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Common website mistakes to avoid

Are you missing a trick when it comes to your website? Could it be working harder for your business to generate those leads and sales? It’s time to take a look at what you could be doing wrong.

Slow loading website

We all have little patience when it comes to waiting for website pages to load. If your website speed is on the slow side, you’re potentially missing out on visitors, who’ll give up and move on to a competitor site. A good measure for a site loading time is three seconds. If your site loading speed gets beyond the seven-second mark, you’re looking for trouble and can expect a high bounce rate.

Google has a great free tool where you can check out your page loading speed.

For a more in depth analysis go to GTmetrix.

Not using analytics

How do you measure the performance of your website? Are you using any tracking or analytics? You might be surprised to discover that most small businesses don’t use any analytics on their websites. If this is the case for you, you’re missing out on some essential data.

What pages do visitors land on, how long do they stay, what actions are they taking? Knowing your numbers will help you understand what is and isn’t working with your website and whether it needs tweaking to improve its performance.

Once again, Google has the answer. Sign-up for Google Analytics. (Other analytics tools are available.)

Even if you’re not making use of the data at the moment it can be used as historic data in the future to help with search optimisation.

Poor grammar

One of our bugbears is when we spot a typo on a website. From our experience, a common error is the incorrect use of the acronym for frequently asked questions. ‘FAQs’ doesn’t have an apostrophe, but it often creeps in where it’s not needed.

Grammar mistakes and typos will undoubtedly cause your visitors to leave the site more quickly, and won’t do anything to increase your credibility. But they are easy to rectify. Getting a second pair of eyes to check your copy is always a must, and if you can, ask a professional.

Not being ‘on-brand’

If you’ve invested in a branding programme, and hopefully you have, it’s a big no-no if you haven’t incorporated it within your website design. Your brand message needs to be everywhere you are, and one of your most powerful tools to spread your brand message is through your website. It needs to be consistent wherever you have a presence. This means using not only the logo, but your brand messaging, colour palette and imagery.

With so many generic looking websites out there, investing time and effort in branding will really pay off. Not only will your audience understand your business offer more quickly, it will also encourage brand loyalty too.

Using too many keywords

Using keywords in your copy is quite an art and can help when it comes to search engine results. But, using too many keywords is another matter that should be avoided, and can come across as being spammy. The aim is to write content with keywords that read naturally, without causing a poor experience for the user.

Forgetting to include a ‘call to action’

When you’ve put in all the hard work and created a fully functioning website, you don’t want to fall at the last hurdle by forgetting the power of call to actions. They are there to act as a signpost – what do you want your visitor to do next? It’s not necessarily to make a sale – it could be to read a blog, sign up to your newsletter or download a free resource. Without a clear call to action, you could be missing out on your visitor going that little bit further.

There are specific approaches you might want to take, which will depend on your brand’s voice. Take, for example, the CTA asking your target audience to join a group. Compare ‘Join’, ‘Join now’, and ‘Jump on board’. How does each one make you feel?

There are many more mistakes that can negatively impact the performance of a website, but we hope our tips go some way to helping you identify problems with your current website design.

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