What I’m thinking…


…Website Manholes


Five common website mistakes – and how to avoid them

Help people get the info they need and stay on your site

When I start a project, I usually look at what a client already has online. Generally I won’t know much about them at this stage so I react to their site like a regular visitor.

I started to notice some of my reactions were repeat offenders – and these are reactions you really don’t want someone to have.

To explain my point, I’ve made a series of tips called ‘Website Manholes’. Then I remembered I actually did fall down a manhole myself once. So I’ve put that into an animation too.

No time to watch? Here’s the gist:

1. “I don’t know what you mean”

Don’t be too niche.

People may be visiting your site for all sorts of reasons.  Many of them won’t be experts in what you do. So have some content anyone can understand.

2. “I don’t know what you do”

I often see sites that just focus on the benefits of working with them. That’s fine, except I can probably work a lot of those benefits out for myself – if I know what you do. Be really clear on that first.

3. “I don’t trust you”

If I’m interested in what you do, I’ll want some detail so I understand more about how you do it, or why, or why you have the right experience. You’ve got plenty of room on a website to provide background and examples. So back up your claims with examples.

4. “I won’t read it”

No one reads long blocks of text – at least not until they’re digging right into detail that interests them. Think about layout.

5. “I’ve just read it”

Don’t repeat yourself. If you genuinely don’t have or need a lot of content, make your site a scrolling one-pager. People will work through your content quickly and your site will be easier to maintain.

Hopefully there are some useful things to take away here, particularly if you’re working on your own web project. And of course, if there’s anything you’d like to talk through, please just get in touch.

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