Whenever you’re brainstorming ideas for your business, think of the WORST things you could do.
So if you’re thinking about how to improve your website, what are some of the worst things you do on your website.
As embaressing as it is to admit, I’ve done ALL the below at least once if not more than once.
Yes, these are real mistakes I’ve made even though a couple of them seem too dumb to believe.
1. Write to everyone.
You are not a major corporation with a budget to blow on reaching everyone in your country. Instead you’re after just a tiny percentage of the population. In fact, you choose a niche…and then you only want a portion of that niche.
Let’s say you have an incredible conversion rate and 10% of everyone who visits your site eventually buys from you. This means 90% of your visitors aren’t your customers even in your tight little niche.
The more clearly you get to know your buying customers and write specifically for them, the better off you are.
2. Waste your visitor’s time.
Don’t let your visitors see your warm-ups. When writing you’ll often have a period where you just starting to get into the flow. It’s your introduction, your welcome, your getting started.
Delete all that. In fact you’ll often find you can delete your entire first page and you’ll get right into the biggest promises or best story that way.
You have 5 seconds to grab their attention. Don’t waste it with something like “welcome to my website.”
3. Confuse your visitors.
The more options you offer, the more likely you’ll confuse your visitors. Make your navigation simple. If you’re offering a product, keep the number of possibilities limited.
And don’t link off to another page when you’re getting ready to make the sale!
4. Forget your call to action.
I’m an expert at this one. Yes, I actually designed a website selling a product where I forgot to put a link to order. And the award for the dumbest website designer of the year goes to…me.
Several times I’ve put links that I never checked…and they didn’t work.
Great. I had a website, customers ready to buy, and no way to order. Don’t do this.
5. Use a design from 1996.
When I first started online, ugly websites worked. Plain websites still work. Google for example is a very plain interface. And I have numerous sites which are plain and work well.
But an ugly website doesn’t work anymore. Ugly here is defined as annoying animated clipart, big arrows, ugly backgrounds that don’t match the offer, random fonts that don’t match, etc.
6. Make the page tough to read.
If you want to guarantee no one reads your website, create a wall of text.
These 20 line paragraphs with zero punctuation work very well for getting people to leave your site quickly.
Use subheads. Break up your paragraphs to no more than 5 lines max. Use one sentence paragraphs at times.
Make it look inviting to read.
7. Ignore your images.
The first emotions people feel at your website are often created by the images you use.
What are your images saying to your visitor? Are they making a promise of what you offer? Are they touching into the emotions you want them to feel?
Your visitors are in a hurry. And they make a split second decision about many sites by the first image they see.
8. Power word vomit.
This looks something like, “Amazingly Awesome Secrets to Making Millions Online In Your Spare Time.”
It looks like a beginning copywriter just vomited all the power words they learned all over your website.
Another term I use for it is copywriterese or hypercopyitis. Instead speak to customers in the exact same language they’re already using to describe the problem. Use their words instead of your own.
9. Glaring typos and errors.
If you look hard enough you can find spelling errors and typos anywhere. You’d definitely find them on my sites.
But sometimes the typos and errors are so glaringly obvious it’s proof you need an outside editor with a fresh eye.
For example if your headline contains a major spelling error, it’s going to cause you problems. I’ve done it.
10. Not Doing Your Research
Wouldn’t it be nice if that old cliche was true, “he/she could sell ice to the eskimos?”
It’s not. And who would want to anyway? Why not sell them something they actually want – like a heater?
Do your research and find out what customers want to buy instead of creating a website on what you think they need.
Hint: You find out what they want by looking at your most successful competitors and seeing what customers are ALREADY consistently buying. Then improve on it or re-invent something that accomplishes the same end goal (even and especially if it’s done in a totally unique way).
Knowing what your customers want to buy is a foundational element in the A-to-Z Internet Blueprints where we show you step-by-step how to build your own information business online.
Why set yourself up for more difficult challenges when you can simply tap into an audience that is already buying online?