How to avoid these 11 website mistakes

How to Avoid These 11 Website Mistakes

Staff Writer

Great websites focus on more than appearances, they also focus on avoiding a few key rookie website mistakes.

“Oh my gosh! This is so pretty!”

Have you ever had this reaction when you’ve visited a website?

Click a link and boom! A page with nice pictures and fonts appears. Maybe it’s just me, but a website’s appearance is the first thing that grabs my attention.  

Here’s the thing. A pretty website isn’t enough. You need to avoid certain website mistakes. 

Attractive websites don’t always provide the return on investment (ROI) entrepreneurs desire.


The answer to this question lies in the fact that there is far more to a successful website than what meets the eye. It’s easy to make some common website mistakes, especially when you are DIYing things.

A good website begins with a well thought out plan based on the K-E-E-P principle. Understanding and implementing each element of this principle will help you develop the 10 key ingredients your website needs for long-lasting success. It’s time to K-E-E-P your website performing at its best by avoiding website mistakes.

The K-E-E-P Principle for Avoiding Website Mistakes

 K- Know your goals.

 Your website is your brand’s online real estate. However, it shouldn’t be treated like a plain ol’ Jane, just sitting there waiting for things to happen. This is a common website mistake solo entrepreneurs make when first starting out. 

You know that guy your best friend keeps around “just in case”? Your friend strings him along because she isn’t quite sure what she wants from him yet. Is your website treating your prospects like “that guy”?

A website without clear goals will string along potential customers, leaving them confused. Setting clear goals about what you want to achieve with your website at each stage of business growth is important.

You must be saying, “Are you out of your mind! I don’t have time to continuously change my website. It’ll stay this way for as long as the business is open.” It’s time to shift your perspective. Have you ever heard the words personalization and segmentation? Both are important for attracting the audience you desire and they require ongoing modifications to your website.

Website goals continuously change based on your marketing objective. Here’s an example.


Shelly has a relationship coaching business called Talk It Out. She wants to attract young couples to the website so that they can schedule a strategy session with her. Her business goal is to schedule at least 10 strategy sessions monthly. Her segmentation and personalization goals for her website could be:

  • Use A/B testing for the landing page to determine if potential clients are attracted to an image of a happy couple or a couple in discontent.
  • Change the pop-up window to offer seasonal topics like How to Handle Holiday Stress or Vacationing with your Partner.
  • Change the colors and fonts to determine which combination gives the best results.

Each goal will result in an occasional change to the layout and “feel” of the website in some way.

E- Establish consistency

Think about some of your favorite brands. How do you know that you’re seeing something from Coke, Apple, Tiffany’s or any brand you love? There is an element of the brand that is clearly visible in anything they produce. Coke has the iconic wave, Tiffany has the infamous Tiffany blue color, Apple has their easily identifiable logo and simplistic design…the list is endless.

There must be something distinct about your brand that makes it easily identifiable. This distinct element should be on your website. It should always be there even when you change other elements of your website to achieve your marketing goals. One of the questions you should ask before creating your website is, “What will make people know that they’re interacting with X brand besides the brand’s name?”

E-Engage and improve.

A website isn’t a social media platform. But, it does provide useful analytics that help you identify website visitor trends. Your potential audience is indirectly letting you know what they think. Listen to them.

For instance, website analytics show the most frequently visited pages on your website and how long website visitors stay on each page. This information should cause you to question why some pages are getting more traffic than others, especially if the target pages you want people to visit are being ignored. It’s a game of finding out what works and what doesn’t.

Pro Tip

Avoid a common website mistake and get set up with Google Analytics way before you think you’ll need it. It can’t go back and collect data but it can hold data for future use.

Website analytics can only be used after your website has been launched. While it should be a part of the evaluation strategy of your website plan, you should get feedback and make improvements prior to the launch of each iteration of your website.

Google Analytics

Close friends and family members can be your first option for getting this important feedback. Ensure that they understand what you’re trying to achieve so that they know what to look for when viewing your draft.

A truly unbiased perspective can also be sought from a sample of existing customers. Focus groups and social media posts are 2 possible ways to get this feedback. You can use mockup images of the static pages to try and get this feedback.  Probably even have a competition where you use the mockup that has the most votes. There are many interesting ways that you can get your audience involved.

P- Practice simplicity.

Some teenagers have extremely cluttered and messy rooms. As a parent, this drives you up the wall! You open the door and are greeted by an environment that makes your head spin.

There are some websites that look like a teenager’s cluttered and messy room. They’re a complete turn-off for website visitors and a big website mistake.  Their minds are going bonkers!

Simplicity is key. A simple website that is easy to navigate and visually appealing always comes out on top. This is the type of website that you should aim to create.

2.    Slow load speeds

Website load speeds matter for 2 main reasons. People have short attention spans. (We all can have the attention span of a 2-year-old when surfing the net.) Additionally, search engines use page load speeds to rank websites. The faster your website loads, the better your ranking, so it’s important to do what you can to avoid this website mistake.

The Crazy Egg offers 20 ways you can improve your website’s speed. Some of these strategies require an understanding of the technical side of things. Here’s what you can do instead of becoming flustered and overwhelmed; hire a freelance website developer.

Pro Tip

Some hosting companies include an SSL certificate with the purchase of hosting while others require that you pay for this separately.

2.    Slow load speeds

Website load speeds matter for 2 main reasons. People have short attention spans. (We all can have the attention span of a 2-year-old when surfing the net.) Additionally, search engines use page load speeds to rank websites. The faster your website loads, the better your ranking, so it’s important to do what you can to avoid this website mistake.

The Crazy Egg offers 20 ways you can improve your website’s speed. Some of these strategies require an understanding of the technical side of things. Here’s what you can do instead of becoming flustered and overwhelmed; hire a freelance website developer.

Pro Tip

When looking to improve site speeds, work with a website developer or SEO expert, not just a website designer.

Now let’s talk about the website mistakes to avoid. 

A good website begins with a well thought out plan and avoiding website mistakes.11 Website Mistakes to Avoid

 Great websites focus on more than just how they look. They also focus on avoiding a few key website mistakes.

1.   No Secure Socket Layer certificate (SSL)

I’m starting with one of the most technical things you’ll need on your website because it’s one of the most frequent website mistakes I see. In today’s super heightened digital age of hackers and data breaches, many browsers are no longer displaying pages that do not have an SSL certificate. This certificate is simply a piece of code on your site that authenticates your site as legitimate and secures the transfer of data from one point to another. You know if your site has SSL if it starts with https instead of http.

3.    A non-existent or dated blog.

The SEO Tribunal provides some useful statistics about blogging. They state that “companies who blog receive 97 percent more links to their website.” Additionally, “57 percent of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging.”

Blogging gets your website noticed. The key to blogging is consistency. Hire a good content writer who can help you create engaging content. It’s a plus if this writer also has content marketing experience and can help you create a content calendar.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Delegating for More Tips & Tools on How to Delegate as a Solopreneur

4.    Little to no visuals

Customers respond well to visuals. In fact, more video content is being watched now than ever before. Statistics show that “54 percent of consumers want to see more video content.” Text and images on your website are great but, you need videos to attract a wider audience.

Video can come in a variety of different styles including live, animated, slides and more. There are many options out there to make video even easier to create, so there’s no excuse! You need to be using video to market your business. Including both quality images and videos on your website will give it the media boost it needs and help you avoid this website mistake.

5.    No indication about what you do or who you are

Be true to your brand’s personality. Potential customers want to visit your website and get a true sense of what your brand does and what it believes in. Writing a generic About Us page doesn’t make this happen.

It’s also important to ensure that your brand’s message is clear. Sometimes a brand can get lost in writing text with a lot of spunk that the message is lost. Inject the personality but don’t lose the message.

6.    An ugly or boring site

It was said at the beginning of this article that there’s more to a website than its aesthetics. This doesn’t mean that how the website looks isn’t important. The design is the first thing that grabs a website visitor’s attention.

Remember that the design shouldn’t be cluttered and difficult to navigate. People don’t want complexity, another website mistake. They want something that looks good without being too much. Here’re some examples of well-designed websites:

-          Air BnB

-          Mint

-          DropBox Business

7.    No keywords

Keywords have changed for search engine optimization (SEO). However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth paying attention to them. Content should be written in a natural way and meet the user’s needs above anything else. Chances are that you’ll include the right keywords anyway if you do this. It does help though to have long-tail and short-tail keywords in your title, section headings, and Alt text.

8.    Not mobile-friendly

I was looking up some restaurants the other day, on my phone. It was utterly shocking how many of them do not have mobile-friendly sites!

Approximately 52.2 percent of the global website traffic was generated through mobile phones. Your website should create a positive user experience for these mobile users. In fact, Google thinks this is so important, that they will rank mobile optimized sites ahead of those that aren’t. A mobile-friendly website has:

  • Responsive design: It should adjust to screen sizes of different devices. The website should provide the same experience regardless of the device used.
  • Simple mobile navigation: The navigation should be vertical with enough space between elements to avoid people clicking the wrong things.

 9.    No Social media links

Social media is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. It’s like word-of-mouth advertising; someone who likes your content will share it with others thus creating a domino effect. Make the social media sharing process as simple as possible by including social media buttons on your website. A user shouldn’t have to copy and paste a URL in order to share a post.

10. No contact information

As a solopreneur, you may be hesitant to provide an email address or phone number on your website. Keep in mind, though, that different people have different preferred methods of contact. Don’t make the classic solopreneur website mistake and only provide one (if any) contact method. 

And be sure to make it stupid obvious. Anyone who visits your website should easily find your business’ contact information without visiting the Contact page. A good rule of thumb is to include the business’ contact information in the website’s footer so that it is visible on each page the customer visits.

11. A clear call-to-action

Ultimately, you want website visitors to do something when they visit your website. Whether it’s buying an oh so fabulous dress or signing up for a newsletter, the expectation must be clear. Including a call-to-action button on your landing page can do the trick. It also helps to have a call-to-action in each of your blog posts. Don’t be afraid to ask multiple times!

Some thought should go into the call-to-action. Here’re some questions to consider:

  1.     Where will the call-to-action button be placed?
  2.     What colors will you use to make it stand out?
  3.     What’s the right wording to fit with your intended message?

Play your cards right and you’ll get more website visitors to complete the desired action.

A good website begins with a well thought out plan and avoiding website mistakes.

Putting It All Together

 Your website will only be the bomb dot com if you K-E-E-P working at making it the best it can be. There will be numerous revisions as you try to produce the best result. Nevertheless, K-E-E-P pressing forward.

The 11 things your website needs to succeed include:

  1.     SSL
  2.     Site Speed
  3.     A well done blog
  4.     A mix of media
  5.     Clearly defined description
  6.     Great aesthetics
  7.     Well optimized keywords
  8.     Mobile friendly design
  9.     Social Media buttons
  10. Contact info
  11. A clear call-to-action

Who knew that so much was required to create a killer website? Thankfully, there are DIY website creation platforms such as Wix, SquareSpace and WordPress that make the website creation process easier. Or, take the smarter approach and Delegate THIS!

The Ultimate Guide to Delegating

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