- Not having a blog for your website
- Not having a mobile responsive website
- Not adding social sharing buttons
- Not having an email subscription
- Not having social accounts
- Not having descriptions for the images
- Not having unique page titles
- Not having keywords in page meta descriptions
- Not having a favicon and Facebook share images for your pages
- Not doing Google Site Verification
1. Not Having A Blog For Your Website
A blog is a simple, easy-to-use platform that can help you share information and have a discussion with your customers.
When you have relevant content about your product or service, it helps your business to have good visibility on the Internet when a potential customer searches for your product or services in Google or other search engines.
Statistics say that 60% of businesses which hold a reliable blog on their website acquire more customers (Hubspot). A good blog is the heart of all your marketing efforts. You can use that content to post in your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and send email newsletters, write a book/e-book etc.
Writing a blog lets you share your expertise. Positioning yourself as an expert or a thought leader will help you acquire more customers and builds credibility. Customers look at you as a valuable and reliable resource for information on your industry, and then come to buy from you.
A blog creates a two-way conversation with customers, prospects, and industry peers. People can interact, comment, and send feedback.
It creates free PR. Bloggers are called up for interviews by journalists as industry experts.
In order for you to become successful in blogging, you should always stay ahead of the curve. You have to stay on top of news, trends, and competitors. It helps you be the leader, not a follower.
A Blog is a cost-effective marketing investment. Every post you publish is a long-term asset. It helps you build brand awareness and promote your expertise, products, and services.
Furthermore, a blog can also keep your valuable insights updated into your audience. Blog analytics allow you to track readers, popular topics, popular categories etc. You can even tell what time of the day do people visit your blog. Therefore, it’s important to have a blog for your website.
2. Not Having A Mobile Responsive Website
Having a responsive website shows that you care about your customers.
In early 2014, the number of mobile users who access the Internet surpassed the number of desktop users.
What is different about tablets and mobile devices is the variety of screen sizes. Websites can no longer be designed for desktop computers. Even smart TVs, game consoles, e-readers can access the Internet.
Interacting with websites has also changed. Using a touchscreen is often extremely clumsy. Usually not to read or just to scroll you will have to resize the page several times. Small devices also experience slower loading times because of the content and images. If you haven't optimized your images, they will be ridiculous in size.
What is responsive?
Responsive web pages automatically adjust themselves to any screen size and also reorder content based on the device. It also allows small devices to reload just as quickly using the meager processing power and the slow Internet connection.
Having a responsible type means, to have content that is written concisely with easy to understand the text. The images used should also be smaller in size.
3. Not Adding Social Sharing Buttons
Social media is the modern day platform for word-of-mouth advertising. Word-of-mouth advertising is an age-old technique that has endured through the test of time.
The principle behind word-of-mouth advertising is that people tend to trust their friends’ recommendation over a professional advertising.
Imagine you are visiting Austin this weekend; you want to find a good hotel to stay in when you are around. Suddenly Bob walks into you and he happened to know that you are visiting Austin this weekend. Bob tells you about his experience of staying at XYZ hotel when he visited Austin. He tells that they are really good.
Now, tell me which hotel are you going to visit? Will you visit XYZ hotel or ABC hotel? Definitely, XYZ, right?
That’s the power of word-of-mouth advertising.
This same principle works for your website. If a friend of yours says that you should read this, there is a high chance that you are going to read the article or check out the website.
Now imagine someone is visiting your website. When they come across something that they were searching for or some content that they liked, they tend to share.
But usually, people are lazy. They are lazy to copy the URL, open Facebook, paste the url, type the title and then hit the share button.
Offering social media sharing buttons increases your chance of people sharing your website and blog posts. If they share, more potential customers are going to visit your website and remember, these are customers who trust you more because their friend recommended you.
By adding social media share buttons to your site, you will allow your current customers and followers a means to provide word-of-mouth advertising to their friends and colleagues who will become your future followers and customers.
How to add social media buttons to your website?
4. Not Having An Email Subscription
Although social media is powerful, when people log in to Facebook, they may only see five to ten percent of the updates from Facebook Pages that they had liked.
Even on Twitter, when someone logs in, they will see updates only from the last hour or two.
Email, on the other hand, is different. Most of us check our emails at least once a week. Hence it's essential to have an email subscription facility for your website, so that interested audience can register their mail ids and subscribe to your email updates on a daily basis, which is again going to improve your business to a great extent.
So, the first and foremost challenge that lies here is how to build a strong e-mail subscribers list. But it can be done through some effective tactics taken forward from your side. The value of content that you provide for your audience plays a major part in building up your email list. Simply give up free valuable content that will be useful for your customers, get their email id and subscribers’ name and give free access to them for downloading the content. This is one of the popular and preliminary list-building techniques that has been proven its success in the form of decent conversion rates for different businesses.
Another way of building up your subscriber list would be to ask for business cards of potentially interested customers and inspire them to sign up for your e-mail newsletters. This strategy can be efficiently implemented while attending any business conferences or live events or workshops where you give presentations about your product. There are even more ways of building up your subscriber list by purchasing them, by acquiring registration information from the audience while conducting a free webinar, and so on.
Once you have got a solid subscriber list on hand, you can now start focusing on sending e-mails that will bring the best of your business thereby promoting it. E-mail has been found to be the best direct marketing tool which can reach innumerable readers within no time. All you have to target on is the content that you are sending to your target audience. To render you the best conversion rate and ROI, you can start a customer newsletter which features on timely info about your business, special promotions and offers or a deep insight into your company.
With this, you can always build up a community with the customers so that your product and services will always be in their minds. You can even try out mass email-marketing campaign with tools such as Mailchimp which don’t require you to hire a marketing consultant either. These kinds of software tools allow small business owners to send marketing emails, automated messages and directed campaigns to customers.
Thus with a proper email subscriber list and regular e-mail marketing campaigns, you can gain considerable Returns On Investment (ROI) and boost up your business to the next levels.
5. Not Having Social Accounts
Social networks have got an impeccable place on the internet and people not only use it for personal purposes, but also for their ventures and official reasons. Not having solid social networking accounts will surely pull down your website’s ranking in Search Engines and thus lessens the traffic to the site. Therefore, getting proper knowledge about the different social networking platforms available in the web and implementing them into your website is significant for constantly sharing your updates and getting feedback about the same from other potential customers and audience from the same field.
There are innumerable social networking platforms for business owners and website designers over the internet. To name a few, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram are useful social networking sites for newbies to share their work and get possible outputs from other colleagues for improving their skills and productivity.
No doubt that Social Media is taking up an integral part in improving businesses that business owners have now started integrating social media as No 1 criteria into their marketing plans. This is mainly due to the recent studies which reveal that almost 75% of customers rely on social media for their purchasing decisions, and 8 out of 10 potential customers are influenced by their friends’ posts. So, you just imagine how much crucial it is to have social accounts in your website.
According to a recent study, 47% of Americans have said Facebook as their primary influencer of purchases. Moreover, the right place for placing your ads is a social networking platform which is where most of your target audience’s eyes are into. It’s been predicted that within a year or two, these social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter will take up an individual space in every distinct business, thus making businesses rely on them solely for their sales and profits. Therefore, realizing the importance of social networking and executing the same in your websites would make any business flourish to great heights with immense visibility over the web.
6. Not Having Descriptive Meta Tags For Your Images
Every image needs a description. This applies to websites as well, in website terms these descriptions are called Alt Tags. An Alt tag is a description of an image displayed in your webpage. It’ll be visible while you scroll on the image with the mouse. This Image Alt attribute specifies an alternate text in place of an image and it is indispensable to use it in your website for good ranking in search engines and for proper visibility of your website information to the visitors.
Eg. If you have a picture of a specialty drink that your restaurant in San Francisco serves, let's call it Bandung. Given that you described your image properly with Alt tags, then whenever someone searches “Bandung in San Francisco” then you have a high chance of showing up in the Google search result.
So, in order to boost up your business via the webpage that you’ve designed, have an eye on incorporating appropriate meaning image descriptions for your website images. After all, what’s more, important is to get more customers to visit your business website.
7. Not Having Unique Page Titles
This is an important area you have to concentrate on while building up a website for your business. Nowadays, it’s common to see websites with four or five web pages of different page titles featuring their services, features, testimonials, contact details, etc.
But have a look at your title while creating different pages for your website. It should be simple, easy to understand and meaningful. Only then your website will get good ranking in search engines and gets displayed for potential customers.
Your page titles must be unique to what they describe and not oversaturated which will instil confusion in the minds of an audience of your website and mislead them. The title of a web page should be such that it makes it clearer for the Search Engines by using the primary keyword phrases and not long meaningless words. To say for example, instead of setting up your homepage title to be:
Electronics, Home Appliances, Mobiles Phones, Television | Samsung
It can be made as simple as this: Electronic Products | Samsung
Also using so much of stop words like, and, are, be, etc and fluff or ‘salesy’ words like best, Most, Professional, Winning etc will pose a threat to your website as they will prove to be less relevant for target customers. You should also avoid making your own company’s technical jargons in your title. The reason behind this is that, those who’re searching on the internet are not going to be experts to understand such complicated words and so its better to keep it simple and understandable.
Another criterion to be kept in mind while framing your page title is that in case your business is being located on multiple cities/ regions, it’s always better to create separate pages with each region rather than overcrowding all cities into a one-page title.
Here are some of the points to be remembered while framing up page titles for your website.
- A relevant unique page title that’s more apt to the webpage it refers to is important to increase search engine ranking, its usability by a potential customer and click-through rate. Check out whether the main keyword is present in the page title!
- Limited character usage for the page title, rather than titles with long words or phrases. Page titles shouldn’t be too short or too long. Just keep it right!
- Some page titles can be framed uniquely with a Call-For-Action phrase. For eg, to learn something, to practice something, to buy something or to hire something. This will increase your website’s visibility to the target audience through search engines.
- Page titles can be efficiently utilized for branding your image, by specifying your product names and services, for potential customers to gain easy access to your site.
- Never show up your company/site name in all web pages. Except for the homepage, about and contact page, all other page titles should be unique enough to reveal what’s into it.
- Watch out for duplicate page titles as this is one of the most common mistakes made by most web designers.
Thus, the key point is, let the page title be unique!
8. Not Having Keywords In Page Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are another deciding attributes of shaping your website’s online traffic and web presence to a great extent. They are HTML attributes that give short descriptions (explanations) about the web page that is being referred to. Putting it in simple words, meta descriptions are like taglines for your blog post or webpage.
So it’s clear that meta descriptions play a vital role in advertising your page by providing the right content and keywords for search engines to display it correctly for potential users. Keep a keen eye on whether your web designer provides relevant keywords in meta descriptions while creating your web page. The meta description’s keywords must be directly related to the content on the web page that you wanted to promote from your website. It can be between 150 to 160 characters.
In simple words, meta description tag can be said to be a short note or an advertising copy of your website. Meta description holds a primary role in drawing readers to a website from the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), thus serving to be a search marketing tool. Hence, constructing readable compelling descriptions with the main keywords will surely increase The number of customers visiting your webpage.
Image showing Meta Description Appearing in Google Search Result
9. Not Having A Favicon And Facebook Share Images For Your Pages
Favicon is a file containing one or two small icons, uniquely associated with a specific website or webpage. Most of the web designers won’t create a favicon for your website, which should be uploaded to the site and then utilized by web browsers. Those browsers which provide favicon support would display the icon in the address bar and next to the page’s name in the bookmarks list.
This is one of the best ways to create a clear image of your website on the internet. Favicon serves to be the branded sign of your product. It makes your product stand unique from your competitors. The image stays easily in your customers’ minds. So, not having a favicon in your website will make your website look plain and not so attractive for your visitors.
Why have Facebook Share images for your pages?
Not having a social button as mentioned in mistake number 3 can harm your social shares. Not having Facebook share images too can have the same effect on your website. A Facebook share image will mean that your content would be displayed with a branded-relevant image from your website. This makes your visitor’s share look more prominent.
Examples Showing Facebook Share Images in Websites
Social media is gaining more importance even in business branding and potential customers are attracted towards beautiful images, rather than text, audio or video. Visuals are getting much acceptance in social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook and Pinterest.
All major enterprises are now getting into sharing images via social networking platforms to gain considerable traffic and social engagement into their web pages. And the good news is that it’s not necessary to hire a highly professional graphic designer or possess special designing skills for this process.
The following figure illustrates an interesting research which shows that Facebook share images get more visitors and clicks rates for the website that any other content. 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are images. Statistics show that photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more clicks on links than text-based posts.
The first and foremost simple rule to encourage social engagement and shares for your webpage is to design pictures with interesting content for your target readers. It should be short and crisp to the point of delivering a strong message or action that will draw customers towards your business. Keep in mind that the image you share should not display too much of self-branding!
The art that you create should be an original one and let the size also be optimized depending upon which social media platform you’re going to share it. All you can do for branding is to use a simple watermark on the image you’ve created. Even a URL can be added in the description. With this, you can surely increase the traffic and number of visitors on your website.
10. Not Doing Google Site Verification
Another common mistake made by business owners when getting their website designed is not doing Google site verification. Google’s policy is more inclined towards privacy and hence before enabling us to use certain tools or its services, it ensures that you hold the ownership of your website. And doing this is not going to affect your site’s performance or ranking or anything else.
The following are the different methods of verifying your site with Google.
1. Add a meta tag to your homepage, proving that you have access to the source files. This can be done by editing the HTML code of your website’s pages.
- Go to Google Search Console Homepage. Click the ‘Manage Site’ Button next to the site you want -> Click ‘Verify this site’.
- If HTML tag is not seen on the ‘Recommended Method’ tab, click the ‘Alternate Methods’ tab.
- The select the HTML tag, and follow the steps shown on your screen.
- Once you’ve added the tag to your homepage, click ‘Verify’.
2. Verify through your domain name provider, by signing in to your domain name provider and adding a new DNS (Domain Name System) record.
- Go to Google Search Console Homepage. Click the ‘Manage Site’ Button next to the site you want -> Click ‘Verify this site’.
- Click the ‘Alternate Methods’ tab.
- Select ‘Domain Name Provider’.
- After selecting your domain name registrar, follow the instructions shown on your screen. If in case your domain name provider is not listed, then select ‘Other’, and follow the steps to manually create a DNS record.
- Click ‘Verify’.
3. Add the Google Analytics Code that you use to track your site, if you’re being an administrator on the Google Analytics account.
- Go to Google Search Console Homepage. Click the ‘Manage Site’ Button next to the site you want -> Click ‘Verify this site’.
- In the ‘Choose Verification Method’ list, select ‘Google Analytics Tracking Code’ and follow the steps displayed on your screen.
- Click ‘Verify’.
4. Uploading an HTML file that you specify to your server.
- If you cannot see ‘HTML file upload’ on the ‘Recommended method’ tab, click the ‘Alternate Methods’ tab.
- Select ‘HTML file upload’ and follow the steps shown on your screen.
- Once the HTML file has been loaded to the root of the website, click ‘Verify’.
After you’ve verified your site with Google using any one of these ways explained above, Search Console will check your given tag or code or file or record’s presence and if yes, Google considers you as a site owner and shows the site details. It’s as simple as that!
For a properly functioning, well-designed website, these are the topmost mistakes that business owners have to be alert enough to avoid while developing their websites. A neat website automatically takes its route to success in terms of promoting your business and yielding revenue.
1. PDF Files For Online Reading
While browsing your website, if users come across a PDF file, they’ll simply close your page and go to some other site. This is true because PDF documents are created and meant to be printed and not appropriate for on-screen reading. Statistics say that forcing potential users of your website to browse PDFs makes your website’s usability about 300% worse relative to HTML pages. So, it would be a great blunder to include PDF documents for browsing in your web pages.
PDFs, in general, are specifically designed for printing purposes. That’s why PDF content is optimized for letter-sized sheets of paper, which is not suitable for displaying in a browser window. So, these are printed documents that cause severe usability problems online. Moreover, PDF documents are too big and lack navigation bars too which makes the users unable to navigate within the document easily.
In a nutshell, it’s good to use PDF only for documents that are needed to be downloaded or printed from your website. Some specific guidelines that’ll be useful for you while making a PDF document available for download are as follows.
- Provide a clear statement that the PDF is for download only.
- Format your printable documents for different sizes of paper.
- For letting your users decide whether the doc is worth downloading or not, create a gateway HTML page that summarizes the PDF file with sufficient details like page count and file size.
- Ensure that your gateway page is indexed in search engines, and not the PDF file.
- Give links to the gateway page from any other parts of the website. Never link the PDF document.
In short, PDF is great for printing and distributing manuals and other big documents that need to be printed. Reserve it for this purpose and convert any information that needs to be browsed or read on the screen into real web pages.
2. Non-Scannable Text
Do you think that users read each and every word written in your website? It’s a big ‘No!’ Users just scan each and every sentence and rarely read matters, unless they come across something they’re really looking for. Your audience needs to know just facts and not alluring terms regarding your product or services. So, it’s pretty clear that plain vague text in your website to not going to take you anywhere. Rather it decreases the visitors’ traffic to your website.
Employing scannable text in your web pages would be the best idea, by using these simple tips.
- Proper sub-headings
- Highlighted / Bold keywords
- One concept per paragraph
- Bulleted lists
- The inverted pyramid style of illustrating structured and prioritized facts. Start with the most important and finish with the least important information.
- An easily understandable writing style
- Straightforward language without jargons.
With these well-documented tricks, you can make your users draw towards the text which guarantees scannability too. Credibility means a lot for your website and that can be achieved only by good writing, high-quality graphics, and outbound hypertext links. Promotional writing won’t help you in any way, but will only decrease the users’ usability of your website. Concise text, Objective language, and Scannable layout are the three most important key points which will make your website interesting and readable to your customers.
3. Fixed Font Size
It’s a common trend among website designers to keep small font sizes for web pages believing that it gives a smooth appearance, giving space for more content to be added per page. This often results in extremely small font sizes which give users difficulty to read the text. Its important to have your concern over the font sizes of web pages while getting your website designed.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are commonly used to set the size of the text displayed in a web page. These Style Sheets give websites the power to disable a Web browser’s ‘Change Font Size’ button and specify a fixed font size. About 95% of the time, this fixed sized tends to be too small that it causes readability issue, mainly for people aged over 40. This does not go well with diversified platforms used to access Web pages, from portable devices with tiny screens to projection devices connected to computers. A good design should look neat and vivid without requiring the user to enlarge or reduce the font size.
When setting a fixed font size, the users cannot adjust the font size within the browser according to their needs. Worse, sometimes fixed font size can also make the website content inaccessible and/or unusable to the target audience. Therefore, making the font size adjustable based on the visitors’ settings is one way to keep the visitor. If your font size is adjustable, those visitors who feel your website’s text size too small or unclear will make use of the tools in different browsers to adjust the text size and read the content clearly.
Respect your potential users’ preferences and let them resize the text size as and when needed. Be cautious to specify font sizes in relative terms, not as an absolute number of pixels.
4. Opening New Browser Windows
Here comes a crucial question of whether you can allow new links to open in new windows in your website. A straight answer to the query – “Why should you interfere with the individual wish and will of the potential user who’s surfing your site?” Clearly speaking, when we force our readers to open a link in a new window, which leads to their browser being overcrowded with multiple tabs/windows, it truly irritates the user.
Designers usually design the website incorporating this feature keeping in mind the theory that it’ll make the users stay on to your site. But the true scenario that happens in this course of action is that many users won’t even realize that they’ve been landed into a new window, and while trying to press the ‘Back’ button to return to the original page is when they realize that they’re in a new window. This automatically annoys the user while using your website.
It’s not alright to design your website with the feature of opening new browser windows. Because the decision to open new links on new windows solely relies on the site and the preferences of its visitors. Your website won’t be user-friendly if you design your site with this characteristic feature that angers your site’s visitors
The main problem with enforcing links to open in new windows is that this decision overrules users’ decision to control the view in their browser. Most of the large websites like Google and Amazon open links in the same windows (unless it is explicitly stated that links are opened in new windows).
Therefore it’s always better to stay on the safer side and stick to this principle of opening links in the same windows and give away the choice of opening a new window to the user. That’s because even if the user wishes, they can right click and select ‘Open link in new tab/window’ command and view it as per their wish, rather than seeing too many pop-up windows in their browser which disturbs them. Don’t grab your users’ independence while they’re navigating through your website.
5. Not Answering User's Questions
Users search through the web or visit your website with a goal and purpose in their mind. Maybe it’s for purchasing a product, utilizing a service, or getting a consultation about the product or service or whatsoever.
When there’s no sufficient information present in your website that they’re looking for or when the website is blunt with all unnecessary details highlighted, the visitor will return disappointed. As a result of this, you’re losing a potential customer and a good business, as the user may go away thinking the service they’re looking for is not offered by you since your website didn’t show off the specifics.
On the contrary, sometimes you’d have added the necessary matter that they were looking for, but it’d have been concealed under technical jargons or dull phrases. Since users don’t waste time reading everything, they fail to notice it and finally, the loss would be yours. So, it’s imperative to be specific about details and present answers to questions that your target audience would have in their minds.
Listing price specification in your website about your different products and services clearly gives a guideline to customers to decide which one to buy or related queries about the same. But when you fail to list out the prices, it leaves your customers empty-headed and clueless and there won’t be any other option left for them except to leave your site and not returning again.
So, being prompt and proactive in listing out details and Frequently asked questions while designing your website will have a huge impact on your business and credibility.