Five business website mistakes to watch out for

When it comes to growing a new business, a website is a powerful tool for generating leads and getting your message out there.

Not all websites are created equal though – poor design, confusing navigation and a lack of good content often mean a lot of business sites get a little lost in translation.

Keep these five common business website mistakes in mind to make sure yours stays thriving and on top of its internet game.

Slow, unresponsive design

The speed and versatility of a site’s design proves its quality for potential customers and search engines alike. Google even de-prioritises sites that load too slowly or aren’t optimised for tablet or smartphone searching.

It may seem like a small detail, but making sure your business’ site works quickly on all kinds of devices can make a huge difference to how it ranks on Google – there’s even a free, handy tool that helps you check.

A 2016 Guardian article claimed over 40% of searches made on the Internet every day happen on smartphones or tablets. Roughly 72% of internet users want to use mobile optimised websites too – one study proving users are five times more likely to abandon their task if a website isn’t optimised correctly. By optimising your own site, you’ll make it easier to find and much easier to use.

Treating visual design as an afterthought

The most important part of your business is the great service you’re providing, but customers might not stay long enough to read about it if your site looks tired or confusing.

Try to keep your layout as simple as possible. Every single element of your website should add genuine value for your customers, so keep this in mind and cut out anything that doesn’t need to be there.

It also helps to keep visual aspects like colour and font consistent across your site, maybe even matching your business’ branding if you have any – people shouldn’t think they’ve opened a totally new site whenever they visit a different page.

Keep an equal balance of text and images throughout your site, and look at other successful sites for visual inspiration and ideas.

Not spending time on quality content

Whether it’s blog posts or product descriptions, all your site’s content should be top quality and well executed.

The main purpose of search engines like Google is to display high-quality websites matching a user’s search terms – meaning detailed, well-executed content increases the likelihood of your business’ site being found by potential customers.

If content creating doesn’t come naturally to you, it could be time to invest in a professional copywriter or photographer to get every inch of your site looking polished and sounding ship-shape.

Creating business-related blog posts and articles on your website to share through social media is another great way to up your quality content quota.

Lack of navigation

The longer a potential customer stays on your business’ website the better, so make it easy for them to get around and find what they’re after.

Simple site navigation means customers are less likely to get frustrated and go elsewhere. Using menus and sub-menus is a great way to help sort the information on your website and stop any single page from becoming cluttered.

Your main page should be a hub for links leading to your site’s most important information. Make sure links to things like FAQs, contact details, policies and ‘about’ pages are clearly visible as soon as a user lands on your website.

Forgetting about analytics

The only way to truly know how well your business’ website works is by measuring how people interact with it.

Setting up Google Analytics gives you access to a huge array of tools to identify under-performing pages, analyse which ones are the most valuable, and test promotions so you can improve things that need a little extra attention.

It’s also a good idea to brush up on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) if you haven’t already. Mastering SEO is the number one way to tell any Internet search engine that your keyword-related content is the best around. Here’s a handy SEO crash course to get you started.

Avoiding these mistakes is a fantastic help when it comes to generating leads, but genuine feedback won’t go amiss either. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family or customers to jump on your site and tell you what works well and what you could still improve.

If you’re after professional help, consider talking to an SEO or inbound marketing professional, or hiring an experienced web designer.