5 Website Mistakes That Are Easy to Fix
Running a website can be challenging, especially when you think you've done everything right but you're not receiving the traffic you thought you would. There are some common errors that people make with web sites, but these can be easy to fix.
1. Out of Date
We're not talking about the design here (although a fresh modern design does help) - this is about content. Websites are no longer a "build and you're done" job, they require maintenance and updating. The information you're stating today may even be outdated tomorrow.
Does this really matter? In short - yes. Imagine being a potential customer visiting a website for a restaurant, perhaps looking to bring a group of friends for a catch up, but want to know what you offer. It would disappointing to find a menu dated 2012 on your site. It may not have changed, but if it's dated it could be off putting. In today's world where most people use the internet to search for their information, they're unlikely to phone and find out if this is an up-to-date menu, so instead, they'll go elsewhere. That's a simple mistake that could have been prevented. As a result, you could lose business.
How to fix: Try and set aside some time each week to review some pages on your site. Schedule an hour a week, look at your pages, and see what can be changed to keep it up to date.
2. Poor navigation
If you're having a professionally designed site, your designer will likely build in a neat navigation menu. The issue arises however when you're adding content to your site and linking it from your navigation - what content is important enough to add to the navigation? "All of it" isn't the correct answer here. You need to somehow separate your content into manageable categories (sub-menus).
Having sub-menus not only helps de-clutter the navigation, but it can improve the user's experience too as information would generally become easier to find.
How to fix: re-organise your navigation bar into the sub-menus and make sure everything flows. If your site is built using a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal, there are usually tools to help you do this.
3. No call to action
A call to action is where a site points a user in a set direction - call us, email us, tweet us. It helps encourage the user to move towards your goal, whatever that may be. If this isn't clear enough, then where does a user go next? How do you push them towards your site's goal?
How to fix: It's a simple fix. You just need a button or text to push people towards the goal. If you have no room for a button, then perhaps talk to your web developer (or hire one if you don't already have one), and see what recommendations they can make. Take a look at other sites like yours, and see how they manage this. Don't copy, but use them for inspiration.
4. Too many actions
The opposite to number 3 where you have too little, this time you could have too many. If you have a button to sign up for a newsletter, a button for following you on Twitter, a button for email, telephone, a contact form - where does a user go?
How to fix: Think about your goal again. Which is likely to convert for your business? Do most people enquire by email or by phone? The answer here does vary depending on your business, but focusing on one or two actions is better than five or six.
You may find that your bounce rate (that's the rate that people visit and leave after viewing just one page) is too high, which could be a bit problematic if your sites info is buried on a few pages. While there is a style of keeping your home page plain, there is such thing as too plain.
How to fix: Make sure your pages are well suited and answer the questions your audience would be asking. If people are coming to a web page for "Example Solutions Ltd" - what solutions do you offer? Make this clear, and you should start to see your bounce rate decrease.
Put a few of these fixes in place, and watch your web site grow. Keeping on top of your web site can be a job in itself, but these easy fixes should certainly help you start on the right path.