The 5 Biggest Website Mistakes

No Way Sign

We come into contact with a wide number of businesses and find the vast majority have ‘historical’ websites which often need urgent attention or complete overhaul. So, we decided to compile a list for you: go on, check your site against these, see how you stack up! In reverse order…

5. To Neglect Copywriting

This problem is so common it should be framed and put up on everyone’s wall (or sellotaped to a their screen, or stapled to foreheads).

Copy is treated as the poor cousin of design and technology when it comes to web. More often than not a project will be led by a designer (who has little or no interest in good copy, let alone an aptitude to write) or a developer who finds grammer a challenge, let alone copy.

The only other alternative is when a client nobly tries to write the content themselves: yet it normally ends up being long-winded, unengaging and full of facts without any mention of benefit. At worst, it can end up being just impenetrable ‘industry-speak’ and copious amounts of unnecessary detail.

If you were sending a mailer, would you get the printers to do the copywriting? The rules still stand for online – use a specialist to write your site, otherwise it will show.

If design is the bait, then copy is the hook, so allocate proper budget and make sure your copy really hits the mark.

4. To Forget This is a Marketing Medium

When we ask: “What do you see your website doing for your business?” Most clients either say ‘I don’t know’ or reel off a long list which practically covers the entire UK population and beyond. Yet the focused website is the one that gets the business.

What we mean by this is that a website that knows the target audience and what they are looking for has a MUCH greater chance of success than one which doesn’t.

OK, let’s change the question slightly: “If you could choose one thing that your website could do for your business, what would it be?”

Now, it’s easier isn’t it? The website is there to build your business: new customers and repeat customers. So, now you’ve got that in mind, strategy and implementation becomes a lot easier and suddenly you have a website on a mission.

3. To Fail to Measure the Traffic to the Site

With Google Analytics, there is now a FREE means to see who is visiting your website, when, for how long, from where and countless other valuable nuggets of information. The ‘cost’ of setting this up should be a maximum of 1 hour of website developer/designer time. If your site is not too large or has been well programmed in the first place, it could be just 30 minutes.

So, for about one hour of time you could get a free long-term resource which can tell you everything you need to about your website activity. If it sounds like a no-brainer, that’s because it is. If you don’t know what is happening on your site right now – make that change today! Oh, and make sure you get access to the data too.

2. To Perform No On-Site Optimisation

There are two main elements to Search Engine Optimisation – what you do on your site, and what you do outside of your site. The secret to Search Engine Optimisation is this: that what you do on your site is decisive. Totally decisive. If you don’t set it up right, then forget about any other activity.

And yet, the basics are so easy to get right: it is our view that not doing any optimisation is negligence. Corporate negligence on a massive scale!

Most businesses don’t have the resources, nor the capabilities to do the off-site work… but just getting your website right is so straightforward that it’s shocking to think that well over 60% of sites have no evidence of any optimisation, and a further 20-30% have tried, but done it badly.

If you want, drop us a line, and we’ll give you a 10 minute totally free debrief on your site, over the phone  – whether it is optimised and if not, what you can do about it.

1. To Leave The Site Alone Once It’s ‘Done’

The other part of optimisation that most website owners neglect is optimisation based on visitors feedback. The amazing thing (in our opinion) is that you have this medium here where you can amend, update, try and delete, improve and develop at any time of the day or night – yet most businesses ‘fire and forget’, once the site is done, it is left alone.

It is our view that even the best designed sites and pages can be improved by at least 50% post-launch. This can be from feedback, analytics, A/B testing… and just good ol’ instinct.

So, say you had 200 people visiting your site every month and you thought that getting 2 enquiries a month was ‘good’… it could easily be 4… or more.Then you could consider advertising and driving more traffic into your site. It could then be 8, 10, 12 … Once a site is effective in terms of developing new business out of traffic – it’s amazing how quickly it can become a source of new business.

But, only if you treat it as such. If it’s put in a corner, it will always be the dunce.