As discussed in the previous two articles, a website is often a person’s first introduction to a business. This means it is a company’s chance to make a great first impression and show the potential customer what sort of service it offers. To do this, it is important for a business to build its website well and fix problems quickly.
Build: With all the instant website builders, content management systems, online tutorials and resources available to put a website together, a lot of thought must go into the building, maintenance and upkeep of your digital asset. Hobby and enthusiast websites can get away with creating non standardized websites, but businesses fall into this trap — which looks less professional — more often than not.
Assess and evolve: Although your company may have a relevant online presence, there is no such thing as a perfect website. As design, content, security and technology evolves, your websites have to follow suit in this delicate balance.
Respond: Besides regular website audits and testing, customers should have an avenue to report bugs and issues — a single email where they can ask for support or make general inquiries. Some may look at this as negative feedback, but it can be an opportunity to show the customers how responsive a business is to challenges. Websites are built around the idea of offering customers convenient information to save them time. Resolving web issues tactfully and with clear communication helps build assurance and rapport with the customer.
Being aware of some of the common mistakes can help companies avoid regular mishaps and be on their way to making their website great. Below are three of the top common mistakes companies make with their websites.
- Outdated content
Outdated content can lead to complaints or a frustrating experience for the user. Outdated price lists, location, phone numbers, hours of operations and broken hyperlinks and email links can lead to loss of a customer that was previously ready to make an inquiry or even a purchase. Additionally, links to social media pages that are empty and not maintained often lead to disappointment in the overall user experience.
- Outdated design
When a site’s design is outdated, it often leads to losing customer engagement. If a layout is too complicated, navigation becomes challenging. Customers appreciate intuitive design and will spend more time enjoying the content if the user experience is simple. Additionally, websites can lose the engagement of visitors by simply being too messy and loud, or conversely, too simple.
- Not mobile friendly
If a website doesn’t scale to different device sizes, customers will move along. Related to this is the text size, which needs to be large enough to read on a small device without straining the eyes, but also not too large, as not to fit on the screen. Additionally, if there are too many menu options, this can be difficult to navigate with the limited phone functions.
— This is the third in a three-part series. See the January/February issue of Guam Business Magazine for “Websites for businesses — part I: website relevance today,” and the March/April issue for “Websites for businesses — part II: user experience.”