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20 Common Website Mistakes To Avoid

20 Common Website Mistakes To Avoid

There are some areas of life where mistakes should best be avoided, and this is true when it comes to operating a website. You can certainly learn from your mistakes when you have a website, but if you take the time to do your homework, you can avoid making mistakes altogether. So what are some of the most common website mistakes, and how can you deftly sidestep them?

1. Don’t Under-Plan Your Website

You wouldn’t open a restaurant without first exhaustively creating a business plan. From its very inception, to its target market, promotion, launch and ongoing growth, you would certainly research each and every conceivable stage of operations. It needs to be the same when you start a website.

Perhaps the single most component of successfully growing a website is content marketing. Original quality content is key for building awareness of your page, establishing your credibility and authority in your chosen area, as well as improving your search engine rankings. Quality content is king, and marketing is a proven way of establishing dominance.

2. Don’t Assume that Longer Pages are Better

The rest of the internet, with its cute kitten videos and celebrity gossip, is just one short click away. It’s important not to demand too much concentration from your audience, and pages that are too long can be a definite turn off. A long page with a huge amount of text can be too much effort, meaning that you’ll simply be unable to hold your audience’s attention for long enough to deliver your intended message.

Your text should be well-written, and displayed in easy to digest chunks. You may even benefit from breaking up the content into appropriate sub groupings, which can then be allocated their own pages. It’s important to understand that many readers will ultimately just skim the page, so don’t underestimate the importance of subheadings and bullet points.

3. Don’t Exclusively Focus on Your Products or Services

Yes, the likelihood is that your website exists solely to sell a product or service, which makes it like countless other websites in your area of expertise. What makes you different? A straightforward website that simply offers the product or service in question will fail to differentiate itself from its competitors. What makes your website (and by extension, you and/or your company) unique?

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Pay attention to branding, and don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your web based enterprise. Do you have a company or personal philosophy, or a particular reason why you decided to start offering the product or service? Personalisation makes for a far more unique experience for the consumer.

4. Don’t Forget That You Need a Clear Call to Action

Users have found your website, and the heartiest of congratulations to you, but the battle is far from over. What do you want from them now? Whether it’s a purchase, a lead, or a subscription, you need to clearly nudge them in the direction of the next step. The design and content of your website will have hooked their interest if they’ve made it this far, and yet you need to add a progression to the next level of interaction by including a decisive call to action – a simple and straightforward next step for your relationship with the user.

5. Don’t Use Slideshows If You Want Your Homepage to Work

Slideshows might be aesthetically pleasing, but that’s about it. In terms of delivering a message, they’re inefficient. The information is certainly there, but don’t assume that a viewer will be looking at the slideshow from the moment the page loads. They might glance at it and begin to read it, only to have the slideshow move to the next segment. It’s far from a certainty that the viewer will attempt to go back and read the item, so it’s best to do without this method of displaying information. They look pretty, but they’re pretty useless, and they can diffuse your ultimate message. Your website can do without them.

6. Don’t Write for All 100% of Your Website Traffic

Well crafted copy should be aimed at a specific market, so attempting to write something that is aimed at 100% of all users who arrive at your website can result in a message that is unfocused and bland. Write content specifically for the smaller number of visitors who are likely to be conversions. A message that is targeted at your niche group is far more likely to result in a higher conversion rate.

7. Don’t Forget That Your NAP (Name, Address, Telephone Number) Needs to Be up to Date

It’s a fairly simple step, and yet it can be easily overlooked. Has your company or any internal departments undergone a change of name? Have you moved to a new location or changed phone numbers? Your NAP needs to be clearly displayed and updated as needed, since it’s so easy to lose a customer forever should they be directed to an incorrect location, or are unable to contact you via a method of their choosing.

8. Don’t Overlook the Importance of Your Site’s Blog

Your website’s blog is an integral part of your overall success. A blog is where you can personalise your site, and therefore, differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s where you can add fresh and interesting content that engages with your potential conversions in the way that a straightforward ecommerce platform cannot. Your blog should have regular scheduled updates, with content that is relevant and well-written.

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A blog is an aspect of operations that many websites outsource, and if you’re incapable of producing an interesting blog, then you should certainly consider farming the task out to a professional writer. A good writer will be able to create engaging headlines and titles, with an article that is written utilising SEO, and yet is still personable and promotional (but not too promotional – a blog is different from an advertorial).

9. Don’t Forget About Your Internal Pages

It’s not all about the homepage! Do your internal pages contain titles and content that is relevant? Internal pages need to be rich with information, as these individual pages can actually figure into your search engine rankings. With a lack of usable information, these internal pages are essentially dead weight. Make these pages work for you by including the relevant information about your product or service that would be expected on a specifically titled internal page.

10. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Mobile Traffic

It’s amazing how many people are glued to their smartphones while out and about. You might see a group of people at a bar, totally ignoring each other as they intently tap away at their phone. They might be shopping for a new product or service, but are you prepared to receive them? Your website needs to be responsive to smartphone based web browsers, meaning it needs to be configured to load quickly and display quickly on a screen of any size. If your page cannot be adequately navigated using a smartphone, then you could potentially be missing out on a significant amount of traffic and conversions.

11. Don’t Fall Victim to the Poor Navigation Trap

Having a website that is difficult to navigate is like inviting guests to your home, letting them get lost, become bored, and leave – never to return. Your website design needs to allow for quick and simplistic navigation, meaning that a user should never become lost. If a user becomes lost, you’re bound to lose them as a potential customer, and this is simply unacceptable. A clearly visible navigation bar needs to be present, prominently placed so that it can be seen on a screen of any size. Don’t forget the sitemap either – this should allow users to quickly and easily jump to any page within your site.

12. Don’t Use Poor Quality Photos and Images

Your website might be the first introduction a potential customer has to your company, and so any imagery used on your website needs to be top quality. Ensure that photos and images are crisp, and anything that is blurry or pixelated should not be used. If you need original photos to illustrate a product on offer, ensure that the subsequent images are of the highest quality – even if it means you’ll need the services of a professional photographer. For other images, you can utilise many of the free online databases that provide stock photos that are free of copyright. Don’t simply “borrow” images freely from the internet, as this is not only illegal, but it can make you look unprofessional.

13. Don’t Use Videos That Are Too Long

Well-made videos that are on-message can certainly enhance your website. The video can be redundant if it’s too long, no matter how well-made it might be. The video exists to engage your audience, not to test their patience. If you have a long message that you feel needs to be conveyed to your audience, consider breaking it into shorter videos of an episodic nature. Videos that follow a logical narrative structure, such as an instructional video, can comfortably be a few minutes in length. Anything else should only run for around 60 to 90 seconds.

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14. Don’t Even Think About Starting a Website Without SEO

Your website looks great, is easy to navigate and makes for a highly pleasurable browsing experience. If you haven’t considered SEO in your website design, then your beautiful website is likely to become adrift in the vast seas of the internet. SEO needs to be factored into website design from the very beginning. A SEO expert will be able to help you with the discoverability of your website, and build this into its very design. Think of SEO as being the foundation of your website, and not its roof.

15. Don’t Forget That Users Value the Need for Speed

How quickly does your page load? If It’s more than a few seconds, there’s a strong possibility that your users won’t wait, and they will in fact become your competitor’s users. A few factors are out of your hands, such as the device being used to access your page, as well as the speed of their internet connection. You need to make it as quick and easy as possible for your users to get to the content they need, and as such, some redesign might be necessary. Does your homepage need quite so much imagery or that introductory flash animation? A page that loads slowly is a page that can be a major hinderance.

16. Don’t Be Tempted by Keyword Over-Optimization

Imagine a group of primitive villagers living in the shadow of a volcano. The volcano erupts and the villagers are terrified. What have they done? How can they appease the angry volcano spirits? If you go down the road of keyword over-optimization, you’re one of the villagers, and you might end up feeling the wrath of the angry volcano spirits, also known as Google.

A sacrifice is in order, and the sacrifice is generally the offending website. Keyword stuffing seems almost logical, but is best avoided. Do not stuff a page with keywords in order to achieve a higher page ranking. Google’s algorithm is highly effective at identifying pages that add extraneous keywords to content, and in some cases, it can lead to the page being removed from Google search results.

17. Don’t Include Unnatural Links

Buying links is not a great way to boost your page’s ranking. The quality of inbound links can play a significant role in increasing your ranking, and yet these purchased links are not of sufficient quality to be of use, and can in fact be highly detrimental. Google views these purchased links as “unnatural” and in a similar fashion to the way they deal with pages who indulge in keyword stuffing, they can remove pages from their search results if the page has blatantly built unnatural links via purchase. Focus on natural, Google-friendly link building through methods such as guest blogging.

18. Don’t Forget About Google Analytics

Google Analytics are free to use, and yet the tool perhaps has a tendency to fade into the background. It’s there, it’s free, it’s a very recognizable brand, and yet it’s easy to forget that it’s available. It’s a vital, ever-present tool that can be your best friend when it comes to gauging success and seeing where you need work. If you don’t know so much about analytics, then Google is a great place to start. It’s user friendly and customizable, and the data can be as exhaustive as you want.

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19. Don’t Be Anti Social When It Comes to Social Media

If your website was a person at a party, would it be meeting new people and networking, or would it be lurking in the corner (wishing it was at home eating chips on the sofa)? You need to unlock the potential of social media by being… well, sociable. If you’re not active on social media, then you’re missing out on potential traffic.

Your website needs a well-maintained social media presence; one that links to your website. Social media is a vital way to reach new customers, many of whom might not otherwise find your page via a traditional search. You can advertise your page with paid advertisement but there are many ways and tricks on how to promote your blog or website for free.

20. Don’t Use Headlines That Directly Talk About Your Product or Service

Users generally visit your website looking to solve a problem. If you’re selling a piece of exercise equipment, then the headline needs to be alluring, so “Here’s how you can be trim and toned in just 5 minutes per day” works far better than something like, “Acme Ab Master 5000.” It’s really that simple.

There you have it! Make sure you follow these simply tips when you work on your own or on your client’s website and you won’t have problems. Do you have questions? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on October 12, 2020

10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

Before You Download

As you are no doubt aware, there are all kinds of calendar apps available. Instead of you sifting through the hundreds of them, we’ve handpicked 10 of the best calendar apps you can get. On top of glowing reviews from each one, we’ve considered the following aspects when creating this list:

  • User Interface – How you navigate the app should be smooth and simple. The buttons on the app should be clear, obvious and easy to move through.
  • Synchronization – Whether it’s with other calendar apps or with other apps, syncing apps should be easy and enhance your overall experience with the app.
  • Additional features – Since there are so many options for calendars, many of these apps offer additional features. These features make the apps stand out from the other apps and provide unique experiences to you.

1. Any.do Calendar

    This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

    Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

    What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

    Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

    Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

    Download Any.do Calendar here!

    2. Google Calendar

      Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

      Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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      Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

      The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

      Download Google Calendar here.

      3. Calendar

        Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

        A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

        Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

        Download Calendar: Meeting & Scheduling here.

        4. Business Calendar

          Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

          The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

          You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

          The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

          Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

          Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

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          Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

          A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

          Download Business Calendar here.

          5. aCalendar

            aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

            Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

            Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

            When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

            Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

            The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

            The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

            Download aCalendar here.

            6. DigiCal Calendar

              DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

              With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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              Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

              The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

              Download DigiCal Calendar here.

              7. SolCalendar

                SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                Download SolCalendar here.

                8. IRL Event Social Network

                  One of the most unique apps on this list is the IRL Event Social Network app. As you can guess from the name, the core focus of this app is social networking. Unlike other social media platforms, you can consider this platform to function similar to Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can connect with other people within your area that share a similar interest.

                  IRL is that while also providing a convenient calendar for you to schedule events and plan out your day. Though due to it being a secondary focus, you’re lacking a lot of the syncing aspects that other apps have on this list. Regardless, because of this huge social feature, it’s worth considering for those who want to make more connections.

                  Download IRL Event Social Network here.

                  9. Today Calendar

                    Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                    The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                    If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                    Download Today Calendar here.

                    10. Timepage

                      Timepage is an intuitive calendar app that will manage your time in a way that other calendar apps can’t. It offers the same sort of functions that you’d expect from other calendar apps: opportunities to record events, notifications and reminders, weather, and driving duration to a particular event. However, the app goes beyond those functionalities in two ways.

                      The first way is that while the app sends you notifications, it also has reminders for you for what is coming up next. That bit of extra time can allow you to prepare and make adjustments to your day if need be.

                      The second function – which is more important – is the heat map when you go to see the full view of your calendar. This heat map indicates what days you are most busy and other days where you are freer. This heat map provides a quick glance to determine broadly what days are good to add more events and other tasks.

                      Download Timepage here.

                      Our Verdict

                      Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                      Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                      Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                      The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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