Most business owners know by now that having a website where they can present their brand, product, or service and interact with potential buyers is a key factor in their success. And while some may be more digital-savvy than others, many end up making the same mistakes when setting up their own business website.
In this article, we take a closer look at the most common mistakes business owners make when it comes to setting up their own websites and what you can do to avoid or fix them.
Why Is Having a Business Website So Important?
First things first. Before we get into common business website mistakes, let’s see why having a business website is so important.
- Is a website something you just need to have nowadays?
- Does it serve a clearer purpose?
- Does a website have the potential to grow your business?
- If so, how?
These are common questions. Especially coming from business owners that are used to doing business in more traditional ways. Like relying on traditional advertising, media, word of mouth.
Those are all still valid ways of promoting your business. But they are not enough in today’s digital world.
The fact is that not having a website is costing business owners money. For several reasons. Here’s why:
- A business website establishes your online presence and credibility
- It allows potential customers to learn more about your business and builds trust
- A business website can be tailored to fit your specific audience and market allowing you to reach and better target your customers
- It is a platform where you can present your business and your goals and make them known to potential business partners and customers
- A business website can be promoted in several ways and reach a far larger audience than traditional advertising campaigns
Because the digital world has no boundaries, setting up a business website can help promote your business and increase your opportunities for growth.
Let’s take these benefits one at a time.
First of all, if you have a business website, potential customers and partners can easily find you. Everyone is doing their research nowadays and any business not having an online presence is going to look suspicious at least. So, for one, having a website helps establish presence and credibility.
Second of all, once they visit your website, you have the opportunity to present your proposition to potential customers and partners. You get to share your goals, your strong points, what you are all about, and what benefits you can offer.
The best part is that you get to do this on your own terms and in a way that is tailored to your audience’s needs.
Next, the content you post on your website is a great tool for building trust. From testimonials to sharing valuable information like blog posts, infographics, or other free resources, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and show your audience why it’s worth doing business with you.
Last but not least, your business website is a versatile and profitable marketing tool. It can be the backbone of numerous types of digital marketing campaigns, all customized to fit your industry and your audience.
These are only a few of the reasons why you cannot afford to make rookie mistakes when it comes to your business website. To make sure that doesn’t happen, let’s see the 5 biggest mistakes business owners make when setting up their own business website:
Mistake no. 1 – Not Optimizing for Different Devices and SEO
To have it work for you and get your money’s worth, your business website needs to be well-designed, informative, and fast. It needs to present relevant information in a way that is easy to read, includes images, videos, etc., and have plenty of well-placed whitespaces.
Your business website also needs to not keep visitors guessing, be intuitive, easy to navigate, and have all the required information like contact details within reach. And, let’s not forget, it must be responsive.
If your business website has all of this already, you may think that your job is done. But it’s not.
For instance, many business owners set up a website for desktop users and forget to optimize it for different devices. That’s a big mistake.
Mobile users account for almost 60% of all search traffic generated online. Therefore, not optimizing your business website for mobile users could increase your drop-out rates and leave you wondering where you went wrong.
The next essential element you cannot afford not to optimize your business website for is SEO. If it’s not optimized for SEO, no one will find or see it. Competition online is high, and you must do your best to stand out and make your website seen.
Some business owners choose to do this after setting up their website. However, you should consider looking into SEO before. This way, you can include the required on-page and off-page optimization elements you need from the get-go and streamline your website’s SEO success.
Make sure you include:
- Keyword research
- Competition research
- Optimize content, images, and video
- Meta tags and backlinks
Keyword research, in particular, is an aspect you should not neglect when it comes to your business website’s SEO. It will help you better target your audience and align your content with their search intent to secure more traffic and more conversions.
Mistake no. 2 – Not Making Critical Information Clear
When it comes to your business website’s design, it may be tempting to focus primarily on the style. With so many options available, you can find yourself getting lost in a sea of choices.
Business owners usually make one of two big mistakes when it comes to their website layout. They either add too little or too much.
To generate income, your business website needs to be easy to use, intuitive, and include all the information a potential customer would find relevant. Such as:
- what you do
- what sets your business apart
- how they buy
- where they can contact you
Your primary focus must stay on the messages you send to visitors and how you do that.
You can start by making a list of the most important benefits your product or service offers customers. Then, make them as clear as possible. Don’t lose yourself in too many details. Make your messages short and strong and develop the rest of your content around them.
Keep the customer in mind at all times and:
- Make what you are offering clear
- Make your value proposition known
- Highlight what makes you different
Next, you must streamline the way visitors navigate your website. Make sure any action you want them to take is clear and highlighted. Do you want them to buy? Make it clear how they can do that. Do you want them to subscribe? Make it easy for them to do so.
Make your contact information highly visible, as well. Add your contact email, phone number, address, as well as a chat option to give visitors various ways to get in touch.
Any glitches that will make visitors wonder where they have to go next are likely to frustrate them and make them leave your website.
Mistake no. 3 – Missing Out on the Potential of Call-to-Action Buttons
On the subject of making things as clear as possible for visitors, we cannot forget the all-important CTAs. There’s little use in making it clear what you are offering potential customers if you don’t also make it clear to them how they can make a purchase.
CTAs probably have the most influence on your conversion rates. So, to make the most of your business website, you must have clear CTAs.
Each page on your business website should include at least one call to action. The same one or a different one depending on what you are trying to get your website visitors to do next. The main idea is to get visitors to continue their interaction, spend more time on your website, and move through the sales funnel.
Here are a few of the most common CTA examples:
- Buy now
- Sign up
- Learn more
- Get a free trial
- Download free resource
Your CTA will depend on your product/service, your audience, and your marketing plan. Its main role is to guide and encourage visitors to take the action you need them to take.
For instance, if your goal is to build an email list, you should use the ‘Subscribe’ CTA in several locations across each webpage and also consider adding a pop-up screen – users will see as they browse your business website.
You could also encourage visitors to provide their email by offering a free trial or a free resource and adding a relevant CTA on your web pages.
Once you build your email list, you can use it to send newsletters, offers, or other outreach emails to subscribers and increase lead generation rates.
If your goal is to encourage visitors to buy your product or sign up for your service, that’s what your CTAs need to highlight. Not having a visible CTA and leaving them wondering what to do next if they want to make a purchase will make potential customers drop out.
Now, like all good things, you should use CTAs in good measure. Avoid including an excessive number of CTAs or having multiple pop-up screens disrupting visitors as they are browsing your business website.
Mistake no. 4 – Not Making the Most of the Information a Website Can Provide
Business owners setting up their own websites often make one more crucial mistake. That is, they fail to make the most of the information they can receive from their website visitors.
This can affect their progress and keep them from using their website to generate more leads and income. This situation is very common and quite obscure. Owners are very strict on controlling expenses when it comes to website development but tend to completely neglect the conversion optimization of the website that will result in more income.
Tracking user behavior can have multiple benefits. From identifying drop-out triggers to understanding what can increase conversion rates, analytics can tell you a lot about your potential customers and help you improve your marketing efforts and increase your income.
Here’s an example of visitor data you can monitor with the help of Google Analytics or other tools:
- the number of clicks generated by your CTAs
- what pages generate the most and least traffic
- page loading times
- session duration
- number of pages visited by users per session
Using analytics to track user behaviors will help you improve your digital marketing strategies as well as deliver a better experience to potential customers.
Mistake no. 5 – Not Having a Website Promotion Strategy
This is perhaps the biggest mistake business owners setting up their own website make – not having a plan to promote their website once it’s up.
This happens because many believe that simply having a website will do the trick. Especially if it’s optimized for SEO and contains all the keywords and little trinkets that can boost its success.
But the question is ‘Why wait?’ when you can do something about it and ensure your website is bringing in as many leads and income as possible.
SEO can take a lot of time to show results. And that’s exactly where promotion comes in.
There’s a vast number of things you can include in your website promotion strategy to gain more traction and traffic. Here are some examples:
- Email marketing
- Link building strategies
- Outreach marketing (using warm and cold strategies and email lookup tools)
- Pay-per-click ads
- Social media marketing and campaigns
- Influencer marketing
- Search engine listings and online directories
Including a blog in your website is also a great tool you can use to promote it.
Valuable content that is optimized for targeted keywords can:
- boost your SEO efforts and help ensure a higher search result ranking
- build trust among potential customers
- help search engines see you as an expert in your field
- be used in digital marketing and social media content campaigns to increase your reach
- get you more shares and interactions
- attract more traffic and potential leads
Can you do a great page yourself? Of course. In the same manner, as you can repair your car, or draw a logo. It all comes down to how much do you value your time.
With tools that are available online, anybody can have a nice-looking page in a minute, but as with everything, the devil is in the detail. Sometimes you just need to look for more experienced help which will prevent you from stepping into various mistakes down the road.
About the author
Andy Cabasso is co-founder of Postaga – the easiest way to build links and traffic, with an all-in-one SEO research, contact finder, and email outreach platform.