Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group
Your website is a critical part of your business. It is the place where people connect with you online. It needs to represent you well, yet many sites make mistakes that kill their impact.
Here are five common errors I see at websites. Fix them and you will have a site that supports your business goals.
Mistake #1: Website Doesn’t Work Well on Mobile
The number of people who visit websites from mobile devices has steadily increased for the past several years. Google (and others) have made it clear that sites that do not work well for mobile visitors will not be ranked highly in search results.
Your site must work well on mobile.
Your website needs to be responsive to the platform and browser being used by visitors. Visitors from desktop computers and mobile devices need the same, excellent user experience. All elements need to be seen on the screen, navigation needs to be usable, and content needs to be easy to read.
Mistake #2: Website Isn’t Secure
Every website needs to be secure. Just a few years ago this wasn’t the case, but it is reality now. If your website URL starts with HTTP rather than HTTPS, you need to make it secure ASAP.
Browsers show scary warning messages when users access a non-secure site. Google now ranks HTTPS pages higher than non-secure pages. Bottom line: If your site isn’t HTTPS, you’re going to get left behind.
Mistake #3: Too Sloooow
People do not wait for websites to load. Period.
According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.
Your site needs to be optimized to load quickly. Don’t assume your page loads quickly because it is fast for you. As someone who visits often, the site will be in your cache.
Google offers a page speed tool so you can get a speed rating. It also offers suggestions for making things load faster.
Mistake #4: Website Clutter Makes Nothing Visible
Your business is important. You have a lot of information to share. Beware, because a cluttered website can really confuse visitors. Instead of learning a lot, they may leave in frustration.
Your website needs to be easy to understand. Visitors need to find a place to begin and a simple path to what interests them. If there are too many options on the page, they may never find what they want.
Think of your website like a physical store. You don’t pile everything at the front door and expect people to sift through to find what they need. You prioritize, with the most important items up front and the rest organized into aisles for visitors to discover.
Mistake #5: Website Lacks a Call to Action
Someone visits your site. Great! What do you want them to do? This call to action is crucial to meeting your business goals.
If you want to be able to contact visitors, you need to get them to leave their information in a form or sign up. If you want to make a sale, your site needs to drive them to the purchase process. Your site needs to make it clear and easy for visitors to take the action you want.