Six Website No-Nos That Hinder Your Success

Posted on May 4, 2012 in CHI University
Tags: website development, website design, search engine optimization, seo, internet marketing, branding basics, public relations, integrated marketing communications, pr, marketing communications

We’ve seen all types of websites. There are those that stand out for being stellar online representations of a company. Then there are those that stand out for being sorry excuses for a corporate website. Websites fail on a regular basis, whether it’s due to a lack of initial presence, a gradual fade into nothingness or because users no longer visit the unappealing site.

Even if you have a solid website and do an excellent job of marketing it, common mistakes can trip you up and impede your ultimate success. Avoid the following mistakes to ensure your website has the legs it needs to run past your competitors in the online marketplace:

 

Poor Navigation/Design

Your website’s architecture is its foundation. If it’s poorly built, the house you build on top of it won’t likely stay up for long. Be sure to have a clean, easy-to-navigate website layout. Make use of available space, but don’t make it too busy. Make sure your calls to action and contact information are clearly displayed. Make sure your users can easily find their way around and back home. Be sure your website features cross-functionality to be viewed on all browsers, mobile devices and tablets. Avoid GIFs, Flash and all other popular 90s animations that don’t do your website any justice now.

 

Poor Writing/Bad Content

With Google’s new Penguin algorithm, it’s more important than ever to have relevant, well-written and useful content that speaks to your customers. Black hat SEO tactics of keyword cramming and link farming will be cracked down on harder than ever before, so well-optimized, engaging content is critical.

If you have compelling, valuable content, yet there are grammar and spelling errors everywhere, this can do just as much harm. Edit, edit, edit. Keep your message clear and in language the user will understand (super technical, formal writing and industry jargon should be left out).

 

Non-Optimized or Keyword-Saturated Copy

Yes, your website copy needs to strike a perfect balance. You absolutely want your website copy to be optimized for your key services/products in your target markets so you’re popping up on the search engines for your core business. But you absolutely do not want to be spammy and overly saturate your copy with keywords.

In order to achieve just the right optimized content, you’ll want to perform thorough keyword research and weave your targeted keywords seamlessly into your copy. It’s an art and a science. The best way to tell if your copy is optimized well? If you can’t tell it’s optimized. You should be able to read the copy naturally without tripping over awkward keywords jammed into your writing. Don’t forget about optimizing your URLs and metadata as well.

 

Auto-Start Videos

If you enter your website and are greeted by a video that automatically launches into an intro, your latest commercial or any other video file you’ve uploaded, take it down. How do you react when a video immediately starts once you enter a website? You usually try to find how to turn it down or turn it off. And if you can’t find how to do that, chances are, you’re leaving the site.

Video can be an incredibly valuable tool for your website. However, you’ll want to give users the option of whether they want to watch it or not. Embed the video in a smart spot on your site and turn auto-start off. The user is already on your site because they’re interested. There’s no need to turn them off with a loud, slow or long video that launches as soon as they enter.

 

Stagnant Content

The key to a successful website? Constant fresh content. You’ll want to be feeding fresh content into your website regularly, whether through new blogs, case studies, testimonials, news, product updates, service updates or the like. When users come to your site, they want to see that it’s been updated recently. Search engines smile upon those sites that consistently grow their site with fresh content as well. One easy way to ensure you’re creating new content for your site is with an editorial calendar that plans out what content you’ll add and when.

 

Missing Calls to Action

A well-designed, well-optimized website can drive users to your site. But what are you inciting them to do once they get there? Be sure to have clear, stand-out calls to action that compel the user to fill out a contact form, call you, download a white paper or whatever other action you want them to take. You can’t just drive traffic to your site. You have to convert visitors to leads once they’re there.

If your website could use some help to make it more effective and successful, contact CHI today. We provide SEO-friendly website design and development with a specialization in content development and SEO copywriting.


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