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News: 6 things not to do when setting up a new website

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Are you looking at setting up a new website? Perhaps it is for an existing business, or for a new business venture that you are looking to run. Maybe it's just an idea you've had that isn't fully developed yet.

We've all seen websites that don't work that well and examples of websites that somehow just miss the point. So, to help you on your way, here are some tips for things not to do when setting up your new website:

1. Don't design it for yourself.

It's easy to forget when you set up a website that other people actually have to use it too. So, what you like may not be appropriate. If you are looking to appeal to sell handbags to young women then a Gothic website that only works on your old blackberry may not be the best idea.

Instead, think about who your customer is and what they are looking to achieve by visiting your website. Then you can set out your site so that you answer the questions that they might have and, hopefully, lead them to make that purchase or to get in contact with you.

2. Don't design just for mobile.

While it is true that people are now as likely to access the web via their mobile devices, you should not forget the large number of people who still use a PC. A reactive mobile layout is essential in 2016, but navigating a website that was clearly only designed with mobile devices in mind can be frustrating to a PC or Mac user.

3. Don't write just for Search Engines.

Filling your site with nonsensical gibberish just because these are the keywords you think will be relevant is a sure fire way to lose any potential visitors that might actually be interested in what you have to say.

Getting a website to appear highly in searches can be a difficult process to get right. The wording, links and photos on your website are the most important features to get right. If you write compelling, interesting and relevant content then your pages will naturally appear higher in searches and are more likely to be shared by those who do visit.

4. Don't be a social media spammer.

Spam isn't just on email any more. Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have become an essential part of the lives of a lot of people. So when someone has liked your page or followed you on Twitter, don't return the favour by endlessly spamming them with links to your products or services. Tell them about special offers, funny stories and let them see your brand as a friend - not as a salesman that they have inadvertently invited into their house.

Secondly - be realistic. If you aren't going to have time to devote to your social media page then don't set one up. Too many businesses have Twitter accounts simply because they are trendy, but never tweet. If you don't do Twitter then leave it for now and concentrate on the things you do use.  If you do have the time, do it properly.

5. Don't use incorrect spellnig

If you want to be taken seriously online you need to get your spelling correct. When people visit your website they make a snap decision as to whether they consider it to be credible and the poor use of spelling can be one way to lose that. So, before you post an update or add a new blog entry, make sure you run it through a spell checker. You should also consider what slang you use on your website. You aren't talking to friends, you are trying to run a business.

(Yes... it was a deliberate mistake)

And finally ... 6. Don't forget to update regularly

One big mistake made by many businesses is to forget about the website after it is completed. You can do everything right, but if you never update it, it will simply slip down the search rankings into obscurity. Search engines give higher prominence to websites that are updated regularly than ones which aren't. One great way to achieve this is to have a blog or a news feed - like this one.

Coming up with new content can be difficult, but if you make a plan about what you want to achieve and do some research, you will find that the ideas start flowing.

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