Let’s talk about common website mistakes and some quick and easy ways to fix them that will keep you at the top of your game for potential clients and keep you looking professional. These mistakes are often things you don’t even realize are happening until a potential client brings it to your attention or you have a problem come up.
I recommend taking an audit of your website a couple of times per year or anytime you do some major updates to make sure these things are all up to date and working properly for you!
Let’s dive into the common website mistakes!
1. Not updating your copyright year
Adding the copyright to a website is common, but not necessary. By doing so, you are telling any viewers that you claim the right to the content on your website. If you do choose to include this, be sure to keep it up to date!
2. Letting your domain name expire
A common website mistake I see often is people not setting their domain name to automatically renew. This could be problematic for a few reasons. One is that if someone is looking for your website or attempting to book services with you, they won’t be able to find your site. The second reason is that, while this is a small risk, someone else could purchase your domain before you come back to renew it.
If your domain does not automatically renew, you must make sure to manually go into your domain host account and pay the bill to renew your domain for the next year. Domains are typically purchased at least one year at a time. There are a few ways to avoid these laps in domain coverage.
- Set your account to auto-renew.
- Set a reminder on your calendar for a few days before your expiration date to repeat every year.
- Opt-in for purchasing your domain for several years at a time, if that is a possibility.
3. Including an old email address
As your business grows, you may change contact information. It is important to remember to keep those points of contact up to date for your potential customers. You want to avoid them emailing an inbox that you never check anymore or that is now used for another purpose.
A helpful tip for keeping up with this is to funnel all (or at least most) of your points of contact for potential customers into one place. This is easier for you and for them! An example of this is a contact page on your website! You can allow people to fill out a form on that page or choose to opt for emailing you directly. Any other place where you want to direct potential customers to contact you would send them to this one page. This also allows you to manage and update all of your contact information in only one place!
4. Forgetting about the mobile view
These days, it is a major mistake to not take into consideration how the mobile version of your website looks to people on different devices. So many viewers are finding you on a mobile device. In response to that, many website development platforms are creating the option for a responsive mobile website design.
Some of these happen automatically, some platforms allow you to customize the desktop and mobile versions of a website independently. This is awesome for customizing the website to your liking and for greater opportunities to optimize your website for mobile.
The downside is, you have to remember to view your website on different devices to ensure that the viewer and user experience is good from many angles!
If your website is hosted with Showit, like mine is, then you have the ability to design your desktop and mobile sites completely separate from each other. I LOVE this feature of Showit as a website designer, but it is easy for the mobile side to get overlooked or forgotten about.
5. Ignoring Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an amazing tool that tells you all the metrics possible about your website. It tells you where people find you, what pages they are clicking on, how many visitors you had in one month, and how they navigate your website once they get there. You can track sales and ad campaigns and all kinds of nerdy metrics.
If you ignore the analytics of your website, you will have a hard time telling what is working and what isn’t actually working the way you think it is. You will also have a harder time understanding where your customers are coming from and what content performs well on your website. This tool is GREAT and not one to ignore!
6. Forgetting to update SEO
The SEO on your website is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal in terms of having your website discovered on Google. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the way that search engines, like Google, find your content to match or display what people are searching for.
It is a great practice to have a list of keywords that you want to be ranking on Google for and be using those wherever you publish content. As your business grows, you may want to refresh those keywords to make sure you stay relevant.
Some places you would find this include:
- Meta descriptions on each page
- Picture file names
- Main blog content posts
- Verbage or copy you are using on your web pages.
7. Using too many stock photos
Stock photos can be very beneficial and awesome to use and incorporate into your content in various ways. You do, however, want to be careful not to overdo it. If you are a product-based business, for example, your customers are going to want to see real photos of your products.
If you are a service provider, your customers are going to want to see some photos of you! Even if you are not a personal brand or the face of your business, it is important to make your business feel more approachable and real by not getting too carried away with stock photos.
8. Talking about yourself too much in your copy
The truth is that people have a problem that they are looking for you to solve. If they land on your website and it only talks about you, that makes it very difficult for the potential customer to see how you can help them. They have to do a lot more work to connect the dots between what you are telling them about yourself and their problem.
Instead, try making your copy about them! Make them the hero of your story and tell them about the problem they have and exactly how you solve it for them.
By speaking to their pain points, you are telling them that you understand their problem and you are an expert in knowing how to fix it. By painting a picture of what the “other side” of working with you looks like, they can envision themselves in that position with their problem solved!
Just remember that even though your website is about your business and what you offer, the goal is actually to make it about your potential customers.
9. Talking about your process too much
Here is a harsh truth, people are not looking for you because of your process. They are looking for results. Don’t get me wrong, the client experience is very important. But most clients are not going to be sold on “How you do what you do” but more on “What you can do for them”.
Try sticking to those points that are more important and explain your process at a minimum or not at all. There may be a point later in the client journey where you explain your process more and invite them into it once they have booked with you.
10. Not including client testimonials or social proof
You can have the most beautifully designed website and outstanding copy, but potential clients will still want to know what other people think of working with you. They appreciate the social proof that shows them you really are as great as you claim. This simple website mistake can cost you big time.
You don’t necessarily need to have a significant number of reviews or a long list of past clients to make this work. This can be hard to do when you are first starting out. But you can ask everyone who works with you to write a simple review or share some of their feedback with you on your website for others to see.
11. Having broken links
Broken links happen. This is one of the quickest ways to get people off of your website, lose trust with them, and have them looking for someone else. Double-check that your links go where they are supposed to and that the flow of navigation through your website makes sense.
If someone comes to your website looking for something and they think you have the answer but then they find a link that doesn’t work, they will likely get frustrated and move on to a competitor’s site. It is a good practice to check links on your website regularly.
If you intentionally delete a page that is linked in posts online (like Pinterest or Facebook) or that has backlinks to them, be sure to redirect those links to another page. This way, even if the person accessing that link doesn’t get where they thought they were going, they still land on your website somewhere that is relevant.
12. Writing copy without SEO in mind
This might be one of the biggest mistakes you can make on your website. There is a lot of content and information online. With the surge in AI content, those numbers are growing rapidly. As a business owner, you cannot afford to ignore SEO on your website. This really goes beyond this tip (and into the next one).
The actual words on your website are just as important as the layout and functionality of the other pieces of your website. Search engines need to know that you have the answer to the questions people are asking about your industry. Otherwise, you will have a hard time getting any organic traffic from Google.
When writing copy and organizing your website, you want to make sure that search engines like Google have all of the information they need to show your website as high in search results as possible. This includes using the keywords you want to rank for, using heading tags correctly, naming your images and pages appropriately, and more.
13. Ignoring blogging
Along with the copy and SEO strategies for your website, another mistake is to forgo blogging. Now, I understand that blogging won’t make sense for ALL businesses but it will for a lot of them. Blogging is great for a number of reasons. Here are a few:
- This is one of the best ways to create content and tell Google that you are relevant and have the answers people are searching for in a particular niche.
- Establishes domain authority because of the answer above that helps you rank higher in search results.
- Gives you valuable content to offer to potential customers totally FREE to them!
14. Misusing Images (large files and screenshots)
Another big mistake I see with a lot of my website design clients is that they do not fully understand WHAT images to use on their website or HOW to use them. Let’s first talk about the what. Images are best when they are relevant to the content being displayed or help tell the story well. Images that are totally unrelated should be left out. Screenshots of images are not the best option to use as your website photos if you can avoid the.
Next, let’s look at the HOW of using photos on your website. Here are a few best practices to avoid this common mistake:
- Compress your images to the recommended size of your website platform. Images that are too large take a long time to load and slow your website down. This causes people to leave your website before seeing what you have to offer them. You can read about Showit’s image recommendations here.
- Name your images well for SEO. Include a hyphen in between each word and ignore small, common words when possible. Use keywords in your titles but do not stuff them full of irrelevant words.
- Bad example of an image name: img0348-ap.jpg
- Good image name: John-Doe-Georgia-Wedding-Photographer-Sam-Janie01.jpg
15. Forgetting to test your contact form and opt-ins
Last but not least is forgetting to test your contact form and opt-in forms. This is important so that you know they work and you know what it looks like from the customer side when they engage with you in these ways.
If someone is reaching out to you about a service or to be on their podcast but your contact form doesn’t work, they will have a hard time getting in touch with you. If your form does work but you have no idea what it looks like when it comes into your inbox or where it goes, you may be missing really important opportunities!
So there you have it! That wraps up this post on (just a few) of the most common website mistakes I see and the best way to avoid them. I hope you learned something new and planning to check on some of these things on your own website!
Remember, that your website is always in some state of progress as your business and the internet grow and change. It is just as important to keep a pulse on it from time to time! Reach out if you need help getting your website in tip-top shape!