This is the final instalment of mistakes that self-employed mums and dads often make with their websites. You can find parts one and two already on the blog and here we’re looking at a couple more technical issues you should try and avoid.
Out of Date
When people visit your website they want evidence you’re still around. If they visit your testimonials page and the latest positive comment was from 2010 alarm bells may start ringing and likewise if you’ve chosen to have a blog alongside your website you simply have to keep it updated. Potential clients and customers are looking actively to be sure you’re still in business and they may be put off if you haven’t bothered (in their opinion) to update your blog for three months. They don’t know you’ve got three children to look after as well as your business and even if they do, their priority is getting the product or service that they need.
Stale, out of date content can also have an impact on your Google ranking. If your site isn’t populated with regularly updated engaging content then you may see your Google search position fall, potentially reducing the business that comes your way.
Dead or broken links can be the bane of the customer experience and anything that puts a customer off your website could put them off buying your product or service. You want to offer an intuitive, user-friendly experience with your website which means the dead links simply have to go. Dead links lead your customers to pages and places online that simply don’t exist. This is why it’s important you check all your links as you input them and ensure everything flows smoothly.
There are tools and plugins designed to spot broken links but you also need to improve your own accuracy to avoid winding customers up and sending them to your competitors. It looks unorganised if every time a customer clicks something they’re met with a 404.
SEO strikes fear into the eyes of many work at home mums and dads who simply haven’t got a clue where to start. If your business is particularly non-technical than you may never have heard of SEO but it is important for improving the visibility of your site. Getting it wrong can make it harder to rank well in search engines and going too far the other way and stuffing your site with ‘relevant’ keywords can also cause problems.
Search engine friendly content needs to be engaging, concise and specific. One of the big bugbears of SEO professionals is arriving at websites and seeing the word WELCOME emblazoned in the site’s main heading. It adds nothing and means you lose the opportunity to improve your site’s ranking by simply stating the essence of your business.
Investing in your website but not spending any time ensuring the content is directed at impressing both search engines and customers will end up being an investment wasted. Spend some time looking into SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) and build strategies that work with your business.
There are probably many more mistakes we haven’t covered so if you think of any please comment and let us know!