These days, everyone has a website. Some are effective, others not so much. If you have a website or are considering building one, watching out for these five common mistakes could make the difference between success and frustration.

Mistake #1 – Being unintentionally self-absorbed.
Nothing makes your company or organization get lost in the shuffle faster than an egotistical website. What does that mean, exactly? It’s a common, common problem. In fact, so common that we’re giving it the #1 ranking on our list. 

So, what is an egotistical website, you ask? It’s a website that’s all about you. Our people, our processes, our services, our blah, blah, blah. Guess what? There are dozens of other companies with nice people that do exactly what you do.

Don’t fall in love with yourself or your products. Fall in love with your customers and the happy ending they experience when your products and services help them solve their problem. 

Think about it – what’s more engaging – a photo of a running shoe or a photo of a triumphant runner crossing the finish line surrounded by a cheering crowd? How about a pile of coffee beans versus two friends sipping delicious coffee and laughing out loud?

Always focus on the end result. The aspirational conclusion of working with you or buying your product.

Simply put, put the customer first. Everything, I mean everything, from the arrangement of the nav, to the messaging and the photos, even the hierarchy of the content on the page, matters.

Mistake #2 – No call to action.

People are inherently passive. Many will move past your offer without taking action unless you directly ask them to. They don’t want to have to think about how to engage with you. Many websites don’t have them at all, or if they do, most are terrible.

What makes a winning CTA? Make it easy. Make it a no-brainer. Make it active. And, make it personal.

CTAs like “Learn More” or “Click Here” are not compelling and don’t drive action. CTAs like “Sign Up Today” or “Get My Free Trial” make it very clear how you want your visitor to engage and it will result in more clicks and business.

Mistake #3 – Make it easy to understand.

Less is more. People are busy. Their eyeballs and brains are busy. We are all in survival mode most of the time. If you make your website too full, too wordy, or too cluttered most people will pass you by. It simply requires too much energy to figure out what you do and if you might be the right solution for their problem.

There is a place for more detailed content, but it’s not the home page or whatever you’re using for your first impression. A clear brand and simple messaging will win the day.

Mistake #4 – Make it responsive and make it fast.

Google rewards sites that load quickly and perform well on all platforms, especially mobile. With more than half of all website visits happening on mobile devices, you simply cannot afford to miss this one. It’s amazing how many websites still don’t read well or perform efficiently on mobile. Test your website on mobile early and often. Your visitors will thank you with more clicks and more leads.

Mistake #5 – Use video and photos to connect on a human level.

Today, consumers have dozens, if not hundreds, of options for the services you offer. It’s more important than ever to connect on a personal level. People do business with people. More specifically, people they know, like, and trust. Videos and photos are the best way to connect and engage.

Media is a great way to show your personality. Are your people friendly, funny, focused? Show your processes. Do you wear booties when you enter a home? Do you wash your customer’s car after a car service? Show courtesy and professionalism. Do your people smile when they greet their customers? Do your kids get a surprise at the end of their dental visit? Do you place a mint on your hotel customer’s pillow?

The companies that connect well on a human level will win the most business. Guaranteed.

These are just a few tips to get your website turned around in a hurry. For more valuable content that will help your organization win, subscribe to our newsletter, or connect at hello@grove9.com.