A website is an invaluable tool that companies can use to promote their business, educate customers and expand their market reach. Unfortunately, though, many companies are guilty of making the following mistakes when launching a new site.
#1) Not Identifying Goals
Companies must clearly define their goals prior to launching a new website. These goals should be realistic and aligned with the company’s long-term objectives. While generating sales is one possible goal, other may include attracting leads, boosting customer satisfaction, reducing overhead and increasing brand exposure.
#2) Failure to Acknowledge Technical Requirements
There are certain technical requirements associated with launching a new site. If a company is moving to a new content management system (CMS), for instance, they’ll have to install the CMS and transfer the content, which is usually stored in a database. This is more tedious than simply copying and pasting files. And if it’s not done correctly, content could get lost or placed in the wrong location.
Furthermore, moving a site to a new domain requires a complete overhaul of all internal links; otherwise, visitors will encounter a 404 error after clicking an existing link.
#3) Not Using a Mobile-Friendly Web Design
Another common mistake companies make when launching a new site is using a mobile-unfriendly web design. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have smaller displays than desktop and laptop computers. These nuances in viewport sizes can create a poor user experience if the site doesn’t feature a mobile-friendly web design.
Mobile compatibility is paramount to a website’s success. In 2015, Google announced that more searchers being performed on mobile devices than desktop computers in 10 countries, one of which being the United States. In India, statistics show that mobile devices account for 75 percent of all Internet usage.
#4) Unrealistic Timeline
Companies that aren’t familiar with web development often have an unrealistic timeline when launching a new site. They expect their new site to be up and running within a week. While some developers may promise to meet such deadlines, this usually backfires by resulting in a poorly designed site that lacks features and functionality.
#5) Focusing Strictly on Aesthetics
The way a website “looks” is important, but it’s not the only thing companies should consider when planning a new site. If the site lacks proper page hierarchy, for instance, visitors may struggle to find specific content.
Companies should design their sites by addressing the three stages of a typical purchase: awareness, consideration and decision. The awareness stage highlights problems the buyer has; the consideration stage guides the buyer to content, and the decision stage reveals how the company differs from its competitors.
#6) Launching Without Testing
A sixth mistake that companies should avoid is launching a new site without first testing it. A typo in link addresses, for instance, could break a site’s navigation. On-page coding problems can also lead to usability issues. These problems are easily avoided by testing the website prior to launch.
#7) Overlooking Speed
Finally, companies often overlook speed when launching a new site. Just because a new site contains an attractive design with the company’s brand elements and navigation links doesn’t necessarily mean that it will load quickly for visitors. And if a website is slow, users may leave before allowing it to finish loading.