Hello, friends! As a brand stylist and web designer, I spend a lot of my time doing research and development which means browsing sites and other brands. I wanted to take some time today and share with you five things wrong with your website. These are things that I see as the biggest issues brands have when it comes to their websites. Your website is your calling card, your first impression – you set the stage with it and you want to leave the audience wanting more – not asking for a refund on their ticket to the show.
(This was originally a Periscope broadcast so if video is more your thing, scroll to the bottom and catch it all from my YouTube channel.)
Number One: Your website is NOT mobile friendly.
Yikes! This is a big one and if this is an area that you know you need to improve on, move it to the top of your list and start working on it right after you finish reading this.
This past summer Google rolled out their new mobile-friendly algorithm. What does this mean exactly? This means that Google is ranking mobile friendly websites higher in search results. So if you have previously invested time, money and energy into optimizing your desktop site and have not put the same work into your mobile capabilities, your SEO work means nothing when it comes to people searching and finding you from their mobile devices.
To give you a little perspective, last month 57% of my audience was browsing my site from a mobile device. And another 16% of my audience was accessing it from a tablet. That is just under 75% of my audience not even on a desktop! Mobile is now reigning, friends. Make sure that you have the proper setup so you are not losing potential clients and audience members. Google has a tool for you to enter your URL and receive an analysis of your website and if it is mobile friendly enough. Be sure and also check out this blog post from Google about their mobile friendly criteria.
Number Two: Your site is NOT updated.
An outdated site will immediately make a potential client wonder if you are even still in business. This includes service information, pricing, your portfolios and even down to the copyright date at the foot of your website. All of these details matter. My suggestion is to schedule a once-a-month audit of your website. Choose a day each month where you will take 30 minutes to go through your entire site and decide what needs to be updated and take care of it right then and there.
Number Three: Too much text and too much reading.
The goal is to catch attention and entice them to reach out – you can chat about the fine print later. No one wants to read paragraphs and paragraphs about you, about our services, etc. Always leave them wanting more. Let your imagery and design speak for itself and do the wooing. More copy and things for someone to read is not going to get you the sale. Less is more!
Number Four: Your blog has cobwebs.
I am giving you permission right now to stop and really think if blogging is your thing. If it’s not – get rid of it. A lot of creative business owners or small businesses think that it is a requirement to have a blog and keep their audience updated with the latest happenings. Adding a blog to your business model is NOT a requirement. Starting a blog with your brand and then leaving it to sit for months, even years, with no updates is making your brand look bad and hurting your online presence. Again, someone coming to a blog that hasn’t been updated in six months makes you think, is this person in business or are they not busy enough with business to even post?
A few months ago I came across a photographer’s blog that had not been updated since November of 2014. Let me repeat that… NOVEMBER OF 2014. Not good, friends. Not good at all. If you decide blogging is not your cup of tea and you don’t want or can’t make the time for it, own and move on today. Use social media as a way to keep your audience informed on the latest happenings. If you are a photographer, use your Facebook page to create an album of a client’s images to share. If you are a florist, use Instagram stories to give your audience a quick sneak peek of arrangements that you are creating for this weekend’s event. There are so many other things you can be doing to share recent work!
Number Five: Your website is wearing MOM JEANS.
We are doing business in an age of constant visual stimulation. Design and visuals are EVERYTHING thanks to platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. If your site has an outdated design, make a re-brand your next priority! It doesn’t mean that you need to have a “trendy” site, but if your site still has things like a black background, or too much clicking, or fonts like Papyrus it’s time to get a fresh ‘wardrobe’ and make sure that your website is relevant in the design world. Find a designer that is the best fit for you and collaborate on something amazing. Put your best foot forward and wow any visitor to your site.
So there you have it! Five things wrong with your site and a few tips for you to overcome the issues.