The quotes in the title of this blog post are there because it’s possible that even with these issues on your website, you could still get traffic. But they may DEFINITELY be hurting your chances. Your website should be informative, attractive, and encourage your customers to buy, NOT confusing, overwhelming and cliché.
Are you making any of these website “mistakes”?
Wanting to be so much like your competition that you lose you.
I’ve had to explain copyright laws to so many people I’ve worked with over the years, who want me to copy content from other websites WORD FOR WORD. This is unacceptable! Not only is it illegal, but it is a waste of a chance to show your personality and tell your story to your clients. While drawing inspiration from other sources opens your mind to new ideas, put your own spin on things so that you can separate yourself from the competition.
Putting EVERYTHING on your website.
Some clients have argued that the more content they have on their site, the better chance they have to show up in Google results. And this can be true. If you have a good amount of useful content that is optimized with keywords, you’ll probably be rewarded by Google. But if someone needs to wade through 15 pages of content before they find the information they need, your Google rank won’t mean much – because they won’t be calling.
Putting NOTHING on your website.
The opposite of this, of course, is playing a little bit too hard to get. You need to explain to your customers who you are, why you do, and why they should choose you. You should also give them as many ways to contact you as possible AND a call to action that is extremely clear. Minimalist websites can work, depending on your business, but it’s key to give your customers what they need.
Not thinking like your customers/clients.
… which brings me to my next mistake. You HAVE to think like your clients when you’re building your website. Make the information that they will be looking for most often in a more accessible place, like the beginning of your navigation or on a shortcut on your home page. What is the biggest selling point of your business to clients – price? Customer service? Experience? Make sure that you promote this so that it’s an easy choice for them to pick you.
When your website launches, it’s only the beginning. You’ll need to update your contact information when needed. You’ll need to make sure that your management team is current each time a person joins or leaves the company. You’ll want to blog, announce new product features, or let your customers know that you will be attending an event. A website with stale information isn’t a useful one.
Too much “cheese.”
Music. QR codes. Cartoon animations. They have all had their 15 minutes of fame, and they all have their appropriate places. But that’s probably not on your website. While interactive functionality and videos add to your site’s content, cheese and outdated methods can turn someone away. Please don’t be that person who has elevator blasting out of customers’ speakers the moment they enter your URL.
Driving people off of the site.
Linking to other sites is good. And if you share useful information from other businesses, they are more likely to share information from you. But linking off of your site too often can lead them to get distracted and never return. Remember to have outside links open in a new window so that no matter what, your site stays in the background.
Having content that doesn’t relate.
Many of our clients have rich interests outside of their work that they often discuss these interests with their clients. For some, it would make sense to mention these items on their website. But you have to be smart about it. If you are a lawyer, but you often talk to your clients about golf… that isn’t necessarily something that should be shoved into the site. UNLESS you are adding it to your bio page, or writing a blog post that links golf to law. It has to relate in some way, or it’s better left out.
The good thing about mistakes is that they can be fixed. If you’re making one of these mistakes, get to work on fixing it today!