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EPISODE 96

5 Common Website Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Website Mistakes

Website Mistakes

Do you ever wonder if you have what you really need on your website? We hear so many different things from so many different people that we don’t know what is right or wrong. Well, get ready because today, we’re tackling the top five homepage mistakes that are keeping your website from truly shining and explaining exactly how to fix them.

With a blend of my 12 years of TPT experience and 9 years as a web designer, I’m guiding you through transforming a confusing homepage with clear, strategic calls to action and avoiding overwhelming your audience with too many choices. We’re also stripping away those distracting external links and refocusing the spotlight on your visitors’ needs rather than a self-centric narrative.

Plus, don’t miss out on essential SEO tips to ensure your marvelous site isn’t the internet’s best-kept secret. So, whether you’re ready for a full website overhaul or just looking for minor tweaks, today’s episode is the treasure map to a homepage that engages and converts.

01:51 Identify the one action that you want visitors to take

02:40 Do not give information overload

05:33 – Allowing visitors to leave your website

07:36 – The homepage is not about you

08:03 – Practical homepage tips

09:37 – Social proof

09:56 – Neglecting SEO

Kristen 0:03
Hey TPT sellers ready to see growth in your business, you’re in the right place. Welcome to The Savvy Teacher Seller. I’m Kristen Doyle, and I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sale. Let’s get started y’all.

Kristen 0:23
Y’all, and welcome to this episode of The Savvy Teacher Seller. ‘m your host, Kristen Doyle, and today I am talking a little more about websites.

Kristen 0:35
After 12 years, I think now as a TPT, seller and nine years as a web designer, I have seen enough websites to know what works and what doesn’t. So today, we are diving into the top five homepage mistakes that I see on websites all the time, and how you can easily fix them to make sure that your website stands out, and makes better connections with your audience.

Kristen 1:05
Mistake number one is not having a clear goal for your homepage. You ever land on a website and you just feel sort of lost. You’re not sure who they are or what they offer, or what they want you to do from the homepage? The main goal of any homepage is actually to get people to click off of it. Notice I didn’t say click away from your website. We’re not trying to send them somewhere else. But we do want to move people beyond your homepage and on to something else of yours that is deeper in the website. Maybe it’s a blog post, or the thank you page for an opt in that they’ve signed up on or your storefront if they’re looking for certain products. Or maybe you’re a service provider and it’s that work with me page.

Kristen 1:51
When you look at your homepage and you think about the goal, the purpose of that homepage, take a minute to identify the one action that you most want visitors to take. And be sure that you are highlighting that with a clear call to action right up front and center. Imagine that you’re guiding a friend through your website, focus on those things that are most important. Make sure you’re letting them know on that website homepage why this is important or what’s important for them to understand. And be sure you’ve got a clear call to action. That means a button with a link above the fold for whatever you’ve decided is that one main goal. And when I say above the fold, I mean, before people start scrolling down the page. Make sure you have something clear and obvious up front on your website.

Kristen 2:40
Mistake number two is a little something called information overload. And we do it all the time. It’s so tempting to want to throw everything that we do at people the minute they land on our website, because they we’ve gotten them to our website. And we want to know that we offer all these different things for all these different people. But ultimately, a cluttered homepage feels a little bit like a Cheesecake Factory menu. You know how long those menus are and how overwhelming it can be trying to choose what you’re going to eat when you have what seems like a million options. It is, like I said, so tempting to want to put everything on there. But that just leads to decision paralysis.

Kristen 3:22
There are statistics all over the place about user experience on websites that say the more options we give people, the less likely they are to do anything at all. Now, I would never call anyone out or share which websites I’ve seen this on. But I have gone to some websites lately and counted 50, 60, 80 different unique links that people could click on the homepage. It’s too much. It’s too many things being thrown at people. And unless we are talking about maybe a store front page where they’ve got lots of products or something. If it’s your homepage, you really need to be simplifying and choosing those most important elements to feature right there on the homepage.

Kristen 4:05
Think of it kind of like your shop having a display window. If we were talking about a brick and mortar store. This is the display window of the shop. It’s not the whole entire stock room. Some practical tips for ways to do this, use your homepage to highlight the most important things instead of trying to show them everything all at once and apply that to both the page content and the menu bar links. If you can get your menu bar down to five links and very minimal dropdowns. That would be ideal. You can put a lot of things in your website’s footer, your contact page, your Terms of Use your privacy policy, all of these things if someone wants them, they’re going to scroll to the bottom of the page to look for them.

Kristen 4:55
Put the important links at the top and put everything else in the footer at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind that less is more. Streamline your content so that you’re guiding visitors and not confusing them.

Kristen 5:08
When it comes to what’s on the page, if you need to highlight your email opt ins and your products and your blog and your podcasts, you’re going to want to choose fewer of each thing to put on the homepage. And you can always add buttons to see more, and go to a landing page for that specific thing that has lots more information and lots more products and posts and episodes and all of those other things as well.

Kristen 5:33
Mistake number three, and I see this one so so often, it is having too many exit ramps. Think of exit ramps on a highway. These are ways that we can get off of the highway and what happens when you exit the highway. Nine times out of 10 you go somewhere totally different and you don’t hop right back on. The offering too many outside links, sends visitors away from your website where they are likely to get distracted.

Kristen 6:00
Now I am not talking about outside links that link to maybe your shop on a marketplace site like Teachers Pay Teachers, I am talking about links that send people places they are going to get distracted. The biggest offender here is social media. I know you want to send people over to your social media pages and profiles, but put those social media icons and links in the footer of your website, not at the very top front and center. We don’t want people to land on your site. And the first thing they see is oh, she’s on Instagram, let me go check that out. We want them to stay on your homepage, and eventually make it deeper into your website before they go head off to Instagram to see what you’ve been posting there lately.

Kristen 6:41
And unless your number one business goal is to grow your Instagram followers, I highly recommend that you leave that Instagram feed off of your website altogether. I know this pictures can be pretty and it seems like a nice way to just add some some visual contrast and something fun to the site. But all of those links are clickable and it sends people to Instagram. And we all know what happens when we go to Instagram. We start watching reels. And we scroll and we scroll, and we scroll or we click on a story. And again, we tap through them over and over and we get distracted and we don’t go back to that place that sent us to Instagram in the first place.

Kristen 7:20
So your quick fix for this is to just eliminate exit ramps on your website. Focus on guiding visitors to that main goal you identified earlier and not away from your site onto places where they are likely to get sucked down a black hole of distraction and forget all about you.

Kristen 7:36
Mistake number four is making your homepage all about you. There are a lot of times that I see home pages that are just kind of shouting me, me me, and this doesn’t engage our visitors. We want to flip that script to you, you, you, and address your visitors needs. Solve their problems. Show how you can help them. And the way to do that is to use language that is speaking directly to your audience’s goals.

Kristen 8:03
Here are some practical tips. A lot of times when you look at a homepage, what we essentially see is sections of the page that are divided out that say things like hey, here’s my products that you can buy. Here’s my blog posts, check out my Instagram, get on my email list. All of those things while they sound like in some ways that you’re showing people what you have available for them, you’re really busy talking about yourself, my products, my blog, my email lists, join the list, read the posts.

Kristen 8:32
A lot of the really common section headings that we use, like Featured Products, Latest on the Blog, Join the Email List, they don’t really inspire action, and they don’t convince people that they need what’s in that section of your website. So instead, use those headings to address people’s problems. Don’t just call them Featured Products. Call them Time Saving Resources for Busy Teachers. Give your blog posts some clout make it sound like they are important. Instead of just saying On the blog, say something like Most Loved Blog posts.

Kristen 9:07
Think about what their goal is that you’re able to help them with and make sure you’re talking to them you’re using those goals. When you’re writing longer content that goes on your homepage, don’t be afraid to use the word “you.” In an ideal world that homepage really should speak to someone. So you should be using the word “you.” Imagine the person on the other side of the screen who’s reading your homepage and talk to them. Make sure you’re using clear messaging around what their problem is and the solution that you offer to solve it.

Kristen 9:37
And don’t forget to add some social proof. Social proof is just a fancy word for testimonials, feedback reviews. These show people that other people like them know you and like you and trust you and this builds trust with visitors that are on your website.

Kristen 9:56
Last but not least, mistake number five is neglecting SEO. See, a beautiful sight that no one can find is like a little bit of a hidden treasure with no treasure map around. I see so many home pages, even with people who focus hard on SEO on their blog posts, so many homepages have little to no text on them at all that gets picked up by search engines to help that search engine determine what the page is about and rank it. So make sure that you are putting content on your homepage. You need text on the page. I would suggest aiming for at least 300 words of good quality, engaging text on every page that you create. But especially on your homepage.

Kristen 10:40
You also want to make sure that your page title and that text you’re putting on the page, include the keywords that you want to rank for. Make sure your images are properly title. And always think like your audience. What are they searching for? Make sure you’re using those words in the copy that’s on your page.

Kristen 10:57
One thing a lot of WordPress users forget about is that the same plugin that you’re using to optimize your blog posts for SEO, whether it’s Rank Math or something else, that same plugin can be used to optimize every page on your site. So use it to optimize your homepage as well.

Kristen 11:14
So let’s talk about implementation a little bit. I know I just gave you a lot of things to fix on your website. But that does not mean that you need a total overhaul on the site. You can make some small tweaks, following the tips that I gave you to make a huge difference. From a practical standpoint, if you’re on WordPress, check out your customizer page on your current theme. There might be unused widget areas that you can add content to. You can also a lot of times, add additional widgets to existing areas or change the text in the widget titles which are those headlines that we were talking about, so that they are more engaging and better for your audience.

Kristen 11:52
Now, if your homepage if your current thing doesn’t have good options in the customizer, because that does vary from one to another, you can always use a page builder, the one I recommend is Elementor. You can use a page builder like Elementor to build a whole new homepage that you just use with your existing website theme. Doesn’t mean you have to start all over and do a whole brand new everything.

Kristen 12:14
And of course if you are feeling overwhelmed, you can always hire a web designer to help with this. I would love for that to be me if that is where you are with things and you’re feeling overwhelmed. Definitely feel free to reach out to me on Instagram at Kristendoyle.co Or on the contact form on my website. Keep in mind that revamping your website does not have to be a huge, daunting task. You can focus on these quick fixes to make a really big impact in the way that your homepage connects with your visitors and converts.

Kristen 12:46
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you would love to this episode and got a lot out of it. Definitely share it with a fellow teacher seller who would love to hear some tips for their website as well. Talk to you soon friends.

Kristen 13:01
Hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on growing your TPT business, head to Kristendoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.

Want to DIY your website with guidance from a pro?