Launching a new website as a small business owner can be daunting. As a company’s first contact point with many of its customers, your website needs to make a lasting impression. There are a lot of factors that go into building both good and bad websites, but these six “Don’ts” will help keep both your website and business on track.

  1. Your website isn’t mobile compatible. Accessing the Internet via a mobile device is becoming increasingly common. In fact, according to a recent poll, 15% of Americans who own a smartphone have no other way of getting online [1]. Don’t alienate customers who are mobile users. Explore your options for mobile compatibility, starting by checking your website with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
  2. Contact info is hard to find (or nonexistent). The best place you can put contact information is at the top of your homepage. If that spot doesn’t work for your particular website, the second best option is to create a separate page dedicated to your address, phone number, and email information. Clearly mark this page as “Contact Us.” This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy thing to overlook. The last thing you want is to send your customers on a contact info wild goose chase. This could result in a negative impression by the customer and, ultimately, the loss of their business.
  3. The website is hard to navigate. Distinctly marked tabs and pages streamline ease of use and provide an overall better customer experience. Your website doesn’t have to be the most cutting edge, overly complicated page out there. It simply has to be aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and serve its purpose.
  4. There’s too much information. That’s right, it’s completely possible to have too much information! An abundance of testimonials, photos, descriptions, and options can be overwhelming. Stick to the basic information about your products and services. If needed, let customers know your business is available for special projects and provide them with an inquiry form to save yourself some clutter. Tone it down, limit yourself, and include only what’s necessary. Your customers will thank you.
  5. The customer isn’t asked to stay in touch. Prominently display links to social media pages and ask customers to be a part of your email list. Eliminate the effort of making a second contact by simply asking customers to stay connected. Make it easy for your business to develop lasting and profitable relationships. By securing a ‘Like’ on social media or a customer’s email address, you are being proactive and taking the steps to foster a meaningful audience for marketing efforts.
  6. Your website is all about the company. This may seem counterintuitive, but changing the wording on your website can make a big difference in how customers view your business. Instead of saying, “This is the awesome product I’m offering you.” say, “This is the awesome result of using my product.” Don’t brag about how great your offering is; instead, talk about how it can help the customer and improve their lives. For example, don’t say your landscaping services are the best. Say your landscaping services will help a customer’s home have beautiful curb appeal. Make the website feel relatable to the customer by offering benefits instead of simply products.

In addition to these basic tips, take a critical look at some other company websites. What’s working for them? What isn’t working? As a potential customer, what did you think of the overall website experience? Use these tips and lessons to revamp your business’ website and share with us! We want to hear what lessons or tricks you have learned while launching your website. In the comment section below or on Twitter using #DomainBlog, let us know what changes you have made to your website and how they have impacted your business.

[1] http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/