10 Mistakes You’re Making on Your Website
September 20, 2017
As a designer, I’m always looking at websites and critiquing them. I like to see the latest trends – both good and bad. Plus, read all of the latest user experience articles that I can get my hands on. I want to make it easy for my clients to have websites that align with their business goals, so that they can be confident, with their online presence.
Time-after-time, when I’m browsing around the interwebs, I stumble across these 10 mistakes. Whether you’re DIYing your site or working with a designer, these are common mistakes that you should avoid making. And, if you need a little more help with your site, I’ve got a freebie for you at the end of this post.
Your homepage isn’t explaining what you do, right away
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of explaining, what you do, right on your website’s homepage. Since the homepage is generally the first page that people visit, it’s the perfect place, to include a quick sentence or two explaining how you can help your audience. Think about what you offer and what sets you apart from your competition. You will want to keep this short and sweet – so, get down to the point about what you do.
You can always elaborate, further down the homepage or on an interior page of your site. Having this info handy, right on the homepage, allows people to see quickly if they are in the right place or if they aren’t. This ensures that you only attract the right people who are serious about working with you.
Your social proof is hard to find, or non-existent
Social proof, is simply, testimonials from your previous clients or customers. Incorporating testimonials from past clients builds trust and allows potential customers to start envisioning themselves working with you. They will see themselves in your previous clients and will expect similar results. This is why social proof is SO important! And, why it should be very easy to find.
I see so many people burying their social proof on “Praise” or “Testimonial” pages. It’s fine to have these pages on your website if you have tons of testimonials. But, don’t expect all of your potential clients to click on this page. In my experience, it’s best to sprinkle a few of your favorite testimonials throughout your website. To start, try putting 1-3 on your homepage, portfolio page, and services page.
You don’t have a sales pages for your services or offerings
If you’re offering a course, ebook or anything digital sales related, then you definitely need a sales page! Think – A long-form sales page, that goes into detail about the problem that your customer has and how this offering solves that issue for them. You should also include things like testimonials, who this is for, and a checklist of what’s included. Along, with multiple buy now buttons, in a unique color.
A common mistake that I see so often on websites, is not utilizing a sales page for your services. A short or long form sales page will always convert better, than a simple list of what’s included in a service. Why? Because you can go into so much more detail about what your client will get, how you’ve helped others, and how your service will actually help your client. You aren’t limited to simply listing out what’s included in a package and can focus more on the results that you’re bringing your clients.
A sales page also gives you the advantage of including your base rate pricing, right on that page. You can even place the pricing, right next to a call to action button to reach out to you. That way, potential clients will know what your services cost. Eliminating any surprise during a consultation call or after a couple of emails back and forth.
Your website was designed for your taste and not your target audiences
If you made design decisions based off of your own style and not your target audiences, then you may be in trouble. Before working with a designer, you should have a good idea of who your niche is and how you’re going to attract them. That way, your brand, and website can be designed just for that audience. If your brand, as a whole, doesn’t quite match up with your ideal audience then they probably won’t resonate with you. And, unfortunately, probably won’t want to work with you. Once you know who your audience is, hire a designer to bring your everything to life!
Once you know who your audience is, hire a designer to bring everything to life! Your designer will do research on your niche and come up with the best solution to visually attract them. That way, your business engages the right people from the get-go.
You’re missing an opt-in incentive to get people on your mailing list
I’m sure that you have a subscribe to my newsletter form somewhere on your website. That’s a great start, but, what is the incentive for people to join your list? Try making a little freebie, like a checklist or worksheet that your audience will find helpful. Something that is irresistible, so that, the right person, is willing to provide their email address in exchange for the freebie.
If you already have an incentive but it’s not getting results, then ask yourself if it’s right for your target audience. It might just be that your freebie isn’t enticing enough. It could also mean that your website visitors don’t see your freebie, and therefore, aren’t signing up for your list. Make sure that your opt-in is really easy to find. Good places on a website to include an opt-in incentive are in the footer, in the sidebar, in the top/hero section on your website, at the end of blog posts, and maybe even as a pop-up when people are about to leave your website.
You’re not blogging regularly
If you have a blog section on your site and you committed to writing blogs, then please, be consistent about it. Personally, I really hate going to a blog and seeing that it hasn’t been updated for quite some time. It seems like you aren’t present in your business. Plus, you’re missing out on sharing your knowledge with others, marketing your content to get more people over to your website and establishing yourself as an expert. If you truly want to be known as the go-to person, in your field, then you need to share your knowledge through some kind of content marketing.
Blogging isn’t 100% necessary for EVERY single business out there. For me, blogging is a BIG part of my marketing strategy. But, I also enjoy writing helpful content for my audience. If you hate writing, then it might not be the best fit for you. Either way, I urge you to find another way to share what you know. This could be Youtube, Anchor, Podcasting, or just simply writing shorter mini blog posts on Instagram.
You don’t have social share buttons on your blog posts
I don’t see enough people utilizing social share buttons, even though, they are super simple to add to your website. These buttons allow people to click quickly to share something on social media. It’s really a no-brainer to add social share buttons, to your website, to make sharing easy for them.
If you don’t have these on your website right now, no worries. They are simple to add. If you have WordPress you can add a plugin to your website in just a few minutes! My recommendations for social share buttons are either Sumo or Social Warfare. Both work like a charm!
Your about page is missing a photo of YOU
Showcasing your beautiful face, on your website, is super important for connecting with your audience. People are more likely, to trust and hire you if they make a connection with who you are. Your about page is the perfect place to showcase a photo of your face. Make it obvious that it’s you, by placing the photo near your bio.
If you can spring for it, get professional photos taken. Just remember that the photos need to tie into your brand identity and speak to your niche. Going the DIY route is fine too! Just get a friend or loved one, preferably one who has some photography experience, to snap a couple of photos of you. Simple to things to make these photos even better: wear an outfit in a style that will be relevant for all seasons, sit or stand in natural lighting and try to include a primary brand color somewhere in the photo.
Your website’s main menu is hard to navigate
If people can’t find the page they are looking for, they will probably be leaving your website pretty quickly. No Bueno! The main menu, on your website, shouldn’t be cluttered up with tons of pages that leave your potential client guessing where to go next. Organize your sitemap so that only the most important content is showcased in the main nav. Use drop-down menus sparingly, and only, if it’s truly necessary.
You should also try guiding the user around your website with call to action buttons. If you work with a designer, like me – I will develop your sitemap and determine the best plan for your call to action buttons based off of your business goals.
Your portfolio isn’t attracting the right audience
If you have a portfolio and you’re showcasing work that either, isn’t your best, or isn’t something that your niche would like to see – then you aren’t doing it right. You’re likely to attract clients that can see themselves, in your portfolio. So, having a portfolio filled with projects that you didn’t like, will only continue to attract those kinds of clients. Only feature projects that you would love to work on again.
If you have yet to land your dream client, then here’s a tip! Try thinking of a few projects that you would love to work on, and make up a company. You can use what you create, as a portfolio piece, that will attract the right client, moving forward.
Were you guilty of making any of these common website mistakes? If so, take action and make fixes to your website this week. If you’re inspired to make even more changes then you’ll want to grab this little freebie to help you convert website visitors into buyers on your health + fitness website.
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