I've said time and time again, that social media serves as a fantastic vehicle to drive brand awareness to online property that you own - namely your website and email list. As a serial website-tinkerer, it's so easy for me to lose the thread of my content, copy, and purpose. In fact, I got so in the weeds earlier this year that I paid a website developer colleague to do an audit of my site. Boy, was that some tough love.
This week, I'm happy to have another online badass guest post all about common website mistakes and how to fix them! Raubi is the owner of Simply Stated Media and is an online marketing powerhouse - read more about the most common blunders she sees with websites - and more importantly - how to fix them.
You’re doing everything right. You’re posting regularly, engaging with users, growing your following, and drawing interested audiences back to your website. You are killing it on social media so you expect your results to reflect that.
But, they aren’t.
Despite your solid social media performance, you’re just not getting the results you want. Traffic is heading to your website, but users are failing to take the next step in the journey to do business with you.
If this sounds all too familiar, it could be that you’re killing it with social media, but you aren’t with your website. Even with a boss social media presence, you probably won’t get the results you want if you’re making these mistakes with your website.
Your Website Is Out of Style
The presence you project on social media needs to be also reflected on your website. So if you look like a trustworthy pro on social, don’t send your audience to a website that looks like it was put together by an amateur.
You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a user on your website. Don’t scare them away by making these out-of-style website mistakes.
- Wild Font Choices: While it can be tempting to use funky or cute fonts to spice up the look of your website, avoid this temptation. Decorative fonts are distracting and difficult to read. You want your messages to be as clear as possible so select clear fonts that are easy to read.
- Crazy Color Scheme: Don’t get carried away with color either. Using too many different colors on your site can also be distracting. Stick with a standard black font and use colors to accent your site rather than blanket it. To help pick an appropriate color scheme, use a color wheel to select two to three complementary colors.
- An Old Theme: If you set up your website more than two years ago, it’s time to update it. Website functionality and design trends change, and your website needs to keep up with them. You can’t do that if you are using a theme that hasn’t been updated in years (and looks like it).
- Cheesy Stock Photos: It’s not always easy to fill your website with compelling and interesting images. So, it’s not uncommon to use stock photos to fill your pages. But, even if you are using stock photos, make sure they are stock photos with personality. Don’t fill your site with the typical, smiling office photos and expect your webpage to connect with your audience.
Your Copy Is Messy and Misleading
The overall look of your website is what initially attracts or repels an audience. The next signal that either sends readers running away or clicking to contact you is your content.
Your copy and blog posts must be written in a way that captures the attention of readers. Even if your content is extremely valuable, your readers won’t know it if it’s poorly formatted. They won’t even attempt to read your content if you make these mistakes.
- Bulky Paragraphs: Break up big blocks of text by separating paragraphs with white space. As a rule of thumb, break up any paragraph that is more than three sentences.
- No Subheadings: Another way you should break up big blocks of text is by using subheadings. For long-form content, split your content into sections that are about 3-4 paragraphs and separate the sections using subheadings.
- Lack of Font Formatting: Online readers tend to skim content. So make it easy for them to find the juicy nuggets in your content by using (but not overusing) bulleted lists, bolding, and call-out boxes.
- No Resource Links: Your audience must trust you to do business with you. You will lose that trust if you create content filled with stats and facts that aren’t backed up with sources. Include links to the sources of all of your factual information to show that you are trustworthy and truthful.
- Incorrectly Linked Outbound Links: When you link to outbound pages, make sure the links aren’t set to drive away readers. Set all outbound links to open in a new tab or window so your site remains open in the user’s browser. This will prevent you from drawing traffic and then quickly sending it away.
You’re Not Telling Your Audience To Do Anything
So maybe you’re website has the right style and the right content, but you still aren’t seeing results from your traffic. You could be making one of the biggest mistakes of all -- failing to tell your readers what to do.
Your website needs to be filled with call-to-actions that guide users through your site and on their way to doing business with you.
Decide what you would like users to do when they get to your website (which may be to connect with you through your contact form, download a content upgrade, request a free consultation, etc.). Then, lay out your website so that each page directs the user to that action.
These small mistakes may be the reason why your killer social media presence is failing to deliver. So use these tips to update and upgrade your website and ensure that your hard work on social is paying off and giving you the results you deserve.
Want to see what other mistakes you might be making? Make your website is as killer as your social media presence by grabbing my full Website Content Audit Checklist that includes of over 25 errors and the steps to fix them.
Raubi Perilli helps people create businesses and careers they love by building a professional online presence. She is the founder of Simply Stated Media and regularly writes about marketing, freelancing, and writing. Learn more by following her on Twitter or checking out Free Five-Day #GoPro Online Presence Challenge.