Avoid The Most Common Mistakes People Make With Their Websites

Your website is one of the most important tools for marketing your business. It is important that it is designed well, easy to navigate and includes all relevant content for your customers.

All this good work can be spoilt however, by making some astonishingly common errors. Here are seven of the most common:

1. No contact details

Did you know that most visitors to your website are looking for your telephone number? Yes it is true. That is why the Yellow Pages has shrunk from an enormous book to a small paperback. People look for telephone numbers using Google. If they can't find your number straight away, they might just go to a competitor's site who has their phone number in big red letters at the top of the page.

2. No news is better than old news

A news page on your website is a great idea. You can keep customers informed of the latest happenings in your business and keep them interested in visiting your site again and again. So if you have a news website, make sure that you have regular news to report on it. The clue is in the word. It is a news page not an olds page.

A news page where the last piece of news was in July 2007 tells customers that you have nothing to say and that you ignore your website.

3. Use social media effectively

We are expected these days always to have something interesting to say. What with Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the like, we are constantly looking for new things to say and tell to our customers. Put some imagination into your posts and your tweets. Tell them something relevant to your business, something that might interest them. In other words, something that might prompt them to buy something from you. Tweets and posts such as "busy day today" are dull and unimaginative and that is exactly the impression they will give.

I even saw a tweet on a web designer's site that criticised a song in the charts using bad language. A bit of common sense would have stopped him from doing this.

4. Don't think that customers behave differently to you

I am often asked to do things on websites that my experience tells me is a mistake. I have lots of experience of the way in which people behave on websites. They are impatient, fickle and demanding or should I say that we are impatient, fickle and demanding.

If you would click off a website that insisted on you entering your email address before you continued, then why would your customers not feel the same way? Think carefully before you do anything and say to yourself "would I do this if I were the customer visiting this website?"

5. Tell them what it does on the tin

I think this is one of the greatest tag lines for any company, "it does exactly what it says on the tin". The message on your homepage should be simple and to the point. Visitors should be in no doubt whatsoever what your business does. That is why our home page says "Web Designer Nottingham" in bold letters. It is what we do and where we are based. Nothing is left to doubt.

6. Follow the three click rule

Making your services and/or products easy to find is absolutely essential. If it takes more than three clicks for someone to find what it is they are looking for, you have probably lost them. Easy navigation is key to a great website. Clear simple signposts should be everywhere in your website and if they are not, you should be speaking to your web designer.

7. Dead links will kill your business

Links are the backbone of the Internet. They are the key to what made it great. Linking to useful content on other websites is always a good ides but over time, the page you linked to or even the site itself could disappear. Or it could be a simple mistake when entering the link address. It is a good idea to regularly check your website for badly formed or dead links. Links that do not work put off customers and also make Google think that the quality of your website is low.

Type "link sleuth" into Google and you will find a great piece of freeware that does this automatically for you.

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Net Quality