If you’ve ever started a website before, you know that the learning curve can be pretty steep. And unless you are a web design expert or have been building websites for years, you’re still bound to make mistakes every once in a while. However, if you think that your website should be attracting more visitors than it’s actually getting, there might be issues at hand that you haven’t thought about.
There are several common website mistakes that you may be making that are holding you and your site back. See if any of these problems or practices sound familiar, and find out what you can do to correct the issue.
Having a long or complicated domain name
Most people are perfectly capable of coming up with a great, clever, memorable domain name … only to find out that it’s already been registered by someone else. Thus enters the hyphenations, unnecessary words, and other tricks that transform your brain child of a URL into a lengthy atrocity that isn’t all that memorable at all.
The fix: If you are currently using a free domain name that is provided by a site like WordPress or Wix, consider investing in your own custom URL. It will make you look more professional and will be easier for website visitors to type in. If you already have your own domain name, make sure it is as simple as possible. Avoid using misspellings, hyphenation, or lengthy URLs that may be difficult to remember. And here’s a pro tip: If your domain name isn’t available in a .COM or .NET, why not use a .ROCKS or .NINJA? There are a ton of new domain extensions that have greater availability and can help your website stand out.
Not optimizing SEO or doing it the wrong way
SEO, or search engine optimization, can easily go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. Not optimizing your website, blog posts, and pages for relevant search terms can cause you to lose out on organic web traffic, as can neglecting your meta descriptions or having page titles that are too long. But resorting to “black hat” tricks like keyword stuffing can knock you down the search rankings just as fast.
The fix: If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, don’t stress too much. As long as you’re writing valuable content that will help people answer a question or find a solution, you’ll probably doing most to the things you should be for good SEO. Tools like SEO Tutor or the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO can guide you in the right direction and teach you how to maximize your search optimization.
Having a dated or non-optimized website
If your website looks like it was built in the ’90s (or it actually was built in the ’90s) it’s time for an update. Even if your website visitor knows nothing about web design, they’ll be able to tell if you’ve been neglecting your site and haven’t give it an update in the past few decades. And if your website hasn’t been optimized for mobile devices yet, you need to jump on that bandwagon ASAP.
The fix: Make sure your website is clean, uncluttered, and modern. If you have no idea where to start, browse SquareSpace templates or WordPress themes to get an idea of what styles are popular. Most pre-built templates are now mobile optimized as well, so make sure you choose a responsive theme that can adapt to multiple formats. Another option is working with a web designer who can tell you what design style is best for your website.
Not sharing on social media
There are very few websites out there that can drive a good amount of traffic simply by existing—you have to spread your message to new networks if you want to reach more people. Social media is one of the best ways to build your brand presence and encourage more visitors to your website. It is also a more personal way to connect with your followers and engage with them.
The fix: Start sharing! Choose two to three social networks that you think are most relevant to the type of content you create and commit to posting to these sites regularly. Whether you create separate handles for your business or website, or you just promote content through your personal accounts, sharing on social media will expand your reach and encourage more website visitors and subscribers.
Lack of a call to action
Another common website mistake is neglecting calls to action (CTAs) throughout your site. If you want your website visitors to do something specific, like make a purchase or subscribe to your newsletter, you have to make it easy for them to do so. Without a CTA, a visitor who may have been interested in receiving more information or checking out your products could click away from your website without taking any action at all.
The fix: Give your visitors lots of cues on how they can take specific actions: whether that is downloading an ebook, subscribing to your email list, or purchasing a product. By making it easy for visitors to access products or more information, they are more likely to do so.