The internet is looking pretty nice these days.
Website best practices continue to evolve toward a high standard of functionality, intuitive design, and a sharp focus on the user experience.
Yet once in a while, you’ll still come across one: The site so ugly that you want to avert your eyes. The site where the navigation is so terrible that you feel like yelling for help. The site where you to promise yourself: “Never coming back.” Anyone who tells you that your website can’t affect your business — positively or negatively — is wrong.
So here's what not to do. If you hear a so-called “website expert” telling you otherwise, run for it.
1) DON'T ignore web metrics.
Especially if you’re building a new site. Not only should you know how your site is performing — you should be able to set informed and realistic goals for the future.
2) DON'T build your site just to make prospects curious enough to call you for more information.
Save the mysteries for Law & Order: SVU. Buyers don’t want to be left curious, they want answers and information from your site — before they put you on their shortlist or pick up the phone.
3) DON'T design your site to appeal only to you.
You may be paying for it, but your website isn’t really for you. It’s for your prospects and customers to understand the full value and quality of your company (don’t worry, you’ll still see the benefits). Build content and design based on the personas and experience of your target audience.
4) DON'T believe the hype that SEO is dead.
In short: it’s not. In-depth: it’s not the last word in getting discovered anymore, but you still can’t ignore it. Build a site with useful information about your products and robust content that visitors will find valuable. The bonus? What’s good for SEO is good for your users as well, so whether buyers discover your site from a search or from sourcing on ThomasNet.com, they’re welcomed with an optimized, high-quality web presence.
5) DON'T forget about Calls-to-Action.
One of the classic web design guides is called Don’t Make Me Think, and even 15 years later, that principle still applies. Track down the book if you’d like, but the best advice is right there in the title. Make it crystal clear what you want your site visitors to do — fill out an RFQ, email you, download an infographic or white paper — make it clear what the benefit to them is, and make those calls to action readily available and highly visible on your site.
Now that you know what not to do, let's talk.
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