Launching a new website is an exciting company initiative that brings with it a lot of tough decisions. If it’s the first time your business is officially presenting itself to the world, you know how important it is to establish your brand and make an impactful first impression. While some people focus on the aesthetics of a new website, many common website design mistakes happen in the structure or backend of a website. To ensure your website gets traffic and is in the best position to help grow your business, avoid the following website pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Not Using HTML 5
At its core, Search Engine Optimization or SEO, is about helping search engines like Google and Bing recognize that your website’s pages meet the needs of the searcher. Search engines should be able to crawl the information from your website as easily as possible and HTML 5 makes that happen. HTML 5 tags break up headers, main content, menus and link sections, and alerts the bots to the content’s level of importance. Leveraging the power of HTML 5 should be discussed with a web developer before starting the project since it will be the website’s foundation.
Mistake #2: Choosing a Complicated or Unscalable CMS
You’re committed to growing your company and your website should grow with it. While planning your website, make a list of functions and features it should have, then make another list of the features and functions it should have in the future. It’s okay if you don’t have the time or budget to tackle your future wish list until a few months or years down the line but checking if the current website will be able to encompass those future needs protects you from a potential migration later.
As crucial as it is to have a scalable CMS, your choice should also be user friendly and allow team members to easily make website changes, like adding pages, posting blogs and adding new website copy, without needing a web developer. Integrating a complicated CMS causes frustration and productivity loss for your team responsible for any future updates.
Mistake #3: Forgoing an SSL Certificate
You can tell a website has an SSL certificate because the URL will start with HTTPS instead of HTTP, and a little lock symbol will appear next to the URL bar. Not only do these changes assure users the website is secure, it also tells search engines the website is secure. That’s important because search engines like Google favor website that have the SSL certificate over unsecure websites. If your website does not have an SSL certificate, be sure to buy one. Certificates can be free or cost upwards of $250 a year, so it’s best to contact your website’s hosting service to learn more about integrating and buying SSL certificates.
Mistake #4: Forgetting Branded Content
For many businesses, it can feel impossible to find the time to develop branded content that will live on your new website. Branded content such as podcasts, blog posts, data sheets and whitepapers serve to inform potential clients and grow their trust towards your company. Useful, engaging content for potential and current customers will keep them returning to your website and keep your business top of mind.
A website that uses HTML 5, has a user-friendly CMS that is built to scale, is SSL certified and features branded content will be a key asset for helping your startup bloom.
Bayshore Solutions is your digital growth partner. Contact Bayshore Solutions today to discuss how we can help grow your business through expert Web design.