Your website is (or at least should) be your single source for all information about your product, service or brand. Anything you use to market your business should link back to it and you should house everything and anything your audience needs to know there to prevent message and platform confusion with each one having different information on it. As a marketer, I often find that so many people are successfully building amazingly beautiful websites, but failing to engage their audience because of content and management style. Today, let’s talk about the five major mistakes I websites making and how you can fix them for the future.
Too many website focus too heavily on one or the other – they have great images but no content to compliment them, or they put too much content on each page causing the audience to be overwhelmed. Websites wobble on a fine line of too much and not enough, and it’s up to you to find what’s best for your audience and really hone your messaging. If you overwhelm your audience with words, you’ll lose them early in the sales cycle, but if you just give them imagery, they are lost and don’t find what they need.
HOW TO FIX IT: Follow the 1/1/1 rule – for each part of white space, there is one part of content and one part of imagery. There are always sections of a website that could be an exception to that, but looking at the example below, we have a section of a website with a feature image, a feature content header, content body, and a call to action. No part feels more overwhelming than the other, and there is a cohesive and complimentary balance to what people can experience.
We all make mistakes, and with the autocorrect capabilities of today, it’s easy to let spelling and grammar fall to the wayside, but it’s important to present your business, organization or brand as professional within your brand voice. You would be surprised how many times I see typos on anything from web pages to social media and even menus at restaurants, which always makes me cringe! Even with applications like Microsoft Word, they don’t catch all proofing mistakes.
HOW TO FIX IT: Invest in a resource to help with your proofing. I love to use AP Stylebook Online for all grammar questions I may have and Grammarly to proof any important content I want to put out. These are the content writing bibles and offer you tons of insight into content, grammar, spelling and more! Proofread everything you write before publishing it on your site, and always have a second set of eyes to back up your writing (preferably someone with expertise in writing and grammar). Also, make sure you look at in a preview mode – sometimes you see things in the semi-live environment of your site than in an editor!
It’s hard going to websites and seeing all stock images used. As a consumer, going somewhere where the images are real and speaking to the uniqueness of the product or service you’re offering causes distrust within your audience because they can’t fully believe that what you’re offering is real or able to live up to the “perfection” of a stock image. These type of images are great to a fill a gap, but they have to be relatable, consistent and believable mixed with original imagery you provide.
HOW TO FIX IT: Try to use as many original images on your site as possible. I love to repurpose images I took for social media on my website to help my audience build trust and see the connection that my platforms are all mine. People ask all the time how I get such great images for my social media and website – I utilize a DSLR camera on a tripod with a remote to take images or a Pivo moving smart phone stand to take images on the go. If your skill set doesn’t fit within the image and creativity sector, invest in a photographer to do a photo shoot for you – it will pay off in the end by giving you images for your audience to really understand you and what you have to offer.
Not all web hosting services are created equal – load time and image size play a major role in how your audience uses your site, so it’s important to not overwhelm the platform you’re using with too large of files or images. The average person waits only three second for a site to load before abandoning their efforts and trying to view the content. 47% of users expect websites to load in two seconds or less!
HOW TO FIX IT: Make sure you using a quality hosting site like WordPress, Showit, Squarespace or Wix with images as minimal in size you can use without compromising quality. I use Showit to build my site with a WordPress back end to host my blog, and use a selection of speed test applications to ensure my site continuously loads fast for my audience.