Since I began internet marketing eight years ago, I have made many mistakes in designing and creating websites. I have compiled a list of the most costly mistakes. I’d like to share this list with you so you won’t repeat the same mistakes over and over again, over and over again, over and over again – STOP! See what I mean? Repeating can be a pain in the rear end.
Not Using WordPress to Create Your Site
When I started, I used a website creation software by the name of Netscape Composer. To be honest, I don’t even know where I got it. I think it was on a disk that was included with a computer that I purchased years ago. This was a WYSIWYG editor, aka, What You See Is What You Get. It was OK at the time, but not today. I created a website, and just hoped that I did everything I was supposed to do. Face it, if you are using this type of software today, you should also be listening to music on eight-track tapes.
Using WordPress to create your website is a no-brainer. In the opinion of this internet marketer and web designer, it is not the best way to create a website. It is the only way. WordPress will do almost everything for you. if there is something it will not do, there is a plugin available that will do it. You don’t have to worry about your website being created the right way. WordPress will do everything except kiss you on th lips. And it would not surprise me if there was a plugin to do just that.
Choosing a WordPress Theme, and Making Style Changes Right Away
If you choose a popular WordPress Theme, you will see how many times it has been used by others on the download page. For example, a very popular WordPress theme, Responsive, has been downloaded over a million times, and is used by many website owners.
Your first reaction might be something like this: “Hey, I want my website to be different!” So, you like the theme, but you want to go into the files and change the colors and styling. Don’t do this. This takes time, and it is wasted time. The good content you put on your website will make it different.
Changing your WordPress Theme Once a Month
Choose a theme and stay with it. If you change your theme, you have to make changes in the configuration so your content will adapt to the new theme. Changing themes is almost like re-creating your website from scratch. Again, this is wasted time that can be spent on more important matters. If you want to change your theme once a year, that is OK. Sometimes it is good to break the monotony. But don’t change it every month.
Not Putting a “Contact” Link on the Top of Your Website
This is one of the first things that your visitors want to see. They want to be able to contact you if they have any questions. If they have to search your website for over a minute to find it, they will just click away. I recommend putting an image in your header, like the one at the top of this website. You can also place it next to the Social Media Icons. Where ever you place it, remember it has to stand out, and your visitors must be able to find it in two seconds.
Getting Too Hung-Up on Social Media
The only reason I have Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest icons on my website is to let my visitors know that they are available. I don’t say stuff like, “Hey guys, visit my Facebook page. It is the greatest!” It only takes a few minutes to create these pages, so why not have them? People expect it. A plugin automatically posts my content to these sites, saving me a lot of time.
As for Facebook, this is a Social Media platform where old friends like to get re-acquainted and talk over old times. People don’t go to Facebook to buy products and services. In my opinion, when it comes to marketing, Facebook is not worth a dime.
Not Posting Enough Videos
Most people don’t like to read. They’d rather watch a video. I’m not recommending that every post on your website contain a video. But you should have enough videos to make your visitors happy. What I said about Facebook is not necessarily true about YouTube. This is an excellent marketing platform. It is also the second most popular search engine next to Google. Therefore, anytime you post a video on your website, upload it to YouTube
Thinking that People Care About Your Website
Don’t design and create your website with the following in mind: “Wow! People are going to love what I have done on this website!” The fact is, people don’t give a damn what your website looks like. If it’s ugly, so what? Three of the most successful websites are, Craigslist, EzineArticles and The Million Dollar Homepage. In my opinion, they are also three of the ugliest websites I have ever seen. So you see, people like ugly websites.
Putting Web Design Before Content
You can get so hung-up on how your website looks, that you can forget your real purpose. What will make your website attractive and stand out? The answer is, posting content that people want to see.
Your website must be created for three reasons: Solve a Problem, Solve it Fast and Make it Easy to Solve. With this in mind, there are four reasons people visit websites:
- They want valuable information
- They want to purchase something (or make a donation)
- They want to be entertained
- They want to be part of a community.
Not Having a “Call to Action”
When people visit your website, you want them to do something – take action. This can be, purchasing a product, downloading a free ebook or registering for a webinar, This can be a text link or an image link, and can be placed anywhere on your website. If you don’t have a call to action, what’s the point of having a website?
Letting Web Design Get in the Way of the Sale
Do less web design and MORE MARKETING. Can you imagine a copier salesman walking into the CEO’s office at General Motors? As he introduces himself, the CEO says, “We need a copier. I’ll take one.” Then, imagine the copier salesman saying to the CEO, “Wait, I haven’t finished my presentation.” The same applies to websites.
When you finish the design or your website, start marketing it. This is the time for selling and making money. This is not the time to have an ego. An ego will destroy your business. Get your website built up, make lots of money, and then you can have an ego.
Creating Links that Lead Nowhere
When someone clicks on one of the links on your website, the last thing you want them to see is, “Page Not Found.” This is bad navigation. The search engines will not like this, and neither will your visitors.
Getting Hung Up with Animated and Flashing Images
It’s OK to use an animated image every once in a while, but don’t overdo it. It is tacky, and it makes your website look cheep. You may think that they will attract more attention to your visitors. They will, but your visitors will be turned off by them. Besides, animated images don’t look as good as regular images.
Not Posting a Description of Your Website
For established and successful websites, this is not that important. But for your website, it is. When people visit your site, they want to know what it is all about. WordPress will make this easier for you by posting the description in your website’s header. However, you have to configure it.
Going Crazy with Wild Color Schemes
Don’t spend too much time experimenting with different colors that will make your site look good. If you get too hung up on this, you may choose a wild color mix that will scare visitors away. Your website has to be easy on the eyes.
Trying to Get Your Website Perfect
Forget this. This is not going to happen. No matter how good your website is, in your mind, it will never be perfect. If you keep striving for perfection, you will spend you entire internet marketing career designing your website.
Having Internet Marketing Guru’s Review Your Website
Trust you own judgement. Don’t ever have someone in your business give you an opinion on your website. There are two reasons why I discourage this:
- If the opinion you want is from a competitor, naturally he is going to tell you that your site is bad. He wants you to spend all of your time designing and re-designing your website.
- Someone may tell you that your website is bad, hoping that you will pay them to re-design and re-create it for you.
Getting Discouraged About What People Tell You
If someone tells you, “This is the worst website I have ever seen”, don’t listen to them. This is just an opinion. You know your website is good. Don’t believe everything you hear, because over half of it is not true.
Getting Too Hung Up About SEO
If you read something online about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the first question you will ask is, “Did I do this right?” Then, you spend half a day trying to find out what you did and didn’t do. Don’t do this. If you are using WordPress, which you should be doing anyway, your website will be just fine.