Your website is one of your business's most important tools to generate leads, convert prospects, and serve content. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when building their online presence or simply don't take advantage of all the features available to them. These common website mistakes can hinder your business' success, cost you revenue and stop you from getting the most out of your investment if not addressed immediately. If you don't have experience with website design, SEO or digital marketing, these mistakes can be hard to avoid. Lucky for you, the experts at Encompass Online Marketing have put together this list of common website mistakes and how to fix them! If you want to get the most out of your website, keep reading!
Your Website Isn't Responsive.
One of the most common website mistakes is not making them responsive. A website is considered responsive when, no matter what device your visitor uses to access it (desktop, laptop or mobile phone), they will have an optimal experience. A non-responsive site won't recognize that you're on a different device and won't adjust accordingly. This can lead to slow load times and frustrate users trying to navigate your website, read your content or purchase your products or services. If your website isn't responsive, it can also have a negative effect on your SEO. 57% of website visitors will leave if your site doesn't load within 3 seconds, and 70% say page loading speed will affect their buying decision. Some website builders like WIX and Squarespace will automatically ensure your website works on all devices, but others don't. By creating a responsive design from the start (or having us create one for you!), you can avoid these issues and ensure that all visitors will have easy access to your content regardless of how they choose to view it!
You Don't Have Clear Calls to Action.
Calls to action are an essential part of your website. Without them, website visitors won't know what action you want them to take. Your calls to action tell people what action want them to take on your website, like signing up for an account, filling out a form or buying a product. It's essential that you make it clear what you want people to do and then make it easy for them to do it. Make sure your calls to action are consistent throughout the site and aren't hidden in random places like down in the footer or somewhere where no one will see them. Some great places to put your calls to action are above the fold (the area people arrive on your website before they begin to scroll), inline in the content of your website (sprinkled throughout your content or blogs), pop-up boxes and buttons (Buy now! sign up for our newsletter!) Ideally, you would use a combination of all of them to make it easy for visitors to take the action you want.
You Have Broken Links.
Broken links are another common website mistake people make. Broken links can ruin your conversion rates and indirectly hurt SEO by affecting time on site, bounce rates, and how you pass link juice. Broken links may also directly harm your SEO ranking by signalling that your website is old and outdated. Internal and external linking is an integral part of website building. Internal links are essential because they help Google understand and rank your website better. External links are important because they help search engines determine the usefulness and quality of the pages on your site. If your website has high-quality backlinks, search engines will look at your content favourably and help you rank higher. To fix broken links, you have to find them first. You can use Google's Webmaster Tools or programs like Screaming Fog to find broken links on your website and fix them.
Your Content Isn't Customer First.
You're probably thinking, "Of course, our content is customer-focused! It has to be!" And you'd be right. But many companies make the mistake of assuming that it will naturally be a success if they have "good content." When visitors arrive on your website, they don't want to hear all about you; they want to hear about what you can do for them. About how your product or service makes their life easier, solves their problems or offers them value. To really think about your website as a customer would—to get inside their head and see what they want—you need to ask yourself some crucial questions: Does my content address my most pressing problems? Is it easy to read? Easy to navigate? Easy to find? You want to make it easy for your customers to find all the information they need to decide to make a purchase. Writing customer-focused content is easier than you think! Check out our blog about conversion copy here!
Your Images Aren't Optimized for Web.
Image optimization is one of the most important parts of web design, yet it's also one of the most overlooked. Images should be the right size and file type and optimized for the web to load quickly for users who visit your site. If you're not optimizing images correctly, it can impact how well people interact with your website and how fast pages to load. You can ensure your website images are optimized for the web by using one of the many programs available (free and premium). They will help you make sure your images are the proper size and format for optimal loading speed. Make sure you include alt tags so search engines can index your images correctly. Alt tags also help people with visual impairments and improve your website's accessibility. And finally, use unique images. Using stock photos is fine, but they won't necessarily improve your search rankings. Just like unique content is better for SEO, it's always a good idea to use unique images when possible.
Your Meta Titles and Descriptions are not Optimized.
Meta titles and meta descriptions are usually the first things people see when they search for a product or service. They are also the first thing that Google uses to determine whether or not you're relevant enough to show in search results. 68% of website traffic comes from search results, so it's incredibly important that your meta descriptions and meta titles are as descriptive as possible. Meta titles and descriptions should be short but tell visitors what information they'll find on your website. For example: if someone searches for "best blue jeans," then you might choose "the best blue jeans" as your meta title (since this tells visitors how many brands have been reviewed). The same goes for meta descriptions - make sure they're clear yet concise (no more than 155 characters) so that people know immediately whether they're interested in clicking through!
You are Using Black Hat SEO Techniques.
Black hat SEO techniques are used to manipulate search engine results through unethical means. This can include keyword stuffing, using poor quality or plagiarized content, cloaking, adding invisible keywords to your content and using private link networks. Search engines will penalize you for using black hat SEO techniques, leading to a lower search engine ranking or your website being wiped from the search results altogether. The best way to fix this is by simply not using black hat SEO techniques. Using SEO best practices on your website will ensure you are not penalized by Google and your website's visibility and search engine ranking. SEO best practices include creating unique content for each page, doing keyword research and using them effectively in your content, optimizing site images, optimizing meta titles and descriptions, using high authority backlinks and using internal linking on your website. SEO is a long-term strategy, but avoiding black hat SEO techniques will help you climb to the top of the search results!
Encompass Online Marketing is Here for all Your Website Design Needs.
Mistakes happen! Thankfully these common website mistakes are relatively easy to fix. We know that when you're running a business, it can be easy to neglect your website. But you need to ensure that your website is top-notch if you want it to generate leads and sales for your company. With these tips in mind, we hope you're ready to build a killer site—and then watch it work its magic! If you need help fixing website mistakes or need a whole redesign, Encompass Online Marketing Ltd. is always here to help! We make responsive, user-friendly websites and always use SEO best practices. Contact us today to get the website of your dreams!