From Bad Redhead Media:
I recently had the pleasure of taking part in the Wednesday evening #BookMarketingChat hosted by BadRedhead Media. Our topic was easy updates to refresh your author website. To prepare for the chat, I visited the sites of several writers, including those who have left comments here in the past. I figured I would snoop around and find out what kind of slips the average writer is making with this vital part of their online platform.
My verdict? As a community, we need to pull our socks up if we want to show our readers we value their website visits and respect their time. I saw too many websites that were dated in design, neglected in content, or both.
According to a Stanford University study, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website design. Readers will lose trust in your professionalism and the quality of your work if you can’t present a reasonably spiffy website to the world.
Since it’s October and Halloween is fast approaching, here are the 30 website mistakes I consider the scariest, in terms of turning your reader off. I’ll start with the ones I saw on multiple websites that are easiest to fix.
Dated items, which show how long you’ve neglected your website. For example:
- Blog post dates
- A book page which announces a title is “Coming Spring 2018”
- An events page with nothing forthcoming or recent
- Copyright year not current
. . . .
Links to social media accounts that you no longer use. Watch out in particular for an icon advertising Google Plus, which shut down 6 months ago!
. . . .
Cluttered sidebars. Sidebars are a magnet for outdated distractions, for example: tag clouds, tiny photos of your followers, or badges for everywhere you’ve ever been featured. A little social proof is important, but too much looks desperate.
. . . .
No “About” page, and/or no contact information. Even if you’re writing with a pen name, you should still give visitors some context to connect with. Your readers want to get to know you, not just your work.
. . . .
Unless you’re using a free service, you don’t have to declare which theme you’re using, or that you’re powered by WordPress. Professionally designed websites don’t do this, so you needn’t either.
Link to the rest at Bad Redhead Media