The Top 3 Mistakes You’re Probably Making On Your Website
Not only do we love designing killer Squarespace Templates and custom websites for our clients, but we also get asked to review, critique, and re-strategize websites on a regular basis. After 10 years of designing for the web, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.
When someone lands on your homepage, you want them to understand exactly what you do, who you serve, and what makes you different within 3-5 seconds of landing on your website, and we have a quick list we run through that makes sure we hit all those key points. If your website isn’t converting the way you want it to or if it’s not attracting your ideal client, we usually suggest 3 quick tips that make a huge difference from turning your website viewer from totally confused to totally bought in.
When we land on a website we are reviewing or designing, we go through a quick mental checklist to make sure we’re on track:
Is what you do clear and easy to understand?
Is there a clear call to action so we know what to do next?
Is the design working to attract your ideal client or is it distracting?
Do the images & graphic elements reflect the mood & vibe of your brand?
Based on our experience with the checklist listed above, we’ve noticed that most people are making three common mistakes. We thought we’d share them with you so you can get ahead and make these tweaks to turn your website around.
The Top 3 Mistakes You’re Making On Your Website
1. Your website design only reflects your own personal style & design aesthetic.
We see this often especially with new business owners! Maybe you’ve launched your website, and you really wanted it to look and feel like “you.” Of course, you want to like and enjoy your brand, but ultimately, you’re not working to attract yourself! You’re looking to attract and serve others.
The fix? Learn about and focus in on your ideal client. Consider the style and design that your ideal client would be attracted to and marry that with your personal design preferences (if you’re a soloprenuer and the business is about you).
If the business is NOT about you and the company has its own vibe and brand aside from you. Then think about the vibe, tone and feelings that you want associated with your brand. For instance, The feelings associated with your brand should be those that your client or customer would feel AFTER they’ve used your product or service. For example, if your business is a spa you want the brand to feel relaxing, fresh, and peaceful. Exactly how you would feel right after a long soothing massage.
Here’s a real life example: We once worked with a male wedding photographer based in the South whose typical client was the Southern Bride. However, he wanted his website to look and feel like exactly like him. At first glance his website looked like he was selling a cutting edge piece of technology to other men, with his gradient design elements and a bright Microsoft blue color palette. This design aesthetic was NOT attractive to a southern bride. He needed to shift his brand’s look and design to reflect the design aesthetic of people he was actually looking to book with: feminine, Southern brides!
Here’s one more example: We had a consulting call with a social media manager who loved horses. When we went to her website, there were horses everywhere: in her logo, in her photos, in her copywriting, etc. We asked her if she was a horse trainer! This business owner was confusing potential clients because her personal design aesthetic was actually muddling her message. We recommend nixing ALL the horses even though she loved them so much.
The point is, when your ideal client lands on your website you want them to feel like YOUR brand was tailor made your specific products, right down to the aesthetic and design of your brand. Ultimately being intentional with the design of your website will lead to an easy and fast conversion to sale.
Need help nailing down your ideal client and what will attract them? We’ve got a guide for that! Use our Define Your Dream Client Guide to start working with the RIGHT people, not just anyone who will pay you.
2. Your website is saying WAY too much.
Before you scroll on past this one and think, “Oh, this isn’t me!” -- It probably is! We’d say almost 95 percent of people on the web have WAY too much copywriting on their site. When there’s too much text and copywriting on your website, your website viewer doesn’t know where to look, what to read first, or what to do on the site.
Too much text and clutter will lead to confusion – and when people are confused they’re more likely to be repelled from your brand. It shouldn't be your website viewers job to sift through all the information to figure out what you actually do. Your website should be a strategic marketing tool NOT a giant hub or warehouse of information about your company.
Want the hard truth? People just don’t read anymore! They’re scrolling way too fast to read all that flowery language you wrote.
The fix? Cut down your copywriting SIGNIFICANTLY! How much you ask? Well, Steve Krug, a usability expert, says: “Get rid of half the words on each page. Then get rid of half of what’s left, leaving only the most IMPORTANT information.”
3. You’re forgetting to clearly state what your business does.
Maybe you think people will just “get it” when they land on your homepage, or maybe you’re just so in your head about your business and your website, that you just straight up forgot to include it! This is a mistake we see all the time.
If people land on your website and can’t tell what you do within 3-5 seconds of landing on your site, then their most likely to click off and leave. That goes for businesses that sell products, provide services, lifestyle blogs, food blogs, etc. Every type of website needs a clear statement near the top of the homepage that spells it out for your website viewer.
The fix? Have a large one-sentence description near the top of your website that clearly articulates what you do, what makes you unique and difference, and how your product or service will change your customers life.
We’ve created a free, easy-to-use formula for crafting this statement and we call it the Brand Bio Formula. You can download the Brand Bio Formula here! It’s a totally free resource that will make serious moves for your brand, blog or business.
The Wrap Up
Take a hard look at your homepage, or better yet, ask someone who is your ideal client, customer or blog reader to take a look and give you honest feedback! Making these 3 quick moves for your website can make a real difference for your brand.
Do you feel like you’re just ready for an overhaul, or ready to start with a new design? Shop our easy-to-use Squarespace Templates to take a step towards a fresh, strategic, and well-design website! You might also LOVE getting a reality check from our team. Check out our Website Reality Check where we help you figure out what to fix on your website!