“First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.”
– Elliott Abrams

Just like you size up strangers when you first meet them, your customers will be forming important first impressions of your business the first time that they visit your website. Your site functions as the online face of your company, so ensuring that it accurately represents quality, value, and professionalism is paramount to establishing relationships with your customers.

Writing for Lifehack, David Kovacs outlines 20 common mistakes that entrepreneurs make online. We’ve highlighted four of our favorites.

1. Don’t Just Sell
When it comes to the “dot com world,” everybody is out to sell something. If your website’s sole focus is getting the customer to purchase, there is nothing to separate you from the competition. Rather than just presenting products and services, make sure your website communicates to customers why you should be their top choice. Give a little background on your roots and what you offer, and describe features or aspects of your company that sets you above the competition.

2. Don’t Ignore Your Blog
Not only does a frequently updated blog bump your site higher terms of search results, but it also offers you a chance to add some personality to your site. Remember your blog can help you sell yourself and your products and services, but it shouldn’t just be focused on pure promotion. When composing for your blog, try to provide your readers with content that is interesting, informative, and entertaining.

3. Don’t Get Lost
Readers quickly leave a website if it is difficult to navigate. If they can’t find information quickly and efficiently, it is unlikely that your customers will stick around long enough to hire you or purchase anything. Make sure that, on every page of your site, your navigation menu is easily visible and easy to use.

4. Don’t Underestimate Images
The web is a visual place. Much of the first impression that your customers form from visiting your website is directly influenced by the type and quality of images that you use. Professional images should be clear and sharp on the page. If an image is the wrong size and appears distorted when you upload it to your site, don’t use it. While it may be tempting to pull images from the internet to use on your site, you can easily get into deep trouble with copyright and reuse laws. Original is always better, and having professional marketing and branding images taken is a sure way to upgrade and legitimize your website.

To read the full article, click here.