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Top 10 Website Mistakes
By Umang Patel ( Ydeveloper.com )
After being a website designer and user since 1996, I'm still seeing people make the same mistakes on their websites. Here's a list of the ones that will drive people away from your site and cause you to lose business (and your reputation as a professional business person).
1. 'Under construction' signs on your site. Websites are intended to be Living Documents. They are supposed to change and grow. Putting an 'under construction' sign on your website marks you as an amateur. If your site isn't ready to show to the public, don't publish it to a public location.
2. Visitor counters. Visitors generally don't care how many other people have visited your site. If the visitor counter shows a low number, that can be a psychological turn-off to people; if it's too high, people might believe that you've forged the number. Just take the visitor counter off your site. If you really need to know how many people have visited your website, check your statistics. (If your hosting company doesn't provide good statistics, get a new one!) Check out our article on how to choose a hosting company:
3. Lack of copyright statements. Everything you write, and your website design itself, is copyright-able. Make sure you include copyright statements on every page, and update the year in the copyright statement as appropriate. Nothing screams 'Not up-to-date' like having a copyright statement from 1997 on your site.
4.Overuse of technology. There are some really great, cool and wild techie things you can program into your website. But it they are going to distract the visitor from your message, or if they're going to slow down the loading of your page, ditch the extra technology in favor of simplicity. This includes large Flash shows, animated graphics and other large graphics, as well as scrolling text and audio that comes on as soon as the person hits your website.
5. Passive verbs. Use active verbs and active sentences when writing your site's copy. Active verbs are powerful and lend energy to your site. Need to brush up on using active verbs? Check out this site:
6. Long sentences. When people read long sentences, they have to keep the first part of the sentence in their mind when reading the last part. People are easily distracted. Help your visitors by keeping your sentences short and crisp.
7. Long pages. Studies show that most people will not read a long page of text off of their computer monitor. They'll either print it or they'll scan it looking for major topics and bullet points. Keep your pages short. If you have a lot to say, consider creating a series of pages that explain your topic, with good navigation between each page.
8. Not identifying the benefits of your products or services. People make purchases for two reasons: to get rid of pain or to get pleasure. People want to know how your products and services will help them with their specific pain/pleasure situation. Instead of telling them that your widgets are made from steel and are 3 inches across, tell them that your widgets will stop their faucets from leaking for a lifetime.
9. Forgetting to ask the visitor to do something. In marketing, this is known as a Call To Action. Tell your visitors what you want them to do next. Sign up for my newsletter. Call me. Order today.
10. Believing in 'build it and they will come.' It might have worked in the movie Field Of Dreams, but in the reality of internet marketing it's: build it, MARKET it, and they will come. Once you've built your website you have to tell people about it. Think of your website the same way you'd think of a box of marketing brochures: if you don't get them into the hands of people, they're not worth the money you spent to create them.
About the Author: Umang H. Patel is the Chief Technology Officer of Karmanya. He starts from the fundamental premise that IT is a Business Function, with Customers, that has to create Business Value for its Customers. He possesses a fundamental understanding and experience of both Business and Technology : Strategy to Business Operations and Processes; particular strengths in Business/Technology Strategic Planning, Software Development, its Management and Process, the Management and Business use of Data and the building and the use of Models. His experience covers both custom development and the use of commercial packages. A gifted and articulate speaker, a manager and leader with a marketing orientation. Mr. Patel is also experienced in the implementation of technology solutions. He understands that Business Success requires Organizational Success : Technology implementation involves Process, Structure, Skill and Structural changes. Mr. Patel excels at developing Business-driven Solutions tailored to the needs of the organization, taking into account the Managerial, Organizational and Cultural Contexts, including the Re-engineering of Processes and Rethinking of Roles, and the linkage of the short term project to the long term Architecture development, i.e. the Business Engineering of IT . Mr. Patel combines this strong understanding and experience in Business, Technology and Management to define, design and implement Technology Solutions to Business Problems, from Group Solutions to Enterprise Solutions, to support, enhance, transform and re-engineer the business enterprise.