SCORE Small Business Blog

Website Pitfalls That May Cost You New Customers or Cause Your Business to Fail
0 Comments

Economy is essential to every successful business marketing plan and you want to apply the same analysis to your website design. If you’re not careful, your website can turn from a marketing tool to a business drain.

Here are 4 pitfalls to avoid to make sure your website marketing remains a success.

Pitfall 1: Being a follower

Imitation may be the finest form of flattery but when making your website, it could end up costing you. Newly established businesses can find it tempting to add every bell and whistle that appears on large corporate websites, but this can be more trouble than it’s worth and problematic in the long run.

Large corporations can afford to employ developers whose primary job includes updating, maintaining and developing the company website, but smaller firms can rarely afford to hire for this type of role. Therefore, including too many features runs the risk of running out of money before the website has a chance to go live or results in terrible user experiences that can turn away new customers.

To determine the appropriate budget, factor in the amount of time and money required for both running and maintaining a business website. Calculate the expected cost of a minimum of 1 year and include every aspect of development that can be expected. Cost calculations for new websites will need to include infrastructure costs, hosting services, website design services, add on features, and the cost associated with integrating third party applications.

To calculate the cost of redesigning a website, factor in any website development services, required purchases, or increased costs of maintaining the updates. If your costs are higher than your budget, try to prioritize the features, break down the cost for each of these features, and then select the ones that are the most important for your business.

Pitfall 2: Not being original

Many businesses use industry terminology to describe products and services in order to appear competitive. This practice can be detrimental if your business offers an innovative new product or service for two reasons.

First, your business will sound similar to other companies in your industry and visitors may not understand what makes your company different or the benefits of what your business offers. Second, your company may sound so similar to a larger firm that customers have little incentive to go with a less established brand.

Pitfall 3: Making information hard to find

While a unique, one of a kind website design and layout can be visually appealing, keep in mind that website visitors are primarily interested in finding information about your company. A well-established navigation format may seem boring, but it can make it easier for visitors to find answers to their questions much faster than learning a brand new layout, which ultimately increases the chances that a potential client will contact your business after visiting your website.

One of the main reasons for visiting a company’s website is to find the most up to date contact information. If this information not easy to find, it can drive customers away. Visitors might decide the trouble of finding the information requires more work than to Google for companies that offer similar products or services as your business. If important information is not easily available to visitors, customers can also walk away with the wrong impression about your company’s capabilities or expertise.

Pitfall 4: Lack of planning

It’s important to keep in mind that as your business grow your website may need to change to account for new products services or features for instant you may want to consider whether or not you want to have a client access portal or members only content.

By not planning for the future you may end up selecting the wrong platform for your business. For instance if you use a company specific tool to create a website it may make it difficult to hire developers in the future when you want to add new features and you might not be able to migrate your website if you select a different web hosting service.

For an accurate estimate of your website development project, make sure there is room in your budget to account for unexpected events or problems that can occur after your website goes live. Key questions to consider include:

  • How will additional information, such as news, be added to the site?
  • Who will customers contact if a link or feature is broken?
  • What process will be used if a customer reports a coupon code doesn’t work? Or worse, transactions are calculating incorrectly?
  • How much will it cost if any of these events occur?
  • Does it make sense to hire IT personnel or to outsource? How quickly can these problems be resolved?

Think about where you want your website to be in the future when determining which platform to use design website this will allow you the option to develop these features in the future without having to completely redesign your website, which can be costly and time consuming.

Jennifer ShinFounder and Principal Consultant, 8 Path Solutions LLC
Jennifer is the Founder & Principal Consultant of 8 Path Solutions LLC, a NYC based management consultancy and data science startup that aims to bridge the gap between science, technology and industry and tackle real world challenges.
www.8PathSolutions.com | @8PathSolutions | Facebook |More from Jennifer

// |
 

Leave a Comment

More Blog Topics