A Question answered on Alignable
The 3 most common mistakes new business owners make, that contribute to website failure are:
- Lack of Competitive Analysis
- Not understanding of how SEO / Google works
- Going cheap on design and hosting
The number one rule when planning a company website is looking at your competitor's websites, both locally and nationally. This can help you in so many ways, give you inspiration, ideas for new product lines, and even new vendors. Want to dive deeper down the rabbit hole? Go to sites like www.ahrefs.com and www.spyfu.com to find out about your competitor's SEO, backlinks (who is linking to their site, so you can try to link from the same places!) and with SpyFu, how much they spend on Google Adwords, what keywords they are paying for and how much their CPC (cost per click) is. This can help you even if you are not using Adwords, as you can use the same keywords with refined city keywords and get to the top for trending keyword terms in your area.
Understanding SEO is the number two issue with new and old business owners. SEO has become more complicated, but the premise is simple: CONTENT IS KING. Simply put, write your content with the same passion you showed when starting your business. Again, look to your top competitors for subject matter, use bullet points and easy to read paragraphs, and for God's sake, hire a real web designer who can write.
Once you optimize your new site, use an online website auditor FREE to show you any errors like broken links, missing ALT tags on images, structured markup checks and much more. You can usually fix the simple issues like a bad menu link, but you should hire a professional like me that really knows what they're doing. I use SEO Suite Website Auditor (Google It), you can use the watered-down version if you don't want to cough up the money for a Pro or Enterprise license.
One last thing on SEO - Get yourself on YEXT, with an emphasis on Google Business Listing. YEXT will submit you to every Directory Google verifies your listing with, and can help with target search engine marketing efforts. You also get a bunch of backlinks from it, to boost your SEO. THIS IS IMPORTANT GUYS. 380+ Directories, including your Yelp, Superpages, Facebook and Google listing, optimized with duplicate suppression. If you move your business address, or plan to, you NEED this service.
Lastly, design and hosting. Most business owners either go with Wix, or get a WordPress site they have no idea how to run. I personally HATE WordPress, although I am an expert in it. I much prefer Joomla for it's ease of use and security, not to mention real apps that have great support. I use a number of base plugins, some of which we wrote, for automated SEO, advanced Editors, Automated Backup with easy restores, and Security systems that detect, report and block repeat offenders. Combined with other Components like real Document Management, E-Commerce that blows 'Woo" away, Directories, Donation Campaign Managers, better themes, the list goes on and on; Joomla beats WordPress all day long in my opinion. Invest the time and money you need to, don't go cheap. I tell my clients all the time, "if you don't take your website seriously, how can you expect Google to?"
Web hosting can range in price from $10.00 to $500 per month, and business owners have no idea what the difference is. For a site that gets 5 hits a day, has no SEO and will never generate money for your business, sure; go with $10.00/mo hosting. But if you have a descent site with proper SEO and get the normal average of 100-200 hits per day, you should think about VPS hosting, and you'll need to protect yourself from hacking attempts, DDoS attacks, and WP-Admin logins every 5 seconds that can rob you of vital bandwidth. We own www.hackerblockerhosting.com, and are now blocking more than 5 million hackers, spammers and bots from our servers. Our clients have faster sites, do not get bombarded with virus uploads, spam and fake logins, and have better ROI from hosting on a secure server. It also helps with SEO, as page speed is BIG part of the equation.
So, a little long winded, but if I just said these 3 top things and left you hanging, you'd be a little upset and think I was just fishing for a new client. You need to at least understand your competition and keep your website safe and fast, or your bounce rates skyrocket while your site gets hacked and your competitors laugh at your lack of knowledge and experience. Seriously check out www.ahrefs.com, you can even enter YOUR website next to top competitors and find out exactly what you need to shoot for. After all, if you don't have a plan, you'll just wallow in mediocrity until you die a slow painful Internet death, like so many do every year.
Give us a call to find out how we can save you from this grisly fate! 617-819-5877