Most businesses, even solo-preneur’s have taken the time and invested in a website. Any small business that wants to be noticed stake their claim on a domain name and put up a site. It is more or less how business is done these days. The vast majority of business feels adescribe the image certain obligation to have an online presence. A web site after all, is a corporate brochure at a minimum. The simple fact is that nearly 80% of product or service research is now performed online. Those with marketing awareness generally use the corporate site to produce leads for the business entity.

The sad truth is however, that quite a lot of small to medium sized businesses lack the critical eye of the marketer; that is, they are unaware of the true potential a website possesses.

These seem to be the most frequent of website mistakes.

" Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design which makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes. Content, design and performance are necessary across all devices to ensure usability and satisfaction. "

— Wikipedia

Website is static and “us too” in style.

While many company sites are full of all sorts of information, they look and feel like their competitors. Similar graphics, loads of “buy me” statements, and all sorts of features and benefits about company products or services. Without specific calls to action, optimized content and search engine tweaking, a static site is nothing more than a billboard in the desert, akin only to a sale sign in the middle of the Atlantic. Unless someone accidently comes across it, the site will never be discovered. You need to be very specific how you are different than all of your competitors, and what you so special. You have to stand out from the crowd and assert your differentiation, rather than be Just Like Mike.

Photos are generic in nature.

No one really cares what your widget looks like. What people are interested in are images that evoke emotion, and you want to provide stories about successes your customers have achieved, with photos to match. Emotion is, after all, why people buy things, well ahead of the statistics, data and blah, blah, blah that typical sites convey. People relate to people, not company widgets. They also like to trust what is being told to them, and nothing builds trust than emotional success stories. Telling a story in pictures or video is the best use of web page space. Doing so will capture the attention of visitors much better than your “new and improved” widget.

The marketing message is garbled (or unavailable).

You only have a few seconds to hook a visitor. Those few seconds will make or break your company, so the message must be clear and convey your marketing message without distraction. The fewer words the better, or so say the experts. The Weibull Hazard Function (in this case) is a measurement of how long people stay on a web page, and you need every second to make an impact. If your message is unclear, you will certainly lose in the war for customers.

Lacks content sharing.

Beyond the ability to share content by way of email, social media or otherwise, there is a real need to provide content to your visitors. That is, if you ever wish to develop a relationship based on trust. The ability for visitors to “take away” a piece of valuable information is the path to relationships with your visitors. CTA’s, or what is known to the public as a Call to Action is nothing more than the ability to gather names and email addresses in exchange for the visitor’s action to share their information for yours. In exchange for your eBook, special report or guide, the visitor is saying, “sure, your information is worth the price of privacy to me.” They have taken the first step toward treating you as a trusted advisor, and allowing you to email them with other informative content.

Having the ability to share with their social media friends and associates is a super way to get your message to a broader audience, yet, to my dismay, many businesses still don’t get the value of social media sharing. Having the ability to share your valuable website to others cost nothing, and can yield great results.

How does your website stack up against your competition? Do you suffer from any of these website mistakes?