so it’s important to have all of your most important details taking pride of place in your main navigation bar.
These pages can include;
- About page
- Your blog
8) Blurry Images
Nothing says unprofessional to me more than blurry or grainy images, ughhh!
One of the most common causes of this is using a small image and then “stretching” it to make it bigger. Instead, you’ll be much better off reversing the process.
So, if you can’t find the correctly sized image to begin with, simply choose a larger one than you actually need and then scale it down using a simple, free service such as PicMonkey.
9) Not Telling People What To Do
When it comes to the internet, there are many great websites out there that create beautifully written and informative content.
And what happens when the visitor reaches the end of the page?
Zip, zilch, nada.
And there’s a good reason for it and that’s because they don’t know what they are supposed to do next.
The only way to get around this is to actually tell your readers exactly what you want them to do commonly know as a “call to action”.
Here are a few common call to actions;
- Click here to read the review
- Call us today on….
- Request your free quotation
It’s also a good idea to create buttons and make them a different color to anything else on your website.
This will help to capture your readers’ attention and result in more people taking the desired action.
Over To You
Well, I sincerely hope you found this article helpful and it helps you avoid these common pitfalls which will save you time and money.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can.