Business Website Don'ts
The first time you try to build a website there are LOTS of places to get advice from. There is lots of good advice and there might be even more bad advice. Building a website isn’t easy but it’s not rocket science either. The best advice I’ve received is just to keep it simple and don’t over think it.
There are a few other basics that you learn as you go but here are a few pieces of advice that are good to start with.
Writing for search engines instead of people
Online content that’s clearly aimed at search engines, not at customers, is hugely off-putting. It’s also counter-productive: SEO isn’t about keyword-stuffing any more (and hasn’t been for close to a decade).
If you have text on your site that reads anything like this …
Our coffee mugs come in several sizes; we have small coffee mugs, medium coffee mugs and large coffee mugs. If you’re looking for a special coffee mug, we’re sure to have a coffee mug to suit you.
… then customers are going to notice, and head elsewhere. Plus, Google and other search engines may well penalize you for it.
Get smart, learn how to create compelling content that ranks well in search engines and works for human readers.
Wildly exaggerating the benefits of your product
Have you ever come across a sales page that went a bit too far? Maybe it promised that you could earn thousands of dollars surfing the web for an hour a day, or claimed that a revolutionary new diet could add decades to your life.
While some customers may be a little naive, you should never take advantage of that fact. Ever.
And, even if people do go ahead and buy, they’ll probably be disappointed to find that what they’ve bought doesn’t live up to the expectations you created. If you’ve ever seen a pretty good movie that’s been ridiculously over-hyped, you’ll know what a disappointment that can be.
Not delivering what you say you will
If an email signup page promises a twice-monthly newsletter, that’s what your potential customer will expect to receive, and that’s exactly what you should deliver.
When they sign up, hoping for a few handy tips, they won’t be pleased if they find they’ve let themselves in for near-daily sales pitches, with an occasional scrap of useful content.
If they can’t trust you to deliver on a small promise like this, they won’t trust you on anything else. They’ll unsubscribe — and they won’t be back.
Email marketing is the most powerful tool that content producers can use. Don’t abuse it.