Five common website mistakes and how to fix them
Here are five website mistakes that can repel, rather than attract, clients, and how to fix them:
1. Unresponsive (not mobile-friendly)
There are millions of websites, so if yours doesn’t display correctly, visitors will probably go to the next one, costing you the chance to market your service to potential clients.
People browse the internet using all sorts of devices – tablets, smartphones, notebooks, large-screen monitors and even TVs. Your website needs to be responsive to all these sizes, which means it should automatically adjust the content to fit the screen size. It should also be able to adapt to a change between portrait and landscape on handheld devices.
But be careful when making your website responsive. If your image dimensions are too large, it will load slowly on mobile devices. If your image dimensions are too small, it will look pixelated (stretched and blurry) on large-screen monitors. So it’s important to use the right image size and software.
In addition to testing the different screen sizes, don’t forget to test that your website is responsive in different browsers like Firefox, Edge, Chrome, Opera and Safari.
2. No search-engine optimisation
Websites do not belong to the category of: if you build it, they will come. You have to attract traffic by making it easy for search engines to redirect people to your website.
So include information people are searching for. For example:
- A mortgage broker could give tips on when you should refinance your home loan
- A lender could give a comparison between personal loans and overdrafts
- An accountant could give tips on how small businesses can automate their bookkeeping
An easy way to increase the amount of helpful content on your website is to write regular blogs. You can outsource writing these blogs to Hunter & Scribe. Choose the topic, length and frequency, and we’ll deliver. We can also suggest topics.
Remember to include backend (the part only the bots read) information:
- Metadata (information about your site and keywords)
- Site meta description (the short description people see when your website pops up in search results or is posted on social media)
- Sitemaps (so search engines crawl all your pages)
- Robots.txt file (for example, if you only want Australian clients, you could block Russian and Chinese bots from crawling your website by including the relevant commands in your robots.txt file)
3. No contact information
Not having a phone number or email address on your home page is a surprisingly common error.
Existing and potential clients may visit your website to find out your open hours and how they can get in touch. If they can’t find the information, they’ll probably contact one of your rivals instead.
In addition to your contact details, you can consider including other forms. For example:
- An accountant could have a calendar with the option for the visitor to book a free consultation
- A real estate agent could have a form visitors can fill in to subscribe to new property listings
- A buyer’s agent could provide a form for buyers to fill in the specifications of the property they want to buy
4. Amateurish design
It is not enough to simply have a website; it should also be easy to navigate and look professional. So keep gimmicks like animated gifs and pop-ups to a minimum, because they’ll distract people from reading the content.
You should also avoid using popular free website-building templates without customising them. Hundreds of websites use them, so your website will not stand out. It could also create the impression that your business isn’t successful enough to pay a web developer or buy a template.
5. Poorly written content
Your content is a critical part of your website. It should be detailed enough to give visitors a complete overview of your services, but not so detailed they get bored halfway through and stop reading.
Most importantly, it should be clear, concise and easy to read.
It’s best to avoid big blocks of text, so break up your content using headings, bullet-points and images.
Be sure to proofread your website, and ask a few other people (or Hunter & Scribe) to proofread it as well. When you’re familiar with the content, it’s easy to gloss over small errors – like using it’s instead of its or putting apostrophes in the wrong places.