Okay, you’ve claimed your domain name, found your niche, sourced your product line, or defined your services. While the logical next step seems to be building and launching your website, stop and breathe. It’s no use throwing the perfect party that no one attends – or even worse, leaves abruptly.
According to HubSpot, there are 700 million websites on the Internet, and 5,067 pages are created every day. That means there is an enormous amount of competition for your target audience. So, how do you make your business stand out in such a huge crowd?
Simply put, you keep in mind that your website is not about you. It is about your users and their web experience. It is about building trust and credibility that entices visitors to linger. They stay and read your content, evaluate your products or services, and take action. So, how do you do that?
We wanted to help new website builders build better sites, so we reached out to some top industry experts. Here’s their take on how to avoid 10 deadly website mistakes.
1. Website Speed Can Kill
“I have a common website mistake I’d like to share:
“Speed impacts trust. In fact, Google considers site speed in its ranking algorithm, so your site may not rank as well and lose traffic to competitors before they even visit your website. Google’s goal is to value the best website experiences, and slow websites create a substandard experience, generally speaking. As a result, businesses benefit from focusing on building a site that downloads quickly and maintains that speed over time.”
-- Kent Lewis, President and Founder of Anvil Media, Inc.
2. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Compatible Before Launching
Today, most people visit websites via their cell phone. With this being said, it’s essential to make sure your site is mobile compatible. Your site will likely get fewer visitors if they are unable to navigate it easily and view it properly. When building your website, choosing a theme that says it’s mobile compatible will help you greatly.
3. Evaluate Competitor Websites
“Before even starting to build a site, you need to look at competitor websites. Evaluate the sites and write down both the pros and cons of them. Then, based on your evaluation, come up with some ways your site can one-up your competition. You need to figure out a way your website can stand out and be unique in your industry."
-- Holly Zink, Digital Marketing Associate at The Powerline Group
4. Start with Something Simple
“I made this mistake when I made my first website and made the website incredibly hard to use. Just start with a basic site with standard navigation menus, text, images, and whatever you need to get your information across. The most popular website builders will generally serve your purpose perfectly. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel with animations and fancy widgets until you have the basics down.”
5. Don’t Underestimate the Mobile Traffic
Don’t underestimate the mobile traffic: It is incredible how many people are glued to their smartphones while out and about. You might observe a group of individuals as they tap at their mobile phone, completely ignoring each other. They may be buying a new service or product; are you ready to bring them to your website?
According to Mobile eCommerce Stats in 2018, more than 62% of shoppers made purchases with their mobile phones. Also, the 2016 stats reveal that more than 90% of shoppers use their mobiles while in shops for considering product reviews and comparing costs.
Forty percent of customers will probably go to a competitor when they have a poor encounter with a site. Your site has to be responsive to browsers that are smart-phone based, which means it has to be configured to display onto a screen of any size. If your webpage cannot be navigated with a smartphone, you then might be passing up a substantial quantity of traffic and conversions.
6. Don’t Make Your Website the Victim of the Navigation Issue
Having a website that’s challenging to navigate is like inviting guests to your house, letting them get dropped, become bored, and leave—never to return. You site design needs to allow for fast and straightforward navigation, meaning that an individual should never become lost. This is unacceptable. A visible, prominently placed navigation bar needs to be present so that it can be found on a screen of any size. Do not overlook the sitemap as this ought to allow users to quickly jump to any page within your website. You should have an obvious way to get back to the home page.
7. Don’t Think About Starting a Website Without SEO
Your site is smooth to navigate, looks excellent, and makes for a good browsing experience. In case you haven’t contemplated SEO into your site layout, your website that is delightful is very likely to become adrift in the seas of the Internet. SEO has to be hauled into the site design. A search engine optimization expert will have the expertise to aid you and build this.
8. Image Sliders Can Slow Your Site
A website is something that should be used, not admired from a distance. Most beginners focus so much on the look that they forget the purpose and how users will encounter it.
For example, when a beginner wants to show off a bunch of photos, they’ll usually add them to an image slider. But image sliders are resource hogs that can slow your site, and users often struggle to pause them, navigate between slides, and concentrate on any one image.
9. Keep the Home Page Simple but Informative
When a beginner builds a home page, they’ll often use so little text that you don’t even know what the site is trying to accomplish or use so much text that you don’t even know what the site is trying to accomplish.
10. Websites Should be User Focused
Cryptic menu text, insufficient information about products and services, security measures that threaten basic usability, and a total lack of a unique selling point are all offshoots of the central issue.
-- Joe Goldstein, Director of SEO & Operations, Contractor Calls
Wrapping It Up
With these expert tips in your tool box, you’re prepared to build your website with confidence. You know how to attract your audience, gain their trust, and provide them with a first class web experience that will keep them coming back time after time. Even better, they might encourage their social network to check out your website as well.
Do you have a great website building tip? If so, we’d love to share it with our readers. Just post it in the comments section.