Developing and designing a website for a brand or company can seem like a daunting job. And although it is not an easy process, it is also not an impossible task!
Many small business owners or freelancer, like you or me, create their own websites in the hopes of saving money. But, unfortunately, sometimes we don’t know the basic principles of web design, copy, and development — leading to a site that’s less than ideal!
Thus, to save you valuable time, I have come up with a list of 10 common website mistakes to avoid or website “don’ts” to ease the process.
Having an online presence is critical if you want your business to succeed in the modern world. Over the last decade, websites have become an intrinsic and essential part of businesses — allowing them to grow and build relationships with consumers from every corner of the globe.
Thus, developing a site for your company is not something to be taken lightly. From its very design to its target market, launch, promotion, and content management, every step you take should be part of a carefully developed strategy that will help you meet your end goal.
Do not improvise! Don’t wait until your website is “live” to add new sections or change your message. Remember, your site is the face of your brand in the digital world.
2. Focusing solely on products/services
The goal of most websites is to generate leads and promote sales. Thus, it is easy to get carried away and focus solely on the products or services your company has to offer. Nonetheless, this is a huge mistake!
Websites that simply offer products/services fall through the cracks and are hard to position and differentiate from the competition. As you know, the Internet is a red ocean, and you are always competing for users’ attention.
Thus, focus on creating a consistent corporate identity by developing a personality for your company. Maintain your branding across everything you do (e.g., internal pages, ads, blog, social media.) Having a consistent website with a clear value proposition and “voice” helps build trust, credibility, and a sense of professionalism.
3. Ignoring your audience
As a business owner, I am sure you already know the importance of catering to your audience’s needs and wants. Hence, your website should be designed explicitly with a Buyer Persona (or ideal customer) in mind.
Avoid making the terrible mistake of ignoring your audience to go about your plan or push a sale. Keep in mind that the average user spends roughly 2 minutes navigating a site. Thus, if you wish to connect with potential customers, you need to make an instant connection.
Consider your audience’s demographics (e.g., gender, age, income, location) and psychographics (e.g., lifestyle, interests, values, personality.) If you know your audience, it will be much easier for you to craft a site and develop a message that will resonate with them.
4. Not optimizing your content
If you fail to optimize your content for the web, your page will load slowly. And if your website loads slowly, you will most certainly lose visitors. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors exit a page that takes more than three seconds to load.
Thus, having a fast load time should be one of your top priorities when developing your website!
Avoid using long videos, no matter how exciting or relevant you think they might be. Also, try compressing the resolution of your images for faster loading. And only use essential plugins, remember the more plugins on your website, the longer it will take to load; more so, old plugins will drastically slow down your website’s performance.
5. Misusing images
Yes, images are indeed essential to captivate your audience and get their attention. Nonetheless, you should know when and how to use them!
Many businesses inexplicably include irrelevant images or low-quality images on their sites. And by irrelevant images, I mean photos, graphics, or icons that do not go hand-in-hand with your message. Likewise, low-quality images will turn off visitors by suggesting your product, services, or company is unprofessional or mediocre.
Lastly, try not to overuse stock or royalty-free images. People can tell when your photos are not genuine. Plus, you wouldn’t want to see the same picture on every site you visit! After all, royalty-free means anyone can use it.
6. Not having clear CTAs
Missing or inadequate Call To Actions (CTAs) is plausibly one of the biggest website mistakes. If you want web conversions, you need a clear and straightforward call to action.
CTAs will guide your visitor on their customer journey. And so, depending on your objectives, you might want to use a general CTA such as “Buy now” or something more specific such as “Get a free quote today.”
7. Failing to make your website responsive
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many companies fail to make their websites responsive. In consequence, they lose thousands of visitors and possible sales.
According to recent statistics, mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. Hence, your website needs to read and look perfect on every device (e.g., laptop, desktop, mobile phone, tablet.)
If you do not know how to make your site responsive, I recommend hiring a professional who can help you optimize your site for different devices. It might be costly, but it will be a good investment.
8. Forgetting SEO
While you may think that poorly designed websites can be a real turnoff for visitors, your content is what makes or breaks website traffic and lead generation.
Thus, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help your website have a better ranking. As a result, more people will see your site, and you will generate more traffic that can ultimately lead to higher sales.
SEO is essential because it ensures users that they don’t have to spend countless hours to find the information or products they want. People trust search engines, and so your website needs to take advantage of this tool if you want your business to grow.
9. Using poor or inaccurate translations
Contrary to popular belief, translating text is not a mechanical or monotonous task. It requires specific skills and expertise. So, knowing all the “rules” and using the right words is not enough.
Thus, when translating your website, make sure your content translations are accurate, grammatically correct, free of spelling mistakes, and stay true to meaning.
If you want to learn more about what makes a good translation, click here.
10. Omitting analytics
Finally, you cannot know how well (or bad) your website is doing if you do not have the tools to measure its performance. Website analytics give you the ability to test, track, and adjust your site to meet your goals and reach your audience.
If you are starting, I suggest you try Google Analytics. It is the most widely used metric tool for websites.