Mistakes are an inevitable part of doing business and it’s easy to make a mistake if you’re not aware you’re doing anything wrong – particularly online. Many businesses build a website with good intentions but fall into these common traps outlined below. If you find you suffer from some of these common website mistakes, don’t worry – we outline how you can fix them, or if you need some assistance, feel free to contact Marketeam and we’d be happy to assist where we can.
Common website mistakes to avoid and how to fix them
Mistake Number One - Talking about how great you are
We see this one more often than not. A customer spends lots of time on the design, tweaking it, changing it, getting our input on colour schemes, logo variations, etc, but when it comes time to add the content to the site, it’s the same old marketing blabber we see time and again on every mediocre website out there.
Here’s an example:-
“ABC company has been in business since 1985 and we’re the biggest supplier of Product X in Australia. We combine superior technical abilities, high quality products and excellent customer service to give you the best possible experience”.
Ugh. When people read this, it’s the equivalent of a promise of millions of dollars from a Nigerian Prince, or a popup ad for someone who’s figured out the ‘secret formula’ for a rock hard stomach, eternal happiness or business success. It’s empty and soulless, like the styrofoam filler in your delivery box. It gets ignored, I guarantee it.
“I can’t stress this enough. Your customers don’t care about what you do, they care about what you can do for them."
Don’t deliver a box full of styrofoam and nothing else to your customers, you need to give them something that’s tangible. If you’ve got superior customer service, provide proof of this through testimonials, links to your 5 star ratings or awards you’ve won and always bring it back to how that will benefit them as a customer.
Your website can be an amazing marketing tool, don’t squander the opportunity to sell to your customers by banging on about how great you are. Don’t be the guy at the party that only talks about himself, how amazing he is and all the marvelous things he’s done. Take an interest in your customers and talk about how you’re going to help them. Be the solution to their problem, the Band-aid to their cut, the Ibuprofen to their headache.
Mistake Number Two - No CTA’s (Calls to action)
Calls to action don’t need to involve some fancy marketing strategy with integrated marketing campaigns and paid ads, etc. These words have been created by digital marketing companies to make you think there’s some magic behind developing calls to action.
CTA’s are very simple when you break it down to what they’re supposed to do. They’re supposed to get your customer to do something. That’s ultimately what a CTA is designed to do. How you go about doing that depends on the type of business you have and how you want your customers to interact with you.
If you have the type of business where most customers like to speak on the phone, your CTA should be reminding your customer to ‘call us today on 1300 XXX’. If you’re selling online, remind them to buy online today by clicking the shopping cart button to the left / right, etc.
Think about your website like being the tour guide of a building. If a customer lands on your website and hasn’t ever dealt with you before, guide them through the different rooms (pages) and show them where everything is by linking to pages in your copy and reminding them how you can help them. Remember to gently chaperone them to your end goal (phone call, download e-book, subscribe to newsletter, like your Facebook page, buy online) by using calls to action throughout your copy, buttons and phone numbers.
Mistake Number Three - Angry Fruit Salad
This is a term in the IT world that describes the overzealous use of colours in a website design (like this site). Many people have the opinion that if a little something works, a lot of it must work really well. Unfortunately it’s like putting more petrol on the fire – sooner or later it becomes unbearable and no one wants to hang around it anymore.
If you’re hiring a web design company to build you a website, trust in their design capabilities and listen to their input about style and how a minimal approach can work wonders. Don’t fall into the trap of cramming everything into the first page, having something big, bold and red so it ‘stands out more’ or trying to smash together colours that just don’t go together.
A website should have a flow and be broken into sections, just like the chapters in a book or the sections of a magazine. Don’t put everything on the front cover in big, bright, bold text or people will quickly move on to your competitors.
Mistake Number Four - Building the website you want to build
It’s amazing how many people I’ve heard say they don’t want drop down menus because they personally don’t like them, or they don’t want to have to scroll because they don’t like it or their boss thinks Comic Sans is an awesome font so therefore needs to be used throughout the website at every opportunity.
If you’re going to get a web development agency to build a website for you, there’s a very important thing to remember. This website isn’t for you – it’s for your customers.
Your customers are the ones that are going to be using it, they’re the ones you’re trying to convince to call, contact or buy from you. Think about your target market and take that into account when you’re having your new website built. It’s important to always take into account your customers’ requirements so you build a website to suit their needs, not your ego.
Before you go ahead with a website development it’s a good idea to check your ego at the door and realise that this project is all about your customers and creating an amazing experience for them.
Mistake Number Five - Thinking you can get away with photos from your phone
Many times we’ve had clients tell us they have loads of great photos to send to us only to have them arrive and they’re a bunch of happy snaps taken on an iPhone. This is great if you want to add it to your Facebook feed or Linkedin account, but if you want your website to really pop, good quality photos can make all the difference.
The other mistake with photos we often see is using images of the products you sell, not imagery that introduces the benefits of what you do. This example of Microsoft redesigning the iPod packaging is getting pretty old now but it’s a classic example of how NOT to do great imagery.
When tied together with the other points above it can really make or break the quality of your website. If you have mediocre photos, bad colour schemes, horrible copywriting and no calls to action, is it any wonder why your website isn’t generating enquiries?