These days, it’s easy to get a website online. You can go to any one of the big DIY builder programs and click and create a new website. What’s not easy is knowing what to put on it, how to make it work well, figuring out how people will use it, and planning a strategy to create meaningful conversions.
Oh, did that sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo to you? It might have. And that’s okay. Probably whatever industry you work in sounds like mumbo jumbo to me! We can’t all be experts in all things.
But getting a website up is not hard, having a website that looks great and works well is another story. I see a lot of mistakes on DIY websites, things that a business owner won’t recognize but someone in the industry will. Here are the top mistakes.
Poorly organized content
This is my #1 biggest issue with DIY websites. Business owners often have zero idea where to put their content. They’ll have all the content on one page, forget an about page, forget to include important contact information and more. Or, often, they’ll have extremely thin content. Instead of having full content on all of their services, they’ll include one page with one sentence on each service. Not only is that not enough content for your users to understand your services, it’s not enough content for the search engines to understand it either.
Want someone to do something on your website? Then you need to ask them. A frequent mistake of DIY websites is that they forget to include a call-to-action. If you don’t ask the user to take the next step, they may leave your site before doing exactly what you want them to do.
When you make a website using a visual click and build editor on your computer, you are likely to forget that a lot of users are going to visit your site on their phone. Some industries more than others. For us, in 2018 to today I can say that around 12.5% of our users visited us on their phones. If your customers are more apt to search for you while on the go (such as restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations, etc, then you will likely see a higher percentage of mobile users.)
Google wants your site to be encrypted so badly that they changed their browser to say ‘NOT SECURE’ in the address bar if it’s not encrypted. (Note to Google – security and encrypted are tangent but not the same.) But if you aren’t setting up encrypted websites regularly, this little tidbit may pass you by, or you might think the hassle isn’t worth it. Google says differently.
I know this is obvious, but usually when you make a website yourself, it looks homemade. And that reflects poorly on your business. I was talking to a friend about this concept and I told her that if a potential client comes to your site and sees your site and it looks like you skimped on a pro and made it yourself, it reflects on the business and may be a red flag. If you’re cutting corners on your website, where else are you cutting corners? This is especially true if you provide a expensive services. Why should someone spend thousands of money on your services if you could afford to get a professional website?
Another often forgotten thing on DIY websites are Google Analytics, Google Search Console and your Google Business Listing. These are free tools from Google that let you monitor your traffic, your search appearance, and your spot on the map. So many DIYers forget these and they are so important.
Hiring a pro may seem expensive for something you can probably throw together yourself, but having someone who knows what they are doing and how to get the most traffic and conversions will continue to pay off time and time again.