The Biggest Website Mistakes You’re Probably Making

website mistakes

You’ve invested blood, sweat and tears into creating an amazing product or service – so why are you struggling to make sales? The truth is, if you really do have something awesome to offer and you haven’t priced it out of the market, there’s only one thing to blame…your website.

Yes, we know that’s harsh and not what you want to hear, but we’re nothing if not bold when it comes to dishing out hard truths. The good news is, having a poorly performing website is something that you can sort out once you realize where you are going wrong.

To help you get there, we’ve created this article that showcases six of the most common website mistakes business’s make. If you are not doing these six things, you need to take a step back and look at a website redesign or other enhancements.

1.   Focus on your customer

We know you’re fabulous, but visitors to your website (best to think of them as future customers) want to know how you can make their lives better. If you don’t hook them when they land on your website, they will escape and probably never return.

You know that old expression ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’? That phrase could have been made for the internet.

Your visitors have found themselves staring at your messaging, so make sure they feel like you understand their needs and that you want to meet them. The most important lesson to learn here… It’s not all about you (although a great About Us page will certainly help to seal the deal).

Make sure you engage with your website visitors at the earliest opportunity with a winning above-the-fold headline and a friendly webchat service. This is a great way to provide instant information and start a conversation, even if it’s conducted via a well-trained chatbot.

2.   Have a logical website structure

Few things are more frustrating than a cryptic website. No one wants to feel like they’re in an episode of the Crystal Maze when they’re looking for your pricing information.

Some websites are deliberately hard to understand – to stop you unsubscribing to the services, for instance – but any decent site should be easy to navigate, have a logical structure, and not leave its visitors going around in circles until they leave.

Some good advice is to think like a trashy magazine and keep it shallow – not in terms of content, but how deep a visitor has to dive to find the information they want. Take a good look at your site or, even better, look at your website analytics to see where any weakness are.

The pages with the highest bounce rate are often the ones that are the least clear. So, check those first and work your way out from there. If you have the money to invest in a professional usability test, there are some great service providers out there.

The Crystal Maze
Image: The Crystal Maze, a popular British game show – Source

3.   Show them the way with a CTA

From signposts to satnavs, people love being told where to go, and they’re no different when using a website. Include clear links to important sections of your website and don’t underestimate the power of a great call-to-action (CTA).

Neil Patel CTA
Image: Neil Patel Customized CTA Example – Source

A good CTA (which are commonly seen as buttons) is a website’s most valuable asset. Whether it is ‘Find out more’, ‘Sign up now’ or ‘Subscribe’, that you use as the CTA, how you say it and where on the page you put it are all incredibly important.

4.   Get ahead with a great headline

Writing a great headline is a skill – just ask any newspaper sub-editor. Often you have to sum up a complicated story in just a few words, but you also need to attract eyeballs and get people to read on.

Capturing attention with a snappy headline is extra important when considering SEO. Make sure your headlines serve their purpose, work in isolation when removed from surrounding content (like images that people might not be able to see) and tell people exactly what the content is all about.

It sounds simple and obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many people fall into the trap of having a headline that just ‘looks nice’,  ‘fits the space’ or ‘sounds cool’.

5.   Don’t over-design your website (but please do design)

Whisper it, but sometimes designers get a little carried away. It’s not their fault, it’s the curse of the creative. However, there comes a time when you have to compromise ‘looks great’ for ‘works well’ to convert visitors to customers.

There is no point having an all-singing, all-dancing website if your visitors just glance at the pretty pictures then leave. Yes, it’s tempting to keep up with the latest innovations, and it’s important that your website looks like it comes from this century, but a clean, simple design can provide a better user experience. Just ask Apple.

If you’re working with a designer, give clear instructions at the start that you place a lot of importance on UX (user experience). You want to keep things simple, while still packing a punch with your brand.

But, if you’re one of the millions of business owners who created their own website using a website builder or template, just give yourself a friendly reminder that customising is great, but too much is… well, not.

6.   Can you be trusted?

If yours is a relatively unknown brand, customers might have second thoughts about buying your product or service because they don’t know if you can be trusted. It sounds personal, but it’s not.

First, you need to make sure your website is secure. Then, include relevant credentials and social proof in the most visible areas of your site. Include testimonials, case studies and media mentions anywhere you can. It all helps gain trust and move those visitors further down your sales funnel.

To sum up

As we said at the start, once you see where you are going wrong, you can usually take simple measures to do something about it. Save yourself the stress of low conversions and a poor-performing site and get it sorted right now.

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