By Ryan Englin, CEO of Inspire Business Concepts [email protected]

Creating a new website for your business can be a challenging process, whether you’ve done it before or this is your first time.

Proper planning will give your business a competitive advantage on the web.

The right plan will make sure you don’t make these mistakes.

Mistake #1 – Ignoring Mobile Devices

Develop your website for mobile devices. With more than 75 percent of web searches coming from a mobile device, you no longer have a choice.

Let your customers know you care, develop a mobile friendly website and say goodbye to the old “pinch & zoom.”

After all, it’s an easy fix. Just tell your developer you want a mobile responsive website. If you’re using WordPress, it’s even easier as almost all themes are built with mobile in mind.

Mistake #2 – Not Thinking Like Your Customer

You need to think like you customer when creating your website. Avoid overly clever or jargony menu choices. Also, make sure your menu structure is clear and laid out logically.

Have someone outside your business, test your new site before it launches. If your tester can’t find relevant information, you’ve missed the mark.

Mistake #3 – Focusing on Looks

If you have a choice between a good looking website or one that brings in new customers, which one would you pick? Don’t ignore looks. It just shouldn’t be your primary focus. The primary goal of your website should be to help visitors decide whether they want to do business with you.

It’s easy to make your website “too pretty” when you add too many large photos, fancy graphics, or special effects to your site. The best websites keep the photos, graphics, and special effects to a minimum. And above all, avoid anything that is currently a fad.

Mistake #4 – Ignoring Website Speed

Studies show you lose half your visitors if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load. With so much going on, and so many other opportunities, the vast majority of visitors will go to your competition if your site takes too long to load.

Make sure you test the load times of your new website and make sure your developer can get it below 3 seconds to load the entire page. There are a lot of free tools available to help with testing your site. Just Google “website speed test” and find your favorite.

Mistake #5 – Forgetting About Marketing

Make no mistake about it; your website is a marketing asset. Your website should support your marketing and sales efforts.

Do you have a newsletter? Make sure people can sign-up for it!

Do you offer a free sample? Let your visitors know!

No obligation quotes? Have them call you!

Whatever you offer, make sure your website supports it. Tie everything together to create a seamless web marketing experience.