We like to talk a lot about things website owners should do, like using WordPress compatible payment plugins or implementing lots of white space for a clean, crisp design. Unfortunately, while many website owners use these important tactics, they still make a few basic mistakes that keep their site from looking as professional as it should.
Thankfully, most of these “don’ts” are relatively easy to fix. Here are some things you should remove from your website right away to make a better impression on your customers.
1. Cheesy Stock Photos
When used properly, stock photos can be a good way to add enticing imagery to your website without the cost of a professional photo shoot. Websites like Unsplash and Pexels feature a wide variety of high-quality images that are free to use.
However, far too many stock photos look obviously staged, with bright lighting and awkward poses. Carefully evaluate any photo before adding it to your site. Stock images of people run the risk of feeling forced and artificial. Consider adding photos of your own team, or at least sticking to more natural-looking imagery.
2. Dead Links
As you make updates to your site, it isn’t unusual for page URLs to change, or for certain pages to be added or eliminated.
Because of this, you should periodically audit your site to make sure that all links are still functioning. A dead link looks unprofessional, and can leave a visitor lost and uncertain about where to find the information they need.
You’ll want to periodically check every internal link on your site, including those in blog posts. Setting up automatic redirects or simply removing outdated links entirely will create a better browsing experience.
3. Walls of Text
While images grab your visitors’ attention, your text is what will provide the information that convinces them to do business with you. But what happens after they read your engaging headline?
All too often, readers are assaulted by a long paragraph that looks like a wall of text. Many users skim web content to begin with, and a wall of text is likely to get them to skip over it entirely.
Instead, use short paragraphs of three to four sentences. The added white space will make your content more visually engaging and easier for internet readers to consume. Breaking content up with bullet points and subheadings will further enhance readability.
4. Lengthy Forms
Many websites use forms to collect information during checkout or to get visitors to sign up for an email newsletter. However, many websites ask for too much information. Not only can this feel like an invasion of privacy, but it turns a simple signup into a chore.
With any form on your website, follow the rule of only asking for information you absolutely need. A newsletter signup probably only needs a user’s name and email. While an online checkout would also require billing and shipping information, try to limit yourself to the bare necessities.
The less information you ask for, the more visitors will complete your forms to get into your sales funnel.
Making a Better Site
While these items may not seem like a big deal, they are the little things that can often make or break someone’s experience on your site. Making these needed changes will get visitors to actually read your content, and make them more likely to convert to paying customers.