Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

8 Common Website Problems and Solutions

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Dec 19, 2017 2:57 PM

Companies, organizations, and individuals who want to attract attention online know they need a website. Unfortunately, far too many do not know every important characteristic of one that gets traffic, converts visitors to customers or clients, and helps them succeed at their goals. See if you suffer from any of these eight common website problems and consider their solutions for a strong online presence.

Ugly, Confusing, or Out-of-Date Design

Website design has trends just like anything and while chasing the latest thing is not always the right idea, you need to stay up-to-date if you want people to look favorably upon you. How many times have you found a too flashy website that hurt your eyes or one that was so slick and artistic you struggled to find the navigation menu?

Besides using a current template with a CMS like WordPress or having a professional designer work on your site, always make sure your navigation is clear and all of the content is organized neatly. Graphics, videos, galleries, and sliders work wonders to improve appearances and interest, but a clear menu, visible links, and actual content give people what they need and want.

Low Quality or Repetitive Content

Most site visitors scan for the content they want when they visit a site. If your content gives the same fluffy information over and over, they will not trust you as an authority. Also, if it is the type of surface information found on any similar pages online, you will struggle to achieve followers or repeat customers.

Give enough fresh valuable information coupled with unique and interesting ad copy or calls to action (CTAs) to make reading worth their time. Keep it informative while interjecting some entertainment value as well.

Lack of Effective SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the cornerstone of connected, quality site marketing. Many factors like keyword choice, title and image tags, meta descriptions, on-page links, and external factors work in conjunction to boost the value of a webpage. Get an SEO audit or use CMS plugins to find problem areas and fix them.

The world of optimization encompasses vast collections of tips, tricks, methods, and solutions. Learning about all of them is the work of a lifetime, especially since they keep changing when Google updates its algorithms. Learn the best practices and implement them or hire outside help.

Slow Load Times

Twenty years ago, online users happily waited up to 10 seconds for their chosen site to load. These days, you have two or three seconds before they click or swipe away. Boost slow load times by building your site on high-quality website hosting, optimizing images, and keeping the code squeaky clean.

No Obvious Calls to Action

It is difficult to succeed online when you do not define what that success looks like. Do you want people to sign up for a newsletter, click an ad link, or purchase a product directly? The people who visit the website also need direction to take the right action that benefits them. Each page should have a clear call to action. Make them obvious but not overwhelming. Repeat the CTA in a natural and non-obnoxious way. Always tell people what you want them to do and what they get out of it.

Excessive and Complicated Signups and Forms

Although CTAs are essential to success, having too many signup links and forms to fill out can leave people feeling confused or frustrated. If you force people to enter their email address, name, or other personal information before they can see your content, they may just click away and find it somewhere else. People are increasingly anxious about spreading their data across the web these days due to all the horror stories of stolen identities.

Make your forms easy to understand with clear labels to say what data goes where. Do not ask for information you do not need and people are hesitant to share. A simple newsletter signup does not require birthday, city and state, or what job they have in most cases.

Limited Ability to Connect or Contact

A simple landing page may get your point across, but people these days want to know who they are doing business with before handing over their information and money. Whether for networking or simply putting a face to a company, the personal touch is valued. When a site visitor finds limited or no other ways to connect with you, suspicion starts to grow.

Make yourself accessible. This means you need to present visible links to social media pages where you interact with others, your blog if you have one, and contact forms or links to email you. This will not only make potential customers and clients happier, it will boost your website's SEO within a quality link network.

Not Mobile Ready and Responsive

More than 60% of polled consumers accessed the internet for shopping from mobile devices as early as 2012. On Black Friday alone in 2017, sales from smartphones and other devices made up 22% of all purchase. The numbers will continue to skyrocket. If your site is not responsive, you are missing out on not only a massive audience but also a boost in SERPs from Google.

How to fix this? The simplest way is to use a responsive web template or hire a professional designer to help. Adaptive web practices mean you have two differently designed sites for different access methods. No matter which option you choose, you want people to find you and interact comfortably with your website whether they use a 40-inch or 4-inch screen.

Avoiding these common website problems will go a long way toward creating a strong platform online where customers, clients, and interested people can get information and grow to trust you over time. Whether you run an instructional blog, a massive ecommerce mall, or just want to build a presence on the internet for your brick-and-mortar company, the solutions to these errors work to push you toward success. 

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