Article #86, October, 2009
3 Biggest Website Building Mistakes - Are You Making Them?
Creating your small business website is a big job. Many entrepreneurs put it off for a long time, or start and stop over and over. It is very stressful!
Then there are those who jump right in – but make big mistakes along the way. They spend a lot of money before realizing they have made these big mistakes, and end up completely redesigning their sites.
The first mistake I see A LOT is hiring a website designer without knowing what you want. The website designer could be the absolute best in the business – a gifted artist and a highly trained technician. However, if you have not come to her prepared with the information she needs to design your site, you are tying her hands.
Many small business owners direct the designer to design the site, and often the logo also, in a way that appeals to them. If your potential clients are just like you, that will work great. If not, you will end up with a site that you like, but does not attract clients.
The second mistake is certainly tied to the first, but also stands alone, and affects all of your marketing, not just your website. If you do not have a very clear idea of who your target market is, you will struggle.
By building your website with broad appeal, you are sabotaging your success. This may sound opposite to what you thought, but the truth is, if you make your website with the idea of appealing to a variety of potential clients, you end up creating your website for nobody.
Your look and your content will end up being watered down and probably boring. Nobody will be particularly interested in your product or in you because your graphics and your words are too generic. With a clear target market, your website will be much more likely to make a strong emotional connection with a viable group of prospects who are perfect for you.
The third mistake I most often see, is talking about yourself and your business too much. When you are lucky enough to get visitors to your website, you want to give them what they are there for! Why are people on the internet? For information!
Your website visitors want to know what you can do for them and how you can solve their problems. Once you have convinced them that you have the answers they seek, only then will they be interested in you. You will already have established some credibility by then with your content.
In summary, there is work to do before you create your website. You need to have a very clear understanding of your target market. Then you need to outline how you benefit them.
Ask yourself these questions: What are all the features of doing business with me? What do I bring to the party? Then, for each answer, ask these questions: Why is that important to my target market? Why would my target market care about that?
Once you have a very clear idea of who you want to visit your site and why they are there, then you can begin a conversation with a website designer. The designer will be thrilled that you have done your homework; it will be much easier for her to create the best possible design to appeal to your target market.