4 Website Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford

When was the last time you hit the refresh button on your website? If you haven’t put effort into an upgrade since late 2019, you may be sabotaging the success of your business.

About 2.5 years is the longest you should go without upgrading and modernizing your site, according to some digital marketing experts. Depending on your industry and the competition, you may want to review your website even more frequently.

In most cases, this makes sense. Consumer behaviors change quickly and without warning, which means your audience may want and expect a different user experience today than a year ago. For example, 62% of people told HubSpot that one of their top concerns was be able to find contact details easily. Nearly a third of users said they place great importance on a brand’s “About” page. These answers might surprise you, especially because these aspects of your site are probably not the ones you focus on the most.

The thing is, you want your website to look clean, fresh, and authentic for a modern audience. A simple way to do this is to avoid all the pitfalls that have earned other companies bad ratings for lousy sites. Below are some of the most common website faux pas and how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Neglecting to create a content migration plan.

Perhaps you are planning to create a new website. A complete overhaul might make sense for some businesses looking to rebrand, but it’s important to stay on top of the links so nothing gets overlooked during the move. You can make this easier by ensuring you have a comprehensive content migration plan in place.

Rick Bodey, CMO and partner at digital marketing agency Ezzey, is candid when talking about the importance of protecting your best content. As Bodey explains, “Content is king and Google is blind. Every piece of content on your website needs to be assessed and migrated or removed altogether. The number one reason people see a huge, sometimes temporary, drop in traffic is that their main content has changed and Google is trying to figure out where they should be online again.

To start the process, create a spreadsheet with all your current web pages and find out which ones are generating the most traffic. Then, work with your website designer to seamlessly move these pages when your new site goes live. This way you will be less likely to see a major drop in traffic.

Mistake 2: Not prioritizing website maintenance.

Whether or not you embark on a complete website overhaul, you need to maintain your website. This is not a “set it and forget it” part of your toolbox. On the contrary, your website should constantly grow and evolve, especially if you update it with new blog posts or product pages.

Routine maintenance can also help you identify issues like the dreaded slow-loading page. How slow is it? Business.com reports that most consumers won’t stay longer than three seconds when viewing sites on their devices. Therefore, you want to improve the loading speed of your pages in order to have the best chance of making a good first impression.

As part of maintaining your website, Casey Rowland, VP of Marketing for Newfold Digital, recommends looking for broken links. Although the process may seem difficult, Rowland explains that it is quite simple. “Finding broken links is actually easier than you think,” he writes. “There are many free tools available that automatically check websites for broken links, such as Google Search Console (which offers many other useful features to boot).” In other words, there’s no reason to have a site full of 404 errors when these simple tools exist to help keep your website in top shape.

Mistake 3: Using Facebook instead of a website.

Have you thought that your Facebook business page could serve as a business website? You are not alone, but you are in the minority. A Top Design Firms survey shows that 27% of organizations do not have a site.

It may seem like a cost-effective way to save money, but it’s costing you money in the long run. Why? Your Facebook page gets SEO power for Facebook, not for your business. Sure, you might be able to get some traffic, but you have to work really hard to get smaller results. Also, you don’t get all the benefits of a website. These include the ability to have a blog, run your e-commerce business your way, and guide visitors through pre-planned journeys designed to turn them into customers or clients.

Unless you have all the business you can handle, get yourself a URL. Then find someone who can help you design a site. Alternatively, you may feel comfortable creating a very basic one yourself. Either way, you’ll be better off with a unique website for your business.

Mistake 4: Not verifying your site on a variety of devices.

Today, most consumers are taking an omnichannel approach to discovering, investigating, and supporting brands. McKinsey figures show that a third of buyers make regular omnichannel purchases routes. And the younger the generation of your target market, the more likely they’ll be using multiple devices, channels, and platforms before giving you their financial or personal information.

You’ve probably taken an omnichannel route yourself. Maybe you saw an advertisement for a product while watching your favorite Peacock show. You typed the product name into your phone and dug a bit. Then you forgot everything when your show came back. The next day, you remember the product again and decide to jump to your desktop to see the site you were viewing on mobile. But what if the site looks clunky or weird? As a result, you are less enchanted and more annoyed.

Your website should look good on all browsers no matter what. Do your due diligence and view all of your pages on a variety of devices. If you have hundreds of pages, start with the top performing ones, because those are the ones that appeal to you the most. Knowing what others are seeing is key to being able to resolve issues before they derail your brand image.

The website you reveal to the public acts as your digital storefront, for better or for worse. Just make sure it’s always for the best by keeping it up to date and making sure your content is easily digestible across multiple devices. Your consumers will thank you and your business can rest easy knowing that its website is running at its best.

Daniel L. Vasquez