13 MOST Common Website Mistakes

Last month, I reviewed over 180 websites, analyzing them for conversion elements. It was tasking, but the findings have been worth every minute spent. The analysis made me realize that most website mistakes follow a similar pattern. So, if we know where to look, fixing them is fairly simple. With this e-book, I want to help you look in the right direction.

Mistake #1) Non responsive website

Today more people use mobile phones than desktop, and that’s not going to change. So, you need a responsive design.

Why responsive design: More people in the world own smartphones than toothbrushes.
4 out of 5 consumers shop on smartphones 
40% of people bounce if the website is not mobile-friendly

Things to keep in mind for responsive design

Plan it on paper before developing a prototype
Keep the navigation simple
– Each layout needs optimized images
– On smaller devices hide the content that isn’t absolutely necessary
Check the responsiveness on different devices with mobiletest.me

Mistake #2) High website load time

Nearly half the visitors abandon a website that doesn’t load in under 3 seconds. This in turn adversely affects your organic rankings

How to increase website speed
Compress the images using smush.it
Optimize your html and css using cssminifier.com
Keep the java script at the bottom, just before </body> tag
Choose a fast web host. WP Engine is one of the best ones
Compress your website with Gzip
Uninstall any unnecessary plugins
Enable browser caching

How to check website speed and insights
Google pagespeed insights

Mistake #3) No headline

A great homepage starts with the headline. Period. Look at the example on the left. “Where am I? Why am I even here?”
That’s what the visitor would think . Shockingly, of the websites I analyzed, 32% did not have a headline.

– 8/10 people will read your headline, while only 2/10 people will read the rest of the content
– A text headline helps your website get discovered in the search results
– It also helps in getting “RSS- readers” and social bookmarking websites’ attention

Mistake #4) Unbelievable headline

Most visitors look at a headline and decide to read on or leave. So, make it believable. Nobody will believe hyperbole that isn’t supported by proof.
– Keep your headline clear and to the point.
– Avoid superlatives like best, amazing, world-class, state of the art etc.
– Describe your most unique feature in the headline
– Use urgency and stats in your headline

Mistake #5) Poor readability

Reading digital text is 25% slower than reading print. If your content is hard to scan though, visitors will just leave.
– Use contrast to differentiate text from the background.
– Choose universally accepted fonts like Open Sans, Proxima Nova, Helvetica, Arial etc.
– Use proper line spacing and text size.
– You can check your website readability here: http://read-able.com/

Mistake #6) Wall of words

Human attention span is really short. Too much unstructured text, is very difficult to consume.
– Use short paragraphs
– Use bullet points
– Use relevant calls to action to break the “wall”
– Use white space wisely.

Mistake #7) Poor navigation

The navigation should be simple and intuitive. The visitor should be able to find what they are looking for
– Keep only one navigational bar, ideally on top.
– Avoid more than 7 links on the navigation.
– Structure less important links in the drop down

Mistake #8) Irrelevant images

Not to sound like a broken record, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. A good image can keep a visitor glued on a website, while a poor image is an instant turn off.
– Use an image that supports your content.
– Compress the images using smush.it
– Say no to generic, fake stock images.
– Find free stock photos here > stocksnap.com . It contains the best free images on the internet

Mistake #9) No call to action or Too many call to actions

The call to action or a CTA button directs a visitor to the next logical action. So, you really need to think it through..
– Again a shocker, 41% of the websites did not have a call to action above the fold
– No call to action = no leads. So, have one
– Don’t keep it generic. Keep it action specific
– CTA should be short. Don’t use more than 5 words.

– Use buttons, not links.
– Link the CTA to a landing page with a form to capture leads
– Give keyword rich alt text to the buttons to optimize for search engines

Mistake #10) Clutter

It’s very easy to get greedy, and ignore the most beautiful element of the design – the white space. But, that’s what gives breathing room to your page.
– Choose your background image wisely. Black on white text works the best
– Use sliders if you have more than one image to showcase. But keep it smooth and seamless to the page design
– Use contrast to highlight the most important element of your page
– Every designer’s nightmare – “Increase the logo size.” Don’t compromise on the offering to highlight the brand

Mistake #11) Untimely popups

During the analysis, I saw many websites where the popup appears as soon as the website loads, which is not a good experience for the visitor.
– Identify which kind of popups work for you – click, scroll, exit, entry, sliders
– Timing is crucial. Allow your visitor to scan through the content before showing a popup
– Use compelling offers on the popup like an e-book or a weekly newsletter
– Keep it simple and easy to scan. One offer, one opt -in form and one call to action

Mistake #12) No credibility proofs

With the increasing spam and fraud on the internet, people only buy from trustworthy websites. Whoever
builds the trust the fastest, generally wins the race.
– Be authentic. Keep a clear and visible contact us/ about us link on the navigation
– Use verifiable facts, for example the ‘real’ LinkedIn profile link for the testimonials or the team page
– Use trust seals – certification logos, press releases etc. wherever possible (and relevant)
– The look and feel matters a lot. The better the design, the more trustworthy your website appears.

Mistake #13) Not tracking website conversions

There are numerous ways you can increase your website conversions, but before that you need to track the conversions to see where you stand .What should be tracked.
– Traffic on the website (sessions)
– Traffic sources
– New users and Returning users
– Session duration
– Bounce rate
– Cost per conversion
How to track website performance
Google Analytics for traffic analysis
Visual website optimizer for real time A/B testing
LeadSquared for lead capture automation

The Biggest mistake – Reducing your website to a muted salesman
Your website isn’t meant to be a static gatekeeper. It’s meant to be an active salesperson. In order to sell effectively online, your website must communicate with the visitors and solve their problems like a champion salesman who understands the customers inside out.

Apart from the obvious reasons for website load time, responsiveness, layouts, images, fonts, colours etc. the most important discovery I made was that 90% of the websites are not communicating with the visitors, instead are
greeting them like a muted salesman.

The problem is that most businesses assume that their web visitors will find out what they want, which is not true. In
fact, the majority of the visitors abandon the website without even scrolling down when they can’t find what they were
looking for. Your website is meant for humans like you and me. So, let it talk.

Ready to revive your website and your results?

Your website needs to support your business strategy and objectives by engaging, persuading and generating leads. The website development professionals at Express web agency can design, develop and implement an effective website for your company to drive up your traffic, leads and sales.