Guest Blog Post — Jim Luff from Chosen Payments | 7 Common Website Mistakes

Posted on Jan 19th 2017 under Websites

Most business owners think the biggest threat to their website is when a competitor ramps up their marketing efforts online or a dissatisfied customer who leaves a bad review online.  Or, the biggest pain can come from an algorithm change from Google that dramatically shifts where you end up in the search engine results.

In reality, many of the problems website owners have in creating a successful website are from simple design mistakes.  They are mistakes that owners don’t even realize are considered a mistake.  Here are seven of the top mistakes.

#1 Throwing Too Much Onto Every Page

Because web pages aren't bound by the physical limitations of printed brochures, flyers and other advertising pieces, you might be tempted to try and squeeze as much as you can on your home page.  That might lead to frustration of the viewer rather than new sales.  Keep your home page simple and use links to other pages to convey more information.  Let the visitor control what they see by clicking buttons or icons for more details on another page.

#2 Copying a Competitor

If you take steal content, photos or layouts from from your competitors, you're going to run into a number of problems. For one thing, Google is cracking down on companies who "borrow" from others in their industry. This can certainly shove your company down on the Google search results.  Heaven forbid you end up on Page Two!  And, if you steal from someone else, you could end up in legal trouble if they want to push the issue.

#3 Using Bad Content and Images

The photos and written content you put on your pages should tell a story about what you do, what services you offer and why you exist.  It should also tell your history and how you developed.  Maybe even some testimonials from clients to build your credibility and differentiate yourself from your competitors.  If you rush throwing a page together, it will look cheap and won’t accomplish what you wanted to do.  Attract new clients.

#4 Going Cheap with Web Hosting

The quality of web hosting does vary.  Just with anything else in life that you buy cheap, the quality of your website will also be cheap.  Cheap sites load slowly.  The security is generally sub-par and the recoverability in case of a crash may be non-existent.  It's worth the extra money to store your site on a premium server and get all the benefits that come with it.  Photos will load fast.  Page clicks should be instantaneous.

#5 Leaving a Website "as-is"

Websites are initially designed and launched.  They are never completed.  They are a work in progress at all times.  You should be constantly adding new content, updates, and special offers that keep people coming back over and over to see what is new.  This means the content must have appeal.  They should be looking for fresh offers regularly.

#6 Adding Extra Apps and Plugins

If you use a professional developer, don’t add apps or plug-ins to your site without checking with the developer to see how they will function and what potential conflicts they might cause with layouts and loading.  You can actually unknowingly create security loopholes that can be exploited by hackers if you don’t know what you are doing.

#7 Ignoring Web Analytics

A good web analytics package will tell you who is visiting your site and whether they arrived by clicking a link somewhere or typed your email address into their search bar.  It can also tell you what they clicked on in your site and other actions they take while viewing your site.  If you use this data, it can help you connect with visitors armed with data of what they might be looking for.  Many business owners never even bother to review this data.

There are two ways to avoid these mistakes.  The first is simply being aware that they are indeed mistakes and avoiding them.  The second is to contract out with a company such as Drive Profit so that you have an experienced and creative team to manage your site for you and make the right kind of changes and strategy by working with you maximize the potential of your website.

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