Website Disaster Zones: Avoid These Costly Mistakes

Your business website can be a powerful tool to attract your ideal customers, make more sales and grow your business. It’s job is to serve as the hub for your entire online presence and to be the online representation of who you are and what you have to offer.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of just throwing something up for a website and hoping it will work, instead of purposely and deliberately creating an online platform that will actually work to grow their business.

Here are 5 common (and costly!) mistakes that small business owners make with their website, and some tips on how you can avoid the same mistakes and create a website that attracts your ideal customers and helps you grow your business.

1. Leaving YOU out of the website

Many businesses create a website that is all about their company and their products, but there is no mention of WHO is behind the business. Their website has the company name and logo, and everything you might want to know about the company, but there is no mention of who they are.

This may work for some, but most people don’t buy from a business or company, they buy from a person. Especially in the online world, we want to connect with another person. We want to know that someone cares and has been where we are. We want to be able to relate to the person that we’re buying from.

So make sure that YOU are in your website. If you are the main or only person that your customers will be interacting with, then put yourself front and center. Put your picture and name in the header of your site, and write your About page in the first person using I and me.

2. Too much clutter and confusion

You’ve probably seen websites that make this mistake. They put so many different links and images and flashing things on their website in an attempt to offer everything they possibly can. There’s a belief out there that you need to fill up your website with everything you have to offer, and give your visitors a ton of choices (just in case they don’t like the first, second or third option).

The truth is that this just confuses your website visitors and leaves them feeling overwhelmed and not even sure where to start. And when they feel that way, the most likely thing they will do is to simply click away from your website and never come back! When they click away it’s a missed opportunity not just for a sale but also to help someone who needs what you have to offer.

Instead of trying to offer a multitude of different choices, focus each page of your website on only ONE action that you want that visitor to take. Everything on that page should be pointing to and leading them toward that one action.

The action could be purchasing a product, signing up for your email list, scheduling a free call with you, calling for more info, click through to an offer or anything else that you want them to do to take the next step.

Once you know what that ONE action is that you want them to take, then make sure that there isn’t anything else on that page that will distract them from that action or confuse them so they don’t know what to do. Make it super clear exactly WHAT you want them to do before leaving that page.

3. Not capturing email addresses

Probably THE biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs making with their website is neglecting to build their email list, or trying to do it in a way that is completely ineffective (hint: no one wants to sign up for a “newsletter”).

Your email list is one of the most valuable assets for your business. Most people need to come in contact with you about 7 times before they will buy from you. If you don’t have some way to follow up with them, they will simply leave and probably never come back. You need to be able to follow up and give them a chance to get to know, like and trust you. Then you will be top of mind when they are ready to purchase what you have to offer.

But you can’t just set up a form and tell people to sign up for no reason, or to sign up for a newsletter. Sure, that make get a few people on your list, but it’s not really going to be effective.

Instead, you need to offer them something of VALUE in exchange for their email address. This could be a free report, video series, ecourse, audio workshop, coupon discount, or something else that makes sense for your particular business. Your goal with this free gift is to give them a taste of what you have to offer so they can experience what you’re all about. You want to give them something that will help them get one step closer to the end result that they want, and that will lead them into your other offers that will help them take it further.

Put this free gift front and center on your website so it’s the first thing that people see when they come to visit. Make it enticing with a catchy headline that tells them what’s in it for them.

4. Settling for something you don’t LOVE

Far too many entrepreneurs settle for a website that they don’t love. They aren’t really happy with the design, or don’t really like the layout, but they aren’t sure how to fix it and so they settle with what they have.

Remember, your website is the first image that people will see of you and your business! When you don’t love your website and don’t feel really good about how you look online, people will pick up on that. Your site won’t resonate with them, something will feel off, and they’ll leave and go somewhere else.

Your website should make your heart sing. The design should be professional and reflect your own uniqueness, talents and gifts. You should feel irresistible and proud of the way you look online!

If you’re not happy with how your site looks, or it’s not an accurate reflection of you and your business, then get some help to do a makeover and create something that truly reflects your irresistibleness online. Hiring a designer can be a huge help here, as they will bring an outside perspective and will have ideas and suggestions that you wouldn’t think of on your own.

5. No strategy or clear plan for your website

Too often, business owners throw together a website “just to get something up there” and there isn’t much thought and strategy that goes into it. The result is a site that maybe looks nice, says some nice things, but with no clear direction it isn’t able to really DO anything for your business. You might get some results, but without a strategy you’ll never see the kind of growth and success that you really want.

When creating your website – or when reviewing what you already have – get purposeful and deliberate about what you want it to do, what results you want. Do you want it to sell products? Bring you new clients? Get you speaking gigs? Sell your book? Write out a list of everything you want it to do.

Now that you know what results you’re looking for, you can consciously set up your website to work toward those results. You can focus specific pages on specific goals and layout your website in a way that naturally leads people through an easy process to convert them into leads and then customers.

As with any goal or thing you want to achieve, you first need to know WHAT it is you want, then have a plan to get there. Do the same thing with your website and it will be much easier to get the results you want.

Which of these 5 mistakes (if any) have you made with your website, and what action are you going to take to turn that around?


Need more actionable advice?
Get your FREE weekly marketing “to-do” list
straight to your inbox every Wednesday:
Jess WebbJess Webb is a website and social media designer who helps women entrepreneurs create an irresistible website and social media presence, to attract their ideal clients and make more money. She has a deep knowledge of marketing - what works, and how to do it in a way that is authentic and feels good. She can help you create an irresistible online presence to grow your business and share your big message with the people who need what you have to offer. To get started, apply for a free Be Irresistible Online strategy session to discuss what you need and want, and to figure out your next steps to make it happen.


  1. great, helpful post, i never realised that if one isnt happy with how their site looks, then it’s not an accurate reflection of you and your business, guess i need to think of some amazing make-over…thanks for your help!!

  2. Thank you for providing me important tips about this type of online business. I’m a blogger i have some websites. I will follow your instructions.

  3. I agree on many levels. Good stuff, Jess. A good clear strategy for what the website is going to be is great, but it’s only one way to approach it. The other kind of thinking, which I think is a bit more entrepreneurial, is to get something definitive and nice up, and adjust along the way. I know I’ve certainly done that! But that’s because my business model has changed multiple times. ah!

    Cool post.

  4. Thanks Jess – I particularly agree with your first point “Leaving YOU out of the website” although I’m nervous about putting my picture in such a prominent place as the header. I think it looks good when other people do it, so I’m not sure what my resistance to it is all about?

  5. Thank you for your good advice, Cher. Article marketing is certainly an excellent way to drive inbound links and expand your visibility.

  6. With the numerous scams online, it will not be easy for people to even treat any offer seriously. If you plan to earn online, sourcing products wholesale and selling them at a profit is a legitimate way to earn. Learn how to discern if a supplier is legitimate or not, and avoid them. Hope this helps.

  7. This is the beginning of my Internet Life. I have reitred from the grind. I am reading blogs on many topics, and commenting too. I think that you have to put some attention on a blog to bring it above the dry and boring verbage that is common, and you have definitely accomplished that. I have started my own blog and website. In the text boxes I have entered my email address and my website URL. I think it is ok that I incuded them since there seems to be a place to do that. Hope so anyway. TheVeryBest2You 13 9

  8. This is a great website, thanks for sharing your ideas, if you have time please take a look at my blog about Twitter Marketing –

  9. Wow! Thank you! I always needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a part of your post to my blog?

  10. thanks, very well written post, found it through a random google search and i shared it on my digg account

  11. Awesome read, thanks for posting.

  12. Incredible! Thanks! I always wanted to publish in my online site something like that.

  13. This is a excellent blog, could you be interested in doing an interview concerning just how you designed it? If so e-mail me personally!