In any given month we look at a lot of websites for businesses and organizations in the greater Fredericksburg area.  Sometimes it’s one we’re doing a detailed review on for our website analysis.  Sometimes it’s one a client is showing us as comparison.  Just as often, it’s because of a personal interest or need.  We see a lot of really cool things on websites made in Fredericksburg Virginia: great information, excellent graphics, helpful tools, and dollar-driving designs.  But of course, we also see mistakes too.  These ones here are the five most common mistakes that you need to fix on your website right now.

#1 – Out-Of-Date Basic Information

One of the issues we frequently hear of, or discover on a website is out of date information.  Old phone numbers, dated copyright notices, and errant store hours are the most common.  If someone shows up at your shop during your stated open hours and you’re closed or moved, you have lost a hot lead.

#2 – Poor Search Engine Optimization Basics

Search Engine Optimization is a complex, ever-changing field.  While proper money-making Search Engine Marketing requires ongoing education and effort, and may be impractical for some budgets, there are still some basics that everyone can address.  Make sure each page has a clear and accurate Title of 70 characters or less.  (That means “Website Design & Development in Fredericksburg Virginia” is far better than “Services”.)  The code for each page should also have a 160 character or less Description that goes into more detail on the page’s focus.  Lastly, make sure you are using only 4 meta keywords or fewer, or none at all.  Too many keywords will get your website penalized for spam!

#3 – Not Mobile Friendly

Today more than 75% of Americans use a mobile device to search the web.  This is especially true when people are looking for a local service or business.  That mobile searcher is also the one closest to their purchase point.  When your website is hard to navigate from their phone or tablet then the information they are seeking is hard to find.  That potential customer is going to lose patience and try somewhere else.  But when your website is optimized for mobile, you impress them with your belief in quality and customer convenience, and you make it easy for them to become a customer.

#4 – Broken Social Media Links

A lot of websites look like they were never finished.  They have convenient little icons to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.  But when you click on them, you don’t end up on that organizations Social Media page!  What good is that?  Check your links!

#5 – Poor or Minimal Content

One of the most common issues we find on a website, even with businesses in Fredericksburg, is poor or minimal content.  This issue listed last because it takes the most time to fix, but helpful and accurate content is the #1 most important attribute of a successful website.  Does your website describe who you are, what you do, and what makes you different?  Are the services you provide logically organized and well described?  Is it clear to both customers and search engines that your business services the Fredericksburg region (or Virginia, or East Coast, etc.)?

Fix Your Website

So what can you do to improve the quality of your site?  Take ten minutes right now to review your website.  See it through the eyes of a client.  Look at these five problem areas in particular.  Maybe call your sibling or a friend, and ask them to review it for you tonight.  Then immediately make any fixes you can, or send them to your web guy.  Get it fixed so you can get the most from your website.

What About You?

Have you noticed any other common mistakes?  We’d love to hear them, so we can add them to our growing list of things to watch out for!