Mini-Me Holly with a magnifying glass, multicoloured stars and the wording '5 common mistakes people make on their website'

Websites are brilliant selling tools for your business and when done correctly they can make you money while you sleep. By this I mean they’re not time sensitive so people can go on them whenever they like: 

Can’t sleep at 3am – reach for the internet to keep you company. 

Need something during your work day, a quick Google search will get you the website you need. 

You get my drift….. 

Knowing your website doesn’t adhere to the 9-5 the way your old corporate job does means we need to look at how we present and manage it in different ways. Sometimes that means making the shift from treating your website like the 9-5 version of your business to the ‘open anytime’ version. 

Here are the 5 common website mistakes people make:

They don’t measure their metrics

An all singing, all dancing shiny website is fantastic! After all, everyone likes visual appeal. But do you know if people are actually landing on your site? Or how they are navigating it when they are on it? Or what search terms people are using which bring up your website? 

Once a website has been published the very first thing to do is connect it to analytics so you can start to measure how it’s performing. 

Google Analytics is popular, free and connects with lots of different WordPress plugins to display those analytics directly on your website. 

You can setup an Analytics account here:  Google Analytics

They don’t write content for just one person 

Ever heard the expression ‘write for everyone, you’ll get no-one’? I say it a lot. What it means is if you try to be all things to all people you’ll end up not attracting anybody. Why? Because everyone likes to believe a service is an amazing fit just for them and if you generalise too much, are not specific enough or make it feel like your service is an average fit for everybody, they’ll go off and find someone who has written more specifically on their website. 

Remember when people are looking at your website it’s just them on their phone/computer, reading your content. Therefore you need to write your content as though you’re writing to just one person. Don’t worry about getting super-specific – think if you were talking to a group of people, all who would be a good fit for your product/service, what do the people in that group have in common? That’s your starting point for writing good content.

Emma Holmes of Rebels and Rockstars talks about it in this post. 

There’s no calls to action

Ever been on a website and you’re left a little confused and not sure what you’re meant to be doing? You’ve read reams of text, looked at photos but  it just sort of ends. You’re not alone. Often when people create their websites they think the aim of the site is as a ‘shopfront’ for the business and people will see it, like it and get in touch via the contact page. 

In real life this doesn’t happen. If you’re not telling people to contact you/book a call/buy your product now, how on earth are they going to know that’s what you want them to do? 

Make sure there’s a really clear call to action, at least at the bottom of each page. Successful sites have them in each section too, to save the user from having to scroll up or down to find the button. Remember, the least amount of clicks for the user can mean the maximum amount of sales/enquiries for for you. 

It’s hard to navigate

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is trying to predict behaviour. Website user behaviour that is. How we think they’ll navigate the website and how they actually navigate it are often worlds apart. Something we can do to try to predict how they’re going to behave on the website is give them a solid structure of how to navigate it. 

So what is navigation? The most obvious ones are your menu and your calls to action as these are directly leading the visitor somewhere. Just as with books, people tend to read websites from left to right so bear this in mind with your navigation: 

Menus & Headers

Start with the most important information: Home, About, Services on the left, the less important ones in the middle and finish with a call to action on the right – Contact/Get in touch. 

Calls to Action

Put them in the middle or on the right. Calls to action follow text so if you put it on the left, people aren’t ready for it. Let them read the text, be convinced then hit that button by putting it in their sightline. 

The third, and often forgotten part of navigation are links in your body copy. Make sure these all work as from time to time, links can break, if you’re linking to external websites, the links may change. The small attention to detail of checking links periodically doesn’t just tell your customer you care about the details, it also tells Google that you’re regularly maintaining your website. As broken links are a big mark against you for SEO. 

It’s not mobile responsive 

This year marks 15 years of Smartphones so if your website is not mobile responsive then people will be clicking away from it faster than you can say ‘bye!’ Most WordPress themes are mobile responsive, which is good but realistically all this means is it takes the number of columns in a container and stacks them one on top of the other for mobile view. Not so great. 

Have a think about how you’d like people to view your website on their mobile device and if there’s anything in your mobile view which could be a barrier to your visitors getting in touch. For example, contact forms can be quite fiddly on mobiles so you may like to change the call to action on a mobile from ‘fill in this form’ to ‘email me’. 

If you’d like support to correct mistakes on your website and discuss how it could perform better my website strategy and solutions service is a great place to start.