Common website mistakes

Setting up and managing your own website can be challenging, especially if you’re a business and hoping to use the website as a corporate tool. Keeping it up-to-date and posting regular content is a full-time job for some websites.

You constantly need to improve your content and website performance to make the user experience more enjoyable and to stay ahead of the millions of other websites on the internet. Most importantly, you need to know where you may be going wrong along the way and make changes as quickly as possible.

If the purpose of your website is to inform an audience and hopefully convert them into paying customers, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

No clear calls-to-action

A call-to-action is a message targeted at your audience to make them take a certain step. It could be something as simple as “comment on this post and share your thoughts”. It could be something to get your readers to take the next step down the sales funnel, such as “subscribe to our mailing list and receive 20% off your first purchase”.

On, websites do not have clear calls-to-action instructing their audience what they can do next. Whatever it is that you want your audience to do, make it clearly known. Add a coloured button to the menu list or place bold text at the bottom of your articles. Make it easy for the visitor to decide what to do next.

Man with megaphone

No content for all customers

Uploading regular content is the first step to building an audience. However, your audience is unlikely to all be at the same stage of the customer journey; some may be seeing your website for the first time, others may be returning customers who have already purchased from your business.

There are four basic stages to the customer journey – awareness, consideration, purchase and retention. You need to ensure that there is enough content aimed at each one of these stages.

Some videos may show an introduction to your product, aimed at creating awareness. Some articles may provide compelling evidence for the benefits of using your product, aimed at those considering a purchase.

You may have an infographic on how to use the product properly for those who have purchased it and finally, you may have a list of reasons why your products work well with one another, aimed at retaining existing customers.

Don’t overlook one stage and focus too much on the others – keep your audience in mind at all times and think about how you can address them in the different stages.

Balancing scales

No customer testimonials

Many websites fail to share the great feedback that they receive from their customers. However, people are often skeptical of rave reviews on company websites and would rather trust those reviews on third-party websites like TripAdvisor and Zomato.

So how can you include a testimonial on your website and make the audience trust you? Pair it with appropriate articles and content. If a customer complimented the excellent service, include it as a quote in an article on your customer care strategy. If a customer has said how quick the shipping was, include that in a video on your shipping page.

Not only is this a more natural place than a testimonial page to include good reviews, but it also lends real voices to your content. Your audience is more likely to trust what the reviews say if it is supported by relevant content.

No locally-relevant content

Indeed, the internet is a global platform that allows you to reach customers from almost anywhere. However, many websites fail to include locally-relevant content. You need to create content that matters to your local community and audience.

A South African website for a multinational company should still focus on South African content. It’s good to include international news every now and again, but keeping the focus on local affairs and industry-related stories will benefit the South African website.

Map of South Africa on tablet

Not listing prices

Many businesses make a conscious decision to withhold their pricing from their website, especially B2B companies offering a range of services. E-commerce and online stores are the obvious exceptions, but sometimes even they hide prices until you click on a product and it takes you to a new page.

Prices are the make-or-break factor for any product or service, and it is actually the one thing people want to know if they are considering a purchase. It’s annoying when you really want to know how much a service costs, but can’t find it anywhere on the site.

If really don’t want to disclose pricing information, at least put some content out explaining how you determine your pricing. This will improve your conversions and your audience will better understand the costs involved in making a purchase.

It helps to establish trust between your business and your customers. Being transparent with your pricing shows that you aren’t taking advantage of the customer, and they are more likely to want to do business with you than one of your competitors who hide their prices.

Too much jargon

It’s easy to get lost in technical explanations and misunderstand certain terms when you have no idea about the industry. Remember that your audience may have a basic understanding of certain terminology in your industry, so avoid using too much jargon in your content.

It is common for writers to be so familiar with a product that they forget to simplify the explanations and terminology for the customer. Don’t let the message get lost in jargon. If an article is about why the customer should care about the product, don’t get bungled up with technical language.

No internal linking

Creating links between your articles in not only good for SEO, but it also allows visitors to stay on your website and explore other content. It can be a great way to tie articles together and build a bigger picture for the audience.

Ideally, you should aim to link back to more than one article on your website; three or four is a good number. The linking should make sense and happen in-text, naturally. For example, if you have a sentence that reads “SEO is the key to building lasting audiences,” you can link ‘SEO’ to another article on search engine optimisation.

Internal linking is also a good way to tell search engines which pages are important; the more backlinks you have to a certain page, the more important it becomes in your site structure. Spend some time scouring your website for related content and make sure that they link to one another.

men and women holding hands in a link pattern

To end off, these mistakes are fairly common on websites and they lead to poor customer satisfaction, retention and conversion. Minimise all of these mistakes and your business will soon see the full potential of your website.

If you wish to partner with someone who knows how to apply the best practices to achieve your online goals, don’t hesitate to email us at


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