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Hi, I’m Jennie Hawkins,

I'm a website copywriter and strategist and I'm here to help you turn your website into your #1 salesperson with copy that connects.

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Marketing

15 Mistakes To Avoid Making On Your Website

Your website is your business’s online home.

And, most importantly, it’s your Golden Goose of an opportunity to SELL by converting interested browsers into paying customers.

Yet way too often I see websites that are severely lacking the attention and love they deserve.

Because sometimes it’s really hard to look at your own website with a fresh pair of eyes, right?

Don’t fear. This blog post will help you freshen those ‘website- weary-eyes’ up.

In my last corporate job, I managed the content for a whopping 37 websites. Plus I’ve done many website audits for small businesses and non-profits over the last few years.

So what?

So, I know my way around websites. And I’m going to share some trade secrets with you to help you create the website that your business deserves (and, get you more customers in the process).

In this blog I’ll outline 15 of the most common mistakes that I see happening on websites, split into three areas:

  • The copy and messaging on your website (The Wordy Stuff)
  • The design of your website (The Visual Stuff)
  • The performance of your website (The Techy Stuff)

 

All set? Let’s dive in.

 

WEBSITE COPY AND MESSAGING

 

1. Weak and confusing home page messaging.

 

Your homepage is NOT the place for wishy-washy words or cryptic messaging.

Because when someone comes to your website, you have a max of 7-10 seconds to let them know:

  • Who you are;
  • What you offer;
  • Who you do it for;
  • Why you’re the best at what you do.

 

If you don’t explain these things very clearly and concisely on your home page then your potential customer will just click back into the search results.

And probably into the waiting arms of one of your competitors.

 

2. Not ‘speaking’ to your ideal customers.

 

To grab (and keep) the attention of your ideal client your website messaging MUST speak to their needs, desires and pain points.

Drill down into the things they need help with and explain how you can solve those needs. Explain how you can make their life better.

Use the words and phrases that resonate with your ideal customers.

No jargon. No techy words. No fluff.

Remember words have superpowers. Little ol’ words placed in the right order can create emotional triggers that spur people to take action.

So go and find the words that connect with your audience and make your business irresistible.

 

3. No customer testimonials or case studies.

 

How many testimonials are on your website? Are they high-quality? Are they visible on your site or hard to find?

Think of testimonials as a sprinkling of fairy dust across your website.

Testimonials are THE BEST way to communicate the value that you’ve given your existing customers.

Case studies are also great for showing your product or service in action.

Download my free guide on ‘How to get powerful testimonials and use them to boost your marketing.’

 

4. Stale content.

 

Content that’s out of date and a little on the stale side of life makes your brand look unprofessional (and, quite frankly, unloved).

Set some time aside to look at your website with a fresh pair of eyes and check for any content that’s out of date or no longer relevant.

Also, think about what new content can be added? Are there any business updates to share? Any new services or products to write about? Do any of your old blogs need to be updated? Do you have any new customer testimonials that could be added?

Google also likes it when you freshen up your website content so you’ll get some SEO Brownie Points too (see #5 below!).

 

5. No focus on search engine optimization (SEO).

 

Optimizing your copy so your website appears high up in the search engines (eg. Google) is ESSENTIAL.

It should be part of a well-crafted SEO strategy for your website.

Why Jennie? I hear you ask.

Well, you’re missing out on driving significant visitors to your website if it’s not ranking on page one of the search results (and, ideally, within the top three listings) when people are searching online for what you offer.

The first step is to do keyword research.

Identify a list of keywords and phrases that you think your ideal customers would use to search for your type of business and what you offer.

Then use these keywords in certain areas of your web content so that when Google is crawling the Internet, to find a website that matches the search inquiry, your website comes appears.

Magic, huh?

Use the following free tools to help you brainstorm and find targeted keywords:

Ubersuggest

Moz Keyword Explorer

The Hoth Keyword Planner

 

WEBSITE DESIGN AND USER EXPERIENCE

 

6. Poor layout of copy and content.

 

Is your website easy to read?

Your messaging needs to be as easy as possible for your visitors to understand without having to read through big blocks of text.

Remember we humans don’t read online.

We skim and we scan.

Our eyes dart over the page.

Check that you’re using short paragraphs, short sentences, bullet points, and making good use of headings on your website.

 

7. Poor quality imagery.

 

Take a fresh look at all the images on your website.

Do they do you, your products and your brand justice?

If your website has blurry, low-quality images, or irrelevant images then it’s time to jazz them up.

Think about investing some money in a professional photoshoot (trust me, it’s worth every cent).

Or find a good friend with a decent camera and a talent for taking high-quality pics.

You can also find some great stock images available to use for free on Unsplash and Pixabay.

 

8. Lack of responsive design.

 

Responsive design simply means that your website displays perfectly on every screen size and orientation (whether someone is looking at it on a 24″ desktop, a 13″ Notebook, an iPad Mini, an iPhone 5 or their Samsung Galaxy).

Mobile responsiveness is CRITICAL as Google has a mobile-first approach to assessing and indexing websites.

Use this free tool, Responsive Design Checker, to check how your website looks on different devices.

 

9. Confusing navigation.

 

Can visitors easily move around your website and find the content they need quickly and intuitively?

Having good navigation design, for both desktop and mobile, will result in a lower bounce rate, more time spent on your site and higher conversions.

Some best-practice tips for creating a seamless navigation experience:

  1. Limit the number of options so as not to overwhelm the visitor with too many choices. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than seven items in your navigation menu.
  2. Use either a horizontal menu across the top of the site or a vertical menu down the side.
  3. Use drop-down menus sparingly, especially on mobile where they can be hard to use.
  4. Make it easy for the visitor to return to the previous page and the home page.
  5. Use descriptive labels that let visitors know what to expect when they click on the link. For example, rather than ‘Services’ use ‘Personal Training’.

 

10. Poor use of CTAs (Call to Actions).

 

What action do you want the visitor to take when they are on a particular page of your website?

Buy Now? Contact Us? Learn More?

Where do you want them to go next?

Your About page? Your Contact page? Your FAQ page?

These questions are at the heart of a well-designed CTA strategy.

Make sure you have visible CTAs on every page otherwise you’ll be leading your visitor to a dead-end. Dead-ends tend to leave to site exits.

Always give them an action to take depending on where they are on your website.

 

WEBSITE PERFORMANCE

 

11. Slow loading time.

 

There’s nothing more frustrating than a website that takes aaaaages to load.

But what is a good loading time?

The ideal loading time for mobile sites is under 3 seconds but the faster the better.

40% of website visitors will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to load before abandoning the site.

If your website is slow to load then your visitors will go elsewhere and it’ll also negatively impact your SEO.

Google does NOT like slow loading websites.

You can check the speed of your website using these free tools:

Pingdom

Google Page Speed Insights

The biggest issue I see is from a website having images that are too big and slow to load quickly.

If you have a WordPress site, use the Smush plugin, to compress your image.

For websites hosted on other platforms use the Tiny PNG free tool to compress your images before loading them to your site.

 

12. Not capturing email addresses.

 

People who visit your website are potential customers.

RED HOT potential customers, to be exact.

And getting into their email inbox is INCREDIBLY valuable for your business.

Because it’s very rare that someone is ready to buy from you on their first visit to your website.

They want to get to know you. Build trust in you and understand how you can help them.

So, through their email address, you’ll be able to continue building a relationship with them through targeted emails.

Oh, and email marketing has a much higher conversion rate than selling through social media. #winwin

But I often see websites with either no email capture or a poorly designed one that doesn’t convert.

Consumers are data-savvy these days. They don’t want to give their email address away without a damn good understanding of what they’ll get out of it.

Asking them to just ‘sign up for our newsletter’ may have worked 10 years ago but it’s unlikely to work these days.

Offer them something special in return for their email address. Incentivize them.

It could be something of value such as free information that will help them with a problem (known as a lead magnet).

Or something of monetary value such as free shipping or a 5% discount off their first order.

Be creative with your wording and grab their attention.

Here are 20 ideas on how to collect email addresses from your website.

 

13. Broken links.

 

Broken links are a big no-no but they’re easy to fix.

As part of your content audit go through your website and check all your links are working.

You can do it manually or use a free Broken Links tool.

 

14. No Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

 

Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are FREE tools. Thanks, Google.

You should have both of them installed on your website. If you’re not sure how to do it then speak to your web developer.

Google Analytics gives you juicy insights into things such as:

  • How many people are visiting your website (and each page)
  • How long they’re spending on your website
  • Where your visitors are coming from (Google search, Facebook post, Instagram advert, Yelp)
  • Whether they’re on their mobiles or desktop
  • Which countries/locations your visitors are in.

And soooo much more.

These insights will help you shape the content and strategy for your website and make the changes needed to increase your traffic and sales.

Google Search Console monitors your website’s presence in the search results and will troubleshoot any issues.

You can:

  • Confirm that Google can actually find and crawl your website
  • Fix indexing problems and re-index for new or updated content
  • View Google Search traffic for your website
  • See which sites link to your website
  • Troubleshoot issues for mobile usability
  • Receive alerts for spam or indexing issues

 

15. Facebook Pixel not installed.

 

A Facebook Pixel is a piece of code.

Actually, it’s an amazing-kickass-piece-of-code.

It can be added to your site to track visitors and the actions they take on your site.

From the data collected by the pixel, you can run very targeted adverts on Facebook and Instagram to people who’ve visited your website.

And also find more people who share the same characteristics and demographics as your previous website visitors.

This is GOLD.

It’s easy to install and even if Facebook advertising isn’t on your radar right now, I still recommend that you install the pixel ASAP (like yesterday) and start collecting the data and insights needed to help grow your audience and sell more of your products and services.

Facebook for Business outlines how to install your Facebook pixel.

 

INTERESTED IN WORKING TOGETHER?

Do you feel that your website is underperforming? Is it generating the traffic and leads that your business deserves?

My website audit will identify any issues with your site and give you recommended improvements to focus on.

If you need help with any of your business’s online marketing and social media needs then get in touch with me for a chat.

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Hi, I’m Jennie Hawkins,

I'm a website copywriter and strategist and I'm here to help you turn your website into your #1 salesperson with copy that connects.

Categories

Marketing

Business

Copywriting

MEET ME