Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website

In this day and age, anyone who is serious about their business needs to have a website. But your website can be so much more than just validation of your business existence. It can be a huge marketing tool. To illustrate that, I like to introduce you to our guest blogger Sandi Smith Leyva, who will share with you her “Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website.”

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Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, your Web site is presenting your company’s image and message to prospective clients all over the world.  With this phenomenal reach, you want to make sure your best image and best message is coming across.

Perhaps your Web site is not generating the interest you’d like it to and you’d like to find out why.  Maybe you’re just getting started in your new business and know you need a Web site, but don’t know where to start.  Possibly your Web site is doing great, and you’d simply like to take it to the next level.

Whether creating a new site or updating your existing site, here are some common pitfalls to avoid.


It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the Web design portion of a Web site and forget about the words that go on the pages.  Maybe the Web designer does the design but not the writing.  You might even find yourself writing the content at the last minute.

Good writing is far more important than bling, and great copy from a professional copywriter will get your phone ringing.


Your business has something unique and different to offer its customers.  Is that evident on your Web site?  If not, you could be attracting the wrong type of customers, or worse, none at all.

When you hire a Webmaster, you’ll want to make sure that s/he will design your site for you and your customers and not for himself/herself.

Your Web site will shine when it emulates your company’s personality.


Web visitors – your potential prospects – will give you only eight seconds to wow them.  Do you have your best stuff at the top of your home page?  I mean the really good stuff, not just the stuff your mom is proud of!

You’ll want to capture the attention of potential customers using the item that brings out the best in you.   It might be a great tag line, a killer testimonial, a big award, a blue chip client list, or the like.


Can Web visitors check out your reputation on the Web?  You’ll want to make sure your Web site comes as close as possible to feeling like a warm, personal visit with you.  Do this by posting content that is designed to build your credibility.

As an example, this can include content that shows you have a track record of success:  testimonials, case studies of current clients, and a client list.

If you have been mentioned in the press, include a press page on your Web site that lists the newspapers, magazines, radio talk shows, and other places where you’ve been mentioned.


People warm up slowly.  Your Web visitors might be interested in you but are not quite ready to call you or buy anything yet.

You’ll want a way to keep track of these warm leads who will be ready to buy a few months down the road when they’ve gotten to know you better.  There are several ways to gather leads from your Web site, depending on what you’re willing to offer them.

One method that is completely ineffective for capturing leads is to ask for information on your contact page. Just don’t do it!


If you’ve spent all your money doing everything right, but you don’t market your site, you may not get any visitors.

You’ll need to spend at least a little time marketing your site through offline and online methods.  For example, add your Web-site name to the bottom of every email that you send.  You can do this automatically by modifying the signature file in your email software.

You may also want to delve into the more advanced fields of search engine marketing and optimization.


Many people’s pet peeves is to click on a page and see an “Under Construction” message.  It’s inconsiderate of people’s time to lead them down a dead-end alley, plus your Web site screams the message, “This person can’t finish what they start.”  I’m sure that’s not the message you wish to send.


In the name of being cute, many Web sites display obnoxious moving parts, flashing signs, or vacuous videos.  Did you know most people hate that stuff?

Bling doesn’t impress clients, except in three cases:  kids’ sites, sites that sell luxury items, and entertainment sites.  If you have one of those sites, then you need bling.

Limited bling is OK, timeless style is better, and meaningful, benefits-filled content is best.


A site filled with errors tells me that its owner probably makes a lot of mistakes when delivering services.  Even if the message is compelling, the red flag is there for people to see.  People’s intuition will tell them not to do business with you.  A quick and thorough testing of the site will avoid this pitfall.


A lot of people come to me saying, “I want a Web site.”  I ask them, “What do you want it to do?”  And they don’t really know.

It’s important to think about what you want your Web site to accomplish because that goal should be integral to the design of the site.  The best sites lead their visitors to a certain outcome that is beneficial for both themselves and their customers.

When you can overcome these ten common problems, your Web site can start to become a powerful and effective marketing tool for your business.

Sandi Smith Leyva is a marketing strategist who has helped people make money online. Her Web sites have paid back in as little as a week for some clients. A CPA/MBA, she has authored eight books, hundreds of articles, and several seminars and courses and gained her programming and project management skills in Fortune 500 IT departments. She brings a marketing focus to her Web site design clients and at the same time blends her business, programming, art, and writing backgrounds into the perfect combination of skills for Web site development.

Find out more about Sandi’s services and sign up for her free newsletter at





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