Simply having a website isn’t enough. I speak to countless business owners who think that because they have a website, their internet marketing needs are “all taken care of.” I don’t intend to get into the importance of other internet marketing tools right now – each one could easily merit an entire series itself. I just want to talk about the website. I’ll go over 5 common website mistakes, explain why they are wrong and offer solutions to better serve your business. For your reading pleasure :

1. Misuse of content – I’ve seen countless websites that feature an “introductory paragraph” that is longer than my college thesis – right smack-dab in the middle of their homepage! Believe it or not, your existing/potential/future/lost customers did not arrive at your website with the goal of learning the founder’s life story, nor will they stick around long enough to read it. You have seconds to grab a visitors attention, and limited space to do it. A professional web designer can help you optimize the user experience to ensure that your customers are getting the information that they came for quickly and intuitively.

2. No Clear Focus/Call to Action – A lack of focus often comes hand in hand with misuse of content. It’s difficult for business owners to establish a clear focus sometimes because they fear that by concentrating on one piece of information, they are hiding other information that customers might find useful. The simple truth is that without a clear focus, users don’t know where to look. With an effectively planned user experience, you can direct the user flow, draw attention to your desired call to action, and ultimately increase conversion rates on your site. Think about your goal. It may be increasing internet sales, generating leads for your sales team, enticing potential customers to contact you… Whatever your goal is – it should be the most easily accessible part of your site.

3. Poorly designed or outdated – A well designed, up-to-date website makes your company look professional and instills immediate trust in your business. Conversely, a poorly designed site or one that is not kept current will give the opposite impression. With 97% of consumers using the internet to research products and services, it’s more important than ever before that your online presence stands out.

4. Not optimized for multiple browsers and devices – There is no one device that owns more than 20% of the market share when it comes to how people are accessing the internet. That means that a site should be built so that viewers get the optimal experience whether they are on a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet. You should also be sure that your website is tested across multiple browsers including Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. A lot of people don’t realize that different browsers may render your website differently, but a good web designer will be sure that your site is built to accommodate those differences.

5. The fact that you built it does not mean they will come – There is an endless amount of content available to people on the internet. You have to invest both time and money to drive people to your website. Your site is not doing you any good if no one is seeing it.

Your website should be more than a placeholder on the internet. It should be a tool for your business. If your website isn’t working for you, it isn’t working.