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3 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your Site

communicate

Sometimes the things which should be the easiest and most obvious for us get overlooked, because even the best of us can make rookie mistakes.

Why is it that the plumbing never works at the plumber’s house and the painting never gets done at the painter’s house? And why does the IT guru’s wife’s computer never work?

Somehow the things we are most expert in, particularly if we do them as a profession, are the very things that we do the worst with when it comes to ourselves.

This was highlighted today when a friend of mine visited the website of a blog conference which claimed that one of it’s ‘cornerstones’ was information… and then he couldn’t find details anywhere on the site about where it was being held.

My friend commented to me that he didn’t trust that, when he was there, the conference would give him information about blogging and social media if they weren’t able to communicate simple information well on their website.

It was a good point – and quite a valid one.

You Look Like a Rookie if you make Rookie Mistakes

How can we expect people to trust us to know what we are talking about if we don’t practice what we teach on our own websites?

I know I make many such mistakes on my own website and am using this reminder to start correcting my own errors so I want to share three tips to help you look at the picture you’re painting with your online presence and make sure you’re not making some rookie mistakes.

  1. Your live website is just that… its LIVE! DO NOT try out new ideas, processes and cool little effects on your live site! Telling people that your site is not working right because you are testing something is not good enough. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Have a test site to test things on, something that the public won’t see.
  2. Make navigation and contact links clear, simple and complete. You wouldn’t believe how many sites I’ve seen belonging to people who speak at social media conferences that don’t provide an easy way to contact them. This is SOCIAL media… which means your readers have to have a way to be SOCIAL with you. Other classic mistakes in this area are phone numbers without the area code and addresses without the city or state. The internet broadcasts your site worldwide. There’s a corner of 1st and Main St. in a LOT of cities. There’s no way for me to guess which one is the one your office is on!
  3. Branding never stops. If you want people to proudly associate with and socially promote your brand, you need to be 100% committed to it first. That means using an email address at your domain name. What would it say about Microsoft if Bill Gates’ email address was Bill@google.com? Your email address says something to people about how involved with and committed to your brand you really are. Even if your email address just forwards straight to your gmail account, at least give out an address which proudly shouts “I love my brand!”

If I was a first time visitor to your site, how easy would I find it to contact you and how much essential information could I easily find?

(if you want, I’ll check out your site and let you know.)

As a post script, I contacted the website in question and they have done an excellent job of correcting the omission. The site is BloggyConference.com and you’ll see that they added the city and state (Sandusky, Ohio) under the name of the resort the conference is held at (CedarPoint) and have also added it in several other places on their site!

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Written By: PeterP
On: February 11th, 2013
See More In: Technology
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9 Responses to 3 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Your Site

  1. I agree on all except the phone number. If you have a business that requires people be able to call you, such as a brick-and-mortar store, that’s fine, but for sites such a freelance writer’s sites, I prefer a contact form where I can give them more sensitive information privately. As for Bill Gates, I would faint if he had a Google address, however, if the Google guys had gmail addresses, I would think nothing of it. I remember reading somewhere that a gmail address is almost more respectable than an email at your site.

    • PeterP wrote:

      Deborah,

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.

      I completely agree with you about the phone number thing. That was my mistake, I should have said, “IF you have a phone number on your site…”

      Most bloggers don’t need to put their phone number on there at all.

      As for the gmail thing… I was originally going to put Bill Gates’ address as bill@gmail.com but decided not to because some people don’t realize that the g in gmail stands for google.

      It may have been true in the past that a Gmail account was a good thing but my impression now is that it’s a well known free, anonymous, throw-away address system and doesn’t hold much value for professionals other than the inherent values of their hardware infrastructure and reliability.

  2. Jess wrote:

    Thanks for the simple and straight-forward tips. I hate when I can’t find a way to connect with another blogger!

  3. katdish wrote:

    I have people for this. You’re still my people, right?

  4. katdish wrote:

    P. S. – I like the new look. Very clean.

    • PeterP wrote:

      Thanks! Some people don’t like the white on black… but they’re mostly old folk ;-)

      • Jennie wrote:

        Yeah, I guess I’m old folk – when I look away after reading your site I see black and white stripes on everything (particularly when reading on my phone). Let’s not do that on my site, eh? (My brand isn’t white on black anyway – I’m not that cool!)

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