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4 Common Mistakes With Your Website

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By Alexis Puebla
Brand Strategist

With the ever-growing pressure to create a website that stands out from the rest, it can be easy to get caught up in the simple layout and design of the site while losing focus on the equally important user experience factor. Maintaining a website is an ongoing process that will endure many bumps along the road, but it is an absolutely essential component of growing a brand.

Throughout our years of building and optimizing websites, we have encountered our fair share of mishaps. Today our team is sharing the most common website mistakes to help you throughout the design process and to ultimately create a site that stands out from the rest, but that also works like a charm.
 

Website Mistake #1: You’re Not Optimizing Your Photos for the Web.

Perhaps one of the most obvious but important aspects to your website is how it looks. Afterall, people buy with their eyes, so you’ll want to make sure your website creates an aesthetically pleasing outcome for your potential customers. One issue we often encounter when advising clients on the design process is sourcing appropriate images for their website that also fit within the HTML code to produce fast response times.

In simple talk, that basically means that though it’s important to have pretty images gracing your web pages, you don’t want your images to sacrifice your page load speed. One way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to use SVGs, or Scalable Vector Graphics. SVGs work well for logos, special icons, and text. They are typically smaller file sizes than your average PNG or JPG files so they’ll usually load faster and are automatically scalable when switching from browser to photo editing tools.

If you’re taking a pre-existing photo that you personally took of your product or business or are using a stock image from online, you may want to compress that image size down to speed up your website. This will provide you a much “lighter load” when the processing system loads the webpage, making the user experience top notch. The service, Optimizilla, uses high-tech algorithms to shrink JPEG and PNG images to the minimum possible size while keeping the desired level of quality, while Kraken does a similar service and promises smaller storage costs and an improved search ranking. Though it may seem like you’re solving the problem by dragging the corner of an image to make it look smaller, it’s only really shrinking the display size and it’s keeping the underlying file size the same.
 

Website Mistake #2: You Aren’t Utilizing Content.

While navigating the rather tricky waters of the interwebs, it’s imperative to utilize tools and tricks to enhance your Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, strategy. But what is an SEO strategy, exactly?

In a nutshell, it’s a plan to drive organic traffic to your website
by utilizing high-ranking keywords and tailoring your online presence
to the algorithms that search engines use to rank websites.

Why is this important? Well, if someone types ‘Des Moines Chiropractors” into google, and you own a chiropractic business, you obviously want your company name to pop up on the first page of results. There are many ways to get your website to the top of the search pages, but it’s important to note that it takes time and patience to build a strong SEO standing. A lot of times you’ll be competing with a web page that’s been on the internet for years so it’s really about utilizing your knowledge of SEO tactics to rise in the ranks.There are many tactics that help increase your SEO value such as keyword implementation, updated metadata, incorporating alt tags, and adding clickable links but perhaps the most important factor to include is content.

Content is King… Or Queen because this is 2018, dang it! But needless to say, by producing high-quality and relevant content on your website, you will not only be providing a solution to your potential customer’s problem, but you’ll also build credibility within the industry by forming a stance on a particular topic. By honing in on one highly-searched keyword, you can build a quality blog post or infographic that will educate your reader while giving you extra points with Google’s search bots.

For example, the meal kit delivery service Blue Apron has a website that clearly displays their service, pricing, and their brand vision. In addition to the basics, they also have a blog that features articles about cooking how-to’s, dietary trend reports, recipe ideas, and travel guides based on food choice. It’s a place where consumers can come to be educated on food tips and tricks but also use as a trusted source of quality content that is relevant to what they’re searching for. Build up your street cred and climb the highly-coveted ranks of Google? Sounds like a win-win to me.

Need help getting a kick-start on your content marketing strategy? We can help!
 

Website Mistake #3: You’re Not Updating Your Website Regularly.

Life moves fast. Your customer’s tastes and preferences will change even faster. You’ll inevitably hit publish on a blog post or update your prices to then come to find that your information is outdated and your pricing structure is undergoing some changes. Unlike a print magazine or a flyer, nearly everything on your website is editable. It’s up to you to monitor your material and ensure that it is always relaying the most recent updated version.

An outdated theme or technology can put off visitors upon their first visit to your website, giving them a negative experience right off the bat. Whether it’s your content, your promotional offers, or even your new logo, it’s essential that you upkeep your online website just as you would a flyer or brochure. You wouldn’t want to hand out an expired print item to a potential customer, because it would look confusing and unreliable to the hopeful prospect while you’re claiming to be an industry trailblazer. The same goes for your website. Don’t give a potential client even the slightest chance of visiting an outdated website. Most sites start to look dated every 3 years, so try not to overestimate how long you may be able to keep a design before it gets stale. Keep your content fresh, your prices and promotional offers updated, and your web design crisp.
 

Website Mistake #4: Your Website Isn’t Optimized for Mobile Devices.

With web services and design moving more towards mobile optimization, it’s imperative to create a website that seamlessly translates to a mobile device. Mobile usage is neck and neck with desktop browsing, proving the importance of the extra time and dollars you may be looking to invest in a website upgrade.

If you consider your own search habits, you may be able to relate with the consumer on a more personal level. If you’ve found that you personally prefer to make purchases from a desktop but will always use your mobile device for a quick search, then use that to your advantage. Perhaps an online shop of products will get most of its traffic on a desktop, but an online restaurant menu will inevitably get dozens of mobile views each day. Though it might seem like a quick fix to simply attach a PDF of your restaurant menu to the webpage for easy download, it ends up being hard to read on a mobile device. Understanding your customer base as well as how they will utilize your products or services, and then optimizing your website with your audience in mind will be key to creating a resourceful experience for your customer.

If you’re interested in seeing how your website currently stands or are feeling inspired to start building a new website—contact us today to get a custom quote