As a website owner, your dream is to rank high on search engines, attract tons of traffic and enjoy increased conversions. But, to get to this point, you will need to work hard, learn new things and definitely make a few mistakes along the way.
However, there are mistakes and there are mistakes. Some mistakes can easily be corrected, so that they won’t hurt the success of your website, while others can completely derail your growth plans. If you are looking at building a website to help you grow into an industry leader, try to avoid these 5 critical mistakes.
Complex website design
One of the fastest ways to turn visitors away from your website is to use a complex design. When visitors arrive at your website, they come because they feel they will get the information they are looking for quickly and without hassle. They come expecting to see a website that provides ease of navigation, readable content and the optimum user experience. However, when your website is full of complex elements, unimportant details and heavy files, you are providing a less than optimum user experience that will only succeed in making them lose interest and jump over to the next site on their list. A bad user experience is one of the common causes of page abandonment, and can ultimately destroy your online business if not corrected.
There is the right way to do SEO and there is the wrong way. Doing SEO the right way will increase your page ranking, drive more traffic to your website, boost sales and conversions and help your business get stronger. Doing SEO the wrong way will result in your website getting penalised by Google, even though you may enjoy the benefits initially. These SEO techniques that can harm your site are known as blackhat SEO.
Website owners employ these tactics to make their site ranks higher in SERPs but, while these techniques do yield results, they are increasingly frowned upon by Google. Common blackhat SEO techniques include keyword stuffing and backlink buying. If Google finds that your website is guilty of blackhat techniques, you stand the risk of losing your page ranking, getting removed from the search index and even removed from Google servers if you are hosted by them.
Too many plugins
Plugins are tiny code files that extend the functionality of a website. With the right plugin, you can build anything from a simple blog to more complex ecommerce installations. WordPress is one of the platforms that allows users to install as many plugins as they want. But, while installing plugins on your website will provide countless benefits, overdoing it can be counterproductive.
Having too many plugins on your website can compromise a lot of things such as the speed and security of your website - a problem that can affect the success of your SEO. Today, internet users expect websites to be lightning fast. In fact, the current speed expectation for websites is 4 seconds. If your website cannot meet this speed expectation, you will surely lose traffic. Why not take a minute to check if your website is fast enough by using Google’s PageSpeed insights and, if it isn’t, consider if there are plugins that you can remove from your site to free up resources.
Too many ads
Many website owners jump at the opportunity to make money off their websites. In fact, for most people, especially bloggers, the idea of monetisation and making profit is the sole drive behind their blogging. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of making money from your site, however, if you go overboard in your monetisation efforts, you will end up ruining things for your site users.
Many bloggers, in a bid to earn more, make the mistake of placing too many ads on their sites. Ads and pop-ups have the counterproductive effect of distracting your visitors, delaying and frustrating their efforts in getting the information they need on your site. It is no wonder Ethan Zukerman, who invented pop-up ads all those years ago, now feels they were not such a good idea. If you must monetise your website, do it in a way that doesn’t affect the service and quality of your site.
Failing to backup
When you fail to create a backup system for your website, you are leaving your site open to destruction. What will happen in the event of a server failure and the loss of all the files on your site? Or if you suffer a security breach and all your site content gets compromised or lost?
It is your responsibility as a site owner to ensure that your website is backed up periodically. This way, should something go wrong, you will have a fall-back plan. A lot of web hosting companies provide backup services as part of their customer service, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have your own backup options. There are several backup tools you can use to download copies of your site to your local system or you can do it directly via the control panel of your website.
According to Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and even the most well-planned project can go awry. However, the fact that things are likely to go wrong is no reason not to take precautions. If you don’t want your website efforts to be in vain, try as much as you can to avoid the 5 mistakes covered in this article and you will create a website that can compete with any other in your industry.