Michael Guarienti

Website Checklist: 10 of The Most Common Mistakes

Website mistakes are a silent business killer. They're so dangerous because the majority of them go unnoticed by the business owner for days, weeks, months, and even years. And just because a visitor to your website doesn't personally point out a problem on your website doesn't mean that it's not having a very real and negative impact on your attempt to gain sales and contacts from visitors.

When seemingly small mistakes wreak havoc on your business' website, visitors are turned off and go elsewhere and you sacrifice website visits, sales, and who knows what else just because of an honest oversight, grammatical error, or broken link.

Here are 10 small but big website mistakes that you might be making, costing you potential sales and getting in the way of building your business and brand:

Mistake 1: It's All About You

You want to explain to every customer why you're great, but is that what they want to know? Even your most loyal customers don't want to just hear about you, they want to know how you will benefit them.

If your website is bragging about your business instead of appealing and speaking directly to your customers, you're making a very common mistake. Every business is at the mercy of what their market needs and wants, and you can't force things down their throat. Act as a steward instead of a salesman and help website visitors understand how your business will serve them and why your products and services are the best solution to answer their wants and needs.

Mistake 2: Picking a Template Before Analyzing Needs

Discount web hosting services have made creating a new website extremely simple and fast. For a few bucks a month, you can choose a template, upload your pictures and content, and publish your website to the world.

What's often missed is that picking a template before analyzing what you need in a website assumes that you can cram what you want to share with your visitors into any design and space, which isn't true. Templates can work well if you're only looking for a simple landing page that doesn't need to be unique or in-depth, but the majority of templates will not be good fits for your business.

Mistake 3: Putting Design Over Content

Make no mistake about it, the content on your website is more important than the design. That being said, if you have broken links, a site that looks like is was created in 1999, and users can’t understand how to get to your contact page, it doesn't matter how good your introduction is or your "about" page. When working on the design and flow of your website, don't overlook the importance of the words that will tell your website visitors what you have to offer and those words will also be judged by search engines in ranking your site and how relevant your business is to what someone is searching.

Mistake 4: Mobile-Friendly

Having a website that is mobile-enabled is no longer an option, it's a need, and a large percentage of your visitors will come from mobile browsers. Make sure your website works and looks good even on a small smartphone screen.

Mistake 5: Time

Entrepreneurs have an unlimited number of tasks to complete each day, and little time to accomplish them all. Websites take time to build and manage, and many of the websites we're hired to redesign have been left untouched for months of even years. You need time to update your website weekly and reanalyze your design and content every few months to make sure it's representing your business properly.

Mistake 6: SEO Friendly

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and having an SEO friendly website are not the same thing. SEO takes additional time and money to boost your website in search rankings. If your business relies heavily on where you place on search engines, make sure you have both an SEO friendly website and are investing in SEO.

Mistake 7: Tracking

Imagine trying to improve how fast you run a mile without timing yourself. Defining and tracking key performance indicators, like website visits, sales, bounce rate, and how many people are submitting contact forms, will allow you to know if you're getting closer to your goals and what's needed to accomplish them.

Mistake 8: A Warm Welcome

At Mavidea, as soon as you walk in the building, you see Susie's smiling face. Your website needs to give a warm welcome to every visitor. What you want to avoid here is a video or music that starts playing as soon as someone lands on the page. You also want to make sure to say hello and give a short introduction before going into too much detail.

Mistake 9: Visitors Can't Find Contact Information

What good is your website if visitors can't find basic contact information to get in touch with you? Believe it or not, the visibility and placement of your contact information is one of the most important decisions in terms of design and content when creating your website.

For example, when working on a website for a service-based company like an HVAC provider, contact information should be visible from the homepage. Businesses with less reliance on scheduling appointments and phone calls can instead just have a strong contact us page with their address, phone number, email, and social media accounts listed.

Mistake 10: You're Not Frequently Updating Content

Your website is a living representation of your business online. To a website visitor, what they see on your website today will determine their view of your business. If the copyright at the bottom of your page says ©2013, your last blog post was in 2015, and you have old products and services listed that you no longer sell, you're sabotaging your business. Websites should be checked and updated weekly to make sure you're presenting your business properly to visitors.

Let Mavidea find the mistakes that are holding your business and website back! Send your website address to Kim James (kim.james@mavidea.com) and we'll send you personalized ways you can improve your website in less than a week.

Ready to put your website in the capable hands of our professionals? Contact Mavidea today!

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Kim James

Dramatically Increase Sales from Your Website with These 7 Tips

The success of your website won’t be determined by your design or even how well-written your content is. Your website’s sales, and ultimately, the success of your website, relies on your customers.

When working on any aspect of your website, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. What are they looking for? What do they need from you to make the right decision? How can you lead them from interested visitor to loyal customer?

Buyer’s Journey

A buyer’s journey is the mental process a buyer/customer goes through to make a purchase. This process changes depending on your business’s product or service, but a standard buyers journey looks like:

Awareness – consideration – decision – post decision

When a potential customer has a problem they’re looking to fix or a need to be filled, they seek out a solution. After coming across your website, they become aware of your products or services that may be exactly what they’re looking for. They then consider based on their available options and the information they have from you and competitors and make a decision. The goal of your website is to increase the number of decisions made in favor of your business.

To get the most from your website visitor’s buying journey you need these 7 MUST HAVE areas to your website:

Call to action in the upper right hand corner of your site

A call to action lets your visitor know what they should do next. If you don’t have a call to action in the upper right hand corner, then you are missing out on valuable leads and sales!

An easy first step is having accurate contact information – phone numbers and/or an email address clearly listed.

Take it a step further to really increase engagement by including a call to action along with your phone number/email address. “Get Your Free Quote”, “Get Started”, “Find Your Home”. This text should link to a relevant contact page with a form for them to complete and submit. Whatever you choose for your call to action, make sure you deliver. Don’t offer a free quote if it will take you a whole week to get back in touch with them.

Consistent footer with contact information on every page

The footer is known for always containing contact information. Website visitors will usually navigate to the footer if they are actively looking for your phone number or physical address.

This information should be on the left-hand side of your footer and be very clear and easy to read. Including a map/directions button is also a great feature for the footer! If you have a brick and mortar storefront - you want to make it really easy for site visitors to find you!

Call to action at the bottom of every content page

If someone has taken the time to read through a page of content on your website, then you better be ready and waiting at the bottom of that page telling them the specific next step they need to take!

This can be as simple as “Call us today to get started ###-####” or a more thoughtful piece of content to download or a free quote. The key is to continue to lead them towards the goal of your website (complete a sale, schedule an appointment, etc.).

Blog that is updated consistently with new, valuable content

Yep – blogs are still really important.

Google wants to see updated content on your website regularly, and a blog is a great way to achieve that.

Customers will check out your blog to learn more about your business and what you have to offer them. A stale and outdated blog will do more harm than good. If you have a blog on your website, but it only has two posts…or no new posts in the last month,  it’s giving the impression that your site is a ghost town…and maybe your business is too.

Testimonials and/or examples of your work

The most powerful marketing is word of mouth. Sharing testimonials is a great way to add Word of Mouth to your website and show that you are good at what you do and that people have benefited from your service/product.

The more the merrier, but keep them relatively short and easy to read. If you can get a picture or video of your client – even better.

Social buttons

Do you have a social media account that you keep updated with fresh content? Add links to your website so that visitors can find your social sites and learn more about your business. A lot of people will visit a company’s Instagram or Facebook account to learn more about a business’s culture or see pictures of their products in use.

Someone monitoring your contact form

MOST IMPORTANT: someone who is monitoring your contact form and responding to inquiries within the same day of receiving them.

It’s incredible how often businesses leave money on the table because they have a contact form on their website, but no one is checking it. If you aren’t responding to potential customers who are trying to get more information to make their final decision, you’ll be left out of consideration.

Responding quickly matters! Your chances of closing a deal from your website decrease 10% after an hour of not responding to the visitor.

Implement these 7 changes today and see a measurable increase of sales and leads from you website! If your site is too outdated to make these changes, then it's time for a new site - get started today 888-898-8960

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Michael Guarienti

The Biggest Mistake Businesses Make When Building a Website

There's one thing that every single business website needs to be good – TIME.

The success of your business website relies on TIME more than anything else - your web design skills, ability to write great content, and search engine optimization (SEO) prowess. If you don't have the time necessary to create and update your business website, it's going to fail.

Have you ever gone to a Facebook page or Twitter profile without any new posts for months or even a year? It looks like the business is dead or not able to take the time to keep up with their social media profiles. This reflects poorly on the business.  

The same is true with your website.  

If your website doesn’t look good, isn't updated, information is hard to find, or content is confusing or mizpelled – it reflects poorly on your business. And if this is how you treat your website, how do you think a potential customer is going to think they’ll be treated?

For your website, as in life – time heals all wounds. Any problem can be fixed by investing time in your website, but it requires dedicating the time and attention to create a good website, and the expertise to know how to maintain it.

Dedicating Time to Your Website

It sounds simple enough -- to dedicate time to your website -- but it's not that easy. If there's one thing entrepreneurs don't have a lot of, it's time to take on more tasks!

Countless times I’ve seen great websites fall through the cracks because no one has time to spend updating it.

Too Many Hats

As a business owner, your focus is running your business. Unless your business is creating websites like Mavidea, your expertise is outside of web design. When you take on the task of building and maintaining your own website, you become the web designer, developer, and web manager. If this is not a strength of yours, you could be wasting your time, money, and potential.

As a Web Designer, the best way for Mavidea to get the most out of me as an employee is to put website development and design projects on my desk.

There are other ways I can provide value to the company, but if I'm not working on a website, I'm probably being overpaid and underutilized to do something that someone else could do faster and better.

For example, yes, I'm writing this article to share my thoughts with you, but our Content Advisor is helping to make sure I dot my I’s, cross my t’s and make sure I write in complete sentences.

Mavidea can help your business with what we do best. We build great-looking, mobile-first websites for small businesses, and then we support and maintain them so that you don’t have to. You’ll have time to do what you’re best at, and we’ll take care of everything else.

Read: 6 Super Quick Ways to Update Your Current Website

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Designing a New Website

 

1. How much time on a daily/weekly/monthly basis do I have to invest in this new website?  Do you have spare time available to work on your website? Consider what in your business you can spend less time on to spend the time necessary to update and maintain your website. If you have less than 5-7 hours a week available to updating your website, you should find a trusted employee or company to take on this task.

2. How much is one hour of my time worth?  Put a price on an hour of your work, and take that into consideration when you’re spending time on tasks related to your website. For example, if your time is worth $50/hour, you’re essentially spending $50 each hour you’re working on your website. If you can pay someone else $25/hour to keep your website updated, you are saving money and freeing up your time to focus on more essential tasks.

3. Can I redistribute several hours of my week to keeping my website up to date?Is there anything you can take off your plate in order to add this to it? Trying to take on too many tasks is common for business owners, but it usually ends in several important business functions being left behind, including your website and social media pages.

Go to: Mavidea Web Design Services

4. Is there someone else who can complete this project better, in less time, and/or for less money?  Due to the value of your time, it isn’t always wise to create and maintain your own website. Is there a person or company you can trust to create your business’ website better, quicker, or less expensive? If so, you should explore those options. If you do have available time, are web savvy, and enjoy creating and updating your site, it may be a better option to create yourself, but don’t sacrifice the most important aspects of your business in exchange for a good website.

If your time is limited but you still want the best website for your business, Mavidea can help. We take the burden of creating and maintaining a professional and effective website out of your hands and put it into the hands of our experienced web designers and tech team. Let's talk today. 

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Kim James

Before + After: The American Legion Department of Illinois

Long time client, American Legion Department of Illinois does important work in the lives of veterans and the community.

About: The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service-members and veterans.

Their website needed a new design, reorganized content, and then an updated platform to support their newly responsive design.

Before

After we understood their goals and challenges, we determined that their menu would need extensive organizing. If you have a lot of content, and pages for your website, it's best to use what's called a "mega menu". This modern menu system is the easiest way to keep large amounts of content organized and easy to find!

Along with the menu, we worked on a clean and fresh design that would be easy for members to navigate and find what they need.

Their new site is mobile friendly and responsive for easy viewing on all screen sizes.

Desktop & Laptop

desktop-1

More pages...

Mobile Website

Responsive Design on iPad

Thank you to the American Legion Department of Illinois for allowing us to redesign your website and be a part of the great work you do!

More Transformation Stories:

Before + After: KDC Outdoors

Before + After: Wm Masters

Before + After: Project Oz

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Kim James

6 Super Quick Ways to Improve Your Current Website

While some websites are beyond repair, no website, even the great ones, are without room for improvement. Whether you’re ready to throw your website in your desktop’s wastebasket or enter it into the Webby Awards, there are steps you can take today to improve your website.

We understand small business struggles – you wear many hats and you have a limited budget to work with. What you can’t afford to do is neglect your online image and opportunities to virtually connect with your customers.

Wherever you are with your website and your business, here are six ways you can dramatically improve your current website quickly:

Get Rid of Outdated Content

There is nothing that screams "you can't trust me!" like outdated content on a website. A service you don't provide anymore, an old phone number, a bad address, past employees, links to social media pages you haven't posted on in a year, etc.

Go through each page of your website on a regular basis to clean and update the content.

Use Second Person

Your website needs to be about the customer and how your service/product can help them, not you! Read through your content -- if it's written in first-person, then rewrite it so you are talking to your clients and readers at least 3x as often as you're talking about yourself. Instead of “Jones Supply Co. has the experience and talent to deliver what our customers want,” write “We have the solutions to fulfill your specific supply needs.”

Add a Call to Action

If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. Each page of content on your website should conclude with a call to action – something that tells your visitor what they should do next. Visitors do not want to search for your contact information or guess which page they should go to next. Make it easily available to them with a clear call to action at the bottom of every page.

Example: "Make sure your website is meeting the needs of your customers! Call Mavidea today to start your new website! 888-898-8960"

Real Pictures

Stock images are easy to find online, but they often lack personality and don’t show the unique character of your business. Include real pictures of your office, clients, staff etc. – visitors want to see who you are. Visitors love a Meet the Team page…it makes them feel more comfortable working with your company.

De-Clutter

There was a time when stuffing your website full of keywords was more important than writing engaging content that was both enjoyable and informative. Your visitors do not want to sort through five paragraphs of detailed information on your product or service. Create small paragraphs of highly useful information and leave the cluttered text behind.

Website visitors skim through online content - so make it really easy for them by using at least size 12 font and small blocks of content (2-4 sentences).

Social Proof

Seeing is believing. If you have any semi-active social accounts, add them to your homepage. These social sites allow visitors to get to know you and add to your credibility. If you don't have access to add these to your homepage then add links to them at the bottom of your content pages – an easy short term fix.

Example: "Check us out on Facebook!"

You can also add testimonials to show visitors how much past customers have enjoyed working with you.

It All Leads to Your Website

All of your marketing efforts lead back to your website. Take these tips and apply them to your website to get more business today. The 20 or 30 minutes you spend making these updates will help visitors spend more time on your website, find what they need, and build trust with your business.

Unable to make ANY edits to your current site? Is your site not even worth updating? Call Mavidea today to get a new website for your business for as low as $199/month.

Get Started.

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