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8 Common & Critical Small Business Website Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

8-critical-website-mistakesWith small businesses one fact is true today, your business website should be a central hub for your business.

Your business website should effectively represent your brand while providing ways for your leads to easily engage you. All roads in your business should lead back to your website, making it the pivot point for all your marketing. And you want to treat your website that way.

Furthermore, having a website opens the possibility to not just market to your leads, but to create a powerful touch point for engaging your audience in conversation and building relationships with your prospects and clients.

So if you want a successful business, and I believe you do, it only make sense to create a website that fuels the growth of your business.

Yet, as a small business owner, it can be easy – or tempting – to get in the way of your own marketing. You may take shortcuts with your business website. These shortcuts can become mistakes that undermine your business goals and turn your website from golden egg to fried omelet.

The sad thing is that you may not know your making these mistakes and undermining your business website.

So let’s look at 8 common, and often critical, mistakes I see everyday with small business websites:

Mistake #1: No Clear Objectives for Your Business Website

The very first thing you should do when you plan your business website is define its purpose. What objectives do you want your website to achieve? In other words, what do you want our visitors to see, to read and to do. To do is the most important set of objectives so you want your website objectives to be action oriented. Do you want them to sign up on your list, get your RSS feed, buy a product or take a survey? Any of these can be objectives. Just make sure your objectives are clearly defined.

One more thing on objectives: if you have more than one objective for your website, you want to put them in order of importance. Then, make sure you primary objective is the most visible and easy to find on your site. Your secondary objective should take its appropriate place behind the primary…and so on.

Mistake #2: No Strategies For Reaching Your Business Objectives

Once you know the objectives of your website you want to create strategies around how you’re going to accomplish these objectives. Strategy gets into how you’re going to do what you’re setting out to do with our business website. The more thought out and researched your strategies, the more likely your marketing and your website, overall, will be successful. From a strategy comes our plan of action, which gets us into tactics.

Mistake #3: No Tactics to Achieve Your Business Objectives

If you’re like most people, you’re pretty good at thinking about what you want to do with your business website. Often, where the trouble begins is when you have go from thought to action. That’s where tactics come in.

Tactics are the actionable steps you’ll be taking to achieve your business objectives. Your tactics are, flat out, a task list of what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Think of your tactics as being the implementation of your strategy. It’s how you’re going to do what you think.

Mistake #4: No Targeted Metrics to Measure Your Progress

One great thing about the internet is that if it happens on your business website, you can measure it. Which means, you can find out amazing detail about how your visitors as seeing, reading and using your website. So the only question is are you recording that information?

What’s sad is that I see so many small business owners who aren’t even looking at their most basic website statistics. Yet, it’s so much easier to know how effectively your building your list, for instance, if you know how much traffic you’re getting. And from knowing that, you can make a plan for increasing you list signups.

There’s no way else to put it, it’s a mistake if you’re not recording your website statistics and looking at them with some regularity (not daily). And it’s a further mistake if you don’t take the time to learn how to interpret your website statistics because they will tell you what’s working and what’s not working on your website.

Yet, it’s important to go one step beyond just your basic traffic stats. You want to also consider how you’re going to measure the effectiveness of your strategy and tactics so you can see how well you’re achieving your objectives. In other words, you want a solid system of metrics – even a simple one – so you can evaluate your marketing and make it work better.

Mistake #5: No Integrated Marketing Plan

So often I see small business owners thinking of their website as one part of their marketing and their offline marketing as being another part. Don’t make this mistake. Integrate the two. Communicate your offline promotions online. And even more effective, use your offline marketing to drive people to your business website. This works great when you can make an offer on your website that your offline audience wants. As I said above, your business website should be the hub of you marketing – not just online, but all your marketing.

Mistake #6: No Focus on the Value of Your Offer

I’m asked to evaluate a lot of websites for whether they’re business ready. One of the most common mistakes I see is small business owners not focusing on or effectively communicating the value of their service. Too often, the focus is on either the cost of service or the ‘unique approach we use that makes us different than everyone else.’ Yet, this just confuses the prospect because either they don’t care about the approach or they have to consider what they’re getting for the cost. In other words, they have to figure out the value themselves.

Don’t make your prospects figure out for themselves the value of the services you provide. Tell them about it. Show them what they get, what they can expect and how you will help them solve their problems. And offer testimonials of people who you’ve helped so that they can see the social proof in your offer.

Mistake #7: No Action Plan for Your Visitors

We said earlier that your website should have clearly defined objectives. Once you’ve identified what your objectives are, it’s likely they require an action by your visitors for you to achieve. So tell them to take the action. Make it exceptionally clear that if they’ve gotten this far in your website, that ‘this is the action step you want to take next.’ Could be a list signup, a free report, a set of articles – doesn’t matter (as long as it’s toward your business objectives). Just be sure you’re hyper-clear about what action steps you want your visitors to take.

Mistake #8: No Balance Between Design & Marketing Message

Having been a website designer for well over a decade, I’ve dealt with this one a lot. Often, business owners become too concerned over the visual look of their website and it gets out of balance with the purpose of their site – which is a marketing tool to promote and sell their products and services.

That’s not to say that a website shouldn’t be visually appealing – it should. For instance, I’ve had dozens of people contact me just to let me know how much they like the design of my site. Yet your website design shouldn’t get in the way of your marketing message and business objectives. It should provide a professional, attractive frame for your all-important content.

Ideally, your design will be something people see initially and get a good impression of you from. Then, as they begin to read your copy, it should fade into the background. So think of your website design not as a paramount piece of the marketing puzzle but as a frame for your marketing message. And remember, that you want to consider your business objectives in any website design.

So these are the 8 most critical mistake I see everyday in working with clients on growing their business and on developing their web presence. There are more, of course. But I’ve found these to be the biggest and most important 8 to correct.

Does your website make any of these mistakes? If so, which ones? And what will you do about it?

Let’s talk about it.

(note: image from iampeas on Flickr, some rights reserved)

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Comments

  1. Adam Alfia says:

    Well thought out approach to constructing a business site. Your steps address virtually all aspects of the process … planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and benchmarking. A well thought out plan, with concerted effort given to formulating an effective strategy, is critical to the process.

    There is a distinct difference between planning and forming strategy, though. Strategy requires paths of action and distinct methods. Planning is thinking in broader terms.

  2. Agreed, the website is now the central hub of business with many pitfalls that can result in subpar sales and performance. Mission > Objectives > Strategies > Tactics should all be measured by defined metrics (analytics) and reinforced with marketing efforts to present potential customers with the ultimate value when visiting your website.

  3. is cash gifting legal says:

    Dawud, This is clear and practical internet marketing advice. Thanks for sharing your insight. Ryan

  4. wow, your 8 common mistakes are really great! I have found these kinds of errors in s many websites

  5. The Plan and the Strategies always comes together for a successful business and
    monitoring it regularly would be a very good and effective way. There are possibilities that a certain business would fall if you commit so many mistakes and without following any guideline.

  6. So often I see small business owners thinking of their website as one part of their marketing and their offline marketing as being another part. Don’t make this mistake. Integrate the two. Communicate your offline promotions online. And even more effective, use your offline marketing to drive people to your business website. This works great when you can make an offer on your website that your offline audience wants. As I said above, your business website should be the hub of you marketing – not just online, but all your marketing.

  7. Dawud, without the clear vision, strategy and goal, our business won’t go far but will mostly end up in the middle of journey!

    Hence, the well-planned strategies are necessary for every businessperson.

  8. Hi Dawud,

    There’s certainly a lot more I could be doing, and just one is to make better use of my web stats. It’s only now and again when I read Google Analytics for my sites, and when I do, it’s really just out of curiosity. What I should be doing is setting goals.

    I hope everything’s great with you buddy.

  9. Really nice article. Most of the time people start out a blog with no definite plan on turning it to a business in the future. They have this mindset that they are going to make money online just by serving advertisements such as adsense.

    In the long run, some will be frustrated with the time it really takes to build a massive amount of traffic. Two ways you can really make money online is by selling your product or service and affiliate marketing.

    Thanks for this article.

  10. Penny G says:

    Dawud,
    Excellent advice, I would add one important item you’ve stressed in some of your earlier posts – “Do you own your website?” When someone hires a webmaster to build the website it’s important to understand how the domain name was purchased and in whose name the ownership is registered, where it’s hosted, how to log into the website and how to make simple changes. Even if the business never intends to design, write for or update the website it’s critical to know how. Just like having money in the bank, you would never just hand over your money to a charming individual to “put someplace” and then be dependant upon them to “keep it safe.” Yet I’ve run into many companies that have no idea about the ownership details of their website. On two occasions the companies wanted to change webmasters and were told they didn’t own their website and they had to start over from scratch when they made a change, including starting with a brand new domain name! On one occasion the webmaster disappeared and the company had now idea how to log into their website to make any changes. On sevearal occasions I’ve seen businesses that could only make changes to their websites by emailing a request to the webmaster, who would then not respond….. So if I could add a step to your list it would be step “0″ – go no further until you “own” your website!

    http://twitter.com/pennygo

  11. Very well said. If we only follow those steps then definitely we will be successful on our online business. Thanks for those excellent guidelines.

  12. Great advice and information. I made 5 – 6 mistakes that you had described above. I think I have to evaluate my site.

  13. What a great article!

    I am currently considering expanding my brand further online and this post has definately given me some guidelines!

    Thanks again

  14. Excellent list. I see many infractions daily.

  15. i think too many people stay away from getting their business online because they’re daunted by the geek talk. it’s not that hard anymore – dive in..

  16. Greg Bowen says:

    Great article!

    I find that so many websites miss the point that your messaging should be all about how you can help your clients, as opposed to your goals, your accomplishments. LIke good ad copy, it should be all about ‘them.’

  17. Your site needs a promotional plan to reach its goals. In order to formulate a strong promotional plan, you need to know what those goals are for you, and your website.

  18. Hey Dawud

    This blog is great, you have highlighted some clear information which is really good for people out there. I especially liked your piece on “No Balance Between Design & Marketing Message”; really informal and has helped me. Thanks a lot

  19. Excellent tips Dawud. Thanks. Definitely right on for the Mistake 7. Don’t assume your visitors will know what to do if you don’t give them clear options. And less options is better than too many whereby your visitors will get confused and won’t take any action but simply leave your website. Clear call to actions are so crucial.

  20. I’ll add no “call to action” so many put the information out there but never direct the visitors to take the final step.

  21. I’m currently in the process of starting up a new business and I’m building a site to pitch the service. I thought this was just going to be another article full of regurgitated information, however this article is anything but that. As a designer/programmer trying to connect the pitch and design, I’m glad I stumled across this article before I was too far down the line.

  22. Wow! I must say. This a very helpful tips you have here. Very clear and easy to understand Specially for those who are just starting to start a business website. And for people who doesn’t know what they are doing.

    Be back to read more of you articles.

  23. It’s great clarity to find one’s own thoughts so well organized and presented by someone else. Reviewing small business websites almost always reveals repair work that needs to be done and so many are clearly neglected stepchildren of an overall business effort as if the intention is to get this ‘chore’ out of the way.

  24. You make some very good points here. As Web designers, we should review this list before each project. The points especially good for me is to focus on service too! and balance visual appeal with content.

  25. Thanks for sharing this stuff, just what i was looking for.

  26. yup, i think that’s way i get stuck on my bussiness in the past 2 years. maybe just revamping with your ideas can finally solved my online business problems. thanks man ..

  27. Yasser (SEO) says:

    Thanks for those awesomes tips. Some of them will help me in my website

  28. Mahoji Personal Finance says:

    I highly agree with you on mistake no 6. But sometimes it’s hard to differ value from the uniqueness, don’t you think?
    Customer wants value, that’s right. But most of the time unique value that makes you stand out from other competitors is what sought after.

  29. This is an excellent article Dawud!

    This should be required reading for all small business owners.

    In fact, I think I need to sketch out something similar for my new clients.

    Well done!

  30. You don’t include a clear overall objective for your website. What good is your site if people don’t even understand what the goal of your site actually is?
    Thanks for sharing this content

  31. Can’t agree more with #8! Look at google or craigslist…pretty bland, if not plain ugly, but they serve a purpose without the fluff. Great article!

  32. your article seems to touched my thoughts … you said all the things which i was thinking from long time.. buy thanks otherwise.. ;)

  33. First of all… great 8 points.

    One important key I think could use a little further clarification is whether or not you should do this yourself. The design part is definitely something you will want to hire help for but I also think that the marketing/testing should be something that you hire help to do. After all more small businesses core skill is not making high converting websites. Better to save the time and find someone that has that aspect as their core skill (IMO).

    Mikael

  34. Can’t agree more with #8! Look at google or craigslist…pretty bland, if not plain ugly, but they serve a purpose without the fluff. Great article!

  35. Efusjon says:

    Something to add to #1 is to consider the type of content o the website. It doesn’t have to be about promoting the product or service itself but can otherwise give back to the community. For example, one of the most successful online solar panel / installation business has a forum that discusses solar, wind, and renewable energy and even allows posts about their competitors. In the end, they capture a lot more business because they have real community.

  36. smithaged says:

    No Clear Objectives for Your Business Website is the most important point to considered to make a business successful. If you are not clear about the objective of your business them your business cannot survive.

  37. In my oppinion it’s more inspirational than tips, but that’s great. Stuff to think through.

    Thank you.

  38. Gold Coins says:

    Well, you’re right. I have acquired new information to your tips. I hope to apply it on my small business.

  39. About Mistake #4…
    I actually met that mistake in a different form, when webmasters are obsessed with statistics and are checking them a couple of times a day, getting alarmed over small traffic variations and losing precious times with such trivial matters.
    In my opinion, as you said too, it’s best to check them on a regular basis, but only to see if something is going wrong, because a drop in traffic stats could mean an search engine penalization or, as it happened to me, a redirect hack in your site (it stole all my visits from the search engines) and so on.

  40. When we built up our company from scratch, we realised, unlike the majority of businesses in our industry, that the internet is an important part of peoples daily life – with the younger generation now using it for more or less everything.

  41. These are 8 really great things to think about! Thanks for the Info!

  42. Thanks for the useful info. It’s interesting , may help in avoiding accidents.

  43. Great tips for our future success. I have to admit that I started to make site but I did not know all these rules. You helped me a lot and I am grateful.

  44. Thanks for the great tips. There is a lot of web content that has typos and punctuation errors. Makes you wonder if people bother to proofread before they post.

  45. Marc in Pittsburgh says:

    Good points, as a designer / developer, I have to argue these points with my clients on a daily basis. And since some of my clients are lawyers, these arguments sometimes get very long and intense, lol

  46. In practice, business website is a lot more than just e-commerce. And business website has strategic emphasis with a focus on the functions that come about when using electronic opportunities, e-commerce is the subset of a general e-business strategy. E-commerce wants to add revenue streams through the cyberspace or the World Wide Web to build and improve relationships with partners and clients and to enhance efficiency using the so-called Empty Vessel strategy

  47. That’s a good summary of mistakes small business websites commonly make. As for website design, isn’t it better to go for simplicity and from there, work on adding more to the design? Making the site too colorful or filled with banners can be a turn off.

  48. Well written and thought out article. I never understood the allure of Twitter but you’ve given me something to think about. Maybe I’ll have to do some prototyping and test it out. Thanks!

  49. One thing that annoys me is when people make websites where the content is solely for search engines. I think that it is important to make quality content for users. From a marketing perspective It makes you look more professional.

  50. So, I made all mistakes presented by you. I hope to learn somethink from your post and also learn from my mistakes because it’s somethink natural to learn from our mistakes not to repeat it.

  51. Nice article. Thoughts are well expressed. Mistake#8 is also one of the common mistakes that I noticed to small business websites. They give much importance to the design of their websites which isn’t really a good idea at all. They forgot that the marketing message is important too.

  52. Nice article.To develop the business, building a business websites is a powerful way to reach the clients . while developing a business website we have to avoid these mistakes . Very useful tips …

  53. shercy ramos says:

    Sometimes I get lost with all the links that are posted in a website. Your suggestion which says “All roads in your business should lead back to your website” will be helpful. Sometimes I visit a page and then I am stuck on the links and ends up buying the products on the links instead of the original webpage I visited. So, as what you’ve said, there has to be a clear action plan for visitors.

  54. Rational target and actionable steps are a must and you right about it. Nice approach and understandable information.

  55. Now, I see why my website don’t have as much visitors as the last month.

    I’m going to try your tips,

    Thanks a lot!

  56. The targeting metrics a mostly hard to describe for me. If you cann say that you want to have 1000 visitors each day or a special ranking it’s easy. But what’s with the worth of your brand or such things, how can you measure that ?

  57. I think once you have traffic down #7 is the key mistake on every site. It seems that conventional sales tactics are overshadowed by SEO.

  58. No SEO plans should have its own #

  59. Thanks for identifying these critical mistakes, it’s clear to see if you start off on the wrong foot by not having a clear objective then it can have a trickle down effect with the rest of your site and create problems with the rest of your site.

  60. “Too often, the focus is on either the cost of service or the ‘unique approach we use that makes us different than everyone else.’”

    As an online consumer, this is the most frustrating advertising bit any company can give. Consumers want clear-cut and detailed statements on what you can offer that others cannot. It is that simple.

  61. SEO is probably the most important element since the two alternatives to it are…

    1 – No traffic, no sales
    2 – A lot of money spent on PPC

  62. Very good article. . .how do I know? I’VE DONE ALL EIGHT! So I can say. .its very true. . .nailed it. . .I’d like to hear more about accurately translating backend data. That would be very helpful.

  63. Great post. Lots of great tips. On #5 No Integrated Marketing Plan I would add… give customers a reason to visit your site.

    For example, if you provide quotes for services or products as part of your business, deliver the quotes via email when possible. Provide a link in the email back to a page on your site that displays the quote.

    Get creative. Think of other similar ways to integrate your site in your day-to-day business.

    And of course, take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO) when creating your site to maximize the amount of free traffic and business leads you can get via the search engines.

  64. Nice and helpful tips Dude thanks for sharing I run a small business website in print media market. Day by day I announce new offers on my website its hardly 1 year before lunched and after i year i have 1 thousand above users in website and almost 50% of client there. your tips may help me to save my small business common mistakes. thanks

  65. Smith6237 says:

    Hi
    Once again the experience is shown by Dawud,
    Great post once again these mistakes must have to be ignored to improve the quality of your website business work.I will definitely now work more to improve my website’s business quality.

    Regards !
    Smith

  66. Excellent tips on using website to fuel business growth. This tips can help me a lot. Thanks.

  67. I also find that as an operator of a small directory business, that it is very easy to jump between ideas, rather then focus on a single one…

  68. saddle for sale says:

    I really think you’re right on mistake # 8, it is so often that I have spent far too much money mucking around trying to get my site looking ‘too good’. There is a balance, and its hard to find.

  69. great post! I think another stong point is SEO. A great website that has followed all your steps may still struggle if it can’t be easily found by hte visitor.

  70. Your information was very useful as I find myself explaining these points over and over again to new web clients. Sometimes I think people just wake up and think “Oh I’ll start a business today” with no planning or thoughts of how to make it successful. Your tips will help me alot in gaining new clients.

  71. Search Engine Optimization should also be included as a major category. You can everything right, but with out proper SEO, no one will ever know.

  72. yesi ı read this and ı think now, ı do lots mistakes, ı ll think everytime this when ı build new business sites.

  73. Wow.

    Your list is a great guide to what to do (by avoiding the mistakes). I think that it is easier to forget the basic principles of marketing when websites are being considered.

    Your advice is not just good for website developers and marketeers – it is good basic advice and many of the tenets hold true for most business projects

  74. thanks for the information. This is very useful for me in building a business

  75. Texas Driver Safety course says:

    The article is well written and i think yes, these are what the common websites mistakes generally made. I am now more careful and will consider all these small issues while taking decisions.

  76. Excellent tips on using website to fuel business growth. This tips can help me a lot. Thanks.

  77. HI Dawud
    I agree with the last point you have discussed. I have noticed that at least 30% of the websites actually don’t have any balance between their design and the marketing process.

    I don’t have enough ideas on SEO but I think a professional SEO can help a lot.

    Cheers

  78. Can’t agree more with #8! Look at google or craigslist…pretty bland, if not plain ugly, but they serve a purpose without the fluff. <- Exactly!

  79. I am agree with the whole 8 points. Specially with #8.Pop up windows and excess use of flashy design can irritate the visitor and forces the visitor to leave the site.

  80. This is a great article. Many businesses don’t fully understand what it takes to make their website effective. There’s a lot more to an effective website than simply having one ‘out there’. It’s important to have a website that is designed to serve the needs of one’s specific business.

  81. I would also add: no research plan! you need to know who are you targeting in order to adapt your marketing message.

  82. I’ve found that one of the hardest things in SMB website work is that there may already be a website that doesn’t have any of the goals set or even thought about and convincing the decision makers to rebuild their website can be more trouble than it’s worth.

  83. Siobhan @ Claddagh Rings says:

    From my experience of dealing with small business you have a lot of owners trying to keep up with the day to day elements of their work and it is difficult for them to take a step back and at both their core business strategically. If they did so they could identify the priority in allocating resources to their website to ensure mistake like you mention don’t happen and they end up getting a valuable return of their investment. A lot of owners just have a website becuase everyone else has – a change in mindset is required.

  84. It’s amazing how many business owners I speak to who have no idea what message their website should convey at all, and because a website is ‘techy’ they often rely on the web designer to lead them. That goes for even the text on the page.

    Which is crazy, given that the web designer presumably will know way less about your industry than yourself. (You’d hope!)

  85. I agree with all of your points, in regards to metrics, that’s fairly easy via Google Analytics and the server stats. It’s such an easy thing to do so it’s rather surprising that most small business owners don’t analyze and track their visitors.

  86. “Mistake #8: No Balance Between Design & Marketing Message” is one of the most common mistakes I see. I think for small businesses, we get design work from dozens of different resources, from templates to small contracted jobs. To fully integrate, it takes time and money and probably the same designer. It’s definitely an important point though.

  87. Tim the Plumber says:

    Indeed, many of us are told still that you have to have your business “on the web.”

    But no local business person’s business is “on the web.” The web is simply another channel through which to communicate with customers.

    Once I had that little paradigm shift, the web started to make sense.

  88. Those are really great tips. Some I already knew. But some things have made me new courage to start a new project. # 8 most impressed me on!

    Greetings from Germany

  89. thanks for imparting such information..

  90. I think that the question its find equilibrium between be a expert and a marketer. Many people are qualified experts in a subject and think thats enough to find costumers, but the truth is that is much better improve your marketer skills than show you as “pro”

    However great post bro!

  91. Great article. These points must be considered seriously before starting the actual design process. SEO plan for the website must also be there.

  92. Indeed..! In the process of creating any marketing strategy you must consider many factors. Of those many factors, some are more important than others. Because each strategy must address some unique considerations..Thanks for your additional information.

  93. Cleveland Social Media says:

    The maps and local based based technology is where it is at nowadays.

    I have clients getting more leads from the map listing than they do from their website.

    Even if I have them on page 1 of Google, it’s still the map that people act on.

    Curious to see how that has evolved for your clients Dawud? :D

  94. Original and informative article.
    I especially appreciated the “8th mistake”.
    The design is important than you can imagine.
    The design is also one of the factors that make visitors stay at your website and get them to come back.

  95. Mistake #4: No Targeted Metrics to Measure Your Progress

    I come across this SO much in my day to day. Many clients just do not understand that having a site requires you setup some sort of analytic software. 75% of the new clients I see have nothing setup in the way of visitor tracking.

  96. This a great list of 8 steps to think about. While they are all good tips, I think #6 and #8 are particularly important. I’ve gone to too many websites that focus too much of their effort on the design rather than what the site is all about. And then there’s the problem of having the focus of what the business is not being conveyed clear enough. Definitely great things to keep in mind.

  97. Everybody is following all these things. But some people will do some mistakes in this. We will get all information in Google analytics about any website. These specified mistakes are very important points that any SEO can take care in any website.

  98. You hit the nail right on the head with these mistakes. I think a lot of people are guilty with not setting metrics. People should set metrics so they’ll know what works and what doesn’t. This way, they can focus on the things that work and work on the things that doesn’t.

  99. Great post. Many beginners like me do all these mistakes. The post will be very valuable to newbies and also to experienced people as a valuable refresher. The post is highly informative and to the core original

  100. Mistake #4: No Targeted Metrics to Measure Your Progress

    One of the bigest mistake, now more than ever we must have clears metrics to measure our progress.

  101. It is important to have some metrics to be able to measure the success of each of your objectives – this is the only way to really guage what works and what flops.

  102. Great post, these points are often disregarded, people do forget that these points should in fact be placed at the core of what you do with your online business. Thank you!

  103. Wow. I am guilty of like 8 of these. I really like this article but, I am not a fan of doing more work. Oh well, it will pay off in the long run. Thanks for the info!

  104. Really enjoyed reading this post. Has some great and very useful information to help me along my campaign. Thanks.

  105. There is some very solid advice in this post, I’ve been guilty of slacking on a number of these steps myself but this is a great kick in the pants to get back on track. I think I have a new blog to start following!!

  106. I agree about the design should also be given importance. Surfers or possible clients SEE first, before they read.

  107. ‘”…unique approach we use that makes us different than everyone else.’” This makes me realize that this has been used too often and they should be avoided.

  108. spinning composters says:

    We cannot prevent mistakes from happening. Well, everybody makes mistakes right? What is important is that we learn from it and try not to do it again.
    Great post. Keep it up!

  109. proje haberleri says:

    Well written and thought out article. I never understood the allure of Twitter but you’ve given me something to think about. Maybe I’ll have to do some prototyping and test it out. Thanks

  110. I agree, I think one of the major problems also is that many start-ups don’t know how to write copy / SEO it appropriately and so on so are not getting the visibility they need to start operating effectively…

  111. The major thing for business website is when customer access to your website. They can know what is your business for and make them impress and feel they are in the right website.

  112. Excellent article! I think starting out a business site it’s like opening another business department. It has to be target-related and it needs development and maintaining.

  113. Please took me time to study about the post, but i really loved the post.
    It proved to be very beneficial to me and i’m certain to every of the commentators here!
    it’s all the time good when you can not solely be informed,
    but additionally entertained! i’m inescapable you had enjoyable penning this content.
    Thank You.

  114. Thanks for a wonderful summary. I will definitely save this post to my Valuable Web Design Tips bookmarks folder :)

    Mistake #4, statistics, is one of my primary concerns as a web designer and online marketer. You can do so much for a business by helping they understand how their visitors is acting, and how their campaigns are getting on.

  115. Great article. Surely this will be very useful for me. Thanks for this valuable information. on building a business & making it really profitable. – Claire

  116. There is a little very firm advice in this post, I was guilty of easing in a number of these steps independently, but it is the big kick in trousers to come back on the move. I think, that I have new blog to begin following!!

  117. Yes,I agree with you these are most common mistake who people not know when they making a business website.

  118. Ech0 SEO and Advertising says:

    No7 is a great tip. Attracting visitors is great, but you’ve got to known what they are looking at and where they are visiting once they are here.

  119. I can definitely relate to #5… I always ask a client about their overall marketing plan, just to make sure they understand that just because we build a good website for them people will buy. Their product or service must be of value, that’s to start. Then I ask them about their print campaigns, seo and social media strategies.

  120. This article is full of valuable information! This is coming from someone who created their own company website. Anyone who is creating a website should really understand its target audience and continually change certain features and content to accommodate your target.

  121. What a great article! Thanks for sharing it made me see where i was missing some points. It really is a very helpful and informative post.

  122. Its very difficult to maintain small business website, After reading this It will solve my queries.

  123. muhteşem yüzyıl izle says:

    Dawud, without the clear vision, strategy and goal, our business won’t go far but will mostly end up in the middle of journey!

    Hence, the well-planned strategies are necessary for every businessperson.

  124. I agree I think the design should also be given MUCH importance. Bad homepage, bad buisness!

    Thanks Dawud!

  125. I have worked with a client who had a website that was penalized by Google. The hardest job I have ever accomplished was getting a site out of being penalized. I agree you should take the time to not make the small business website mistakes listed.

  126. While I agree with number 6 to a large extent, I would go so far to say that providing “a unique approach that makes [a business] different than [the other business in their field]” can be considered a value by some customers.

    Obviously this is largely business dependent, but as an example I think an electronics recycler that focuses their site on the fact that their approach is 100% green and that they take great care in making sure that they create the least environmental impact possible in their process would be a huge selling point for me. I think as an electronics recylcer the value of their service is implied and therefore their approach is what would sell me on their service.

    Obviously this doesn’t apply to every industry, but I think a focus on approach doesn’t have to be a mistake or a negative thing.

  127. Circle Y Saddles says:

    I completely agree with the points mentioned above. Specially with using the right kind of techniques to increase the presence of your business over the internet. When it comes to selecting the metrics for figuring out your business progress you need to be very careful about having the right tools with you to measure your success!

  128. Wow, I always ask a client about their overall marketing plan, just to make sure they understand that just because we build a good website for them people will buy! Great work.

  129. Hi
    I like your post very much and appreciate your research on mistakes by the websites and blogs owners and webmasters.
    regards
    rabia

  130. Great points for keeping a business website on track, right from the start. One comment regarding “Mistake #6: No Focus on the Value of Your Offer” – I agree, just saying your service or business is unique won’t mean anything to a visitor. The uniqueness of a company always lies within the people in it and what they bring to the table. Their uniqueness is also expressed through their specific niche.

  131. Excellent tips on using website to fuel business growth. This tips can help me a lot. Thanks.
    tr

  132. Its a wonderful article for all small businesses who want to grow. These are the major mistakes which small business owners commit and are not able to grow their business and generate revenue. The marketing message and the marketing strategy should be according to your target audience. Make such marketing message that actually attracts your target audience.

  133. Excellent article! I think starting out a business site it’s like opening another business department. It has to be target-related and it needs development and maintaining

  134. deadbeat revolution says:

    Very wel I read Google Analytics for my sites, and when I do, it’s really just out of curiosity. What I should be doing is setting goals.

  135. So nice I always ask a client about their overall marketing plan, just to make sure they understand that just because we build a good website for them people will buy! Great work.thanks….

  136. Great article. There are tons of small business sites on the web that obviously lack focus and strategic direction. Much of this is due to poor planning and other financial difficulties. We will keep these 8 mistakes in our new design. We want to develop a cohesive marketing campaign matched with valuable content that really focuses on our customers needs.

  137. This is really great points that should be considered

  138. Hatoslottó says:

    I wish I had found this before. Now I have to reconsider a lot about my site. Thanks anyway :)

  139. Excellent article Dawud. As a fellow Internet marketer focused on helping SMBs market online, we see many of these same website mistakes over and over again. Given that 2013 is upon us, it is a good time to review these mistakes while developing integrated marketing plans. Thanks for sharing.

  140. Great guide, I think far too many SME sized businesses need to apply this across everything they do; most marketing/PR tends to be squeezed down onto one individual who may well have other stuff to do as well and the end result is messy and prioritised rather than comprehensively covering all the bases as the above approach would, cheers for the checklist!

  141. Very interesting read. I’ve been in the web design industry now for 7 years and you’ve hit the nail on the head. I think the most common issue we face is number 8 – design vs. usability. The funny thing is that most customers will say they want a useable website but expect a “unique” design (these designs usually consist of vague labeling or inconsistent structure/navigation). I would say 90% of my job is trying to educate clients on the importance of these types of issues.

  142. I like number 7. When you walk into a furniture store, for example, there is a clear objective… You want to buy furniture and it’s the salesperson’s job to ask for the sale. So many websites have no CLEAR objective, but the owner wants to make money from them somehow. You gotta “ask” for the sale. Thanks man. Awesome post!

  143. Gonne work on #6 starting now. I never thought about people not feeling that your service is of value without clearly explaining it to them in plain english. You figure they’d understand, but maybe they just don’t.

  144. Some of the things you did point out here makes great sense. I did take some notes, not its time to get back to the website and see what I can change. Thanks

  145. The Plan and the Strategies always comes together for a successful business and
    monitoring it regularly would be a very good and effective way. There are possibilities that a certain business would fall if you commit so many mistakes and without following any guideline.

  146. These are great points. All it takes is some thought to lay our your thoughts correctly, and say what you want your customers to see.

    It may take some A/B testing to get it completely right. Our site is now much more welcoming than it was when we first started.

    Thanks again.

  147. Very well said. If we only follow those steps then definitely we will be successful on our online business. Thanks for those excellent guidelines.I like number 7. When you walk into a furniture store, for example, there is a clear objective… You want to buy furniture and it’s the salesperson’s job to ask for the sale. So many websites have no CLEAR objective, but the owner wants to make money from them somehow. You gotta “ask” for the sale. Thanks man. Awesome post!

  148. Thanks for the info, but I am still not 100% sure what I am doing wrong, I have created lots of backlinks, I update my site 4 times a day, I get 700 hits daily from my Social Media Crowd, but only get 50 hits daily from Google! Let alone only getting 2 hits per day from other search engines like Yahoo ect!

    Anyway, thanks for the info and will defiantly implement one or two points!

    Thanks keep up the great work!

  149. Ow yer, sorry I forgot to ask, what is more important, backlinks or adding new content 4 times daily?

    Thanks!

  150. The more simple the design the better. Especially on a landing page. The color scheme is important as well. It should be balanced and not too distracting. Designing well your tool to gain customers is a very hard job. People should not underestimate this source of new customers in my opinion and outsource their task to the professional companies.

  151. Like what i just read here on this post. I also made mistakes like some of the ones mentioned but because I was determined to make my business grow I listened to some advice that seasoned business men friends of mine gave. As days went by after following their advices, the rough start I am in slowly began to fade as my business slowly bloomed and rose to the top. Great facts presented on the post…

  152. I like #6 Value. I believe it is important to give value. Site can’t just be BUY NOW!!! I saw someone put about SEO, but won’t that be a whole another animal?

  153. What a great article. This was very helpful in my goal to become a business owner. Very easy to read and keep as a reference to come back and read the different mistakes. If i would suggest anything business to anyone it would be to read this article before you start your small business. Thank you for the great informative article i will definitely pass it on to others.

  154. This is mostly the most common mistake, Mistake #5: No Integrated Marketing Plan – as you can see businesses get their popularity and visibility through online business directories and relevant articles about their business. This is a common strategy to get noticed and reach a number of people so they will know what your business is all about.

  155. I can see loads of these mistakes on websites. Not to mention some of my own in the past. Thank you for sharing.

  156. Hi;
    Nice article
    I like #5 : No Integrated Marketing Plan
    Thanks for this share !

  157. Really great article. This is a checklist for many of us. One of the most important takeaways for me was in Point 6: “Don’t make your prospects figure out for themselves the value of the services you provide. Tell them about it. Show them what they get, what they can expect and how you will help them solve their problems. And offer testimonials of people who you’ve helped so that they can see the social proof in your offer.” This is probably the most compelling point for me. Thanks so much for your checklist/post.

  158. in my point of view i think that ….No matter how hard you work to build your product, it all comes to marketing and what tricks you will do to get it out there to as many people as possible. Many designers tend to forget this and it’s a pitty as it throughs all the hard work into the bin

  159. One think I think that could be added to either mistake 5 or even Mistake #8: No Balance Between Design & Marketing Message, would be making sure that you are not wasting the opportunity to build a database. I can’t tell you how many times I see a great website with no where to subscribe via email. One thing clothing lines have done well is the need to create an account when buying. This is so powerful! This give you the ability to follow up and notify past buyer about new items for sale. Obviously this would help bring in repeat customers along with the new.

  160. thanks a lot for your information:
    welli ı thinks my web site doesn’t have a clear objective. Can we not have multiple objevtives ? for example in my blog (which ı cant take care everyday) I am trying to write in couple objevtives. Mainly premium mobile phones. and other subjects if I consider it to be trendy. I am doing it for fun actually. So can ı not be multiple objected ?

  161. Very fine overview of what every website owner should be keeping in mind. The tough part is how to implement each of these steps and do so on a consistent basis. With all of the time constraints we all have this can be rather difficult at times.

  162. I am currently considering expanding my brand further online and this post has definately given me some guidelines!

  163. Honestly unless you are an IT wiz there is no real way you are going to be able to construct your own website and have it function properly… pay someone to have it done!

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