Welcome back to Part Three of our Website Health Series. Here we’re teaching you everything you need to know about how to make sure your website is actually getting you results. And how to turn those results into relationships with your readers! Before we can go any further, we first need to discuss the biggest website mistakes to avoid & how to fix them.
Recap time! Here’s what a GREAT website can do for you:
In Part One of our Website Health Series, we talked about everything that a great website can do for you, like…
But one thing we didn’t mention in that post is this: what happens when your website isn’t so great.
When your website suffers from any of the 9 mistakes we’re about to share with you, you could be subjecting your brand to…
None of those things will happen to you, though! Why? Well, we’re about to take a look at the biggest website mistakes to avoid. Don't worry! We will also cover what you can do to swap out the problems for easy fixes.
Contrary to what is apparently popular belief, your readers actually CAN’T read your mind. Unless you explicitly tell them, chances are they have no clue what you want them to do next.
This is why calls to action matter so much on your website. A calls to action are commonly referred to as CTAs. These are small statements inviting and encouraging your readers to take a specific action.
In order for your business to be successful, you need to give your readers permission (or at least enough information and/or direction!) to buy what you’re selling. If you aren't, this a HUGE website mistake!
THE EASY FIX: Tell your readers exactly what you want them to do, then invite them to DO IT. Give them a chance to take your desired action at every turn.
We recommend using buttons with clear, direct, specific language! This will also drastically improve the flow of your website.
According to Google, “mobile searches make up more than HALF of searches” and “if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, visitors are 5 TIMES more likely to leave.”
Google goes on to say that “when someone visits your website on mobile, they’ll expect answers right away. They’ll want to quickly learn about your business and decide whether they’re interested. Their experience on your website will heavily influence their impression of your business and the likelihood that they’ll become a customer.”
You hear that?! The search engine gods just verified for us what we already knew all too well: a fast-loading, easy-to-navigate, MOBILE-FRIENDLY website is make-or-break for your business. If your site is not showing it best on mobile devices, this an unfortunate website mistake.
THE EASY FIX: First, you’ll need to make sure you’re using a website builder that lets you effortlessly customize the mobile version of your site. This way you can increase engagement, conversions, and time spent on your website.
(Pssst! We happen to specialize in exactly that—check out Showit here!)
Next, you’ll need to make sure your website loads quickly enough. Check with friends to ensure the mobile version of your site is easy to navigate. Pay special attention to the mobile menu. And—remember mistake #1!—ensure it’s easy for your readers to take your desired action.
So many people create a website and focus solely on the design, or how they present themselves as a brand.
And, of course, those are extremely important elements to consider. However, the most vital ingredient in the recipe of website conversion isn’t the aesthetic of your site. It isn't even the way you show your brand off.
It’s the website reader on the other side of the screen.
You must stop to consider what your website’s readers are looking for. What it will take for them to actually click, download, subscribe, buy, sign up, or inquire? If you don't think this through, you’re practically throwing money away.
THE EASY FIX: Think about what your ideal clients need to know about you, your brand, and your offerings in order to make a buying decision.
Then, brainstorm the order in which they’d need to know those things, and update your website’s core pages accordingly!
(And visit Part 5 of this series to learn the best website copywriting tips to help ensure that your leads feel like taking your desired action is the only choice.)
When was the last time you waited in a line and thought to yourself “wow, I love this—what a great use of my time! I’m not annoyed at all; I love practicing my patience”?
We’re willing to bet probably NEVER.
No one likes waiting for something—especially not when it’s something you really want—so why would you want to make your website viewers wait to scroll through your site?
In this digital day and age, patience is absolutely no one’s strong suit, because we’re not used to having to wait for the things we want to see.
RELATED VIDEO: 3 Secrets Behind a Great Website
Catering to the short attention span of our readers greatly benefits you (and not prioritizing a faster page load speed greatly harms you).
When your website loads slowly, your readers X out. They don’t know you yet, which means they don’t care about you yet, and they’ll have zero qualms about clicking the ‘back’ button and finding the information they wanted on a website that loads faster than yours.
Are you willing to lose out on potential business like that? We don’t think so.
THE EASY FIX: Compress your website’s images, don’t use any unnecessary plugins, try to limit the amount of redirects you use, and choose a website builder designed for speed (like ours!).
There are two types of website viewers: the people who read all the things, and the people who just skim.
And the reality is: most people are the latter.
Like we mentioned in mistake #4, patience is not most peoples’ strong suit, and they’re likely looking at your website while also doing 700 other things—or, at the very least, while they have several other mental (and probably physical) tabs open.
Websites that don’t aid their skimming will cause them to ditch before they even make it halfway down your homepage. If your website isn't “skimmable”, this is a redeemable website mistake.
THE EASY FIX: Add subheadings in the appropriate places, break up large blocks of text, use images and visual design elements to create space between sections, and include enough variety in your design to keep readers interested.
People are coming to your website for information. Those same people will inevitably leave your website if they don’t get the information they’re after.
Or, if you’re lucky, they won’t leave, and instead they’ll ask you the question(s) they couldn’t find the answer(s) to… and then you’ll have to spend time responding with that information.
Even though that should be your website’s job.
THE EASY FIX: Make a list of everything your prospective clients ask you on social media, everything your leads ask you on discovery calls, everything your clients ask you on kickoff or strategy calls.
Then, make a list of the things you wish your clients knew up front, or the things you always find yourself explaining during the inquiry process or onboarding process.
After that, think about where you can integrate that information into your website copy, to save you and your readers time.
(Example: if everyone is asking about your pricing, and you find yourself responding to emails day in and day out about your rates, mostly to people who can’t afford your services, consider adding your pricing to your Services page with a “starting at” rate or a range, to save yourself those extra hours of work!)
With 1 in 6 people—aka 16% of the world’s population—reported to live with special abilities (WHO), prioritizing accessibility of your website’s content and design is a must.
Not only is it courteous to accommodate all people who may want to browse your website, but it’ll also guarantee a universal positive experience (which is great for both your users and your SEO—search engines prioritize accessible websites, for the same reason we should: equal opportunity for everyone).
THE EASY FIX: Follow these 10 simple tips from UC Berkeley!
Please don't use stock photography to create a site that's like everyone else. We're all about creative / unique site that is YOURS >> set apart!
You may have heard that the most important element of your website is your copy, or your design, or your user experience, or your call to action…
And, sure, all of those things are necessary in order for your website to properly function and convert.
But what really is the most important element of your website is the YOU factor. You want your website to be CREATIVE.
Because that element of creativity—the things that make YOU stand out—is what will ultimately be the catalyst for ultimate conversion.
The easiest way to add that element of creativity is by not using generic stock photos.
Your future clients and customers want to see YOU and what your personality is like; not the same 20 photos every other person in your industry found on Pexels.
And, of course, it’s possible to find some really amazing free stock photos to enhance your brand’s online presence, but when you invest in quality branded photos you’ll notice such a difference in how much personality your website has.
THE EASY FIX: Inquire with a brand photographer to take some photos of you to add to your site OR—if you still love stock photos, and want to find ones that are as just as awesome as you are—check out this gorgeous library of curated stock photos created by Showit Design Partner, Wild Boheme!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to your website is not paying enough attention to your search engine optimization (or SEO) efforts.
No matter how beautiful, and easy to use, and compelling, and informational, and strategic your website is, if no one can find it, you won’t reap the benefits of it.
If you’re hoping for your ideal clients and customers to actually be able to get to know you and your brand—and eventually inquire about working with you or purchase what you’re selling—putting search engines at the top of your website priorities list is essential.
THE EASY FIX: Head over to Part 4 of this series to read all about what search engine optimization is, which elements of it you really need to know about (and which ones you can safely ignore), and how to create content that will guarantee you end up in front of your ideal client’s eager eyes.
Congrats! You are 3 steps closer to making your website AHMAZING! Throughout the next 7 blog posts of this 10-part series, we’re going over everything that makes a website great—and what to do once your website has done its job, and it’s time for you to continue your relationship with your readers.
In Part 4, we are taking a look back before we go forward! We will be helping you avoid HUGE website mistakes.
We hope you’ll join us there!
And if you are ready to hop right in, let's go!
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