For many business owners, building a website is considered a one-time expense that they can forget about as soon as it’s done. Unfortunately, however, having this mindset only sets you up for an underperforming website.
The online landscape has changed tremendously since websites first began to gain popularity. Even in just the last five years, effective website tactics have changed due to the rise of smartphones and tablets. If your website is more than five years old, or was built with a DIY template site, chances are that it may actually be driving customers away rather than encouraging them to do business with you. Here are 9 of the most common mistakes that we see.
An Outdated Design
Every user that visits your site will judge it in under 10 seconds. This gives you a very narrow window of opportunity to grab their attention so that they turn into a lead or conversion rather than increasing your bounce rate. Having an outdated site turns users off because it gives them the impression that you don’t care to invest in your business – or, worse yet, that you might be on your way out. Professional web designers ensure that your site is as up-to-date as possible, making your site appealing and more likely to generate leads.
Over half of all web searches are now conducted on mobile devices. If your site isn’t responsive, this means that it will not display properly on mobile. Instead, users will be faced with a poorly-formatted site that is difficult to navigate, making them more likely to decide to try one of your competitors instead.
Some business owners make the mistake of giving their users *too many* options when it comes to navigation. This can make it overly complicated for users to find what they are looking for, and less likely to actually convert into leads or sales.
Poor Quality Content, or Grammatical/Spelling Errors
While you might think that minor errors are fine, the fact is that it is a big turn off for users. Mixing up easy words like “their” and “they’re”, etc, make users feel like a business is bad at paying attention to details. With programs like Word, Google Docs, Grammarly, and more all available free or nearly free, there is no reason for your site to have such easy-to-fix errors. It can also give users the impression that you’re cheap. There is no shortage of quality content writers available for you to hire, either through freelance sites or sometimes through the company who is designing your website. The extra investment is minimal, and it ensures that you have professionally written and proofread content on your site.
Every page on your site should have a call-to-action. It helps guide users through your site, and encourages them to seek more information or make a purchase. CTAs are the single easiest way to help make sure that your website is working for you, and get you a high ROI on the money you invested to build it.
While you may think that autoplaying music is a nice touch, it is cited as one of the biggest annoyances by users. The last thing that someone wants is to be bombarded by music when they visit a site. Stick with high-quality content and images that promote your products or services.
A Vague Homepage
Have you ever visited a site and had no idea what the business was actually selling? One of the most common mistakes we see on older sites is content that doesn’t tell visitors what the business was about. If you expect visitors to automatically know, or for them to go to your “About” page to figure it out, you are just setting yourself up for failure. You need to make it clear and obvious what it is you do from the moment that someone lands on your page.
One of the worst ways to try and generate extra income if you are a legitimate business is to have ads on your website. Allowing other businesses to promote themselves on your site just encourages users to click through and leave. It also makes you seem less professional, and can even come off as spammy. Skip the pennies you make using this method and instead make your website’s focus be what it should – a way for you to generate real, long-term income.
No Social Media Links
If you are putting the time, money, and energy into running social media pages for your business, why wouldn’t you have them linked on your website? While it might not always work to generate more followers, it shows users that you’re up with the times. It also helps boost your site’s SEO by making it easier for search engines to also categorize the content you post to your social pages. Social pages also make you seem more reputable to potential customers, and give them an additional way to interact with your business and contact you with any questions they may have.
Updated Site = More, Better Quality Leads
When it’s time for your business to update your old site into one that is effective and engaging, Gulf Coast Web is here to help. With over 25 years of experience in managing web design for business across all industries, we have the knowledge necessary to build a site that appeals to your audience, generating you quality leads and conversions. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.