Don’t Make These 7 Website Mistakes with Your Service Business
At MS Tech, we work with thousands of service business in different countries around the world, designing, building, and maintaining their websites. As a result, we are constantly evaluating websites – both our own and those designed by others – to make sure we’re staying on the cutting edge of web design, and also so our clients are getting the best possible results.
What’s interesting is that regardless of where a businesses may be located around the world, there are certain themes we see often – namely the same website mistakes repeated over and over. We’ve compiled the biggest and most common mistakes we see service businesses make with their websites. We’re sharing them with you here to help you avoid them – whether you have an existing site that needs to be updated, or you’re considering getting a new one.
Website Mistake #1: Having a website that doesn’t do its job.
Employees who show up to work looking fabulous might be nice, but it they don’t do their job, do you really want to have them as employees? You should apply that same thinking to your website. It doesn’t matter how cool or amazing your website might look – if it doesn’t do what you need it to do, then it’s pointless to have one.
The first thing we always ask our website clients is – What do you want your website to do for your business? It’s perfectly legitimate if you just need a website that serves as an online brochure or “cyber” storefront for your company. But if you need it to do something else, such as serving as an inbound lead generator, giving client’s account access to online tools, or showing that you have the best team of experts in your industry, it’s important to clarify what those objectives are before you build or update your site.
This way your website will be designed, built, measured, and maintained in a way that will help you meet your business objectives. Knowing what your website’s “job” is also lets you apply KPIs (key performance indicators) to it. KPIs will show you what your website is doing well and where you may need to make changes so it better help you achieve your business goals.
Website Mistake #2: Having a website that doesn’t demonstrate that your business is the market leader in your space.
We live in an extremely competitive world. And quite simply, if you have a competitor whose website looks better than yours, or is easier navigate, has better content, or in any other way makes a visitor want to do business with them instead of you – that’s a problem.
Just as you work to be the best in your space – with the best products, services, and level of expertise – so your website should reflect your competitive advantages.
Features that will make you look like the market leader can include the overall design and look/feel of your site, your content and the quality of information you provide, your client success stories, and more. Just as you want your prospective customers to be grateful that they found you, you want them to feel grateful for finding your website and have it be worthy of their time and attention. Your website needs to answer to what your customers are looking for more than your competitors’ sites do.
Website Mistake #3: Having a website that looks like everyone else’s.
At MS Tech, we think standards are important. We follow industry best practices when it comes to website design, navigation, and usability. But this doesn’t mean we apply a cookie cutter approach to the sites we design for our clients. You don’t want your prospective clients to think you just follow the pack; you want them to see your business as the leader.
Thus, your website needs to be more than just a template. It should reflect your brand identity and also your key differentiators in the market. The combination of your unique brand and innovative, cutting edge design that also utilizes industry best practices is a winning combination.
Things that can make your website truly unique include: your brand attributes, your team and their experience, your content, awards and honors you’ve received, and your positive testimonials. All of the things that make your company does that are special, and better than the competition, should be reflected on your site.
Website Mistake #4: Having a website that doesn’t create an immediate positive and engaging impression.
As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a positive first impression. And despite whether it’s accurate or not, visitors get a gut feeling about a business within the first two seconds of viewing a website. If your website doesn’t appeal to your visitors at the very first glance, you can lose people before you even get the opportunity to tell them how awesome your business is.
Here are some website mistakes that can create an immediate negative impression with your visitors:
- It’s too slow – the visitor has to wait for images or content to load on the page.
- It looks bad on their mobile phones.
- The website has images that are off-putting or unpleasant.
- It doesn’t have enough images – this could be a lack of images of people (so the site is in-human-looking), or it could just be a lack of appealing graphics.
- It’s cluttered – too much information so the visitor feels like they’re going to have to do work to get the information they need.
- It’s disorganized – the visitor doesn’t know where to focus their eyes first.
- The color scheme is unattractive, glaring, or otherwise not universally appealing to view.
- It has video or audio that plays automatically. This is especially important to keep in mind if your visitors might be viewing your website while they’re at work.
Essentially, you want your website to send the right message and give the ideal first impression to your particular audience immediately. Is your audience mainly female or male? Are they young or are they senior citizens? Are they in the technology field, in the arts, or both? Knowing your audience will help you identify what would engender an immediate and positive impression when they first come to your website.
In addition to being instantly appealing to your audience, you want your site to demonstrate that your business is accomplished, a trendsetter, and the best they can work with – as much as is possible in that first glance.
Website Mistake #5: Having a website that’s all about you and not your customers.
Have you ever had a friend who only talks about themself and doesn’t ever ask you how your day was? Gets a little old, doesn’t it? Don’t let your website be like that self-centered friend! Sure, you need to show your prospective customers what you can do and what you offer. But at the end of the day, the star of the show is not you or your website; it’s your customer.
Instead of only talking about who you are and who your team is, address the types of businesses your serve. Instead of talking only about your products and services, talk about the solutions you offer and how you help your clients. Think about your potential customers’ pain points, and make sure you address them on your website.
Case studies, statistics that demonstrate results you’ve achieved for clients, client testimonials, how-to content, videos, and photos all go a long way in making your website be about “them” and not just about “you.”
In addition to making sure your content is client-centric, you also want your website to be user-centric. At MS Tech, we design websites with the user in mind. Some of these user-focused features include:
- A menu system and site navigation that is intuitive and makes it easy for users to get the information they’re looking for in a few clicks.
- Fonts that are the right size, style, and color for the audience.
- Images that your clients can relate to.
- Multiple ways for visitors to get in contact with you, and easy-to-find contact information.
- Content that is presented in multiple ways for different attention spans, including short and long written sections, videos, infographic, diagrams, and other ways to get information across, depending on who your audience is and how much time and attention they have in a given moment.
Website Mistake #6: Building a website that won’t evolve as your business does.
At MS Tech, we don’t just design websites for today, we design them with tomorrow in mind. You want a website that’s going to be able to scale and evolve as your business changes and grows. This could mean being able to easily add new sections, lead gen forms, menu items, user accounts, and other frontend and backend features.
A website that’s built on an outdated platform or one that is costly and difficult to maintain is going to be a hindrance for your business rather than an asset. This is why when we work with clients on their websites, we always ask about not just the near-term needs for your site, but also the long-range view for your business. This way, we can help create a website that will evolve as your business does.
Website Mistake #7: Building a website that is not technically up to date.
If there’s one thing we can predict for certain – it’s that technology will continue to change rapidly. Websites that are out of date technologically won’t perform as well as those that are up to date. For example, today websites that lack an SSL security certificate or those that are not mobile-optimized can be penalized by Web browsers (at least by showing warning messages) or by Google in search results. In addition, as we mentioned above, websites that are slow to load can both turn customers off and cause you to be downgraded by Google and other search engines.
In today’s world, people have become accustomed to being able to watch video content, make comments, and share content from websites on social media. If your website doesn’t keep pace or offer the “new” standard, modern features, it can reflect negatively on your brand image. Just as you want to your business to be on the cutting edge for your industry, you also want your website to reflect that brand identity.
If you’re interested in talking with one of our website experts about more ideas to make your site the best in the business, contact us today.
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