Whether you are creating a website to provide information, network or sell products and services it is essential to avoid common errors in order to achieve your goals. An effective website will reach your target audience, answer user questions, and meet your business goals. Sites that are poorly planned out and designed translate into a loss of traffic and revenue, which is why you should be wary of committing the following mistakes.
Not Having a Clear Strategy
Just because you create a website does not necessarily mean that you will see traffic. Before you invest your time and money into a website, determine your goals for the site and put together a business plan and marketing strategy. This business plan does not have to be an extensive outline of every aspect of your website but it should answer some important questions such as:
- Who are your target customers?
- What is your niche market?
- What is the purpose of the site?
- What products or services are you selling?
- What will be offered to your visitors or customers?
- Who are your competitors? How will you differentiate yourself from them?
In order to build a successful website you need to have answers to the questions above and design the site around your business goals.
Lack of Focus
A website that does not have a clear focus will struggle to reach a target audience. Trying to please everyone is not an effective strategy and tends to satisfy no one. While it is possible to attract people to your website who may not fall into your target audience you should make sure to focus on accommodating your specific demographic.
Failing to Provide a Clear Call to Action
Even the most clearly structured and meaningful site will not be successful without a strong call to action. Once a user clicks through to your website you need to tell them what you want them to do. This call to action may be a number of things from filling out a contact form to purchasing a product. No matter what you want your visitor to do it won’t be accomplished unless they understand the purpose of the site and have a clear path to reach the goal. A good website will guide the visitor through the process of navigating the site in a clear and simple manner.
Ignoring User Experience
User experience is paramount for a successful website. Trying to make your site stand out by straying too far away from traditional design conventions can result in visitors getting lost and leaving the site. There are common expectations that web users develop from their experiences on other sites so when you break that consistency you risk the satisfaction of your visitors.
Site features that obstruct visitor goals are also a bad idea. Pop-up ads and intro pages can severely damage your potential to connect with visitors and prevent them from staying on your side. Some other features to avoid include things such as posting files that need to be downloaded by the visitor and extensive registration forms. Your website needs to be customer-focused in order to build a relationship with them.
The content on your website should be compelling to your visitors. If your website is filled with irrelevant, vague or outdated content it can be very frustrating for your visitors. It is important to understand the role and goals of each page in order to craft proper and original content for them. Bad content will harm your website in countless ways and will not build the trust of potential customers.
By avoiding these common mistakes when you build your website you will save yourself from a lot of disappointment and wasted effort. Start with a strong business plan and focus on the user experience as you work to achieve the goals of your new website.