You finally did it — you devoted your precious time, energy, and passion to the creation of your blog or website. You’ve logged hours creating an online shop, optimizing your SEO, or creating a portfolio. There are so many logistics that go into building your own website, and you should be super proud of yourself for the steps you’ve taken to get where you are.
But even after the initial creation, it’s super important to stay on top of the maximization of your website. Squarespace, a website building and hosting platform, is the best choice for the creation, management, and optimization of your website (Use the coupon code “EVERYGIRL17” for 10% off your first Squarespace purchase!). From ready-to-customize templates to get you started all the way to personalized support every step of the way, Squarespace makes all that time and energy both efficient and fruitful. So have you done everything you can to ensure that your site is as efficient, user-friendly, and functional as possible? To be sure, run through this checklist of the ten most common mistakes people make on their websites (and how our friends at Squarespace can help you fix them!).
1. Your branding isn’t cohesive.
It doesn’t matter how many hours you spent teaching yourself PhotoShop — if your self-made branding isn’t cohesive with the rest of your site, marketing, products, and services, it won’t perform as well as it could. Thankfully, there are few steps you can take to make the most of your branding efforts. First of all, stick to only 2-3 fonts total (a good rule of thumb is to have one script font maximum, then one serif font and one san serif font) and about three theme colors. (Check out more font and color selecting tips in Squarespace’s support section.) Ensure that your logos are aesthetically appealing and simple and that their coloring matches that of your brick-and-mortar location and/or physical marketing materials. Not sure how to do this? Squarespace has countless amounts of templates for you to choose from — you’re sure to find the one that matches your brand’s goals flawlessly. Not quite sure what your branding goals are yet? There’s a template for that too. Choose a template out of the many to choose from, then build your brand from there.
2. Your site isn’t optimized for mobile.
You put so much hard work into the design of your site, and when you open it on a computer, it looks flawless. But wait, what happens when you open your site on a mobile device or tablet? Many other sites offer templates and designs that don’t transfer well over onto mobile Internet, so your site becomes less user-friendly and more frustrating. To avoid this common mistake, choose a ready-made template from Squarespace — they’re all optimized for both desktop and mobile. It saves time, and it provides a fully functional for visitors both at home and on the go (and Squarespace does all the coding heavy lifting for you — how simple is that?).
3. There’s no clear call to action.
Without an evident next step, your site’s visitors will leave empty-handed. One of the best things you can do for your site (and your business) is to offer visitors an incentive of any kind (Call now for a quote, Visit our Instagram to see the latest photos, Sign up for our e-mail newsletter, or schedule an appointment).
4. Your contact info is hard to find.
Regardless of if you’re trying to build a customer base, foster client relationships, sell a product, or offer a service, the most important thing you can do is to establish a point of communication with your site’s visitors. Ideally, visitors will have an easy way to contact you or your colleagues should they have questions, concerns, or just want to say hello. Choose a template that features a “Contact” tab in the main menu, or add your contact info to the header or footer of each page. Contact information should be clearly marked, easily accessible, and simple to navigate.
5. Your site features broken links.
An old category, deleted blog posts, or a link to a page that simply doesn’t exist anymore — broken links can be a nightmare for your site and its visitors (and its success). Ensure that every single link on your site is going exactly where you want it to go — straight to new content, updated information, and to a happy customer.
6. You’re running on a slow server.
Nothing can ruin a potential customer’s online experience quite like a slow website. To avoid the frustration that comes with a “loading” window, choose to run on a server that stays up to speed with your site (literally). We recommend using Squarespace for a lightning-fast connection. And if, for any reason, a problem does arise? Squarespace’s top-of-the-line 24/7 customer service will be there to help.
7. There’s no clear link to social accounts.
In the modern age of digital communication, a clear social presence is of the utmost importance. Not only do you need an active social media presence, but you also need to make sure that your accounts are easily locatable from the home page of your site. Add user-friendly social media link icons available on the top, bottom, or sidebar of your site’s homepage (and on every page throughout!).
8. You’re using text images in place of text (or “text as images”).
After spending time and effort creating logos, the logical choice would be to plop those PSD images right onto your site and call it a day, right? Wrong. When you use images in place of text, you’re limiting your SEO capabilities and making your site less searchable. Instead, integrate your logos and branding directly into the text of your site. It’s more searchable, which leads to more unique first-time visitors.
9. There’s cross-browser incompatibility.
No matter which browser your visitors are choosing to use, your site should look the same — and perform just as well. This can be a problem for site designers, but it’s no problem for Squarespace. Not only do you not have to worry about if your site will work on a different browser (it will), but you’ll also have the option to view analytics based on which browser is being used (score). But still be sure to check your site on all browsers before making it public — if there is a problem, Squarespace’s 24/7 support department can get you on track in no time.
10. Your site’s navigation isn’t intuitive.
If it’s difficult to tell what’s clickable or where information is, users can get extremely frustrated — and if the site’s not functional, they may doubt the functionality of the brand as a whole. Your website and its ease of use are direct reflections of you, your brand, and your company as a whole, so make sure to create the simplest and most satisfactory online experience as possible.
Overall, you know you want your site’s success to reflect the hard work you poured into it. Don’t let a few small mistakes ruin the potential of an exciting business venture (or fun new blog).
Be sure to use the coupon code “EVERYGIRL17” for 10% off your first Squarespace purchase!
This post was in partnership with Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.