7 most common website mistakes we see with client websites (and how to solve them)

Building a website can feel like navigating a labyrinth, with so many chances to take a wrong turn. We get it—everyone makes mistakes, especially when they’re juggling a million other things. But fear not! We’re here to highlight some of the most common blunders we see with client websites and, more importantly, how you can fix them. Trust us, addressing these issues will make your website not just a digital storefront, but a true extension of your brand. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1) Performance

Why is website performance important?

Website performance is crucial because it directly affects how users experience your site. If your pages take too long to load, visitors are likely to leave before they even see your content – this is called the bounce rate. Higher bounce rates can hurt your search engine rankings and, ultimately, your business. Additionally, with the increasing number of people browsing on their phones, mobile responsiveness is more important than ever. A site that isn't mobile-friendly can frustrate users and lead to lost opportunities.

Why is website performance important? Talk about page load affecting bounce rate and impact of mobile responsiveness. Then do bullet points of how to solve these problems  

Tips to improve website performance:

  • Optimize Images: Compress images to reduce file size without compromising quality.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Speed up load times by serving content from servers closer to the user.
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML: Reduce the size of your site's code to improve loading speed.
  • Enable Browser Caching: Store some data locally on users' devices so they don't have to re-download it every time they visit.
  • Choose a Reliable Hosting Provider: A good host can significantly impact your site's performance.
  • Implement Lazy Loading: Only load content as it becomes visible to the user.
  • Ensure Mobile Responsiveness: Use responsive design principles to make sure your site looks and works great on all devices.

2) SEO

What is SEO and why is it important?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is all about enhancing your website so that it ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google. Think of it as tuning your site so that search engines understand and trust that it's a valuable, relevant source of information for users. When done well, SEO can drive more organic (non-paid) traffic to your site, which means more potential customers or readers discovering your content.

SEO is important because it ensures your site is visible in search results, attracting visitors who are looking for what you offer. Without good SEO, your site might be buried under a heap of other results, making it harder for people to find you. This can directly impact your site's traffic, leads, and potential revenue.

How to solve these problems:

  • Conduct Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords that people are using to search for your content and use them strategically in your website's content.
  • Optimize Your Website's Structure: Make sure your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate, as well as organized in a way that makes sense to both humans and search engines.
  • Create High-Quality Content: Write valuable, informative, and engaging content that incorporates your target keywords naturally. This will not only attract readers but also improve your site's credibility with search engines.
  • Build Backlinks: A backlink is when another website links to yours. These external links show search engines that others find your content useful

3) Email Capture

Most people create a beautiful website but it's not effective for them to reach their business goals. Your website should be your most important marketing and sales tool for your business. That's why collecting emails is so important - people aren't going to check their inbox every day but they are going to check their inbox so collecting emails would be a strong approach to implement on your website.

Different Strategies to Collect Emails on Your Website

There are several effective strategies to collect emails on your website, making it easier to keep in touch with your audience and build a strong mailing list:

  1. Pop-Up Forms: Pop-up forms are eye-catching and can be easily tailored to appear at the right moment, such as when a visitor is about to leave your site. Make sure the pop-up is enticing with a compelling offer, like a discount or exclusive content.
  2. Landing Pages: Create dedicated landing pages with a clear call-to-action (CTA) for visitors to sign up. These can be particularly effective when paired with targeted ads or social media campaigns.
  3. Content Upgrades: Offer content upgrades, such as downloadable e-books (such as this one😉), checklists, or templates, in exchange for an email address. This works well when the upgrade is directly related to the content the visitor is already interested in.
  4. Exit-Intent Pop-Ups: These pop-ups appear when a user is about to leave your site, offering a last chance to grab their attention and get their email. It’s a great moment to offer something valuable, like a free consultation or access to a special resource.
  5. Sign-Up Forms in Blog Posts: Embed email capture forms within your blog posts, especially those that perform well or cover highly relevant topics. This gives readers a seamless way to subscribe without leaving the content they’re engaged with.
  6. Social Proof: Show off how many others have joined your email list to create a sense of community and trust. Testimonials and reviews can also make joining your list more appealing.
  7. Gated Content: Provide valuable content that is only accessible after sign-up. This can include webinars, in-depth articles, or exclusive videos. This strategy works best when the gated content is highly valuable and relevant to your audience.

By implementing these strategies thoughtfully, you can effectively grow your email list, keeping your audience engaged and driving your business goals forward.

Do you have a clear strategy to follow up with people that visit your website?

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4) Easy navigation

Make sure your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. A cluttered and confusing website can turn potential subscribers away. Keep things organized and visually appealing, with clear calls-to-action for signing up for emails. This will not only help attract new subscribers but also keep them coming back for more.

Remember, your website is often the first impression people have of your brand, so make it count! With a well-maintained and easy-to-manage website, you'll be able to effectively grow your email list and reach your business goals.  So next time you sit down to spruce up your site, don't forget about these important strategies for building an engaged email list.

Tips to Make a User-Friendly, Easy to Navigate Website

  • Keep it Simple: Less is often more when it comes to web design. Avoid clutter by using plenty of white space and focusing on minimalistic design principles.
  • Intuitive Layout: Arrange content in a logical order. Important information should be easily accessible, and navigation menus should guide users through the site effortlessly.
  • Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure your website is responsive and looks great on all devices, especially smartphones. A significant portion of users will be visiting your site from a mobile device.
  • Fast Loading Times: Speed is crucial. Optimize images and reduce unnecessary scripts to ensure your site loads quickly, keeping visitors from getting frustrated and leaving.
  • Consistent Branding: Use the same colors, fonts, and styles throughout the site to build a cohesive and professional brand image.
  • Clear Calls-to-Action: Make sure your CTAs are visually prominent and clearly instruct visitors on what to do next, such as “Sign up today” or “Learn more.”
  • Accessible Design: Ensure that your website complies with accessibility standards so that all users, including those with disabilities, can navigate your site with ease.
  • Search Functionality: A search bar can help users quickly find the information they’re looking for, improving overall site usability.
  • Regular Updates: Keep your content fresh and up-to-date. Regularly check for broken links and outdated information to maintain a professional appearance.
  • Readable Fonts: Choose fonts that are easy to read both on desktop and mobile devices. Stick with standard web fonts to avoid compatibility issues.

5) Accessibility

Making sure your website is accessible is not just about ticking a box; it’s about creating an inclusive online environment where everyone, regardless of their abilities, can interact with your content. When your website is accessible, it opens doors to a broader audience, including those with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers. This not only helps in complying with legal standards but also reflects positively on your brand, showing that you care about all your customers. Additionally, accessible websites often have better SEO performance as search engines appreciate well-structured and easy-to-navigate sites. Ultimately, prioritizing accessibility fosters a more inclusive digital community and can drive better business outcomes.

Tips on Making an Accessible Website

  • Use Alt Text for Images: Provide descriptive alt text for all images to help screen reader users understand the content and context of visual elements.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Ensure that all interactive elements of your site, such as forms and menus, can be navigated using a keyboard, as not all users can use a mouse.
  • Color Contrast: Maintain a high contrast between text and background colors to make your content readable for users with visual impairments.
  • Semantic HTML: Use proper HTML tags like `<nav>`, `<article>`, and `<header>` to give structure to your content, making it easier for assistive technologies to interpret.
  • Transcripts and Captions: Offer text transcripts for audio content and closed captions for video content to assist users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Resizable Text: Make sure your website allows users to resize text without breaking the layout, aiding those with visual impairments. This can be typically managed with relative units like `em` or `rem` in your CSS.
  • ARIA Landmarks: Utilize ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) landmarks to improve the navigation of your content for screen reader users.
  • Form Labels and Instructions: Clearly label all form fields and provide instructions for filling them out, which helps users with cognitive disabilities understand how to interact with the form.
  • Error Notifications: Ensure error messages are easy to spot, clear, and describe the issue and how to resolve it, making it easier for all users to correct mistakes.

6) Copywriting

Copywriting is essential for websites because it directly influences how visitors perceive and interact with your brand. Good copy isn't just about filling space; it's about attracting and engaging your audience to turn visitors into loyal customers. Compelling headlines, clear call-to-actions, and informative content can significantly boost user experience, drive conversions, and improve overall site effectiveness.

  • Understand your audience: identify their pain points, desires, and the language they use.
  • Write in a simple, conversational tone.
  • Avoid jargon to prevent confusion or alienation.
  • Use compelling headlines to grab attention.
  • Keep paragraphs short for better readability.
  • Include a clear call-to-action to guide visitors (e.g., make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, contact for more information).
  • Regularly revisit and update your copy to keep it fresh and aligned with your audience's evolving needs.

7) Scalability

When you're just starting out, it might be tempting to pick a website platform that's either super basic or way too complex, requiring a developer every time you need to tweak something. But here's the thing: choosing the right platform with scalability in mind can save you a lot of headaches down the road. You want a platform that grows with your business, allowing you to add new features, handle increased traffic, and make updates easily. Think about future-proofing your website by selecting a platform that balances ease of use with the ability to expand its functionality as your needs evolve. This way, you won't find yourself stuck with a site that can't keep up with your business's growth or one that drains your resources with every little change.

Tips on Choosing the Right Platform

Choosing the right platform for your website is crucial, and it doesn't have to be overly complicated. Let's break it down with some easy tips that can guide you to make the best choice:

  1. Ease of Use: Look for a platform that you can navigate without needing a tech expert. User-friendly interfaces save you time and frustration.
  2. Flexibility and Customization: Choose a platform that offers plenty of templates and customization options. This allows you to create a website that truly reflects your brand.
  3. Cost: Evaluate your budget and compare the costs of different platforms. Some may have hidden fees for plugins or services, so make sure you're clear on the total investment required.
  4. Support and Resources: Ensure there's plenty of customer support available, whether through live chat, email, or phone. Also, check for an active community or online forums where you can get help from other users.
  5. SEO Features: Look for built-in SEO tools that can help your website rank better on search engines. The easier it is to optimize your site, the more visitors you'll attract.
  6. Scalability: Make sure the platform can handle your growth. As your business expands, you'll need to add more content, features, and perhaps even e-commerce capabilities.
  7. Integration Capabilities: Confirm that the platform can integrate smoothly with other tools you might need, like email marketing software, analytics tools, and social media.
  8. Security: Don't overlook security features. Ensure the platform offers strong protection against threats to keep your data and your customers' information safe.

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