As an entrepreneur it is easy to make these common website mistakes. Learn from me and avoid wasting time and money.
Back in 2005, when social media wasn’t a word on our lips, a website was essential to creating an online presence, and it still is today.
With a solid content strategy, over 150,000 people browsed my website on travel consumer issues. Finding myself on TV, interviewed on the radio, and quoted in newspapers across the world.
After creating web audits for the last five years, here are some of the website mistakes new entrepreneurs make.
No content strategy
Business owners spend thousands having a website designed, but with no content strategy. Initially, a few blog posts are published and then it’s like a tumbleweed blowing through a ghost town.
Grow an audience by publishing content regularly. Think about the types of questions your target audience has, and create content answering them. Also, think about the challenges they have and provide solutions.
Create a Google Sheet (or use Trello) and compile a list of articles you could write and publish on your website.
Think about times of the year where your target audience will be searching for time-sensitive content. Make sure you publish before the date so it can be picked up by the search engines.
Planning your content and publishing at least one article a week will help drive people to your website.
Website not mobile friendly
Having a website which is viewable on all mobile devices is critical. Your audience will expect to be able to browse it on their phone or tablet without any problems, especially when sent from apps.
Browse your website on a mobile device and identify areas of concern. Pay attention to buttons and images. Make sure the pages load quickly.
Google introduced its ‘mobile-first’ search index, which means they will use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. This is confirmation that a mobile-friendly website is essential.
No clear call to action
On every page, it’s important to have a clear call to action. Use a combination of links and buttons to send people to landing pages where you can promote your products, services or email list.
Adding in a link in a paragraph of text is not going to stand out. Most people browse through the content to find the information they are looking for. You want your audience to take action.
Think about the background and font colour of the button. Placement is also important. Don’t forget most people scan left to right when browsing a website, so bear that in mind with any design.
Linking out to social media
Within your content, it’s good practice to link to useful resources on the topic you’re writing about. The mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is having a ton of links to their social networks all over the website.
You need to take your audience on a journey through your website and keep them hooked into the content.
You’ve probably used a social network to drive them to the page so sending them back there is not a good idea. You’ve caught their attention, so try your best to keep them on the website.
Don’t include links to your social networks in the header, or sidebar of the web pages. Instead, place them in the footer, where they will only see them when they have scrolled down and consumed your content.
Too much clutter and information to take in
A common mistake is having too much information on a page and the visitor has no idea where to start reading.
When you write a new page or post, think of the title, and the goal you want the reader to achieve by consuming the content. Include a call-to-action button where they can learn more, or to a landing page to purchase your product or service.
Keep it simple and make the content easy to browse because people do not have time to scroll through huge paragraphs of text.
Losing customers due to no email list
This is a bonus piece of advice. While it has been left to the end of the article, it’s the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make.
Your target audience finds your content and is impressed by how helpful it is, and now want to consume future articles. They could bookmark the site but how many times have you forgot a website when bookmarked?
At this point, you have lost them as a potential customer or client.
Instead, use a service like Mailerlite, and add an email sign up form within your content. Ask them to subscribe for more content and incentivize the transaction by offering a free guide.
Once they are on your email list, you can keep them engaged with your content. This increases the chances they will purchase your services or products in the future.