Building a website can be tricky. Slapping a few pixelated JPEGs on a Blogger.com account and calling it your business’s homepage just won’t cut it these days (in fact, that’s almost worse than having no Internet presence at all).
Websites can be a huge part of what drives business to your door, and it’s important that you get the Web design formula just right, so that your potential client starts with a good impression, successfully fulfills their agenda on the site (even if it’s just looking up your address) and then follows through with a contact or purchase. In short: You can’t simply create a webpage. Now you have to create a complete digital experience.
To spare you some time and money – and to help you save face – we’ve rounded up some of the top mistakes businesses make when creating or redesigning their website:
1. Not focusing your message.
Start by asking yourself: How does anyone define a great website? Then, more specifically: What is your website trying to do for your potential clients? Some of the greatest websites have one thing in common: They are there to help you find exactly what it is you’re looking for (for example, a search engine like Google or a shopping experience like eBay). It is really important that your website keeps this in mind: Here’s what you are trying to do, and it’s very obvious from your homepage.
Secondary messaging can be a little quieter: saving someone money, for example, or making a purchase convenient. But overall, forget the razzle-dazzle, cut back on the clutter, and help your visitor determine what you can do for them. You can worry about sharing more in-depth info and converting customers in future steps. From the outset, though, focusing your message – via text, visuals and page mapping – is pivotal.
2. Not knowing what the purpose of your homepage is.
The purpose of your homepage should be simple: get the visitor where they’re going and keep them engaged long enough to click over to another page. Is that Contact Us? About? Services? Once they’ve navigated to the second page, they’ve committed at least a small amount of interest. More to the point, they’ve improved your bounce rate by not immediately clicking away from your site upon landing (which signals to Google that your page is not as valuable a resource). Now that they’re interested, you have the opportunity to wow them with your product on the links you provide and sway them toward your calls to action.
3. Having too much text on your homepage.
Ever done a quick Google search for a business, clicked on a link and been slammed in the face by a wall of text? We have, and it’s not pretty! It can be daunting, overwhelming and confusing for a potential client. When it comes to designing a website, less is definitely more. Don’t bore visitors with your company’s entire establishment history – that’s what the “About” pages are for. If a visitor is overwhelmed, they will leave. Their time really matters to them; show that you respect the time their taking on your website by making it an efficient and worthwhile visit for them.
Check back for Part 2, with another four important marketing mistakes to avoid.