Designing your website has never been so easy. There are many affordable do-it-yourself template programs available for new business owners to start their own website with relative success. However, just because programs like Wix and Squarespace provide you the tools to build your own website, they shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on to create and maintain a website that a) looks good, b) works well, and c) gets attention. Depending only on these programs to give you success is like putting all your eggs in one basket and can lead to embarrassing website fails.
Obvious Website Fails That Make You Look Like an Amateur
#1: Typeface and Font Are All Over the Place
Picking your website template for the first time is like getting the keys to a store and being told to pick out whatever outfit you want. The freedom is overwhelming. There are so many incredible options to choose from. You want it all. And so what do you do? You try to cram in as many design elements as you can because you can’t seem to decide what style suits your brand best. What the user sees is a mess. Before buying your ready-to-build website, be sure that you fully understand your brand, which includes everything from your typeface to your logo to your theme colours.
If you don’t have the money to spend on full-scale branding, your website will still look a lot more professional if you just stick to a single theme that binds your website together. Looking like the fonts menu on a doc file is one of the more obvious website fails.
#2: Your “Coming Soon” Page Has Been Up Forever
We know that getting the copy just right can be a time-consuming task. But if you decide to launch your website before the work is done, you’ll be left with a bunch of blank pages. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with Coming Soon pages per se, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to handle those missing pages:
- DON’T leave the page blank forever. Building anticipation is one thing, but if the website is launched with some basic pages missing, people are just going to wonder what the hell is taking you so long to finish your website.
- DO brand your Coming Soon pages. Make them interesting. Provide an email sign up so your visitors can get immediate updates.
- DON’T forget SEO. This is still an opportunity to inject some indexable content onto your pages, such as images, footers, and copy.
#3: Your Local SEO Game is Weak Sauce
One of the biggest indicators of an amateur website is when your content is weak, misspelled, nonsensical, boring, or inaccurate. The absolute worst thing to do for your local SEO is to publish content that’s inconsistent or wrong. Before publishing your pages, you need to be extremely certain that your basic information is right. It sounds silly, but if you don’t even know how to spell the name of your street correctly, your website will look immediately unprofessional.
Boost your local SEO by remembering these easy steps:
- Make sure that your business name, address, phone number, store hours, email address, and website are consistent across all web pages, including online listings and review sites
- Include high-quality pictures of your location and products and remember to update them frequently
- Produce quality content that makes you an authority in your industry
- Take down web pages as soon as they are no longer relevant
Want to know more about how to boost your local SEO? Check out “How Authenticity Boosts Your Local SEO a.k.a. Street Cred”.
#4: Your Content Has Problems
Quality content continues to be one of the most important factors in search engine result page (SERP) rankings. There are few things more important to boosting your SEO than making sure that the work you produce is well-written, keyword-rich, accurate, and frequently published. If your content is clearly written for the purposes of increasing traffic, it will likely turn out sloppy and illegible. And what’s worse, you probably won’t climb those SERPs because all your pages will read like spam.
Amateur content is one of the worst website fails because it will immediately make you seem untrustworthy. Don’t think like a Google bot. Think like a person who has just stumbled onto your website. Would you trust a site with poorly written content? Probably not.
#5: Your Web Pages Aren’t Responsive
If your web pages are slow to load or simply won’t open, your SEO will suffer. These days, no one’s attention span is long enough to accommodate a slow page response. Your site has less than five seconds to upload before your potential customer gives up. Otherwise, your pageview rates will drop significantly if there’s something wrong with the upload. The reason this makes you look like an amateur is that it means you probably haven’t done two very important things:
- You have not set up Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
- Your website isn’t compatible with different devices
Ensure that your website is a joy to experience and doesn’t make people want to rip their hair out. For more tips on how to boost your website speed, read “5 Ways to Improve Your Website Speed (And Boost Your Conversions)”.
If your website is guilty of one or all of these website fails, don’t worry. There’s still hope! With a little bit of time, creativity, and strategy, we can help you turn your amateur website into a beautiful well-oiled machine that lures a steady stream of traffic. Contact Awkward Media today to find out how we can help.