When designed and built smartly, a website is a powerful branding, marketing, and sales tool. But there are plenty of common website mistakes often seen on professional sites that greatly take away from their ability to foster trust and connections, generate leads, and convert them into sales.
Here’s a quick look at 10 serious problems seen all too often on brand websites:
Common Website Mistakes
- Not immediately clarifying the unique selling proposition. First and foremost, your brand’s USP should be defined and communicated on your website’s Home page and other key pages. Let visitors know your value as soon as they arrive.
- Visually off-putting design. Taste is subjective, but some things are just generally unpleasant to look at on a website. Web design decisions like using low-quality images, flashing graphics, small or hard-to-read fonts, too many colors or loud colors, clashing colors or patterns, and white lettering on a black background undermine trust and send users running from a site.
- Not having responsive web design. Today, more people are visiting your site on their phones or other mobile devices than on a laptop or desktop computer. If they can’t easily and pleasantly view and use your site, they promptly leave and find a competitor whose site is mobile friendly.
- Omitting pricing information. Prospective buyers who come to your site want to gather as much information about your brand as possible as efficiently as possible. Price is a big question on consumers’ minds. While you may think leaving off prices adds mystique or forces people to call or email, you’re probably losing a lot more leads than you’re winning.
- Few or no trust signals. Potential customers or clients are naturally wary. Optimized testimonials, awards, trade group or other industry memberships, positive consumer reviews, engaged social media followings, media coverage, and other trust signals go a long way toward reassuring them that your brand is safe to buy from.
- Too much promotional content. Your website’s blog or library of articles should mostly offer informational material that’s useful and relevant to your target market. That’s a key way to earn their trust, give them a reason to explore and return to your site, and boost your SEO. Nobody wants to visit your site just to see a bunch of ads for your products or services.
- Not enough content for all stages of the buyer’s journey. Another common website mistake related to content is not publishing material that speaks to each stage of the buyer’s journey. Often, there’s lots of content written to spur a purchase, but little or none for consumers at an earlier stage looking for some awareness or making considerations.
- A lack of calls to action. Every page needs a highly visible, simple, clear CTA that gives users a next step. If you don’t let them know what you want them to do next, many will just leave. Include a logical, relevant CTA on each page to keep people on your site longer and guide them along their buyer journey and your sales funnel.
- Not having intuitive site navigation. Users crave a fast, easy experience on your website. If they’re looking for a phone number, they want to find it right away on a page that’s clearly built for providing contact information. A professional site needs all the expected pages, named in a way that makes their purpose obvious, organized on a simple, prominent navigation menu.
- Too much jargon and/or talk about features. Every industry has its fair share of jargon, but users don’t want to be bogged down in it. And, like we all learn in Sales 101, selling is all about highlighting the benefits of a product or service, not its features. Sure, in some fields, customers want to know something like technical specs, but still, this shouldn’t prevent or delay them from learning about your value proposition and how you’ll make their lives better.