Friday Five: 5 Mistakes Businesses Make With Their Website
Getting your business online allows you to stay open 24/7 and reach a wider audience of potential customers. Many people turn to the Internet to help find their next restaurant, find products and services, and more. If you're not online, then they won't be able to find you! If you haven't already, it's time to make the jump and get your business online. Get started by finding your domain name and checking out our website builder. Then, check out this list of business website mistakes to avoid:
1. Missing Information
No matter what kind of business you have, one of the most important things to include on your website is your contact information. In fact, if you have nothing else on your website, just put your contact information! If you're online only, customers may need to contact you with questions. If you have a store location, you'll want to provide customers with the addresses of your store location(s) as well as a map and directions to make it easy for them to find you. It's a good idea to set up a general business email that you can post on your website. For example, ours is firstname.lastname@example.org. That way people can easily contact you, but you don't have to clutter up your personal inbox.
2. Outdated Information
We know, we know - you've got a lot to worry about when you're running an ever-changing business. This doesn't mean you can neglect your website and let it fall to the wayside with outdated information. Your website is part of your business after all - and it should be an important part. Having a website allows your business to stay open 24/7 and opens it up to a wider audience online. If your website has wrong or outdated information it can be a problem for your customers, which makes it a problem for you. Take the time to go over your website at least once a month (or more depending on your business) to ensure that you have the most correct and up-to-date information on it.
3. Difficult to Navigate
Don't make your customers work to find the information or products they need from your website. Having good navigation is key to creating a website that customers will want to use. Sometimes when you're creating a website it can be hard to tell how easy it is to navigate - after all, you know exactly where everything is since you created it! Enlist the help of family, friends, and even trusted customers to give you some real feedback on how easy it is to find what they're looking for from your website. Then, make sure you take their feedback to heart and make any changes that need to be done.
4. Not Mobile Optimized
You've probably noticed the hordes of zombies, er, people walking around staring at their phones. Even if you don't own a smartphone, many of your customers do and having a website that works on mobile is very important. Depending on where you're located, you may even have a lot of customers that only use their mobile device to search the web (this is true in many developing areas where mobile devices are more accessible than computers). This doesn't mean you need to build your own app or even have a separate mobile version of your site (though if you want to do this, check out this list of services to help you create a mobile website). Many web hosting or website builder options are already mobile optimized (including our new website builder!), so you don't have to do any extra work to have your website work on mobile.
5. Not Actually Owning Your Domain & Website
Not every business owner is tech savvy and that's okay, but you do need to be business savvy about your tech. It may sound like a great idea to hire someone else to take care of registering your domain and setting up your website, but you need to be careful. The person whose name is on the domain whois, owns that domain. It may be your business domain, but it can still be near impossible to get it back if that person decides to do something else with it. We have run into this issue many times, but if your name isn't on the domain whois, there isn't much that we can do for you. This is why we wrote a blog on how to set up your company's Dynadot account to ensure that you own your awesome business domain name. The same goes for your website - though at least if you still own your domain, you can rebuild your website without losing all the traffic that already goes to your domain.
Now that you know these business website mistakes to avoid, check out our list of 10 things every small business website needs!
Post by Robyn Norgan