Having a website is crucial for any business in 2024, the statistics show that as of October 2023, there were 5.3 billion internet users worldwide, which amounted to 65.7 percent of the global population. Which means that the internet is a powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audience and increase their sales. However, having a website alone is not enough. There are certain mistakes that businesses make when creating and maintaining their website, which can greatly impact its effectiveness. From design to functionality, there are many factors that contribute to the success of a website.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 25 website mistakes to avoid in 2024 and provide easy fixes for each one. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that your website is running smoothly and effectively attracting visitors and keeping them on your website for longer resulting in a higher conversion rate.
Table of Contents
Mistake #1: Not Having a Clear Purpose
A website without a clear purpose will confuse visitors and search engines, this will result in no conversions and a low search engine ranking. Before creating a website, define its purpose and make sure that every aspect of the website aligns with it. Whether it is to sell products, showcase services, or provide information, a clear purpose will guide all design and content decisions.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want visitors to do on my website?
- What problem am I trying to solve for them?
- How can I make their experience on my website seamless?
Clearly state the purpose of your website on the homepage and ensure that all other pages are relevant to this purpose. Use a clear call-to-action (CTA) to guide visitors towards the desired action. Keep in mind that less is more, avoid overwhelming visitors with too much information or options.
Mistake #2: Inconsistent branding
Branding is crucial for creating a strong and recognisable online presence. Inconsistent branding, such as using different logos or color schemes on different pages of your website, can confuse visitors and make your brand less memorable.
Create a style guide for your website, including guidelines for logos, colors, fonts, and other design elements. Use this guide whenever you create new content or make updates to your website.
Mistake #3: Unclear Navigation
Navigation is the backbone of a website. Without clear and easy-to-use navigation, visitors will struggle to find what they are looking for, resulting in a high bounce rate. An unclear navigation menu can also discourage visitors from exploring other pages of your site.
Simplify your navigation menu by using clear and concise labels. Group similar pages together and make sure that all links are functional.
Mistake #4: Poor Mobile Responsiveness
In today’s mobile-dominated world, having a website that is not optimized for mobile devices is a major mistake. Visitors who have to pinch and zoom to view your website on their phone will quickly lose interest and move on to a competitor’s site.
Use a responsive design for your website, which automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of any device. Test your website on various devices to ensure that it looks and functions well on all of them.
Mistake #5: Slow Load Times
Visitors have a short attention span, and if your website takes more than 2 seconds to load, they will likely leave and look for information elsewhere. Slow load times can also affect your search engine ranking, search engines prioritise fast -loading websites.
Reduce the size of images and videos on your website, compress files if necessary. Minimise the use of plugins and scripts, which can slow down load times. Regularly test your website’s speed and make adjustments as needed. Check out this blog to improve your website load time.
Mistake #6: Bad contrast
Poor color contrast can make it difficult for visitors to read your content, especially for those with visual impairments. Search engines like Google penalise websites with poor color contrast. It can also make your website look unprofessional and unappealing.
Choose a high-contrast color scheme for your website, with dark text on a light background or vice versa. Use tools like WebAIM’s Color Contrast Checker to ensure that the contrast is at an optimal level.
Mistake #7: No white space
A cluttered website can be overwhelming and make it difficult for visitors to focus on important information. Lack of white space, also known as negative space, can make your website appear crowded and unorganised. Check out this example:
No White Space
Use white space strategically to create a clean and visually appealing design. Make sure to use padding between elements such as text, images, and buttons to allow them to breathe and stand out. Use white space to highlight important information and make it easier for visitors to scan your content.
Mistake #8: Broken Links
Broken links on your website can lead visitors to dead ends, resulting in a frustrating user experience. They can also negatively affect your search engine ranking. You need to keep your website updated and if you remove pages you have to redirect so that visitors don’t run into a dead end.
Regularly check for broken links and fix them promptly. Use tools like Google Search Console or Broken Link Checker to identify broken links on your website. Redirect pages that you are removing, you can use a plugin like Rankmath for SEO and redirections.
Mistake #9: Justifying content
While it may seem like a good idea to justify your website’s content, it can actually make it difficult for visitors to read. Justified text can create awkward spacing and even hyphenate words, making the text look unprofessional.
Use left-aligned or center-aligned text instead of justified text. This will make sure that the spacing between words is consistent and easier to read.
Mistake #10: Auto-playing media
Auto-playing videos or music on your website can be disruptive and annoying for visitors, especially if they are already listening to their own music or audio. It can also slow down load times and use up data for mobile visitors.
Allow visitors to choose whether they want to play media on your website by providing a play button instead of automatically playing it. This will also give visitors control over their browsing experience.
Mistake #11: Complicated Contact Forms
If you are finding that your website is driving a lot of traffic but these aren’t converting into leads then it could be that your contact form is overcomplicated. Lengthy forms with too many required fields can discourage visitors from reaching out.
Keep your contact form simple and only include essential fields (this is something I go over in my Dubsado Strategy sessions). Consider providing alternative ways for visitors to contact you, such as an email address or phone number. You can also use tools like live chat to make communication easier for your website visitors.
Mistake #12: Too many fonts, eligible fonts and script as caps
Using too many different fonts on your website can make it look cluttered and unprofessional. Also only using elaborate script fonts can make the text difficult to read and script font in all caps can make your website look unprofessional. This can also be perceived as shouting at visitors.
Limit yourself to two or three simple and complementary fonts for your website. Use a sans-serif font for body text and a serif font for headings to create contrast, you can also use a script font sparingly to add visual interest.
Mistake #13: Not researching keywords
Keywords are important for search engine optimization (SEO) as they help your website rank higher in search results. Not using relevant keywords can make it difficult for potential visitors to find your website.
Do keyword research and incorporate relevant keywords throughout your website’s content, including titles, headings, and image alt tags. This will improve your chances of appearing in relevant search results. Find out more on keyword research by reading my free SEO checklist
Mistake #14: Not enough copy
I recently redesigned a photography website for a client and on their homepage they had very little copy (under 200 words), understandably the images told the story that it was a photography website but this doesn’t help search engines like Google to understand. You don’t want to overwhelm visitors with too much copy for you also need enough copy and structure for the visitor to understand the purpose of the website.
Provide enough informative and engaging content on each page of your website. Map out your structure of your website first before writing your copy and understand the overall goal of your website. Is it to get inquires? Is it to sell a product? This will not only make it easier for visitors to understand what you offer but also improve your SEO.
Mistake #15: Too much copy
The last thing you want is an essay on your website with no headings to break up the text. No one is interested in reading a dissertation it’s off putting and can overwhelm visitors and make it difficult for them to find important information.
Break up large blocks of text with headings, bullet points, and images. This will make your content more visually appealing and easier to digest. Keep your paragraphs short and concise.
Mistake #16: No internal linking
It’s really important to link the pages of your website to each other as this helps visitors navigate and explore your website. Not having any internal links can also hurt your SEO by not signaling to search engines that your content is relevant and valuable. Internal linking can give a page authority as it tells search engines that there is more valuable information on your website.
Include internal links throughout your website’s content, making sure they are relevant and add value to the visitor’s experience. Use anchor text (hyperlinked words) to make it clear where the link will lead. You can also use plugins like Rankmath to help with internal linking and SEO. This will not only improve the user experience but also help search engines crawl and index your website better.
Mistake #17: Not using professional photography / only using stock photography
it’s better to use professional photography for your website because by using generic stock photos your website look unoriginal and impersonal. It can also give the impression that your business is not genuine.
Invest in professional photography or use high-quality, relevant images that accurately represent your brand and message. This will help create a more authentic and visually appealing website for visitors. Also, consider using user-generated content, such as customer photos, to add a personal touch.
Mistake #18: Uploading large image files and not resizing or compressing them
Large image files will slow down your website’s load time, this can mean higher bounce rates and a bad user experience. They also take up unnecessary storage space on your server.
Resize or compress images before uploading them to your website. This will reduce the file size and improve loading speeds for visitors. You can use tools like TinyPNG, JPEGmini, or Image Resizer to resize and compress images without sacrificing quality.
Mistake #19: Not using meta data
Meta data, such as meta titles and descriptions, are important for SEO as they provide information about your website to search engines. Not using them can make it difficult for search engines to understand and properly rank your website.
Include relevant meta titles and descriptions for each page on your website. This will help search engines better understand the content on your website and improve your chances of appearing in relevant search results. You can use a SEO plugin like Rankmath to update your meta data for search engines.
Mistake #20: Not using a caching plugin
A caching plugin can significantly improve your website’s loading speeds by storing frequently used data and serving it to visitors faster. Not using one can result in longer load times, especially for websites with heavy content.
Install a caching plugin on your website to improve loading speeds and overall performance. Popular options include W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket. These plugins are easy to set up and can make a noticeable difference in your website’s speed.
Mistake #21: Not setting up analytics
Understanding your website’s traffic and user behavior is crucial for making informed decisions about its design and content. Not setting up analytics makes it difficult to track this information.
Set up a free analytics tool like Google Analytics on your website. This will provide valuable insights into your website’s performance and help you make data-driven decisions to improve it. You can also use tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg to track user behavior and see how visitors are interacting with your website.
Mistake #22: Not setting up google search console and submitting your sitemap
Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that helps website owners monitor and maintain their website’s presence in search results. Not setting it up can result in missed opportunities for your website to appear in relevant search results.
Set up Google Search Console for your website and submit your sitemap. This will help Google crawl and index your website more efficiently, improving your chances of appearing in relevant search results. It also provides valuable data about your website’s performance in Google search.
Mistake #23: Not adding a blog
Having a blog on your website not only provides valuable information to visitors but also helps with SEO by regularly adding fresh content to your website.
Consider adding a blog section to your website and regularly publishing informative and engaging posts related to your industry or niche. This will not only provide value to visitors but also improve your chances of appearing in relevant search results.
Mistake #24: Not using a favicon
A favicon is a small icon that appears in the browser tab when someone visits your website. Not having one can make your website look unprofessional and less trustworthy.
Create a unique and visually appealing favicon for your website and upload it to your hosting server. This will help with branding and make your website look more professional. You can use tools like Favicon Generator to easily create a favicon for your website.
Mistake #25: Not providing social proof on your website
Social proof, such as customer testimonials or reviews, can help build trust and credibility with potential customers. Not including social proof on your website can make it difficult for visitors to gauge the quality of your products or services.
Include customer testimonials, reviews, or social media posts on your website to showcase positive experiences and feedback from previous customers. This will help build trust with potential customers and increase the chances of converting them into paying customers. You can use plugins like TrustIndex to pull through reviews that will update automatically for you.
By avoiding these common website mistakes you can help improve user experience, SEO, and overall performance of your website. You can start with implementing these easy fixes to create a more professional and effective website for your business.
Remember that you need to be constantly monitoring and updating your website with new content and regularly reviewing and make improvements as needed. Remember, a well-designed and optimised website will make a positive impression on visitors and it will help you to achieve higher conversions.
If you want to improve your website in 2024 without the hassle of doing it yourself, check out my website design packages by clicking here.