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Are these website mistakes holding you back from your full potential? Not having a solid foundation to your website can draw a line between you and connecting with your ideal clients. A good website offers a clear understanding of who you are and what you do.
Social media tends to blur the line of if we even need a website or not but here is the deal. You do not own your social media platforms. People have their accounts hacked all the time and lose all those precious followers they worked so hard to get.
Having a website is just like having valuable real estate. You own it and therefore can do anything you want with it.
But not only that, a website is a place on the internet where you can offer more to your customers than social media ever could. It’s an all in one place where they can learn about you, buy from you, get resources, and find all of your content in one place.
My first website ever I created on Wix and honestly I was pretty happy with it. But as I have grown and advanced and required a bit more in my business, I now use ShowIt & WordPress as my website hosting platforms. The control I have is incredible and I love the drag and drop format it has.
But a website is more than just about the looks. Your website needs to have some key components to it in order to make sure it is fully optimized for anyone who is on it. So today I am listing off some common mistakes I see on websites all the time. And don’t worry, if you are going down this list thinking “dang my website has all of these things” that’s ok! They are pretty easy fixes and we have all made these mistakes at one point or another guaranteed!
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Designing A New Website
- What do I want my new website to look like?
- How do I want my new website to feel?
- Does my current website blend in with other people in my industry?
01. It’s Boring
Yup my first point is pretty straightforward. One of the website mistakes you may be making is just the fact that your site is too boring. It doesn’t stand out from everyone else in your same industry or your direct competition. Think about it from your client’s perspective. They could have 10 tabs open looking for the right fit for them with 10 different websites on each tab. If your website blends in with them, why should they pick you?
This can present challenges because just like everything else, certain branding can be trending! Remember when everyone went through the crisp, clean and white phase? And now it seems like everyone is moving to warm tones, adding more color, neutrals, palm leafs, etc. Don’t even act like you don’t know what I am talking about. Of course unless you are reading this after the year 2022 , then I am sure the current trends are different.
It’s okay to be trendy but you don’t want to just straight up copy someone else’s branding or be so much on the trends that you have to change your branding every 6 months.
Also it is good to note that if you and someone else’s branding looks the same, you run a higher risk of having someone price shop you. When you do not stand out from the crowd it will always come down to who is the cheaper option.
I think a lot of times as business owners we get caught up in trying to impress other people in the same industry as us. So much that our branding feels Vanilla. Remember, you are not trying to make an impression on your competition, you are trying to make an impression on your clients.
02. You are not connecting with your audience
Do not hide behind your products and services. I see this all the time in the photography industry where the business owner’s face is almost a secret because all they do is post their clients work. There is no problem with sharing your work (obviously) but you also need to be the face behind the brand and business.
As hard as it may be to realize, people want to see you. I would encourage you to do a little experiment. Try posting photos of you with your face in them for 1 week straight. I’d probably bet you that your engagement on posts would go up.
Do not buy into the lie that you are not interesting enough, or pretty enough, or funny enough to be showing up online as yourself, right where you are. This goes for social media but also your website.
Probably the most important note to take out of this entire post about website mistakes is that YOU have something to offer the world that is uniquely different and special.
One of the best ways to make sure you are creating connection is through your bio photo on your site. Make sure the photo that shows people who you are is clear and straightforward. In other words, you should have a photo of you smiling and looking straight at the camera. Often times creatives want to use these really interesting photos of themselves as a bio photo. Like a photo that is an action shot or a little blurry or taken of their side profile. And while these photos are great for other reasons, they do not captivate a viewer to feel like they can get to know you.
Save the creative photos for other parts of your website!
03. Your Contact Page Is Not Easy To Navigate
The contact page on your website is so crucial. So much in fact, that I will have an entire episode coming out on that topic alone in the near future. Do yourself a favor with any page of your website but especially your contact page, and keep things simple. Meaning, do not make it really hard or a long process to reach out to you.
People are going to be more likely to follow through with an inquiry when they can fill out something quickly and efficiently. If your contacting process requires them to click a lot of buttons and fill out a lot of boxes, they may decide it’s not worth it and click out of your website.
Think about your overall customer journey. This is the process to which someone who has never heard of you finds you and all the different steps they must take in order to become a customer of yours. This process, whether it be intentional or not, should be seamless and simple.
Your goal as the business owner should be to create a website that makes it so easy to people to contact you. It’s also a good idea to have several places on your website for people to be able to click over to your contact form. Not just 1 button at the top of your website.
04. Mobile Optimization
When designing your website, most likely you are going to be doing this on your laptop or desktop. This is ideally how you would want most people to look at your site as well because it’s bigger, and displayed exactly how you liked it. But something a lot of entrepreneurs miss the mark on is making sure their website is optimized for mobile use.
We are in a day and age where more and more people are using their phones to do just about everything, including scrolling through your website.
You want to make sure that while you are designing your site for desktop, you are simultaneously making sure the mobile version is just as clear and beautiful.
In fact, not having a good mobile site can really affect your SEO score. Google now ranks your website on mobile before they rank it for desktop.
Some basic tips for optimizing a good mobile site would be:
- Using a text size that is no smaller than 14pts (the bigger the text, the better)
- Have solid navigation, easy to click buttons and transitions from one page to another
05. Your Website Loading Speed Sucks
People get more and more impatient everyday, which is why it is so important to have a website that loads quickly. If someone comes across your site but is having to wait several seconds for things to load, the chances of them exiting our of your site greatly increases.
But how can you improve the speed of your website?
Images are a huge part of why websites can load slowly. You should make sure that your images have been resized to the appropriate web versions. Not necessarily the high resolution files. There are a lot of website speed checkers online that you can plug your website into to check its speed. After you make changes to your images, scan it through one of these other sites to see how quickly your website loads. It should be right around 1-2 seconds.
Other Website Tips To Consider
- Infuse your personality into as much of your website as you can
- Make sure there is a clear next step on every page of your site. No dead ends.
- Utilize the space above the fold (the space you see before you start scrolling) to captivate viewers. This should include the answers to: Who you are, what you do, and where you are located
- Make sure to include copyright information at the footer of your site and reserve your rights to protect your content
- Have an experience page that goes into heavy details about the experience you offer. This should be a way more important page than your pricing page. People are likely to pay more for an incredible experience so you really want to sell this!
- Make sure you have clear offers on what you sell. You do not need to showcase every tiny thing but only the most important things you want to do more of.
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I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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