The following mistakes happen much more often than you would imagine. The idea of a website is to market yourself to prospective buyers and sellers, not to have a bunch of bells and whistles that do nothing for you. If you have any questions about the following information, or my strategies to counteract them, please don't hesitate to contact me.
The Ten Worst Website Mistakes
by Gerry Robert
1. Letting techies or graphic artist dictate your website.
First, of all, let me create more enemies. NEVER LET A TECHIE OR A GRAPHIC ARTIST RUN YOUR SITE. What does an HTML programmer know about marketing?
You should know that websites are losing money, left, right and center. Part of the reason is because the person responsible for sales is abdicating their responsibility for website success by turning everything over to the IT person or a graphic artist. Rule #1: The most senior person responsible for sales should dictate the website strategy. Pretty sites are nice but the focus of your website should be "MAKE MONEY."
2. Not using the word FREE.
If you read my columns at all, you'll know that I'm a nut for using the word FREE. People love FREE stuff, especially the Internet crowd. The reason you want to use it so much, is to capture the name.
If you give a FREE report, booklet, audiotape, evaluation or anything, people will give you their email address. Building your database is one of the most important strategies in any business. Using the word FREE will keep them at your site longer and increase the word of mouth advertising.
3. Not giving reasons to come back.
The trick with Internet marketing is getting people to return to your site often. Giving them reasons to revisit your site will increase the likelihood that they will purchase, or read more about you, or drop you their name and email address.
One of the best features having a website is its ability to make people who are predisposed to buy what you sell identify themselves. If you update your site often they will come back. Successful sites need to be more than glorified brochures.
I can't believe how lazy or unimaginative people are when it comes to Internet marketing. They have access to millions of other examples, still they choose to design sites that look exactly like all the other sites. This relates to point #1 and giving all the responsibility to others to create and manage your site.
5. Lack of content.
Someone has said that the 3 laws of website success are: Content, Content, Content. If you bore people, they won't stick around. You will do better if your site is "informational" rather than "commercial." Sure, you can sell stuff, but give them lots of neat and wild information. One reason this is so important is because sites with anything wild or unusual will almost certainly get FREE publicity.
6. Not capturing names.
Here's where I really differ from the common Internet pack. If you don't capture names, you are wasting your time. Every single page of your website should attempt to capture the person's name. You do that by inviting them to receive your FREE eZine, by asking them to sign your guestbook, but give them some incentive to do it. Invite them to join something, perhaps a club, association, something, anything...just get their name. We have used FREE Draws, FREE Special Reports, and FREE evaluations.
7. The "If we build it, they will come." Myth.
Too many people think that just because there is over 50 million people online that once you get your website up that you will have a million visitors a month. Ha! They will not come unless you promote your website. Of course, all the search engines are important but you need to do a lot more. It's a start at least.
8. Not working to promote it.
Basically, the more promotion your site receives, the more profit you'll see from it. Essentially, you do Inside Promotion (within the Internet) and Outside Promotion (outside). Inside promotion involves spending time telling others about your website online. This involves finding sites that will give you FREE publicity.
The person responsible for sales must devote time to research, learn, promote and work the marketing of the website if you want success. You're nuts if you listen to all these so called "Internet Marketing" experts. They think Internet Marketing is submitting to search engines.
9. Cute vs. Effective Graphics.
There are hundreds of website errors but this one probably takes the cake. Now, graphic artists will hate me for this but a huge graphic might win an award for graphic design but we want SALES, not awards! Remember that people surf the Net at a 100 miles per hour. If they have to wait while some huge picture or graphic downloads.... poof, they're gone. You just lost a contact.
10. Bad backgrounds.
Now, I can't believe that people would be so careless but so many website are hard to read because they superimpose text above a background that makes it almost impossible to read.