Whether you’re embarking on the build of a brand new website for an upcoming venture or refreshing an existing site, the first step is planning and preparation. During this crucial planning stage, a few vital mistakes can be made which then create problems further down the line as the website is built (or worse, after it has been built). So how can you avoid these all too common yet crucial mistakes? Firstly, you need to know what they are.
Forgetting about Google and SEO
A fabulous website is all very well – but if you can’t be found on page one when clients are searching for the products or services you provide, it’s almost useless. Contrary to popular belief, ranking highly on Google is about more than just keywords and terminology. It requires a complex and sophisticated approach – and a few clever techniques can see your website amongst the most popular for a range of relevant searches and search terms. SEO specialists (such as ourselves) can help you to achieve this from the get-go as you construct your site – setting in place the essential building blocks which make your site Google-friendly and user-friendly at the same time.
Neglecting the audience
After Google, your clients are the most important party to consider. If your website doesn’t effectively reach and speak to your audience, then ultimately it has failed. It might look nice and be easy to use – but if it doesn’t give users what they want or satisfy their requirements then it isn’t doing its job properly. Have a think about what your audience want to get out of your site, or if you have asked them or received feedback, take into account what they say about your old site and keep it front of mind when planning the new one. If you think your contact form is easy to use and great for capturing data, but customers tell you it’s lengthy, complicated and irritating to fill out, then it needs to be reconsidered or scrapped. Similarly, if you feel something needs to be changed but clients tell you they love it, then don’t spend time changing something which works (whilst keeping other things which don’t).
Failing to spend on good quality content
Investing in good quality content is a must if you want your site to look the very best it can be. One mistake businesses make when constructing a fresh website is simply using old content (images, audio, video and text) and copying it straight from the old into the new. Fresh design and tired old content don’t sit well together – not to mention the discrepancy and often disjointed nature of having content suited to an old design dumped into an old one. This results in mismatched images, copy which doesn’t flow properly and tired old graphics tainting your fresh new website design.
We always advise clients honestly regarding the quality of their content – including images, copy and design. If we don’t feel it is up to scratch then we say so – as we know that poor quality content can drag a site down and could mean that as a business you have effectively wasted money in having a new website design.
For more honest, useful advice, keep reading our blog or take a look at our Services pages.