7 website mistakes to fix before Santa makes his list

What can you do to make sure you website ends up on Santa's 'nice' list?
When you were a kid, you knew that if you didn’t make it to Santa’s twice-checked “good” list, you might not get that new bike after all.

Now that you’re a grown-up with a website, the stakes are higher.

When Santa visits your site—and he will, because he’s still relevant like that—he’ll know if you’ve been bad or good. So be good, for goodness sake!

It’s a busy time of year, but don’t worry. You can fix these common website mistakes in no time and get your site in shape before Santa—and your customers—pay a visit.

Top website mistakes and how to fix them

We made a list and checked it twice so you can see where you’ll stand with Santa (and his trusty elf, Google).

Website mistake #1: Skipping strategy and not setting goals

To turn in a solid performance by Christmas, you need to set goals at the New Year. Santa knows when you’ve been sleeping, and a website without strategy and goals is the worst kind of long winter’s nap.

Wake your website up in 2019. Get your team together and brainstorm a new direction:
  • Define your target audience.
  • Consider what you want your website to accomplish.
  • Create a plan to reach the right people with the right tools and messages month by month.
  • Schedule times to review analytics.
  • Set benchmarks now, then work to make improvements.

Website mistake #2: Not optimizing for load time

If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you’re getting nothing but coal in your stocking. Today’s internet users, especially on mobile, don’t wait around for slow sites. Don’t let your best customers wind up with your competitor. It’s time to optimize your site for speed.

Ask your IT team to help you get your site running faster than a one-horse open sleigh:
  • Run a speed test.
  • Identify and resolve technical issues.
  • Optimize images.

Website mistake #3: Using bad content

Dated, boring, or duplicate content is the digital equivalent to an ugly Christmas sweater. If you want a website that flies, think of quality content as your eight magical reindeer.

Get content that delivers. Sit down with your marketing team and audit your website:
  • Is your content focused on your ideal user? Is it answering his questions and overcoming her objections?
  • Are you using a dynamic tone and voice that matches your company brand?
  • Is the website written consistently across all pages? Is it optimized for the right keywords?
  • Have you “borrowed” content from other websites (please, please tell us you haven’t done that—stealing sends you straight to Santa’s naughty list, and Google’s, too) or used the same content on more than one page of your own?
  • Is your site easy to navigate? Is information easy to find, and well linked?

Website mistake #4: Using old-school SEO (or none at all)

Maybe you stopped believing in SEO years ago. If that’s the case, it could be that your strategy is two sizes too small. In today’s search-driven internet, updated SEO tactics matter more than ever.

Never, ever be a grinch to Google. Be sure your site is optimized with updated methods:
  • Evaluate your keywords. Are you targeting the right things?
  • Run reports. How are you currently ranking on search engines?
  • Watch out for keyword stuffing, and be sure to optimize your content for the right phrases.
  • Don’t buy links. Ever.
  • Check readability. Using unnatural anchor text and clunky phrasing to get SEO are common website mistakes.

Website mistake #5: Not making your site mobile-friendly

Santa and your mom love you exactly how you are. But both of them would prefer for your website to run smoothly from their phones. With more than half of all web searches happening on mobile platforms, and Google actively using mobile site load speed as a factor in search results, responsive sites are no longer optional.

Make sure your site doesn’t get stuck in the chimney. Check with your web designer to figure out:
  • Is your site mobile-responsive?
  • How does your site look on smartphones? Tablets?
  • Does your code filter content to make your site more user-friendly in mobile?

Website mistake #6: Using outdated design

If your site still looks like the olden days, happy golden days of yore, it’s probably high time for an update. Your best customers expect a certain level of functionality and standard of design, and they often form their first impressions of your company from your website.

Keep your design as fresh as the newly fallen snow. Not sure if you really need an update? Here are some things to look for:
  • Are you using bad photography or cliched stock images?
  • Does your site use more than three fonts?
  • Do you have flash movies or music?
  • Is your site hard to read, with low contrast text, a strange font, or odd sizing?

Website mistake #7: Underemploying your website

We’re not trying to turn you into Scrooge, but your website needs to work harder for you 24 hours a day. If your site isn’t your best salesperson, and a key feature of your marketing efforts, you might need to re-evaluate.
Make your website earn the holiday bonus.
A website ought to capture new customers, convert them to leads, and help to move them along the sales path. It should be a vital part of your marketing plan and your sales team.
  • Is it easy to find your team’s contact information?
  • Are your forms clear, short, and validated?
  • Is it easy to read and complete forms on mobile devices?
  • Does form completion generate a thank you message?
  • Do you keep your site updated, with fresh content and technical fixes?
  • Does the site follow your sales process, and deliver warmer leads?
  • Are you using your website in multiple ways as part of a dynamic digital marketing strategy?

Resources for making your website part of your sales and marketing teams 2019 digital marketing planning:


Santa Claus is coming to town. Will you be ready? There’s still time to fix your website mistakes so that 2019 is the best gift ever.

How we can help you get more from your marketing in 2019? Let’s talk
Tatum

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and collaborating with clients to define and execute online marketing goals. She likes to blog about hot topics in web design and digital marketing, as well as share tips for strengthening your online presence.

View more posts by Tatum

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