The most common website mistakes that we find on the internet today are not the same ones that held websites back a few short years ago. In the early days of internet marketing, bad websites were full of flashing, blinding text in jarring colors and spinning clip art icons, and they looked like they were designed by monkeys throwing paint. They contained pages of densely packed, horribly written text, and they were impossible to navigate. Nobody does that anymore. Okay, some people do, but even those who have not mastered the absolute basics (like: don’t let your web page induce nausea or seizures) have access to simple and inexpensive services and templates that can help them overcome those types of obstacles.
These days, standards of design are a bit more demanding, and text requirements are a little more sophisticated. The biggest obstacles and mistakes among websites today can be placed into three categories. Less-then-ideal websites are:
- Inconsistent in theme and voice
- Poorly written
- Vaguely untrustworthy
Here are a few simple tips to help you ward off these problems:
- Ask yourself some pointed questions before you go live. Would you hand your credit card information to a site like this? Would you turn to a site like this for medical advice? If the answers are negative, you have some work to do to improve your search engine rankings and build a base of general customer trust.
- The details are as important on your website as they are on a resume. Check for typos, then check again. In my years as an editor, I learned an important fact about textual and grammatical mistakes: They are always there. Always. If your text looks perfect, it means you just haven’t found them yet.
- Hire a professional. If you know things could be better, but you just aren’t quite sure how to get them there, it’s time to call in the experts. Don’t underestimate the value they can add. Remember, you’re doing this for the first time, but they do it all day, every day. The hand of a professional will show, and will definitely affect what your customers see as they click onto your site and form an indelible first impression.
Image by: “Search Engine People Blog”