Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Getting a professional website up and running is no mean feat. A lot of effort goes in behind the scenes before you finally hit publish and sit back to admire your work. You wait for the emails or sales to come pouring in, but instead, it’s just a trickle. What’s going on?
Perhaps people can’t find you, or perhaps they are bouncing out of your website almost as soon as they land there. Something isn’t quite right.
Getting a fully functional website can be more challenging than it first appears. To ensure your website is working as hard as you are, make sure you’re not making these common website mistakes.
You’ve written it yourself
Many small businesses invest in an expert web developer to make their website usable, professional and slick. But some stop short at the words, thinking they can write these themselves. This is a huge mistake. A professional copywriter is just as valuable as a web developer or graphic designer. A writer will help you craft a coherent brand message and tone of voice that creates trust and loyalty. They’ll write consistent and easy to follow web copy, jargon-free. Ultimately, their carefully chosen words will be what wins over clients and customers. Unless you’re a professional wordsmith, don’t risk doing it yourself. This isn’t a corner you want to cut.
There’s no call to action
Your website looks impressive, your words are winning. The potential client is impressed, but now what? You need to capture their attention and get them to actually do something. Often this is about getting their details, for example for a mailing list, or prompting them to contact you. But so many websites have no clear call to action.
Whatsmore, if your contact details are not displayed prominently, it’s unlikely they’re going to go digging for them. Make sure your contact details stand out and that there’s a prominent call to action. Maybe you want them to sign up, register, join for free. Whatever the call to action, grab their attention before they exit your site.
Your branding is all over the place
As soon as someone clicks on your site, they should know who your business is, what you do, and how their life will be improved by interacting with you. People are busy and they won’t waste a second trying to work out what your business is offering. Strong branding helps your business stand out and helps to convert visitors to customers. You’ll need a nicely laid out website, strong visual branding, and expert copy. Don’t forget to incorporate social proof like testimonials and awards. These add to the picture of who you are as a business and help to build trust. Inject personality on every page and let the reader know what makes you unique.
You’re approaching Google rankings all wrong
No matter what field you’re in, you want to be high up in Google rankings. Your product or service could be exactly what someone is looking for, but if you’re ranking on page 15, they are never going to find you! But be careful how you approach it. Online businesses can sometimes get a bit heavy handed with keyword stuffing and end up writing more for Google than their clients and customers. This will likely turn people off your brand, hardly the effect you’re after. Particularly if you’re a small business, you want to conserve your energy and focus on the things that genuinely count towards ranking. Make sure you carefully plan how you’ll increase Google rankings by focusing on elements like SEO, content creation, and link building.
Your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices
Nowadays, almost everyone is reading content on their phone. In fact, in 2018 52% of all web traffic was generated through mobile devices. Your website needs to be designed responsively so that the content adjusts to the size of the screen. If the user has to scroll and zoom their way around the homepage, or features aren’t available to them on mobile, they will almost certainly be unimpressed. Since mobile screens are small, your web pages should be clean and uncluttered.
You don’t have a blog
Your website could really benefit from adding a blog page. Having an active blog on your website is a great place to express your brand’s personality and encourage trust and loyalty. Even better, it can increase search engine traffic and give you juicy tidbits to post as part of your social media strategy. It’s easier to demonstrate your industry authority and expertise in a blog, as you can show rather than just tell. You might feel like you don’t have time to blog, but coming up with some fresh content that demonstrates personality and expertise can be worth its weight in gold.
The site isn’t linked to social
Hopefully, your business has a presence on social media. Don’t forget, your website is the perfect place to promote these pages. Display links to your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram prominently. You can also embed tweets or photos into your blog to refer back to your social accounts. Likewise, if you’re doing a giveaway or competition on social media, that could become a quick blog post. Add sharing tools so that users can quickly share a link to their own followers if they like what you have to say. Social media can be an inexpensive yet powerful form of marketing, so make sure your website is making the most of it.
It can be disheartening when your website isn’t working how you’d hoped. But building a successful online presence can be a long process, full of trial and error. By eliminating these common mistakes and working on other ways to improve your online presence, you should be in a strong position to start winning hearts, minds, and customers.