5 Top Web Design Mistakes? WordTracker Thinks So!

CrystalVision recently attended a 1 hour webinar put on by WordTracker, one of the leading keyword research tool companies on the web.  The title was a little misleading since it was largely a sales pitch to buy the tools, but we were able to boil down the 60 minutes into the promised title: The Worst 5 Web Design Mistakes. The title of the piece does have a drawing-in effect. Reading it, you want to immediately know if you’re guilty and bank the concepts for later use, so a big Bravo to the writers at WordTracker and Ben Hunt, the speaker of the event.

The following is ad-lib from the webinar with a mixture of our own insight, but the key points remain intact.

Problem #1: failure in research.  The premise of every site “does something,” but identifying what is considered afterwards.

Their Solution: Begin your keyword research before you begin building the web site.  Top 10 results on the search engines get 95% of all traffic so you’ll want to get the biggest slice of the biggest pie as you can.  Find the best terms with the lowest competition to get it moving.

Problem #2: taking an internal perspective. The content deals with you, your products, your services, your offerings…… no body cares.

Their Solution: Offer a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) message.  Instead of terms like “quote” and “no-obligation,” use benefit-speak terms like “save” or “discover.”

Problem #3: creating a singular perspective. If your home page looks like a Swiss Army Knife, you lose.  Trying to do all and be all to every visitor will accomplish neither.

Their Solution: Create the opportunity for multiple conversations. Though WordTracker used different charts and diagrams, I envisioned this to be like neighborhoods of information, each having its own block.  Don’t try to offer unwanted products and services YOU want on every page but let the visitor “get to the block” they want.

Problem #4: not selling.  Every site is intending the visitor to do something.  Many sites never “get to the point.”

Their Solution: Ask for the conversion, whatever it is. Don’t bury what you want from your visitor, come out and ask me, I’m busy.

Problem #5: not testing everything. Doing a set it and forget site and hoping to win customers rarely works.

Their Solution: ABT – Always Be Testing: testing keywords and continuing to do keyword research; testing various Calls To Action and the goals themselves; testing every page for best results.

Only rule is Rule #1: You don’t know Jack!  Know that starting out, everything is a best guess, and that only by testing and refining the results can you begin to know “Jack.”

Lastly, begin to think of your web site as a leaking boat.  Most often you get a lot of visitors but not as many sales/conversions as you’d like. Begin to analyze where and why folks are leaving (leaking) the site from and work on plugging the holes.

That was it, 5 top mistakes as noted by Ben and WordTracker with one rule and an observation on a way to think about your traffic.

Overall we agree with much of the content WordTracker spoke to but approach web development, and ultimately SEO, differently.  Our own 5 list:

1 – Goal.  What is the goal of the web site?  This should be the driving force behind design, keywords, architecture, images and Calls To Action. Like the old country song, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.

Solution: Know what you want to get accomplished with the site.  It’s not to be #1 on the search engines either.

2 – There is no #2, #3, #4 or #5.  A clear understanding of #1, the goal of the site, will lead the way for everything else.  Your site’s goal will dictate the content, images, page names, architecture, keyword terms (*) and how you will view your web statistics (aka: traffic).

(*) – It will come down to not what terms rank how high but what terms work. Creating content, imagery and Calls To Action based on this (and not some search engine algorithm) will be the success of the site – not being #1 for some term that produces 0 customers but looks good on a report to the CEO.

There you have it, a glimpse into “old school” web development and CrystalVision’s approach. You are now free to view a site with a checklist, like many firms do, or put some in-depth thought into it and begin asking “What keyword terms are working for me?”

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