12 Mistakes You’re Making on Your Website (and how to avoid them)

Rita Pereira
October 18, 2023
 min read

Websites are crucial for small business owners as they allow you to showcase your business, increase leads and gain customers. However, since only a few people (if not only one, the business owner) have the task of managing the business website and understanding how to take the best out of it, optimising its features on a constant basis may turn out to be a complex process. If you’re in this position, we advise you to continue reading.

From image and copy sizes to SEO-specific terms, our Performance Team recognised 12 different mistakes that are recurrent in many small business websites. To help you out, we have gathered all of them in a full list and addressed how you can avoid them. Let’s start!

1. Not enough copy

Does your website have a clear explanation of what your product is? Well, if you’re not sure, it is worth checking it again!

Insignificant or not enough copy meaning text describing your product with the goal of advertising it — are two issues our performance specialists addressed as problematic when it comes to making the most out of your online campaigns.

When explaining your products you need to have in mind the person who’s behind the screen and meeting them for the first time. That’s why you should explain what you offer in the most objective and clear way possible. Also, your copy should try to answer these questions: How many services do you offer? What are their characteristics? Why should people buy your product and not the one from your competitor (why is your product different from theirs)?

Leadzai’s main page starts by explaining the product clearly and objectively.

How can you avoid this?

  • Take a look at the questions you receive the most and try to answer them in your copy. You can even use your FAQ section or the questions that come up more on your social media accounts;
  • Ask someone who doesn’t know your product to read your website and see what questions came up. These may be the same as your potential customers have!

2. Lack of Keywords

Keywords are your best friends when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation! When you write any piece of text, you always need to make sure the words you’re using are the most suitable to help you reach your target audience. This is a decisive factor in both organic and paid search, so it’s definitely a step to consider when creating any type of content on your website, whether it’s when writing your About section, the presentation of your services or products, your online store or even a blog post.

How can you avoid this?

  • Think about the specific terms your community or your customers use to describe a certain product or service. For instance, if you’re an event planner, instead of always using the word planner on your copy, you can opt for the words organiser or services.
  • Use tools to help you find the best keywords for your copy. With apps like Answer the Public, Semrush Magic Tool, and Thesaurus.com, you will be able to see the topics and words people search for the most and use them to reach your target audience.

3. Misspelt Words

Who has never siwtcehd a lteter? We’re human, so that happens all the time to everybody! However, when it comes to presenting your business to unknown audiences, we advise you to be extra careful. It’s not very hard to understand that having spelling mistakes in the text immediately conveys a sloppy impression of your business — if you didn’t pay attention to detail, you didn’t spend enough time and effort writing, so maybe you don’t care that much about the way your product is perceived or even about the product itself… yes, it escalates quickly.

Also, bad writing can’t possibly help you get higher on search engines’ search ranking or even get a good ads performance: if the word is incorrect, how will it be recognised, right?

How can you avoid this?

  • Step 1: Start by writing your copy on Google Docs. The system will automatically correct your spelling mistakes.
  • Step 2: Upload it on Grammarly. This amazing (free) app will not only track misspelt words but also correct your grammar and even give you feedback on the quality of your writing!

4. Images Sizes

Now it’s time to talk about images. A good business website always needs high-quality and appealing images to showcase their products or services in the best way. Normally people only think of adding pictures of their products, but there are many, many types of images you can add: your logo, icons on a shopping process, pictures showcasing your products, of your physical store (if you have one), or of people trying on your products…

Whichever pictures you choose, you always need to be mindful of their sizes. When uploading them, you need to make sure they are just the right fit: not too big — make sure it doesn’t occupy the whole screen so the user doesn’t need to scroll endlessly — but also not too small — make sure the image is clear so the user can understand what is being portrayed. Images with the wrong sizes make your website’s bounce rate go off, which will harm your overall website performance.

How can you avoid this?

  • Search the recommended size images for your business website. Use the Support field on the chosen platform to get the best results;
  • Use online tools to resize your images, like SimpleImageResizer or Adobe Express.

5. Use of stock images

Do you use stock images on your website? Well, even if in the short term they may be a good solution, in the long term we advise you not to use them.

Even if you feel their quality is high and the costs are low (you can easily find them for free on the internet) the fact is: they are not pictures of your product or your business — so you will never be communicating your product in the best way.

Actually, according to our performance team, the majority of the time stock images appear as impersonal and unreliable. Users don’t feel as comfortable with them as they do when watching authentic pictures of you, your employees, and, of course, your product! Also, any company can use them so your reputation can be put into question.

How can you avoid this?

  • Always use real pictures — even if it’s your own! Nowadays, smartphones already have amazing cameras that allow you to take high-quality resolution pictures so you may take advantage of that.
  • Contact the services of professional photographers. A corporate photoshoot may cost you some money, but it will be worth it. You can use those pictures in more ways than you may think at first: as part of your website design, to showcase your products, as your online ads images, or to promote your business in the local press.

6. Unappealing Design

Is your website keeping up with the trends? The web is constantly evolving and so should your online home! Updating it is important not only when it comes to copy and pictures but also regarding your layout.

Having your website exactly like it was 10 years ago may give the impression your business is outdated, especially compared to your competitors. Besides that, an outdated look will lead to a poor user experience, which will certainly harm your engagement and conversion rates.

How can you avoid this?

  • Take inspiration from good examples that use the same website builder as you and use it as an example. Did you know Beyoncé, Mercedes-Benz, Time Magazine, and The Walt Disney Company all use WordPress websites?
  • Search for general modern website design examples to understand what makes them so appealing. You can even take a look at your website’s favourite brands! What colours do they use? What’s their background picture? How many menu and Call to Action buttons are there? How are all of these elements combined?

7. Lack of responsiveness

Computers, mobile phones, tablets… With so many devices we use to access the Internet, having your web content fully optimised to fit different devices is evermore crucial to any business! The stats prove it: in 2022, 60,66% of the traffic came from mobile phones and 39,34% came from desktops and tablets.

According to our Performance team, not having a responsive website will look unprofessional and unreliable, damaging your brand’s reputation.
Your customers will most likely get confused and won’t be able to find what they are looking for, which will, of course, make them give up on your business and go find it on your competitors.

How can you avoid this?

  • Switch to the mobile and tablet versions of the webpage while creating content. If your website doesn’t have this feature, use its Support option to learn tips on how to do it. For example, WordPress has specific templates to help you create a responsive website.
  • Use tools to help you understand the responsiveness of your website, like Responsive Design Checker and ViewPort Resizer.

8. Lack of CTAs

A Call to Action (CTA) is a short copy sentence with imperative verbs to instigate the user to perform a specific action. It can be found in hyperlinks or buttons and once or several times through a web page.

These small actions are so important because they help the user understand what to do. When the user encounters a call to action, he is in the Consideration stage — remember our last blog post? — and in many cases, the CTA is the action that allows him to jump to the Decision stage.

How can you avoid this?

  • Step 1: Think about your goal with each piece of content. Understand the message you want to convey on a certain page, then create your copy. After reviewing it, think and test the words and buttons that are possible to create and add your Call To Action.
  • Step 2: Add CTAs in your sales pages and ads like Buy Now, Shop Now, Book Now, Register Now and Add to Cart to get real conversions. If your goal is to talk directly to people and guide them in other types of actions, like navigating on your website, you can use Discover more, Learn More Here, Check it out, or Swipe right/left.
The Leadzai Pricing subpage includes two Calls to Action.

9. Change Language Inconsistencies

Does your website language option work smoothly? Well, if you haven’t checked it for some time, we advise you to do it. Language inconsistencies are one issue our campaign managers added to our list of mistakes that happen often on small business websites!

According to them, some of the most common are related to the Change Language option. Three main mistakes are happening with it:

  • Not working (at all);
  • Being in a different language than the selected one (Just imagine being Spanish, in the Spanish Version finding the content in Arabic…);
  • Images with texts written in the same language in all versions of the website (oops!)

How can you avoid this?

  • Always check if the change language option is working. You can do this once in a while, every 6 months, for example, when you review your website;
  • Don’t forget to create images with text in all the languages you have available on your website. If you miss this step, you will not convey the message to your potential customers, which may make you lose them.

10. Not enough Subpages

Subpages are the ‘children’ of the main pages of your website. Not having them can be highly prejudicial for your business in two ways:

  • In your website’s overall appearance: can you imagine having all the information about your company on a single page? It would be a big mess, for sure. Having subpages will help you separate information into groups and, therefore, convey your products in the most presentable and user-friendly way possible.
  • In online advertising: the lack of subpages limits the optimisation of the campaigns, namely, the number of sitelinks that can be inserted into your ads. The more information you have grouped cohesively together, the better your online campaigns will perform in apps like Leadzai.

How can you avoid this?

  • Define a plan for what content you need to share with your audience. Group the topics together, write the copy and then create a subpage on your business website for each.

11. Lack of optimisation of Title Tags, Meta Descriptions & Alternative Texts

These three important SEO terms are intertwined and it’s important you know them because they help you optimise your business website. In simple terms:

  • A Title Tag is the sentence that appears on search engines describing what your website’s page is about — these are the blue letters you see on a Google Search. It appears on your page’s title bar and is the name of your page when someone adds it to their Favourites list;
  • A Meta Description tag is a text that appears on a search engine below your title tag — the grey letters below the blue title tag. This information allows the user to understand what that page is about and if it corresponds to the user’s interest.
  • The Alternative Text is a written description added to images that helps convey the message. It helps the user in two specific situations: in the case he is blind or visually impaired or when there is a problem in displaying the file.

TechCrunch's example on Google Search.

How can you avoid this?

  • Check out your SEO features in the back office of your page. Make sure your Title Tag is a sentence with a clear message on what you wish to communicate to the user. Your Meta Description should support the title, by adding extra and useful information on what you wish to convey. The Alternative Text shouldn’t be forgotten and also define clearly what is being pictured in the image, as well as its relevance regarding the text information that’s around it. Take Techcrunch’s example for the first two: through the title, we understand clearly that this is a news website about startup and technology news and its meta description adds extra information on the topics the website covers.

12. Lack of Valuable Content

Creating useful and free content on your website is a great way of improving your search results, gaining authority for your business, and reaching new customers! Despite being so important and talked about, the lack of valuable content on websites is still a mistake our Campaign Managers pointed out as common on small business websites.

Content Marketing can be produced in different formats — through text (copy, blog posts), audio (podcasts are a trend nowadays), or video (short videos appear on Tik Tok and Instagram Reels and longer ones are great for Youtube or Vimeo).

How can you avoid this?

  • Use your services’ popularity and your FAQ for content. Let’s imagine you have a refurbishment business: if you have a high demand for kitchen remodelling in your local area, maybe it’s useful for SEO purposes to create content on that service. If you are just starting your business, you can search on Google for your services and it will automatically give you suggestions.
  • Think about what types of information you can share to help a potential customer. Besides only sharing your services and prices, help the user by showing how your company does it — do a Before and After of a house transformation — or share tips on how to do a popular service. On the theme How to remodel a kitchen, you can create content like What’s the right order to remodel a kitchen? How to remodel a kitchen on a budget, How Long Does it Take to rebuild a kitchen?

Now that all the 12 mistakes have been unveiled, it’s time to put in the work. Check your website, do all the necessary changes, and wait for your business to skyrocket!

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