E-commerce, or the buying and selling of products and services online, is seeing a massive increase in popularity that shows no sign of slowing down. Expected to surpass 2 billion in revenue in 2017 and 4 billion by 2020, more and more consumers are turning to the internet for the products and services they need. With the popularity of e-commerce on the rise, those with an outdated or non-existent website are at a significant disadvantage.
Why Does Your Website Matter?
With the internet at the forefront of successful business practices, maintaining a website that generates results is crucial. Just like having an office that’s messy and unprofessional would turn off prospective clients, a poorly designed website can do just the same. Even the average consumer can notice a bad website, and without knowing it, it influences their opinion of the host that owns it. Understanding how your website is a reflection upon your own business is the first step in ensuring it stays effective.
Mistakes That Can Ruin A Website
There are vastly different types of websites and different methods of building them. With all of this variation in website construction, many of the same mistakes become noticeable. By avoiding the most common ways that websites are rendered plain and dysfunctional, you can boost the quality of your own website or hire pros like NMG to do it for you. Since your website gives clients an idea of what to expect from your service, optimizing it is paramount for success in business.
1. Not Putting Users First
When planning your professional website, it’s easy to get lost trying to include every component you want. The problem with this arises when you lose sight of the most important part of the website: The user.
When websites are made without the user in mind, they become cumbersome and disorganized. While it may seem like a good idea to throw in all of the talking points that are interesting to you, the website will suffer if the focus isn’t on streamlining it for the user.
With the vast amount of mobile and online technology used daily, the attention spans of the average user are shorter than ever. This means that users will not have patience for websites that are clunky and difficult to navigate. Retaining the user’s attention is a major part of hosting a successful website. If they’re clicking away in frustration after a few seconds, the user wasn’t the focus when designing the website.
2. Not Having A Clear Message
Have you ever landed on a website and got distracted by a myriad of things that have nothing to do with why you came there? This confusion is most likely due to a disorganized website. When the designer of a website has no clear idea of its purpose, then no one who visits the site will know it either.
An effective website is made to serve a distinct purpose. That purpose may be to provide information about a business, to enable e-commerce or to provide a forum for people to discuss topics. Whatever the purpose of your website, users should know it within seconds of landing there. This is done by ensuring that the additional pages on your site support the main purpose, and contribute to its overall value.
Don’t confuse a clear purpose for simplicity. Your purpose is the reason why you spent the time and resources to have a website in the first place. Once that’s established, the website can be as elaborate as you want, so long as it doesn’t confuse the user by pulling them in different directions. By offering strong pages that support your purpose, clients will be able to find the info they’re looking for without confusion.
3. Not Using Quality Content
Content is included on websites and blogs to provide value to the reader. For lawyers, that value will come in the form of important legal facts, helpful tips or information about your law firm. Whichever the main purpose of your content, it’s important to know that quality is paramount.
Quality Content Matters
Poorly written content sticks out like a red flag, subtly warning clients to avoid your services. Content can be bad for a variety of reasons, and they go much deeper than grammatical errors. Common examples of ineffective content include the following:
- Content that has no primary focus
- Content that uses redundant phrases
- Content that uses too much fluff and lacks substance
- Content that uses weak sources
- Content that is longer than is necessary
Know Who Is Reading Your Content
To ensure that your web content is effective, understanding who your readers are is key. Some lawyers will want their message to target an educated corporate clientele, whereas others may try to reach alleged criminals who barely graduated high school. This variance means that your content should be focused on the demographics you want to speak to most. Keeping your key demographic in mind is a critical part of generating effective content.
4. Cramming Your Website With Excessive Ads
Advertising is a tool that clients tolerate because it’s the lifeblood of business. Even the best websites have a banner, links to paid sponsors and other types of ads adorning their pages. However, too much advertising can make a website appear busy and cluttered. As with the other aspects of creating a high-quality website, balance is key when choosing the ads you’ll feature.
Hierarchy Of Advertisers
Just as too many ads can make your website tedious for users, the wrong type of ads can be off-putting as well. Ads that are polarizing, low-brow or controversial are best avoided for professional websites. Much like with content, knowing your clientele will help you decide which ads are fitting for your site. Ultimately, you don’t want to choose ads that will be a turn-off or jeopardize credibility in the eyes of your clients.
Avoid These Mistakes By Working With Pros
Anyone who surfs the internet can tell the difference between a website that was haphazardly thrown together and one that was strategically developed by professionals. The ease of use, clearly defined purpose and user-friendly navigation make an effective website a natural tool for customers. For any lawyer to thrive in a competitive market, a strong website is vital.
Avoid the many mistakes made by amateur developers by partnering with the professionals at Now Media Group. The pros at NMG provide top-quality content, options for advertising and professional web design that attracts clients. Contact NMG for an audit, quote or to hear about our services.