Common Web Design Mistakes And How to Avoid Them: According to the Experts
These days having a website that captures a user’s attention and converts them into a loyal customer isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. A poorly designed site can cause your business to lose customers and ultimately money, and unfortunately, bad web design is more common than you might expect.
For many small business owners, the thought of hiring a professional web design company seems out of reach or overly expensive, leading them to consider DIY options or cheap, lower-quality alternatives. For many enterprise companies, their own ideas about what constitutes a good website might get in the way of their success.
Making mistakes on your website can have lasting impacts on the long-term health of your business. We asked our community of business owners, web design professionals, and user experience (UX) experts to share the most common problems that they see on business websites today and they delivered!
Does your site commit any of these mistakes? Find out and learn how you can fix your web design mistakes today!
The Most Common Web Design Mistakes
The two most common mistakes businesses make with their website are not making it mobile-friendly and not paying attention to page speed.
Most people today use their mobile phones to search the web. In fact, 57% of mobile traffic comes from mobile devices, according to Search Engine Land. So, if your website doesn’t look good on mobile phones, users will most likely leave it and look for another business with a mobile-friendly website.
According to a Google analysis of 11 million landing pages, slow loading speeds make people leave a page faster. It correlates to high bounce rates on many websites, which isn’t a surprise because people are impatient.
– Laurie Wilkins, Founder, Call Outdoors
The worst mistake a business can make with their website is having a poor layout. It’s important to nderstand how the eye is drawn over the page and respect what is happening to the reader’s attention span. Making small changes will keep your readers engaged and carrying through your website.
People will only try for a few seconds to find what it is they are looking for. Can’t find it? They will move on. Period. Remember that something like a 1500 word blog post will be scanned in 3-5 seconds, readers will get the information they need and move on. Make sure what you provide is valuable.
– Andrew Taylor, Founder and Director, Net Lawman
The most common and damaging website mistakes involve not optimizing for above the fold. This is the first thing a person sees when they click through to a website, and if you miss here, you most likely won’t get a second chance. Make sure that your copy is clear and concise, your images are relevant, navigation is easy to find, there is a clear call-to-action, and that it’s not too confusing!
– Christopher Kim, Head of Growth, FoundersList
People who are not internet savvy think that they just need a website and a social presence. Often they pay very high rates for websites that could be made very quickly with free tools and never use these websites.
Another mistake is not having patience. A website takes at least six months to start being taken in consideration by Google.
– Alessandro Coraglia, Owner, outdoorsbeing.com
One of the most common mistakes I see businesses make is trying to make their website too fancy. It’s really tempting to make your website visually stunning and fill it with cool and unique features that will make it stand out; however, it does so at the cost of performance. The more loaded your website is with features and designs, the longer it will take to load. Your customers won’t appreciate waiting for a long time just to load your website’s about page.
Instead, try to focus on making your website easy to read and direct to the point. Less is more, but adding some fancy features here and there won’t hurt as long as it doesn’t affect your site’s loading times that much.
Another mistake many websites make is misplacing ads. A lot of people find ads annoying and really hard to deal with. Sadly, ads are needed to earn that bit of extra revenue, so you can’t just cut them out entirely. What you should do instead is to tastefully spread your ads throughout your site. Place most of them on the sides where it won’t bother people but don’t be afraid to put some pop-ups here and there since it might get you some clicks.
– Anh Trinh, Managing Editor, Netbooknews
The biggest issue that many businesses face on their websites is not adequately sending users down the funnel with their pages. This is extremely common with blog posts, since many websites will have posts that are standalone and do not link internally to relevant service pages. Not only does this limit their potential sales, but their rankings can also be adversely affected as internal linking is a very important SEO technique. The way to fix this is to have a content strategy that is directly relevant to your business’s key offerings. Then, there are opportunities to display your business as experts in the field, and provide further direction for users to conduct business. It’s important not to go overboard, and I would always advise that each blog post should have one internal link to the most relevant service page (depending on the topic).
– Itamar Blauer, SEO Consultant, itamarblauer.com
Using free websites and tools is great for some things, but not for web design. The advance of technology has made it possible for people to make websites on their own by customizing existing templates. While this might be convenient for businesses, especially new ones, it might actually do more harm than good.
Free websites might be shallow in features, unsafe for payments, appear cheap to clients, have coding errors, or appear similar to many others. Collectively, these shortfalls might negatively affect a business. The way to get around this mistake is to invest in a good custom website no matter how much it costs.
– James Jason, Assistant Marketing Manager and Financial Analyst, Mitrade
The biggest mistake that businesses make with their website is having too much going on. They include lots of text, heavy animations, and tons of ads and pop-ups which is off-putting. When it comes to designing a user-friendly site, remember that less is more. You need to portray relevant business info right away on your website. Visitors who can’t understand what your site is about within a few seconds of arriving on your site will leave. A crowded website is never a good thing. Websites with tons of images, text, and other things going on will take a while to load, and they’ll confuse your visitors. So, it’s best to avoid busy designs.
– William Taylor, Senior Career Advisor, VelvetJobs
One of the biggest and most common mistakes businesses make is developing websites that aren’t well optimised for mobile access. This can manifest in many ways, such as website buttons that don’t work, various other UI elements that don’t display properly, and slow loading times.
More than half of all website traffic now comes from mobile devices, and this proportion is constantly growing. This is even more pronounced in regions like Asia and Africa, where mobile devices account for nearly two thirds of all traffic.
Websites that aren’t optimised for mobile are likely to see high bounce rates, and with Google’s move to mobile-first indexing this will hit especially hard. Fortunately, the solution is pretty simple: take a mobile-first approach to website design and development, or hire an agency with expertise in the area.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s an easy fix for a pervasive problem, and will very quickly see improvements in website engagement and search engine ranking.
– Sam Maley, Head of Growth, Bailey & Associates
So many websites make mistakes with their internal linking (or lack thereof). You may have a lot of high quality, relevant content on your website, which you are adding to regularly via your blog and other pages; however, if you are not linking these pages together effectively, you may be missing out on a lot of potential traffic and even customers.
People will generally spend less time on your website if they find one page through a keyword search then bounce out again without further encouragement to keep exploring. Plus, internal linking shows search engines which pages you want to rank for which keywords, as well as making it easier for search engines to find and index your content (particularly new blog posts and pages).
When it comes to providing links to elsewhere on your website, a good navigation menu is only part of the story. Make sure to include internal links to other pages and posts within your on page content to keep users on your website, making it easy for them to find the information and services/products they need in the moment. Even if someone is at the informational stage instead of looking to make a purchase, the longer they stay on your website, the more likely they will be to remember your brand when they are further down the line in their journey.
– Camille Brouard, Senior Marketing Executive, myhrtoolkit
In my opinion, not taking efforts to improve user behavior metrics is the most serious mistake a website owner can make. Many businesses spend a lot of time to attract people to their websites, but they fail to encourage these visitors to keep exploring the topic and take the desired action.
Do you have a blog? Don’t forget to link to other relevant topics below each blog post.
Do you offer an ebook? Don’t hide the link in the footer but create an exit pop-up that will offer people to download it for free.
Without internal linking, banners, and/or a sidebar, you not only lose potential customers but also hurt your search rankings. Google understands your site isn’t relevant enough to the topic when users bounce too fast.
– Adelina Karpenkova, Content Marketer, Joinative
The most common mistake smaller businesses are making in recent times is not to set-up or transfer to a https:// link instead of the more traditional http://. Consumers are becoming savvy, and understanding a lot more about internet security and so are more quickly refusing to risk visiting a site that is not putting security of the consumer at the forefront of what they are doing.
Especially with something this simple, it is worth taking the little time and money to show your consumers that you are considering them and their safety.
– Charli Burbidge, Co-Founder, Petz
The most common mistakes we see companies make is that they come up with the design for their new website, they do all the work, and then they try to bring on an SEO firm to help. This is a huge mistake since SEO is not a single layer: it needs to be interwoven into the every part of the website. The best SEO happens when copywriters, developers, and SEOs work together.
Bringing an SEO in after the site has been launched is going to force the copywriter to reconsider the wording in a lot of the places, so they will do twice the work.
– John Short, Founder, Compound Growth Marketing
One of the common mistakes I see business owners make when it comes to website design is not trusting the experts they hired to get the job done. They insist on what they want even after being told it won’t work or look right, so the end result is a disaster and will need to be redone. It’s good to acknowledge that there are people whose job it is to create a great website (I’m not just talking about web designers here but also SEO experts as well as UI/UX specialists). It’s even more important that you accept input from them when you lay out the vision you have for your business website. They know what works well and what doesn’t so you, the entrepreneur, should learn to step back a bit and give them space to execute and improve upon your vision.
– Allan Borch, Founder, Dotcom Dollar
The most common mistake I see is something I call obsessive-compulsive link building disorder. We all know relevant high-quality links drive your pages up the SERPs, but the mistake a huge amount of people are making is not completing the steps that make your site worth linking to, making link building a much harder and costlier battle. By this I mean they are not completing regular site audits and on page SEO that focuses on fixing technical errors and improving user experience.
If these stages are done and done well, not only will your link building efforts become much easier but you’ll start to pick up links organically. The last site audit I completed on my own site increased my traffic by 45% and that was because I took a step back, took off my SEO hat and listened to what my visitors had to say about my site.
– Matthew Woodward, Founder, MatthewWoodwark.co.uk
It is critical that a website is secure. A website that is not secure is a bad signal for both search engines and cautious website visitors. A secure website implements the https:// protocol so that it displays in the user navigation bar on every computer or mobile device. Any website that asks for any personal information from a visitor needs to be secured. Search engines will penalize a website in the search results simply by not making the website secure. Many users will abandon a website if they notice it is not a secure website before making any type of purchase.
– David Reischer, Marketing Professional, LegalAdvice.com
Most website owners don’t realize that slideshows are an awful user experience which can depress website metrics. User tracking tests show that slides shows often get ignored. Even when they are interacted with, the first slide gets 80% of the interactions, while the other slides get the rest according to recent studies. Users often just gloss over slideshows, and if anything, they often prove to be distracting with its rotating messaging from some of the other important messaging on the page. When this happens, it can increase your bounce rate, and negatively impact your SEO.
Consider taking those individual points of the slide show and spread them across the page to drive better engagement.
– Neal Taparia, CEO, Solitaired
Being overly self-promotional is a huge mistake many businesses make on their websites. Although you need to promote your business and your brand, being overly self-promotional tends to push people off rather than attract them.
– Lewis Keegan, Owner, Skill Scouter
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with a new website is not starting a blog. Even though content marketing might not be your primary way of generating leads, it’s always a great idea to start filling up your blog with high-quality content early on.
You’ll establish yourself as an industry thought leader, you can gather a faithful audience, increase your email subscriber list, perhaps even get some organic traffic if you choose the right keywords to write for.
Overall, there are too many benefits to ignore and if you can’t write your own blog content, you can outsource the work since there are quite a few freelance writers to choose from.
– Malte Scholz, Co-Founder, Airfocus
The most common mistake sites make is not having a clear purpose and direction for their audience. When a user arrives, what should he or she do? What is the purpose of being there? Information? Action? etc. Sometimes websites try and pack so much into their home-page the entirety of their messaging gets lost.
– Aryeh Brickner, CMO, Sync.ai
I’ve set up several websites for small businesses and consultants. If there is one mistake I have seen repeatedly, it’s a desire for pages to be written in official-sounding language. They want SEO language added, but they like to use industry jargon and bigger words, rather than speak to their customers. There is room, and often a need, to use certain industry terms, but those should be wrapped in a more easy to access text.
– David Leonhardt, President, The Happy Guy Marketing
Users should dictate the design and architecture of your website, not your opinion or subjective ideas about what constitutes good design. Your website should be designed to do one thing: get users to act. Every page on your website should have that intention.
– Nathan Gotch, Founder, Gotch SEO
Most companies know that they need a website, but in their haste to get one made, many make the same 3 errors.
- What do you do: Can a person unfamiliar with your company tell what you DO just by looking at your landing page? Chances are, a search led them to your site. You have 2-3 seconds to convince them that you are the solution to the question they asked Google.
- Call to action: Once they have decided you might be a solution to their problems, do you offer a call to action? Many times companies want the customer to contact them to get a quote, yet the information to get to the right person is buried on another page. Make the process simple and easy to use!
- Is it mobile friendly: Did you know that 60-70% of searches are happening on a mobile device? Not making sure that your site is mobile friendly is ignoring a sizable percentage of your visitors! Many website design programs now have preview settings so you can see what your site will respond on a desktop, tablet, and mobile device. Is your website making one of these mistakes? I have some good news for you. It is never too late to fix them.
– Amy Moyer, Owner, Amy Moyer Design & Marketing
I find the biggest mistake businesses make when creating websites is not having enough high-quality content on them. Many of my customers make this mistake because they think that people don’t like to read a lot anymore. Although it is true that people don’t read and process information the way they used to, this shouldn’t be a deterrent to publishing high quality content.
– Mary Clare Bland, Owner, Bespoke Digital Solutions
One of the most common mistakes businesses are making is that they forget their website to be SEO-friendly. All technical SEO stuff should be set up, perform on-page optimization, and make sure that URLs are also SEO-friendly.
– Lilia Manibo, Writer and Editor, Anthrodesk
Something I see all the time is a business website that is specifically requesting that Google not serve the site in their search results. When building a new site, website developers will commonly include an instruction to search engines to ignore the site, minimizing the risk that a half finished or under construction website will show up in search results. Unfortunately, they have a tendency to forget to turn this setting off when pushing a website live. Preclusion from search engines like Google can cut a business off from a large and lucrative customer acquisition channel that no company should be missing out on. Luckily, it is usually an easy fix. Ask your developer to check that the robots.txt file is set to allow search engines, and that the robots meta tag is set to follow on the pages you care about on your site. It won’t take long before customers are flocking to see your amazing company!
– Steven Weldler, Director of Online Marketing, Avenues Recovery
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses often make with their website is not including a blog. If your aim is to gain traffic and push for leads using your website, having a blog can have huge benefits. This is because you can write about your products, processes and topics that are related to your industry. In doing this, you can build contextual value for your website and relevance which will increase your rankings and, in turn, convert more and more people as time goes on.
– Charlie Worrall, Digital Marketing Executive, Imaginaire
The most common mistake that businesses make with their websites is not having secure elements on their pages. Companies usually install SSL certificates, and their main pages do load on HTTPS; however, one can find the page with the elements that load on HTTP. It could be an image, script or animation, or CDN that loads that element on HTTP. Hence, the browser does not give a green signal to the URL. Having a site on SSL is one thing, but to load all the elements of the page on the HTTPS is different.
– Faizan Fahim, Digital Marketer, ServerGuy
The greatest mistake with a website is to underestimate the value of user experience. However great the business idea was, if the user opens a website and does not feel comfortable there, feels lost and confused because of poor usability, the user will leave the website and give no second chance. Forrester’s research reported that every dollar invested in UX brings $100 in return on average. I strongly advise every business to conduct a professional, multiphased user experience audit of their website in order to spot weaknesses and to find room for improvement.
– Oksana Pleten, UI/UX Designer, KeenEthics
Designing a website and designing a website that works are two very different things. I see many companies that design a website completely about themselves. In reality, nobody cares about your business. They care about solving their own problems. That said, always design with the user in mind. Think about the questions your personas are asking. Why are people coming to your site? Think about what needs they have, and what immediate action they’re hoping to take when they land on your homepage. Design every aspect of navigation with your users in mind.
– Clare Richards, Creative Services Manager, Leighton Interactive
As someone who has audited many e-commerce websites, one of the biggest mistakes I’ve observed is that most e-commerce websites don’t link to their social network pages. Not only does linking to your social network pages help your customers find and follow you, but also doing it increases those social media pages’ rankings on search engines, especially when someone searches for your brand name.
– Burak Özdemir, Web Developer, ozdemirburak.com
One of the most common mistakes people make on their website is usually a very quick win when addressed. Most small businesses have the same title tag on all their pages. (A title typically found on top of an HTML/XHTML document inside the tag. Most web browsers will display the web page title at the top of the browser window and/or in the browser tab). The title tag helps search engines know what you page is about and is therefore an important consideration in ranking in the search engines. When you have the same title tag for every page you are missing a big opportunity to sell the search engines what each page is about and therefore miss out on SEO ranking opportunities. If you change the title tag on each page and include the keyword you are trying to rank for then you should start to rank for a lot more keywords in the search engines.
– Steve Keighery, Founder, Home Buyer Louisiana
Web design is an art form. And much like art, web design aims to give its users an experience. One mistake businesses can make with their website is having too much going on. You have to make sure that you have everything that’s important in your website like business information portrayed right away on your page. Users who can’t seem to get the hang of your website in under a minute or two will immediately leave and move on to the next source. It will take a while to load websites with loads of pictures, text and other stuff going on so they could annoy the tourists. Remember to avoid busy designs like the plague.
– Matt Scott, Owner, Termite Survey
Probably the biggest mistake I see is that many businesses don’t think of their website as a resource or a tool. I have seen so many small businesses (and even some mid-sized ones) have a barebones website that doesn’t anticipate or answer customer questions and doesn’t appear to serve a business function either. It’s almost like someone told them that they have to have a website and they put up some basic info pages and left it at that. In my opinion, underutilizing your site is the biggest sin a business can commit in 2020.
– Benjamin Sweeney, Content Manager, ClydeBank Media
One of the most harmful mistakes businesses make in relation to their website is failing to optimize their on-site SEO and allowing internal linking errors to overrun your site architecture. There are two main types of linking errors; broken pages (404) and redirects (301 or 302). When Google’s algorithm recognizes that your website contains a large number of broken links, it perceives the website to be low quality and reduces it’s organic SEO rankings. Google seeks to give the consumer the best possible experience on the web and broken pages are a reflection of poor backend structure and management. The best way to fix these mistakes is to conduct a technical audit on your website using a tool like ScreamingFrog or DeepCrawl that will quickly identify any harmful 301,302, or 404 pages. Once these mistakes are located you can easily go onto the backend of your website and fix these errors to quickly improve your website’s organic visibility.
– David Waiter, SEO Director, Direction Inc.
One mistake I see organizations make over and over again is trying to be clever instead of clear. This defect mostly applies to text copy. For example, you might go to a new website and see a headline like, “Soft yet firm, live the dream”, which means nothing to someone who isn’t familiar with your business. Instead, use a headline like “We make and sell beds that improve sleep quality by balancing muscular resistance”. I’m not a bed expert so that probably isn’t a thing, but at least it’s clear what the fictional company does. One exception to this guideline is massive companies; everyone knows that Nike makes sport shoes, so they can present inspiration messages instead. As a smaller business, you need to prioritize clarity.
– Michael Alexis, CEO, TeamBuilding
Not hiring a professional and creating a website on your own is one of the major mistakes businesses do which affects their time, customers, and credibility. Hiring a professional may be expensive but that will pay you off and will be able to create an individual design that will give your brand a unique look and will be different from other sites.
– Susan Thompson, Digital Marketing Manager, Topp Casino Bonus
One of the biggest website mistakes I’ve seen as a marketer is when a website appears to be too confusing. The infamous confused company web site sits right in the center of the too much or too little range. The confused site has a number of styles, pictures, color schemes and themes, none of which are interrelated. This happens when you don’t have a good idea for your brand or if you have too many ideas. To solve this, choose one color, one emblem and one typeface while creating a website and stick with them in all other facets of the domain.
– Carolyn Cairns, InsureCast
In terms of e-commerce sites like mine, one of the most common mistakes people make is not organizing their product catalog in a logical manner. If your products are not intuitive to find, people won’t find and purchase them.
– Jessica Lubahn, MD, Founder and CEO, ONDRwear
I think the most common mistake businesses make with their website is not making it mobile-friendly. We spend the majority of our time on our smartphones. Statisticss show that there’s an increase in mobile search versus desktop search in recent years. Furthermore, mobile search means that customers can be acquired at a quicker rate. Overall, this means that business owners who fail to provide a mobile version of their website will potentially lose customers. In the end, having a mobile version of your website means customer satisfaction will increase, making your brand appear more modern and relevant.
– George Mouratidis, Co-Founder, weedcopywriter.com
When a user is visiting your website you really don’t want them to leave it, well, not without converting first. However, if your website has external links on it (which it should!), you may find that they click on an external link which then loads up in the same browser tab. You’ve now more than likely lost them; they will be distracted by the new site that has just loaded up. Unfortunately, most website builders will automatically set your links to open up in the same tab and this is a massive mistake that many websites make.
– Lucy Johnson, Founder, SHiDO Digital
One of the most common mistakes people make with their website it not making it mobile-friendly. If your site is slow-loading, and not responsive you won’t do well with mobile users and also Google will penalize your rankings. Make sure all clickable elements are widely spaced out, and that content adjusts to the width of a mobile screen.
– Andrea Paul, MD, CEO, healthmediaexperts.com
One of the most common mistakes businesses make with their websites is not compressing images. When you have massive files loading on your site, it slows down the page load time. This, in turn, hurts your ranking with Google as they don’t index slow websites. The good news is, this is so easy to fix! There’s a 100% free image compression tool online called ShortPixel that lets you compress up to 50 images at a time. By compressing your images, you are ensuring your website will load as fast as possible.
– Ryan Scribner, Co-Owner, Investing Simple
The biggest mistake a company makes when managing their own website is frequently changing or deleting already existing and indexed URLs. This causes 404 errors (broken links) which Google has admitted negatively affects organic search rankings. This is due to the fact that these errors make it harder for the Google bot to read the site. Usually, a digital marketing agency can catch these 404 errors before they cause too much harm and address these by adding temporary or permanent redirects to the 404 errors (giving the Google bot a clear direction when crawling a website). However, if a company is managing their own website without professional oversight, they may not recognize the broken links and inhibit their ability to be found on Google organically (without paid ads).
– Bailey Hahn, SEM Strategist, Summit Digital Marketing
The number one mistake I see in websites is over-complicating the conversion process. Many sites have steps and information in their conversion process that aren’t required; these include additional fields, tick boxes or sections of text. A substantial number of fields to enter frustrates users. In addition high amounts of text can cause confusion and negativity impact conversion rates.
– Raj Dosanjh, Founder, Rent Round
An Unbounce survey revealed only about 15% of websites load under five seconds. So given the findings of Unbounce and others,I think it’s safe to say ignoring page speed is one of the common mistakes that businesses make with their website. To fix a slow loading page, switching hosting (to Github and Weebly) and CMS (Squarespace in particular) can improve a website’s overall performance. Not only that, gzip compression can help images load faster.
– Kas Andz, Founder, Kas Andz Marketing Group
The number one mistake businesses make is creating their website from their own point of view. They use imagery they think is eye-catching, focus on the features they think are cool, and structure navigation to highlight the products or services they want to sell. The problem with this is that when someone comes to the site, they usually have a goal in mind. If they can’t figure out how to achieve that goal, whether it’s buying a product or finding out more about the company’s sustainability efforts, they’ll leave pretty quickly.
– Laura Stringer, Founder, Ninth Fourth
Many marketers think that a frequent publishing schedule and a lot of content is a good thing, and it certainly can be with aggressive promotion to a large audience or focus on long tail SEO; however, if your audience is small or SEO isn’t in the forefront of the content strategy a lot of low quality content can create dilution of SEO juice for the pages that rank or get a lot of backlinks.
Global mega footers can also leak SEO juice from your best performing landing pages to pages that are meant to inform but not convert. This is especially true for websites of B2B businesses that tend to have a lower content footprint outside a blog. A content audit can help a 3+ year old website identify low performance pages that would be best to just delete or re-launch into an improved higher quality content as an alternative to publishing new content.
– Lilia Tovbin, Founder, BigMailer.io
One of the most common mistakes businesses make with their website is not keeping the copyright year updated. This decreases the credibility of the business, showing that it does not take care of significant, small details. The good news is that this problem is easily fixed by adding a code to show the date and the website that is automatically updated every year.
Another common mistake of business owners is not using a website hosting company that provides business class hosting. As a result, the website is slow and insecure, and does not rank on search engines. This also is easy to fix, by simply upgrading to business class hosting that provides server caching, a CDN, an SSL, and other features needed to securely deliver website pages with the page speed needed to rank high in search engines.
– Allan McNabb, VP and COO, Image Building Media
The most common mistake that businesses makes with their website is making it all about them instead of their user. I advise businesses to not put an About page in the main navigation. The user does not care about the business, only about how they can get help. Instead, include links such as Support and pages that can help the user. Businesses can keep their About page link for the footer.
– Becky Beach, Owner, UXBeach.com
The most common mistake I find on most websites is not having enough call-to-actions. This may seem simple but you’d be surprised at the amount of about us and blog pages which attract the customer but give them no where to go. About 90% of my clients tend to have blogs without call-to-actions within them. For blogs with 1000+ readership per week, this can be a lot of lost revenue.
– Aled Nelmes, SEO Consultant, Falconer Removals
One of the most common issues I see with websites is poor image quality. Studies show that people remember 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read; 65% of people are visual learners; the human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds. These statistics show that high-quality images are extremely important in web design, and unfortunately, too many businesses opt for low-quality, generic stock photos, or fail to optimize images before uploading them. Customers can smell a stock photo from a mile away. Including professionally taken photos of your business, office, team, or products can go a long way to establishing your brand’s image and credibility online. What makes matters worse, is that businesses will often choose stock photos and fail to optimize them before uploading them. These are typically in the tens of megabytes in terms of file size and well over 5000 pixels in width and length. That’s far too large for a website and will slow down your overall site speed. Compressing images and adjusting image size down to around 300KB will go a long way to improving your site speed, especially if you have hundreds of images on site.
– Max Allegro, Digital Strategist, Intuitive Digital
A lot of businesses make the mistake of not noindexing the category and tag pages on their website. When you noindex a web page, you’re telling Google not to display it in search results. In my opinion, it’s a good idea to noindex your category and tag pages because if you don’t, you run the risk of having those pages outrank your actual content or products. Having a business website isn’t very useful if you can’t get the correct pages to rank for your most important keywords. It’s easy to noindex category and tag pages on WordPress websites using a plugin like Yoast. All you need to do is flip a couple switches in the plugin’s settings!
– David Lynch, Content Lead, UpPhone
The most common mistake I see businesses (especially SMBs) make regarding their websites is not properly optimizing for Google search, based on best practices. By optimizing your website for the 3 C’s of SEO (content, code and credibility), you should maximize your rankings. By creating compelling meta descriptions and on-site content, you should maximize your clicks and traffic. To maximize your conversions, however, ensure the pages you are optimizing have a clear call-to-action (at least 1, but hopefully not more than 3). Too many SEO professionals focus on optimizing service pages, blog posts, FAQs and articles on a website that lack any calls to action, thus wasting hard-earned traffic.
– Kent Lewis, Founder and President, Anvil Media, Inc.
A lot of websites aim for a really clean, simple look. This is normally a good thing, except for when it means that the company doesn’t put much writing on their website. Sparse writing makes it hard for Google to notice your website and show it to people in a relevant way. In SEO we call this thin content, and it makes it nearly impossible to ever rank on Google. Many companies we work with come to us with pretty thin content on their websites. We’ve helped them double or triple their website sessions by using this tactic to rank for more keywords and assist Google to recognize them.
– Ryan Cook, Digital Marketing Specialist, Epic Marketing
One website mistake I see many businesses make is having social media icons in the header (top menu) of their websites, especially if they are colorful. Social media sites are designed to draw their users in. If your site has social icons at the top of your page, there is a high chance the site visitor will click on them the moment they land on your site and be lost forever. The entire point of having someone visit your site is to keep them there, to narrow the funnel, close the deal; the moment they leave because of social media, there is a chance they won’t return.
– Ashley Sterling, Director of Operations, The Loop Marketing
Too many websites try to pack their pages with rows and rows of products that have tiny, thumbnail sized images that virtually eliminate the impact of high quality photos. Let the pictures work for you by giving them the space to capture a buyer’s eye. Keep your website fresh, eye-catching and in-front of the consumer by making high quality images a priority.
– Ryan Novak, Owner, Chocolate Pizza Company
Poor website design is by far the worst offender. A shoddy website can make even the finest company look amateurish and incompetent. If the website is a hot mess of poor navigational structure, bad formatting, low resolution images and web design elements that were trendy in 2007, the user is going to assume the company must reflect these same unprofessional values and look elsewhere. Spend the time, money, and effort to create a modern, stylish website that presents the company and its products & services in their best light. As a final word, it is wise to be sure that you have created relevant content for your sleek, new website. If poor website design is the worst offender, a flashy, expensive looking website that doesn’t say anything runs a close second.
– Garrett Greller, Co-Founder, Uncle Bud’s Hemp
The most common mistakes I see are (1) too much information on a page, (2) websites that do not display properly on smart phones, (3) when websites are updated, an inconsistent look and feel and (4) poor typeface and too much whitespace. And it goes without saying that if visitors can’t understand what a companies website is about in a matter of seconds, they will leave the page.
– Eric Rose, Partner, Englander Knabe & Allen
Business owners who don’t understand what they want from a website end up creating aimless websites that don’t do much more than take up virtual space. A website should represent the company, and have a purpose. Is it intended to inform, to drive sales, or to elicit phone leads? If the business owner approaches their site without a clearly defined goal in mind, the site will lack a central theme that stimulates engagement, traffic and conversion. A website is a tool that generates traffic and conversions for the company, so unless the site succeeds in that goal, even if it’s very pretty, it is still failing to meet its objective.
– Ken Eulo, Founding Partner, Smith & Eulo Law Firm
Hands down, the biggest mistake people make with their websites is not taking the time to really understand their customers. This is usually the result of someone throwing together a website quickly. It talks all about what their product or service does, but it doesn’t highlight any of the problems that get solved. You end up with generic headlines, webcopy that doesn’t use the language of your customers, and the whole site ends up looking and feeling just like your competition’s site.
– Shayne Sherman, CEO, TechLoris
The biggest mistake that businesses make with their websites is not trying hard enough with their website copy. They all focus on what THEY do instead of what the customer gets from using their product or service. It’s the classic copywriter mistake – talking about features rather than benefits. Your website should be written with the customers in mind, not what you do and why your company is great/better than the competition. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert to write a half-decent copy: all you have to do is think of the customer first.
– Petra Odak, CMO, Better Proposals
One of the most common mistakes that people make when creating their website is that they make navigation and the user interface too confusing. Navigation should be simple, with as few buttons as needed. Otherwise, customers may not know where to go, and choose to click off instead. You have to make it simple for them to get to A to B, so for that there need to be clear signs, multiple ways to get to one area, and as few navigation buttons at the top as possible. Having more visual clues to move around a website can be easier for all customers to understand, and is more engaging that words, so they may choose to explore more than they normally would.
– Christopher Prasad, Marketing Manager, JookSMS
In our experience, the most common mistake that businesses make with their website is to fail to regularly add content to it in an effort to expand the keywords for which the website ranks. It is essential to expand the keywords for which your website ranks in order to increase its ranking in search engines and the amount of organic traffic you receive through those search engines. The best way to add content to your website is through an active blog. You can think of your blog as a way to expand, in more detail, on certain topics related to the product or service you are offering on your website.
– Jessica Rose, CEO, Copper H2O
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of companies make with their website is overlooking their SEO straight from the start. I’ve attended conferences and workshops on how to successfully look after your SEO and everyone has always reminded me that your SEO needs to be right straight from the start, as it’s not a simple task to fix, it can definitely be an expensive one. I believe that whenever you create a new page, you note what you want to display and how your SEO should look like depending on the content you want to include. So if it’s imagery, you want to make sure you have plenty of tags and captions to ensure that it’s accessible for all. And if it’s written content, you want to use paragraphs correctly with a limited number of words. There’s so much to learn about SEO but over time you’ll be able to look after this with ease yourself, saving you money on external SEO agencies in the long run.
– Andrew Roderick, CEO, Credit Repair
The most important part of a website is the above the fold section, yet I see so many businesses get this area wrong. Study after study has come out that says sliders are terrible for conversion rates, yet I continue to see sliders on websites for companies large and small. While they may look good, conversions need to be the focus of all websites, and decisions should be made with conversions in mind.
– Matthew Meier, Founder and Director, MaxTour
The most common mistakes I see on business websites are a lack of clear messaging and thought put into the customer journey, and calls to action that are unclear or missing entirely. Your website needs to serve a core purpose. If you have an eCommerce site, that purpose is likely to drive sales. Every page of your site should be focused on that goal, and you should direct customers toward the desired action. For example, if your main page is just a collection of cluttered links with nothing being prioritized, what is the customer meant to do? Use of bold images to capture attention and link to the specific product or at least page you want customers to land on is far more effective. Even with that image in place, though, it might not matter if you don’t have an effective call to action. People need to understand they can click on something and why they should do it. A call to action — usually in the form of a button — should tell them what action you want them to take and at least imply why they’re doing it.
– Rex Freiberger, CEO, GadgetReview
I’m sure most businesses will focus on mistakes that directly impact conversion rates. While that is a big issue, one I see all too often and have unfortunately succumbed to is not making it incredibly easy for customers to contact us. It’s not enough to have a single contact form or a phone number listed at the bottom of the page. It needs to be clearly visible, linked from every page, and it should offer a variety of ways for people to contact your business. Email, phone, live chat, just to name the standards that should be the default for every business. If your customers can’t reach you when they need to, they’ll be frustrated and certainly won’t be repeat customers. This reflects very poorly on your business and could easily impact your bottom line.
– Dan Bailey, President, WikiLawn
One essential part of a businesses website I see too many owners forgetting, especially in their website’s earliest days, is not featuring customer reviews. Think Google Reviews first and foremost, but also ones captured off social media profiles like Facebook. Small business owners should come up with incentivization schemes getting clients to leave a positive review on Facebook and Google, then begin a sequence to integrate those reviews into key places on their websites. Those reviews serve several connected purposes. First, they should be highlighted in multiple easy-to-spot locations across your website, especially any product or service pages and your home or landing pages. Second, and perhaps even more important, Google rankings help boost your website’s SEO since Google’s ranking algorithms reward websites with dozens of glowing reviews. That SEO boost, in turn, generates greater organic traffic resulting in growing consumer trust after reading a few prominently featured reviews, which then helps entice conversions at all stages of the buyer’s journey. In short, adding reviews to your website only comes with benefits. And with the right incentivizing, it costs your business next to nothing.
– Ty Stewart, CEO and President, Simply Life Insure
A website that does not flow smoothly in terms of content and information on it and with a confusing or disruptive user experience is a common mistake. Having a website for a business is pretty much a ‘must’ these days, but if you don’t review your site from the eye of the consumer to ensure the flow and content throughout it makes sense and is useful, then it doesn’t serve its purpose of being a hub spot for your company.
– Michael Stahl, CMO, SERVPRO
A common mistake I see with different businesses is not having content and information that is up to date. I think it’s important to make it a regular practice to review everything on your website, whether on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on the products or services you offer. Outdated or incorrect information can mislead visitors to your site. Assigning the review and editing process to an individual and scheduling a cadence of review is one way to make sure your website is up to date and accurate.
– David Peterson, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy, HealthMarkets
One of the biggest mistakes people make with their website is that they include way too much stuff on each page. Minimalism, within limits, is really the key to a high conversion rate. You want to avoid stuffing as much information as possible into each page. Instead, pick one message, and one call to action for each page on your website that you want to deliver. When we refocused pages for ourselves and for our clients to have only one call to action, we’ve found a 5%-15% increase in conversion depending on the industry.
– Sean Dudayev, Founder, Frootful Marketing
A huge mistake businesses make with their websites is not optimizing it for mobile! At least half of website traffic usually comes from mobile users. If your website isn’t loading correctly or quickly enough when viewed via a phone or tablet, potential customers are likely to leave without looking any further. Load speed is one of the top reasons a user will leave your web page, especially on mobile. If it takes more than a few seconds to view and navigate the page, they have probably lost interest.
– Kimberly Porter, CEO, Microcredit Summit
Some of the most common mistakes businesses make with their websites are by being too confusing. This could be from too many images, themes, or features that don’t really relate to each other. What you want is to have easy-to-read articles, and nice visuals that aren’t distracting. You have to stay away from the unnecessary distractions like auto playing videos clips and pop-ups. Make sure your site is easy to access on all platforms.
– Derin Oyekan, Co-Founder, Reel Paper
Not having a responsive design is a common problem that websites make. Responsive design is the way your website responds to whether your visitor is on a mobile device or not. 72% of people use mobile-only when browsing the web. One solution to this is to use AMP where there is a second version of your site made for mobile-only. This is a mistake. Doubling your site leads to many design issues and coding issues that can hurt SEO. A better way would be to make sure from the start that your website is mobile friendly and has responsive designs. You can also check out plugins that help with mobile-friendliness.
– Jeremy Long, Owner, howtodothewritething.com
The most common mistake a business can make with their website is having too much going on. What you want is to make your navigation more concise. The fewer navigation links you have, means the higher the probability you have of customers clicking on the links. Keep it simple but also appealing.
– Ashwin Sokke, Co-Founder, Wow Skin Science
When people are building a website, first thoughts often drift to color theme, navigation structure, graphics, and content. One of the most commonly overlooked design elements is a level of usability that will suit the modern e-commerce customer. According to research by Forrester, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer. Yet, many websites still lack this feature. Studies show that 79% of businesses that do offer live chat report a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. The solution here comes easy. There are tons of live chat softwares and services out there to choose from, one to match any size business or budget.
– Jessica Wise, Creative Marketing, HelpSquad
Far too many businesses provide vague wording on their website about what services or products they offer. Be specific. Getting someone to your site is hard enough — you don’t want them to leave because they’re unsure what you do or where to find the information they came for. Use standard nomenclature in your menus and headings, then get creative in the body copy — but not so creative that you still leave visitors scratching their heads. Showcase your brand’s personality, not your encryption skills. If you’re writing your copy yourself, run it by several people to make sure it conveys your intended meaning. Ask if they’re confused by anything. Better yet, have a professional write your copy for you. A solid web content writer will be able to write for both your audience and search engines, thereby increasing the chances your site will get organic (i.e., non-paid) traffic.
– Jenna Rose Robbins, Founder, Siteseeing Media & Web Consulting
I see two huge mistakes right now across brands more than ever. First, a lot of brands are striving for really artsy websites. They get too deep into design and lose sight of making the brand simple to use. I’ve seen many big venture funded brands focusing a lot of capital and resources on intricate designs instead of optimization. Simple, elegant, and optimized is still our most powerful formula for success. Next, I see a lot of brands that have a beautiful desktop design; it drops the ball on mobile. It’s no secret that the majority of shoppers use mobile. This should be the easiest to use and most optimized piece of your website. My biggest tip here is to limit the amount of scrolling. Give your potential customer the easiest path to checkout!
– Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder, Miracle Brand
One element that most website owners take for granted is navigation design. Navigation design refers to the ease-of-use that visitors feel when browsing through your site. According to recent surveys, 94 percent of survey respondents say that website navigation design is the most critical website feature. When visitors feel confused, lost, or annoyed by the layout and schematics of your site, the chances are high that they will exit without doing the desired action. Investing in a reliable website navigation design either by hiring a professional website designer or by learning the skill yourself is an excellent way to ensure you create a site that makes a conducive experience for browsing. Otherwise, visitors are more likely to find a rival site that offers a better browsing experience.
– Sherry Mae, CMO, Tankarium
One of the most common mistakes companies can make with your website, is not comparing their conversions with their competitors and with companies in the same industry. In order to know where you stand, you need to know which conversions rate you should be striving for and can realistically achieve. This is one of the reasons Unbounce recently published its 2020 Conversion Benchmark Report, which dug deep into the conversion performance of 16 major industries, based on a machine learning analysis of more than 186 million visits and 19 million conversions on 34 thousand landing pages. Not doing a competitive analysis can be a strategic error. But according to the CBR report, some other, more tactical mistakes that a company can make with their website are around messaging. Copy, more than anything else, impacts your conversions. You have to optimize your word count, copy sentiment and reading ease in order to increase your leads, sales and ROI. Software as a Service (SaaS) landing pages are often the worst offenders of the ones we analyzed. It’s hard to get people to stay on your page if they can’t follow what you’re trying to tell them. And that complexity could be a reason why SaaS pages convert 10% lower than the overall industry median (eg. compared to online media, business software, cybersecurity, etc).
– Colin Loughran, Content Marketing Manager and Editor-in-Chief, Unbounce
The biggest mistake businesses make on their website is not giving visitors a reason to stay. According to a Nielsen Norman Group, a first-time website visitor only stays on a site for an average of 10-20 seconds before clicking away. Your home page needs to answer this question in the first paragraph: How can my product/service solve my target audience’s industry-specific problem? The visitor came to your site because of a prevailing problem; identify that problem and tie your product/service to the solution. Once you answer this all-important question, you have the visitor’s attention, and they will explore the site further. You should also add photos; images also answer a lot of questions and helps to break up paragraphs and make written content more scannable.
– Vinay Amin, CEO, Eu Natural
Most websites we see do not prioritize content. It is really better to have a blog page on the website since this is where you can add keywords about the current trend. One good example is COVID-19. Our website traffic tremendously increased because we started doing content optimization that is related to COVID-19. Since the economy now is not that stable we were expecting to have a declining graph for website visit for June but because we optimized our content, it surprisingly increased. Our organic session for June increased by 59% compared to May.
– Stefanie Siclot, Lead Outreach Specialist, Growth Rocket
We are impatient and so are our site visitors yet there are still websites who always forget to consider this one crucial factor. In fact, statistic shows that 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. Take time to convert your media into adaptive ones, use caches, or reduce ads to help increase page load speed.
– Samantha Moss, Editor and Content Ambassador, Romantific
Strong marketing is essential for any website. Website marketing is best when it leaves a long-lasting impression, sadly not enough website owners are aware of this. The messages delivered are crucial but also having a laser focus on the target audience is imperative. There is an old saying that “A great product (website) will market itself”. Although this can be accurate when looking at some of the greatest brands, it is not always the case. There have been many websites which were incredible but have fallen down the wayside due to bad marketing.
– James Dyble, Managing Director And Head PR Practitioner, Gloal Sound Group
You wouldn’t employ a salesperson that never asked for the sale, but most websites do exactly this. A passive brochure full of information that never invites the visitor to take the next step and request a consultation, download a voucher, pick up a free guide or whatever, will get exactly what it asks for: nothing. So make sure the focus of every single page is extremely clear and attractive to your target audience, and beneficial to your business.
– Tim Cameron-Kitchen, Head Ninja, Exposure Ninja
A common mistake a lot of websites do is making their websites way too busy trying to capture the user with a bunch of text, images, and design elements, which does tend to overwhelm leads and scare them away. Instead, try going for a more clean and minimalist design that will focus on the most important aspects of your website and ultimately be easier to read and more aesthetically pleasing. Most importantly, take a step back and try to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. So, whenever you have the chance to test if your website is cluttered and overwhelming, you need to do it. Have new people working in your company? Ask them for honest feedback and see where you stand.
– Bogdan Mile, Product Owner, Flipsnack
One of the most common mistakes businesses make when creating their website is not optimizing it for mobile use. All websites should include responsive design so that the size adjusts automatically to the device the website is being viewed on. According to a survey by Google, almost 50% of users said that if a website didn’t work properly on a smartphone, it felt like the company didn’t care about their business.
Another common mistake is to make it too difficult to access information the customer needs, such as contact details. Businesses should consider the customer journey when they visit their website, and should think about what information the potential customer is most likely to want to find. Making this information easily accessible reduces the chances of someone getting fed up and giving up on your business.
– Liam Flynn, Founder and Editor, Music Grotto
I’d say the number one mistake I see on business websites is that they look spammy. If a site looks like it was made in 1998 or like you may catch malware even looking at it from afar, no one’s going to care if your content is good: they’ll immediately click away. So, making sure your site looks reputable is the very first step. When the page looks good, people are intrigued enough to stay and read through it.
– Sean Nguyen, Director, Internet Advisor
The most common mistake that I see in many business websites is not opting for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates. Having an SSL ensures that the sensitive data of your website’s visitors will be transferred over a secure network – it is not only a trust factor but also impacts search engine rankings. Websites viewed in Chrome (most used browser) that have not been secured with HTTPS encryption also show a warning. Any website that has a form to collect information must comply with having an SSL certificate to prevent this warning. Since SSL certificates aren’t expensive, it is imperative that businesses opt for it.
– Abhishek Joshi, Digital Marketing Consultant, Dog with Blog
The most common mistake we see is a drop in visibility and rankings due to developers putting a “no-index, nofollow” attribute on the website, and leaving it after launch. This is common for sites being developed, as you don’t want Google indexing a site that is in development. The issue is that this is often left in there after launching the new website. The no-index, nofollow directive tells Google to not crawl or index the website, meaning it likely won’t show up in search results. This can cause an immediate drop in business after a new website is launched, and it’s not easy for a non-SEO (search engine optimization) professional to diagnose. Developers tend to be focused on what “works”, and not on how Google can read and index the content. Businesses need to make sure that when a website is built, it not only “works” but it also will help them attract new customers by being able to be found in Google. There are many technical components to SEO, and having a developer that understands how Google will interact with a site is a major component to getting it right and not losing website traffic due to a technical SEO issue.
– Matt Brooks, Marketing Director, SEOteric
There are a number of issues that pop up regularly on business websites, but the most common are hard to find contact information, lack of branded content, and over-use of pop-ups.
If a website has no phone number, address or email displayed it will be hard for their potential clients to contact or find them. It is very important for that information to be present for not only the clients but also for Google so that in searches the business can be found and displayed as well.
Without name recognition, a company will have a very hard time proving what they do is quality work. If that company doesn’t have about information on their website, saying they have been in business for so many years or what kind of people work there, it becomes even more difficult to convince potential clients to hire them. Additionally for SEO purposes, Google gives higher page rank to pages and sites that contain about information that proves a company is an expert in their field.
In North America, there are a number of people who want a sale and are enticed by these gimmicks, but for the most part savvy browsers are turned off by them. A website should not have too many pop-ups as that throws a browser off of their train of thought and many times people immediately close them. Additionally, for disabled people, this can cause issues for their ability to see or use a website.
– Bill O’Dell, Web Developer, Vendasta
Having worked in SEO for many years and working on various SMB teams, the biggest mistake I see small businesses making with their websites is not utilizing meta-titles and descriptions at all. I’ve worked on many sites where the website’s homepage meta title simply read Home and all internal pages equally had lackluster titles and no descriptions. I consider meta titles to still be one of the most important on-page elements of any website and is normally the first thing I look at optimizing.
Besides the meta title, meta descriptions are also very important. When a person searches for a product or service online they’re presented with snippets on search engine result pages (SERPs), which is one of the main ways customers are introduced to your brand. While Google ultimately determines what is shown in those snippets, 99/100 times it’ll be close to or exactly what the site owner has put into their meta description field. If you incorporate best practices with meta descriptions and titles (product or service being offered on that specific page, location, branding, and/or a call-to-action) you should see improved click-through-rates, overall site traffic, and your conversions should also increase since visitors should be more qualified.
– Lovedeep Puri, SEO Manager, Reliance Home Comfort
I see way too many websites that do next to nothing to protect their users’ privacy! It’s awful out there. They want to get their hands on every little bit of information about you and they will do anything to get it, from cookies to newsletter subscriptions to polls. Data breaches are obviously the worst of it, but even their basic accounts that you log into require entirely too much information that they simply do not need and that puts you in a very vulnerable position, privacy-wise. It’s distressing, really.
– Heinrich Long, Privacy Expert, Restore Privacy
The biggest mistake that many business owners make with their website is self-centered content. You shouldn’t talk much about yourself, what you do, and how great you are.. Instead, you should speak about consumer needs and the benefits they can get when dealing with your business. The only part of your business website that is partially about you is About Page. The rest of it is about your website’s visitors. You should speak about their pain points and make it clear how you can help them and improve their lives with your products or services. It’s essential to show your visitors that you care about helping them.
– Justin Hawes, CEO, K&N Sales
A common mistake for small business owners is the lack of social proof and trust signals on their website. You can say nice things about yourself or your products, but they are worth nothing to your website visitors if you can’t provide proof that your customer will be satisfied with the choice. Trust is the key, and it plays a vital role in the user’s decision-making process. So, you should take action to back your claims and demonstrate trustworthiness. You need to provide credibility enhances, such as verifiable reviews or testimonials from real customers, awards, quality certificates, media references, any evidence that proves it’s not a scam.
– Hardeep Johar, President, Stone & Tile Shoppe
Many businesses make mistakes with contact forms on their websites that stop users from getting in touch with the sales team. The most common one is asking for too much information. Too long and complicated contact forms that require too much personal data or answering lots of questions can be frustrating to fill out for your potential customers. If navigating your contact form takes too much effort, many users will abandon it. So you should minimize the number of fields and ask just for essential pre-qualifying inputs. The less work your visitors has to do in the beginning, the more likely they are to convert.
– Eckhard Ortwein, CEO, Lean Case
The most common mistake that businesses make on their website is not providing multiple clear calls to action throughout their pages and content. The current design best practice is to offer multiple options as a visitor moves down the page with the footer posing the final question. Most businesses fail to focus on the website as a step in the sales funnel that is a lead generator and so these multiple call to action sections don’t exist. When offering multiple options to a visitor as they proceed through a page, or multiple pages, the call to action will be there when the visitor decides to take action and become a lead. We all want as little resistance in turning visitors into leads as possible. Marketing and sales leads are critical to business growth and survival yet the business website tends to focus on content and layout over calls to action.
– Jeff Kelly, Marketing Guru, AssetLab Marketing
One of the most common mistakes I have seen on websites is not having a specific goal and specific target market to speak to. The best websites are the ones that clearly speak to a marketplace and talk directly to them about their pain points and how you solve them. It is important to plan out your website and have a clear understanding of what the goal of the website is: is it to schedule a meeting? schedule a demo? download their app? Make sure there are clear call to actions that will help your website audience know exactly what to do when on your website. The mobile experience is also an area that I see a lot of mistakes. You should make sure that your mobile experience matches or is better than your desktop experience. The majority of people are looking at website on their phone so if your content does not scale properly or render properly -you will not get the conversion you are looking for. Most website vendors will allow you to toggle between each view; make sure to do this for each page and blog post.
– Kelly Andersen, Marketing Director, Wealth Continuum Group
One thing that any business making the transition online should understand is that there is never a clear-cut path to success! In web development, a “must avoid” that I find in a lot of companies is having a very specific picture of what they want, without the ability to compromise. This process has always been trial and error, and what works for your company could be very far off from what you envisioned at first! If you can’t accept any variations from exactly what you wanted at first, you are setting yourself up for failure.
– Steven Schwartz, CEO, Varfaj Partners
Too many websites get lost in a sea of sameness because they are either built on a template or make use of templated content. Here’s the fact: no one tells the company story like its happiest customers. A simple survey of those customers will give way to unique messaging and an original look and feel that truly stands out from competitors.
– Wendy Phillips, CEO, Big Buzz
A common mistake that businesses make with their websites is poor use of content. Content is a very important part of your website and marketing campaign. This is what tells the story of your product and services that you offer. Providing readers with the information that they are looking for in a clear and concise way is what is going to keep readers engaged with your website. Then once you have their attention, drive the audience to your call to action which would be to buy the product or service you sell.
– Judson Hill, Vice President of Business Development, Bespoke Financial
One common mistake businesses make is not outlining their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) on their website. The USP or Unique Selling Proposition is the unique benefit or service your business has to offer your customers. It’s the way to quickly let your website visitors know how your business can help them, and what you can offer that your competitors don’t. Generally, a USP is short and simple, and can be stated in 1-2 sentences. When potential customers visit your website, the USP should be one of the first things (if not the #1 first thing) they see. Immediately they should know what your business can offer them, and what benefit they can get if they continue to stay on your site. It should be enticing, emotional, and informative. Keep in mind if visitors on your site don’t see anything that draws them in or gets them excited about your company and what you offer, they will click away fast. Include your Unique Selling Proposition clearly on your website to quickly inform visitors what your company is about, and lead them through the next steps to becoming customers.
– David McHugh, CMO, Crediful
Too many businesses focus on the aesthetic design of their website, and don’t prioritize ease of use for the visitor. I’ve seen far too many businesses worry too much about whether their site looks professional and aesthetically pleasing while completely forgetting about ease of use. It’s important to make your site look professional, that’s true, but what’s far more essential is making the site easy to navigate. If someone arrives at your site and wants to learn more about what you offer, or even buy from you, it shouldn’t be work for them. Make your site easy and simple to navigate, with clear links to important information, as well as products and services you offer. Try to even include an FAQ for quick answers to common questions. Far too many potential customers end up leaving a businesses site before purchasing simply because they can’t figure out how to find the information they need. Make sure you avoid this mistake by making your site easy to navigate and easy to use.
– Michael Dean, Co-Founder, Pool Research
When businesses fail to link their social media channels on their websites, it leaves a tremendous opportunity for their interested prospects to get notified about the latest news and promotions happening in your company. Not all patrons have the time and luxury to check your website from time to time. However, people naturally have the habit of checking their social media accounts every day, and businesses can exploit that fact by using such platforms to relay news, events, and promotions. Interlinking multiple platforms for a comprehensive digital strategy is key to succeeding in an online business venture. Once fans start following you on social media, it only takes a single post to reach out to them. The best part about this is it is completely free.
– Erik Rivera, CEO, Thrive Talk
One crucial mistake that dramatically affects business revenue is the wrong placement of contact info—or the lack of it. This mistake is critical for businesses in the service industry, especially if a prospect already eyes them as a potential service provider. When this happens, the ambiguity of a website’s navigation design deters them from proceeding with the next steps. I recommend putting a dedicated “Contact Us” section on the homepage. With this tactic, customers already know how and where to contact you when they land on your homepage. Otherwise, it would lead to lost revenue when they decide it’s not worth their time to discover your hidden contact details.
– Brian Patrick, CEO, Pest Control Strategies
Lack of a human voice is an extremely common issue with most business sites. Client testimonials, great feedback and reviews are the most potent form of content. 92% of customers check for good ratings and reviews before finally buying a product. Establish your customer’s trust and prove that you are their best choice.
– Karl Armstrong, Founder, EpicWin App
Image optimization is one of the most frequently overlooked areas of website design and optimization. Images are the single heaviest load items for most websites, so you need to pay extra attention to ensure they’re not causing delays that annoy visitors. Not optimizing the images on your business website can hurt your rankings, customer experience and page speed. Decreasing the size of images without losing quality vastly helps with image optimization (aim for images with size of less than 100KB whenever possible). Using online tools like Canva and TinyPNG can help you optimize your images. Or better yet, if you are using Wordpress, you can give WP Smush a go. Another way to optimize the size of an image is to use a different format. Namely, if you currently have .png images, you can probably convert them to compressed .jpg images without losing much detail.
– Boris Malinov, IT and Creative Analyst, Enterprise League
The majority of sites are still not user friendly; they get the big things right but miss the smaller experience that makes a user enjoy the site. A solution could be every member of the company should test the website to suggest improvements. Another issue is geo-blocking users from the site. Users are prevented from subscribing, purchasing, or accessing services depending on their location.. The same service is not usable from outside the country. Savvy users can get around these restrictions by using a VPN or a USA credit card. The solution is to build products for global use instead of country-specific.
– Rahman Hussain, Founder and CEO, VoucherCodesUAE
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