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Your company’s website is the heart of your online presence. It is an extension of your business and should showcase all that you can do.

While the end goal of your website is to be a resource for your industry and to generate leads, those intentions are not always clear. When designing your website, keep your users in mind. Once you succeed by getting clients to your website, then what?

Just like any part of your business, website design keeps evolving. To stay on top of your game and get the most from your website, take a look at the biggest website mistakes. And the advice on how to fix them:

1. Poor Image Use:
Visual elements are extremely important. Did you know that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images? Not only do you need to have visual elements on your website, but they need to have the right specs. Common visual issues on websites include grainy looking low resolution images, or slow-loading high file size photos. Some companies have great images, but they don’t fit in the overall theme or tone of their brand.

One other big mistake we see is lifting images from Google. This is illegal and can get you into trouble. When looking for stock images, there are many paid photo resource sites ( Shutterstock, Getty Images) or even some sites with royalty free photos available (Pixabay).

2. Not Mobile-friendly:
Is it even still accurate to call our smart phones “phones” anymore? The handy contraptions we all carry around can take photos, record videos, send texts and emails, search the web –oh yeah—and make phone calls. Many people use their phones for all of these services, so for website success, it needs to be mobile-friendly. And don’t forget when you’re planning website design, you need to consider how your branding will look on a small screen.

3. Difficult Navigation:
Having content on your website is fantastic. But if the user can’t easily find what they are looking for, they will move on. We have experienced sites where the navigation is too complicated and hard to click through. When structuring your navigation, keep in mind that not every page on your website needs to be part of it. A second level navigation or sidebar for links can reduce the clutter in the header.

4. Slow Load Time:
The little circling ball of angst. We all know it. When we visit a website and are stuck waiting for it to load while watching the circling ball. Not only is this irritating for your visitors, but search engines are also paying attention. Google examines your page load time. Sites that take longer to load will rank lower than simple sites that load in half the time. Need to test your load time? There are some tools, such as Pingdom Tools, that let you test for free.

5. Skipping the Style Tile:
A style tile is a website design that delivers consistent fonts, colors, interface, etc. These are crucial for branding purposes. Your website is an extension of your business. Transfer color schemes from company marketing to your online presence. Select 1-3 colors and fonts and then define how and where they should be implemented on your website.

6. We, We, We:
Visitors don’t come to your website to find out more about you. They are there to find out more about what you can do for them. This should be the focus when you write content for your website. Don’t just write “We have been in manufacturing for X years.” Let them know what that means for them. Tell them that your expertise with your manufacturing process means shorter delivery time, etc.

7. Using Unpopular CMS for Management:
Whether you’re leading the efforts in your website updates/redesign, or partnering with a third-party professional, understanding how to work the backend of your website is critical. If your team cannot easily edit your website, add new features, etc. it will be hard to grow and adapt your website. Our advice is to use WordPress because it is easy to use and the most popular software in the market. In fact, WordPress now powers 25% of all sites across the web.

8. No Keyword Focus:
Stellar content is important to have on your website. But utilizing keywords will increase your search rankings for those terms. When updating or rebuilding your website, know what keywords you want to focus on to meet your business goals. Having a list of core key phrases you would like your website to rank for in search engines will guide the topics of articles and website pages you need to produce next.

9. No Goals or Metrics to Measure Success:
Beyond just your keyword strategy, you need to have goals and measuring tools in place for your website. Is the main objective of your website to be a resource of information for your industry? Do you want to use your website as a lead generator? All strategies need to have goals and be adjusted as needed. If you’re not tracking your website activity, monitoring which parts of your website have the most interest, etc. you are not able to grow. There are many website analytics tools that you can purchase, but Google Analytics is free and a good place to start.

10. Not Clearly Showing Your Purpose:
Not having clear call-to-actions is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on your website. Remember, people are coming to your website to see what you can do for them. Do you have a guide or white paper that can give them more information on your manufacturing process? Ask them to download it. This will also help you generate sales leads as you collect their name, company, email address, etc.

If your first priority is to capture RFQs, then that call-to-action must be clearly defined on your website. Is that page easy to navigate to when coming into your site? Whatever actions you are asking a site visitor take, make sure those calls-to-action are prominent. Here are 30 CTAs for you to sift through for inspiration.

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Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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