Websites are a critical part of any business growth plan. In fact, the average person spends 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. Your audience is clearly online, but are these website mistakes holding you back from converting them into loyal customers?
We’ve included a list of the 17 most common website mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Mistake #1 — Slow Loading Speed
How long does it take for your website’s pages to load? If it’s taking longer than a few seconds, chances are you’re losing valuable customers. In retail, Google studies show that a one-second delay in page load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.
Win over your visitors by optimizing page load speeds. You can check to make sure your mobile and desktop load speeds are within the target range using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Luckily, solving this common website mistake can be as simple as compressing image sizes and cleaning up your website’s code.
Mistake #2 — Poor Mobile Experience
Over half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Your website design needs to be responsive, which means that the website needs to look great across all devices, including mobile formats.
Similar to responsive design, the mobile experience should be tailored to your audience’s needs. Mobile users have different needs, and the design of your website will need to reflect that. Smaller screen sizes on mobile devices should be considered and not ignored.
Site visitors using mobile devices typically want more bite-sized information and not as much detail compared to visitors using a desktop device.
Don’t overwhelm shoppers with a pop-ups or elements that are difficult to click — a clean design will make your site easier to navigate. Remember, less can be more when it comes to a mobile site.
Mistake #3 — Too Many or Too Few Links
Links can be great for improving your website authority on search engines. However, a website mistake we see regularly is that either a website uses too many or too few links. First, let’s talk about the different kinds of links.
An internal link points users to different pages of interest within the same website. By using internal links, you boost the ranking power of pages throughout the site.
However, if you have too many links on your pages, it could become a distraction. Make sure your links are relevant and point users in the right direction. Aim to include two to five related links within your page copy. You’ll get the hang of it once you get started!
External links lead to a different website other than its own. For example, a blog dedicated to health and wellness might include a link that goes to the product page for the best selling smoothie blender on the market.
The process of gaining external links is called link building. External links that point to your website are like letters of recommendation. They indicate to Google that you are a credible website. Over time, link building can improve your search ranking.
On the downside, if you have too many external links of a poor quality, it can negatively impact your credibility.
Mistake #4 — Little to No Content on Pages
When it comes to website mistakes that can be easily fixed, having little to no content on your website’s pages is at the top of the list.
Content is simply the information that exists about your business or brand. It can range from written text to videos and beyond. The written copy on your website is valuable because it helps you rank for your top keywords.
Looking at your website, does it seem to lack content? When it comes to SEO, content should be your best friend. You can work to fix the issue by publishing regular content to your site on an ongoing basis. However, you’ll also want to avoid creating material just for the sake of it. Make sure you have specific goals for the content that you include on your pages.
Good content can help your website gain links, rank higher on search engine results pages, educate your audience, and drive engagement.
Start with updating your homepage, and then work your way to the other most important pages on your site. Add high quality written content, videos, and photos to engage visitors.
Mistake #5 — Key Pages or Key Elements Are Hidden
You don’t want to be guilty of hiding the most important elements of your site. Review your site as if you were a potential buyer. Check to make sure that all of the critical information is easy to locate. This information can include contact details, FAQs, social media accounts, return policies, newsletter sign-up, and more.
If finding important pages isn’t intuitive, then you’ll need to make some changes. Your future customers will thank you for saving them all of those extra clicks!
Mistake #6 — Contact Information Is Hard to Find
Your contact information needs to be front and center. Shoppers are increasingly more skeptical of businesses that make it hard to get in touch. Build trust with your audience by making it crystal clear how they can contact you via email, chat message, phone, or social media.
Are you in the business of generating new leads from your website? Make sure to prominently display your phone number within your website’s header and footer as well as throughout your pages. Bonus points if the phone number included on your mobile site is clickable for calling!
Mistake #7 — Site Is Not Secure
Cybersecurity is a top concern for shoppers and businesses alike.
The web is moving away from HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) and shifting to the secure version, HTTPS (the “S” stands for secure). Google is penalizing sites that don’t use HTTPS. When browsing in Google Chrome, you’ll actually get a warning message letting you know that the site you’re about to visit isn’t secure.
To create a secure connection on your website, you need to purchase an SSL certificate. For everyone’s sake, make sure your website is secure!
Mistake #8 — On-Site Banners Don’t Lead Users Deeper into the Site
Banners need to be visually impressive, and they also should direct your visitors to other pages on your site.
Use your banners to guide customers through the buying process by placing strategic calls to action (CTAs) within them. Examples of popular calls to action include “subscribe” or “shop new arrivals.”
Shoppers love a good deal. If you have a special promotion or offer, make sure to include it in your banner message.
The bottom line — the CTAs on your banners should link to the corresponding page where people can take the next step. Otherwise, your site visitors won’t know where to go and are more likely to bounce.
Mistake #9 — Benefits and Features Are Missing on Core Pages
A website should echo the most important information about its products and/or services throughout its core pages. As visitors scan your site, they should be able to quickly identify the features and benefits of what you’re offering.
Let’s quickly review! A feature refers to a factual statement about the product or service such as “handmade fabric.” A benefit, such as “designed just for you”, refers to the value of that feature. What are your unique selling points? Identify them and talk about them often.
Mistake #10 — Tracking Does Not Work Correctly
One of the first steps in creating an efficient website is to make sure your Google Analytics tracking codes are set up on your site. A common website mistake is that somewhere during the setup process, something goes wrong.
If your data analytics seem off, perhaps your tracking codes have not been implemented correctly. Work with an expert to make sure your tracking codes aren’t causing issues. Fixing any problems with Google Analytics will allow you to accurately measure performance and optimize your digital strategy accordingly.
Mistake #11 — Missing Sitemaps or Poorly Organized Sitemaps
Not many website owners want to talk about sitemaps, but rest assured that they are worth discussing.
An HTML sitemap helps site visitors navigate the pages of your website. Mostly, an HTML sitemap will display the pages in your site navigation as a bullet point list. If information gets hidden in your navigation menus, visitors can reference your sitemap to find it again.
An XML sitemap helps Google crawl your website pages. Because the XML sitemap assists Google’s understanding of your website structure, it is a factor that greatly impacts SEO.
Sitemaps are increasingly important if your website has hundreds of live pages or archived pages that don’t have many links to them. Make sure to keep your HTML and XML sitemaps optimized and organized as much as you can.
Mistake #12 — Product and/or Service Pages Don’t Provide Recommendations to Valuable Upsell Opportunities
Upsell opportunities occur when a customer upgrades from a basic offering to a premium offering. Although your audience won’t ask you directly, they are looking for you to give them quality recommendations. Not providing upsell recommendations is a website mistake many companies can’t afford to make.
If a customer is only purchasing a basic product or service, they might be persuaded into buying the premium version. However, don’t just upsell for the sake of getting more money. Make sure your recommendation is attractive and that the premium product you’re offering is a good fit.
Clearly communicate the additional benefits that come with your premium level goods or services. Certain customers will always be willing to pay extra.
Mistake #13 — No Product or Service Reviews
Of all the website mistakes you could make, not having product or service reviews visible on your site is one of the most significant of them all.
According to Search Engine Land, “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
Reviews are an essential element in the buyer’s decision-making process. Websites that include product and/or service reviews increase conversions considerably.
No matter your industry, you need a reviews strategy in place. Already have case studies and testimonials? Make sure you’re keeping them up-to-date.
Mistake #14 — Links Do Not Open into Separate Tabs
When you include links on your pages, make sure they open in separate tabs. The main advantage is that it will prevent users from leaving your website.
If links open in the same tab, it will increase the number of users that exit the website. As a result, your bounce rate will be affected negatively. High bounce rates are an issue when it comes to SEO, hence the importance of having links open into separate tabs.
Mistake #15 — Homepage Does Not Link to Key Category Pages
The homepage is the most important page on your website. A website mistake we see daily is that the homepage is missing links to key category pages.
Your goal should be to identify your highest priority pages and link to them from the homepage. For example, a fashion boutique includes internal links on their homepage that point to their top category pages — tops, dresses, and jeans.
Directing traffic from your homepage to category pages will help build up each page’s SEO authority.
Mistake #16 — Main Navigation Menu Has Poor Organization
Your main navigation menu takes up the top real estate on your website pages, so it sends the wrong signal when it’s poorly organized.
A well-organized menu will save the day by helping visitors locate the information that they need. If you think your navigation could be improved, add descriptive titles and make sure that the menu categories have a logical flow.
Mistake #17 — Products Are Pushed Too Far Down the Page
For ecommerce websites, you don’t want to test your shoppers’ patience by pushing your products too far down on your pages. The area that a user sees before they start to scroll is known as “above the fold.”
Make sure to use modern website design principles to limit scrolling by putting your essential information higher up on the page so that it is above the fold.
Avoid the most common website mistakes by improving your site continuously. As an ecommerce agency, we’ve worked with over 500 clients to overcome many online challenges. We help businesses market themselves more effectively online.
Message us or give us a call at (310) 905-8268 if you’re interested in having our team take a closer look at your website.