by: Lauren Hobson
While it's true that "nobody's perfect", I think the same goes for small business web sites as well - no web site is absolutely perfect. Even the best of the best often have room for improvement!
But there are some basic web site mistakes that many small companies make that can end up hurting business instead of helping it. Do any of these mistakes show up on your web site?
- Not enough content.
Often, small businesses will put minimal information along with their contact information on their web sites and think that's probably good enough. But today's web visitors are looking for something more, and lots of good quality content is a great way to deliver value to your visitors and build credibility for your business.
- Old or outdated content.
If you want visitors and search engines to pay attention to your web site, you need to keep adding new content and updating the existing information on your web site regularly. If your site never changes, the search engines will ignore your site, and visitors will not have a reason to come back. It's also unlikely that visitors will recommend your site to their friends and colleagues, too.
- Not being search engine friendly.
Speaking of search engines, what happens if a search engine spider visits your site, but can't read your web pages? Nothing happens, and that's a problem. If a search engine spider cannot read your web pages, it just moves on to the next site, and your information is completely ignored. Your web site must be search engine friendly in order to be included in the search engine databases.
- Not monitoring your site in the search engines.
Even if your web site is search engine friendly, there are constant changes going on with the search engines and also with your competitors. If you aren't monitoring how your site is performing in the search engines, how will you know if these changes are affecting your rankings or if you are losing traffic? Monitoring your web site means that you can react to changes and take appropriate steps to make sure your site shows up in the search results and that web traffic keeps flowing.
- The site is built using Frames or Flash.
Not too many web sites still make this mistake, but there are still some small business web sites out there using one or both of these methods. Sites built with Frames or Flash intro pages cannot easily be read by the search engines, and web visitors typically hate using them as well. These are older web techniques that don't reflect well on your business, they don't perform well in the search engines, and today's web visitors expect better.
Making your web site the best it can be is a very effective and affordable marketing option for most small businesses. Of all the other types of advertising and marketing that you do each year, your web site has the potential to be seen by more customers, can continue to promote your company perpetually through links, is always accessible to customers, and can instantly reflect changes and provide fresh information to draw people in.
Avoiding basic web site mistakes will help your site perform better, making it a "perfect" marketing strategy for your small business.