I often hear from people that they feel like their website is a BIG mystery to them. They know they need one so they may have put one up but they don’t understand why it isn’t working for them or helping them grow their online presence and essentially their business.
In my opinion, your website is your home on the web. It’s where you invite people to come to your party at and it is working for you 24 hours a day.
It should be at its best for you!
But never fear the 10 most common mistakes are easy to fix even if you aren’t a web developer!
Mistake # 1 What you do isn’t obvious…and quickly
People want information fast. You need to be able to tell them why they should stick around and read in the first 3 seconds that they land on your site. And I’m going to just put it out there that you can’t fit everything above the fold and you shouldn’t! You can’t be 100% for sure with all the different screen sizes that all your content will be there anyway.
So just don’t do it.
Decide what your tagline or elevator pitch is and put that front and center on your homepage. That way you can quickly tell people the what you do and why they should care information before they click away!
Mistake # 2 No visual hierarchy
Your website is a visual experience for most users. So you have to make sure you are making it clear where people need to look.
- use larger text for headings
- break up content with bullet points
- use graphics in your text to provide visual interest and slow readers down
Look at how you can break up your content so that it is visually digestible and that the important stuff has extra flair (bigger text, used in a graphic, lots of white space, etc)
Which brings us to mistake #3
Mistake # 3 You haven’t identified what is the most important
I know you want your website to do all the things for you. And maybe you’re thinking that everything is equally important. But….
I hate to tell you this but it would be a total disservice to not.
You have to pick one, just one, goal to focus on.
That doesn’t mean your site can’t also support your secondary goals or have opportunities to fulfill all your goals it just means that you are focused on the most important one to you!
Now that you’ve picked your goal you can use visual hierarchy to lead visitors where you want them to go on your site.
Mistake #4 Your copy is brand focused not client or customer focused
I hate to break it to you but your website is not really about you. Well, it shouldn’t be but your copy might be still focused on you and not your client or customer.
Your website needs to tell them “whats in it for them” and what problem of theirs that you solve.
Take a look at everything you are putting on your site and ask yourself “does this help tell my dream client what they need to know before deciding to work with me?”
If not either ditch it or tweak it so that it does.
Ps. there is a lot more strategy that goes into writing copy that is client focused for your website but in the scope of this post it would be too much. If you have questions drop them in the comments or send me an email I’d be happy to help!
Mistake # 5 No CTA, weak CTA, or Ambiguous CTA
CTA for the uninitiated is your call to action. It’s the actual invitation for your visitor to take the next step.
Calls to action like sign up for your opt-in need to be strong. It needs to tell the person what they are going to get out of handing their email over. Or why scheduling a call with you is important to their goals.
This is not the time to be vague and play hard to get. You aren’t being spammy you are just making it easy for them to get the information that they want. You want the next step to be crystal clear for your visitors or you will lose them.
I always like to think of it like this. I do the thinking so that when my visitors come to my site it is a no brainer for what they should do next. And people like it to be clear and laid out.
Refer to mistake #3 to decide what your call to action should be.
Mistake # 6 Lacking an opt-in
Gone are the days where people signed up to just get your newsletter. People are very protective of their email and their inbox.
I know because I am.
So if you don’t have an opt-in on your site or a content upgrade for a blog post you are missing out on a perfect opportunity to further your relationships with potential clients.
Do you know how many times I’ve landed on someone’s site? Thought to myself “this is great! I’ll remember the bloggers name/blog title/whatever it is”
And then later when I’m trying to find that piece of information my brain will not pull it up. LIKE A ZILLION TIMES THIS HAPPENS. You would think I would learn by now…
By having an opt-in for your site you’re being available for them the next time they want to know XYZ about you or a blog post you wrote.
Mistake # 7 Search is hard to find or non-existant
This may just be a personal pet peeve of mine. But If I can’t find your search bar or you don’t have one it drives me crazy!
Sometimes I’ve come to your site because of a certain topic you are talking about and I want to see what else you’ve written on that same topic. Which is where the search bar comes in.
However, this is part of a bigger experience issue. You want your site to function well, be easily navigatable and create a great user experience for your visitors or they will never come back.
Especially if they can’t find the information that they are looking for!
Mistake # 8 You aren’t tracking or if you are you aren’t using it
This one is HUGE!
If you haven’t installed Google Analytics or if you have but you aren’t looking at them you are missing out. Your not using your real numbers and data to make decisions about the content you are creating, defining and fixing problem spots on your site, or building on marketing efforts that are working.
It’s a fact of being an online business owner that you need to come to terms with. Even if you aren’t getting the kind of traffic you would like right now you need to be reviewing your numbers.
It will help you nail down what people are interested in and help you create more content around those topics.
Mistake # 9 Outdated content
You’ve got a blog and you’ve put up some posts but it’s been… who knows how long since you added something new?
Your blog will know and your blog probably has a little information with the post about when it was posted…this little bit of information may seem innocuous at first. BUT it is a big red flag to readers that you aren’t writing regularly. Take some time to figure out or hire someone to remove this from your posts if you aren’t posting regularly.
But you should be posting regularly so that
- people have a reason to come back to your site
- you have new stuff to promote for driving traffic
- you’re building credibility regularly by talking about fresh content
Mistake # 10 Your content and your design are too busy
When you’re content and design are too busy it’s not only hard to look at (think yahoo news site) it is hard for people to understand what you do and how you can help. You need to focus and create more white space in both your website and your content.
How can you do that? You can limit the number of graphics or graphic sizes that you are using in your blog posts. If you want to you can hide images for Pinterest to clean things up a little. Clean up your side bar so that it doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of information.
You can also focus your content on 4-6 topics. This way you are able to create more content on each topic throughout the year rather than always switching it up and being all over the place.
Now it’s your turn!
What is your biggest frustration with your website? Let me know in the comments!
Make your homepage work extra hard for you!
Get your checklist below!
This is a great article – good reminders to make my opt in more obvious and in their face so that it becomes a no-brainer for them! Also need to be checking my Analytics and using them, not just looking at the numbers and getting excited or frustrated.
Thank you! Yes, reviewing your analytics and using that data to make decisions is going to be a game changer for you. I remember feeling like you did when I just got started with my analytics but now they are the driving force for all the content I publishing online!