The 5 biggest mistakes new small business owners make when redesigning their website

April 26, 2018

A website redesign is one of the most exciting projects a small business can undertake. The promise of a new look-and-feel along with improved functionality is enough to make any small business owner go all in. But there are some pitfalls small business owners consistently hit when redesigning their sites. Read on as we examine some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them.

1. Failing to establish a keyword strategy

Without knowing what keywords customers are searching for, there’s no chance of ranking on the first page. Tools like Google Keyword Planner are perfect for helping find popular keywords. Keep in mind, there is a difference between branded keywords and non-branded. Typically, unless the business is very well known, most people will search for non-branded keywords. Keyword Planner will help reveal what people are searching for. From there, those keywords should be used throughout the site in title tags, body copy, and blog posts. If possible, hire a search engine optimization (SEO) professional that can create a keyword strategy and plan content for your new website.

2. Failing to recognize existing links connect to non-existent pages

This can create a broken link on another site, or even on your own. Instead, it’s important to establish 301 redirects for each URL removed and point it to the new page. If there isn’t a corresponding page, choose the best page to point it to, even if it is your new homepage.

3. Failing to create a Google Analytics account

A Google Analytics account will allow you to measure incoming traffic and to understand how people are navigating and engaging with your website.

4. Failing to recognize that they can control their site

Gone are the days of needing to hire a developer to build and manage your site. By choosing a Content Management System (CMS) such as Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress, you’ll be able to add new pages, sell online, or easily change information all on your own, without contacting a developer.

5. Thinking the site needs to be perfect before launching

Marketers often subscribe to a philosophy called Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which means that they prefer launching with the essentials and then adding and adjusting the site later as they learn and have the time and budget. This approach speeds up the launch date dramatically and allows the business owner to get real-time feedback from their website. For example, let’s say you run a clothing retail shop and you have a backlog of product you need to photograph. Instead of waiting to launch the site until you hire a photographer to photograph and edit all of that new product, launch with the product you have and start selling.

By adhering to these five tips, your small business is sure to get the most bang for your buck as you redesign your site.

[image: HTML Code by Sebastian Fuss on flickr]

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