Some of the most common mistakes people make when building websites revolves around forgetting its being made for other people not just themselves and search engines. Here are some of those mistakes with some solutions.
Not realising you’re making the website for other human beings
Who visits website? Dogs? Cats? Robots? Ok, so there are some robots that visit site to categorise them, however a website should NEVER, did you get that NEVER be designed for anything other than human beings. Some SEO people (and I emphasie only some) get you to focus too much of building your site for search engines. This is the wro approach. SEO is important to make sure your site ranks well, but this is not the most important aspect of building a site.
Think about how we communicate. It’s person to person, or people to people. It’s all about our lovely human race. Imagine your website as a person and imagine how it would talk to a specific customer. Picture the customer too. This should give you a better idea of how your website should be created to meet the needs of that customer.
Not knowing enough about who the human beings are
To picture a customer as mentioned above, you need to know who that customer is. Make sure you know as much as possible about your customers or who you are targeting if you’re just starting up.
So many times, when I ask clients ‘who is your target audience?’ I get the response ‘everyone’. Sorry but no. Your target audience is not everyone. If you do your research, you will find out that not everyone wants your product or service. You may be disappointed to hear that but it’s true. It will be a specific type of person. Does your product/service lend itself more towards women or men? What about a particular age group? Location? Particular lifestyle? Is it for single people in their 30s of mothers with children under 5 who have a particular leaning towards being Eco friendly? Be specific as it will be specific individuals that will visit your site.
Not understanding how to communicate to other human beings
So now you know who you are targeting. How do you communicate with them? What language do they speak? What words and phrases do they commonly use and understand? What level of language would they not understand? Are they technical people who understand your industry jargon or do they need to have everything explained more simply?
Dont assume. Research. Talk to people. Ask questions on facebook and twitter if you follow some of these people.
Focusing too much on the look without without thinking about content
Many people can fall into the trap of making sure the website looks fantastic without thinking what content really works with my target audience. So creative decisions are made purely on the visual, rather than on the effectiveness of an element.
Assuming as you know your subject, you know how to write about it
Writing is easy. Writing well is not easy. There is an art to be able to use words to communicate a message in a way that appeals to a specific target audience. Unfortunately not everyone can do this. In fact very few can do this.
Do not think ‘I know my subject best, so why would I pay someone to write it up for the website?’ This is a bad way to think. Just as you wouldn’t dream of servicing your own boiler, unless this is what you do, don’t think about writing your own content, unless you are a copywriter or are proficient and know to be proficient at writing.
There are people who spend day after day writing for specific people, in specific styles. Let them do their job as they are better at it than you.
Over to you
What mistakes have you seen made or have made yourself?