Boost Your Website’s Performance: Key Pitfalls to Avoid

10 Mistakes To Avoid on Your Website

Is your website not generating enough good-quality leads? Or, more to the point, any leads at all?

This article could help; we’ve put together some user-friendly advice for business owners and those involved in digital marketing. Act on just a few of them, and you could see significant changes within a few weeks; put all of them into practice and you’ve got yourself a whole new website strategy.

A Website that Works as Hard as You Do

The truth is that a well-functioning website is worth its weight in gold — if, indeed, it does weigh anything, which is an intriguing idea in itself.

Why? There are several compelling answers here. But mainly because:

  • It delivers interested parties to your door via an enquiry email and,
  • It impresses the people who have been recommended to you when they look you up.

Ultimately, in this context, a “good” website creates trust and confidence. The goal:

To convince your prospect to contact you because it’s possible that your business and your business alone is what they need. Why? Because your perfect (or near-perfect) website has already done much of the work, even before someone presses the Contact Us button.

Can We Fix It? Yes, We Can

The good news is that the reasons why websites sometimes don’t work are generally obvious and relatively simple to spot.

Therefore, they’re fixable. You may not need to invest thousands of pounds to put things right – in fact, be wary of so-called “specialists” who offer you ultra-high quotes. However, if you lack in-house expertise, it’s worth considering outsourcing some of the deliverables that lie behind the concepts we will suggest.

What is your average profit margin? How many new pieces of business could fund your website development project? It may be fewer than you think.

OK, mistake number one:

1) Not Understanding How Your Website Fits Into Your Overall Strategy

Websites don’t sit alone. They’re not an island.

They’re an essential part of your marketing and business strategy as a whole. It should reflect your business’s goals and objectives. Importantly, it needs to reflect your brand identity; the message you send out about what you do and how you do it.

Does your website help to develop your brand, or reflect it in the best way? And also, what do you want it to achieve for your business?

We live in a technology-centred world, and given that your website is your primary marketing tool, you could be missing out if it doesn’t have branches reaching your email, social and print marketing.

2) Not Knowing Your Audience

To the point: do you understand your target market and why they buy from you? Or, why they wouldn’t?

Here, we’re talking about user experience.

A successful website strategy fully yet subtly meets the needs, challenges and wish lists of specific demographics –their age, where they live, what they love/hate, what worries them in their business, and their inside leg measurement. Right, obviously the last one isn’t true, but it almost is. The point remains the same: unless you know your audience extremely well, your presence on the internet may not be touching your future clients.

The marketing word here is “Avatar” – profiles of typical or would-be buyers.

At the very least, it’s critical to recognise what will attract a customer, and what could send them in the other direction.

3) Not Answering Your Audience’s Questions – Immediately

Here’s a “did you know”:

Did you know that people make up their minds about your website in about six seconds? That’s six whole seconds for them to decide to find out more, contact you, or disappear back to the search engine results pages. Lots of time. Not.

Click onto your website right now. Here’s your must-do checklist:

  • What you do
  • Where you do it
  • Why you do it
  • Who you do it for
  • The services you offer
  • How it all works
  • Why they’re better than sliced bread
  • Why your prospect needs you and how you are different
  • But mainly – how you solve people’s problems.

Does it say all of that in easy-to-read language? If not, this mistake will quite literally, be costing you business. No, we are not kidding.

4) Not Having a Big Enough Website

Myth-buster: people do want to read about what you can do for them. They really do.

The thing is, they’re not quite aware of it.

They’ll simply notice that you offered enough high-quality information about how your services will meet their needs. This is about empathy: putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to know and recognise what they need to see.

Skinny sites with five pages and almost no content? In a world of instantaneous judgements, you could be working with one hand tied behind your back. Of note:

  • A larger site with useful pages makes you look like a more substantial business, with potentially higher-priced products and services.
  • Google ranks more significant websites that add value to the visitor; you can’t fool the world’s biggest search engine any more, not even if you try.

5) Not Having Enough Content or Good Enough Content

Linking with mistake number 4, inadequate content does your company a disservice. You’ve got one chance to make a good impression. And one chance only.

So, at least 350 words per page, please – but it needs to be really excellent:

Shorter sentences, plenty of focus on the reader, and with text divided into paragraphs with meaningful headings. No big words. No overqualified nouns. Cut down on “we” and “our” – nobody cares.

6) Leaving the Content Until Last

Content is at the heart of your website.

So, web design should support and promote it to look as impressive as possible, not vice versa. Unfortunately, many business owners prioritise design over content, meaning the words get squeezed in as an afterthought.

Fatal mistake.

It will look wrong and read badly. Plus, content takes time to get right. In an ideal world, you’ll have the copy all ready to go; a website developer will, or should, create the site around the content, with certain sections highlighted and others in easy-to-navigate content blocks.

7) Prioritising Traffic Over Conversions

Conversions – when visitors land on your website and then contact you – are key here. Website traffic, while important, is less meaningful if the site doesn’t generate enough leads.

Generally, all of the above concepts could help to increase your conversion rate, not forgetting Calls to Action throughout.

8) Not Measuring Or Analysing

Your website is a great source of data that can help inform your marketing strategy.

If business owners fail to collect these statistics, or don’t see the value in this type of analysis, it’s hard to know the right direction of travel. How do you know what is, or isn’t working unless you measure it?

The latest version of Google Analytics offers powerful tools:

  • How many visits your site had each day
  • How long visitors were on your website
  • The pages they visited
  • Whether they came from a search engine
  • Which website they came from
  • What they did next

9) Choosing the Wrong Platform

In Xpress Group’s opinion, web owners should have power and autonomy over their own websites – if they wish to. Therefore, being able to update and change content and images, add blogs and articles etc, is a part of being in charge of your own marketing.

If a website is built in a complicated, proprietary, coded language, the “power” lies in the hands of a developer, which could make things awkward if you need prompt action.

Many sites are built in WordPress because it’s considered the world’s most powerful content management system. And, with a few skills, is relatively easy to revise. Squarespace and Wix, while fine for beginners, are less flexible. Many think that they’re not quite the thing for larger businesses.

10) Not Making It Personal

Our final point, and it’s an exceptionally valuable one:

People buy people. Do you have a Meet the Team page, or is your website strangely anonymous? And, does the site express your genuine enthusiasm for helping others? If not, why not?

Typically, measurement tools reveal that we often visit an About Us page first and that we’re drawn to human faces. We like people who look kind, professional, trustworthy and who seem like, well – good eggs.

Final Thoughts

Websites are, to use a terrible cliché, not rocket science. They’re documents on the internet, but there are an awful lot of them out there. Billions, in fact. Some are profoundly wonderful, others make you cringe.

Our key message: understanding what you want your website to do, the audience you want to reach, and how you can be their champion problem-solver will almost certainly increase your conversion rate.

When an internet enquiry drops into your inbox, it will be worth it.