Stephen Covey once said that one of the habits of highly effective people is to “begin with the end in mind.” If you carry that over to your website, we want to help you navigate and avoid five common mistakes.
Here are the 5 common mistakes that people make when building a website.
Whether you’re making your own website on a free website builder like Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, or Squarespace – or whether you’re having us build it for you, there’s common things that we are going to do to keep you from making mistakes.
Mistake #1: Spending too much.
The first mistake is they spend too much money.
They think that to launch their plumber, painter, landscaper, roofer business, that you’ve got to spend $10,000 to $20,000 and work with a dig digital marketing agency and have them go to town for you and send you a large invoice. At the end of the day we believe, and we’ve proven it quite a few hundred times, that you don’t need to spend $10,000 to $20,000 to launch your first website. If you’ve been a small business for a few years now and are looking for an upgrade, guess what? You still don’t need to spend $10,000 to $20,000 to upgrade your website, to update it to all the latest conversion science mechanisms, best behavior practices. It’s simply too much.
People also spend too much time.
It’s a very common thing in the digital marketing agency world to spend four to six months making a website. Well, guess what? Four to six months means the customer you were trying to reach when you started the project has already made a decision. They’ve already moved on. You lost a ton of sales, and now you’re launching something that you are guessing works. When behavior, expectations, customer preferences, all have changed.
We believe you can launch a great website in less than two weeks, and by the time 3, 4, 5 months rolls around, you’ve actually got real data, real information from people visiting your site, from people looking for your site that will allow you to adapt and change how you present things on the go, on the fly.
A website should be live and fresh and constantly changing.
Number one, don’t spend too much time, too much energy, too much money. Don’t spend too much.
Mistake #2: Bad Domain Choice
The second mistake to avoid is this. Don’t choose a bad domain. A lot of people think that domains don’t matter or that they’ve all been taken. And it’s true that there’s been a lot of domains taken, but there’s still a way to get a smart domain. You don’t have to make your LLC your domain name. You don’t have to put a dash in your.com just to get something close to what you want. A bad domain name is something that can get misspelled in an email, that when they say it people can’t quite hear. “Is that plural or is that two words or three words?” And especially if you made up the word just to get a domain, it’s going to be hard for people to spell. You’re going to always be spelling it on the phone to people and explaining it away.
Make sure that when you choose a domain, you follow our top 10 domain rules. You can look on safe domain search tools so that the provider doesn’t snatch the domain out from you. Like if you’re looking at a great, great domain and you think, “Man, I want that.” A lot of providers snatch those out from you. They don’t tell you that they do, but I’ve seen it. I’ve been on a great domain. Three minutes later, it’s suddenly purchased by the domain registrar itself.
And we won’t drop names. Cough, GoDaddy. Okay? Make sure that you look for a domain on domains.google.com would be our suggestion and preference because we’ve never had that happen searching for Google domains. Make sure you get a smart domain. Avoid the mistake of something too long or too crazy with dashes and all this stuff in your (dot) com.
.com or .biz or .net or .org?
And one other note, if you can get a.com, it’s better than .info, .biz, even .org. Dot com is what people naturally think. Now, if you’re a nonprofit or if you’re doing some community work, dot org can make sense, but.net, dot biz info dot something creative that you found online. It’s just not smart practice because people will send you emails to .coms. They’ll forget that you have a different ending to your domain.
Mistake #3: Forgetting Analytics
The third mistake that people make is that they forget to put analytics and tracking on their website. Anybody in business says to do business, you need to know your numbers.
If you don’t put tracking or analytics on your website, some way to find out where people came from, where they went? How long did they stay there? What did they do? Then you’re building something and just continuing to guess at what’s working.
The good thing about having tracking and analytics is that you can find out if that page that you spend all that time making, got any notice or traction or the blog that you paid someone a lot or you spent a lot of time doing, is that working? Or how can you enhance it? If you really want it to work, how can you continue to make it better?
Make sure that when you launch your website, you take the time to connect with any of the analytics trackers out there. We would suggest working with Google, putting the new G4 analytics on your website as a best practice.
Mistake #4: Forgetting Common Language
Another mistake that people often make is that they forget to ask their customers when you go to build a website.
Ex: Hardscaping or Patio Design?
A good example is in landscaping. A landscaper will say, “Yeah, we do hardscaping.”
When was the last time you heard somebody at a dinner buffet, a church meeting, a community gathering? Say, “Man, I really want to do some hardscaping in my backyard!”
That’s not customer language.
Customers say, “Man, I want to put a patio. I want to put a flagstone patio in my backyard, or I want to put an outdoor fireplace in my backyard.” Those are hardscaping projects, but customers are going to Google find a patio builder in their small town. They’re not going to say, looking for a hardscaping contractor.
On your website, make sure that you talk to your customers. You think like a customer, and you write like a customer so you can connect with your customers. There’s certainly time and place to put some of the common, bigger industry keywords maybe in your website, but a mistake you can avoid is talk to your customers.
Talk to your administrators, the people answering your phone. What are the questions they’re being asked? How are people talking about your service? And make sure that makes its way into your website.
Mistake #5: Set It And Forget It
The final mistake that people commonly forget when they build a website is that they forget to update it. They forget to continue to add feedback, testimonials, blog posts, helpful content, gallery project updates. It’s like they expect that just because they got the gym membership that they’ll suddenly get strong. It doesn’t work that way. You got to keep going back to your website.
Work with your web development team. Make sure you’re constantly providing them project photos, testimonials from real customers. Maybe it’s new services that you’re offering or new deals that you’re offering. Make sure that makes its way onto the website.
Your web development team shouldn’t charge you for these updates! It should be a part of them teaming up with you to help your business grow online.
It’s like expecting that just because you got a gym membership that you will suddenly get strong. It doesn’t work that way. You have got to keep going back to work on your website.5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Website
These are the 5 common mistakes that people make when they’re launching a website and we want to help you avoid making them!
If you work with a reputable web design company in your area, all of these mistakes should be avoided. Of course, you could always work with launch kits. We’ve launched now 730+ some websites that we actively support and maintain. (I’ve probably launched over a thousand just in my lifetime!)
We can give you the benefit of what we’ve learned and what we continue to learn every day so that your website can help you be found in your business to grow online.