Mistakes Businesses Make When Setting Up a Website

Mistakes Businesses Make When Setting Up a Website - Macaulay Gidado

Okay, I’m not going to drone about the usual stuff you are likely to find online when you Google this topic. You know, points like “failing to customize your theme”, “forgetting to make your business site responsive”, “not implementing a good SEO strategy”, “poor navigation”, “using too many pop-ups”, blah, blah, blah…

I’m not trying to demean the validity of these points. It’s just that the Internet is riddled with them, and I have no intentions of adding to the clutter. So instead, I will take you on a journey through the various mistakes many of our clients (typically small and medium businesses) make prior to approaching Macaulay Gidado to build their web presence.

In fact, when you mind the mistakes I’m going to elaborate on below, you automatically avoid many generic pitfalls like the ones mentioned above.

No business is an island

No Business is an Island

Yes, a bit of a cliche. A bad one at that. But some of our clients, like many other businesses out there, started out thinking they can go it alone. Trust me, even if you were a genius entrepreneur highly skilled in copywriting, web design, and web development, going it alone is still a bad idea.

Why? Because you need objectivity. Subjectivity would only produce a website that appeals to you mostly. You need input from people less emotionally attached to your business. People that can give you the hard truth.

You’ve got to ask yourself. Why does my business need a website? It goes without saying, but you most certainly are trying to reach a certain demographic. Should your business website then be built to appeal to you or that demographic?

Let me know your answer to that in the comment area.

Shop for value, not trinkets

Shop for Value Not Trinkets

Many of our clients were comfortably knee deep in this pitfall. One would think that coming to us meant they had figured out why their cheap-looking websites weren’t delivering the desired results. But no, most of them came with the same pathetic budget that funded the mess they were in. It was like doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a better result each time.

God, I want to scream. These things drive me crazy.

Okay, let’s face it. When you see a cheap website versus one built with value in mind, you just know it. There’s no debating that. Not saying you should throw all your money at copywriters, designers, and developers—um, hello 🙋, please throw your money at me. It all depends on what you want to achieve with your business website and whether your resources can accommodate that goal. In other words, go for cost-effective.

Yes, there’s a big difference between “cheap” and “cost-effective”. The latter has value written all over it. And that’s my recommendation. That and the saying, “When you want to do something, do it well.”

Vision & strategy need each other

Vision Strategy Need Each Other

When building a website for your business, vision and strategy should be at the core of everything. They address the questions: “What do I want to achieve with this business website?” and “How is this website going to help me achieve those goals?”

These two questions, if addressed properly, will determine what goes into the copy, design, and development of your business website. Unfortunately, a good fraction of our clients came with half-baked goals. Well, fortunately for them, we like to be thorough at Macaulay Gidado. So we typically start by getting them to ruminate on their visions. Then we work with them to develop a working strategy.

I have to say, there’s a great satisfaction that accompanies knowing we have helped a client solve a dire problem. Here are more stuff to consider when setting up your website.

Being responsive goes a long way

Being Responsive Goes a Long Way

Not referring to making your business website responsive, but that’s also highly important. So what the hell? What a turn of phrase.

Anyway, I’m talking about being responsive as a client. Imagine how frustrating viewing a mobile unresponsive website on your smartphone can be. That’s how working with an unresponsive client feels. Makes me want to pull hair out. It basically cripples the progress of the project. If this passage inspires you to become a responsive client going for a responsive website, then good job to me. Now, time to go congratulate myself with a cup of Malagasy coffee.

Still here 🙋. Will get the coffee when I finally visit Madagascar.

So my fellow businesspeople. When you hire a professional—me, of course—to build your company website, remember that talking about your business is a good thing for the project. Every business is unique. While there are similar businesses online from where the professional can source info and inspiration, the last thing you want is for your website to turn out just generic or worse, a replica. Certainly you want the content, design, and other features to zero in on pertinent aspects of your business you want to convey to your audience.

The bottom line is: you want to hire me to build your website? You must be ready to make out time to discuss, really discuss, your business.

Don’t leave your assets behind

Dont Leave Your Assets Behind

At Macaulay Gidado, we have what we call a handover document. Basically, this is a comprehensive documentation of all tasks completed under a particular project, all login details, and a linked DropBox folder containing all files and data generated throughout the project development process. As soon as the client has approved the completed project, we close the contract by passing the handover document to them.

The unfortunate truth is that the majority of clients we have worked with in the past didn’t ask, much less expect, a handover document. They typically imagined that all they needed was the finished product–that is, the link to their website, thus forgetting that:

  • They would need to take control of their hosting, domain, and other accounts, change the login details, and update their payment details so that their subscriptions can renew automatically.
  • By leaving their assets behind, they are leaving themselves open to extortion. This is how some developers hold people’s websites hostage.
  • They need access to the raw assets that make up their branding identity.

The list goes on and on, and it’s pathetic. Please, if you are a business, never leave your assets behind, no matter what the project might be.

Phew! I think I’m done emptying myself. Now let’s hope that someone listened. Please do let me know what you think in the comment area. Would greatly appreciate your feedback.

Thanks a lot.

This article also appeared on Macaulay Gidado Medium publication.

Nine Ways to Boost Your Company Website’s Credibility

Nine-Ways-to-Boost-Your-Company-Websites-Credibility - Macaulay Gidado

Trust will always play an important role in the purchase decisions of consumers. The questions are: How reliable are you? Do your prospective customers trust you? What does you track record say about you? And ultimately, does your website engender trust in your leads?

When consumers don’t trust you, good luck selling your product, and it doesn’t matter if the product offered on your site exudes quality. Here is a good example of lack of trust in business.

You are an avid computer user on your morning jogging routine. Then a stranger stops you and offers you a brand new laptop for £50 but only if you can pay immediately. Assuming you inspect the laptop and it’s good, and you also have the money on you, would you buy it?

The truth is that most people wouldn’t buy it, and that’s where trust comes in. This instance is a close depiction of what online store owners do. They set up products for sale and expect consumers to part with their hard-earned cash when these consumers don’t really know anything about who is selling the products.

This is why people would rather buy from big ecommerce sites like Amazon rather than from a small or new e-store.

According to the sales expert, Zig Ziglar, “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

In business, you might not be able to do much concerning the first three. But as you can incite desire for your product, you can also build trust. Do this on your website by using these simple trust elements.

1. Let Consumers Know There’s a Genuine Person or Outfit Behind Your Site

This is among the simplest ways to build trust, and there are four main ways you can achieve this:

  • List your physical business address on your website.
  • Display at least two photos of your office. If the photos offer different views of the same place, then better.
  • List your membership with a governing organisation in your field. For instance, a membership with the chamber of commerce.
  • Depending on the product or service you offer, you can also display a picture of you and, perhaps, those of top members of your establishment.

2. Make It Easy for Consumers to Confirm the Information on Your Website

You can do this by reinforcing the information on your site using testimonials, citations, or by linking your source material.

This is why relevant outbound links are an essential part of website content. By linking to credible external articles with authority in your topic, you are basically providing evidence of the correctness of your content.

3. Don’t Hesitate to Emphasize the Expertise in Your Company, Content, and Services/Products

If you have experts in your establishment, by all means show them off alongside their qualifications. If you are connected to a renowned body, make sure that’s also visible on your site. The same goes for if your sponsors are authorities in their field.

However, be mindful not to link to, or display your connection with, disreputable websites or organizations. That would only discredit your website.

4. Can Consumers Easily Contact You?

Some people might like to call in or email to verify whom they are doing business with. Therefore, list your contact information on your site. While some other people may not check in, your phone number, email address, and physical address being on your site enhances your website’s credibility.

5. Ensure that Your Website’s Design Is Professional

They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but the issue is that people will always do that. If your website’s design is the cover of your content, product, or service, then ensure that it looks professional.

This means that the design must complement your purpose, and make sure the typography, images, layout, and other aspects don’t look amateur. Otherwise, your website too will be considered amateur, and trusting it would be like trusting a rascal.

6. Regularly Update the Content of Your Website

Regular updates don’t only suggest that your company is still active, but also provide visitors with more useful content with improved quality. Site visitors will assign more trust to your content when they see this.

7. Is Your Website Easy to Use? Also, Is It Useful?

Usefulness and ease of use will boost the credibility of your website. Why? Because people love simplicity and quality—traits that could imply that your site not only has nothing to hide, but is also beneficial to users.

Always remember that you are in business because of consumers. Don’t make your site and thus product or service difficult to access.

8. Display Promotional Content Judiciously

Adverts, popups, blinking banners, hypes—nobody likes them. In fact, they are spammy. If you can’t entirely avoid ads on your website, show them sparingly and clearly tag them as sponsored content.

9. Watch Out for Errors

Whether it’s a typographical error, a mistaken link, or a misquote, errors will make you appear careless and does not echo credibility at all.

Your website is where your leads funnel and are converted to sales. Why not take care to build trust so that you don’t miss the opportunities that those leads brought with them?