You’d like to think that once you’d got a website up and running, it wouldn’t be long before you saw the visitor numbers climbing upwards. Alas, that is seldom the case, and for obvious reasons: for starters, there are just too many websites out there.
If yours is going to stand out from the crowd, then it has to have something special about it. While many website owners get plenty right when it comes to their site, the truth is that many are guilty of making a few mistakes that make success harder to come by.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few common errors: make sure that you’re not guilty of them when it comes to your website!
Lack of Focus
There are enough websites out there, as we all know. Whatever a person is looking for, they’ll be able to find a site that has in-depth information about that topic. While it can sound logical to throw on as much info as possible in order to get as much interest as possible, this is actually a mistake.
It makes a lot more sense to focus your attention on one particular topic, and dive deep into that. Essentially, it’s all about ensuring that your visitors have a sense of what your website is for -- if they can’t figure it out quickly, then they could quickly lose interest.
It’s true that you’ll want your website design to be sleek and modern (more on that later), but you don’t want it to be so advanced that your visitors have a difficult time getting around. If you’ve got a whole load of great content on your website, then make sure that people are able to find it with ease.
When you’re first putting together your website, it’s a good idea to have outsiders test your website for you. The decisions that you’ve made might make sense to you, but not to someone arriving at your site without any prior knowledge. Of course, this won’t apply if you’ve had your website built by a professional company.
Hard to Find
It’s all good and well putting together an outstanding website, but if people aren’t able to find it, then it’ll be pretty difficult for you to find success. Indeed, in many ways, you can see that your website marketing is arguably just as important as the site itself.
Since digital marketing can be complicated, it’s best to outsource the task to a third-party company. Take a look at www.paddlecreative.co.uk to learn how they can help to get your website on people’s screens.
If you’re trying to manage your SEO and other digital marketing campaigns by yourself, then be sure to read up on the best practices -- and remember that it’s an on-going process, since the tools required to market your website efficiently are always evolving.
All About You
It’s normal to get into the habit of thinking that your website should be about you, your offerings, your business, and so on. But actually, this is not the case -- your website should be about your visitors.
Ultimately, if you’re trying to get people on board with what you’re doing, then you’ve got to offer something of real value to them. Of course, you’ll have your own ideas, and you should definitely be bringing your personality and ethos to your site, but it’s important to put all your decisions through the lens of your visitors. Will they like what you’re adding, or is it more for your benefit?
Your website might once have looked amazing, but remember that time is always moving forward, and trends change. And things move even more quickly in the digital world. If it has been a while since your design received an update, then it may have begun to look a little outdated.
It’s not as if you need to continually transform the look of your website, but you should be making small changes here and there. The slow evolution will ensure that it stays in line with current standards and practices.
You’ll want to grow your website, sure, but it’s important that you do so in a respectful way. All too often, you’ll see websites using features that may be good for the website, but ultimately not so good for the visitor.
And we’re not just talking about minor inconveniences here, either -- they can positively annoy the people on your site. People just don’t like autoplay videos (especially if they have sound), aggressive pop up messages, and dark UX practices.
You’ll often see smaller websites follow the lead of the big sites (who typically do these things), but the key difference is that the larger websites are famous enough where they can get away with it. If you have too many annoying features, then your visitors are quickly going to hit the ‘x’ button.
Lack of Updates
People want to believe that they’re getting the latest and best information when they’re online. They also want to know that the site they’re visiting is being actively managed, rather than just collecting dust.
If your website hasn’t been updated in a long time, then people will rightly have doubts whether it is alive or has been left to die. This doesn’t mean that you have to go crazy with updates and post pointless things every day, but you should at least have a blog -- it’s an easy way to show people that the site is alive and kicking, and can also help with SEO.
There’s No Trust
There is, rightly, a lot of scepticism on the internet, and, as such, it’s important that your visitors are able to trust that you’re credible. While there are many ways to do this, perhaps the best way is to put as much information as possible on there that’ll identify you as a real person running things behind the scenes.
You can use your ‘about us’ page for this. It’s also recommended to have as much contact information listed as possible. Things like an email address, phone number, link to your social media pages, and even a phone number can help in this regard.
Social Media Focus
Your social media channels will most definitely play a crucial role when it comes to building an audience for your website. However, it’s always important to remember that it’s your website that should always receive the most attention, not your social media channels.
Your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages should be vehicles to transport your followers to your site. If you’re putting all your best content on those sites for free, then why would people feel the need to visit your site?
You’re not going to get everything on your site right at the first time of asking. There will always be mistakes and errors that you can find throughout. Even the world’s biggest websites have typos and spelling errors.
But if your website has too many of them, then you can’t have too many complaints if people begin to question the quality of the site. It’s worthwhile hiring a copywriter to ensure that your site has excellent text. Another area website owners make mistakes is with their images: they should be as high quality as possible. There are enough copyright-free image websites to make this possible.
Slowed Down Pages
We live in an impatient age, it’s true. Since we all know how fast things can be, we’re less likely to wait if things seem slower than normal. If your website is slow loading, then eventually your visitors will just become annoyed, and leave.
It’s worth noting that the speed of your website on your device may be different from how other people experience it, so be sure to check the site on a variety of device types, web browsers, and locations. You may need to change your hosting if things are moving too slowly.
Reviewing What Works/What Doesn’t
There’s a whole world of data related to your website. Whether you use it or not is up to you. With your data, you’ll be able to see which pages work and which don’t, and all-around get a clearer picture of what your visitors want to see.
Over time, you’ll be able to push your site in the direction of the content that you know your visitors like. This is an emerging area of website management, but one that’s going to be increasingly important in the coming years.
It’s Early Days
Finally, remember that it can take a long time to build a successful website. It’s not going to happen overnight! So if you’re not seeing the levels of visitor numbers that you’d ultimately like to see, take a look about how long you’ve been running the website.
If the site is still in its infancy, then just have a little patience. If you keep plugging away and do all the right things, then eventually you’ll begin to reach the heights you want to reach.