Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Building a Website and How To Avoid Them

Daniel Rosehill
Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Building a Website and How To Avoid Them
Your business’s website is its portal to the world, allowing potential customers to see who you are and what you’re about. These days, there are a plethora of great tools on the market to help users roll out compelling websites that will convert visitors into paying customers.

As important as finding a great technical solution is, it’s also important to pay attention to design considerations in order to make the website as effective as possible. Having one of the best website builders is only the start of the story. Here are ten common mistakes - and their fixes.

1. Bad CTA

Problem: Your website is receiving lots of traffic but you’re not noticing much in terms of conversions. You’ve got tens of thousands of visitors, but the orders still aren’t flying in the door. You wonder what might be wrong.

Solution: Filling up a web page with great content isn’t going to be very useful if users aren’t guided as to what action to take after reading the page. Compelling web content should contain at least one call to action (CTA). Strong CTAs lead to increased conversion. Work with a copywriter to come up with effective ones and make sure to sprinkle them throughout your website. 

2. Difficult Navigation

Problem: Your website is great, but it’s impossible to navigate through.

Solution: Build your website with the user experience (UX) in mind. Consider holding feedback sessions with a test pool to quickly identify usability issues that might have evaded your web designer’s attention. These can be as simple as getting a few test subjects to attempt to browse through your website while they narrate the experience into a microphone. 

3. Too Many Ads

Problem: Your website has some great content that readers are finding helpful. However, it’s got more advertising than Times Square and users are having a hard time making out what you are actually trying to say.

Solution: Make sure that your advertising is being displayed within reason. Design with UX in mind — so make sure that popup and interstitial ads aren’t unwieldy and difficult to get rid of if users aren’t interested in their contents. Consider confining advertising to a sidebar that doesn’t distract from the main website content.

4. Terrible Hosting

Problem: Your site is pixel perfect and filled with useful information. There’s only one problem: it loads at a pace that would make moving glaciers look speedy. 

Solution: No matter how good users’ internet connections are, the speed at which your web hosting is capable of serving the content up is going to be a bottleneck. Find a good web hosting provider that offers decent speeds. If they have benchmarks about how fast their servers are then use those to evaluate between providers. Installing a caching plugin on your hosting can further boost speeds by minimizing the amount of content repeat users have to load. Your users will be grateful for the performance boost. 

5. Wrong CMS

Problem: You’ve got a killer website selling some great products. The only thing is that something looks just a bit off. It just doesn’t fit right and you’re having to go to great lengths to get the functionality you require on the website.  

Solution: Content Management Systems (CMS) have revolutionized how people build websites. Using Wordpress, for instance, it’s easy to quick and easy to build an attractive and well-designed blog without having to create a brand new web page each time. If you’re selling products online, then it’s best to use an ecommerce-specific CMS or system. Instead of adding plugins and finding workarounds for ways to sell online, you’ll have all the features you might need at your fingertips. 

6. No Web Analytics 

Problem: Your website is a smash hit - you think! You’ve had an influx of orders recently. It’s probably due to your new website. Or maybe your podcast advertising?

Solution: Measurement is the cornerstone of improving performance. In order to be able to track the effectiveness of your website development, and A/B test changes, you need to be able to measure parameters related to how the public engages with the site. Installing and integrating a web analytics script to the site allows webmasters to track things like clickthrough rates, conversion rates, and even average time spent on each web page. These can all yield actionable information which can help webmasters improve the effectiveness of their sites. 

7. Low Quality Images

Problem: Your website looks great. However the images are a let-down. 

Solution: If you don’t have enough high quality images to fill up your site with relevant accompaniments to the text, then look at signing up for a stock image website. Make sure that all photos on your site are high quality and professional. Using good hosting, or a dedicated content delivery network (CDN) will further improve load times for browsers. 

8. Poor SEO

Problem: You’ve built a great website. But it’s performing terribly. You have great things to say. But nobody is listening.

Solution: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing field which specializes in helping websites perform well on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you’re using a website builder to build your site, then look for one which has SEO tools included. At a minimum, make sure that each page on your site has meta tags. Tailoring these to the right length increases the chances that users running searches on Google will find your content and engage with your site. 

9. Irregular Updates

Problem: You put out some great content once that users loved. But it proved to be a flash in the pan and your site has sat idle since.

Solution: It’s important to regularly keep your site updated with compelling content in order to drive new traffic. Consider adding a sitemap to make it easier for search engines to index your site. Planning out content additions in a calendar can make this process easier. 

10. No Contact Information 

Problem: You’ve struck a chord with users. But they have no means of getting in touch.

Solution: If you’re selling something online, then it goes without saying that you should provide some means for your prospective visitors to get in touch. Consider building a contact form which automatically pulls leads into your CRM. Alternatively, install a live chat widget. Make it easy for visitors to get hold of pre-sales or support resources.

Build Compelling Sites Every Time

Iteratively testing your websites is key to rolling out excellent websites that increase confidence in your buying audiences. Make sure to track analytics, include contact details, and build for usability and SEO. Your sites will soon be performing as you had hoped.

You may also like:

Read This Before Attempting to Build Your Own Website

Weebly vs. GoDaddy: Which Website Builder Is Best?

Daniel Rosehill
Daniel Rosehill is a technology writer and reviewer whose experience includes leading marketing communications strategies at 2 SaaS companies. His interests include backups and disaster recovery, Linux and open source, and cloud computing.