Mistakes to avoid when building a website

There are a number of common mistakes that companies make regularly, when developing their website. Whether it’s time to redesign your website or to build from the ground up, if you understand the basics you can achieve success. The aim here is to teach you about the 5 key areas where these website building mistakes happen, and to help you try to avoid falling into the same traps yourself! If you require help with your website project, just get in touch we are always happy to help.

Common Website Mistakes

Avoid making mistakes with your basic website functionality – HIGHLY IMPORTANT

Websites which take a long time to load

Research shows that nearly 50% of website visitors will abandon a site that doesn’t load in under three seconds. Unbelievable? It’s True! If your website is slow to load, you will lose a lot of traffic. Increasing website speed can be simple, and sometimes choosing a faster web can help. Tip! Uninstall any unnecessary plugins as these will affect how fast your website loads.

Websites which are non-responsive

If your website doesn’t adjust to smartphone size, tablets, desktop and laptop monitors, people will leave your website. Non-responsive sites often have a high bounce rate. Google will favour your competitors who are responsive and thus you will find it increasingly hard to rank on search results pages.

Not optimising your website correctly on Search Engines Results Pages (SERP’s) is a mistake

If your website has no basic search engine optimisation (SEO), then your customers will not be able to find you on the internet very easily. You should think about what your customers would search for and ensure that you optimise for these key words. Don’t be afraid to ask your website developer how they are going to manage this, if they know what they are doing they will be glad you asked.

Common Mistakes in website design and user experience (UX)

Poor Site Structure, Navigation and Menus

Avoid having too many links on your top navigation menu, and unless absolutely necessary keep to one navigation menu per website. Pages should always be properly organised; you can speak to an expert about the benefits of this if you are developing your own website. Ensure that your website is logical and easy for the user to navigate.

Using irrelevant images

Always use imagery that supports your content, branding, and business objectives, and stock photos are fine when used correctly but if your budget is large enough original photos can sometimes be more interesting and realistic.

Over designing your website

Less experienced designers are often tempted to use a selection of different fonts, lots of pictures, a whole host of colours and text. Always remember that sometimes “less is more”, there is a need for white space. Incorporating white space allows time for your brain to break up information you provide and helps the reader understand/process the message more successfully. Don’t overwhelm your visitors they will leave your website and be unlikely to return.

Common website copywriting and headline mistakes

Your website headline matters

The first thing 80% of people will read on your website is the headline. It’s essential to have a headline that describes exactly what your website is offering, so your users’ expectations are met. Visitors will read the headline to decide whether to keep reading or not, so make sure that your headline is catchy but also believable and relatable to your target market.

Your website copy is hard to read

Readability effects how much of the copy on your website is read. Did you know? Reading digital text is 25 percent slower than reading print text, so it’s important to use easy to read fonts, proper line spacing and suitable text size. The tone and complexity of your website copy should always reflect your target audience to keep them focussed.

Too much text can obscure your overall message

When browsing websites, people have short attention spans. To keep your reader interested, you should use headings, short paragraphs, bullet points, and relevant calls to action (CTA’s) to break up information. This allows your user to summarise and read your information more easily.

Contact Points / Calls To Action

Not enough Calls to Action (CTA), or too many.

Visitors require a method to take action, it is essential. No calls to action will mean no interaction and no leads. Keep the action snappy and obvious for example “contact us,” or “buy now,”.  Equally having too many calls to action can be confusing. It can also make your visitors feel like you only care about the sale. Use your website to assist your audience on their journey to becoming one of your customers, keep a good balance.

Invisible calls to action

CTA buttons should stand out to make sure they are easy to see, why not try a contrasting colour so that visitors can’t miss them. When you use buttons and links which stand out, you will find that people are more able to find the information they want, and you website will convert visitors in to sales or follow up leads.

Not preparing or facilitating Business Growth

No proof of your credibility

To convert leads into sales you need to build trust. Always try to include reviews, case studies and testimonial information—people want to know that you know what you’re doing and that you can be trusted handle their needs. Always include certification logos, press releases, and other authentic credibility proof to build trust.

Not tracking website conversions or using analytics

There are several ways to track conversions, if you’re not doing this, you’re wasting a lot of hard work. You should track traffic on the website, traffic sources, new vs. returning visitors, session duration, bounce rate, and cost per conversion, and then adjust your digital marketing strategy accordingly.

Not communicating enough through your website

You want people to work with you, right? Your website is your best salesperson. Communicate with each visitor in a way that the visitor learns what your business does and why they should work with you and not your competitors. Be confident and bold, and make sure that your visitors have a way to get in touch with you!

Using the wrong management platform

This could be a whole separate article, as it’s such an important point, but I’ll keep it simple. Some website building platforms are non-transferable, some are known for having terrible search engine optimisation (SEO), some are inflexible for designing and some will have slow load speeds. Please have your eyes open when making your choice about who to build your website, where to host it and what will happen if you decide to move it in the future. Unfortunately, this is a VERY common problem, if you need help with this, just ask.

Now that you know about the most common mistakes people make when building a business’ website, it’s time to really go for it! Remember websites should continue to evolve and grow with your business, if you invest in them regularly, they will continue to perform well and encourage customers to return again and again.

For more information about updating your existing website or building a new one, just get in touch.

“Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before”


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