You work hard to offer the best products and services. But if potential customers are hindered by your website, there's a chance they will never call or visit your store.
It's unfortunate, but this often happens to potential customers because of mistakes that could have been corrected. Here are four website mistakes you can easily avoid.
1. NOT TESTING THE SITE
Master chefs taste their sauce before serving it. Do the same with your website. Test it. Does it effectively convey your message? Is it convincing? Is the information easy to find?
Yet, unlike the master chef who tastes his own sauce, you are not the right person to evaluate your own site. You know your company too well. You need to find someone who is not familiar with your products and services.
What can you do? There are two solutions.
The first solution is to organize the test yourself. Four or five family members or friends are often all it takes. Sit them down in front of your computer and let them explore your site. Don't make the mistake of taking control of the situation – let them browse on their own!
As they navigate, ask them to describe out loud what they understand and think. Ask open-ended questions ("What is the main advantage of our product?") rather than closed-ended questions ("Is it clear that the main advantage is the choice of colours?"). You will get very valuable information on improvements to make to your site.
The second solution is to ask a company to test the site. These tests provide a lot of information and allow you to optimize you site to provide the best possible user experience.
2. WRITING LARGE BLOCKS OF TEXT
This is a mistake that is easy to avoid. Paragraphs that are too long are intimidating, and a lot of potential customers will simply not read them.
Follow these rules:
Fifty words is generally a good length for a paragraph. A little longer is all right, but not too much longer. If your paragraph is over 100 words, consider splitting it into two or three.
Shorter is often better. Remove useless words. Is your paragraph only 20 words? That's excellent!
Use subheadings and bullet lists. That makes it easier to read.
Use software like MS Word for an automatic word count.
3. LOSING FOCUS
Remember when years ago some websites played background music? Do you really believe that gimmicks like that actually helped someone sell their products and services?
Keep your website simple and stay focused. People come to your site to find out how you can help them solve their problem. Everything on your website should therefore target a single goal: helping your customers solve their problems.
Your customers want to know what you offer, so tell them clearly and simply. Explain what products and services you offer and why they are the best solution for solving their problem.
Everything else is probably unnecessary and should be removed. Yes, that includes the history of your company, unless the history helps earn your customer's trust. In fact, this trust encourages them to buy your products and services that will help solve their problems. In this case, only keep the parts of your company's history that will earn your customer's trust. Often, instead of a long page, you will only need two or three lines.
4. NEGLECTING PROMOTION
The best website in the world is useless if no one visits it. Promotion should therefore be planned from the start. Consider search engines, social media, advertising…and consider the budgets!
Here is a simple rule.
50% of the budget for creating the site
50% of the budget for promotion
25% of the first year's budget for site improvements
75% of the first year's budget for promotion
Your website budget is therefore stable year to year, similar to your rent or other fixed expenses. But don't look at it as a cost. It's an investment! Promoting your website is one of the biggest components in growing your sales. Your accountant will congratulate you!