website under constructionWhat’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for information? If you’re like most people, you go online and search for answers. So if we value the web so much, why do we take so many shortcuts when it comes to developing a website for our business? Here are five common pitfalls that you should avoid when building your website:

  1. I have Facebook, so I don’t need a website – At first glance, Facebook can seem a lot like a website. You can add information about your business and the products and services you offer and even create custom tabs with additional content. However, the purpose of Facebook is completely different. While your website provides information with the goal of acquiring leads or sales, the purpose of Facebook is to engage with your audience. It should complement your online presence, not be your online presence.
  2. My son/daughter/neighbor/friend can build my website – Having friends and family who are willing to help is great. But when it comes to your website, trust someone with experience building websites. While your website may only need to be a few pages, you’ll want to implement a Content Management System (CMS) to make updating your site easy. A web developer will also help you to plan for the future by looking at functionality or plug-ins that may be important to have in place as your business, and your website, grows. It’s more cost effective to plan for a growing site and functionality needs when the site is built than to have to redo your site in a year or two.
  3. My business is too small to need a responsive site – The sale of smartphones outnumbered that of PCs last year, and by 2014, analysts expect smartphone sales to double PC sales. People use phones and tablets to access the internet on-the-go, and if your site is difficult to view or clunky to navigate, they’ll leave your site as quickly as they found it.
  4. If people can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll contact me – Your website may be the only chance you have to make an impression on a new customer. If your site isn’t easy to navigate or you haven’t provided the content your audience is looking for, they’ll leave your site – there’s always another website just a click away.
  5. If I build it, they will come. – While launching your new website may feel like the end of a project, there’s still much work to do. Just because you have a web presence, it doesn’t mean that it’ll see instant traffic. Promoting your site using Pay-Per-Click (PPC), via social media, and in traditional mediums is important.  You’ll also want to review your site’s analytics to optimize it for search engines so that it’s listed higher in organic search results.

If you’re planning to develop a new website, take the time to do it right. Avoid these five common shortcuts and follow our blog for more website tips.

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