For most businesses, the website has taken on huge importance. Yet, we continue to see some fundamental mistakes being made over and over again.
Forgetting the user or visitor is probably the biggest mistake of all. When you are building a site you have to ask, what will the prospect want? If you are not clear, then it is better to stop. And don't proceed until you have a clear answer.
The whole point of having a site in the first place is for the benefit of the visitor. So why not develop it from the point of view of that same visitor?
And developing the site is not the end. Just the beginning. How many sites do you find that are out-of-date. If your site does not carry accurate, up-to-the-minute information, you lose credibility.
Beyond that, some other classic, and all too common, mistakes include:
- Launching into the creation of a site, or redevelopment of one, without a clear idea of what you actually want to do. Is your website going to be used to sell products online, drive leads to your sales team, provide support or self-service, provide information or deliver online content? All these objectives are valid options. But you better know which one is right for you because they each require a different design focus and a different method of measurement.
- Still in 2008, there remain many organisations with a 'build it and they will come' approach. For most businesses,you can't overestimate the importance of Search Engine Optimisation. And you should not ignore the opportunities offered by Pay-Per-Click campaigns. If you don't, at least, have a high level understanding of how you can benefit from search engines, you need to give yourself a good talking to.
- Packing too much in is another mistake that you see every day. How many times have you left a site because the busy-ness and over-design has overwhelmed you? If you must include everything, package it carefully in lots of separate pages and bite size chunks. Make it easy on the reader.There's lots of other serious mistakes online, but at least if you avoid these, you'll be giving yourself a reasonable chance to fulfill the needs that are important to your site visitors.