I’ve seen these mistakes frequently when looking at clients’ sites. Here’s the top list so that you can see if you are making these same mistakes!
#1 No Text Formatting
A whole page that just has paragraph after paragraph with no Heading Tags to separate information into easily digestible chunks. Heading tags aren’t only to make a page easy for your readers. Heading tags are critical for good Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
An easy fix is to do an outline of your information before you write it. Once you have the main idea separated out, you now have your Headings! The H1 tag is the most important and essentially it’s the page title for each page of your site. The H1 tag should not be used in other portions of the page. H2 tags are next. If we think of the H1 tags like the title of a book, the H2 tags are the Chapter Names. H3 tags further subdivide your content.
To give an example of this, you can see this Blog Post. On the Blog Page, the Title “Blog” is an H1 tag. The title of this blog post “The 7 Most Common Website Mistakes” is an H2. The “#1 No Text Formatting” is an H3 and the “Problem” and “Solution” Sections are H4s. H5 and H6 tags would be for further organizing content on the page and giving you the ability to dissect details further into easy-to-manage chunks.
#2 Low Contrast Between Background and Font
Here is an example of what I mean.
Obviously, you want people to be able to read what you have written on your site! This helps those with vision impairment as well. A general guideline is to pick colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel.
Here’s a great tool you can use to test it out: https://accessible-colors.com/
#3 Image Issues
Sometimes an image has been placed as the background and the text on top doesn’t have enough contrast which goes with the point above about Contrast. But there are a few other issues with images that can happen on your site.
Other issues with images have to do with multiple photos that are intended to be in boxes side by side but the images are all different sizes so the boxes don’t line up.
Or the image isn’t of good quality or large enough for the space which makes the image look grainy and unclear.
You can’t just take any image off of google that you feel like. Make sure that you are using ‘No Copyright’ images (Public Domain Images) or you have the license for any photos that you use. Sites like unsplash.com are a great source for free photos. When posting on social media, give credit to the person.
#4 No SEO or SEO issues
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves your site’s rankings in search results but also helps you attract more traffic to your site. The higher you rank on a Search Engine Result Page (SERP), the more likely potential clients will see you and click through to your site.
Good, High-quality Content
Keeping your content new and fresh and quality information helps your ranking. Content needs to be educational, interesting, relevant, and shareable. It also helps if you are using a variety of mediums to get the information out there. Text, Videos, Blogs, Infographics, Podcasts, How-tos, e-books, and social media posts are all great!
As more and more people are using mobile devices to search, local SEO becomes even more important. This ensures that people in your area will come across you when searching for what you do. This involves claiming directory listings, creating location-specific pages for your site, and getting on Google My Business and Google Maps.
Keywords should be carefully chosen and be used in your content so that they are effective. Keywords are the phrases that people use to find products and services. Using a longer phrase that speaks directly to what you do is more helpful than a one-word description. Say you’re a life coach. You wouldn’t want to just use “Life Coach” as your keyword. You would want to have “Life Coach for Depression in Richmond, VA”
This means that your website is trustworthy, high quality, relevant, and has something to offer. The higher you score, the more authority your site has. It’s difficult to influence this number, but by doing the other steps, having more traffic to your site, and getting external links from credible and well-visited sources, you can increase your Page Authority.
If your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, there’s an issue. The longer it takes a page to load the more likely it is that someone who was going to look at your site will leave. How many people leave vs. how many people stay on any page is called your bounce rate.
Check out your website loading time: GTmetrix
TestMySite specifically tests your site’s mobile performance!
#5 Unnecessary Plug-ins and non-optimized images.
Having too many plugins is that they can slow down your site. As we just talked about, having fast load times is really important, so we should do all we can to make that load time as fast as possible by watching out for unnecessary plug-ins, unneeded images, videos, etc. stored in the Media Library. You can also optimize your images and compress them so that they aren’t so big.
#6 Low Word Content
This goes along with some of what was said already about how your content needs to be high-quality. But more than that, it helps if your content is unique. Search Engines know if you just grabbed your content from somewhere else.
In the old days, you used to be able to just use your keywords in every sentence and SEO would eat it up. Now, however, you need to use keywords wisely and sparingly. Content also needs to solve a problem. Think of a need that your potential client has, and then write to them solving that problem.
Do you have enough words?
It may look great to have a page with a couple of big pictures, lots of negative space, and a few titles, but this is not an optimized page. Search Engines need words and lots of them to rank you well in search queries. At a minimum, provide at least 500 words per page so that you will rank well in the search.
#7 Confusing and Complicated Navigation
The last thing that is a common website issue is confusing navigation. Your website is like telling a story. You want to walk people through in an organized way and make it as easy as possible to get to the next part without skipping something important. Making everything clear, simple, and easy to find is key. Having a ton of Sub-headings, links to pages that aren’t on the Nav Bar, and buttons that take them off your site completely make Navigation tricky and we definitely want to create the best user experience possible.
That’s it! Those are the 7 most common website mistakes that I see all the time on websites for clients. If you see some areas you would like to improve on your website, contact me! I’d love to help you!