Your website is the critical place where technology meets branding. At this one point lies the power to grow your business or it can turn potential customers away much to your detriment. Your website should portray your voice, image, trustworthiness, expertise and quality. If it doesn’t reflect your best qualities, then it is like showing up to a job interview in a dirty sweatshirt and worn jeans; the appearance may not accurately reflect your skills and it certainly won’t get you the job.
Does your website fully echo what your company has to offer? Does it put your best foot forward? Here are some common mistakes to avoid on your company’s website:
Looking Amateur – Most small business owners aren’t web designers, graphic artists or copywriters and their websites can suffer when they attempt to make one from scratch. Some of the basic mistakes that people make when using a website builder is that they upload images with poor pixelation, they add too many graphics or buttons on a page making navigation difficult or there are typos and weak content. Hiring professionals may cause an added expense to your budget, but the return is well worth the investment. Since you offer top quality services or products, your online branding needs to also reflect your professional image.
“The content customers see and the experiences they have while interacting with a brand online are crucial to shaping their purchasing behavior, said James Norwood, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of strategy at Episerver. “While not every consumer visiting a brand’s website is there to make a purchase, brands must consider how the experience of their websites — from navigation to checkout — supports engagement.”
Lacks Customer Consideration – For small businesses, many times it feels like they overcome the monumental task of creating a website and think the job is over. In fact, once a website is created, you’re only halfway there. A/B testing may seem time-consuming, but not doing it can cost countless dollars. Can your potential customers easily find what they are looking for? Are your images appealing or cheesy stock photos? Is your logo well placed and on all pages? Out of several designs, which one does your test group like the best? Compared to a competitor’s website, how does your test group rate yours? Without reading the text, can your visitors understand what your business is about?
Your website should not only reflect your company, but it also needs to resonate with your target audience. Just look at the difference in design between the Apple and IBM home pages. Apple’s new bright red iPhone7, minimal text and sleek design appeals to a younger audience while IBM’s muted tones, webnews-like layout and technical imagery is focused on a more business-minded consumer. Without a large logo displayed on either page, you can easily match the company to the home page.
3) Outdated Content – If you still have a banner on your website that says “Holiday Blowout Sale!” or a blog that hasn’t been added to since November 2014, it’s time to start giving your website some love. Your business is always growing and changing and your website should reflect the new products that you have added, great client reviews that prove your credibility or events that your customers should put on their calendars. Give reasons why your visitors should visit your site often for the best deals and to establish customer loyalty.
Your branding gets you recognized, sets you apart from the competition, tells people what you do and why, connects you to people who are like-minded, generates income, keeps you focused on your mission and establishes value for your company. When you consider that in 2019 it is projected that 224 million U.S. citizens will browse products, compare prices or buy merchandise online at least once, it just emphasizes the need to have an incredibly branded website that attracts these consumers. Is your website ready?