U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, June 2015 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

For most businesses their website is still the central hub of their marketing efforts. So it is important to get it right. Here are a few common mistakes that you should try to avoid:

  1. Poor navigation – If you are using a blog, then make sure to use categories and tags consistently to organize your content. A normal website should have a clear navigational structure, with ideally groups no larger than 7, as people have difficulty grasping groups larger than that. Main navigation, sub-navigation, links within the content itself – all of these will help a visitor navigate the site. Having a site map and site search will provide a safety net in case people get lost, or prefer to use a quick snapshot of your site’s page structure.
  2. Not enough content – some websites only take up space. They barely have any text or images on them, and the content that they do have does not say anything. Make sure you step back and decide what the goal of each page is, and cater the text and images of each page to the goals that you set for them. Then create a targeted flow from page to page, so that people will do what you want them to do: contact you or buy from you.
  3. Content overload – “Content is king.” “The search engines need text to index, so you can rank for it.” “I just got so much to say”… But you can have too much of a good thing. A website with too much content will overwhelm your visitors, and will make it harder for them to grasp the core essence of what it is that you are trying to say. Try to limit your main pages to a few core concepts and keep detailed information in separate articles that people can visit if they want to learn more. Say more by saying less!

A website is a tool. It requires careful planning, and skillful execution. Feedback from a third party like your customer, vendor or online professional will help you find elements in your website that are confusing or annoying. Keep working on it.

For more information: contact your web developer, or website optimizer Nardo Kuitert at www.asknardo.com or 519-787-7612. Nardo has written the On The Web column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce since 2006.

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