There are several challenges running your own business, your website is just one but unlike most everything else, it’s the one that, in many cases, customers and potential customers see first and see most.
Search engines have become much more sophisticated over the last several years and are making it easier for consumers to pinpoint what they want and find the content to match. Your job, or the job of whomever over sees your website is to give The Big Three (Google, Bing & Yahoo), what they want.
Certainly you can go to 10 different sources and probably get 10 different lists of “Dos and Don’ts” and none would likely be completely wrong, but we are going to start with the Don’ts. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid on your website:
1. Avoid gaming the system – We’ve heard the axiom for years, “the house always wins,” that’s no truer than it is in the world of search engines and content. You have to remember that when you try to “trick” the search engines, they will find out and YOU will pay a price for it. (don't believe me? Look what happened to this guy)
Undoubtedly, there are things you do every day to run your business such as pay bills, create invoices, see potential clients etc. You need to make content a priority if you’re serious about becoming and staying relevant.
2. Avoid gobs and gobs of text on a single page – It’s true you need text, BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO ALL BE ON THE SAME PAGE! Get feedback from clients, friends, neighbors, puppy dogs…find out what people like and don’t like about your site.
Depending on your target demo, you might want to have some teens or twenty-somethings look at your site, that’s the next generation of customers anyway, right?
3. Avoid looking like every other competitor – I’m going to pick on service industries a little here, but why do plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors insist on showing off their service vehicles?
You must make a distinction between you and EVERYONE else and if your site looks just like the next guy, how are you doing it?
4. Avoid being incognito – There is an expectation today that I can get to know most everyone in your company without ever spending a dime with you. Let me meet your staff and PLEASE for the love of Pete, do something to make them look happy. No mug shots please.
5. Avoid being anti-social – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever you choose as your venue(s), get active and get involved. People may not do business with you JUST BECAUSE you have a fan page, but the numbers are increasing of those that won’t because you don’t.
Again, the expectation is that I can get a feel for you and your company through social media without ever picking up the phone. Recently a client of ours told a story of how they gained a new client simply because a LIKE on their fan page. The new clients said, “I figured if Matt liked you, you were okay.” (Nothing like a little borrowed credibility, huh?)
So there you have our 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website. Now, before you get to comfortable, we could have probably made the list 500 Mistakes, but didn’t want to overwhelm. Blessings!
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The Social Sherpa helps you define your company's online goals, then guides your every step in the achievement of those goals.