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Your website is one of the most important selling tools you have as a business owner and the more time you spend crafting the content, deciding on the perfect design, and optimizing it for search engines, the better your chances are of success.

So many companies go into this area of marketing blindly, thinking they can get away with slapping up any old copy, choosing random, low-quality stock photos.

Yeah…Not gonna happen.

Clients want to see a professional, organized website that they can easily navigate to find what they’re looking for. If your website has any of the mistakes we’re about to discuss, it’s time to take a second look and figure out how to improve it – even if it means hiring outside help.

1. Paying No Attention to User Experience (UX).

If you want visitors to your site to keep clicking through until they reach the purchasing phase of the buyer’s journey, you’ll need to focus on user experience, which means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and thinking about their experience cruising your website.

One easy exercise to determine what your customers’ experience is like when they’re navigating your website is to pretend to be a customer and go through the same process they’d go through leading up to the sale.

Would you buy from you? Think about some truly great sales experiences you’ve had online.

What was that experience like? And what made it a great experience? Was the copy clear, compelling, and concise? Did that company make your experience as easy as possible by providing answers to frequently asked questions? Consider that and then apply what you learn to your own business.

2. Poorly Written Web Copy.

If you’ve got the writing chops to deliver high-quality content that appeals to your target audience and gets them engaged, then, by all means, write your web copy yourself.

If, however, you’re like many business owners and you haven’t got a clue how to string together a decent sentence, much less an entire article, you’ve got some serious changes to make – to your website copy and your other material (because chances are if your web copy is bad, the rest of your copy is just as bad).

Think about hiring a copywriter to infuse your content with personality, purpose, and passion. At the very least, considering using Grammarly’s premium version to help whip your content into shape.

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3. Using Poor Quality Images.

As a small business owner, it’s important that whatever you’re presenting to potential clients speaks volume about the quality of your work. A prospect isn’t going to be impressed if your website is filled with poor quality or poorly chosen images.

These days, there’s just no excuse for not having amazing photos because sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels all provide completely free photos of pretty much anything you can imagine.

So whether you’re running a medical practice, a marketing firm, or a financial services company, you can quickly find relatable, high-quality images for your website and promotional materials.

Just be sure to check the licensing requirements and be aware of any attribution requirements.

4. Insufficient White Space.

Too much clutter on your website can cause confusion and you better believe visitors aren’t gonna stick around to sort through whatever mess you’ve created. You’ve got to provide enough content, but also enough white space to make your content easy to read and scan.

That means dividing content up into sections using section headers, bullets, numbered lists, images, and other types of content to break your words up into small paragraphs that the average person can easily digest in one sitting.

You’ve got to remember that people have shorter attention spans these days so long-form (and all your other) content should include enough white space to enhance the user experience.

5. Not Having an Updated Blog.

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The importance of having an updated blog cannot be stressed enough. In the Internet age where everyone is fighting for their chance to be the next viral sensation, you’ve got to do something to stand out and be among the best in your industry.

A blog can help you establish authority, engage your target audience, and establish yourself as an industry leader, which can only benefit your business in both the long and short term.

Your blog should contain posts relevant to your industry, your products and/or services (limit these), and anything you think would be useful to your target audience.

Remember to make it a regular thing. Don’t start blogging one month and skip it the next. The key is consistency. You’ve got to make sure you’re always posting. Create a blogging schedule, a content marketing plan, and a content calendar to help you keep track of what to post and when.

6. Focusing Solely on Your Products or Services.

When you focus mainly on your products and/or services, you’re not focused on the customer. Your job isn’t to tell them every single detail about your business on the home page. There’s room for that on the ‘About Us’ page. On the home page, focus on the customer and what they need. Find the right words to show that you’re looking to solve a problem or fill a need.

To them, it should sound like you’re talking directly to them (like I’m doing right now) and they should be reading about a solution to their problem – not about all the product specifications and features.

Focus on the benefits rather than features. Show them how logical a purchase from you would be. You sell on emotion, but you justify a purchase with logic (Joseph Sugarman).

7. Forgetting a Call to Action.

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A call to action is something that lets your customers know what to do next to get the product or service you just convinced them to buy. Without one, there’s a chance of losing the sale.

A call to action can be any action you want the visitor to complete, whether it’s buying a product, trying a 30-day free trial, downloading an eBook, or filling out a form for a free consultation. CTAs can also come in several forms, including:

  • “Read More”
  • “Buy” Buttons
  • “Try It Now”
  • “Subscribe Now”
  • “Shop Now”
  • Social Media share buttons

A call to action can appear in pop-ups and slide-ins, at the end of an article, on the side panel of your site, in the header, or on a purchase page. It all depends on how your site is set up.

Now that you know what not to do, you can go about creating a website that truly shines to your potential clients and customers. You can feel confident knowing you’re equipped with tips to help you increase web traffic, boost conversions, and drive sales. Your website is your number one selling tool. Use it to your advantage and stop making website mistakes that squash your chances with potential clients before you even know it.

What mistakes did you make when you first started creating your website?

Let me know in the comments.


Founder at The Ultimate Freelance Guide and author of The Ultimate Guide to Using Blogging to Boost Engagement and Drive Sales and Copywriting vs. Content Marketing: A Guide to Understanding the Difference Between the Two and Using Both for Maximum Engagement. Her work has been featured at USA Today and Small Biz Daily and she's written for clients like Columbia, LifeLock, eSurance, Anthem Health, USAA, Rev.com, Princess Cruises, and Rodan + Fields, among others.

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