By Jamin Andrews
It probably won’t surprise you to know that according to the stats specialists from Marketing Grader, a majority of websites are underperforming when it comes to overall design, content, performance and usability. Resulting in an unpopular, unloved and unvisited website.
There are a few things that can do wrong when creating and maintaining your website, below we mention a few things that you can do to ruin your website. But mostly importantly we focus on how to avoid or fix these.
1. Hide from Google
Search engines can either be your best friend or worst enemy. By being in Google’s good books you will benefit from ranking higher than your competitors in search results for your keywords. The worst thing you can do for your website is completely ignore SEO.
Solution: You don’t always need to hire a SEO specialist to get ahead of the pack. Ensure your content is relevant to what you do, keep your keywords and keyword phrases top of mind when writing your content (don’t ‘stuff’ your page with keywords – you will be penalised for this), have clear headings on each webpage, tag each image and introduce new content on a regular basis (through a blog).
2. Don’t Have a Clear Purpose
We have all visited those websites that try so hard to be everything to everyone. Instead of focussing on a niche or target market they try a extremely broadened approach, where everyone is their target. By doing this you’re no longer viewed as a specialist or expert in a particular field that you’re probably good at.
Solution: Pick what it is you are promoting/selling and choose who your clients are. Target them, tell your story and forget the rest.
3. Annoy Your Visitors
No-one likes constant pop up ads while they’re trying to navigate their way through a website. Don’t work hard to bring people to your site just to irritate them.
Solution: Popups are never required, if you must promote something do so with a top or side banner ad. Avoid anything animated!
4. Don’t Measure Progress
How do you know how your website is going, compared to 6 months or a year ago? If you’re not setting goals and measuring them you’re in the dark about what’s working and what’s not.
Solution: Use a tool like Google Analytics, it’s free and will provide you indepth results on how your website is tracking including, visits, duration, bounce rate, most visited pages, acquisition and loads more.
5. Overload your homepage
When first creating your homepage it can be overwhelming with trying to flesh out exactly what it is you offer, and what you want your visitors to know. A sure way to ensure your visitors don’t stay on your page for long is by jam packing as much information as possible on your homepage.
Solution: Use a highly visible, easy to navigate menu to divide up your story and offerings. Let your customers pick what information they require by clearly titling each web page and keeping your homepage for the important things.
6. Use loads of fluffy, corporate talk
The easiest way to disengage your audience is by talking to them like a corporate robot. When you first write your content for your site, you must answer the question “what does my customer want?”
Solution: Avoid typical industry jargon and the overuse of fluffy marketing words. Talk to your customer as if they were sitting across from you. Answer the questions they have.
7. Outdated Content
Search engines thrive on new, relevant content. By regularly updating your content you’re not only keeping your visitors in the loop with the most relevant information, but you’re also giving search engines reason to visit more often.
Solution: No you don’t need to change the content on your homepage each month. Create a news, blog or support area on your website where new content can be added daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
You don’t have to be a web professional or SEO whiz to create a standout website that encourages visitors to return. Always think like your customer, and create a website that answers the questions they have, not everything you want to tell them.