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Eight Simple Mistakes New Website Owners Make

Estimates from Mill for Business suggest that there are 380 new websites launched every minute globally. Today, starting a website is easier than ever; within just a few minutes, you can get your website up and running. There are drag-and-drop website builders and free, customizable themes galore. 

new website development

However, even with new tools and platforms designed to streamline the website creation process, new website owners are bound to make a few mistakes along the way—some more detrimental than others. Here are seven simple mistakes you new website owners should watch out for: 


Not Taking Advantage of Hosting Support

The company you purchased hosting with is much more than your hosting provider; they’re also there to provide you with assistance for hosting and website-related questions. If you’re confused about why a certain plugin isn’t working for you, for example, reach out to the technical support team at your host provider. They look into your website to search for the issue and offer a solution.


Choosing the Wrong Domain Name

Your domain name is the key to your digital identity and it’s something you should put plenty of thought and research into. Your domain name should be short, easy to remember, use letters only (in most cases) and accentuate your brand. If you find a great domain name that’s taken, consider working with a domain broker via a service like Saw.com; these brokers are trained to negotiate on your behalf and help you purchase a domain that’s right for you at a good price. 


Ignoring SEO

You want your website to be discovered by individuals searching for content, products, or service like yours. This is why search engine optimization is so important. Conduct keyword research and create an Excel sheet of the terms you’d like to rank for. Reference this sheet again and again as you create titles, content, alt tags, and metadata. If you use a platform like Wordpress or Shopify, take advantage of SEO plugins and apps that you can easily incorporate into your website. 


Lacking White Space

White space is an integral part of website design. It creates balance and harmony within a page and prevents you from content dumping or creating too much clutter and color. If you want to present a clear message, you need a layout that emphasizes clean presentation. White space doesn’t need to necessarily white—also referred to as negative space, the term actually represents the space within elements on the page, and as such, can be any color of your choosing (though white is usually the de facto approach). 

Experienced designers should be able to advise you on the proper use of white space on your website. Check out the Top 5 Web Design Agencies in the World in this article, and find one that suits your needs.


Content Blocks

If your content is put together in lengthy blocks, you’ll have difficulty capturing readers. All your content—across every page—needs to be easily digestible. There are simple ways to ensure you always avoid content blocks. First and foremost, know that there are always ways to pare down even the most complex of content blocks. Simplify the most important bits in a few sentences, and invite your readers to explore further with a “read more” option. Headers, subheaders, and bullet points are also great ways to break up your content. 


Confusing Navigation

Your website navigation serves as a roadmap for your entire website. As a general rule of them, your visitors should never have to make more than three clicks to find the information they need. If your visitor can easily maneuver around your website, they’re less likely to move onto the next best thing. Moreover, good navigation helps search engine bots index your website and crawl your pages with ease. 

Some standard navigation tips include linking your logo to the homepage, using common language (i.e., Blog versus News when you’re talking about blog posts), and organizing your most important pages/sections from most important to least important (left to right or top to bottom). 


No Lead Capture Pages or Form

As it sounds, lead capture refers to the techniques you use to capture leads. Any time someone visits your website, you hope that they’ll visit again. But the fact is, most visitors will need a reminder—a gentle push—to encourage them to return. Typically, this is where your email marketing comes in. And the foundation of any email marketing strategy depends on your ability to capture email addresses. Therefore, there should be several sections of your website dedicated to lead captures and effective call-to-actions. 


Not Using Analytics

One of the most important aspects of building a website is the ability to understand whether what you’re doing is working. If you don’t use analytics to track behavior and visitor data, you’ll never fully gauge whether your current tactics are engaging enough for visitors or what you should do to improve moving forward. Metrics such as traffic, engagement, referral source, and location can all make a major difference in the longevity of your website. 

For example, you might notice that certain blog posts get much more traffic than others. From here, you could emulate the type of contain that’s attracting your audience. Or perhaps you’ll notice that most of your traffic comes from a link in your Instagram bio; from there, perhaps you’d want to focus on creating a more integrated experience between your website and Instagram page. 

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