14 website pitfalls and how to fix them

A whole lot of business websites just don’t cut it, according to research. If yours is falling into any of these traps, it may require some reworking.

Most websites are not performing well, according to the experts at Marketing Grader.

Their analysis shows that 72 percent of corporate websites receive a failing grade of 59 or lower (out of a possible score of 100). Is your company’s website among the vast majority that don’t make the cut?

If it is, here are 14 common website pitfalls and how to fix those problems.

1. Trying to be everything to everyone

Your company does something specific and does it well. Tell that story. Speak directly to your target audience and forget the rest.

2. Trying to do too much

Segment your content, and let people select which “track” of information they’d like to follow based on which audience group they fall under, where they are in the purchase process, and so forth.

3. Cluttered design

Simplify your website, so visitors can get the information they need and move on to the next step.

4. The wrong content

Publish valuable content that interests your clients, and do it often. Provide good resources for your visitors.

5. Old content

Update your content to show you’re an industry leader, and do it often. Fresh content matters to search engines. Use blog posts to keep content fresh without rewriting your evergreen content every week. Eighty-two percent of marketers who blog on a daily basis acquired customers using their blogs; 57 percent of marketers acquired customers by blogging monthly, in case your schedule doesn’t allow for daily posts.

6. Talking like a corporate robot

Forget the industry jargon. Write as if you were talking to a customer face to face.

7. Too many cutesy, catchy words

Speak clearly, and answer what the client is really asking: “What can you do for me?”

8. Ignoring mobile

About 55 percent of purchase-related conversions occur within one hour of initial mobile search. On top of that, 62 percent of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile increased sales.

9. Annoying your visitors

Don’t interrupt people with an overload of pop-ups and ads. Rather than improve the experience, it simply distracts.

10. Hiding from search engines

If search engines can’t find the site, potential customers can’t either. Here’s a quick checklist of things to make sure your site has:

• Target 10 keywords
• Title tag
• Meta description
• Alt tag
• Body text

11. Writing just for search engines

Search engines favor enticing content written for real people. Is the content is useful and worthy of sharing? Add social media buttons on the site to make it easy for people to share it.

12. Leaving out clear calls to action

Think about where the visitor is in the purchase process when they’re looking at a particular page. Provide a couple call-to-action buttons on a page. For example, one to “buy now” and another to “learn more” before purchasing.

13. Not setting goals for the site

What is the goal at the end of the day? More sales? More leads? Create specific goals for your website that support your overall business strategy.

14. Lack of measurement

What’s working? What’s not, and how should it change? If you don’t know the benchmarks, then you don’t know when something abnormal (good or bad) is happening. This crucial information is needed to make solid business decisions based on numbers, not a hunch.

JoAnn Seeman is a digital communications strategist at Spindustry Digital, a strategic marketing and sales organization based in Des Moines, Iowa. A version of this story originally appeared on company’s blog.

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