7 Common Website Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Fixing Mistakes on Your Websites

If you have a website, either a personal one or one for your business, you may be wondering why you aren't getting the traffic you expected. Website design is constantly changing and evolving as the end user (the viewer) is getting more web savvy and less patient. We, as users, have seen badly designed websites and I don't know about you but they get approximately two minutes of my time before I click the cross in the top right corner to close the page and look elsewhere for my information.

Let's look at some of the mistakes which could be turning your viewers away and what you can do to get them back.

Website design

1. Clear the Clutter

Have you ever been on a website where the landing page had so many boxes of text, pictures, and ads that you just couldn't see anything for looking? I see this a lot on blogs. It's as though the blogger wants to make sure we see everything all at once.

This isn't the way to do it.

The landing page of your website is the same as a window in a store. You want to display your best and lure your reader in further to explore. Get your viewer to take a look at more pages, keep them on your site, let them get comfortable with your style and gain their respect. They will then return for more information and if not the first time, they will eventually buy from you. Build a relationship with them and they will not only use your site, they will share it with others.

Just as word of mouth advertising was the best type in a bricks and mortar store, the same holds true on the internet. Knowing that someone else likes your site, encourages other to take a look.

Introduction to SEO with Google Webmaster Tools: An Unofficial Guide for Google Search Console
Introduction to SEO with Google Webmaster Tools: An Unofficial Guide for Google Search Console

This little book is a gem. With a weekly checklist it's an easy to use kick in the pants which every website owner needs.

Not one of those confusing and complicated manuals designed for those with a degree in website design (or rocket science). This explains everything you need to know about how to effectively use the Google tools to maximize your site's potential. Unlike all those black hat techniques, which Google eventually discovers and destroys, this shows you how to work within Google's framework.

Currently priced at less than a dollar, it is a perfect solution.

 

2. High Quality Images Get Shared

There has been a big shift in website design as people's attention span has become shorter. They will no longer tolerate blocks of text which resemble a university text book. Your viewer wants to see text interspersed with large clear images which pertains to the topic. For your website, always use a high quality image.

The importance of excellent images can't be stressed enough as a strong image will get shared across social media sites. Think about it for a minute, if you use Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, which posts do you click on? I know I always go for one which has an interesting photo. Give your site the opportunity to go viral by using a fantastic photo.

3. We can't read it

I have a pet peeve with websites I can't read. I don't care how great the information is, I don't want to struggle to see it. This could be for a few different reasons. It could be the contrast of the text. If you have a dark background opt for a light text and vice versa. Also consider the age of your viewer. Huh? I am serious, let me tell you a little story.

I grew up in a family of game players. We were always playing cards, board games and dice games. One of our favorites was one called Password. In this game you had a blue vinyl sleeve into which you slid a cardboard sheet which had the obscured words on it. Only by looking through a red plastic window on this sleeve could you see the word you would be playing with. From about 40 years of age my mother, and then my sisters and myself all had to contort our heads and search for the perfect light to see the word through this red plastic window.

The moral of the story is don't use shades of dark red if your website might have visitors over the age of 40 as they find it difficult to see.

4. Choose a Clear Font

The color of the text isn't the only problem, the choice of font is also critical. Depending on the type of website you have, select a simple and professional looking font. Keep your swirly and script fonts for birthday cards and wedding invitations. If you want your website to look professional and to relate a clear cut business message, make sure your font is up to the job. There is a reason newspapers use the fonts they do, they're legible. Don't forget the size of the text is important also. Unless you are an optician and are trying to drum up business, increase the size of your text. I'll explain more about the need for this in the following section

5. Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?

How many people do you know with a Smartphone or tablet? I suspect quite a few. Many of these people will also be using these devices for viewing websites such as yours. How does your website appear on a cell phone or other mobile device. If you have just shrugged your shoulders, shame on you.

If you have built your own website, most programs give you the option to view your site on a traditional screen or on a mobile screen. When you make changes to your website, you should be checking both of these views to be certain that it looks fantastic on both and works well on both. If you have ads clumped together when it is viewed using mobile devices, perhaps it is time to give your site a face lift. Over half of the web viewers are accessing via these devices, and this trend doesn't seem to be ebbing. Can you afford to disregard half your potential client base?

Use Google mobile friendly test to check if your site is okay

Google will downgrade your site if it isn't mobile friendly. Here again the size of the text is important as are the spaces between the text. If your links are too close together they aren't clickable. The pad of an adult human finger is 10mm or a little less than ½ an inch and you need to take this into account when spacing your text or links. Why frustrate your reader by making links too close together for them to click.

If content is king ~ then traffic is queen.

6. Does Google see you?

Have you ever checked for your website and given up after say, page 7, 8, or 9? Have you verified your site with Google yet? It could be they haven't found you. Type in site:yourwebsitename

This will show which pages of yours have been found by Google. You can use the Google console tools to verify your account and check for crawler errors. For some people Google's description of how to use their tools is confusing. Near the top of this page is a link to an e-book which costs about a dollar which will guide you through using the tools provided by Google.

7. Update Broken Links

As a user, don't you hate finding a broken link? After searching through the internet you finally find something which is useful and you click on the link only to find it is no longer there. It is frustrating. Don't let this happen on your site as it leads to dissatisfaction for your reader. Check your site for broken links. These could be links to pages which are no longer online or have been moved to another location.

One of the best ways to ensure you don't have broken links is to keep you website updated. It isn't just your customers who don't like out of date information, Google doesn't either. If your site is chocked full of ineffectual links, and out of date information, then it really isn't much good. Updating the information keeps your readers returning and pushes you higher in search engine rankings, which in turn leads to more traffic.



Update frequency

How frequently do you update your site?

  • I update weekly.
  • About once a month
  • When I remember
  • I don't update, it's perfect the way it is.
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Comments 41 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

Very helpful, Mary! I'm tech-challenged, so any advice from a pro such as yourself is greatly appreciated. Some of these directly applied to me, so off I go to do some fine-tuning.

Have a wonderful week ahead!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Bill,

I think fine tuning as you say, can help. Updating can be time consuming but it is time well spent.

Thanks for reading and have a great week .


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 10 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

I share your pet peeve about sites that are hard to read. The ones I hate most are those with small, white characters against a black, or worse, gray background. Those sites make me wonder what could possibly be in their owners' heads. When I come on one of those, 99% of the time I just keep moving. If I just have to have that info, I'll copy and paste it into Word so I can read it.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Ron,

Copying and pasting into a word document is an excellent solution to a common problem.

I too wonder if owners look at their sites as a member of the public would.

I think ego comes into play. Some website developers feel they want to great something 'different' but alas that doesn't always make it useful.

Thank you for your visit today.


farmloft profile image

farmloft 10 months ago from Michigan

My pet peeve is when the links are too close and I end up on a page that I didn't want to see and then I can't get back because the link is loading slowly if at all


MsDora profile image

MsDora 10 months ago from The Caribbean

This is very helpful. I do hate websites with fancy fonts and myriads of colors--well, I'm way over 50. Hope the offenders read and heed your very sensible suggestions. Thanks!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hello Farm Loft,

I agree with you. I think many website owners were caught out with the rapid rise of smartphones and tablets and now need to rework their sites to adapt them.

Thanks for you insight.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 10 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Hi Mary,

Thanks for writing this very helpful hub. The information will come in handy and is appreciated.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Ms Dora,

You are not alone, some websites leave me more confused than informed.

I too hope those offenders read it and make the necessary changes.

Wonderful to hear from you.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 10 months ago from Mississauga, ON

Hi Mary,

This is a very informative hub. I don't have a website, but I am applying it to my hubpages homepage and to my Facebook public page.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Phyllis,

You're very welcome. I am pleased you've found it useful.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Suhail,

Glad you found it useful. I think it is a great idea applying it to all web presences.

Thanks for reading.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 10 months ago from Stillwater, OK

From what you have said, I think my Google+ site is all right. I do get world wide views, so I must be going in the right direction(I hope). Great information!


drbj profile image

drbj 10 months ago from south Florida

Excellent tips, Mary, and I call the little Google tools book you recommended the Blogger's Bible. Thanks for reminding me.


DDE profile image

DDE 10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A useful hub and informative. I learned more about website pages. I don't have a domain as yet. I am working hard on it and with your useful tips will keep it up and running in time.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Avian Novice,

It sounds like you are on the right track, keep up the good work.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 10 months ago from England

This is so useful, thank you! and yes I am lazy sometimes and my other sites need updating....lol! great information and something I will come back to, thanks, nell


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Nell,

Glad you found it useful. I think it is easy to let sites slide and not update them as frequently as we should.

Great to hear from you.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

I wish I can really be regular but my life i snot. We keep travelling and I can't really be consistent. However, enough rationalizing and just do the work. Thanks for the tips.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Mary,

I think many of us have the same problem, just finding enough time. It can be a juggling act. It is difficult to decide which is a better use of our time, updating existing material or the creation of new. Tweaking , creating, researching all takes time.

Thanks for reading.


mpropp profile image

mpropp 10 months ago from Minnesota

I have created a website through wordpress, using their .com, but with my own domain name. I haven't tried to drive any traffic to it yet, since I'm not ready to launch, but I found this article very helpful and instructive. And thank you for showing me how to make sure that google has found me!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 10 months ago from Brazil Author

You're very welcome. Good luck with your new site.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 9 months ago from New Delhi, India

This is indeed very useful and informative hub!

Most of us do commit the website mistakes that you mention above. On line writing is not about just writing on your favourite topic but getting traffic is very important.

Thank you for the helpful tips. Pinning and sharing on HP!


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very useful tips for website management and increasing traffic. Thanks for it.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 9 months ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. I have considered starting my own website/blog but have not yet taken the plunge. These tips will come in very handy when I do. Part of my reluctance to start my own site is two fold, lack of time and fear that no one will show up to read. You have given me some great tips to help with half of my problem :) Thanks, great job.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 9 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Bill,

Time is a big factor for many of us. We look at what it takes to build a website and then keep it updated and wonder if it is worth our time.

It is quite inexpensive to try and see how it goes. Remember, if your material isn't time sensitive, then each time you add an article, it is another step forward for your chance at passive income. Even if you can add only one post a week it will soon add up.

Good luck and thanks for your visit.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 9 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

These are all very useful and helpful hints for improving a website. I am sharing this with Hubpage followers.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 9 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Paul,

I am glad you found them useful, thanks for reading and sharing. Have a great day.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 9 months ago from Brazil Author

Hello Chitrangada,

You're right, traffic is necessary if one wants to make money from this. Without traffic, it is merely a journal. I think we need a combination of a topic we find interesting and something the general public is looking for.

Thanks for your comment and sharing, it's much appreciated.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 8 months ago from South Africa

Thanks for these tips, Blond. I just bought Introduction to SEO with Google Webmaster Tools: An Unofficial Guide for Google Search Console. I hope to learn a lot!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

I am just now developing a new website with a professional helping me. He verified everything you just wrote on this hub. I am looking forward to learning the process and moving forward.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 8 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Peggy,

I think anything new can be a bit daunting at first. Plus it doesn't help that Google keep changing things either. But to be found, we have to do it. Good luck with your new site and thanks for your visit.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 7 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Blond Logic, I couldn't help but reread this excellent hub on website mistakes. I was first introduced to some of these mistakes when I made PowerPoint presentations 10-15 years ago. I am sharing this hub with HP followers and Facebook followers.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 7 months ago

This is an outstanding article that will help me a lot while I'm getting started with my new blog. Thank you so much.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 7 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your continued support. I believe the role of content creators, has changed. Now it isn't just about writing, but also marketing which of course encompasses being 'found' on the internet. Without knowing the ins and outs of SEO, and Google tactics, even the best articles seldom rise to the top of the pile.

Thanks for sharing.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 7 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Timetraveler

I'm so pleased you found it useful. Thanks for reading.


Doctor Kristy profile image

Doctor Kristy 6 months ago from Australia

Such great points. It's so true about how using high quality photographs can make a big difference Pinterest members are a content-hungry bunch, but only for websites with nice pinnable pictures!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 6 months ago from Brazil Author

Hi Doctor Kristy,

You're right, images can encourage people to stay on a side much longer and help with sharing across all social media sites. Pinterest is a powerful site, I have been pleasantly surprised with the traffic it brings to my pages.

Thanks for reading and glad you found it helpful.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Mary. A tip top hub informative and easy to understand. Thank you.

Graham.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

I remember that game, Password, so I know what you mean Mary. That was a good analogy to make it clear how bad the use of red shades is on a website.

Many times I discover a website that I feel like leaving very quick because of irritability on the eyes. That includes issues with text font and size a short well.

As a website developer myself, I pay attention to what is bothering me when I react to other sites that way. It's a great learning experience to know what to avoid when designing one.

You gave a lot of good tips, and mobile friendliness is the latest of what's important. I noticed that over 80% of my traffic is from mobile devices these days. When I write my hubs, I make sure it looks good for mobile. HP makes it easy to check since they have the mobile preview in the hubtool.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 4 weeks ago from Brazil Author

I do the same with websites, I analyze what is good and what I don't like.

With 80% of your visitors using a mobile device, that is too many people to ignore.

For designing, what worked before doesn't necessarily work today. I think it is easy to get caught in a rut, so constantly reviewing new ideas and finding better ways of making a site more user friendly and useful is critical.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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