Are you thinking of hiring the development of a web page? We list some of the most frequent mistakes that you should not make.
Table of contents
1. Not understanding that, as a general rule, you don’t need “a website” but to sell online
When we look for someone to develop a website for us, we must always keep in mind that the website is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve something, which in the vast majority of cases is attracting new potential customers . It is true that there are those who want to use it as a business card for people who already know them, but in general, those who want a website aspires to increase their turnover by making themselves known among users who are looking for services or products such as those it offers.
For this reason, if we contact a development agency and they are not interested in the way in which we are going to attract visitors who, if possible, are potential clients, we must be careful, because they will probably not conceive it within an attraction strategy of subsequent traffic, and then we will make the expense for nothing, and the modifications that will have to be made later can cost us a peak. Therefore, if a developer is limited to asking us for the content for the web and giving them a beautiful design, he does not care about your business.
The requirements that a website must meet are basically related to how useful we are to potential clients and the trust we generate in them. A website gives us confidence when it has all the information we are looking for at a single click, without changing the page to find something or “explore” hidden paths or wait for an animation or video to finish, and give us this information in abundance and form. visually appealing.
For this reason, a website must respond to the usability patterns set by pioneering companies in the market, that is:
- With a menu at the top that allows you to reach with a single click to any information we need (who is the company, where it is, how to contact it, what services it offers, etc.). Along these lines, we must consider rejecting menus that are not visible at first sight and we must click on an icon to display them, since this adds a click to the ideal itinerary between landing on our page and the conversion, that is, what we want that the client does on our website (request information or buy).
- With good readability (preferably with a white background and dark font, sufficient margins and line spacing, differentiated horizontal sections, etc.)
- With the minimal mobile elements that despite being aesthetically attractive are detrimental to the indexing of Google, and therefore the positioning, and slow down the page, making it difficult for the user to reach what interests us, which is to buy or request information. In addition, many of these elements make sense in computers, which have a larger screen and allow better visualization of all these elements (carousels of moving images, images that are shaded when we hover over the cursor, elements that appear or disappear when we scroll the screen down and up, etc.), while on mobiles, which is where most visits are made, they have no reason to exist, because there is no cursor that moves. This is a sticking point, because many companies prioritize aesthetics over a good user experience, but they generally end up regretting it.
- With a careful selection of images , preferably made by a professional (they are made on purpose for the company or selected from a stock of images). It must be taken into account that the most attractive websites on the market seem so to us, more than 80%, due to the quality and suitability of the images.
- Some texts (information) unpublished, relevant and useful, that provide enough information about what we offer. This will not only predispose them to contact us or buy online, but it will also facilitate the task of converting them into customers, because they will come to us with part of the lesson learned.
For all this, a website does not have to be original or different in terms of structure, as a store will not sell more because it has facilities with a strange shape, or walls painted in a different color. A website has to be useful, offering good content, presented in an attractive and user-friendly way, that is, what in a store would be to have a good genre, presented in an attractive way and at hand to be able to look at, touch or smell it .
2. Not having previously designed an online growth strategy
There are people who think they have to have a website. By noses. And that is why many times they make the mistake of investing in a website, even if it is cheap, which will be of absolutely no use to them if it is not part of a defined strategy: they will have wasted money and often time.
Imagine you have a small neighborhood restaurant that is always packed with people. Do you need a website? Probably not, because you are not going to get any return from it. Controlling what is said about your place on Tripadvisor and in Google reviews and, if you see it necessary, responding to them, will be more than enough.
On the other hand, if you want to be found in Google and they can get to know your restaurant, then it will be useful to have a page. But not just any one, with any template you can find for this type of business. It has to be tailored to what you want to be done on the web. For example, if you want to be able to make reservations, you’ll need to have a good system to do, and spend time in managing them every day. If you want them to know your daily menu before going, you will have to enable a way to do it easily, and dedicate time to it. And in any case, you must periodically dedicate resources to maintain positioning in Google and in advertising.
In any case, you assume that A web (especially if it’s an online store) will probably change the production system of your company. It can cause:
- A staff reorganization (for example, allocating more staff to order management , to update the web, to answer calls or emails, etc.)
- A change in pricing policy (for example, if the cost of advertising and positioning it is too high in relation to the benefit you get from each product or service, you may have to raise prices)
- A rethinking of the products or services for sale (if you have to sell a product too to amortize the expensive advertising and price positioning and to obtain benefits, and does not sell that product or service may not be suitable for sale online)
- A reallocation of resources (keep in mind that, in a business, a third of the resources invested are usually in promotion, and this promotion usually revolves mostly around the web)
In short, a website is the starting point of an online strategy , not the other way around. And you have to have that clear strategy (what we want to achieve with the web) to define the development, or when trying to make it profitable we can get unpleasant surprises.
Let’s imagine, for example, that we are a beauty center, in which we have differentiated two similar services on two different pages on the web: eyelash extensions and maintenance of eyelash extensions. Given that a user, whatever the service of the two that he wants, will surely search only “eyelash extensions”, if we want to do a paid advertising campaign on Google, to which of the two pages within the web will he direct the ad? Wouldn’t it be more logical for both to be grouped on a single page that allows us to choose which of the two options suits us best, and direct the ad to that page? Otherwise, we are discarding one of the two user profiles in advance, or we will be forced to direct the ad to the home page, forcing the user to make an itinerary around the web that can make them regret and pay the click for nothing. The way the web is conceived, therefore, determines the profitability of our internet business.
3. Not having a previous positioning study (SEO)
Although it could be included in the previous section, it is worth dedicating a separate explanation. Many people think that the first thing is to have a website and then position it in Google. And this doesn’t make any sense. Or would it make sense to rent a place to set up a candy store regardless of whether there is a school nearby or whether or not there are children in the neighborhood? Would it be logical to open a sports store next to another, without having thought about how to differentiate ourselves or if it will be profitable for us?
A good positioning strategy can cost us about 700 euros to start, but it is totally essential if we want to make the web profitable as soon as possible, and it requires training and a sense of marketing, and hours of work, hence its price. It is a study of the sector and of the competition on the internet (for example, if they sell similar products, what are their websites like – do they have a simple purchasing process? What image line do they have? Is there anything that can be improved? What keywords do they use? Can these words help us? -).
This study determines the keywords descriptive of the products or services that we want to sell people search on Google. It is these words that will determine the structure of the web (how many interior pages it will have according to the most important ones) and the contents. metrics are important such as the number of searches, level of competition, evolution over time (if it is downward, it may be a sector in decline).
Following the example of the aesthetic center, if both “nails barcelona” and “manicure barcelona” have interesting searches on Google, it may be convenient to make the home page translate to one of the two, and an inner page that describes the in-depth service that the other uses, and thus, without choosing one or the other, we have twice the chance of attracting customers.
As with the global strategy, the SEO or positioning strategy can determine which products we should prioritize, their price, how we should present them in web development to differentiate ourselves from the competition, etc.
Let’s imagine that we want to sell sunglasses online. A positioning strategy will determine that all related keywords have very high competition, and that our main competitors in the top positions of Google include titans like Amazon. Can we compete in investment with these large companies, not only in Google but also in social networks? Probably not. That is why we will probably have to reach our target audience in other ways, such as informative posts on the subject on a blog.
Sometimes it happens that there are those who think that by intuiting how a product or service is searched on Google, they know what are the keywords to implement on their website. But do you know the competition they have to conclude what chances you have of getting to the first page and attracting the most traffic possible to the web? Do you know the evolution of these searches over time, so that you can know the path that your product or service has in the medium term? Have you studied your competitors’ websites in depth to determine if there are any words that you have missed?
4. Think that predesigned templates are a good option for our business
If we are clear about the previous online strategy and our positioning needs, we will realize that these should determine web development, and not the other way around. That is why the pre-designed templates that can be purchased for 50 euros on download pages are not adequate: because they cause us to have to subordinate our online objectives to what these templates offer, and not the other way around.
Even templates more customizable have functions that will not coincide with what we need, or lack others that would be useful to us and will cause us to have to add additional plugins to combine all the solutions that we require. All this, both the functions that we do not need and the plugins that we are forced to install, will reload the page making it slower, damaging the user experience, which is crucial in the purchase rate or sending information requests and also in the positioning (which in turn also affects the traffic to the page and therefore its profitability).
In addition, the predesigned templates, although they are adapted to each company, have a limited life as long as the designer who made them in the first instance wants to keep them updated. The moment you decide not to dedicate more efforts to make this issue compatible with all the updates that arise, our website will be obsolete, and it may even begin to show errors or become unusable.
The best long-term strategy is to design a custom theme from scratch for each business, so as not to make large outlays in updates and modifications of a template made by third parties. Do not forget that no template is the same as another and each designer codes in their own way, so you have to budget for the study of its operation in addition to the development work.
5. Think that any content is appropriate for our website
The Internet is full of attractive websites, since today a beautiful design is available to anyone. As we have said, for € 50 we can choose between infinite templates on specialized websites and use them (erroneously at our discretion) for our online business. This proliferation has made us take it for granted that a website must comply with minimum aesthetic and usability canons in accordance with the websites that we visit with a certain frequency and have as a reference.
A website, therefore, will not differ from the competition by being more beautiful, but by offering the information that the user is looking for . And that is why Google, which increasingly works like human criteria, prioritizes websites with good content even over aesthetically very attractive websites but whose content is insufficient or lacking in interest.
We must understand that users come to us looking for information about our products or services, and we must try to give it to them clearly, quickly and profusely. That is why it is increasingly common for well-understood websites to dispense with purely aesthetic elements that only reload the web, slowing it down, and making it difficult to obtain the information we are looking for, such as elements that slide or appear.
good web content , written by online communication professionals, is therefore essential. It is not enough to have the texts written, but you have to conceptualize them correctly: knowing, for example, if an idea has to be transmitted with an image next to a text, with a background image and an overprinted text, with a box, with a list of points, etc.
The images are essential to build trust, since it is the first thing we look at even before we start reading the content. If an image does not give us a good feeling, it predisposes us to the web in a negative way. That is why the images must be professional, whether they are made by a photographer on purpose for the project, or they come from a stock image bank.
In addition, it is increasingly necessary to illustrate a website with self-produced videos or with gamification elements such as customizers, which increase the time that users stay on the page and, therefore , indicate to Google that the web is interesting.
It is the contents that provide a website with its added value and those that affect the rate of purchase or request for information about products and services, as well as the metrics that Google evaluates to evaluate the quality of the site and assign it a position in its ranking, something essential to attract more traffic and more customers. This means that they are directly correlated with the turnover of the company through the web, and hence they can cost the same as the same web design.
6. Not understanding that the greater the online competition, the greater the investment the web requires
Let’s imagine that a pet store wants to start selling online. There are several very powerful stores, with a very wide range of products, the success of which depends exclusively on their website, so they have made a very high investment in it, at the height of what many businesses make in a physical store until they have it ready, and make a regular investment in advertising and positioning , as well as in hours dedicated to managing the page (managing orders, answering emails, uploading or downloading products, changing prices, etc.)
This means that, in order to compete with them, either we must make a very high investment or we have to opt for some hack (if there is one), that is, a shortcut, a trick to get to the same place, after a careful case study. A hack could be specialization, setting ourselves up as experts in some type of product rather than being a supermarket of products, or finding an interesting market in another language. In addition, we must continue to invest periodically in promotion and visibility of the web, so that the competition does not overtake us.
This happens with most businesses, since no matter how successful the initial strategy is, the competition is not going to sit idly by. The investment in advertising and positioning of the web must be constant and in a proportion proportional to the weight it has in the company’s turnover.
A company that aspires to increase its turnover thanks to the web (whether it offers online sales or offers products and services for users to request information) must periodically invest in its visibility, which can be through positioning on Google (with the generation and dissemination of periodic content) and / or through advertising on Google and / or social networks. Otherwise, the competition may outpace you and the website will not do its job.
7. Consider that an expensive website will better meet our objectives or that a cheap website is ideal to start
It may seem obvious, because it happens when it comes to hiring practically anything, but it is worth noting that most of the time cheap is expensive, and expensive is not always what we need.
A website can cost a lot of money because, for example, many hours are invested in carrying out design functions that, far from attracting user traffic and converting them into customers, can achieve the opposite. This is what happens with an excess of effects, such as color changes, elements that appear or slide, etc. A large part of this effort is also focused on the version for computers, which is the one that allows greater visual brilliance, when in reality more than 70% of users will view the web on mobile devices , and therefore to a single column. And in the same way that it is not optimal to invest a fortune in fixing a part of our physical store that will see 40% of visitors or less, it is not optimal to pay a fortune for a development with design functions that in mobile phones will not make a lot of sense.
On the contrary, there are those who think that a cheap website is enough to start with their project. But in reality, there is no worse way to start an online business than to do it with a website that is not going to help you generate a single customer. You will throw away the money, even if it is not a great fortune, and you will probably need to spend it again on another that does generate a return.
The ideal thing to start an online business is to be clear about our objectives, and to achieve them gradually . It may not be necessary to start with a website in three languages, or offer 10 services. You can start with a website into a language, which offers some services that determine a positioning strategy (and therefore we know that they are going to attract customers), and stimulate it through advertising to amortize it as soon as possible and scale it with the time.
This will not cost less than 1,000 euros, you have to be clear about it. A website with a design tailored to our content, in a well-developed language according to a positioning strategy, with a front page, three service sections and a contact section, will cost us around 1,500 euros.