There are a billion things we can get right. There are even more things that can go wrong. Over the years i have seen countless lists of what to do or not to do on a website, and most of these ring true. The problem is that it can be quite overwhelming when you attempt to optimise a website in one go.
These are my top five website mistakes that you're making and can fix right now, with very little time outlay.
No website!? A funny point to include on this list but it is quite relevant. Let me explain. I've met and spoken with so many small business owners who do not have a website. They hope to operate on Social platforms alone. This strategy is an OK idea if we are talking about your hobby. Its not okay if we are talking about a business. Here's why. Consumers are less likely to trust a business that does not have a current and up to date website. Businesses invest so much in setting up their stores. Signage alone can costs tens of thousands of dollars. Often seen by a few dozen passers by each day. A website can easily be seen by thousands of people a day. And if you're really clever, they will be the right kinds of people, resulting in real business. Almost half of all google searches are looking for local information. People are looking for your business, you should show up for them. Here are some interesting facts about local searches: 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Nectafy) 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information. Over a two year period, there was a 900%+ growth in mobile searches for “___ near me today/tonight." (Think with Google, 2018) 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results such as the "click to call” option. (Think with Google, 2019) Over a two-year period, there was a 200%+ growth in mobile searches for “open” + “now” + “near me." (Think with Google, 2018) 46% of shoppers surveyed confirm inventory online before going to a store. (Think with Google, 2019) 70% of shoppers surveyed say the ability to shop in-person/ in a store is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from. (Think with Google, 2019) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics & Nectafy)
Set and Forget People often think that after investing so much time and money into getting their website just right that the traffic will come flooding in. It doesn't. One reason for this is that Google and other search engines sort of monitor websites for regular updates. This implies that you are still working on your site to ensure it is still relevant. We need to continually make efforts to drive traffic to our site. Being active online and allocating a small budget towards CPC or Display Campaigns. Some good platforms to try are Facebook, Instagram and/or Google AdWords.
Whats the point? A website should always serve a purpose. And it is just as important for you to identify what that purpose is, as it should be considered with every key decision you make digitally. Identifying what you want from your website means you will actually see it working for your business. Some questions to ask to ask yourself: Do i want sales? Email addresses? Phone calls? Do i want to create awareness for my brand or business? or do i want to promote a specific message? All of these questions are important to consider, however identifying the most important one will arm you with the direction you need to gear your website towards success.
Socially... flat? Its so simple to include to social links on your website and in turn, share website content to your social media. No, you wont see a monetary return on investment via Social Media but what you will see are higher brand engagement rates, which WILL impact your bottom line.
Unsecured web forms I cant even begin to explain the benefits of Data-capture. Most websites have a contact us form at the very least. The problems arise when such form is not secure. This often results in you receiving a bunch of spammy emails from BOTS praying on those sites which are not secure. It is even possible for such bots to attempt to send emails from your account. Its such an easy thing to avoid. Add a reCaptcha. Bots cannot get through this step. I've seen people set up invisible fields also. This serves to identify bot submissions. If you see the field having been complete with a bunch of gibberish, you automatically know it is a bot and can remove it from your database.