1 | Optimizing your website

Optimise your website images! Uploading images with huge file sizes greatly impacts your website load time. This also impacts both your user experience and your SEO. The average website speeds, should be around 2 seconds or less. How long does it take for your website to load? Do you think your visitor is going to stick around that long?

Resize your images using Photoshop. If you do not have Photoshop, I recommend using a service like tinyjpg.com or https://compressor.io/compress to compress your images. Your website images should ideally be in the 300-500KB range or less

2 | Not updating your site

Firstly, not keeping your platform, themes and plugins up to date will open your site up to cybersecurity risks. Secondly, not regularly updating your website content in the form of blog posts is doing a detriment to your website’s SEO and visitor engagement.

If your website is on a platform like WordPress, make sure that your site is set to auto-update. Some hosting companies will even update plugins and themes automatically. If you can’t remember to keep your site updated, set a regular reminder on your calendar or hire a professional to handle website management. It’s worth the additional expense to ensure your website isn’t hacked.
Lastly, regularly update your website content through an onsite blog, even it’s just once a month. Remember: quality over quantity!

3 | Overlooking calls-to-action

Clearly communicate what their next step is or what exactly do you want the visitor to do. And the way to do this is through a call-to-action, or those buttons that say “Get Started” “Contact Us” or “Buy Now.” Your calls-to-action should be simple and straightforward without confusing your user.

Use one to two calls-to-action per page, ideally one towards the top of your page and one towards the bottom leading your users to the next step or page you want them to take. Use bright colors and clear language, being sure that your call-to-action is easily clickable on all screen sizes.

4 | Make sure the site is secure

At this stage, all websites need to be secure (ie https or SSL). Whether you’re simply collecting personal data on a contact form or taking payments online, that little green padlock is vital to showing your visitors that you take their personal data seriously. Having a secure site ensures that data sent and received through your site is encrypted, therefore it is harder for “hackers” to gain access to personal data.

The remedy depends on your website platform. For Squarespace users, you’ll find your website security under the Settings > Advanced tab. Then you will want to ensure SSL is switched to the Active position.
For Shopify users, Shopify takes care of your SSL for you when you connect your domain since you’ll be accepting online payments. Doesn’t get easier than that!
For WordPress and other 3rd party hosting platforms, it depends on your hosting. You’ll need to purchase a SSL certificate and install it. Some hosting providers offer this service for you and some require you to do it yourself.

5 | Not having a responsive website

Many people are so focused on having a beautiful desktop version of their website that the mobile-version becomes an afterthought. Except that depending on your target market, as much as 70% of your website traffic could be visiting your site from a mobile device (phone or tablet). Therefore it’s vital to pay close attention to the responsive version of your website. In addition, Google search engine algorithms penalize non-responsive websites in mobile searches.

The best strategy for this is to design for mobile first. Pay close attention to font sizes, spacing and size of elements, scrolling and navigation. Ignoring the design of these elements can quickly frustrate a mobile-user and send them over to the next website in their search results.

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