In today’s competitive marketplace, ignoring any common mistakes with your business website will make or break your company’s goals.
Does that sound a bit harsh?
It’s no secret that many small business owners cut corners with their websites in order to save money.
Unfortunately, most don’t take the time to understand the key elements of a successful website, leading to a site that under-performs in every way.
And as you might imagine, having a poor website will lose you a lot of customers.
It could even put you out of business.
Don’t be one of those websites!
These common website mistakes may seem minor, but they do a lot of damage.
And it’s not just about the way your website looks, either. I’ll show you why the way your website functions is also just as important.
Correcting these mistakes may take some work, but it’s not rocket science.
If you think your website could – or should – be working harder for your small business, check out these common website mistakes.
SPEED – your page load time is more than 3 seconds
Do you know that your visitors actually start forming an opinion before they’ve even laid eyes on your website?
Sounds crazy, right?
But the fact is, if your page takes take more than a few seconds to load, you’ll almost certainly lose that visitor who was interested enough to click your link.
We all know people can be impatient offline, but the truth is they’re even more so online.
Without a doubt, your visitors will expect your website to load fast.
And it if it doesn’t?
Then I guess your competitor will be ready and waiting to step in, offering a better experience.
But positive visitor impressions aren’t the only reason for a fast site.
The slower the website, the more likely a visitor is to ‘bounce’ away from the page. And this bounce rate negatively impacts your search engine ranking.
In fact, both site speed and bounce rate will determine how highly Google ranks you in search results.
Here are a few elements that might be slowing down your website:
• technical site issues
• too many images on a page
• images that aren’t optimised for the web
• flash animation
• too many complicated fonts
So if you want your customers to find you easily (and who doesn’t?), then make fast load time a priority.
WHITE SPACE – your layout is too busy, with no clear focus
Let’s imagine your website loads in a snap.
But in the few seconds it took you to read this far, someone has already clicked into your website and then clicked back out.
The truth is, visitors will form a sweeping opinion of a website about 50 milliseconds after they arrive on the page.
You might have everything else right, but if a visitor can’t understand what your website is about within a few seconds of arriving, they’ll most likely leave.
So what’s the biggest offender?
Most often it’s the use of white space – the area between and around your text and images.
If your website layout is too busy and cluttered, it’s almost impossible to make your headlines stand out.
Which means you won’t grab the immediate attention of your visitors.
Making good use of white space helps draw the eye to the most important text on your site.
It also helps break up larger blocks of text.
In fact, if your content isn’t scannable – which is only possible with plenty of white space – most of your text will go unread.
And you don’t always need to reduce your content to make your page scannable.
Instead, simplify it with:
• meaningful sub-headings
• short paragraphs (a few sentences at most)
• bullet points and numbered lists
Doing these things will naturally create more white space on your website.
Which encourages more visitors to stick around.
RESPONSIVE – your website isn’t designed for mobiles
Have you ever checked out your website on your smartphone?
With so many people being constantly connected these days, it’s important to know how your website functions on a mobile device.
Let’s be honest.
Your business must be ready to welcome mobile visitors.
In fact, not having a responsive design is one of the most common website mistakes business owners make.
Having a responsive design means that your website is accessible to everyone and is easy to navigate regardless of their device.
Nowadays, more people browse from their smartphones than a desktop computer.
This means that if your website isn’t responsive, you could be missing out on more than half your potential customers.
That might sound like a big claim.
But with people always looking for a great experience online, they’ll be more likely to seek out your competitors if you don’t offer a responsive design.
Not only that, but Google likes to reward websites that offer a consistent experience on all devices – desktop, tablet, and especially mobile.
So a responsive design will help you be found by search engines. It’ll also create a better impression with your ideal audience.
And let’s face it.
You need to be welcoming your potential customers wherever they are.
Which means having a mobile-friendly site.
CONTENT – your content is boring, too ‘salesy’, or not helpful
Believe it or not, website content is a crucial part of your marketing campaign.
Not only does content tell your visitors about the products or services you offer and how you can solve their problems, but it’s how you build relationships with your target audience.
And the truth is, a stale website will never build strong relationships with potential or repeat customers.
What’s more, your website shouldn’t demand too much concentration from your visitors.
Remember, the rest of the internet, with its cute puppy pics and blooper videos, is just one click away.
Pages that are too long, or have too much text, are intimidating.
So make sure your content is well-written, proofed for spelling and grammar, includes plenty of sub-headings, and presented in small, easy-to-read snippets.
It’s also crucial to remember that most people will be visiting your site to solve a specific problem they have.
So if your content is too pushy or hard selling, or if it doesn’t focus on your visitors and their problems, they’ll be hitting that back button.
Blogs that engage your target audience are the best way to encourage your visitors to stick around.
Regularly posting helpful articles allow you to tap into your visitors’ desires, goals, fears, and frustrations.
This boosts your credibility and helps you convert more visitors into customers.
In short, (good) content is king.
And always will be.
NAVIGATION – your website has poor menus and ‘call-to-actions’
The results are in.
Having a website that’s difficult to navigate is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make.
But it’s also one of the easiest to fix.
Would you invite guests into your home, then abandon them in the hallway?
Of course not.
Well, the same goes for your website.
You need a simple way to show your visitors around your site, and direct them to the information they’re looking for.
Having clearly stated call-to-actions (CTAs) and navigation menus that are easy to notice will help your visitors understand how to find what they need and how to take action.
But bear in mind, there’s a fine line between being helpful and being too pushy.
A website visitor who feels annoyed by too many CTAs – Click here! Buy it now! Sign up today! – is just as likely to leave (and never return) as a visitor who becomes lost and frustrated on your site.
Stop and think about your website from the perspective of a potential customer.
Make sure you have a clearly visible navigation bar.
And don’t overwhelm your visitors with long forms to fill in or too many buttons to click.
A little navigation planning really can go a long way.
So there you have it!
Start bringing in more business today by fixing these common mistakes on your website.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of mistakes, but they’re a great starting point if your website isn’t as profitable as it should be.
Remember, a good website always starts with your visitors.
If you focus on what your web visitors want, when and how they want it, then you can give it to them.
It really is that simple!
Get in touch or leave a comment below.