Very often, a consumer’s first encounter with your business will be through your website. Online materials are increasingly important in almost every industry and your homepage is the centerpiece of your digital marketing campaign.
Even if you don’t have extensive IT resources, you need to make sure consumers can easily find and use your company’s online materials. Here are four website mistakes small businesses often make to avoid:
1. Not having a website
It might be hard to believe, but in 2015 there are still companies that don’t have a business website. Forbes shared the results of a SCORE analytical report that found 49 percent of businesses with less than 100 employees don’t offer a main website.
Modern consumers search for products and services online. If you don’t have a web presence they can’t find you. Some companies think they can get by with a social media page or other publicly-hosted material. If you want to rank highly in search engines, though, you need a primary website offering educational content. All digital marketing materials should lead consumers to a site created by you, offering the information you want customers to know.
2. Ignoring customer preferences
Your website isn’t for you, it’s a consumer tool. Too many small businesses create online materials with a really narrow scope. You don’t want to design pages and product descriptions based on what you like. Instead, you should generate content inspired by consumer needs.
Information on websites should offer solutions to common customer problems. If you have trouble seeing things from an outside perspective, Business 2 Community recommended having someone interview you about how your products and services can help consumers. Listen to questions people ask about your business and create permanent online content that provides answers. You can also look for consumer data collected by employees and security business software to find common needs.
3. Complicated website design
Your website has to be easy to use. If a consumer searches for your service and your homepage pops up, you want them to see content that invites browsing. You have to avoid complicated designs that frustrate viewers.
You should never use huge blocks of text. Written descriptions accompanied by pictures and videos are easier to process. Diverse content appeals to more viewers and websites with multiple options encourage further investigation of materials. Your most important content should be given prime real-estate. Make a list of everything your customers will search for and determine levels of importance. Here’s a hint: Highlight contact information and hours of business.
4. Falling behind technology
Once you make a website, you can’t forget about it. You could assign an employee to create online materials, but if you don’t check in, you’ll lose track of what information new customers receive when they first encounter your company.
Anytime your business makes a change in operations, your website should reflect the new company procedures. For example, if you acquire security billing software, digital materials should promote convenient payment options. Your software provider could have suggestions for how previous companies made new technology part of a website design.
In the modern world, you also have to go mobile. The Week detailed how businesses lose potential customers to websites that are not mobile friendly. Your homepage should be responsive to touch screens and readable on smaller displays.