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Worldwide Critical Website Mistakes

Last week I heard from one of my best friends from way back in high school. He’s bounced around the globe since back in ’94, living in London and Belfast, and now he’s a trainer in Doha, Qatar.

I was grilling him about the scene there, and in exchange he was having me review his website.

At the same time one of my meathead buddies asked me to review a sales letter he’d written for one of his projects.

Going through both of these I found a few critical mistakes being made. These are common mistakes and you might be making them on your site, too.

Check this list and fix what mistakes you can…

1) Using Boring Stock Photos Instead of “You” Photos

If you’re building a personality based Internet business, and there’s no reason not to, since as Matt Smith says, “It’s the easiest way to make a million dollars online”, then you need to put some personality into your business.

Don’t hide behind stock photos.

Trust me, I made this mistake for years.

One of my big breakthroughs was finally putting my “million dollar” photo online (the one of me half-naked in the field that’s been ripped off by one of the world’s most popular magazines as well as many gyms and even a kettlebell company).

People want to do business with real people.

Put your personality into your business.

Remember: People want to follow passionate people. Passion requires personality. Don’t hold back.

Do what I’ve learned over the years…take YOU and put yourself online. Be cool, share stories about you, not just facts that the reader can get on Google.

Make it personal (especially if you’re selling personal services). The LESS formal the better.

2) Wasted Real Estate

When your visitor lands on your site, everything that they see without scrolling down is called “the area above the fold” (a term taken from the newspaper world).

You can’t waste any of that valuable real estate by using boring stock photos or vast amounts of unused white space.

Fill that valuable real estate with words that show the reader they are in the right spot. The right images and videos should also be above the fold.

Again, what they see immediately upon landing on your page should ‘click’ with what they are looking for/expecting.

If it’s not used properly, you’ll lose them in 2 seconds.

3) !!! !

There’s a Sacramento funk rock band called, “!!!”.

Referencing this band is the only time any human should use three exclamation points in a row.

Pardon me, in a row!!

Listen, too many people’s websites are asking the punctuation to do the talking.

If it’s you, stop it.

I mean, Stop It!

No seriously, I just mean, stop it.

Let your words do the talking. Don’t rely on “Shift + 1″.

You don’t need to. You’re better than that.

Here’s a weird fact.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop using any and all “!” in emails, on websites, etc.

No longer do any of my promo emails contain the “!”.

And guess what? It hasn’t hurt sales.

The only time I use the “!” is when providing encouragement on my fitness forums, or in rare cases where I need to make sure the reader of my email understands the tone of my voice (but without resorting to using smiley faces).

So give it a try. For the next four weeks go on a “!” fast.

No mas.

It will demand that you become a better communicator.

I guarantee. (<= See how easy it is to avoid the “!” while still getting your point across?)

!@#$%^&*(),

Craig Ballantyne

“Something I learned early is to not worry about what I can’t control…But what I can control is my attitude, my effort, and my focus every single day.” – Tim Tebow

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