We talk a lot about having web design done properly for your website, and our job at V3 Media is to help ensure that websites are secure and beautiful. However, a website alone will not help a floundering business if there’s no forethought or careful consideration provided before the business is set up in the first place.

Sometimes the answer to the question “Why am I getting no new leads?” is obvious to us web professionals but not so to business owners. That being said, here is what we think are the biggest mistakes you’ve just made with your company’s website.

Mistake 1: You Didn’t Optimize the Website

Sure your website looks pretty, but without optimization consider your business as good as invisible. Search engines such as Google are more likely to rank a website that has the following:

  • Regularly updated content
  • Relevant keywords, meta information, and alt and title text applied to images and content
  • Correct and consistent contact information registered on Google+
  • Social media accounts that also have correct and consistent contact info, which matches up with your website and Google profile

These are all awesome things to have done for your website. But then, it’s not just a lack of optimization that will harm your business in the long run, so much as the next biggest mistake you’ve made or are making.

Mistake 2: You Didn’t Think Your Brand Through

If you’re only in business to compete with your competition, stop right now and really take a look at yourself. How similar is your business compared to Bob’s the next street over? If your brand and company are too similar to his, you have not thought your brand through.

Branding is much more than just designing a logo. A logo helps, but it shouldn’t take precedence over the brand. If you fail to keep your brand promise, then say goodbye to a website that can do it all for you. For example, you might claim that your website is the best way to get hold of you, and position your brand as such. But instead of designing your website so that promise to customers possible, you leave the phone number non-clickable on the mobile version of your website and you don’t respond to any contact forms or social media messages, period.

While the above example is an extreme one, it’s also possible to happen simply because the website owner underestimated the power of the Internet. Branding is no longer a means of traditionally blasting your message out whether people want it or not. Now you really have to keep your brand promise and make your brand unique, whether it’s to offer more affordable gifts or higher quality food compared to the other businesses in town, because it will be the people—your customers—who decide what’s worth engaging with.

Mistake 3: You Didn’t Do Your Homework

It’s one thing to start running your own restaurant if you have the gumption and budget for it. It’s another matter entirely, however, to start running a restaurant when you have no idea who your target audience is. Location is also a huge, huge factor in a business’s success that is still shockingly not considered when conducting market research. I’ve seen businesses like that on Vancouver Island who have a neat idea for their establishment, but the location was just terrible for business and so they closed down within months!

Why? Because they never did their homework. They didn’t perform any surveys to find out who they wanted to target specifically. The location they chose was also terrible. Instead, they went through with an idea without a plan B and relied on assumptions about their business rather than doing their homework.

Don’t be like these businesses. Do your homework, even if you may think your idea is a solid one. Use tools like Google Analytics to figure out who’s searching for your service or products. If you have social media (and we certainly hope you do!), you can examine the insights such as those on Facebook to see who’s the most engaged with your content. If changes need to be made on your website based on these statistics, get them done.

Mistake 4: You Spent Unwisely

By this we mean you’ve spent more money on promotion and advertising, but now you have no budget for marketing OR web design. You should never, ever give up your budget on either of these two. Not having a website in this day and age is without a doubt a kiss of death for any business looking to prosper for many years. Even worse is to have no marketing strategy in place and thus no means of providing good quality content and info to others about your company!

What’s even more costly is to get a website going when you’re on your own and you have no idea what you’re doing. This can lead to all sorts of future mistakes that will cost you in the long run, such as signing up for Yellow Pages or DIY web development without proper training.

So, what do you think? Have you found after reading this that you’ve made one of these mistakes? This is all just the tip of the iceberg of what not to do with your website and business. Should you come to realize you have made one of these mistakes, reach out to us at V3 Media. Helping others with their website and business is just one of many, many services we offer.