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So, this year (2018) is winding down and the New Year (2019) is screaming at us, saying, “Get ready, get ready!” Hopefully, you have some time to kinda chillax over the holidays.

Well, in this post, I want to try to get you to think about some of the things you can do to get yourself ready for the New Year. One of the things I want to talk about is what I consider to be the five common mistakes that people make with their websites.

Initial Questions

Start by asking yourself some key questions. I always say that the answers to everything are always in the questions. So, here they are.

Are your messages on your website fresh? Is it current? Does it reflect the current business trends that you’re seeing in your business? I was speaking with someone today in a coaching call, and we really laid out what is the things that she’s doing now and what’s on her website does not match where she wants to be. So, I sent her away and said, “You’ve got to write five pages of content,” and she said, “Okay, I’ll get it done.”

The next thing you want to do is you want to make sure that if you have this downtime, take advantage of it. If you’re not as busy with client work, use it on your own business. I always say, when you’re the busiest is when you should market the hardest. But if you’re not busy, take advantage of that time too. So, let’s take a look at those five common mistakes.

The Free Hosting Trap

The first mistake is what I call the free hosting trap. I’ve seen a lot of people do this. You can get a free website at Wix, or a cheap one at Squarespace or GoDaddy or whatever it is. They give you all these options that you can do things with. And here’s the bottom line: when you work in those platforms, they may look cool. They may provide you graphics and make it simple. But the problem is, you don’t own it. Especially when it’s free. That’s the same thing with social media; you don’t own your data.

So, when it comes to websites, when you get free hosting or you get one of these free sites, you don’t own it. There are two things about that that are super important. First, if you need to move it for some reason and you want to upgrade and do things, you can’t because it’s a platform that’s in a box. You can’t take it and move it from one site to another, or another hosting platform to another. That’s one of the reasons I recommend WordPress. It’s the easiest portable platform out there. So, if your site’s not built in WordPress, either give me a call or talk to somebody about it, but that’s the first thing I would look at doing, is getting your website converted to something like that.

Since you can’t easily move it, it also limits your growth potential. Say, for example, that you want to add a plug-in specifically to get more Facebook likes or post your blog content directly to your Facebook page or Pinterest or Instagram or you want to tweet things. Sometimes these free platforms don’t have that capability, but WordPress has an incredible amount of plug-ins, a lot of which are free, some are paid for, but they can give you the flexibility to do things as things in your business change.

So, as things move in the next coming year, you’ll have the flexibility to change things out, add some new stuff, and that’s what you want: the power to control your own website.

Wish Marketing

So, the second common mistake is what I call wish marketing. Now, wish marketing is this. You get people to your homepage. You do everything you can: post to social media, put it in your email signature, whatever it is. Here’s my website. What you’re hoping for is that people will click through to other pages where the details are at.

So, you’ve got the questions that they’re asking on other pages. Now, when they get to your homepage, is it super clear where that stuff is located? An example is that they have a question they want to get answered — is that question asked right on the homepage so they can click through to it? So, here’s the deal: you get three clicks and they’re out. That’s it. I’ve seen it in analytics all the time. They go to your homepage, they go to a second page, and if by the third page their question is not answered, they’re gone.

Now, the other thing is this: is your website a mobile home? What I mean by mobile home, is it one of those websites where everything is scrolling down to get to the details? You can’t necessarily direct somebody from social media to a section of your homepage. You want to have multiple pages and make sure that each page is stand alone. In other words, you don’t need them to click around to get the answers that they want. That’s what a good mobile website does: it012 answers the question and gets them to take action.

Wee-Wee All Over…

The next thing is, are you wee-weeing all over yourself? What I mean by that is, are you constantly talking about you? Most people show up at a website and they’re interested in themselves. I talk about WIIA and most websites are written in the perspective of, What’s Interesting About Me. But people are showing up at your website looking for WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? So, instead of talking about yourself, think about the questions that your potential clients are asking, and make sure you are answering each one of them. Every one of those answers should either have a page or a blog post or something that at least guides them down that path.

Are You Talking To Me?

The next thing is, are you talking to me? The ultimate goal of getting somebody to your website is to get them to take some sort of action. People ask themselves three questions when they’re on a website. Number one, why am I here? Two, what should I do? Three, why should I do it?

So, what do you want them to do? Pick up the phone? Email you? Maybe join a list? When it comes to lists, are you saying, “Subscribe to my newsletter.” Seriously, when you go to a website, do you want newsletters? Or do you want answers? So, what you should do is give them an opportunity to get something that’s going to give them further answers and that also allows you to keep your message in front of them.

Count The Beans

The last piece of this puzzle is guessing the number of beans in the jar. What do I mean by that? What pages are people getting to? So, your homepage is always going to get the most traffic, but where are they starting out? Where are they entering your site? Where are they leaving your site? Then ultimately, when you’re driving people, which pages are getting the most likes, clicks, whatever it is? That’s what you want to measure.

And then the last piece is, what’s driving them there? Is it social? Is it organic? Is it paid advertising? You need to understand the eco-system of how people are getting to your site, what pages they’re getting to, where they’re entering, where they’re leaving — and that, my friends, can be done with Google Analytics. You’ve got to make sure that you check it and look at it and understand what it’s saying.

So, I’ve got answers to all of those things. We’re going to cover more of this in the future a,nd I’ve got a lot of great podcasts in the past, so check those out as well.

Final Thoughts

Let me leave you with some final thoughts. First, a website is part of a marketing eco-system. It is your home base. It’s a place where you own the messages. You control what people see and what people do. So, make sure that you’re in control of managing the messages, but make sure those messages are them focused. Answer their questions, and they will reward you with either a phone call, an email or jumping on your subscriber list.

The next thing you’ve got to think about is this:, if you have too much content and you’re trying to sell to too many audiences, think about splitting it up into multiple sites. Yes, having multiple websites with different URLs is definitely okay because you don’t want to overwhelm people with too many options. Think about it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?