Avoid These 17 Killer Website Mistakes and Optimize Your Site Today! | Insights from Michael Daehn at CSUF Startup Incubator

Creating a website that effectively engages visitors and drives conversions is both an art and a science. Too often, common pitfalls can turn a promising website into a digital disaster. Fortunately, Michael Daehn, a seasoned marketing professor and author, recently shared his expertise in a talk titled “Avoid These 17 Killer Website Mistakes!” at the CSUF Startup Incubator. Here’s a comprehensive look at the highlights from his talk, which can help you transform your website into a powerful business tool.

Meet the Expert: Michael Daehn

Michael Daehn has a wealth of experience in marketing and web design, making him a trusted voice on what works and what doesn’t in the digital realm. As a marketing professor and author of several books, including “Elements of a Great Website: How to Design Your Site to Get More Customers,” Michael’s insights are invaluable for anyone looking to improve their online presence. For more detailed advice and services, visit his website at michaeldaehn.com.

Why Watch the Video?

In his talk, Michael outlines 17 critical mistakes that can sabotage your website. Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Clear Call to Action: The most important element of your website is a clear call to action (CTA). Whether you want visitors to book a meeting, buy a product, or sign up for a newsletter, your CTA should be prominent and unambiguous.
  2. Simplified Design: While flashy designs can be tempting, they often distract from the main purpose of your site. Michael emphasizes that for business websites, “boring is better.” A simple, clean design helps guide visitors to your CTA without unnecessary distractions.
  3. Website Security: An unsecured website not only risks your data but also scares away potential customers. Ensure your site is HTTPS secure to build trust and avoid warnings from browsers.
  4. ADA Accessibility: Making your website accessible to people with disabilities is not just ethical but also broadens your audience and boosts SEO. Use tools to ensure your site meets ADA standards and provides a good user experience for everyone.
  5. Mobile Optimization: With over half of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s crucial that your website is mobile-responsive. Test your site using Google’s free mobile-friendly tool to ensure it looks and works well on all devices.
  6. Fast Loading Speeds: A slow website can frustrate users and hurt your SEO rankings. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify and fix issues that are slowing down your site. Optimize images and reduce the use of heavy scripts to speed up load times.
  7. Avoid Busy Backgrounds: Complex backgrounds can make text hard to read and distract from your main message. Stick to simple backgrounds and ensure high contrast between text and background colors.
  8. Font Readability: Small or overly decorative fonts can be difficult to read. Aim for a minimum of 24-point font for body text to enhance readability and user comfort.
  9. User-Friendly Navigation: Ensure your website’s navigation is intuitive and straightforward. Avoid cryptic labels or too many menu items that can confuse visitors.
  10. Search Functionality: Including a search bar on your site helps users find what they’re looking for quickly, especially if your site has a lot of content.
  11. Avoid Autoplay Media: Videos or audio that play automatically can annoy users and make your site feel intrusive. Allow visitors to choose when to play media.
  12. Consistent Branding: Ensure your site includes your logo and consistent branding elements. This reinforces your brand identity and makes your site look professional.
  13. Limit External Links: Don’t direct visitors away from your site to social media or other external sites. Keep them engaged with your content and lead them towards your CTA.
  14. Avoid Dead Ends: Every page on your site should guide visitors to another part of the site or a CTA. Avoid pages that don’t provide a clear next step.
  15. Professional Aesthetics: Choose a cohesive color palette and avoid overly bright or clashing colors. This not only looks better but also helps convey professionalism.
  16. Regular Updates: Keep your content fresh and relevant. Regularly update your site to reflect new products, services, and company news.
  17. User Testing: Regularly test your site with real users to identify and fix any usability issues. This can provide insights that you might overlook as the site owner.

Get Expert Help

If you’re looking to enhance your website or build a new one, Michael Daehn offers expert advice and services to help you achieve your goals. Visit michaeldaehn.com for more information.

Join the CSUF Startup Incubator

The CSUF Startup Incubator is a fantastic resource for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. Apply to become a resident and gain access to valuable mentorship and resources. Learn more and apply at go.csufentrepreneurship.com/incubator-2.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing Michael Daehn’s expert tips, you can create a website that not only looks great but also drives conversions and supports your business goals.