6 Major Website FAILS
Perfecting a website is not easy. There’s a lot of i’s to dots and t’s to cross if you’re going to get everything right. But there’s a handful of instant website FAILS that have to be resolved ASAP.
1. The Site Looks Awful on Smartphones
If you don’t have a site optimized for iPhones and Droids and tablets, you’re telling 25% of your traffic you’re not interested in them. Sites that embrace “responsive design” allow them to be used on any device, large or small, and this technology is no longer new. If your website don’t have mobile mojo, you’re behind the times.
As we pointed out in a previous blog post on responsive design, this is especially troublesome since the amount of traffic from smartphones increases almost daily and the leads that come in from mobile channels are often hot ones. They are actively looking for a solution to their problem and they’re not waiting to get home to do it.
2. The Site Has No Analytics
If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing. Your site is a bland brochure that’s been run over by a bus by the side of the road. Analytics take 10 or less minutes for an experienced web person to install and are free. Google Analytics is our preferred measurement tool of choice but you can find others.
Analytics allows you to see how many visitors are coming to your site, which pages are the most popular ones, and whether or people are taking a quick look, holding their nose, and retreating immediately back to a search engine results page (assuming you rank).
3. The Site Does Not Use Title and Meta Description Tags
Optimizing for SEO requires a bottom up approach where you need to identify keywords and use them strategically throughout your site. There’s a lot of details there. Getting them all right requires a commitment and an agency to help you out.
However, two critical elements are highly visible in addition to their value for SEO: the title tag and meta description tag. Both of these are displayed on the SERP (search engine results page). They are what will intrigue the user enough to click on the link and take them to your page.
If you’re not using these tags, the way your firm shows up in Google or other engines is up for grabs. And it may not be very pretty.
4. The Site Loads Slowly
When someone pulls up your site for the first time, you have about five seconds to keep them from hitting the back button and going to your competitor. In terms of site load speeds, every second counts.
If you’re hosting on a commodity provider like Hostmonster or GoDaddy, your load times are instantly slower than if you paid for premium hosting or managed your own server. Why? So many other companies are jammed onto their servers and they’re serving thousands of requests at once.
Likewise, if your site is coded poorly, bulked up with huge images or Flash movies, or involves a lot of something known to us techies as “includes”, you’re going to lose a couple of precious seconds.
5. There’s No Way to Tell What to Do
Does your site have a clear call to action? Or are you like a lot of firms with some bland introductory text on your home page that no one reads.
You’ve gotten someone to your site. It’s quite likely that they are dead tired or have a million concerns circling around their head or are multitasking and you’re fighting for attention against tweets and emails. You need to grab the visitor by the lapels Breaking Bad-style, shake them, and throw them in the direction you want to take.
6. The Site Employs Flash
It seemed like a good idea at the time, like skinny dipping or picnics. Now however, it’s time to fess up: Flash on a website is a big mistake that you continue to pay for.
Before your beautiful flash movie has finished loading, your visitor hit the back button and found a competitor. And that’s if the movie can load at all: Flash is persona non grata on Apple devices, so say sayonara to anyone on an iPhone or an iPad.