#WNTD with your website
Your website is your calling card and people will be looking at it long after you have left the room. It needs to continue impressing your readers, customers, contacts as much as you did when you were talking to them face to face. I have listed 4 major but quite common pitfalls that I feel you should avoid when planning your website.
Don’t be precious about the website
Do you put the customer first in your business? If yes, then you should be doing the same with your website. Just pause and think about your audience. You are running your business to earn money from your customers. Your website should cater to what they want from your website and not what you want. By being precious about what you want on or from your website, you may be hampering your end goals.
Don’t trivialise the planning phase of your website
I have seen and heard from many people who STILL think of a website as something that is secondary to their business. Something that sits outside, because it is a burden on their day to day schedule. I say to those people, “Don’t get a website!”
In what is true of any business asset, your accountant and advisor will only let you invest in an asset if it brings a return on investment (RoI) for your business. Don’t treat your website like a burden. If you treat it as an asset and invest properly, it will bring you a highly lucrative sales funnel. Then it is up to you to convert those leads into business.
Don’t publish everything on the website
We have an overwhelming desire to share all our knowledge at once because we know all there is to know about our areas of expertise. This is counter-productive for the simple fact that, you will overwhelm your customer.
Just imagine being in a store looking at a 2-way radio. You call a sales assistant over and ask about the range of the radios. How would you feel if the sales assistant told you a 2000 word story straight from the manufacturer’s marketing material?
I am going to go out on a limb and say that you would lose the will to live if the sales assistant did that. You would much rather have your question answered and be allowed to move on.
This is exactly why you should not publish everything on the website. Remember websites are a one-sided medium and you are not there to talk the prospect around after losing their interest so, “don’t bore them with unnecessary information.”
Don’t strive for perfection
A lot of business owners want their websites to be perfect in every way. While there has to be a minimum standard for your website, striving for perfection at the very beginning is a fallacy that does not pay dividends, it adds to your budget for the website.
I once dealt with a client that wanted their website to be perfect e.g.
– the design was never perfect enough,
– the content was never perfect enough and when those 2 aligned,
– the speed at which the site loaded was not great,
– I would like an extra feature.
The client’s idea of a 100% perfect website would cost them double the agreed budget. I was happy to get paid but as a professional, I saw this strive for perfection as a colossal waste of money when it was completely avoidable and which I had advised against.
Perfect websites are like perfect people, they don’t exist. Now I know some of you will mutter out loud, “but I am perfect” as you read this but we all know that there is no such thing in a world that is constantly evolving and changing, people’s attitudes and expectations change.
Therefore, you must not try to be perfect by your standards but be perfect by your customers’ standards and expectations.
By avoiding these 4 pitfalls, you can ensure a smoother path to a website that performs wonders for your business. This is not an exhaustive list of pitfalls in the website design process. Rather it is only the beginning of a journey but I have to practice what I preach and not publish everything.
Don’t over complicate things in the planning of your website. Write down your ideas and needs (not wants) on a piece of paper (don’t use a computer). This will allow you to see the website beginning to take shape because writing things down forces you to think about the whole process intuitively and logically.