So you have a great idea or product and have decided to make your dream business a reality. Congratulations! 80% of success is making that decision and then showing up to see it through.
Production/building/planning is in full swing and soon you’ll have a product/service you can share with your target market.
As a consumer yourself, you know that the first place people go to look for or find a product or service these days is the internet. And so you decide that the first step to building your new business’ online presence is to build a website.
So far, so good...
But then, you've never built a website before. So you are unsure where to start or what you need to do in order to ensure its Search Engine Optimised (SEO) and user-friendly.
That’s where Digital Pollinators can help. As digital marketing specialist we can help and support you with your efforts. Either by;
- Building your website from the ground up
- Conducting an SEO audit of existing website(s) and then re-building or optimising it to address overlooked areas of concern, and/or
- Teaching you how to create, build and maintain your own website
By taking a quick look at some of the common website mistakes that small businesses make, you can begin to assess your strengths and weaknesses and determine if getting help from a Digital Pollinator is what you need.
Common website mistakes made by small business
1. There is a disconnection with offline & online brand image
Often businesses fail to customize their website template enough so that it is unique to their brand. In order to project a professional and trustworthy image of your brand it’s important to ensure that all marketing material, both offline (business cards, flyers, in-store promotional material etc) and online material (social platforms, website etc) is consistent. Hiring a graphic designer to create your brand logo and colour palette is a great way to create a unique and distinct brand identity.
2. You’ve overlooked your target audience
Choosing the right template can take time. Understanding your target audience, business objectives and goals should be the driving force behind how you come to make your decision on which template to work with, how you display your content and what content to write.
3. Not catering for the huge mobile & tablet audience
Recent studies show that 80% of all internet users now own a smartphone, and 47% own a tablet device. So now, more than ever it's imperative that your website be mobile and tablet optimised. It amazes me how many new websites are built that are not mobile optimised. To avoid having to build separate mobile and desktop website built your site using responsive design.
4. You’re missing a clear call-to-action (CTA)
What is the purpose of your website? Is it to simply inform your target audience about your services or do you want them to sign up to your newsletter, buy something from your shop, download an app or watch a video? Having a clear and visible call to action gives the user an opportunity to actively and continually engage with your brand.
5. Your social media buttons are broken
Check, check again and then once more for good measure that all your links including your social follow buttons are linking through to where they are meant to.
6. Your content is stale, full of misspellings and poor grammar
If you’re not great at writing copy consider hiring a copywriter to create or edit your website copy so that it is legible and grammatically correct. Remember your website will often be the first impression someone gets of your brand, and first impressions last. So make sure it’s a good one.
7. Your content is missing keywords
For the record a keyword can be a single word, a phrase or a combination of 2+ words. These days, keyword optimisation has been reduced in importance by popular search engines such as Google and Bing due to keyword spamming in the past. The purpose of using keywords is to tell Google that, for example, this page is about x. By using Keywords a search engine can more accurately index your content to include it in their search results when people search for x and variations of x.
Keywords are still a factor in how Google ranks websites, however, you should not expect to optimise your website with keywords and then see your site rise to the top of the search results for those keywords. You still need to, at a minimum, create content based around your keywords that deserves to be top of Google and to build links to your site to boost its trust and authority.
8. Not up-grading and up-dating your site regularly
Regularly adding fresh material to your site not only keeps visitors coming back to see what's new but it is also a major factor in how search engines rank your website in search listings (SERPs). Google figured out long ago people perceive their search results to be more relevant when the results are newly published articles, stories, and updated pages. Therefore Google gives better search engine ranking to those website who keep their content fresh.
9. You have not written your meta descriptions
Meta description tags, while not important to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from the SERPs. Adding meta descriptions, which are short paragraphs limited to a 160 character, is your opportunity to advertise content to searchers to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they're looking for.
10. Your images and photographs are missing Alt tags
Alt text (also referred to as alternative text or alt tags) are used to describe the images on your website. It is important and necessary to add alt text to all the photos and images on your website for three main reasons.
- If images fail to load – If for any reason an image does not render on a web page, the alt tag will display in place. This means visitors to that web page understand what the image should be there even though they are unable to see it.
- For Search Engines – Search engines regularly crawl web pages and can understand text copy on a page, however, images are difficult to read. This is where alt text comes to play. Alt text is used to describe to search engines what the image is showing, allowing search engines to give users better results when performing an image search.
- For the visually impaired – The visually impaired tend to use screen readers in order to browse web pages. These screen readers will identify and interpret what is being displayed on their screen.
Using website templates is a great low cost way to build a site that only needs a few pages and doesn't require any fancy custom web development or coding. There are a lot of great website templates available out there these days, one for pretty much every type of business. But if you’re going to use a template than make sure that you customize it to suit your brand and appeal to your target audience.
Time to Take Action
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