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Some Common Website Content Mistakes

by Chris Sutton | January 22, 2013

For most businesses now a website is a vital part of sales, marketing and branding efforts.

Visitors go to your website for a particular reason, and in most cases that’s not to see the latest trends in web design, but to find out about your products or services. So you need to ensure that you answer their questions easily and quickly and use your website to sell your product or service.

The following are a few very common problems that are found on websites large and small, but that are easily rectified with a little effort.

1. Out-of-date content.

It never fails to amaze me that so often the place where many customers will first look at a business has tired out of date information. The expectation when customers visit a website is that it will have the latest information about a company’s products and services. It doesn’t matter if it is a fabulous award winning website design, when a website doesn’t have “up to date” and relevant  information, visitors to the site are likely to assume that the business is simply not interested or can’t provide better service than the competition. They might even assume that the business is no longer trading.

So for your website, make sure that your content both addresses the needs of your customers and is updated on a regular basis. If you have a blog, make sure you update it frequently, it will show your customers you are engaged and will and help with your search engine rankings.

2. No clear call to action.

Call to action techniques are really a whole topic and more on their own, but we’ll cover some of the basics here.

What do you want visitors to do when they visit your website? Frequently, websites are so intent on telling the story about a company’s products or services that the next step; to buy a product, or contact the company etc, is completely forgotten.

A call to action should be plainly visible on every page of a website.

Set the scene

This involves identifying a need or problem that customer might have and present a product that solves that problem. You can talk about the benefits of the product and also communicate the benefits of responding or following the call to action.

Use action oriented words

You need to be clear about what a customer needs to do to take the next step to buy or inquire about your products and services. Words such as the following are clear, direct and leave no doubt about what the customer needs to do next.

•    Call
•    Buy
•    Register
•    Subscribe
•    Donate

Place your call to action on every page

If you’ve written good engaging web copy, it’s likely that your site visitor will visit a number of pages in your site before taking the decision to follow your call to action. In that case, it’s vital that you call to action is visible across as much of the site as you can. Often that might be in the page header, but call to action placement is a complex topic and it may well be appropriate to have you call to action in different positions on various pages.

3. Confusing Content

It’s entirely natural for anyone who has a passion about their company, or product, to want to tell everyone all about it. The difficulty arises when that passion results in masses of information on a page but with no clear message for the customer without detailed reading of every part of the page.

It can take a lot of work to refine web copy so that it covers all the key points about a company or product but still retain real clarity in the message. Site visitors don’t want to spend a lot of time sifting through masses of text, so the key messages need to be highlighted early in the copy (as little as 25% of text is read on any page) and to be unambiguous.



SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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