Website Launch Mistakes that Undermine Your Business

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Image credit: PhotoDune

The digital marketplace is comprised of approximately 1 billion websites, although the precise number is in constant flux. All mid to large size companies have one or more websites as do roughly half of all small businesses. When a company launches a new site, it often focuses on creating a visual appeal that will help it stand out from the crowd. In the process, they often make basic mistakes that undermine their credibility.

Lack of Quality Content

Logos, color, and glitz may be eye-catching, but if the content is dull, disorganized or misleading, you won't get return visits or generate sales. Quality content is critical to shift a viewer from looking to acting. Provide meaningful information about the products or services and use clear, understandable language. Avoid overuse of superlatives and repetitive adjectives, which dilute the effect you want to achieve. Be judicious in your use of capitalized words such as "HUGE SALE" and exclamation points. Instead of feeling pressured or yelled at, you should want people to feel engaged.

Proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling are also a component of quality content. Proofread the text, including headers, sub-headings, page names, etc. for mistakes and typos. Website content that is poorly drafted and edited can destroy the reputation of your business before people get past the landing page.  Creating content is probably the least exciting component of the development process, but it should be one of the highest quality aspects of your site.

An Unnavigable Site

One of the fastest ways to destroy your credibility with a website launch is to
. The next way is a site that's hard to navigate . Website problems that will turn away visitors include:
  • Broken Links
  • Unusable Forms
  • Non-Transferring Data
  • Complicated Checkout Process
  • Repeated Data Entry Requirements of Same Information
People who rush to get their site launched by a specific date often trust the visual appeal of the site and forgo confirmation that it is functional. In the end, they lose customers, credibility, and money. Take the time to assure that the site is both operational and easy to use to protect your online reputation.

Company is Hidden Behind A Logo

A logo is a great piece of your branding process and should be used on your website, but people relate to individuals, not companies. Strong websites need a page about the business that can include:
  • Pictures of the Founders
  • Photos of the Staff/Employees
  • A Narrative of Why/How the Company was Founded
  • Challenges Overcome
  • Why/How the Company was Named
  • The Story Behind the Logo
  • Other Narratives that Humanize Your Brand
This approach also increases the credibility of your site and business. Creating fake websites is easy, and many people have been scammed by bogus online stores. Small things, such as introducing newly hired staff, lets people share in your success and assures them that they are in safe hands.

Lack of Contact Information

With the growth of online-only stores, many companies forget that people may need to contact them. The lack of a telephone number, email address or a "contact form" can result in lost sales and damaged credibility. You inadvertently send the message that your business can't be trusted or that you don't exist beyond the images on the screen. Today, users expect to see a link on your contact page and its best practice to include it.

A Non-Mobile Site

With the explosion of mobile technologies, online businesses must create websites that are mobile friendly if they are to be a
in the marketplace.  To be mobile-friendly, your website must be:
  • Readable On a Small Screen
  • Have Fast Load Time
  • No Fluff
  • Be Responsive
Your website needs to look great and function smoothly on all types of devices, or you will lose customers and sales. A true online business must be responsive to mobile users or accept a second-place position behind companies who are.

Bottom Line:

The goal is to treat people entering your website the same as you would those entering a brick and mortar store. You want the place to look good, be easy to navigate, offer hassle-free checkout and the ability to talk to someone. If any of these pieces are missing, your business will suffer a damaged reputation that may be difficult to recover. Protect your credibility by launching a great, functional site.