Essay: Blunders That Can Destroy Your Website & Business

No matter how attractive your site's design, images, or navigation is, sooner or later these frills will wilt and you will find yourself dealing with the real visitor looking for information. If your site provides it, it will stay in business. If it doesn't, you know...

This article focuses on mistakes that destroy a website; your business and reputation. I have collected it over time, working on the web, talking to people, and promoting my own site.

Half of this battle can be won by merely recognizing these traps and steering clear of them.

Blunder # 1: Remaining Aloof At Designing Stage

Most entrepreneurs aren't conversant with the technical aspects of creating a website. So when they sense that launching a site will involve mechanics like programming, designing etc, of which they know very little, they look for an excuse to stay out of it.

How It Impacts Your Website:

When you aren't involved in building of your own website, it will be visible in the final output. Its usability features, navigational structure, layout, etc will all directly or indirectly impact visitor conversion, even with best help from the designer, as business owner it will do you well to take the final calls, and be directly involved when major decisions are being taken.

How it Impacts Your Business:

What do you think can happen to a business whose owner has decided to watch the show from the side, allowing somebody else to take some major decisions?

As business owners you have to understand that website is a new medium that you have decided to use in order to take your existing business to a higher level. If you do things right, you can make things work.

I understand that you may not have time to get personally involved in it, and you'd like to leave it to a professional like a true professional that you are, but its one thing to be a professional quite another to remain uninvolved.

Fighting Strategy: Verify facts. Get involved without getting on the nerves of your designer.

Blunder # 2: Your Site Sound Self Obsessed. Self Love is Destructive.

If you are a new website owner it is likely that we may get so involved in our new found world online that we may refuse to see the business beyond our own nose, and fancy.

We become obsessed with our own product, business model, web design, and various programming tools that we are exploring. All of us time and again need to take a reality check on ourselves, because after all we are human and it's easy to get carried away.

We should consistently remind ourselves that our final objective is to earn more profits from our sites. And that profits will come from customers and therefore we should learn to focus on customer needs and things that make him happy.

How it Impacts Your Website:

Self loved websites are easy to identify because of their inwardly and self centric content with little or no regard for visitor's perspective.

The pages on such sites may revolve around Our Company, Our Products, Our Mission, About us, Why us, Testimonials, plus overtly used and placed Buy/ Action buttons.

How it Impacts Your Business:

Self fixated content creates hyper environment, which fails to convince the visitor to trust the site or take action. Poor content has a direct and adverse impact on your business, because it does not get read. Take this 7 Point Test to ensure how you can get your content read.

Fighting Strategy:

Create content and layout keeping profile of your target audience in mind. Apply the 80:20 rule. Talk about user experience and benefit of using your product 80% and talk about your product and its features 20%. Nobody is interested or has time to listen to your story, everyone is interested to find out "what's in this for me".

Blunder # 3: Your Content Tells Long-wound Stories

Websites that fail to convey the message, straight, clear, and precise will not survive in this highly competitive environment. Inform your visitor within the few seconds of his arrival on your site about who you are and how you can help or benefit him. Preferably try to get it over with in the opening paragraph itself.

Read this post First Fifty words on your site blog post for clearer understanding.

Don't go round and about your product showing off your writing skills. Your visitor does not care how well you can embroider patterns of words together. He is interested in knowing just one thing, how can the product help in his business or add value to his life. If your words can make him buy, the job is well done.

How Long Stories Impact Your Website: If you check visitor statistics of Long Story sites you will find the Bounce Rate to be on a higher side. It means people visit your site but leave within a few seconds or minutes without exploring even a single other page.

The action may be a result of lack of time or patience, they may not find the information they are looking for, or it may be boring, and uninspiring.

How it Impacts Your Business: The best thing about your website is that you have visitors coming. If you can find a way to hold them, you can do business with them. But the bad news is that people leave your site without exploring, and this is a wake-up call.

If you can't give your visitors a reason to stay, why have a website at all? To hold them and keep them coming - keep your stories short succinct, and focus on your visitor.

Fighting Strategy:

I have often repeated through this website, which I will do one more time. Short Stories told in small paragraphs comprising short sentences. Driving home one idea at a time. Create content visitor-centric not product-centric.

Blunder # 4: You Aren't Using Meta Tags Effectively?

There are several Meta Tags that go into making of a web-page. People assume that Meta Tag creation is part of back-end work performed at coding level, and meant to facilitate search engine robots and not so much human visitors. However this is only partly true.

Amongst many Meta tags, two i.e. Title and Description Tags are extremely crucial and read by human visitors. Since they make for a very critical conversion factor it is for the web copywriters to master the skill of creating them effectively.

Title Tag: This is THE most important tag on the page for search engine spiders. The word limit for Title Tag is 65 characters. If you create longer Title Tag, the entire sentence may show up in searches but Robots would stop reading beyond 65 or 67 characters. Also, the title tags give extra mileage when someone tweets based on title tag.

Description Tag: These are longer tags with about 155 character limit. They aren't important from Spider's point of view but for human visitors they are. A compelling description tag improves Click-Through-Rate of a website. When a visitor comes across your site in the searches whether or not he will click on your site will depend on how your Description Tag reads.

How it Impacts Your Website: Poorly created Meta Tags can be a huge turn off for the Spiders as well human visitors. This will impact your traffic, Click Through Rate, branding, credibility, trust, everything.

Where there is content trust element comes in automatically. There is some content that spider trusts, there is some that human visitors trust, and together they take your business to newer heights. Meta tags not only help your website to improve its search engine ranking, they also make your site more attractive for visitors.

How it Impacts Your Business: If your Meta tags are mediocre, they won't succeed in impressing spiders and human visitors or either of them. In such a case the quality as well as number of people entering your site with a serious intention will be affected.

If your description tags are created well they will encourage visitor to click on your website's link. The more accurately, precisely, and attractively you can create your description tag without making it sound unreal or false, the more traffic your site will attract. Along with basic info if you have special offers going on include them as part of your Meta tag for that page.

Fighting Strategy:

Be realistic while dealing with Meta tags.

Title tags are very crucial so stick to rules without losing the creative grip. Description tags may not be meant for spiders but they can change the landscape of your success by compelling the visitors to click on your link. So don't take them lightly or for granted.

The biggest convenience here is that you can change your Meta tags anytime you want. So if you think they are not reading what they ought to, change it, it's never too late.

Blunder # 5: Your Website Lacks Effective Leadership?

People build websites on disastrous assumption. Some website owners fancy the idea that the visitors will be so impressed with their site and content that they will read every word from start to finish, will make the effort to search for the Order button and send an e mail. If this is how you think, I know you have not made any money from your online clients so far.

Online visitors scan content. Visitors are in a hurry and do not read content word to word. Instead they scan it.That is the reason following bullet point formats, creating headlines and sub-headline is encouraged by experts. All this facilitate scanning.

Amidst all the noise, it's so common to see content writers forget to tell the visitors what to do? People arriving on a websites like to be told what they should do, they generally like to be lead and guided. Through every page of our websites we have to ensure that we are leading the visitor that meets his needs directly and ours indirectly.

CTA Call to Action is the Button that plays an important role in guiding the visitor. The button could be a Request a Quote, Order or Buy, to Try, Subscribe, Learn more, etc.

You want to use CTA button to request info, try your service, buy, free download, anything. ,

Your soft cell pages could focus on Learn more, or Get More Information or Answer These Questions about your site CTA button, where as your following pages, i.e. hard sell pages could be more detailed, technical with direct CTA button, like Order, Ask For Quote, etc.

The importance of hard sell pages can be enhanced, strengthened, and supported by testimonials, value statements etc.

How Well Guided Content Impacts Your Website: If your website does not lead your visitors in an organized fashion, don't expect your website to reach anywhere. In this process you may lose some serious buyers of your product. Call to Action Button tells visitors that they can find the answers to their question by clicking CTA button and reaching a new page.

How it Impacts Your Business: When a serious visitor finds his way to your site and you don't guide him well or cater to his needs, it obviously impacts your business adversely. The visitor carries a wrong impression home.

This impacts credibility of your website and product. If you don't design and place your CTA buttons on every web page to facilitate visitor, your website will not serve its purpose and you will take forever to reach your business goals.

Fighting Strategy: Decide and divide your hard and soft sell pages in advance. And decide which Call to Action Button will appear where. You can also have more than one CTA button a website while discussing two different (inter-related) topics. Before deciding to place CTA button ask yourself, what is that one thing that you want the visitor to take with him while leaving the page? Also ensure that CTA is highlighted and that it appears as high on the page as possible without losing the relevance of position.

Blunder # 5, 6, 7, 8: Setting Up Budgets The Wrong Way; Copying Competitors, Not Focusing on Conversions

Set up yearly budgets. Don't work quarter to quarter because while some things (like a PPC campaign) may work on Q-ly basis others may take longer. Copywing everything that the number one guy is doing will doom you. What works for him and his audience may not work for you. if you have come into the business on your own strength and understanding of the market why borrow his business goals. Have your own. Create your own strategies to achieve them. Focus on conversion. Everyone promises traffic, you focus on conversion. You'd rather have 100 visitors and 6 conversions than 2500 visitors and less than twenty conversions.

If you are making the above mistakes correct them. Re-write your content, seek professional help, if need be, but don't allow mediocre or ineffective content to dominate your site. If you would like to discuss any issues related with your website with me, send me an email.


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