Get a website! You must have a website! You absolutely cannot operate without a website!
As a business owner, you’re probably well used to hearing this. And, whilst we agree that a website is key to the success of any modern business, we’ve got to tell you – not all websites are created equal.
We do understand. Time and budgets are stretched and, sometimes, we don’t even know what it is that we need. So the priority becomes just getting the job one. Tick the website box and move on to the next project. The danger inherent in that, though, is that a website that’s not doing or saying the right things can actually do you more harm than good.
So how do you know if your website is good, or not? We’ve collated some of the most common mistakes that we see here at Blue Llama.
Have a read – do any look familiar? – and then try out our website effectiveness quiz, to check if your website is working hard for you. It’s quick, free – and an eye-opener!
1) Dubious Design
How your website looks and feels is so important when it comes to showing off what you do and who you are as a business. But people often overlook the importance of good design. Good design is much more than pretty pictures. It speaks to your customers, creates the right impression, generates leads, and conversions, builds trust, boosts brand awareness… we could go on.
Platforms like WordPress, and their huge library of templates, have done wonders for helping small businesses and individuals to create their own sites. But it can be difficult to turn off-the-shelf, or do-it-yourself, design into success, especially as your business grows.
The digital marketplace is a competitive place and your web design is essentially your store front. It needs to attract the right people in, show them your goods and persuade them to buy.
To achieve the best results, your design should be modern and clean, have a style that appeals to your target client and feature unique imagery that sets you apart from the competition.
2) Crummy Content
Just like design, your words also need to be saying the right things. But we see a lot of websites saying the wrong ones. You can’t just upload a service list and expect to convert it to a sale. Copywriting is an art, and most potential customers need a little persuading!
Is your copy concise and free from confusing terminology that your audience might not understand? Does the style and tone match your brand, and does it speak in the right way to your target client? Does your copy tell a story that engages that client, and explains why they need you? These are all things you need to be thinking about.
And, as well as your customer, your copy also needs to take into account what Google wants. Google can be a harsh master but, these days, you can’t overlook SEO and everything that makes your site search engine friendly. And unfortunately, it’s not as easy as cramming your content full of keywords. SEO best practices are complex and ever-changing, and need to strike the right balance between what’s best for your customer, and what’s attractive to Google.
3) Ignoring Responsive Design
Back in the day, people visited websites on desktops. That was the only option. But, over the last decade, the rise in mobile devices has been huge and, these days, over half of page views come from a mobile or tablet. And yet so many websites are still predominantly designed for desktops and, often, not tested well enough for their design and usability on mobile. If we had a pound for every website we saw that looked incredible on a desktop and an abstract toddler painting on a mobile, we’d be a very rich llama! But, jokes aside, if half of your potential customers are trying to engage with you on mobile, and you’re not set up well enough for that, that’s a huge chunk of potential revenue lost.
4) No Calls To Action
You’ve spent time building your website, directing people to it, crafting the content… Now what? You’d be surprised at the amount of websites that forget the final, but arguably most crucial, step – telling people what you want them to do!
Calls to action can vary. They can be asking people to sign up to a newsletter, share your content on their socials, leave a comment on a blog post, download your white paper… the list is endless! But whatever your desired call to action is (and you may have more than one, depending on where the person is on your site), it’s vital to encourage the customer to take that next step.
Calls to action should be generously sprinkled throughout your site, be clear and concise, and can take different forms, from a clickthrough button to a pop up box.
Design, copy, SEO, calls to action – despite being key to success, they’re commonly areas we see people making mistakes. And we get it! Creating a website that combines all the necessary technical aspects with the nuances of sales and marketing and the functionality that people demand is not easy.
If you suspect that your website might be falling into some of these traps, take our quick website assessment quiz. It will help you identify key areas of improvement with your digital marketing activities, give you a score and then create a personalised report with feedback tailored to your specific needs. And it’s completely FREE. So, what are you waiting for?