Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts. — Jim Morrison
Websites are essential marketing tools. In fact, some marketing mavens claim that if you donâ€™t have a website, you donâ€™t exist.
Think about it. You can build a business now with just a website alone.
One common mistake independent business owners do is they either try to tackle website building themselves, compromising on aesthetics, or they get a graphics designer to design a great looking website, but without a thought given to the powerful potential of our website being an important marketing instrument for our business.
Nowadays, we live virtual lives that are as real to us as our off-line lives. Thatâ€™s why captivating websites are vital to building an online-based business.
Does your site captivate, connect and convert your readers into customers?
Or have you made one of the eight website mistakes that wreck your marketing and drive your right people away?
The Website Thatâ€™s All About Me, Myself and I
Hereâ€™s how it goes:
About page â€“ Read all about me! Look at my pretty photo! Look at how many certificates Iâ€™ve got!
Services page â€“ Look at all of these things I do!
Oh, you get the idea. Your site is too focused on what YOU think, how YOU feel, and it never considers the perspective of the reader.
Itâ€™s like going on a first date with someone who just talks about himself. Yawn.
The same thing happens with your website if you focus on yourself rather than the people you serve. The majority of the people who come to your website may not already know you; their first date with you is the first visit.
When you speak to them and assume they already need you, they get bored.
And they leave.
They donâ€™t even have to invent an excuse; itâ€™s just one click away.
People want to hear you talk about THEM.
When you craft out your About Page or your Services Pages, talk about the solutions that you provide for your readers.
When you write a blog article, speak to THEIR desires and THEIR fears.
The Website That Overwhelms with Too Much Information
You paint in watercolour, create in ink, in pastel, in oil and in mixed media … You sell original paintings … You sell prints … You teach art classes to adults … You teach art classes to children, toddlers, even newborns … You do intuitive readings through art … You do automatic drawings … And when people start working with you, you will take them far out into the sea, immerse them in the deepest, darkest underwater cave, and teach them how to paint underwater while holding their breath.
Youâ€™ve lost me. Iâ€™m unclear what you actually do.
When you assume that people need to know everything about what you do and you jam your website with all of these information, you end up fire hosing them.
You confuse them. And confused readers donâ€™t convert into clients.
Your primary job is to clearly present ONE offer, then tell them the next step to take to work with you.
There will be people who will want to go deep with you and your work. But first you must take them to the shore and let them dip their toes in.
The DIY Website
So you know how to use Photoshop. Great! Itâ€™s a valuable skill to have. However, that does not mean you should create your own website.
Granted, there are hundreds of themes and templates that you can choose from, but for customization and a unique flair that points to YOU and your brand, you need to go the
The problem with putting together your own website is that it makes you look like an amateur. Your unique ability is not graphic design; thatâ€™s OK. You arenâ€™t here to do graphic design. You are here to do YOUR genius work.
Professional graphic artists understand how to use fonts, graphics and space effectively to communicate your branding. They get how to talk to your clients with graphics.
I believe visual graphics are an art form that canâ€™t be faked, especially if your business is reliant on the aesthetics.
Designing your own website is one mistake you cannot afford to make.
The Website Thatâ€™s Pretty On The Outside, Yet Hollow On The Inside
I see this happening a lot in the creative industry, especially with my graphic designers, design bloggers, and artist peers.
They assume that visually stimulating their readers is enough. Artists and other creative types often believe that everyone will all be impressed by our cool design and creativity.
Now, Iâ€™m not saying that we should all get websites that look boring and dowdy. The truth is, Iâ€™m all for things visually beautiful and attractive. Hey, thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m a designer.
What I am saying is that your marketing language must always be foremost in your mind. Design should support the message, not become the message.
Now I may get some hate mail from my peers, but Iâ€™ll stand firm in this, and hereâ€™s why: When you have a website that is too heavy on presentation, people get wowed by how awesome the design is.
Readers get more attracted by the design than by your service, your solutions and your business.
They get more hooked by your design than by your message.
The cool factor will wear off faster than youâ€™d think. It is your message that will keep your people revisiting your website.
Remember â€“ First Conversation, Then Presentation.
The Website Thatâ€™s Just. Too. H-E-A-V-Y.
This type of website often goes hand in hand with the last mistake I mentioned in part 1. In the quest to be cool, this type of website often includes flash animation, heavy graphics and too much pizzazz.
What happens is, that the website takes too long to download. And people just donâ€™t have the time to sit and be dazzled by all the flashiness.
When people get tired of waiting, they click away and they are gone.
And more often than not, because they donâ€™t see the value in your website other than the pretty moving parts, they arenâ€™t compelled to come back.
You want people revisit and come back for conversation. The search engines want to see regular traffic coming in to your website and engaging in it.
The Website That Still Says, â€śCopyright 2010.â€ť
You might think it is enough to simply get your website up and done. Then, you can focus on more important stuff in your business.
A website that hasnâ€™t been updated since ages tells your readers that no one cares, and no is here; itâ€™s like visiting a ghost town.
Your website is your office. Itâ€™s often the first impression prospective clients get. You want it to be alive and bustling. You want to have a community of your Right People always coming in. Your virtual office has to look like youâ€™re home and present to welcome your guests.
If your copyright says anything before 2012, or if it has been more than a couple of weeks since your latest blog post, then itâ€™s about time for a major update.
The Insider-Jargon-Spurting Website
Have you ever landed on a website, read a few sentences on their blog article, and go, â€śHeh?â€ť
The assumption here is that only the people who know you and love you visit your site. You assume they already know your jargon, and you speak to them as if they already get you.
What usually happens is that you lose the opportunity to continue the conversation with new people who donâ€™t yet get what you do. You canâ€™t welcome new, potential prospects if you use words they donâ€™t understand.
Confused readers leave. They donâ€™t stick around to figure out what you are saying.
You cannot assume people already get who you are, what you do, and understand your results. Everyone who lands on your site has the potential to become a customer. You want to make sure you reach out to those who donâ€™t yet know you or what you do.
The Website Afflicted With the Stiff Speech Syndrome
Your voice matters to your Right People.
Even if your profession requires you to don buttoned-up shirts and pantyhose, people are attracted to you because you are human.
When you make the assumption that people in your profession do not have personalities and you need to be stoic and dry at all times, what happens is your website doesnâ€™t convey your unique ability or your humanity.
Remember, money comes through people. People make important buying decisions from a place of emotions, not from their thoughts. Talk to them like you would a real person. Connect with them through their hearts.
Now that you know the eight biggest website mistakes most small-business owners do that puts a damper on their marketing, how do you then create a website that Captivates, Connects and Converts?
My free e-book — Create a Website with Intention – Captivate. Connect. Convert. — gives you a basic framework to start thinking about your website as your key marketing tool in a virtually connected world. Simply enter your name and email address below, and click Captivate!