5 Common Website Mistakes SMBs Make
Your website is often a customer’s first impression of you, and whether you offer services, run an ecommerce store, or have a website for your brick and mortar presence, your digital footprint is vital to your success.
Making a mistake in this area can be costly and hard to recover from, potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Domain Name
Many businesses try to force a domain name into their business, not giving it the consideration it deserves from the very start. Using a domain name search tool to figure out if the name you want is even available is just the first step. Make sure you also check these things:
- Ensure your domain name is not too close to another common one.
- Make sure your domain name cannot be abbreviated or run together to mean something entirely different than you intend.
- Don’t choose a name that is too long. Stick to 16 characters or less.
- Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and say.
- Don’t break trademark laws, even unintentionally, with your domain name.
Choosing the wrong domain name can really damage your branding and marketing strategy before you even get started.
Mistake #2: Buying your Domain Name with Anything but .com
There are several variations of website extensions, from .net, .org, .edu, and many more. However, unless your business is a non-profit (.org) or an educational institution (.edu), your primary extension should be a .com, as this is the most common and the easiest for users to type in.
You might want to purchase other extensions, and redirect them to your primary site simply to protect your domain name, but they should not be the address of your primary site.
Mistake #3: Not Properly Crediting Images or Graphics
It is easy to Google the images you want, right click, and hit “save image as.” It is not as easy to get out of trouble if that image is copyrighted, especially if it is an integral part of your website. You can not only be forced to take the image down, but also sued for a portion of any profits the artist determines came from the unfair use of your work.
To be on the safe side, use filters on Google Images, and limit searches to those that are “labelled for reuse.” If you cannot find images that way, you can purchase subscriptions to Flickr, Pixabay, and other photo sharing websites that allow you access to a many more images.
The cost of these images is easily offset by the peace of mind that you have won’t get sued or accused of copyright issues.
Mistake #4: Having a Poor Web Design
There are many technical aspects to creating a website that many small businesses ignore. Much of this, such as layout, microformatting, text font, website responsiveness, and Google AMP compliance are just a few.
Google and other search engines evaluate your site by how it works technically and what kind of user experience it offers. To achieve the optimal search engine ranking, your site needs to be well designed, user friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.
Mistake #5: Having Poor or Little to No Content
People need a reason to visit your website, stay there, and buy from you. That reason will be your content. If there is little to no content on your site, or the content that is there is poorly written or seems just “slapped together,” they will leave, and may never come back.
From the very start, the content that is on your site should be high quality, engaging, and clearly communicate your brand message. You may need to hire a content strategist or an agency to help you create content at first.
This is just one aspect of inbound marketing, a part of your overall marketing and branding strategy.
Businesses often make very avoidable website mistakes, even big businesses and big brands. Make sure your brand is not one of them by avoiding these five pitfalls.
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