Website mistakes are common when you DIY your website. That’s because website design probably isn’t your zome of genius. But, because your website is your most important marketing tool, it’s really important not to make crucial mistakes with it that can negatively impact your business success.
The majority of my custom website design clients come to me saying their website isn’t working for them – it’s not attracting their ideal client, it doesn’t represent their business and they’re not being found online.
Often times it’s because they’re making some common website mistakes that can be easily fixed.
Here is a list of 20 website mistakes to avoid:
1. No call to action
Your website needs a primary call to action and that should be displayed on every page of your website. Your call to action is the main goal of your website. It’s the action you want a visitor to your website to take. To learn more about calls to action click here.
2. Not mobile responsive
A mobile responsive website is one that adapts to the screen size it’s being viewed on. This is a requirement in today’s world when most websites are viewed on a mobile device. To find out more about mobile responsive design click here.
3. Complicated navigation menu
Keeping your navigation menu simple is so important. Keep the page titles simple and keep the number of pages to under seven. If you need more, utilize drop down menus or a footer menu. Make it as simple as possible for a visitor to find the information they need. To find out more about best practices for your website menu click here.
4. Not using testimonials
Client testimonials are an important component of any website because they provide credibility. Testimonials work because they aren’t strong sales pitches, but rather an unbiased voice that helps establish trust. To find out more about using testimonials on your website click here.
5. Content isn’t scannable
Visitors to your website have a short attention span. Most visitors to your website are not going to read long paragraphs of text. Make your content easy to digest and cannable. Make use of lists, white space, images and short paragraphs.
6. Slow page load time
The amount of time it takes for your website page to load is very important, especially now that Google takes it into consideration in organic search rankings. Ideally it should fully load in under three seconds. Most visitors to your website will not wait eight or nine seconds for your page to come up. They will get frustrated and leave. You can check your website’s page load time using Google Page Speed Insights.
7. Images don’t reflect your brand
Your website is a child of your brand so it’s really important that the images you use on your website properly reflect your brand personality. If your brand is serious and all your images are fun and whimsical, that will cause confusion for website visitors. To find out more about why images should be a part of your website strategy click here.
8. Unclear fonts or too many fonts
Fonts are a part of your visual brand. Along with reflecting your brand personality, you’ll want to ensure the fonts you choose are easy to read. It’s great to have a beautiful script font, but if it’s hard to read, it shouldn’t be used on your website. Also don’t use too many fonts. I suggest keeping it to two or three. To find out more about selecting fonts for your website click here.
9. No legal pages
Which legal pages your website needs really depends on your business. If you collect any personal information on your website (a contact form collects personal information), you need a privacly policy. Having the right legal language can protect you and also help build trust. I recommend Termageddon to all of my clients.
10. Your website is about you and not your ideal client
This is such a common website mistake. The focus of your website needs to be about your ideal client, not you! How do you help them? What problem do you solve for them? Visitors to your website want to know what you can do for them. They want to know how your service will benefit them. Speak to your ideal client and keep them in mind when designing and writing your website.
11. Writing your about page in the third person
First person is the most casual of the three writing points of view but it’s also the most personal. When you’re speaking in your own voice with your own opinions about topics in your area of expertise, it provides a powerful and persuasive insight into you and your business. To find out more about designing an effective about page click here.
12. Not listing your location if you’re a local business
If you’re a local business that serves a specific area you should definitely have your location and the areas you serve on your website. One reason is that it will help boost your local SEO because location definitely impacts organic search results. Another reason is you’re busy and if you only offer your service in a specific geographical area, it’s better to be clear about that and qualify leads.
13. Failing to have an SSL certificate
SSL stands for secure sockets layer. You’ll know a website has an SSL certificate by two things:
The URL says https and not http
You’ll see a padlock icon in the URL bar.
That extra ‘s’ means your connection to the website is secure and encrypted and that any data you enter (even an email address) is safely shared with that website.
14. Not having a contact form to easily capture information
Having a contact form on your contact page is the best way for you to gather the kind of information you need to qualify a lead. This form will allow you to ask certain questions, the answers to which will help you determine if this is someone you should hop on a discovery call with or not. To find out more about an effective contact page click here.
15. Not optimizing your images before uploading
Images are the number one culprit in slow page load time. Before uploading any images to your website, you’ll want to make sure you optimize them so they are the proper size, proper format and named correctly. To find out more about image optimization click here.
16. Having a blog that you don’t update regularly
We’ve all heard that Google loves fresh content and that’s probably why you set up a blog on your website. But unless your creating content on a regular basis (I recommend at least once a month) it’s probably best not to have a blog.
17. Out of date headshot
You’re the face of your business. Marketing in today’s world demands a professional image. Please, don’t use a selfie. Hire a photographer to take professional head shots of you. And, you’ll also want to use an up to date image of yourself so the person your potential clients see on the website looks like who actually shows up at their home or to their Zoom call.
18. Displaying social icons in your header
This is a website mistake I see all the time! The last thing you want is for a visitor to land on your website and then click on a social icon at the top of your website and bounce off. Social icons are important, but they belong in the footer, not in the header.
19. Not having enough content on your pages
While I always say that less is more when it comes to what you include in your website content, don’t go overboard and not have enough information on each page. Ideally, Google likes to see between 600 to 700 words on a page and considers under 300 to be thin content.
20. Not having a lead magnet
Whatever you call it – a lead magnet, a freebie, an opt-in – having one on your website is a great idea. It’s the best way for you to build up your email list and it’s been proven that email marketing is extremely effective. To find out more about lead magnets click here.
If you found this information about website mistakes to avoid helpful, I hope you’ll share it with others who may benefit from it using the links below.
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