A website is more than just a billboard for your business online. Even if it operates that way for you, it still needs to be more than that to help your business grow. A solid website strategy helps set your business up for success online and can help it grow over time. Here are a few common mistakes businesses make with their website strategy to avoid as you figure out yours:
Mistake #1 – Thinking You Don’t Need a Strategy For Your Website
You can just buy a domain, throw up a website for your business, and then you’re done, right? Wrong. A solid business website strategy starts well before the website. A good partner can help you work through some of it during the discovery and design process. But, you should have some ideas about strategy before you even start.
What does your business offer? Define your products or services. Who are your potential customers? Define your target audience. What are the goals for your business website? Think about what you want out of your website.
More leads for your business is usually a primary of a business website, but there are also usually others. Will you also want your website to support recruiting efforts? Will it need to help you promote events? Does it need to store and organize internal resources?
The goals will vary a bit from business to business. However, it’s important to figure them out before you jump into designing and building a website. They need to be part of your website strategy so that your website supports your business goals the way you need it to.
Mistake #2 – Targeting the Wrong Audience
One of the most common mistakes businesses make with their website strategy is targeting the wrong audience. You can know who your target audience is and still target the wrong ones on your website if you don’t have a good website strategy. Sometimes, what you think your audience is searching for is not what they are actually searching for when they try to find your products or services online.
If you’re chasing vanity keywords instead of the keywords your audience is actually using, you can end up attracting the wrong users to your website. Sometimes, the keyword you may think is important actually delivers completely different results in search engines. In this case, you’re not targeting visitors that could actually be leads for your business; it’s irrelevant traffic and it negatively affects conversions, revenue, and more.
Mistake #3 – Never Evaluating the Content of Your Website
Whether you’re just getting started with a website or you’re going through another redesign, it’s essential to evaluate the content of your website. The content is one of the most impactful webpage elements. Simply carrying all pages over every time you rework the site can sometimes result in a huge sitemap full of low-quality pages, duplicate content, content that competes with each other, general disorganization, etc.
Not only can this hurt your website’s performance in the search engines, but it can also make it difficult for potential customers to find what they need on your website. That has real consequences for your business. And, if it’s a bad enough experience, you could end up with an online reputation problem before you know it.
Instead, part of any website strategy should include evaluating the content on the website. What are the pages? Are there any that are irrelevant to your target audience? Are there any duplicates or competing pages that should be combined into one page? Are there pages missing that you need to include in the new site?
Mistake #4 – Ignoring User Experience
A good user experience includes clear, simple navigation, a responsive, mobile-friendly design, etc. But, it’s also more than that – it has to be built around your target audience and what they need for a good experience on your website.
Just because you like how a site looks and you want to feature however many pages doesn’t mean it offers a good user experience for your target audience. The user experience on your website isn’t for you, your website designer, the developer helping you build it, etc. These people are usually not your target audience.
When it comes to the user experience on your website, you need to view your website from the perspective of your target audience. On every page of your website, you need to determine what their goal for the page is and what they need on the page; then, deliver and meet those expectations.
If you are having issues with this, set up user testing groups that include people from your target audience to go through your website. In doing so, you can get real data and real feedback that give you valuable insights into how to improve your website and ensure it’s targeting the right people. This will also be a consideration when it comes to evaluating a website builder vs template website vs custom website for your business
Mistake #5 – Not Including Anything Post-Launch
You covered the bases, your website looks great and performs well, and now it’s live. What happens next? How will you drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, etc. to promote it?
Even if it is well-designed and offers a fantastic user experience, simply having a website is not enough. You need to have some sort of strategy to promote it post-launch for it to support your business and help it grow online.
These are just a few common mistakes businesses make with their website strategy. Avoiding them as you plan out your website strategy can help you avoid issues and create a better online strategy for your business to help it grow.
If your website is underperforming or offering a poor user experience, it’s time to update it. Contact us for a meeting of the MINDs to talk about how we can help with your website design and get it performing for your business!