I am an advocate for businesses and startups in Zimbabwe to set up websites. There is a rapid rise in the uptake of emerging technologies the world over. Having a website is one of the sure ways of establishing yourself on the global stage. The benefits you will enjoy from having a website far outweigh the initial cost of having one set up. There are different types of websites and the prices do vary – I will touch on that briefly in closing. For now, let us discuss some of the costly mistakes to avoid in setting up a new website.
Leaving Out Trust Badges
Certification or licensing is a big deal in many facets of life. That is why so many things in this world require those two stamps of approval. The same applies to websites; there must be some form of certification. For example, SSL or TSL certification is a must-have for any website. It speaks of how secure a website and that puts customers at ease. Of course, you have to legitimately get these certifications and display them on the site.
The area of trust badges also extends to anything that speaks to how authentic and reliable your brand or site is. For example, name drops are important i.e. displaying logos of other reputable brands you work with. Trust badges can also be about service-related aspects that people can enjoy from your brand. Examples can be free delivery; it is up to what you can offer that causes customers to trust you. All these trust badges must be displayed on your website.
Misleading Or Deceptive Content
So many websites are guilty of this and it comes in many different forms. The first and foremost is the use of fake clickbait. For example, you can see a website carrying an article headline as ‘10 Facts You Did Not Know About Clive Masarakufa’. The assumption will be people are so interested in knowing about Clive Masarakufa. So given that interest people will rush to click-through. On opening the article they will realize that it is just some brief article without the 10 facts.
This is a total turnoff for site visitors and this compromises any progress in earning people’s trust. I get that you desperately want to drive traffic but do not mislead people. Another common issue is plagiarism. I have come across articles I wrote that were copied and pasted on other sites with no attribution to my authorship. That is also misleading or deceptive as people will regard you as using incorrect impressions. The other issue is the excessive use of keywords – keyword stuffing. It ends up making content seem and sound overcooked. Content takes time to draw a huge following however, go through the process, and do not cut corners!
Tampering With Reviews
Social proofs matter a lot to people these days. You do well to include them on your website or social media platforms. Good as that is you must appreciate negative reviews will come here and there. It feels bad to see negative reviews but the truth is no brand is perfect in everything. Do not then get into the habit of deleting negative reviews.
The resulting impression it will give is that your brand is top-notch yet that is all engineered. Having both positive and negative reviews is a good thing; it paints a picture of balance. In itself, it speaks of how realistic and authentic your brand is. So never make the mistake of tampering with the reviews.
A Faceless Brand Or Website
When people visit a website they expect to know all there is about your brand. You do well by comprehensively fulfilling those expectations beyond a doubt. A brand or website must not be faceless, that is suspicious. Include the faces of notable people behind your brand on your website. Let people know who they are dealing with.
If you do not include their faces and basic details e.g. name, designation, and a brief bio, you become suspect. Why would you not want people to know the faces behind the brand? Scammers are well-known for operating that way, so do not get yourself labelled badly. Facelessness will hurt your brand badly because people largely have trust issues.
Poor Support Services
When customers buy (or want to buy) from you there comes a time where they need support services that is commonplace. That is why it is encouraged to have features like live chat on the website. Make sure you respond promptly and fully address all requests, concerns, or queries. The lack of support services on your website will just show you care more about the money than your customers.
There are so many regulatory frameworks on data privacy and protection. By having a website you become obligated to adhere to such regulations. Make sure you adhere to them to become compliant. You can end up displaying that on your website. Not only will people’s data be safe and secure but it will cause people to trust your brand and website.
When browsing the internet you will notice that on the address bar there is a padlock. That padlock denotes the presence of Transport Layer Security (TLS) on the site in question. This means that people’s details e.g. email addresses, financial details are securely protected. If TLS is absent it means your website is vulnerable to cyber-attacks which puts your site visitors at risk. So make sure you get SSL or TLS certificates installed for your website to be secured.
Limited Contact Forms
Contact forms on websites are not just a formality. They are meant to facilitate two-way communication with site visitors. They should provide people with ample room to communicate their concerns or enquiries to you. It must be apparent that your contact forms are meant to drive customer engagement with your brand.
Prices for websites vary depending on type and web development service provider. I will just cite some examples so that you get a sense of what to expect. Web hosting can cost roughly US$35 for a whole year. Domains can cost around US$10 or US$20. Monthly web maintenance and administration can cost US$30 monthly. A basic website needs something like US$120. An online store (US$250), eCommerce site (US$500), blog (US$180), and music store (US$200). Let us ensure our enterprises have websites and do not forget to avoid the aforementioned mistakes. By avoiding those mistakes you boost people’s trust and confidence in your brand.