All businesses need to compete harder to push their products/ services into a declining attention span and having a strong online presence is crucial.

Over the years web design trends come and go, what seemed a great idea in 1999 is laughed at today.

As technology and development practices change what seems like every day, Point and Stare always recommend taking stock at least every 4 – 6 months – this is where our expertise comes in with keeping up with what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing online.

Below is a list of the old nasties that we sometimes see online, please take note and get them changed!

1, ‘Hacked by’ content
This is when your website gets taken over and all the content is replaced, usually, by some freedom fighters’ message.
Advertising to the world that you do not secure your website, check it regularly or are simply a security risk isn’t the best way to win new clients.
Avoid cheap and nasty shared hosting offers and, if possible, invest in your own dedicated server, at a minimum, and ensure quality security procedures are in place.

2, Blinking text
Having something blink all the time while I’m trying to read your content is just too distracting.
A fair few years ago, blinking text was all the rage and like any trend, time passes and it loses it’s novelty. Nowadays it’s just plain irritating.

3, Marquee tag
Similarly, having text drag itself all over the screen is equally annoying.
Websites need life and thanks to limited on screen effect functions a few years back, scrolling text was one of the few options. Thankfully technology has moved on and things have taken on a bit more subtlety.

4, Spam links
Your website content needs to be relevant, concise and to the point. Filling it with content solely for the purpose of spamming search engines is counter productive. You’ll do nothing but put visitors off and be penalised by Google etc. Remember, people buy from you, not search engines.

5, Over SEO’d content
Along the same lines as 4 – You are a Wedding Planner based in Norfolk – Your content should get that message across in as few words as possible, so there is no need to mention it in every single frikking sentence.
If possible, have your content written by a professional copywriter.

6, Flash intro
The equivalent to having an irritating clown standing in your shop doorway.
Imagine going to buy some shoes and to get into the store you have to wait 5 minutes while some sweaty ex-company executive shows you a card trick. You’ll simply go elsewhere.
Remove as many barriers between your customers and your goods or services as possible.

7, Huge/ heavy graphics
Although many people are on broadband connections there really is no need to use a 2mb image for your logo. Compact it down to the relevant size.
Having your website professionally designed and developed will pay dividends, will give you the look of a more professional company and make you proud enough to want to show it off.

8, No contact info
I’ve found your website, I like what you do … errm .. how do I contact you?
A simple email link with a contact form will suffice but if you are a legitimate company some company details are a legal requirement.
Don’t want to use your home phone number? Try a VOIP telephone answering service.

9, Google ads
Seriously? On a business website? Visitors are viewing your website to learn about your services/ products so why would you want your visitors to click a competitors link and leave your site?

10, Personal twitter feed
Business news/ information is fine but your clients really won’t be impressed with “i was so lashed on sat – lol”

Like any company commodity, a business website needs to pay its way, it needs to be used as part of your overall marketing strategy. Getting the message right on a local or international level is crucial to gaining trust and recognition within your industry.