If your website sucks and you cant figure out why, this article is for you. Reading this might take you 5 minutes, but it will save you years of frustration.
Once upon a time I was guilty of all 5 of these mistakes and it cost me untold amounts of money.
But hey, when you know better you do better! It is written that “A smart person learns from their own mistakes. A genius learns from the mistakes of others.”
Learn from the 5 worst mistakes that I have made on my past websites and fix them today with the ‘Quick Fix’ tips at the end of each section.
Mistake 1: Your Website Isn’t Responsive
If your site isn’t 100% responsive, you’re screwing up. There is no way around this. Your site needs to be 100% responsive.
Responsive means your site changes to fit the device that it is being viewed on. That includes desktops, ipads, and mobile phones.
This is important for 2 reasons: First, back in April of 2015, Google started penalizing sites that are not responsive. That means you get no traffic from the worlds largest search engine.
That alone is enough to kill your site.
Second, user experience is everything when it comes to your site. If your site is hard to read or has a poor layout on their device, they wont stick around for long.
No visitors means no traffic. No traffic means you are wasting your time.
1. Make sure your site is responsive. Start with Google’s Mobile Friendly test by clicking here.
If you want to see what your site looks like on different devices, we use a tool called Screenfly for every website that we build. Try it out here.
2. Get a responsive theme. Go to Themeforest and choose a new layout. Click here for a full list of all their responsive designs.
Mistake 2: Your Site is Slow
The slower your site loads, the less useful it is to humans. Visitors will press back before it finishes loading. That’s just how it is. What good is your site if nobody waits around to see it?
Search engines know this, so they measure how long it takes your page to load. The faster your site loads, the higher your ranking with those search engines.
First, test your page speed using Pingdom. Just click here and enter your domain name. Realistically, if you can keep it around 1 second, you’re doing fine. If you are over 3 seconds, you have work to do.
Use the Google PageSpeed tool (found here) to find out how you can speed up your site. It may take awhile to fix all the issues, but it will pay off.
You can do this yourself, or we can get you up to speed as part of our Search Engine Optimization packages.
Mistake 3: You Don’t Know Your Audience
One of the biggest mistakes Black bloggers and website owners make is not understanding their audience. If you get this right, you will not have an audience, you will have a fan base that is willing to paint themselves from head to toe in your brand colors. That’s the goal here, people.
It’s so easy to see the importance of understanding your audience that it blows my mind more people dont take the time to get this right:
- The better you understand your audience, the more likely they will consider you an authority. Even other websites will look to you as a thought leader, will share your content, and will send traffic to y0ur site.
- The better you understand your audience, the more capable you are of giving them the answers to their biggest questions. FYI: The answers you come up with should be the topic of blog posts you write.
- The better you understand your audience, the better you will be at suggesting products and services to them that they actually want. If you are an affiliate marketer, I dont need to explain how important this is.
Finding your target demographic starts with two simple questions:
1. Who do I want to help?
2. What problems do they need help with?
Do you want to help Black men who want a better grooming experience? Do you want to help Black hairstylists be more successful online? Do you want to help the new mothers lose weight and look great again? If you are able to help these people better than anyone else, they will stay down for your cause until the end of time.
Mistake 4: You Don’t Blog
If you think you are too good to blog, get over yourself. If you have a website, you must publish content regularly. Would you tune into a television channel that plays the same episode of the same show all day, every day?
Publishing fresh content regularly gives visitors a reason to come back to your site. Even Coca-Cola publishes blog posts regularly. Its the only way to stay relevant. Besides, if you aren’t doing it and your competition is, who wins in the long run?
How often are you able to write content? Daily? Three times per week? Once a week? No matter how often you are willing to blog, commit to hitting the ‘publish’ button regularly. Add blogging time to your schedule. This time is sacred. Let nothing stop you from publishing on time and on schedule.
Your audience will start to look forward to your oven-fresh content, and will keep coming back for more (as long as you nailed Quick Fix #3).
Mistake 5: Your Site Is Hard To Read
If you have 500 tabs in your menu, you need to stop. If you have huge blocks of text with no breaks between paragraphs, you also need to stop.
If your blog has sentences that are too hard to read, you wont have blog readers for very long. Keep your site clean and easy to read. Its hard enough for visitors to read anything on a computer or mobile phone screen. Make it easy on all of us.
De-clutter your site. If there are tabs that dont serve the needs of your visitors, get rid of them. Get rid of as many ads as possible.
Keep your font color black and your background white. You might think lime green words on a red background looks dope. Let me assure you – your readers dont. Its cool to change up the color of your header text, but that’s where you should draw the line.
Write all your blog posts in the Hemingway App. The app shows you what sentences are hard to read, and where you can use simpler alternatives for big words. I used the app to write this blog post, and every blog post we write for our clients.
You may also want to change the size of your font to something bigger than 12 px depending on your font. And speaking of your font, keep it simple. That script font might look sexy, but reading it is a pain.
Keep your paragraphs short – we are talking 3 to 5 sentences . People read differently online than they do in print. Use images to break up the monotony of one block of text after another.
By taking time to fix these 5 mistakes, you will keep your readers happy, Google will love you, and you will see your traffic explode!