Your website will give your customers their first impression of your company. That being said, poorly constructed and developed webpages, spelling and grammar errors, and so-so content can result in your potential new customers going elsewhere to spend their money. The general feeling is that if you couldn’t take the time to do this correctly, the chances are that your service or product will also be less-than-stellar. Attention to the following details can help ensure your new website gains you the positive attention that you are looking for to successfully promote your business.
- Make sure all hyperlinks work. If you are using a hyperlink to pull your customers to a specific product or service and the link provided does not work, chances are your customer is going to get frustrated and leave your website.
- Check your spelling. Misspelled words give the impression that you are uneducated and therefore unprofessional. Do not rely on spellcheckers within programs to pick up every error. If the word you’ve misspelled is actually a word, spellcheckers will not pick them up. The same applies to wrong word choices like too, to, and two. Most spellchecks will not highlight these wrong choices unless your program has a really great grammar checker.
- Check your grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph formation. If these are not your strong points, spend a few dollars and hire someone to proofread and edit the pages for you. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than struggling to read a product or service description. No matter how great your business is, this will generally result in your customers bringing their money elsewhere.
- Graphics and images. People are drawn to eye-catching graphics and images. Make sure you are legally able to use the graphic or images you have selected. You do not want to be charged with copyright infringement, after all.
- Permissions and citations. In order to prevent lawsuits, gain permission for any graphics, images, videos, music, or fonts which will appear on your website. When you have been granted permission, be sure to indicate the original source through citations. If you are unsure how to do this, consult with a professional or do a little research online.
- Design aspects. Before you go live, make sure that all the design aspects you have chosen work on the most commonly used web browsers. Make sure video or music content opens and plays with the most frequently used software, and that any PDFs or eBooks open successfully with their intended programs.
- Make sure everything works. Take the time to ensure all HTML, links, media content, images, shopping cart, contact page, landing page, and content pages load in supported browsers correctly. You can spend all the time you like designing your page. If customers arrive and all that get are broken link messages and non-functioning items, they’ll not be sticking around long enough to purchase anything. If your page includes forms, feeds, external or internal links, pop-ups, thank you messages, third-party tools, load times, and redirect pages, make sure they actually function as you intended them to.
- Optimization and keywords. Ensure everything has been optimized for efficient use and SEO (search engine optimization). Keep all titles, including their keywords, less than 70 characters. Make sure keywords appear within the actual page content. Make sure metadata is in place and functioning for RSS feeds and social media sharing, XML sitemap has been created and submitted to search engines, and redirects are properly in place and ready to go.
- Track everything. If you will be tracking data for any purpose, make sure the codes have been correctly added to the relevant pages. Make sure anything you want excluded has actually been excluded, and check to be sure any programs, software, or services like Google Analytics have been correctly set up and synced.
- Back up! Losing all your data can be very costly. Schedule a routine back up and monitoring process to ensure that your data is properly backed up and easily retrievable in case the worst happens and everything disappears. Don’t forget to include back up of customer information and data.
- Legal compliance. Before you go live, make sure your website meets all legislated legal requirements. Consult with a professional. There are various legal requirements for storage and security of customer information, payment, accessibility, terms, and policies. This is one area you should definitely not skimp on. Unless you have hired a professional web developer who takes legal responsibility for this area, consult a legal professional to protect yourself and your customers.
- Site speed. We all know how irritating it is to click or type a link to a website we are interested in only to have it load as slow as the original dial up internet or worse. Make sure your site speed is where it needs to be, otherwise customers will get fed up of waiting for the page to load and move along before they have a chance to even see what you have to offer. Make sure returning visitors are able to avoid downloading the entire website again through the use of caching.
- Font choices. Make sure that the fonts you have chosen do not end up incompatible with most web browsers. You want your visitors to be able to read what you’ve written, not require a codex to decipher the riddle created by incompatible fonts which end up looking like random illegible symbols.
- Stress test. You’ve got a fabulous product or service to offer. Your goal is to have people flocking to your website to learn about your business and what it has to offer. Be sure your website can handle bursts of traffic and high traffic to avoid everyone getting errors that the page is too busy which keep them from what you have to offer.
- Go the extra mile. Make sure that if you are using things like Java or Flash that your webpage instructs customers on how to correct the errors they will see if they arrive to your site without these items installed. While it may not be your job to upgrade users’ computer skills you want them to be able to see what you have. Include helpful tips or links that tell page viewers how to get or update these features to properly view your page.
- Access your webpage from several different devices, monitors and computers. What looks perfectly legible on your own computer screen may be impossible to read on someone else’s, may have all those great images skewed or in the wrong places, and may not display your graphics properly.
- Professional help. Finally, if you are having difficulty with these, or any other aspect of your website setup, consult a professional. Time wasted is money lost. It is sometimes necessary to spend money to earn money. Be sure to keep any receipts for purchases or services related to your webpage creation and setup, they may be tax deductible business expenses.
Your website launch is just the beginning. You should never stop taking visitor feedback, A/B Testing and other’s view about your website.
AGS Team is here to help as well. Just fill the contact form and we’d get right back to you with a free no-obligation quote to help you succeed.