National Clothesline
Avoid common web site mistakes
Most successful cleaners are experts at running their own business, but when it comes to creating a smart, successful web site for their business, they can be anything but one.
So many will look at other web sites they like and use them as a model for their own sites. The problem is, a number of those web sites make common errors found on many small business sites. And some of those mistakes can hurt your business instead of helping it.
Here’s a quick guide to some common mistakes businesses make on their web sites and how to avoid them.   
Lack of call to action
A call to action is not just limited to ecommerce sites; it’s an essential part of any web site. Every web site should have an objective for users to complete whether it is filling in a contact form or signing up for a newsletter.
A call to action provides focus to your site, a way to measure your site’s success and direction to your users. Remember to provide a call to action, even if it’s the same one, on each page of your site so visitors have every opportunity to connect with your business.
Boring content
There is a fine balance when it comes to the content on your web site. Not too much, not too little, not too many fonts but just enough to make the page not read like a novel.
Next to not having a web site at all, the biggest mistake on your site may be outdated content. Frequently updating your content makes it easier for customers to find you. When you update your site, think of the following:
When was the last time I updated my keywords for search engine optimization?
Are keywords assigned to every title of each page of my site?
Are my videos, pictures or music appropriate for my audience?
Content is a huge topic for web sites with many different facets. Take a critical look at your web site and ask yourself if you were a stranger, would your content be engaging enough to come back? Some examples are to use coupons in exchange for a customer’s email or a discount to “Like” your Facebook page.
Confusing navigation
Often, people who come to your site know exactly what they are looking for. Is your site organized so they can find it? If the navigation of your site is confusing you may lose potential customers. There are a couple of aspects to consider when setting up or refining the navigation of your site.
Pay attention to how all visitors are reaching your site. If your site looks good on Internet Explorer, does it look just as good and work properly on Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari? Remember, there are potential customers also using other browsers.
How your site was built is also a major factor for potential mistakes that can be avoided. Business owners who have opted to build their sites using Frames or Flash have found their sites are less likely to be displayed in search engine results.
Also, many searches begin on mobile phones. Frames and Flash can make it harder to find your site by search engines in addition to making it harder to display on mobile phones.
Lack of tracking
If you want more out of your web site, the best way to get more for your buck is to implement tracking and measurement strategy. There are many companies you can work with on web site metrics or you can take the do-it-yourself approach. The most important part though, is to begin tracking and analyzing your results, then making adjustments until you get the traffic you expect.
Try to get customers to interact with your site. This is an important way to connect with them. You can incorporate your call to action by asking visitors to agree to receive your monthly newsletter, or email when there are member-only deals.
The more invested they become in your site, the more they will return and share your content with others. Social media buttons that allow visitors to share when they purchase your product or service or even your newsletter are also a great way to involve your customers.
Mistake free site
With diligence you can avoid the normal pitfalls. There may be more mistakes made along the way but by following these core examples your site can continue to perform at the top of its game.

Neil Schroeder has been in the marketing industry for the past 15 years. He is president and creative director of the Golomb Group, developing direct response, social media, in-house promotions and web site campaigns for drycleaners throughout the nation. He can be reached by phone at (800) 833-0560, by email at neils@golombgroup.com or on the web at www.golombgroup.com.